County Fair Starts Today — The Arlington County Fair officially kicks off today at 5:00 p.m. The first racing piglet competition will take place at 5:30 p.m. The fair will run through Sunday at 10:00 p.m. [Arlington County Fair]
‘Pike Hike’ Scheduled for Sunday — WalkArlington is sponsoring a new community “walkabout” timed to coincide with the county fair. Pike Hike II Junior Walkabout will take participants on a family-friendly stroll of the Columbia Pike town center area from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. Sights along the way include the Pike farmers market and the Columbia Pike Branch Library. Participants will also get a free ticket to take the shuttle from the Arlington Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) to the fair. [CommuterPage Blog]
Libertarian Tries to Make Ballot — An independent candidate who has the support of the Libertarian Party is trying to make it on the Sept. 4 ballot for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. So far only Democrat Rob Krupicka and Republican Tim McGhee has been confirmed for the ballot in the race to succeed Del. David Englin. [Sun Gazette]
Large Crowd for BBQ Bike Ride — There was a large turnout last night for a barbeque and group ride from the Freshbikes store in Virginia Square. With the assistance of Arlington County police, the weekly ride takes cyclists from the store, up Military Road to the intersection with Glebe Road, and back. [Ode Street Tribune]
Flickr pool by Damiec
Take a Walk at Lunch Today — Today, April 25, is National Walk @ Lunch Day. What’s National Walk @ Lunch Day, you ask? It’s a day that’s intended to convince Americans to get up and go on a brisk walk at lunch, as opposed to sitting around and just eating lunch at one’s desk. [CommuterPage Blog]
County Honors ‘Notable Trees’ — At the County Board meeting yesterday afternoon, Arlington County announced the nine trees that were chosen this year to be designated as “Notable Trees.” Applause greeted each announcement, which was accompanied by photos the notable trees. “Our commitment to trees is a very real sign of our care for the environment, and this program recognizes residents for being good stewards of these important natural resources,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. [Arlington County]
Wetlands Plan Bogged Down By Red Tape — After six months of fundraisers, parents of students at Campbell Elementary School were looking forward to building a Wetlands Learning Lab on the school’s soggy grounds. Unfortunately, the plan has been held up by numerous county and school system regulations. As a result, more privately-raised funds might be needed to complete the project. [Arlington Mercury]
Flickr pool photo by Desiree L.C.
The 2011 ACCS WalkArlington Study gathered input from 985 respondents, and found that more than half walk daily throughout the community. 86% report making a trip entirely by walking at least twice a week.
The top reasons for walking include running errands and getting exercise. Commuting is another reason, with 56% of people saying they walk for at least part of their commute at least once a week.
In regards to safety, the county’s walkers aren’t overly concerned about crime, but worry about sharing the roads with vehicles. 54% say aggressive or inattentive drivers pose a safety threat to walkers.
WalkArlington is a county initiative aimed at getting people walking more for health, environmental and commuting benefits. 44% of survey respondents had heard of the initiative, but only 21% have used the organization’s services.
The survey found that two-thirds of respondents participated after seeing the request on ARLnow.com. Full survey results are available here.
Last week, the county’s WalkArlington program published a series of safety tips for trick-or-treaters, parents and drivers alike.
For instance, drivers should anticipate children darting out from between parked cars, while kids should make sure their costume is visible to drivers.
The tips, from WalkArlington’s Pacer email newsletter, are below. Have a safe Halloween tonight!
Tips for Parents and Children
Do a costume check. Can the child walk easily in the outfit? Make sure the masks or head gear allow the children to see clearly what is around them.
Think visibility. Wear bright colors, use retro reflective materials. Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and to help others see you.
Choose the safest routes to walk. Pick places where there are sidewalks or paths separated from traffic, if possible. Look for well-lit streets with slow traffic. Remind children to watch for cars turning into or pulling out of driveways.
Plan how to cross streets. Avoid crossing busy, high-speed, or multi-lane roads. Limit the number of street crossings. Give children exiting the street room to enter the sidewalk area.
Review crossing safety rules with children. Tell kids: Always look for cars yourself – even when adults are also looking. Stop at the curb and look left, right and left again for traffic and turning cars. Wait until no traffic is coming and begin crossing. Keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing. When crossing the street at an intersection, obey traffic signs and signals and double-check to see if cars are coming.
Walk, don’t run, across the street. Walk, don’t run, from house to house.
