CRIME

In Crystal City there has been several events that concern the local community. As a result, the three civic associations wrote a letter to the police department:

police_final

The Response from Captain Scott Linder:

Eric, Kateri and Cory,

Thank you for the letter and for sharing your concerns over recent incidents and crime trends in your neighborhoods.  I have asked our Crime Analysis Unit to provide me with up to date crime stats in your neighborhoods for this year and for four years prior.  This will help to determine current criminal activity and how it compares to previous years both during and pre-pandemic.  Once I have that information I will provide it to you all for review.  

Although I am sure you are aware of our staffing issues and the recent message that Chief Penn released related to some Service Changes and Reallocation of Resources (https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Departments/Police-Department/Service-Changes-and-Reallocation-of-Resources), the Arlington County Police Department maintains the desire to provide high quality service and to continue developing our partnerships/relationships with the businesses and residents of Arlington.  

As crime happens within the County, we take a multi-pronged approach to stopping, solving and preventing criminal activity.  For instance, when trends are observed, our Media Office and the Community Engagement Division through social media (Twitter, Facebook, emails, NextDoor) will notify the public of the types of crimes, locations and certain tips to help residents to reduce their potential for becoming a victim.   Additionally, patrols (both visible and non-visible) are increased in these areas to provide a visible deterrent, protect the citizens and to stop the crimes in progress.   Decoy vehicles and signage may also be deployed as additional visible and educational components to try and limit criminal activity.   

At the same time, our Crime Analysts utilize data to identify any discernable pattern related to these crimes.  The Criminal Investigation Division works with our Crime Analysts, reviews reports, checks with regional and federal partners in an effort to identify suspects and physical evidence that can lead us to potential arrests and case closures.   

Of course, the ultimate goal is to have no crime in the first place.  Unfortunately, Arlington is a highly populated urban area where a certain amount of crime is inevitable.  We can work together by trying to limit the amount of these crimes by continuing to educate the residents related to security of homes, vehicles and their person.   We continue to do this through attendance at Civic Association meetings, providing daily crime reports, sharing crime tips during identified crime trends or expected seasonal trends as well as other educational tools.  

We offer CPTED services (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design), both residential and commercial, which identifies safety concerns in and around buildings/houses that can often be minimized with simple changes to the environment (lighting upgrades, bush/tree trimming, lock upgrades etc).  This is a free service the CED offers and can be requested on-line (https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Departments/Police-Department/Community-Engagement).  In addition to CPTED, our Business Outreach Unit and Arlington Restaurant Initiative works with our local businesses and provides training and educational programming to include improving nightlife safety.  The BOU/ARI works with and certifies restaurants all over the county and not just Clarendon. Clarendon just happens to be more visible then other parts of the County related to nightlife activity.  

Again,  thank you for the letter and I look forward to speaking with you once I have received the updates stats.   

Livability 22202 Working Group on Route 1Meeting June 15, 2022

The CCCA sponsored a meeting of Livability22202 and the 3 civic associations on June 15 to prepare residents for the upcoming VDOT Public Information meeting on June 21. It was a good overview of why VDOT is conducting a feasibility study on bringing Route 1 down to grade, what we see as the problems with the VDOT plan, and suggestions that Livabiity22202 has for the intersection at 18th Street and the Right of Way (width of the road). A summary of the meeting is in the following pdf:

If you missed the meeting, you can see it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ygr5cgm7ou3zx9j/june15route1.mov?dl=0

The main presentation powerpoint is here:

Also plan to attend the VDOT PIM (Public Information Meeting) #2 on June 21st at 6:30 pm.  In case you cannot attend, you will be able to review the meeting recording and presentation through the VDOT meeting website.  Send your ideas and comments to VDOT by July 15.

Two Route 1 Meetings: June 15th 7:00 pm and June 21 6:30 pm!

Learn all about Route 1 Proposed Changes!

VDOT is studying REMOVING the bridges over 15th and 18th Streets. Both intersections are proposed to be ‘at grade’.

  • What would make an at-grade Route 1 intersection with 18th Street South safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders?
  • How much space is really needed to create a beautiful, inviting urban boulevard?
  • How can we safely reduce traffic on Route 1 without increasing traffic diversion onto our local streets?

Come to the June 15, 2022 Livability 22202 Route 1 Workshop to learn about the Livability 22202 Route 1 Working Group and VDOT proposals to address these issues and to share your ideas and concerns.   Register in advance for this virtual meeting:  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.    Can’t attend the meeting?  The meeting recording and presentation will be posted to the Livability 22202 Working Group page for your review.

Also plan to attend the VDOT PIM (Public Information Meeting) #2 on June 21st at 6:30 pm.  In case you cannot attend, you will be able to review the meeting recording and presentation through the VDOT meeting website.  Send your ideas and comments to VDOT by July 15.

CCCA June Newsletter is Out

Click here to download.

Message from CCCA’s President

Thanks to everyone who joined us virtually and in person for our May meeting on transportation.  Our next regular meeting will be in September, but we will have a special meeting on June 15 to cover Route 1. This meeting will be for all three civic associations. We will cover all the different alternatives for 18th street and Route 1!

