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by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

The Arlington County Board unanimously approved a plan to allow new apartment and condo buildings near Metro stations to potentially provide less off-street parking.

Developers can now substitute car parking spaces at certain new apartment and condo buildings built in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Crystal City-Pentagon City Metro corridors for bike and car-sharing. Any tweaks will still be subject to Board approval on a case-by-case basis, and do not affect parking at existing buildings.

It also standardizes a practice that county staff said has evolved in recent years, of approving projects with less parking. Any reduction will only be supported if staff believe local transportation infrastructure can handle the extra demand on transit and parking, or if a project invests in new transportation options.

“These guidelines reflect the fact that the increase in transportation options in our Metro corridors means that some new developments will require less parking,” Board chair Jay Fisette said in a statement. “The guidelines will only apply in the Metro corridors, and only to new projects approved by special exception. They will have no impact at all on existing buildings. And it remains up to the Board, to approve the final parking ratio for each proposed project, based on the site-specific circumstances and the project’s characteristics.”

The new policy includes the following, per a county press release:

  • Minimum parking requirements for market-rate units ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 spaces per unit depending on distance from the nearest Metro station entrance (ranging from 1/8 to 3/4 of a mile).
  • Minimum parking requirements for 60-percent-of-Area-Median-Income and 50-percent-of-AMI committed affordable units, and no minimum parking requirements for 40-percent-of-AMI units.
  • Reductions of up to 50 percent of the minimum parking requirements in exchange for providing bike parking, bike share, or car-share amenities on site, in addition to those already required by the county.
  • A separate visitor parking requirement of 0.05 spaces per unit for the first 200 units.
  • Allowances for shared parking between different land uses in mixed-use projects, like offices, retail and residential.
  • Allowances for meeting parking requirements through the dedication of spaces at existing garages located within 800 feet of the new building and in the Metro corridors.
  • Mitigation requirements for parking in excess of 1.65 spaces per unit.
  • Relief from minimum parking requirements for sites with physical constraints like size, historic structures that must be retained and more.

The change, to encourage more use of transit, bicycles and other transportation, stemmed in part from a report released earlier this year by the county’s residential parking work group.

by ARLnow.com November 10, 2017 at 9:35 am 0

County Focused on Child Care — “Demand for child care in Arlington is high and the County is working with business owners and families to meet the increasing needs. Preliminary steps also are underway to map out a comprehensive Child Care Initiative that establishes an action plan to advance the availability, accessibility, and quality of childcare in Arlington.” [Arlington County]

GGW Urges Support for Accessory Apartments — The website Greater Greater Washington is urging its readers to write to the Arlington County Board in support of two proposals: lowering parking minimums for buildings near Metro stations, and “reforming overly burdensome regulations on accessory apartments.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Yankee Stadium Operator to Run Rosslyn Observation Deck — JBG Smith has hired New York City-based Legends to run the public observation deck at the top of its Central Place tower in Rosslyn. Legends also operates Yankee Stadium, Angel Stadium in Anaheim, AT&T Stadium in Dallas and the One World Observatory at One World Trade Center. The 12,000 square foot Central Place observation deck will feature “an outdoor cantilevered terrace and full food and beverage program,” plus panoramic views. [Washington Business Journal]

Ballston Building Sells for $72 Million — New York-based property investment group Westbrook Partners has acquired the Two Liberty Center office building, at 4075 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, for $72 million. [Commercial Property Executive]

Ballston BID CEO on Redevelopment — Ballston Business Improvement District CEO Tina Leone says changes along the Ballston corridor, including extensive renovations to the former Ballston Common Mall (now Ballston Quarter), are having a ripple effect. “This redevelopment has spurred on like 10 other projects here,” she said. “The face of Ballston is going to change again in the next three to five years, it’s going to look so different. I know it’s just going to be better.” [Washington Business Journal]

Reminder: No Parking Meter Enforcement Today — Parking meters in Arlington will not be enforced today, due to the Veterans Day observation, but meters will be enforced tomorrow. [ARLnow]

by ARLnow.com October 24, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

A dispute over a parking space led to a man and woman brandishing knives and making threats, according to police.

