Rosslyn Dog Park Now Open — “Thanks to the support of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and R-DOGS, there’s a new interim dog park on the western side of Gateway Park. Now that’s something to bark about!” [Arlington County, Instagram]
Arlingtonian Confirmed as U.N. Ambassador — “The Senate voted 78-20 on Tuesday to confirm Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.” The long-time Arlington resident “has promised to restore the U.S. role as a defender of human rights and will look to repair multilateral relationships that fractured under former President Trump.” [Axios]
Crashes on I-395 Yesterday Morning — From the Arlington County Fire Department: “The units from Station 9C ran a three vehicle accident early this morning on 395NB. Upon arrival, they discovered a trapped patient who was quickly extricated. Two patients were treated and transported with non-life threatening injuries.” [Twitter, WUSA 9]
YHS Students to Continue Athletics in College — “A dozen Yorktown High School athletes participated in recent college signing ceremonies to continue their playing careers at the next level.” [InsideNova]
Local Woman Sickened By New Puppy — “An Arlington mother and daughter are warning those interested in purchasing a new pet about a disease called campylobacter. Audrey Glitt was thrilled when her mother, Katrina Metzler, brought home a new puppy named Fernweh as a surprise — but shortly after the dog’s arrival, the excitement quickly faded to worry. ‘I think it was about, a week later after we had gotten her, I started getting really sick and I couldn’t get out of bed,’ said Glitt.” [WDVM]
Starting today (Tuesday), fencing is set to be installed for an interim dog park in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park.
Work on the dog park, including the installation of lighting and a water fountain, started in 2020. It is slated to finish in the first quarter of 2021, said Mary Ann Elliott, the director of R-Dogs, which is one of the main forces behind the project.
Eventually, the area will be fenced-in, with a section for small and disabled dogs and one for large dogs.
“Fencing is the last major part,” Elliott said.
The interim dog park at 1300 Lee Hwy fills Rosslyn’s growing need for dog parks, of which the county will need three by 2035, according to a county planning document. The temporary facility will be in place until a Park Master Plan is developed and funding becomes available for a potential permanent replacement.
The plan could be finished in 2022 and funded in 2028, Elliott said.
The interim park is the result of nearly three years of work by R-Dogs, a community group-turned-nonprofit, and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
“It has been a long process with rules and regulations that one comes to find with any rules of county governance,” said Elliott. “I’m very pleased, overall, with the County, and thrilled with what the BID has contributed.”
Mary-Claire Burick, President of the Rosslyn BID, said the park represents a “wonderful partnership” among the County, R-Dogs and the BID to meet the needs of Rosslyn’s growing residential population.
“We are excited to add in a designated place where owners and their pets can safely enjoy the fresh air,” she said in a statement.
The Arlington parks department anticipates a dog park will be considered in the master planning work, but will need to go through a community process before it can be more specific, department spokeswoman Susan Kalish said in an email.
Elliott said the interim dog park will cost about $40,000, and the BID, a veterinary practice, several small businesses and individuals have chipped in to fund it. This sets the dog park apart, she said.
“All of the other dog parks in the County have a sponsor group of community residents, but did not raise money or establish a company with by-laws in order to make it a reality,” she said.
Photo (bottom) via Arlington County
Planning is underway for a temporary dog park in Rosslyn that could eventually become permanent.
The dog park will be built in an underutilized grassy area on the west end of Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). The current plans call for it to be divided into a 8,000 square foot section for large dogs and a 2,900 square foot section for small dogs.
A design process for the dog park is now underway and expected to wrap up by the end of the year. A construction timeline has not yet been revealed.
“The facility is proposed to include separate areas to accommodate both large and small dogs, fencing with screening in some areas, upgraded lighting, a water source for dogs, grass surfacing, double entry gates, maintenance gates, repurposed and ADA accessible benches, dog waste receptacles, a message board, and standard County signage,” the project website says.” Gateway Park is currently lighted, and the upgraded lights associated with this project will allow visitors to use the dog park until the lights turn off at 9 p.m.”
The county is seeking feedback on the draft design for the park.
