2017 NEWS

Latest News (as of 5/17/2017) 

Next CCCA Meeting June 20:  "911--What's your Emergency?"

“911 –what’s your emergency? “

 In our next CCCA meeting, representatives from our Police District and from our nearby Fire Station at Aurora will join us for presentations followed by Q&A.  They will each offer an overview of how they see the main issues in our area, comment on preventive measures, and advice on how to handle both emergency and routine situations.  And of course, it will be a good opportunity to get your questions answered;   please mark your calendars!  As always, we meet at 1805 Crystal Drive, in the Crystal Park Condominium, community room, from 7-9 pm.

VRE PUBLIC MEETINGS ON NEW CRYSTAL CITY STATION

The public is invited to community meetings to learn about the Evaluation of Proposed Options for the station location on: 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017; 12:00-1:30 PM   &   6:00-7:30 PM

(Presentations at 12:30 and 6:30 PM)

Gallery Underground, 2100 Crystal Drive

Directions and Parking Information 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The VRE Crystal City station is one of the busiest in the system and is the destination for about 18% of VRE riders. However, the existing platform is only 400 feet long and serves one track. VRE trains currently have up to eight cars which require a 700-foot platform. A reconfigured station with a longer platform served by two tracks would remove an operational bottleneck and expand train capacity in the most heavily trafficked part of the CSXT RF&P Subdivision. It will also improve the safety and reliability of the railroad.

A new island platform with two platform edges will be designed in the vicinity of the existing VRE Crystal City station. Conceptual plans  will be coordinated with a future fourth track currently under design by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation's DC to Richmond VA (DC2RVA) project. Two grade-separated access points will be provided between the platform and Crystal Drive. The project will also enhance local and regional connectivity by optimizing multimodal access, especially to Metrorail, Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway, local buses and shuttles, taxi stand or kiss-and-ride areas, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. 

The current phase of the project will:

Update on the Long Bridge Project

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) held a public informational meeting May 16 to review the preliminary concept screening results for the Long Bridge Project.  The key briefing is that they have narrowed the options under consideration for the bridge from 10 to 6 + 1:  i.e., 3, 4, or 5 tracks with or without a bike/pedestrian path (the +1 option is a “no build”).  The tunnel option was dropped because CSX said its freight trains would be unable to access it.  This is key for Crystal City because no additional car traffic would be added to the bridge.  There are plans, however, for a major increase in train traffic by 2040:  a 150% increase in aggregate for VRE/Amtrak/CSX and with some MARC service and Norfolk Southern freight being expected;  (NS currently go around Manassas/Hagerstown to avoid hefty Amtrak charges if going through our area.

For more information about the Long Bridge Project, please visit the project page.

South Park at Potomac Yards - Online Feedback Opportunity 

Arlington County is in the process of developing a Park Master Plan for the open space informally called “South Park.”  After a series of public meetings, we have developed  three draft park concepts for the community to evaluate.  The three concepts were developed based on community feedback, guidance from the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines, careful consideration of the site constraints and sensitive environmental areas, need for improved pedestrian/bicycle circulation, and the projected budget.

An online feedback form is available to help gather additional input:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WL72PJL

The online feedback form allows the community to ‘vote’ for their preferred park concept plan.  If you want a closer look at the three concept plans, and additional context as to how they were developed, please refer to the most recent presentation:  https://arlingtonva.s3.dualstack.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2017/05/South-Park-Meeting-3-Presentation-05-03-17.pdf

The Survey will be available until 11 p.m. on Wednesday May 31. The next public meeting will provide a summary of the survey results and feature one draft park concept plan for the community to evaluate. This meeting will be in late June or early July. Notifications will be sent out once the date is finalized.

Metro’s BLUE Line:  finally an end to discrimination and frustrations!

On May 12, Metro announced that changes to fares, schedules and rail system hours will take effect Sunday, June 25, 2017. The changes, approved by the Board of Directors earlier this year, are part of an effort to rightsize service, close a budget gap and provide needed time for new categories of preventive maintenance to improve safety and reliability.  Among the changes taking effect, most fares on Metrobus and Metrorail will increase between 10-25 cents; some low-ridership bus routes will be discontinued; trains will arrive slightly less frequently during rush hour; and Metrorail system hours will be adjusted to provide an additional eight hours of track access weekly to improve safety and service reliability.  To ensure customers are prepared for the changes, Metro will conduct extensive outreach in the weeks leading up to the June 25 change day, including signage aboard vehicles, at rail stations and key bus stops, MetroAlerts email and text messages, social media, and handouts distributed to customers at high-traffic locations. Information can also be found at wmata.com/changes.  Read more here.

Note that, along with other changes, on June 25, all metro lines, including the Blue Line, will change to 8 minutes between trains during rush hour.
As many of you are only too well aware, for a number of years now, Blue Line riders in our area have been angered and discouraged by the ‘Cinderella treatment’ which the Blue Line has suffered in comparison with the rest of the Metrorail system.  Trains have been running less frequently, so that crowding and delays have resulted.  Often it has been necessary to take the Yellow Line and then backtrack to destinations in the West End of Downtown, or it has been unavoidable to go by car/taxi.  From the Civic Association, we have kept pestering the Arlington County Board, who are represented on the Metro Board, and we have also made representations directly to Metro.  Finally, we are now, quite literally, seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  Metro has just announced that, effective June 25, all Metrorail lines will have the same intervals between trains, eight minutes during rush hour.  (Currently, the Blue Line has 12 minute intervals, compared with six minutes for the other lines).

However, we cannot relax; we need to keep up the pressure.  It is a matter of concern that the improvement for the Blue Line was feasible only at the expense of all the other lines.  There is a ‘zero sum game,’ in the sense that bottlenecks, such as the tunnel from Rosslyn to Foggy Bottom, impose overall limits.  And it is conceivable that riders on other lines may now want to claim that they have become the ‘squeaky wheel’.
Also effective June 25, Metro is changing the overall hours of operation, and you should also be ready for fare increases, as described in the document released by Metro.  Let us now hope that the SafeTrack work, which is soon coming to an end, will also lead to increased reliability.

Arlington Neighborhood Village Meeting

As a follow up to Arlington Neighborhood Village's very successful month of "Coffee and Conversation" events at Pentagon City Whole Foods, we are hosting a special Coffee and Conversation Wednesday, May 31 from 10 to 11 a.m. at The Connection Pop Up Library in the Crystal City Underground. Free and open to everyone.  Learn about aging in place with Arlington Neighborhood Village, meet volunteers, members and friends in a low-key social hour. Special guest speaker Angela Fox, will talk about what's happening in the Crystal City Business Improvement District.