 Register here.

The County 10-year investment plan was recently released and 3 Crystal City Parks were included. We have a significant number of new parks in the planning stages, but funding has been uncertain.

With summer approaching, please maintain personal awareness, as crime will increase. While our area does not have high crime rates, it does happen. A purse was recently stolen just outside of Long Bridge Park on Crystal Drive. A violent attack with weapon took place outside Bowlero on 23rd St on May 23.

Finally, be sure to visit our website (https://crystalcitycivic.org) or our Facebook page. (We always need people to help with social media!)

Eric Cassel, CCCA President

Housing Renter Study

The housing workgroup of Livability 22202 is a community, volunteer-run effort in our neighborhood to address unmet housing needs. We know there have been a lot of changes in the past year, especially in terms of cost of living and housing. As development continues, Housing Livability 22202 is curious about your housing and rental experiences, particularly in terms of the cost of living. We will use the results to highlight the pressing need to make sure everyone has access to housing that they can afford. If you are a renter in the 22202 zip code, please consider taking a few minutes to fill out the survey. You can remain completely anonymous if you so choose.

May Meeting Summary

Amazon, Dweck, and Route 1 were on the May 18 CCCA meeting agenda. Patrick Phillippi, Senior Manager of Amazon’s Public Engagement, spoke about Metropolitan Park, currently under construction at 15th and South Fern St. The area will be finished next year and host public facing events such as movie nights and a dog park. Next, Robert Vaughn from Dweck discussed the proposed infill development of two existing surface parking lots off of Eads Street. This will be a LEED gold building with a substantial amount of mix use spaces and family style units. Finally, Sarah Crawford from DES discussed a range of transportation projects including Route 1. The County is attempting to make Crystal City more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists, and users of multi mobility (scooters, electric unicycles, etc.). This is elaborated on in the Master Transportation Plan. There are going to be expected changes coming soon such as paving, utility maintenance, etc. to move towards the multi-mobility goals that Arlington set out. A long term goal is a reconfiguration of the Boundary Channel Drive interchange that crosses I-395 to allow for more multi-mobility.
You can check out projects using the maps below!

https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Projects/Neighborhoods/Crystal-City/Development
This is the interactive map: https://arlgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/7f36c2e84dda44a88d34290309c0edd2

The Dweck and DES presentation slides are below:

2022.05.18-1700-S.-Eads-St.-Overview-CCCA-May-Meeting

Arlington-CCCA_2022-05-18

CCCA Meeting May 18, 2022, 7-9 pm

Join us for the next CCCA Meeting:

CCCA Hybrid Meeting May 18, 7-9 pm

Transportation and Development

NOTE: This is a hybrid meeting. Participants may choose to either:

  • View on Zoom or
  • Attend in-person. Anyone wishing to attend in person may come to the conference room at 251 S 18th Street (Wells Fargo Building where Precinct 006 Crystal City voters vote.  We’ll be there!

Meeting agenda:

  1. Presentation by the County on transportation projects in Crystal City and the surrounding area.  You will be amazed at all that is planned or in progress and will want to be informed.
  2. Brief update by Amazon on their HQ2 (MetPark and PenPlace)
  3. Brief presentation by Dweck on their new site plans for Crystal Towers construction at 1600 S Eads Street

You can join us in person at 251 18th St S or please register in advance for online at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsd-yrrzkqEtdSnKdmvtTiuvDdOidF3hUr

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting by Zoom or phone. 

We will try to live stream on Facebook but haven’t been having much luck with that for recent meetings.  Facebook/Live streaming page: https://www.facebook.com/crystalcitycivic/live.     

The meeting is open to all 22202 residents by Zoom registration or visible on the CCCA Facebook page.

CCCA May Newsletter is Out

Once again, filled with lots of information on what’s happening in our area. Don’t forget, you can get this Newsletter and email update in your in box and vote at meetings by becoming a member of the CCCA for $10 annually. Local businesses may become Associate Members without a vote.

President’s Corner
May 18th Meeting and More Issues than Normal

  1. On May 18th at 7:00, we will have a presentation by the County on Transportation. We will also have
    an in-person report from an Amazon representative on their HQ2. Lastly we will have a short
    presentation by Dweck on their new buildings. Join us in person at 251 18th St S or register in
    advance
    for this meeting.
  2. Last week the County Board approved the Helix, three office buildings and the rest of the
    development for Amazon at PenPlace. Besides my comments before the County Board, NBC4
    interviewed me.
  3. The County is developing a new graphics tool for all things construction/development. There will be
    a meeting on Monday May 16th at 7:00. This should be a good tool for all residents.
  4. The bringing down of Route 1 has generated several alternatives for 18th Street. VDOT made a
    presentation on Thursday and we will be having a meeting on the various choices.
  5. The County is proposing to change the way Storm-Water is going to be billed to residents.
    Switching to a Storm-Water Utility will mean Crystal City Property Owners will see net bills will fall and
    single-family owners will see an increase, but the method of payment will change.
  6. The Civic Federation is proposing numerous changes to the County Government Structure. For
    example, one recommendation is to increase the number of County Board Members from 5 to 7.

