CCCA August 2022 Newsletter

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Message from CCCA’s President

Livability22202 is looking at the problem of crime in the area. We are meeting with the police and are looking for volunteers to work on the issue. If you are interested, please email me at: president@crystalcitycivic.org.

Last month we did a survey on potential names for the two parks at the Amazon HQ2 sites:  MetPark and PenPlace.  The results are here.  Overall, the names chosen are likely candidates for the final names.

Lastly, have a great summer! Be sure and take some time off and enjoy life!

Eric Cassel, CCCA President

VDOT Multimodal Project for Route 1

Update as of July 14, 2022

VDOT held a virtual public information meeting #2 June 21. Watch the meeting video here. Comments were requested by Friday, July 15.  Livability22202 and the People Before Cars Coalition submitted a letter of joint comments on July 7, focusing on areas of agreement.  This was a follow-up to the joint letter sent on May 20. Livability22202 sent a letter July 14, focusing on the need for better protection for peds/cyclists at 18th Street and additional measures to improve VDOT’s plans for the boulevard Right of Way.  The Crystal City Citizens Review Council submitted a letter July 14 as well.  Review the CCCA meeting June 15 for a full understanding of the Livability22202 concerns and proposals to VDOT.   

Next steps: The third PIM is scheduled for September and will include more information on TDM methods.

Happy Fourth of July!

July Newsletter is Outclick here to download

July 4 Announcement of Road Closures and places to View the Fireworks: See inside the Newsletter for details

Message from CCCA’s President

We have a survey about Park Names! Three parks around the new Amazon HQ2 need names. In the map below are the 3 parks. Park 1 is next to Eads and just north of the Whole Foods. Park 2 is the redesigned park. And the 3rd park is essentially inside the Amazon Property where the Helix will be. Please take a survey below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T2M8VX3

The Livability 22202 Housing Working Group wants to hear from renters in our zip code. Please take a few minutes to share your recent living experiences, rent increases, what you enjoy and what is challenging here. You can do so anonymously if you wish! Here is the link.

Route 1 continues to be a major commitment for me. We had a great meeting on the 15th and VDOT’s meeting on the 18th was interesting, but we had problem with not enough space outside the roadway. Sidewalks, bike lanes and trees are important for a road. We are working hard to get the best solution for our neighborhood.

Eric Cassel, CCCA President

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

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