Contact:  Anita Wallgren
President, Arlington Neighborhood Village
(703) 528-7801 - home
(202) 674-5553 - mobile
http://arlnvil.org/

April 19 CCCA Meeting

We had two very interesting agenda items:

--A first introduction by JBG Smith, the developers who are soon taking over from Vornado as the main land-owner in Crystal City.  They offered an initial indication of their thinking regarding development projects and other plans for our community.  The agreement will not be signed until perhaps July, when JBG will take over Vornado and become JBG Smith, so the speakers were particularly interested in hearing from residents during the lively question and answer period.

--An introduction by Joshua Nadas, Community Planner with the George Washington Memorial Parkway, National Park Service.    His job is to handle the outreach to adjacent communities.  Apart from the Parkway itself, the NPS manages the Mount Vernon Trail and the interface with other parks and trails in our area.    Again, there was a lively Q& A period.

For a more detailed write up of the meeting, read here.

IdentoGo: Mobile TSA Pre-Check Enrollment

Get your TSA Pre-Check certification quick and easy in Crystal City with IdentoGo, the TSA's mobile enrollment center. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are also taken online at www.identogo.com/rv.

Monday May 15th to Friday May 19th, 1400 Crystal Drive
Monday May 22nd to Friday May 26th, 2450 Crystal Drive
(Monday: 12:00 PM - 05:00 PM Tuesday - Thursday: 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM Friday: 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM) ...

UPDATE ON THE CONNECTION POP UP LIBRARY:  GOOD NEWS

We have been informed of a temporary reprieve for the Crystal City pop-up library (‘the Connection’) in the Underground, from June 2017 through at least mid-December 2017. There is some hope that this period could be extended somewhat, but a permanent stay does not appear likely. However, we encourage Crystal City residents and other users of the pop-up library to continue to express their views to Arlington County (for the attention of Library Director Diane Kresh [email protected]), as we are convinced that such feedback is very helpful. Our Civic Association has continued special efforts behind the scenes to achieve a positive outcome, just as we were the initiators of the whole idea of having a pop-up library in Crystal City.

PREVIOUS NOTE:

It’s sad to note, but it seems that Crystal City may again be losing out to other parts of the County with respect to budget and community facilities. This time, despite the outstanding success of the Pop Up Library in the Underground, it’s beginning to look like the County Board will not renew the 9 month experiment, but will instead redo the experiment in other parts of the County (e.g., western Columbia Pike and Rosslyn) ...which they believe are more underserved than Crystal City. Apparently, the proposed budget can only handle one Pop Up library in the County. Without renewal, the Connection will close in June.

Please take 5 minutes to fill out the short survey about the Crystal City: Connection pop-up library, if you haven't done so already. The information you provide will be presented to the County Board. : https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/connectioncc. The deadline for completing the survey is Friday, March 31, 2017.

The Budget will not be adopted until April 22, so there is still a chance to urge the Board to reconsider and keep the Connection open. We would urge library supporters to write individually to the 5 Board members, the County Manager and the Library Director:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

It would be helpful to comment that you are aware that the CCCA has urged the County Board to agree to a continuation, but that you as an individual user support this.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/connectioncc.

Remodeling 12th and Clark Streets

On April 5th, the county held an information session, outlining plans for 12th Street, which is being redone in coordination with planned changes on Clark St.  between 12th & 15th. (Demolition of the ramp, with changes on Clark St from what was originally planned.)   Design is scheduled to be completed in spring 2018. Construction is anticipated to start in early 2019 and will last approximately two years.  The 30% design plans are complete and are displayed on the Project website and project page).  Public feedback was invited until April 21. Submit comments on the 30% plans to Project Manager Mark Schnaufer at [email protected]

Editorial:  We have concerns about the plans.  With the transit lanes changing from inside to outside, confusion in travel lanes will cause problems.  Specifically, the intersection of 12th Street and Long Bridge Drive is going to be a nightmare.  With the traffic lights having to deal with several modes of transportation, the wait times will become significantly larger.  For example, with the new Long Bridge Drive and I-395 interchange, the traffic will increase.  Likewise, with the new Long Bridge Park Facility, which should go to build/bid in December, the traffic will increase.  With Clark Street Flyway teardown, additional land will be developed.  This change in traffic patterns and demand will increase the usage of this intersection. Lastly, the addition of a light at Army-Navy Drive and 12th street will impact the traffic at the Long Bridge Drive and 12th Street intersection.  Will the two lights be timed? How long will ALL the lights be red to allow the Metroway busses to get through both intersections?   

 The net result is the creation of a bottleneck and confusion for drivers, bikes and pedestrians. We would hope the County reconsiders the design of the Metroway transit lanes to prevent the addition of more chaos to the streets of Crystal City. While saving money on a one bus transit stop is commendable, it will drive other costs greater than the savings.

Two possible changes are:  Make the Metroway go on the outside down 12th street.  Or make the Metroway in BOTH directions go down Clark Street.  If the Metroway were  to come up Clark Street, it would turn left at the intersection of 12th and Clark(Long Bridge Drive) and which lane it turned into would not be important.

The Residential Parking Working Group has submitted a policy recommendation to the County Manager.

There is a comment page on the project web site where you can watch a short introductory video, read about the Working Group’s recommendation and take a survey, or leave a quick comment (https://commissions.arlingtonva.us/residential-parking-working-group-survey/).  If you or your neighbors would rather hear more about the Working Group's recommendation in person, the Working Group Chair and I will be presenting at the April 13th Housing Commission meeting, the April 18th Disability Advisory Commission meeting, and the Long Range Planning Commission on April 20th.   We will be closing the online survey on April 18th, and staff will use the Working Group’s policy recommendation to the County Manager in combination with what we hear from the community to create a staff recommendation.

Update:  VRE Train Station in Crystal City

The VRE staff is still developing conceptual designs for the three options they presented to the community in March.  They will present additional information to the community in June – again about the three options – for additional feedback.  The County has asked them for some additional renderings and specifics including:  greater detail on the paths of pedestrian access for each of the options and cross-sections that show the distance and elevation of the proposed station platform locations relative to the adjacent buildings.  We believe they plan to develop more information on noise impacts, specifically from the locomotive when the train is stopped, and to report on any fatal flaws for each of the locations regarding over/under access across the tracks.  There is still time to ask for clarifying information, as long as it is conceptual.