If approved, the temporary park’s approximately $43,700 cost is to be paid by R-DOGS, the private group of Rosslyn area dog owners that has been pushing for a new dog park since 2018. The county parks department will maintain the dog park with help from R-DOGS, which is asking its members to provide feedback on the design.
“Every R-DOGS member is needed to comment… And ask all you friends and neighbors to add their comments,” the group said in a letter to supporters. “This is probably the only opportunity our dogs will have for an off-leash park within Rosslyn and walking distance for their human companions.”
The park could become permanent after the master plan for Gateway Park is reviewed in 2022.
“If approved, this park will be available for community use until a park master plan is developed for Gateway Park and there is funding to construct the improvements,” the county said. “The temporary dog park will also be reviewed annually to ensure it is operating safely and in accordance with the County’s policies regarding temporary park uses and facilities.”
A recent presentation noted that the dog park is to be built in an area not typically used by annual public events that use Gateway Park, like the Rosslyn Jazz Festival.
“If the temporary dog park is built on a portion of the west end of Gateway Park, the east side will still be usable for annual events,” the county said.
A separate proposal for a new dog park in Pentagon City is also making some progress. In June it was reported that Amazon was pledging $50,000 for the temporary amenities in the northern end of Virginia Highlands Park, near Pentagon Row and Pentagon City mall.
The Board approved a master plan and design guidelines for Pentagon City’s Metropolitan Park, which as currently configured is perhaps best known for being a large patch of grass where dogs from neighboring apartment buildings relieve themselves.
Amazon is picking up the $14 million renovation tab for the reimagined Metropolitan Park, designed — also at Amazon’s expense — by James Corner Field Operations, of New York City “High Line” fame.
The new park, expected to be completed in 2023, will feature lush meandering paths, a central green for gatherings and events, tables for outdoor dining, two 2,000 square foot dog parks, an edible garden, and public art, among other amenities.
James Corner Field Operations conducted its community outreach process for the park design virtually, as a result of the pandemic, with live video presentations and online surveys. The park design is a fusion of several presented concepts, with community feedback taken into account during each step of the way.
The online process won plaudits from at least one of the citizen-led county commissions involved.
“Several Commissioners noted that the virtual public engagement was thorough and well designed and allowed for much broader participation than would otherwise be the case for in-person meetings alone,” wrote Phil Klingelhofer, Chair of Arlington’s Urban Forestry Commission. “We would encourage the County to consider utilizing this virtual method of public engagement going forward even after the Covid-19 restrictions on public meetings have ceased as way to foster greater inclusivity and feedback.”
More on the park’s approval from an Arlington County press release, below.
Dog parks, basketball courts and volleyball courts will reopen Friday, along with gyms and restaurant dining rooms.
Arlington County announced that it was reopening the additional park facilities as Northern Virginia enters Phase 2 of the reopening. The county previously reopened athletic fields, batting cages, tennis courts, tracks and picnic shelters last Friday.
Arlington Public Library, meanwhile, will offer book returns and pickup service at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) starting Monday, June 15.
Under state guidelines, the Phase 2 reopening will allow restaurants to open indoor areas at 50% capacity and indoor gyms to open at 30% capacity. Social gatherings of up to 50 people will now be permitted.
In a press release about the reopening today, Arlington County encouraged residents to continue taking safety precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
“Arlington will maintain a Safer at Home strategy, with continued recommendations for social distancing, teleworking and requiring individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public settings,” the county said.
The press release also contained a gentle reminder that parking restrictions were never lifted during the pandemic.
“The public is reminded that parking meters are being enforced,” the county said. “Motorists should be particularly mindful of posted signage in commercial areas as businesses are beginning to reopen.”
More from Arlington County, below.
All Arlington dog parks, fields and playgrounds are closing in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Amid quickly rising cases and community spread of the virus in the county, Arlington Public Schools and Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation are locking down most outdoor recreational facilities where people congregate. That follows the last week’s closure of indoor community centers.
Trails and community gardens will remain open to individuals, but congregating in groups is banned.