The incident happened Saturday night in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood. Police say the victim was waiting for a parking space to open up when the suspects “pulled around him and parked in the space.”

“Following a verbal dispute, the two suspects left the area and returned, each brandishing a knife,” Arlington County Police said in a crime report. “The suspects made threats but no one was injured.”

The full crime report item is below.

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-10210274, 2700 block of S. Fern Street. At approximately 10:08 p.m. on October 21, police were dispatched to the report of an Attempted Malicious Wounding. Upon arrival it was determined that the male victim was waiting for a parking space to become available when the suspects pulled around him and parked in the space. Following a verbal dispute, the two suspects left the area and returned, each brandishing a knife. The suspects made threats but no one was injured. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. Suspect 1 is described as a black female in her 20’s with curly hair. Suspect 2 is described as a black male in his 20’s wearing black sweatpants and a short-sleeved [t-shirt]. The investigation is ongoing.

by Chris Teale October 19, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

New residential buildings near Metro stations in Arlington County could have car parking spaces substituted for spots for bike and car-sharing.

The Arlington County Board is expected to advance an updated off-street parking policy for multi-family buildings at its meeting Saturday. It would allow developers to provide fewer car parking spaces for certain new apartment and condo buildings built in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Crystal City-Pentagon City Metro corridors.

The change, to encourage more use of transit, bicycles and other transportation, stemmed in part from a report released earlier this year by the county’s residential parking work group.

The new policy would incldue the following, per a report by county staff:

  • Minimum parking requirements for market-rate units ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 spaces per unit depending on distance from the nearest Metro station entrance (ranging from 1/8 to 3/4 of a mile).
  • Minimum parking requirements for 60-percent-of-Area-Median-Income and 50-percent-of-AMI committed affordable units, and no minimum parking requirements for 40%-of-AMI units.
  • Reductions of up to 50 percent of the minimum parking requirements in exchange for providing bike parking, bike share, or car-share amenities on site, in addition to those already required by the county.
  • A separate visitor parking requirement of 0.05 spaces per unit for the first 200 units.
  • Allowances for shared parking between different land uses in mixed-use projects, like offices, retail and residential.
  • Allowances for meeting parking requirements through the dedication of spaces at existing garages located within 800 feet of the new building and in the Metro corridors.
  • Mitigation requirements for parking in excess of 1.65 spaces per unit.
  • Relief from minimum parking requirements for sites with physical constraints like size, historic structures that must be retained and more.

In their report, staff noted the potential for knock-on effects in neighborhoods where new buildings have lower parking requirements.

“Staff have heard concern from some stakeholders that low parking requirements will lead developers to seek permission to build less parking on-site than the buildings’ residents will need,” they wrote. “According to this line of thinking, some residents of those multi-family buildings will then park on neighboring streets, thereby increasing competition for on-street parking spaces, making parking less convenient.”

If the Board moves the plan forward on Saturday, as staff recommends, a public hearing and final vote on the subject will be set for its November meeting.

Images via county presentation.

by ARLnow.com October 13, 2017 at 9:50 am 0

Delays on Blue, Orange Lines Due to Person Struck — A person was struck by a train at the L’Enfant Metro station around 9:30 this morning. The incident is causing delays on the Blue and Orange lines, as service has been suspended between L’Enfant and Federal Center. Silver Line trains are operating between Wiehle and Ballston. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]

Reminder: E-CARE Event This Weekend — Arlington County is holding its biannual Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This time around the venue has changed; the recycling and hazardous household materials collection event is now being held at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd). [Arlington County]