VRE and the County will collaborate on the presentation in June.  VRE will present its information, and the County will present the pros/cons of each from a policy perspective (e.g., transportation, land use, etc).  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 7.  After the June meeting with VRE, the issue will be taken to the County Board for their direction.  

As of April 21, VRE only had money for conceptual design, the phase they are currently in.  They are seeking money for the next phase, Preliminary Engineering (30% design) and the NEPA process, and hope to get that money so they can start in June or July.  The public will have an additional chance to weigh in on the station location during the NEPA process.

EDITORIAL:  DISTURBING VRE PRESENTATION ON STATION (RE)LOCATION IN CRYSTAL CITY

On March 30, VRE offered a presentation of the three options which have emerged for the location of an expanded VRE station on Crystal City.  The expansion is required essentially for two reasons:  VRE needs increased platform length in order to use longer trains and also wants to be able to carry passengers in both directions during their rush-hour period.  For instance, passengers may want to use VRE to travel from Union Station towards Virginia in the morning, and in the opposite direction in the afternoon.  This requires having two dedicated tracks with a platform in between.  See the presentation here.

The main positive observation from the meeting was that a fairly large number of Crystal City residents had decided to attend and that, above all, it had been possible to coordinate a joint position between the Civic Association and the two largest Condo Associations (Crystal Gateway and Crystal Park).  Our message was that, with two options placing the station flush against a set of two residential buildings, and a third one placing it at an office building, the latter option would be the only reasonable one, if VRE and other stakeholders want to show any concern for the quality of life of the Crystal City residents.  As was noted by audience members, we may not be VRE passengers, but residents are tax payers in the context of a State-funded project. 

HOWEVER, the presentation confirmed the already existing impression that, for VRE and its partners, the opinions and the well-being of the residents appear very far down (if at all) on the list of criteria and considerations, when they now quickly want to zero in on only one option.  They will not offer any further community meetings until they are ready to come forward, probably in a month or two, with their recommended option and the related design details.   In the meantime, all we can do as Crystal City residents is to reiterate our arguments, through the Civic Association, the Condo Associations and individually.  The e-mail address to the project manager Ms. Soneji is: [email protected]                          

It is understandable that the VRE prioritizes the interests of their passengers.  Of those who disembark in Crystal City, over 80% work within walking distance, or continue by local bus for a short distance. So less than 20% transfer to Metrorail, a fact that renders the distance from VRE to Metro less important. When many passengers cross the street and enter the ‘Underground’, this is for the purpose of using it to get to their destinations in or near Crystal City.  The Pentagon is another common destination. 

The presentation also contained some references to environmental factors in the evaluation process, but that seemed to be more ‘for the birds’ than for the human inhabitants of Crystal City.  There was also a statement to the effect that it would be beneficial to make the rail line more visible and integrated into our public realm.  (At least there was no suggestion of a goal to make it more audible…). 

Much to our surprise, the project manager also paraphrased statements reportedly conveyed by Arlington County, to the effect that the ‘Underground’ is an anachronism and that it would be important to support an activation of the streetscape.  This brings up the final point, which is critical:  in cross-jurisdictional projects such as this one, the local jurisdiction has strong influence on matters which do not really concern other areas.  And comments from sources, outside the formal meeting, suggest that Arlington County has already weighed in, with preferences and arguments which are unknown to us.  Clearly, they have not consulted with Crystal City residents, so it is obviously now urgent to ensure that our views and concerns reach the County Board before it is too late:   [email protected]

CCCA Meeting February 23:  North Potomac Yard

In our pre-meeting announcement we indicated that there are plans for Alexandria’s ‘North Potomac Yard’ to be completely transformed through the tear-down of the movie theater and then also the existing shopping center.  North Potomac Yard is located in the northeast corner of the City of Alexandria, east of Route 1, south of Four Mile Run/Arlington County, and west of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and rail corridor. It is currently occupied by the Target shopping center and Regal Potomac Yard Theater.

On February 23, in an unusually well attended General Meeting, we had a guest speaker, Mr. Jeffrey Farner, Alexandria’s Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning, who provided an overview of the emerging plans.  Also present was Arlington’s chief planner for Crystal City, Anthony Fusarelli, who commented on plans for development in Arlington’s portion of Potomac Yard and on the potential impact of Alexandria’s plans on the future of Crystal City.  Clearly, this new Potomac Yard is going to have a major impact on Crystal City in many ways.  It intends to offer many of the things that Crystal City is missing and it may well have a negative effect on Crystal City’s ability to attract office tenants, residents and retail.  One also notes the contrast with Arlington’s portion of Potomac Yard, where several land bays still remain empty.

You can read the full summary of the meeting here.  When we have the presentation, it will also appear on our website.  You can see some updated plans here.   To learn more on the project, see here.

Lowe’s ‘Century Center’ project gained strong support in the Site Plan Review Process

This project, which involves the construction of a 24-story residential tower at the southwestern corner of the Crystal Drive/23rd Street intersection, was described in great detail in the January edition of our CCCA Newsletter.  As mentioned at that time, the preliminary reaction to the proposed building and its surroundings was generally positive.  At the conclusion of the County’s formal Site Plan Review Process (SPRC) on February 27, the project had gained unanimous support, and it will now proceed to the County Planning Commission and the County Board for final review and an expected approval in the month of May.

Three aspects contributed strongly to the favorable outcome in the SPRC: first, the general satisfaction of finally seeing a brand new building being proposed, in sharp contrast to the recent trend of resorting instead to the renovation of old buildings.  Second, while architecture is obviously often a matter of personal taste, here it was universally felt that the developer was proposing a very pleasing building which would make it an asset for Crystal City.  Third, instead of focusing exclusively on amenities and open space within the building for its own tenants, the developer is proposing a small but very attractive public open space at the street corner.

We will keep you posted as this project moves on to the final stages of the approval process.

New Park Development:  South Park Potomac Yard

Arlington County is undertaking a Park Master Plan for an open space referred to as South Park.   Although inside Arlington County, this park is located just south of the current borders of the CCCA boundaries.  Crystal City ends with the wedge between Crystal Drive and Rte. 1, where they come together roughly at 32nd St.   However, no civic association currently covers Arlington’s part of Potomac Yard, which starts with the Marriott Hotels at 27th St and continues east of Crystal Dr./Rte.1 all the down to the Four Mile Run, which is essentially the border with Alexandria.  (See google map here)   So the CCCA will be actively following the development of this project. 