More from Arlington County:
Arlington County is committed to the health and safety of our community and our employees. Effectively immediately, all Arlington County/APS parks, fields, playgrounds, restrooms, tracks, dog parks and courts are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Signs will be posted at all affected locations. Park visitors are asked to adhere to all closure notices and current social distancing recommendations.
Trails and community gardens are also closed to groups. Please exercise and garden alone. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, it is important that everyone take personal responsibility and practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.
The parks department is currently printing signs announcing the closures, according to DPR spokeswoman Susan Kalish.
A number of readers have reached out to ARLnow to report groups of people seemingly not observing social distancing recommendations at local sports fields and parks.
“Happened to go for fresh air and a walk on the trail due to the quarantine and the courts by the trail are full of people playing soccer and basketball,” one reader said in an email to ARLnow last week.
You’re probably not taking Fido to play in the creek in sub-freezing weather, but you’ll want to nix any such plans at the Shirlington dog park for the next couple of days.
Arlington County crews braved freezing weather on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to repair an 8-inch sewer line that failed and sent sewage spewing into Four Mile Run, near the Barcroft neighborhood, for the second week in a row.
“The Department of Environmental Services advises to avoid all contact with Four Mile Run south of 7th Street due to a sanitary sewage release,” said an Arlington Alert message on Sunday afternoon. “Blockage was removed from the same pipe after a release last week. Crews on scene investigating pipe’s condition.”
As of Tuesday morning, the department said repairs had been completed. All people and pets, however, should avoid Four Mile Run downstream of 7th Street S. until at least Wednesday night.
As a result of the sewage release, a planned MLK, Jr. Day of Service trash cleanup along the stream has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 1.
Update Tuesday 9:30am: Repairs completed to the sanitary sewer line that discharged Sunday into Four Mile Run at 7th St S. Continue to avoid contact with stream south of 7th Street until Wednesday evening. Tips for dog owners: https://t.co/cmkwyJj7NI
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) January 21, 2020
Photo via Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services
(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) A community group is pushing the county to develop a new dog park in Pentagon City.
Pentagon City Dogs recently submitted a proposal to Arlington County officials calling for a new, 25,000 square foot dog park within Virginia Highlands Park, an 18-acre collection of athletic fields, tennis courts, and some wooded areas at 1600 S. Hayes Street, across from the mall.
Currently, there are no established, public dog parks in the 22202 zip code and dogs are not permitted off-leash in Virginia Highlands Park. Supporters say a little-used portion of the park between a softball field and 15th Street S. could be an ideal location.
“The location provides easy access from high-rise and single family homes without any disruption of the quality of life of the neighbors,” the group wrote in their proposal. “In fact, the closest single-family homes are the equivalent to nearly two blocks at the end of the proposed dog park.”
The Instrata Pentagon City apartment building, however, is across the street from the proposed location.
The group also argues the location would be ideal for a dog park because of its established amenities including water, trash services, parking, and accessible entrances.
At least 20 volunteers from Pentagon City Dogs have signed up to maintain the space. The group has gathered over a hundred signatures from local residents in support, plus an endorsement from the Aurora Highlands Civic Association.
“The 22202 communities have been expressing a need for dog parks for decades, and the population of both residents and pets continues to increase,” the association wrote in its endorsement.
The proposal suggests that an initial version of the dog park could be established at minimal cost with heavy-duty temporary fencing.
“Arlington Parks & Recreation is aware of the interest to explore the opportunity for a temporary dog park in Virginia Highlands Park,” parks department spokeswoman Susan Kalish tells ARLnow. “
Pentagon City Dogs says its members are willing to back up the park plan with money to help fund it. The group is in the early stages of fundraising efforts for the park, including seeking business donations, sponsors, and individual donors.
“While there is a possibility of County funding, we think our best chance of success will be if we can bring funding along with our proposal to the County,” said Lowell Nelson, spokesman for Pentagon City Dogs.
To accommodate the expected crowds, the group says it may be necessary to take away from of one of the current softball fields.
“There will be easily 50+ dogs (small & large) at peak times,” the proposal says. “The size would need to be at least 22,500 ft to avoid conflicts, which can be achieved by expanding into space currently occupied by one softball field. “
There are eight established county-run dog parks in Arlington, open from sunrise until half an hour after sunset. The nearest to Virginia Highlands Park is Towers Park, nearly two miles away at 801 S. Scott Street.