Scott Disick Comes to Arlington, Disses ARLnowUpdated at 12:10 p.m. — Reality TV personality Scott Disick lorded over the grand opening ceremony for Sugar Factory in Pentagon City last night. About 100 people, mostly young women, showed up for the event, according to an ARLnow employee on the scene. Disick did interviews with local news outlets, but PR reps cut off the interviews and ushered Disick away just as our employee was next in line. [Twitter, Facebook, Daily Mail]

Kirwan’s Opens to Big Crowds — Mark Kirwan, owner of Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, may have another hit on his hands. His new bar, Kirwan’s on the Wharf in Southwest D.C., was packed last night before the Foo Fighters concert at the Anthem. [Facebook]

Courthouse Plaza Parking Lot Closed Sunday — The county’s Courthouse Plaza parking lot will be closed most of the day Sunday for the 2017 Animal Welfare League of Arlington Pints 4 Paws event. [Arlington County]

Marymount Makes USNWR Top Tier — “Marymount University is once again in the top tier among Regional Universities in the South in several categories, ranking 52nd overall in the 2018 edition of ‘Best Colleges’ by U.S. News & World Report.” [Marymount University]

AIRE Wins Regional Award — The Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy was among this year’s recipients of the Climate and Energy Leadership Awards from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. AIRE’s Energy Lending Library “makes it easy to check out a thermal camera, a box of 10 different LED bulbs, energy meter, and Do-It-Yourself energy retrofit books through the library system free of charge,” notes COG. [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Chris Teale September 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

An on-street parking space in Rosslyn will become one of six pop-up parks in Arlington County tomorrow (Friday) as part of the worldwide PARK(ing) Day event.

The space at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street will be transformed into a “parklet,” a sidewalk extension installed in parking spaces that acts as a mini-park. A spokeswoman for the Rosslyn Business Improvement District said the site will be the location of the county’s first permanent “parklet” in spring next year.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can stop by and have free bagels and coffee from Allspice Cafe, enjoy the outdoor seating and play games like corn hole and foosball in the afternoon. The Rosslyn BID is also offering free giveaways and discount cards for nearby restaurants.

Other “parklets” in Arlington will be found in the parking lot at 15th Street N. (Courthouse) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and at 500 12th Street S. (Pentagon City), 2400 Wilson Blvd (Courthouse), 2900 Clarendon Blvd (Clarendon) and 1000 N. Taylor Street (Ballston) from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

More will spring up across the region, with 28 sites set for D.C. and at least seven for Alexandria. PARK(ing) Day began in San Francisco in 2005 when Rebar, an art and design studio in the city, turned a metered parking space into a temporary public park.

Photo No. 1 via Google Maps, photo No. 2 via Arlington County.

by ARLnow.com August 29, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Someone keyed the words “black bitch” onto a black man’s car on a block in Arlington’s Barcroft neighborhood, where some residents are up in arms about outsiders parking on their street.

The man, who works as a contractor at the Army National Guard Readiness Center (111 S. George Mason Drive), parked his car near the corner of S. Pershing Drive and 1st Street S. this past Thursday morning. When he arrived back at the car that afternoon, he found the words carved onto his driver’s side door and called police.

Officers photographed the car and dusted it for fingerprints. They also took “elimination prints” from the man and Evie Bernard, who carpools with him.

Bernard says she suspects the vandalism was actually targeted at her. She said some residents on the block have confronted her and other commuters about parking, even though it’s a public street and — unlike other nearby streets — not zoned for resident-only parking.

The prior Sunday, Bernard said, she had just returned from a brief vacation when a resident came out of his house and “started yelling and saying never to park there again.” The man, who was pointing his finger and “being very aggressive,” was soon joined by his wife and one of their children, who were all yelling at Bernard for parking in front of their house, she said.

“How would you feel if I parked in front of your house in Waldorf, Maryland?” one of them asked, according to Bernard’s account. The residents had somehow obtained Bernard’s name and apparently looked her up on Facebook, also referencing where she went on vacation and saying “I know where you work.” After about 5 minutes, Bernard drove away and then decided to call police.