South Park was created as a public park through the Potomac Yard Phased Development Plan (PDSP #346), approved by the County Board on 10-21-2000.  The PDSP required the developer to set aside this open space and dedicate a public access easement to Arlington County, and Design Guidelines were created to help guide the open spaces associated with the development. The park currently has a publicly accessible playground and a playground exclusively used by a daycare facility, planted shrub/perennial beds, walkways, a large grassy field, and a steeply sloped grassy area.  General guidance from the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines speaks to connecting park users to the water, taking advantage of viewsheds, and improving the water quality of Four Mile Run.

The civic engagement process will include a series of four public meetings and eventually an online survey, which are intended to solicit ideas and feedback from the public to help inform the park’s design.  The public meetings will also convey the park’s role in implementing the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan (adopted by the County Board in 2006) and Design Guidelines (adopted by the County Board in 2009).  The process will culminate with a Park Master Plan, which will conceptually identify park amenities and their placement within the park, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, and strategies for addressing stormwater.  The Park Master Plan will then be used to develop detailed construction drawings, once funding for construction is available.

The first public meeting is scheduled for February 22 from 7-9 pm at Gunston Middle School.  See more details on the project website here.

Proposed New Crystal City Apartment Building

Crystal House Apartments Investors filed a preliminary site plan for an infill development that would construct a new apartment building called “Crystal House III” near the corner of S. Eads Street and 18th Street. The proposed construction site is adjacent to the existing Crystal House apartment buildings, which are two 12-story residential towers that were built in 1961.  Under the proposed plan, the developer would build a new five-story building on a parking lot next to those towers with 252 new residential units. The plan also calls for a two-level underground parking lot with space for 424 vehicles and the construction of a new public park, streetscape improvements and public art.  Read more in ArlNow.com’s February 16 article.

Note:  The public Site Plan Review Process is likely to start in March or April.  This area is officially part of Crystal City, according to Arlington County but currently falls outside the CCCA borders since it has historically been covered by the Aurora Highlands Civic Association (AHCA) before the CCCA was established in 2014.  Residents of the Crystal Houses and Crystal Towers west of S. Eads Street are eligible to be members of the CCCA if they are not members of the AHCA.  The CCCA and the AHCA are collaborating to follow the site plan developments for Crystal House III.

Bye Bye Blue Line for 18 Days

Be prepared. No blue line at all from Feb. 11-28, so no metro service between Pentagon and Rosslyn. Take the Yellow Line to DC and switch to Silver or Orange. Or take Art 43 from Crystal City to Rosslyn and transfer to Metro.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/metros-latest-safetrack-…/…

New High School Instructional Focus

By September 2022, APS will open the doors to a new high school.  Beginning in February 2017, APS will launch a community engagement process to determine the instructional focus for the new high school.  The process will include:

  • February 15: Joint ACI and FAC meeting to share options considered for location and instruction

  • February-March: Community Survey

  • March 30 and April 4: Community Meetings

  • May: School Board work session to review options

  • June: Staff recommendation to the School Board

If you have questions or suggestions for the new high school instructional focus, please contact APS at [email protected].

New Park Development:  South Park Potomac Yard

Arlington County is undertaking a Park Master Plan for an open space referred to as South Park.   Although inside Arlington County, this park is located just south of the current borders of the CCCA boundaries.  Crystal City ends with the wedge between Crystal Drive and Rte. 1, where they come together roughly at 32nd St.   However, no civic association currently covers Arlington’s part of Potomac Yard, which starts with the Marriott Hotels at 27th St and continues east of Crystal Dr./Rte.1 all the down to the Four Mile Run, which is essentially the border with Alexandria.  (See google map here)   So the CCCA will be actively following the development of this project. 

      

South Park was created as a public park through the Potomac Yard Phased Development Plan (PDSP #346), approved by the County Board on 10-21-2000.  The PDSP required the developer to set aside this open space and dedicate a public access easement to Arlington County, and Design Guidelines were created to help guide the open spaces associated with the development. The park currently has a publicly accessible playground and a playground exclusively used by a daycare facility, planted shrub/perennial beds, walkways, a large grassy field, and a steeply sloped grassy area.  General guidance from the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan and Design Guidelines speaks to connecting park users to the water, taking advantage of viewsheds, and improving the water quality of Four Mile Run.

The civic engagement process will include a series of four public meetings and eventually an online survey, which are intended to solicit ideas and feedback from the public to help inform the park’s design.  The public meetings will also convey the park’s role in implementing the Four Mile Run Restoration Master Plan (adopted by the County Board in 2006) and Design Guidelines (adopted by the County Board in 2009).  The process will culminate with a Park Master Plan, which will conceptually identify park amenities and their placement within the park, pedestrian and bicycle circulation, and strategies for addressing stormwater.  The Park Master Plan will then be used to develop detailed construction drawings, once funding for construction is available.

The first public meeting is scheduled for February 22 from 7-9 pm at Gunston Middle School, Media Center/Library, 2700 South Lang Street.  Although representatives of the CCCA Executive Committee will attend the meeting as part of our normal following of County issues, the public is invited to attend.  See more details on the project website here.

River House Site Plan Review Process Update:  Plans Now On Hold

County Planning staff received notice on Monday, February 6, 2017, that JBG – Smith will not proceed, at this time, with the Site Plan Review process for the River House. The application for 1400 S. Joyce Street, as previously submitted, consists of 933 in-fill residential units that would replace surface parking.  The application also includes an alternative plan for 29, 569 sq. ft. of new retail space, subject to a potential Special General Land Use Plan (GLUP) Study.   While the applicant has indicated that they do not intend to withdraw or modify the application, the Planning Division’s 2017 – 2018 work program will note the site plan application as inactive.  The River House site plan application project web site has been amended and the Planning Commission and associated civic associations have been notified.

Crystal City Connection Library February Events

Check out what's happening at our Crystal City library this month:  February Events

Capital Bikeshare Station at Clark & 23rd

Arlington County is proposing a 15-dock Capital Bikeshare station on the sidewalk of S. Clark St. north of 23rd St, and has asked if the CCCA has any comment or objection.  The Crystal City Metro Station, which is north of the proposed station, has a Capital Bikeshare station so the proposed station location would strengthen the Capital Bikeshare network in Crystal City. The proposed station location would provide convenient access to Crystal City Shops, WeWork Crystal City, WeLive Crystal City, Crystal Plaza Apartments, Cassa Housing, and more.  The location of the proposed station site is illustrated in the two photos below. The left photo shows an aerial of the site. The right photo is an illustration of the footprint of the planned station site outlined in yellow. Does any member of the Crystal City Civic Association have any concerns with the proposed station location?  Email us by February 9 at [email protected] if you do to let us know otherwise, we'll let the County know that the CCCA has no objections.

