Four major transportation projects in Arlington will receive tens of millions in regional funding, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority announced today.
The projects, all of which are in the planning stages, will bring multimodal upgrades to Crystal City and Rosslyn, as well as to the W&OD Trail. In all, the NTVA is providing more than a half billion dollars in funding to 21 projects around the region.
“On the evening of July 9th, the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority adopted the FY 2020-2025 Six Year Program, the Authority’s fifth funding program and the most competitive to date,” the regional governmental body said in a press release. “$1.44 billion in multimodal transportation funding was requested by 13 Northern Virginia localities and agencies – including Arlington County – with $539 million in Authority regional revenues available.”
“The Authority unanimously voted to fund 21 of the 41 transportation projects submitted for funding consideration,” the press release continues. “Arlington County was awarded $29.874 million in regional revenues on the following projects aimed at reducing congestion and getting people to their destinations faster.”
The projects being funded in Arlington include:
The “CC2DCA” pedestrian bridge from Crystal City to Reagan National Airport, which is envisioned as providing a “High Line“-like experience as it spans the GW Parkway and makes walking to the airport more feasible for those in the National Landing area.
The project is set to receive $18 million from NVTA, of the total estimated project cost of $36.2 million.
The project will create a pedestrian connection between Crystal City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). It would provide an additional transportation access point to the airport, which is less than one-half mile away from Crystal Drive, but is practically inaccessible by foot today. In addition to the potential reduction in vehicular traffic between the two destinations, the project is located roughly two blocks from the under-design Crystal City Metrorail Station East Entrance and provides a direct connection to bus service on the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway. The CC2DCA Intermodal Connector is intended to connect to the future relocated VRE commuter rail station. The CC2DCA Intermodal Connector project builds upon a recently completed feasibility study prepared by the Crystal City Business Improvement District (CCBID). This project will further evaluate alternatives, complete environmental documentation and approvals, engineering design, and ultimately construct a pedestrian connection between Crystal Drive and the terminals of DCA. The NVTA funding would be leveraged with both State and local funds to completely fund design and construction of the project; the Commonwealth has committed $9,500,000 to the CC2DCA Intermodal Connector.
Rosslyn Multimodal Network Improvements, which is an extension of the Core of Rosslyn study. The study, which was completed last year, calls for major changes to Rosslyn’s road and pedestrian network, including removal of the Fort Myer Drive tunnel under Wilson Blvd and upgrades to crosswalks, sidewalks and bike lanes.
The project is set to receive $11.9 million from NVTA, its full estimated cost, though the project description does not mention the tunnel removal.
Design and construct a suite of complementary bicycle and pedestrian improvements largely taken from the recommended implementation projects in the draft Core of Rosslyn study. Collectively as a package, the projects significantly improve access to employment, housing, and transit within the Rosslyn regional activity center, and improve regional connections between Rosslyn and Georgetown, DC.
The long-planned VRE Crystal City Station Improvements project, which would building a new, upgraded Virginia Railway Express station in Crystal City, the last VRE stop before D.C.
The project is set to receive $15.8 million of its estimated total $49.9 million cost.