“I was so upset that I got in my car and drove away,” she said. “I could only take so much… I was really upset. It was pretty much a nightmare.

Police took a report, Bernard said, but because her life was not threatened it was determined that no crime had occurred. An Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman corroborated that a report of verbal harassment had been filed.

Though Bernard initially suspected the people who confronted her — who are white — might have been responsible for the vandalism, police said today (Tuesday) that the residents have been eliminated as suspects.

Bernard and another Army National Guard contractor who contacted ARLnow.com said the parking issue is not likely to be solved anytime soon. Parking at the George Mason Drive campus is limited and most spots are reserved for employees; contractors are instructed to take transit or park on nearby streets.

While there were plenty of spots available on the 4400 block of 1st Street S. when an ARLnow reporter visited Monday afternoon, a resident said that there are times when the block is filled with cars, including many commuters. He said that residents have tried to apply for zoned parking, but a county parking study did not find enough commuter parking to meet the program threshold.

Earlier this month new zone parking applications were halted indefinitely, pending a review.

(more…)

by Chris Teale August 18, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

Requests to add new residential permit parking zones or change current zones will be on hold for around two years so county staff can study the program’s effectiveness.

The moratorium, approved 3-2 by a divided Arlington County Board, freezes 16 active petition requests and prevents residents from filing more until after staff’s review.

Board member John Vihstadt and vice chair Katie Cristol opposed the moratorium, while chair Jay Fisette and members Christian Dorsey and Libby Garvey supported it.

Of those 16 active petitions, 15 are out in the community collecting signatures while one has been fully filled out and returned to staff at the county’s Department of Environmental Services.

Board member John Vihstadt suggested processing that petition and determining the fate of the proposed parking zone in the interests of fairness. He argued that those residents might feel as though the county has “[pulled] the rug out from under them.”

“It doesn’t seem to me to be very equitable if the petitioners have fulfilled what has been portrayed to them as all the requirements of their application and then you’re going to say, ‘Well, sorry, we’re going to put this on hold for two years,'” Vihstadt said. 

“There is an element of unfairness, because you’re drawing a line somewhere,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in response. “There will be someone or some group of people who will feel aggrieved.”

Schwartz said a moratorium is necessary so that staff can devote their time to reviewing the program. Stephen Crim, a parking planner at DES, said staff can spend anywhere between 18 and 46 hours analyzing citizen requests and making a decision.

Cristol said her opposition was rooted in the fact that petitioning neighbors can be hard work, and is the kind of action that Board members routinely praise as community engagement. But Garvey said a moratorium is necessary so staff can look fully at the program and make changes to get it right.

“I know people are going to be upset, and I’m probably going to hear from some of them and I’m sorry, but we need to not cause any more harm,” Garvey said. “I think we’ve been causing a lot of harm.”

Staff last reviewed the residential parking program in 2003, a process that also took two years. And while Board members said it works well in general across the county’s 24 residential parking zones, they discussed some issues with the program and how it can be fixed.

Dorsey said the county’s current “one size fits all” approach to residential parking is not as effective given the differences between neighborhoods near Metro stations and ones with single-family homes. Garvey said it can appear that more parking passes are distributed than there are spaces for cars, while Cristol and others asked about the legality of allowing any Arlington resident to park in any residential zone if they have a county registration sticker.

While residential parking zones are popular with homeowners in Metro corridors and near employment centers, because it prohibits commuters and other non-neighborhood residents from parking in front of their homes during certain hours, it has also faced criticism for making parking more difficult around business districts and advantaging certain Arlington residents over others on taxpayer-funded streets.

Vihstadt, meanwhile, spoke of the apprehension in the community when new apartment and condo buildings are built, as nearby residents worry that those projects will not have enough parking and so be forced to use street parking instead.