​   

Capital Bikeshare is self-service bike transit, perfect for short trips, with over 3,500 bikes available at 440+ stations in Arlington, D.C., Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Montgomery County. Arlington currently has about 90 stations with plans to expand County-wide. A map of Arlington’s existing and proposed stations can be found online at https://goo.gl/jXtS18.

Airplane Routes Unchanged

The FAA issued a statement today saying it “has decided to discontinue its work on the departure procedure from Washington Reagan National Airport known as Lazir B and to cancel its implementation. The decision follows a review of public input, including comments gathered at community meetings, inquiries from political leaders and the public, and discussions in citizens’ advisory forums.  The FAA will continue to support the efforts of the DCA Community Noise Working Group.”  See Arlington County's Reponse.

The January 2017 Newsletter No. 1 is out. 

Read it here for all the latest news.  There will be no February Newsletter.  "Like" and follow our CCCA Facebook page for the latest information.

REMINDER:  2017 CCCA MEMBERSHIP DUES OF $10 ARE DUE BY JANUARY 1, 2017.

DC2RVA Draft EIS Recommendations

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) presented its recommendations for the Washington, D.C. to Richmond, VA Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor project (DC2RVA) to the Commonwealth Transportation Board during its December meeting. DRPT's recommendations are available for review on the project website, including three options depending on outcome of Long Bridge study. Three options are being considered to align the DC2RVA corridor with the new Long Bridge options currently being studied by DDOT: adding 2-tracks to the east, adding 2 tracks to the west, or adding a single track on each side approaching Long Bridge. Improvements would occur within the existing right of way. See the recommendations and interactive map here.

Arlington County to Allow and Regulate Short-Term Rentals

On December 10, the County Board approved new Zoning Ordinance regulations that define a short-term residential rental as a new home occupation called “accessory homestay,” and creates standards for this use. The regulations affect short-term rentals through online services such as Airbnb, Craigslist, VRBO and others. The use of private homes for short-term residential rental was not previously permitted by the Zoning... Ordinance. The new regulations include limitations to protect the character of residential neighborhoods; ensure health and safety measures are in place; and regulate and limit the use in a manner consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan. The amendment was developed based on a review of practices in other jurisdictions in Virginia and throughout the country, and with input from the community. Read more here.

Arlington Schools Rated Best in Virginia

The 2017 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more.  Read the article and ratings here.

Arlington County to Allow and Regulate Short-Term Rentals

On December 10, the County Board approved new Zoning Ordinance regulations that define a short-term residential rental as a new home occupation called “accessory homestay,” and creates standards for this use. The regulations affect short-term rentals through online services such as Airbnb, Craigslist, VRBO and others. The use of private homes for short-term residential rental was not previously permitted by the Zoning... Ordinance. The new regulations include limitations to protect the character of residential neighborhoods; ensure health and safety measures are in place; and regulate and limit the use in a manner consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan. The amendment was developed based on a review of practices in other jurisdictions in Virginia and throughout the country, and with input from the community. Read more here:

Engage Arlington

Civic engagement is at the heart of Arlington. Find a way to make a difference in your community — share feedback today, or find ways to get more deeply involved.  See the opportunities on the Arlington County Website.

FY 2018 Budget Priorities Public Input Form

Interested in the County Budget?  Be sure to comment.  Go to the Public Input Form here:

County Notice:  As we begin the FY 2018 budget process, we'd like you to share what priorities should be considered. The following documents may be helpful to review prior to submitting your feedback:

FY 2018 Budget Guidance

County Budget Presentation - Nov. 30, 2016

Schools Budget Presentation - Nov. 30, 2016

Read public feedback on the FY 2018 budget priorities.

Defense Department Expected to Study Helicopter Noise

On December 2, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act, pushing an amendment on helicopter noise from Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) closer to becoming law.  The amendment was proposed by Beyer in response to frequent complaints from Northern Virginia residents about excess noise from military helicopters. It directs the Dept. of Defense to work with the Federal Aviation Administration “to study changes to the region’s helicopter flight routes, operating procedures, and even the types of helicopters flown in the national capital airspace to mitigate the effect of noise on the region’s neighborhoods.”  Read more here.

DECEMBER NEWSLETTER IS OUT

read the latest news here.

NEW CCCA OFFICERS ELECTED

At the opening of the Annual General Meeting November 16, the following officers were elected:

President:  Christer Ahl

Vice President for Policy and Planning:  Judy Freshman

Treasurer:  Diane Oksanen-Gooden

The position of Membership Liaison had no candidates and remains vacant.  We are actively searching for a candidate to fill the outreach duties for the CCCA by appointment.  The duties are listed in the ByLaws that can be found to the right on the CCCA website.

RAIL TRANSPORTATION IN CRYSTAL CITY:  CCCA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING NOVEMBER 16

We had an excellent panel of railroad experts who had never participated in such a holistic presentation.  Although planning is at an early stage for the Long Bridge Project promoted by the District of Colombia and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), there are many implications for CSX, VRE, the Virginia Department of Rail Transportation (DRPT), and Crystal City residents.

Will the train bridge expand from 2 to 3, 4, or 5+ tracks?  Will CSX and VRE increase train traffic at night and on weekends?  Will VRE upgrade/expand its train station?  What are the environmental and quality of life implications for Crystal City?  Will the Environmental Impact Studies point towards successful noise mitigation factors? 

Read a detailed summary of the event here.

Review the 3 Power Point presentations: 

http://crystalcitycivic.org/Summary_Long_Bridge_Project.pdf

http://crystalcitycivic.org/Summary_DC2RVA_CCCA_11.16.16.pptx

http://crystalcitycivic.org/Summary_VRE.pdf

NOTICE: POST OFFICE MOVES

The Crystal City Post Office at 1750 Crystal Drive will close Thursday and Friday October 27-28 and reopen in a new location Monday October 31 at 2180 Crystal Drive down the street. Construction on the new building at 1750 will start in January, according to the developer Vornado/Charles E. Smith. Post Office Box holders will keep their same box number and address, but will need a new box key. The business hours at the new location are Monday through Friday, 730 a.m. until 5 p.m.