Amazon Nears Thousandth HQ2 Hire — “Even amid the region’s economic shutdown, Amazon has still been staffing up its HQ2 offices in Arlington, quickly approaching its 1,000th hire at the second headquarters campus, said Brian Kenner, head of HQ2 policy. ‘We’ve been very happy with the caliber of candidates,’ Kenner said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Pandemic Making Single-Family Homes Pricier — “Could the bloom be off the rose when it comes to urban (or urban-village) living? Figures are preliminary at best, but there is some inkling that the COVID-19 pandemic may be changing patterns among home-buyers. ‘Relatively better performance of single-family homes in relation to multi-family condominium properties clearly suggest migration from the city centers to the suburbs,’ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association Realtors, in parsing sales data from May.” [InsideNova]
New Arlington Poet Laureate — “Award-winning poet and Marymount University professor Holly Karapetkova has been selected as the second Poet Laureate of Arlington County. During her two-year appointment, which begins July 1, 2020, she will serve as an advocate for poetry and the literary arts, working to raise Arlingtonians’ consciousness and appreciation of poetry in its written and spoken forms.” [Arlington County]
Snubbed Business Owners Speak Out — “ASAP Screen Printing is a small business. Yet the Arlington County government did not find the company small enough to deserve assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead providing grants to the likes of” hotels and franchisees of chain restaurants like Subway and Jimmy John’s, writes ASAP owner Mohammad Shiekhy. [InsideNova]
Toppled Tree Knocks Out Power to Neighborhood — A large tree fell, took down utility lines, and knocked out power to more than 100 homes in North Arlington’s Bellevue Forest neighborhood last night. [Twitter]
Schwartz Presents New Capital Plan — “County Manager Mark Schwartz has proposed a $277.5 million one-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The County Manager, rather than proposing the traditional 10-year plan, is presenting a short-term proposal until the County better understands the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus of the one-year CIP is on projects that are already underway, those that improve failing or end-of-life infrastructure, and those required by legal or regulatory obligations.” [Arlington County]
Juvenile Court Reeling from Coronavirus Cases — “An outbreak of covid-19 in the clerk’s office of the Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has forced the court to close the office to the public and has concerned lawyers who practice there daily. Four of the seven clerks in the office have tested positive for covid-19.” [Washington Post]
Small Business Grants Announced — “Arlington County today announced 394 businesses are receiving the Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term). The GRANT program provides financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT funds were designed to bridge the gap to provide near-term relief for businesses and nonprofits, some of whom have experienced delays or limitations with federal relief initiatives.” [Arlington County, Arlington Economic Development]
Va. Not Ready for Phase 3 — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that statewide Covid-19 numbers ‘continue to look favorable,’ but that he will not move the commonwealth into phase 3 of reopening this week. ‘I want to have more time to see how the numbers look before we make changes, especially as we see surges in other parts of our country,’ Northam said.” [Washington Business Journal, InsideNova]
Wardian to Run to Every District Taco — “This is Mike Wardian, a Guinness-World-Record winning runner, who is partnering with DT on Saturday, June 20 as he runs to ALL 12 DMV LOCATIONS (just about 60 miles)! If you see Mike on his run, snap a pic and use #whereswardian for in-app credit for a free taco!” [Twitter]
County Offers Free Trees and Tree Maintenance — “Arlington County loves trees, and knows trees are critical for our stormwater infrastructure, environmental and human health benefits, and through its Tree Canopy Fund EcoAction Arlington offers grants to plant or maintain trees on private property.” [Press Release]
Big Response to Small Biz Grant Program — “Those hit hard by the pandemic can receive help through the small business emergency grant program. More than 1,100 businesses have applied, [County Board Chair Libby] Garvey said, and at least 63% of them are owned by women or minorities. ‘With an additional $1.6 million, we can provide grants to a total of 400 businesses, more than 50% of those that… were eligible,’ Garvey said,” during her State of the County address Tuesday morning. [WTOP, Zoom]
Chamber Presents Valor Awards — Also on Tuesday, “awards were presented to honor Arlington County’s public safety personnel and first responders. Fourteen honorees were recognized for their courageous, and often lifesaving, actions in the line of duty. Leadership of all respective departments submitted nominations for the honorees, based on their performance over the past year.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce, InsideNova]
Road Closures for Grad Parades Tomorrow — “On Thursday, June 18, the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will support Senior Graduation Parades for Wakefield High School and Washington-Liberty High School. Traffic around the schools will be impacted at the below listed times. The public can expect to see increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods.” [Arlington County]
CivFed Wants More Open Space — “The president of the Arlington County Civic Federation on June 13 delivered his message quietly but bluntly: The county government needs to put much more emphasis on acquiring land for parks and open space before the window of opportunity closes. Allan Gajadhar handed County Board members a Civic Federation resolution calling on the county government to better balance open-space and passive-recreation needs with facilities for sports and active recreation.” [InsideNova]