A similar initiative has begun for Eads Park, which is a mile away and similarly endorsed by the Aurora Highland Civic Association. In addition, a community group has been pressuring the county to build a temporary, gated space for dogs in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park.
Nearby, Amazon has proposed 1.1 acres of open public space — for “a dog park, recreation areas, farmers markets, and more” — at its forthcoming headquarters in Pentagon City.
Photo via Google Maps
A new group is pushing the county for more space dedicated to its four-legged residents in Rosslyn’s growing neighborhood.
“R-Dogs is working with Arlington County and Rosslyn BID to build a top of the line park to be renamed Rosslyn Community Park,” the group said in a statement to ARLnow. “The new park will include a dog park with separate areas for large and small dogs. A separate area will also be built for individuals in the community to sit, socialize and enjoy watching their dogs play.”
The seven-member group has yet to pick a spot for the park, but for now is calling for a temporary, gated one to be set up in the western half of Gateway Park at the corner of N. Nash Street and Lee Highway.
In its application to the county, R-Dogs is also proposing the park incorporate several features, such as:
- A shaded shelter with benches
- Separated sections for large and small dogs
- Drinking fountains (for humans and dogs)
- A water misting station for dogs to cool off under
- A water-washing station
- A raised seating area with the area underneath “sealed off to prevent dogs from hiding and being difficult to impossible to catch.”
- A bulletin board
The group argues in the application that Gateway Park is an ideal location for a dog park because it’s lightly used, in need of repairs, and it’s not close to homeowners who might be bothered by barking.
The land on which the park sits is owned by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and managed by the county. It’s situated next to Key Bridge Marriott site redevelopment (1401 Lee Highway) which plans to add 451 housing units and renovate the hotel.
“Parks, and especially dog parks, are a magnet to draw the community together, increase housing values, and attract new businesses and builders,” the group wrote in its application.
John Hummel, president of the North Rosslyn Civic Association, wrote in a letter of support that North Rosslyn has “witnessed a gradual but significant loss of walkable green space” in recent years and Gateway Park’s state of disrepair means some residents don’t feel comfortable using it.
“While NRCA has no idea of the design nor expected lifetime of this Temporary Dog Park, NRCA is in support of improvement of Gateway West to provide an attractive walkable space where residents can safely meet neighbors, chat, and let dogs run unleashed,” wrote Hummel.
A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development did not immediately respond to requests for more information.
GW Parkway Closure — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — “All lanes of the GW Parkway are now closed during Friday morning’s rush hour due to a large sinkhole that was discovered overnight.” [Tysons Reporter]
HQ2 Impact to Be Bigger Than Expected? — JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and George Mason University’s Stephen S. Fuller both think many are underestimating HQ2’s impact on job creation in the region. [Washington Business Journal, Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Gets High Marks for Dog Parks — Arlington is No. 10 on the Trust for Public Land’s ranking of cities with the most dog parks per capita. Arlington has eight dog parks, or 3.5 for every 100,000 residents. D.C. ranked No. 22 on the list. [Trust for Public Land]
Wilson Blvd to Close Again in Ballston — “That stretch of Wilson Boulevard at @BallstonQuarter that’s now closed eastbound on school nights 8pm-6am for 8 weeks? It’ll also be closed both ways this weekend, Friday 8pm to Sunday 6pm. Lots of pedestrian bridge to do.” [Twitter]
Road Closures in N. Arlington — “The Nottingham/Discovery Elementary Schools 5K race will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will close several roads from approximately 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM to accommodate the event.” [Arlington County]
Basketball Fundraiser Tonight — “New Directions High School students will play Arlington County’s heroes — including some of the police department, fire department, probation and prosecutor’s office” tonight at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School to raise money for New Directions. [Twitter]
No Hyperloop for Va. for Now — “Virginia transit officials flew to California to check out Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel. They say they’re gonna stick with traditional roads and railways for now. ‘It’s a car in a very small tunnel.'” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]