A video sneak peek at the future Reagan National Airport

Reagan National will be getting a major facelift in the next few months, part of $1-billion modernization of the 75-year-old airport. Plans include a new terminal to house short-hop flights on the north side of Terminal C, currently home to the airport’s executive offices. The project also includes space for new security checkpoints. On Wednesday, members of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’ board of directors, got a preview of what the new National will look like when work is completed in 2021.  See the Washington Post article of October 19 here.

VDOT Project Update: I-395 HOV Tolling

The Arlington County Board received an update October 18 from state transportation officials regarding the potential traffic, environmental and fiscal effects to Arlington resulting from the I-395 Express Lanes Northern Extension. The state project to add a third high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane and convert the three HOV lanes to managed HOV/toll lanes is currently under environmental review.  County staff have been working closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to ensure the I-395 project’s environmental review includes a thorough analysis of impacts to Arlington. VDOT has indicated the additional express lane will be constructed completely within its right of way. County staff will provide a detailed analysis for the County Board in December regarding traffic impacts to Arlington, impacts from possible noise mitigation, and sufficient transit funding.  The next Public Hearing is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with a presentation at 7 p.m. at Wakefield High School, 1325 S. Dinwiddie Street.  See full information here.

CRYSTAL CITY LIBRARY OPENS

The Arlington County Library opened its innovative, new pop up library—The Connection—in Crystal City September 28, with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The library is located across from the Tech Shop and facing Au Bon Pain.  In addition to a lot of newly arrived books, check out the computers; tools, games and jig saw puzzles for loan, tech exhibit, the kids’ Launchpad and exhibit corner, and comfortable couch seating.

Library hours, starting Sept. 29, 2016:

Tuesday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Wednesday: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.      

Friday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday - Monday: CLOSED

CCCA MEETING ON DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSPORTATION IN CRYSTAL CITY:  September 21, 2016

I-395 Express Lanes Project:  Representing VDOT and its partners, Project Manager Michael Snare presented an update of the plans for the proposed Express Lanes Extension to be constructed on I-395 as part of the Atlantic Gateway Project.  Virginia was selected to receive a $165 million dollar federal grant to improve more than 50 miles of the I-95/I-395 Corridor from Fredericksburg to the Pentagon, extending I-95/I-395 Express Lanes North to the Pentagon (~ 7 miles) and South to Fredericksburg (~ 10 miles).   See the summary and full presentation here

Vornado/Charles E. Smith Development Plans in Crystal City:  Mitch Bonanno, Vice President for Development, presented a power point briefing on his company's plans for 2 site developments in Crystal City:  1) "Crystal Drive Retail Adaptive Reuse" (AKA 1750 Crystal Drive, plus a market square on 18th Street off Crystal Drive) and 2) a new public plaza and retail buildings located in front of 2121 Crystal Drive.  He emphasized that the market is still tight for business in Crystal City, and that his organization is focusing more on "placemaking"--i.e., focusing on how to use existing space.  Their development plans will therefore be more retail-led and pedestrian-based for Crystal Drive.  There is more focus on flexible programming with better connections to transit and parking.   See the full presentation here.

Vornado/Charles E. Smith Colorful Light Display in the Water Park:  Stefanie Echeveste, Placemaker for the company, explained briefly how the new light display will work in the park and then led a tour to the Water Park to demonstrate and get feedback from residents.  Drop by in the evenings to see it.

RIBBON CUTTING FOR THE CONNECTION:  CRYSTAL CITY LIBRARY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Join us for the official first day at The Connection, your new pop-up Library in Crystal City.

When: Wednesday, Sept. 28

Ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.

Stop by for celebratory activities until 8 p.m.

 

Where: 2117 Crystal Plaza Arcade (inside the Crystal City Shops at 2100 Crystal Drive)

 

 

The Connection: Crystal City is a temporary project (Fall 2016 - Summer 2017) designed to integrate the Library into the daily lives of Arlington residents.

 

Hours, starting Sept. 29, 2016:

See invitation on Arlington VA Public Library Facebook: page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1779005522380716/

CRYSTAL CITY LIBRARY COMING IN SEPTEMBER

If you missed the informational meeting August 16, watch the space in the Underground across from the Tech Shop and facing Au Bon Pain: "The Connection." The Arlington County library hopes to open its temporary pop-up library by the end of September. 

The library is increasingly looking for greater outreach to connect with communities and to embed its libraries inside the community. There will be library tablets available preloaded... with magazines and reference material. There will be daily delivery of books Monday to Friday, but can be open on Saturdays. The online survey showed three key areas of interest: 1) best sellers; 2) DIY materials; and, surprisingly, 3) DVDs. Library staff are also considering the borrowing of “things”; e.g., tools, games. There can be events, under room usage guidelines published on the library’s website; e.g., authors, topics, CCCA meetings, NGO meetings, game night. Some participants asked for a children’s nook and after school (5-7 pm) and Saturday morning activities for children, noting that there are indeed quite a few school children in the apartment buildings. There was some discussion of workshops for younger kids, perhaps in partnership with the Tech Shop, which cannot host the workshops due to liability concerns.

You can follow updates on the library's website:  http://library.arlingtonva.us/locations/connection-crystal-city/

Exciting News: The Connection Library

Crystal City has been chosen as the prototype for Arlington County's innovative pop-up library format: designed to appeal to our community dwellers. Technology, DIY information, tool lending library, events, meetings, etc.

The CCCA is co-sponsoring an informational presentation August 18 from 7-9 in the Tech Shop, right next to the library under construction in the underground. Be sure to join us to add your input on what we need in this new temporary library.  The space will open in mid-September, and this is a chance for us to make the library the "beacon" for Crystal City.

The online survey has now closed, but see the announcement of the August 16 meeting here.

Breaking News:  Innovative Pop Up Library for Crystal City

At our Annual General Meeting last November, Guest speaker Diane Kresh, Arlington County Director of Libraries, presented her general/countywide topics and visions for high-density areas in Arlington, like Crystal City.  She then applied that to Crystal City, where we have no library, and discussed with us what might be possible to do to improve our situation. Our local library is the small Aurora Hills Library, which has only one small room serving as a "community center" for three areas: Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge, and Crystal City.  See the summary for a full description of the meeting.