COVID Cases Among DCA Construction Workers — “Employees with 17 contractors working on Reagan National Airport’s massive capital improvement project have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a staff report issued ahead of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s upcoming board meeting… The most recent positive result was confirmed June 7.” [Washington Business Journal]
Juneteenth May Become State Holiday — “Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Tuesday that he will support legislation to make Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery, a state holiday in Virginia. He gave executive branch state employees the day off Friday — June 19 — in recognition of the event. On that date in 1865, federal troops told enslaved people in Texas they had been freed, more than two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Reopening Starts Today — Arlington and Northern Virginia is starting Phase 1 of a gradual reopening of the regional economy today. You’ll be able to dine outside, get a haircut, and shop at non-essential businesses, with restrictions. Additionally, starting today, Virginia is requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Face coverings are also required in ART buses. [Arlington County, Arlington Transit]
Local Leaders Promote Mask Usage — Leaders of Northern Virginia’s local governments, including Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey, star in a new video encouraging the use of masks as the region reopens. [YouTube]
Arlington Orgs Providing Food During Pandemic — “Since May 1, CHFA volunteers have delivered 6,174 meals to homebound COVID-19 positive patients and immunocompromised clients, with plans to provide an additional 14,000 meals over the next two months, in partnership with Jeffrey’s Catering. Since the state of emergency declaration on March 15, referrals to AFAC increased by 36 percent, from 3,606 individuals to 4,902 on May 10.” [Arlington County]
Marymount Holding Graduation Parade — “On Friday afternoon, members of Marymount University’s graduating class will celebrate their accomplishments through a Graduation Parade, with faculty and staff cheering them on along a four-mile route that loops between Main Campus and the Ballston Center.” [Press Release]
Local Snakes Face Sticky Situation — “Our Animal Control officers are always on hand to help animals in need, even the scaly ones! Today we got a call that 2 snakes were stuck to a glue trap. Sgt Ballena and Officer Citrone worked hard to gently un-stick the snakes and release them safely nearby.” [@AWLAArlington/Twitter]
ARLnow Receives Google Grant — ARLnow has received a modest grant from Google’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. The grant will allow ARLnow to host a paid intern this summer. The pandemic has negatively affected ARLnow’s business, and at the same time has also caused a shortage of internships nationwide. We’re grateful for Google helping us to offer an internship to a promising young journalist.
Business Concerns About Mask Mandate — “Arlington County Board Member Katie Cristol says she’s heard concerns from businesses owners about enforcing the mask policy. ‘We’ve definitely heard from some grocers and some others that they don’t want to be in the business of enforcing and I think you’ve seen, nationally, examples of altercations between grocery employees and individuals who don’t want to wear masks and get belligerent about it,’ Cristol said.” [NBC 4]
More Local COVID Grants — “The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has approved $280,000 in Round 4 grants from its COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia to five organizations, including ALIVE!, Arlington Thrive, CASA de Virginia, and Northern Virginia Family Service.” [InsideNova]
Interview with Gillian Burgess — “Why hasn’t Arlington closed some streets to cars, to make more room for pedestrians and cyclists? What can be done about overcrowded trails? Should the Arlington Way move mostly online? Those are a few of the things we discussed tonight with Gillian Burgess, a local civic leader and cycling advocate.” [Facebook, Apple Podcasts]
Photo courtesy James Mahony
Small Biz Grant Application Now Open — “The Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program, designed to provide immediate financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now open for applications.” [Arlington County]
Why Your Pizza Is Not Going Ham — The national meat shortage has led Domino’s Pizza to cut down on the availability of some toppings, including in Arlington. “Due to the current uncertainty in the market for meats, we are limiting the amount of ham we are delivering to our stores,” the company told one local resident. [@craigcolgan/Twitter]
Kids Don Costumes in Support of Masks — “Kids roaming my neighborhood dressed as a hotdog and a bun, with a placard: ‘DON’T BE A WEENIE, WEAR A MASK.’ Lots of people in the D.C. area I’ve observed this week going in and out of stores, playing basketball and mingling on the National Mall are not masking up.” [@meekwire/Twitter]
Police Investigate Robbery in Rosslyn — “Two suspects entered a business and began selecting merchandise. An employee of the business recognized one of the suspects and confronted him as he attempted to exit the business in possession of merchandise that had not been paid for. The suspect shoved the victim, causing her to fall, and both suspects fled in a vehicle driven by a third subject prior to police arrival.” [Arlington County]
Teachers Endorse Diaz-Torres — “The Arlington Education Association Political Action Committee (AEA-PAC) recently announced its endorsement of Cristina Diaz-Torres, a teacher and education policy specialist, in the Arlington Public School Board Democratic Caucus.” [Press Release]
Police Looking for W&OD Trail Creeper — “City of Falls Church Police received a report about a man following a woman in a suspicious manner on Monday, May 4, at about 3:10 p.m. He followed the woman on the W&OD trail then continued to follow her into a neighborhood. The woman was not harmed.” [City of Falls Church]
This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.