Fisette said the program has certainly been effective in its original intent. When it began in 1973 in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood, the residential parking permit program was to prevent commuters from outside Arlington parking by people’s houses on their way into Crystal City or D.C. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the program in 1977 in the decision “Arlington County Board vs. Richards.”

Staff proposed a process to gather data, engage the public using “deliberative dialogues” rather than trying to build consensus around an issue that they said will always leave someone upset, before coming to the Board for a work session, refinements and final approval. Crim said that final approval could be around May or June 2019.

Arlington’s residential parking zones image via county presentation

by ARLnow.com August 7, 2017 at 8:20 am 0

A driver “hit the gas instead of the brakes” and flipped her car in the East Falls Church Metro commuter parking lot this morning, according to a fire department spokesman.

The incident was first reported around 7 a.m.

Rescuers from the Arlington County Fire Department helped to extricate the woman from the overturned vehicle. She was transported to the hospital with minor injuries, the spokesman said.

by ARLnow.com August 4, 2017 at 9:20 am 0

Complaint Begets No Parking Signs Begets Complaints — Residents of a dead-end street in the Woodmont neighborhood are complaining after Arlington took eight street parking spaces away, and WaPo is on it. The no parking signs went up in response to a resident’s complaint about the street being too narrow. [Washington Post]

Driverless Van Update — Who or what is behind the driverless van spotted cruising around Clarendon yesterday evening? We still don’t know for sure, but a Virginia Tech spokeswoman offered “no comment” this morning in response to our inquiry. [ARLnow]

Route 110 Lane Closures — “Route 110 at the Route 27 interchange and local ramps will have nighttime closures from Monday, Aug. 7 to Thursday, Aug. 24 in order to install bridge beams, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.” [VDOT]

Yelp Says Nope to Arlington — Online review site Yelp has leased 52,000 square feet of office space near the Verizon Center in D.C. for a new East Coast hub. The company was also considering office space in Rosslyn but, despite its CEO’s Arlington connection, decided against it. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo courtesy Ed S.

by Chris Teale August 3, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Millennials in Arlington appear most concerned about adding more transit options, removing on-street parking and finding new locations for public meetings, at least according to a county-run online forum.

The findings come from the county’s Engage Arlington website, which launched a millennial-focused forum about county issues earlier this summer.

The forum is part of a wider push by the county to get more millennials involved in local government and civic life. Arlington was named the best city for millennials in the U.S. by the website Niche, with the millennial generation making up between 30-40 percent of the county’s population of just over 220,000.

The most popular suggestion on the forum — as determined by a Reddit-style up-voting system —  is to expand transit options in North Arlington, which has nine “likes.”

I’d love to embrace “Millennialism” and be car-free, but the inconsistency in transit options in parts of North Arlington is difficult — there is minimal bus service and a lack of bikeshare stations, even near Marymount University. Adding bikeshare locations along the northern portion of Glebe Road from Lee Highway up to Chain Bridge would be helpful in continuing to connect this area with other parts of the County!

Just below that is a proposal to remove on-street parking, to encourage more walking and biking in neighborhoods.

Along the major corridors we should remove subsidized on-street parking, to encourage walk-able and bike-able neighborhoods. Many of these on-street parking spots reduce visibility at cross walks and cause dooring and blocking situations for bike lanes, increasing danger and reducing foot traffic. Remove a few strategic parking spaces along the pike and Roslyn [sic] Ballston corridor and use that space to widen the sidewalks or add bike lanes.

Following that, two suggestions are tied for third with seven likes: requests to change the locations of public meetings to “places millennials frequent,” as opposed to always at community centers or schools, and to find a “transit solution” for Columbia Pike after the canceled streetcar project. (The Pike’s “Premium Transit Network” is set to launch next summer.)

A request to “figure out how to bring reasonably priced housing to Arlington” was among those with six up-votes.

A full list of suggestions and the number of likes they received, in parentheses, is below.

  • Expanding transit options (9)
  • Remove on-street parking (8)
  • Different public meeting locations (7)
  • A transit solution for Columbia Pike (7)
  • Reasonably priced housing market (6)
  • More multi-use properties (6)
  • Replacing the parking lot next to Whole Foods in Clarendon with a multi-story parking garage (6)
  • Affordable child care options (5)
  • More public art along Columbia Pike (5)
  • More programs for renters who want to be more energy efficient (4)
  • Programming for those aged 20-50 at county buildings (4)
  • Dedicated bike lane on Washington Blvd (4)
  • Engaging the county’s LGBTQ population (3)
  • Better advertisement of the county’s performing arts groups (2)
  • Expanding Arlington Alerts to include community news (2)
  • More transparent policing (2)
  • A dog park for Crystal City (2)
  • Bike paths on westbound Arlington Blvd (2)
  • A bridge on the Bluemont Trail at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive (1)
  • Add sidewalks to encourage more walking (1)
  • Reclaim some community centers to use as elementary schools (-1)

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com August 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

The surface parking lot of the Whole Foods in Clarendon has closed temporarily, and this afternoon it led to tempers flaring in front of the store on Clarendon Blvd.

Crews are currently working to mill and resurface the normally-busy parking lot. Customers, in the meantime, can attempt to find street parking or park in the Market Common Clarendon garage across the street. (Whole Foods validates up to two hours in the garage.)

While the lot is closed, customers have been competing fiercely for the few street parking spaces around the store.

Today, while ARLnow.com was checking out the resurfacing work, several drivers parked along Clarendon Blvd were engaged in a dispute about one vehicle parking too close to (and perhaps striking) two others.

While the parking dispute was going on, a pedestrian in a nearby crosswalk shouted curse words at a stopped driver he thought had honked their horn at him. (In fact, it was the car behind the first stopped vehicle.)

The lot is expected to reopen by Thursday, an employee said.

by Chris Teale July 12, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

Arlington County Board members wrestled last night with a plan to substitute car parking spaces for spots for bike and car-sharing at new apartment and condo buildings near Metro stations.

The proposal, put together by county staff as part of a number of changes to parking policy under discussion at a Tuesday work session, is meant to encourage developers to contribute to other transit options.

Staff recommended that a developer providing a Capital Bikeshare station could substitute that for for up to four car parking spaces, depending on its size, or bike parking could be exchanged for two parking spaces. One car-sharing space, provided for a private company like Zipcar, could be in place of five spots.

But Board members questioned why the provision for different transit means is tied to reducing car parking spaces, especially near Metro stations, as adding such amenities is becoming a more standard practice in developments across the region.

“It bothers me that going to suggest that we’re not going to get these things until we go down to the minimum [parking ratio],” said Board chair Jay Fisette. “These are things that should be part of every site plan.”

Among the other recommendations put forward by staff, developers could request fewer parking spaces the closer a property is to a Metro station, with some committed affordable housing units not being required to have any parking spaces if they are within an eighth of a mile of a station.

Board member John Vihstadt argued that orienting the changes in parking policy around Metro, which would allow developers to provide fewer spaces at new buildings if they are close to a station, might be misguided given the drop in ridership due to the system’s ongoing safety concerns and year-long SafeTrack rebuilding program.

Vihstadt said that drop in ridership was “casting a pall” over the discussion, but county transportation director Dennis Leach said it was important to attract residents to such buildings who “build a lifestyle” around Metro. Vihstadt requested further data on the county’s declining ridership, which Leach said has also been hampered by more teleworking and other factors.

A major addition by staff to a report in March, by a residential parking working group on the new parking policy, is a requirement that developers provide for dedicated visitor parking.

Stephen Crim, a parking planner in the county’s Department of Environmental Services, said that change came after concerns from nearby residents that cars would park on their residential streets, especially those of visitors who have few options.

Leach noted that the parking garages in neighborhoods like Crystal City and Pentagon City are under-utilized, especially by visitors, and that DES could do even more to promote use of those spaces alongside the various Business Improvement Districts in the county.

Staff and County Board members agreed that while the policy still needs work before approval, it is aspirational and designed to attract residents who would prefer to have minimal, if any, car use.

“We are all seeking to hasten a future that we are interested in, which is a more multimodal corridor especially with fewer cars and more people taking alternatives to the extent that it suits them and choices that allow them to do so,” said Board vice chair Katie Cristol.

by ARLnow.com April 26, 2017 at 8:55 am 0

Park Upgrades Approved — At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Board approved contracts that will “upgrade the playgrounds and picnic shelter at Oakgrove Park and add a restroom/picnic pavilion and futsal court at Tyrol Hills Park.” The contracts total around $1.7 million. [Arlington County]

TJ Construction to Take Away Theater Parking — Construction of a new elementary school next to the Thomas Jefferson community center and middle school will mean a loss of parking for the community theater used by a number of local performing arts troupes. Those troupes, including The Arlington Players and Ballet Nova, will now have to decide whether to relocate to another community theater or stay and deal with the lack of parking. [InsideNova]

New Location for Children’s School Approved — Last night the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a site plan amendment allowing the Children’s School, a co-op child care center for Arlington Public School employees, to occupy two floors of a Ballston office building. The center is moving from an APS-owned building in Westover to make way for what’s expected to be a new elementary school. Some Ballston condominium residents expressed concerns about the child care center, primarily related to traffic; County Board member Christian Dorsey pointed out that the space it’s moving into was formerly used by a for-profit college. [Arlington County]

Ballston Profiled by WaPo — “With an array of amenities, it’s easy to see why Ballston is one of the area’s hottest markets,” says a real estate-focused profile of the neighborhood. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

by Chris Teale April 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A proposal to add bike lanes to a western portion of Washington Blvd has been shelved after neighbors raised concerns at losing on-street parking spaces.

A spokesman for the county’s department of environmental services said that after previously considering a nearly two-mile stretch of bike lanes from N. Sycamore Street to George Mason Drive, staff has revised their plan.

Instead, a bicycle lane will be added to a shorter stretch, westbound between N. McKinley and N. Sycamore streets; eastbound the lane will stretch from the hill at N. Sycamore Street near the East Falls Church Metro station to N. Quintana Street. There they will be directed along parallel neighborhood streets before reconnecting with Washington Blvd near Westover.

“The revised plan would still provide bicycling facilities both eastbound and westbound from East Falls Church to Westover Village, albeit with a section along neighborhood streets, while also minimizing the impact to parking in the middle section that was most heavily impacted in the initial proposal, including the preservation of parking in front of and across from the Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, which does not have off-street parking,” DES spokesman Eric Balliet said.

The project is part of a wider re-paving plan by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which controls that section of Washington Blvd.

The initial plan of bicycle lanes in each direction, improved pedestrian crossings and other improvements was shared publicly last March and received more than 400 comments. County staff then broke them down into categories to get a sense of the main areas of support and concern. Staff then integrated those comments into their revisions of the proposal.

Balliet said the revised plan “continues to meet all major goals with fewer impacts on parking in the middle section where impacts were most acute.”

But bicycling advocates vented their frustration at the change. In a blog post published yesterday on the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s website, WABA staff member Garrett Hennigan blasted the changes.

“Following the first meeting, supportive comments poured in from neighborhood residents. 65 percent of comments supported the bike lanes as did 55 percent of comments from neighborhood residents,” Hennigan wrote. “Now, to save some parking spaces and appease a vocal minority, the County has thrown out the public process, abandoned years of planning and determined that putting people on bikes at risk is a fair compromise.”

A community meeting on the project’s latest iteration will be held tonight at 5 p.m. in the Reed-Westover Building at 1644 N. McKinley Road.

Photo via Google Maps

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