During a lively question and answer period, many speakers supported the innovative idea of a “pop up” library—a temporary space in one of the vacant areas in the Crystal City underground.  It's going to happen! The CCCA has been following up on the issue and is pleased that negotiations between Vornado and the County have led to a positive outcome.

Ms. Kresh announced July 19 that a temporary “pop-up” library will open this September in Crystal City next to the Tech Shop in the former Mens Wearhouse space at 2100 Crystal Drive: "Connection: Crystal City."  Library Director Diane Kresh sees the pop-up facility as a low-cost way to push library services into more neighborhoods and introduce people of all ages to the wide scope of what the County’s public library system has to offer. In addition, the Crystal City pop-up branch is expected to help enliven the Crystal City Shops. “We chose Crystal City as the first neighborhood to experiment with a pop-up library both because we have found that Route 1, which runs through Crystal City, poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library, and because people in the neighborhood  expressed interest in the approach,” Kresh said.

Watch this space, our Facebook page, and emails for notice of an informational meeting the CCCA plans to co-host in August with the Public Library for Crystal City residents so we can provide input to help make the pop-up library a "beacon" for Crystal City: lots of electronic access; books geared to DYI; book groups and author presentations; etc...

https://newsroom.arlingtonva.us/release/arlington-to-open-crystal-city-pop-up-library/

Biophilic Cities: Incorporating Nature into Arlington’s Urban Landscape

How do humans benefit from being close to nature? How can we foster connections with nature as Arlington County becomes more urbanized? How will these connections improve livability and quality of life?Biophilic City - FINAL FLYER

Join us to learn about the benefits of a Biophilic City and how Arlington can participate in this movement on Thurs. Sept. 15 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Navy League Building, 2300 Wilson Blvd, Arlington.  Learn from Timothy Beatley, Professor of Sustainable Communities at University of Virginia School of Architecture and Stella Tarnay, an advisor at George Mason University’s Sustainable Landscape Design Program and Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy.

Registration and networking are from 5:30-6 p.m. with light refreshments.

Timothy Beatley

Timothy Beatley

Sponsored by Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Environmental Services.

Atlantic Gateway Project and Crystal City

Have you heard about the federal grant of $165 million Virginia has received for its Atlantic Gateway program?  It will be a set of rail, highway and bridge projects meant to ease some of the worst travel bottlenecks on the East Coast.   The overall budget for Atlantic Gateway is $1.4 billion, a combination of the federal grant, $710 million in other public financing pulled together by the state and $565 million in private investment. Much of the spending would be on projects in Northern Virginia.
While great for transportation in Northern Virginia, there are two aspects of Atlantic Gateway that could have major impact on residents in Crystal City:

-- Extend 95 Express Lanes seven miles north to the Potomac River and improve access to the Pentagon at the Eads Street interchange.

-- Build 14 miles of new track to ease the movement of VRE and Amtrak trains as well as freight. This rail part of Atlantic Gateway will include initial steps to rebuild the Long Bridge, the span that takes rail traffic across the Potomac River, as well as the widening of track segments in Northern Virginia.

The CCCA is planning to invite speakers to upcoming meetings in September and November to brief us and seek community feedback.  Stay tuned for more information in coming weeks.

Arlington County Detailed Bond Issue

Read the Washington Post article July 25 on how the Arlington County Board and school officials will spell out in unprecedented detail this fall how they plan to spend borrowed money for long-term capital projects — a response to several years’ demands from residents for more transparency.

Voters will be asked in November, as they are every two years, whether to allow the county to borrow money by issuing general obligation bonds to pay for new schools, facilities, transportation and parks projects.

But while in 2014 a typical ballot question sought $105.8 million in bonds to “fund the design and construction of various school facility projects including new elementary schools, building additions for additional classroom space and maintenance capital projects,” a question on the ballot this fall for $138.8 million in school construction will spell out five specific schools or projects, with costs attached to each one.

Metro Provides Real-Time Train Information

Fulfilling a commitment made earlier this year, Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld announced July 19 that Metro is making available the real-time location of trains, allowing developers to create more accurate and advanced mobile apps that will enhance the rider experience.  To help riders easily discover and download helpful transit apps, Metro plans to create an “App Gallery” on wmata.com in the coming weeks. The App Gallery will direct customers to validated apps that have been submitted by developers using this form.

http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=6136

MetPark6

The Arlington County Board approved July 16 the Phase 6 site plan for the Metropolitan Park development in Pentagon City. Developer Vornado plans a new apartment building with of 577 units and 9,665 square feet of ground floor retail space.  The building will incorporate multiple rooflines with a maximum height of 22 stories. The community will gain three new open space areas, including the completion of the Metropolitan Park Central Park, a public courtyard open space and an enhanced streetscape treatment along S. Eads Street.

CIP Meeting Highlights, July 1, 2016 

On June 22, the County Board held a public meeting to hear input from Arlington residents on the proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) which is to be voted on July 19, 2016.  Four work sessions have been scheduled on individual agenda items, with the last one July 12 before the final vote.  In the meantime, you can read the CIP survey comments or visit Engage Arlington for more opportunities to give online feedback on other topics.

 

There were approximately 44 interventions, about half of them urging the Board to approve Phase 2 of the Long Bridge Park plan, in order to meet core community needs. The facility would include two bodies of water (a 50-meter X 25 yard pool and a combined teaching pool/family pool), health and fitness space, and support of the core program elements with two (2) wet classrooms, a community room, spectator seating, facility administration and locker facilities. The building will be approximately 73,000 SF in size, which is a reduction of approximately 37% from the previous design and has associated reductions to capital and operating costs. The project also includes 10.5 acres of park development including parking, continuation of the esplanade, public art, event lawns, rain gardens, and environmental remediation. The revised project will be designed and built within existing funds.

 

Speakers on the LBP plan came from Crystal City residents; soccer, swimming, and diving associations; and the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID).  All were positive.  Several supported Board efforts to seek partners in order to add the more expensive elements not included in the existing budget for Phase 2:  the 10 meter diving pool and a therapy pool.

 

Other Crystal City residents urged the Board to consider an alternate route for the Transitway in northern Crystal City, to circle around 15th Street and S. Clark Streets--the western, commercial side of the megablock between 15th and 12th Streets--instead of the residential side on Crystal Drive.  The Crystal Gateway Condo Board Vice President presented a petition with over 300 signatures from residents and workers/visitors to Crystal City and Long Bridge Park supporting the alternate route.  County Board member Christian Dorsey had suggested at the last CCCA general meeting that such a petition might help Board consideration of the alternate route.

 

One speaker noted that Crystal City residents will be interested in seeing the proposed design for the development of the 15th Street mini park and the Gateway park entrance to LBP, which local residents hope will remain a passive park, not a noisy, active one.

 

Other interventions dealt with non-Crystal City issues.  The meeting was videotaped and can be viewed on the County’s website:   http://arlington.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3154

Arlington is the best place to live in America

It seems that Arlington County has a lot going for it. A solid public-school system, a healthy population, ample nightlife venues and accessible public transit. All of this makes the Northern Virginia county the best place to live in America, according to a new report.

The ranking from Niche, a website that says it helps people find which neighborhoods and cities are the best fit, looked at 227 cities, counties and jurisdictions, then ranked them based on the area’s amenities, crime rates, school options and more.

Arlington got an A+ for its schools, family life, nightlife, and health and fitness, which looks at obesity rates and access to health resources.  The county received a B+ in the jobs category, which accounted for factors such as the unemployment rate and the ratio of the median monthly housing cost for homeowners to the median monthly household income.

Plenty of opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions.May 18 CCCA General Meeting

Plenty of opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions.

Plenty of opportunities to ask questions and make suggestions.May 18 CCCA General Meeting:

The newest County Board members, Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey, met with residents to provide their take on Arlington and Crystal City issues.  Residents asked many questions, including:

What can be done about bikes feeling safe on Crystal Drive in the bike lane?

What is the status of Long Bridge Park Fitness and Aquatics Center?

What can be done about the intersection of ArmyNavy and Fern?

How can the police better help traffic?

What can be done about homeless people?

 Wednesday March 16 at 7pm in the Crystal Park Condo, 1805 Crystal Drive

  

New Options for Long Bridge Park

On April 12 Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz presented the County Board with options for moving forward with both the replacement of the Lubber Run Community Center and development of 10.5 more acres of open space and a reduced aquatics, health and fitness facility at Long Bridge Park.  The correct estimated construction costs of the aquatics health and fitness facility and development of 10.5 more acres of parkland is between $46 million and $50.5 million.

The Board’s work session on the two projects helped frame the community’s upcoming discussion on updating the Capital Improvement Program, the County’s 10-year blueprint for funding major facilities and infrastructure. The work session, Chair Libby Garvey noted, “is the beginning of the process” of engaging the community on both projects.

The revised plan for Long Bridge Park reduces the size of the facility by 37 percent, to about 73,000 square feet. The reductions are achieved by reducing the number of pools from the three proposed in 2012 to two, reducing the number of lobbies, circulation areas and storage space. The smaller building, fewer pools, and a less expensive HVAC system all contribute to lower construction and operating costs. The family pool and teaching pool would be combined into a single pool under the new proposal, and the therapy pool and three dive towers eliminated. Space for a health and fitness center would be retained.  See press release.

Op Ed on Long Bridge Park by Tobin Smith

The chair of the Long Bridge Citizen Advisory Committee and former Chair of the Arlington Park and Recreation Committee Tobin Smith supports the design and construction of a new aquatics, health, and Fitness Center at Long Bridge Park.  See his Op Ed in ArlNow.Com

MetPark 6 Open House

With the Metropolitan Park Phase 6 Site Plan, the last section of the “Central Open Space” will be built.  The community is welcome to come to an open house on April 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to provide input on the future open space!  At this meeting there will also be information about future improvements to the section of S Eads Street along Metropolitan Park.  For more information about the Metropolitan Park Project go to the Arlington County Website and search Metropolitan Park.  Please contact me if you have questions.

 Diane G. Probus, Associate Planner
Department of Parks and Recreation
2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 414
Arlington, VA 22201
703-228-0787

MetPark_6_April 6_Public_Open_House.pdf

March 16 CCCA General Meeting

Did you miss this?  What a fun evening about Arts, Crafts, Food and Entertainment in Crystal City.  See the write up in the April Newsletter.

We Need a New School in 22202

Representatives of the CCCA have been participating in the South Arlington Working Group on Arlington County Schools, emphasizing the need for a school in our area to meet the growing population.  (The Newsletter has provided regular updates on this pro9ess.)  Attached is the letter sent electronically to the Arlington County School Board (with a cc to the Arlington County Board) request that the Arlington Public Schools budget for a new elementary school with in zip code 22202.  Four civic associations, including the CCCA, were signatories to the letter.

School_22202_APS_16.03.11.pdf

Understanding Transit Lanes

Check out the latest Fact Sheet with Qs and As on the Crystal City/Potomac Yard Transitway.  The FAQ provides clear/reassuring answers beyond what the flyer explains.  For example:

· If I am exiting a driveway next to the bus lane, can I use the bus lane to merge into general traffic?

· Yes. Drivers may exit the driveway into the bus lane and then safely merge into the general traffic lane.

 If you have a question about or suggestion for our FAQs, send it to [email protected].  The County is not however speculating about the precise implementation date.

http://transportation.arlingtonva.us/transit-lanes/#faqs

Long Bridge Drive and I-395 Interchange Update

Have you noticed that Long Bridge Drive was not redone all the way to I-395? And the interchange is in horrid shape?

The county is working to complete Long Bridge Drive and redesign the entire interchange.  Work on some of the utilities and preliminary street work should begin later this year.  The interchange design continues and progress is being made. The current schedule is for reconstruction of the interchange to occur in 2018.

For more information about the different alternatives, please check the county’s webpage for the project:

http://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/boundary-channel-drive-interchange/

Arlington County’s Transit Development Plan (TDP)

Arlington is developing its 10-year plan for bus service. This Transit Development Plan is analyzing service throughout the County and will recommend future improvements. The plan is also studying how to enhance bus service along Columbia Pike and in Crystal City-Pentagon City.

Draft recommendations

36 bus routes across Arlington are recommended for improvements during the next 10 years. Route-by-route details of the proposed improvements are listed below. Learn how to comment on this proposal in the next section.

I’d like to have a say in this plan. What can I do?

Fill out the online comment form – After reviewing the draft recommendations above, use our comment form to provide feedback on proposed route changes. The comment form will close March 11. [Also available in Spanish]

In-person feedback – Staff will be at six locations to discuss the draft recommendations and collect feedback. Please stop by anytime during the hours shown to share your thoughts with a staff member.

A copy of the event flyer is attached to this email (English and Spanish).