Recently, the Arlington County Board approved the creation of the special Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT Program.
In Arlington Economic Development, we’ve been reaching out to the business community since this pandemic began, and what we heard was needed most was access to capital. We wanted to do something to help. And now, with additional contributions from the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) as well as the Rosslyn and Crystal City BIDs, the fund is at more than $1 million.
It’s a countywide effort for a good cause — supporting the small businesses that make up the character of Arlington County.
The Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program will offer competitive grants of up to $10K to Arlington companies that have been directly affected by COVID-19. To be eligible, businesses must have an Arlington County business license, be in good standing on Arlington County taxes and have fewer than 50 employees.
To apply, businesses also need to demonstrate that they’ve experienced at least 35% of revenue decline because of the pandemic and provide details on how grant funds will be used to support employee salary and benefits and other business capital and operating expenses directly related to the immediate impacts of COVID-19. A diverse panel will review the grant proposals and consider a variety of criteria, including need, business sustainability, and level of business disruption from the pandemic to ensure we can assist as many businesses as possible.
Applications will open in early May, and the application process will be open for two weeks. In the meantime, individuals can sign up to be notified as soon as the application goes live online.
Arlington Economic Development’s outreach has shown that more than 90% of Arlington’s small businesses have reported that the closures and modifications associated with the pandemic have been significantly disruptive to their businesses, and the GRANT program is just one way Arlington Economic Development and its BizLaunch team are working to help Arlington’s business community weather this crisis.
In the coming week, additional Information will be available regarding the GRANT in English, Spanish and Amharic with the application itself also available in multiple languages. We have counselors available for one-on-one virtual sessions.
More information is available on the COVID-19 Support section of the AED website, or those with questions can call us at 703-228-0808.
We’ve all learned a lot in the last few weeks, but what this pandemic has shown us more than ever is that Arlington’s business community is innovative, resilient and above all, ready to do whatever it takes to remain strong. We’re going to be here to do all we can to help make that happen.
More than 90% of Arlington small businesses have had their business “very” or “extremely” disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s according to the results of a preliminary survey conducted by Arlington Economic Development, revealed in a county press release Thursday evening. With many businesses shut down by emergency order, revenue has slowed to a trickle for a wide swath of the local business community.
“While the pandemic is impacting numerous segments of the Arlington business community, it is particularly difficult for those that are customer-facing, specifically small retail, hospitality and personal services businesses, which have reported significant sales declines as well as employee layoffs,” the county noted.
To make matters worse, the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program loan fund, part of the $2 trillion stimulus package passed late last month, has run out of money — before many small businesses could get their applications processed by swamped banks.
A delay in replenishing the program, amid partisan bickering in Congress, could lead to business closures.
(ARLnow’s parent company, which employs 9 people, applied for a PPP loan from PNC Bank on April 6. As of this morning it was still “under review.”)