Choose homes that welcome Halloween visitors. Look for lights on, well-lit driveways, and walkways or paths to the front door.
Reminders for Motorists
Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.
Drive slowly through residential streets and areas where you might expect to see pedestrians trick-or-treating.
Watch for children in dark clothing. Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and that they may not be able to see your vehicle.
Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs.
Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
The event, part of International Walk to School Month, “encourages students to walk and bike to school while teaching the health and environmental benefits of walking and biking,” according to the school system. Parents are also encouraged to participate.
In addition to encouraging walking and biking as part of a healthy lifestyle, Walk and Bike to School Day “raises community awareness about the importance of pedestrian safety education, safe routes to schools, well-maintained walkways, and traffic calming in neighborhoods and around schools.”
This year, McKinley Elementary School will serve as the public face of Walk and Bike to School Day. In recognition of the many students who walk to school at McKinley, Arlington Public Schools will be setting up refreshment stands and holding a before-school rally for McKinley students and parents.
The refreshment stands will be set up, starting at 8:30 a.m., at the intersection of N. 11th Street and N. Potomac Street, at 1030 N. McKinley Road and at 14th Street N. and N. Ohio Street (where buses will drop students off, to allow them to walk a couple of blocks to school).
The rally will take place at the school field at 8:45 a.m., and will feature McKinley administrators, PTA representatives, Arlington School Board Members, Arlington Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, Arlington County Board members, school transportation staff, crossing guards, police officers and Walk Arlington staff. Classes will start at 9:00 a.m., according to the school system.
“This is the 13th consecutive year that APS has participated in ‘International Walk or Bike to School Month,’ and since 1999, APS and Arlington County have worked together to create walk-friendly neighborhoods,” Arlington Public Schools said in a media advisory. “As part of this effort, materials have been produced for families with children attending Arlington Public Schools’ elementary and middle schools. These include maps and Web resources for county residents who want to walk or bicycle throughout the community.”
Arlington County is planning a community walk around Columbia Pike.
The walk, “Pike Hike II,” is the second of a series designed to promote the sights, shops and history of the Columbia Pike corridor. It will focus on the western portion of the Pike’s evolving “town center.”
The walk will depart from the Arlington Career Center/Columbia Pike Library building (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14. Walkers, led by County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, are expected to complete the two-mile walk by 11:00 a.m. Attractions along the planned route include the 1940s-era Westmont Shopping Center, a church that predates the Civil War and one of the few remaining Lustron pre-fabricated, post-World War II homes.
Pike Hike is free and registration is not required. The event is sponsored by WalkArlington, the Arlington County Fair and the Columbia Pike Revitalization organization.
The national survey is aimed at finding out what motivates avid walkers and what prevents others from walking more. WalkArlington and Arlington County Commuter Services have teamed up to conduct the survey locally.
To take the online survey, click here. It takes about fifteen minutes and results are anonymous. The deadline has been extended to this Friday. Everyone who participates is entered into a drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.
Woman Falls into Hatch at Pentagon Station — Last week a 52-year-old woman fell through a hatch near an escalator at the Pentagon Metro station, injuring her knee and face. Two Metro workers have been fired for their role in leaving the hatch wide open. [WTOP]
GOP Praying for Candidates — The Arlington County Republican Committee is literally praying for candidates to challenge Democrats in the fall. So far, they only have one for more than a dozen local races. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Wins Walkability Award — Arlington has received a “Gold-level designation for walkability” from the national Walk Friendly Communities program. “We welcome this recognition of Arlington’s efforts to create streets and paths that are safe, pleasant and interesting places to walk,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. [Arlington County]
Medical Office Opens Near Crystal City — Commonwealth Medical Center, a new primary care provider, celebrates its grand opening today at 3535 S. Ball Street, between Crystal City and Potomac Yard.
Flickr pool photo by Karon
There are plenty of reasons to go on a walk on Sept. 26.
It’s the first Sunday of the fall. It’s the first Sunday after World Car-Free Day. And it’s a great way to discover a neighborhood’s hidden parks and historic landmarks.
To that end, County Board Chairman Jay Fisette will be leading a “Walkabout” around the Yorktown neighborhood from 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. on the 26th. The walk will depart from Greenbrier Park (5201 28th Street North) and will take walkers past schools, shopping centers and other local sights. (See a route map here.)
The Walkabout is organized by the county-run WalkArlington organization.