See more in the Newsletter.

Eric Cassel, CCCA President

WHAT’S TO BECOME OF ROUTE 1?

Many of you are aware of the ongoing VDOT feasibility study on Route 1 which began in October 2020. VDOT and the commercial community have not budged from the position that Route 1 should be brought down to grade, despite intensive efforts by the community and Livability 22202 to propose other options. VDOT’s Phase 2 Virtual Public Information Meeting on April 28 at 6:30 PM is based on this position.

SO WHERE ARE WE?
● Safety of crossing Route 1 for pedestrians and cyclists has been Livabiity22202’s primary goal for the last two years. You can read the background and learn about our efforts on our Livability 22202 website. Lowering Route 1 to grade with a traffic intersection at 18th Street poses the greatest risks; safety crossing Route 1 must be ensured. We do not believe that the current VDOT plan ensures such safety, especially at 18th Street. The VDOT proposal is inconsistent with Arlington County’s Vision Zero initiative.
● Livability 22202 has worked extensively with 2 pro bono urban architects to encourage VDOT to look more at the people side of this project than the car side. We want the best outcome possible for this feasibility study for the entire community: residents as well as commercial interests .
● Therefore, we have set forward 3 main priorities for Phase 2:

1. Ensure safety crossing at 18th Street with one or more proposals:
a. Pedestrianize 18th Street (remove travel lanes on 18th between Eads and Clark/Bell to provide a park-like environment for cyclists and pedestrians and a safe crossing; include a Barnes Dance, where all traffic is stopped and pedestrians can cross in any direction, including diagonally)
b. Feasible bicycle/pedestrian underpass
c. Bicycle/pedestrian overpass

2. Make the Right of Way on Route 1 overall 165’ to make an at-grade Route 1 a true boulevard.

3. Create a new park between 15th St and the multimodal facility and between Route 1 and Clark/Bell to connect the green ribbon open space areas in Crystal City.

You can find the detailed proposals and explanation in the link: 2022-04-25 18th Street Study.pdf (dropbox.com)

Our proposed ideas offer an opportunity to create a “Green Ribbon” by pedestrianizing 18th Street between Eads and Clark/Bell. This element would ideally extend parks from Virginia Highlands park to the Water Park, given plans for the Metro Market park from 18th to Crystal Drive. But the 18th street crossing of Route 1 is critical for any Bike/Pedestrian pathway.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
● Register for the April 28 VDOT Public Information Meeting on Phase 2.
● Talk up the meeting and the proposal to bring Route 1 down to grade with all of your friends and acquaintances so they are informed.
● Express your concerns and share your ideas at the meeting.
● If you agree with Livability 22202’s ideas, support them publicly and say so at the April 28 meeting and to friends and acquaintances. We have worked long and hard to defend community interests and seek the best outcome. This is your best opportunity to weigh in before the plans become ingrained in the system.
● Let the Arlington County Board know where you stand and ask for their support for the Livability 22202 positions

April CCCA Newsletter

Download it here.

1.  Save the Date:  Our next CCCA meeting will be May 18.  With all of the transportation projects in progress or being planned, we may focus the meeting on that topic.

2.  What’s to Become of Route 1? Many of you are aware of the ongoing VDOT feasibility study on the Route 1.  You can read the background on the Livability22202 website for the Route 1 working group, including the February 27, 2022, letter to VDOT.  VDOT has now started Phase 2 of the study and is planning a Public Information Meeting on April 28. Register here.  We don’t know yet what will be covered in that meeting, but we have been disappointed that VDOT discontinued the Task Force meetings with essential stakeholders.  In the meantime, the Livability working group continues to engage with VDOT, the National Landing BID, the People Before Cars coalition, and JBG to develop creative solutions to the problems of bringing Route 1 down to grade.  Safety of crossing Route 1 for pedestrians and bikers is our primary goal and lowering Route 1 to grade with a traffic intersection at 18th Street poses the greatest risks. Working with two pro bono urban architects, the working group has proposed consideration of three ideas:  a) pedestrian/bike-only plazas on both sides of Route 1 at 18th Street; b) passageways under Route 1 at 18th for bikes and pedestrians that would connect to the Metro and c) a “blue sky” option for a bridge over Route 1 similar to Highline in NYC.  We will continue to inform the community as the study progresses as we seek the best options for a safe crossing of Route 1.

3.  Construction to start for Transitway on 12th and Crystal Drive April 4:  A notice went out March 25.  But remember that beginning the week of April 4th, Arlington County contractors will initiate the construction work for the first segment of the Transitway Extension to Pentagon City. The work includes the installation of two new transit stations at Crystal Drive & 15th Street S, and 12th Street S. & Long Bridge Drive, along with street improvements along 12th Street S. between S. Eads St. and S. Clark St., and the intersection of 12th Street S. at Crystal Drive.  See details in the Newsletter.