Arlington County, meanwhile, is launching its own relief program for small businesses. The county says it will provide grants of up to $10,000 for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees. The application for the program is expected to open in early May.
The funds for the program are being reallocated from elsewhere in the current Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
More from Arlington County:
Arlington County has created the Arlington Small Business Emergency GRANT (Giving Resiliency Assets Near Term) Program, to provide immediate financial assistance to Arlington’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GRANT program is designed to bridge the gap to provide near-term relief for businesses, some of whom have experienced delays or limitations with Federal relief initiatives. The program was approved during a County Board budget work session Thursday, April 16.
“Small businesses contribute to the character of our community,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey. “What’s more – they are a vital component of our community’s economic health. More than 90 percent of our businesses are small businesses – and right now, they need our help more than ever before.”
The GRANT Program would provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses and non-profits with less than 50 employees. Businesses may use the grants for employee salary and benefits as well as for other business capital and operating expenses directly related to the immediate impacts of COVID-19. Funding for the program is being reallocated from existing grant funds in the FY2020 budget.
“This pandemic has been truly devastating to the Arlington business community, particularly our customer-facing small businesses,” said Arlington Economic Development Director Telly Tucker, who reported that more than 9 out of 10 small businesses called the pandemic extremely or very disruptive to business operations. “In our outreach to our business community, we’ve heard that access to financial assistance was what they needed more than anything. We’re hoping these funds can bridge the gap for businesses and help them stay afloat during this challenging time.”
Eligibility and Applications Process
Eligible businesses and non-profits are those located in Arlington County with fewer than 50 employees that can demonstrate revenue losses of 35 percent or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process involving a weighted scoring system, looking at considerations like the number of jobs retained or supported with funds, length of time the business has operated in Arlington, whether it is women and/or minority-owned, demonstrated need, and how the funds will be used. Applications for Federal programs will not impact County GRANT eligibility. The goal is to have the application process up and running in early May.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Fire at Columbia Pike Apartment Building — One person was hospitalized and subsequently arrested after a fire at the Serrano Apartments on Columbia Pike Sunday night. [Twitter]
State Funds to Stabilize ART Service — “The Arlington County Board today accepted $420,926 in state grant funds to support Arlington’s local transit operations during the COVID-19 emergency… Arlington Transit (ART) buses, like transit services across the region, have experienced significant declines in ridership and revenue.” [Arlington County]
Arlingtonian Recounts Coronavirus Experience — Roy Schwartz, an Arlington resident and the co-founder of Clarendon-based Axios, tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. In a brief podcast interview, he recounted the experience, the delays in getting test results, and the contact from Arlington’s health department. [Axios]
Construction Projects Continue — Updated at 9:10 a.m. — “While shuttering many businesses to try to slow the virus’s spread, officials in the District, Maryland and Virginia have designated construction as ‘essential,’ along with hospitals, grocery stores, banks and a handful of other businesses. All three jurisdictions have also allowed private construction, including home building and commercial developments, to continue.” [Washington Post]
Applications to receive a grant from Arlington’s Tree Canopy Fund are now being accepted.
The community program funds grants for a county-administered contractor to plant a tree on private property.
New for spring 2020, the Tree Canopy Fund will also sponsor grants for property owners who may have issues with utility lines and/or have tighter yard space.
Per the application website, those eligible to apply for and receive trees include:
- Civic and homeowner associations
- Community nonprofit organizations
- Civic service clubs
- School-related groups planting on private property
- Ad hoc neighborhood groups
- Places of worship
Those who received tree grants from previous years and now have trees that are “not thriving” can also submit requests for their tree to be considered for a warranty replacement.
The applications are due next month on Friday, December 20.
The Tree Canopy Fund was launched in 2009, after approval from the Arlington County Board two years prior. Per its website, the fund was founded with the “goals of arresting the decline and restoring and increasing the County’s tree cover over time.” Since 2009, over 1,213 trees have been planted.
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler