April Newsletter is Out

Click here to download

1.  Survey:  We are gradually modernizing our CCCA procedures and media.  We will be issuing more frequent emails to keep you up to date on meetings and issues in coming weeks.  In this issue, we are including a survey to ask members what you like, dislike, or would like to see in the Newsletter in the future.  Please help by by filling out the attached survey. 

2.  Construction Coming Up: 

  • 1900 Crystal Drive:  Construction to Close Lane and Sidewalk. The general contractor will begin closures associated with 1900 Crystal Drive construction on March 29th and they will continue progressively over the next two weeks.
  • 2000/2001 S Bell:  Preparation work for demolition of 2001 Richmond Hwy starts April 12 with the Underground passage from 20th to Crystal City Shops closed; when demolition of the tower starts end May, Underground passage will close for about 3 ½ years

3.  Earth Day Clean Up – 17 April 2021 (rain date 24 April):  Join the National Landing BID and Livability 22202 to clean up the wooded area along the GW Parkway south of the Mount Vernon Trailhead at the Crystal City Water Park to the access road on 26th St South.  (And get a look at some what may someday become accessible open space for our 22202 community.)   Sign up now to help keep National Landing green and clean!

4.  National Cherry Blossom Festival in 22202:  See the Newsletter for all of the art work and events from now till April 11.

5.  Meetings, Development, and Other Issues:  See the Newsletter for a detailed list.

March CCCA Newsletter is Out

(FYI, this is the first Newsletter going by email only to renewed members for 2021.) Click here to download.


So many issues, so many meetings, so little time!  We need members to become and stay engaged. 


Highlighting Upcoming Meetings:  Please attend the following and lend your ears and voice to ongoing work.  These are our most important activities right now.

March 2 Livability Open Space Working Group Meeting (discussed below)
The meeting will be mostly informational. If afterwards, you’d like to stay engaged, great!  But join us March 2 to learn what’s happening and where you could join in, if you’d like to.  We really want/need to expand the working group membership, to promote diversity (demographics, housing, opinions?).
 
March 3 VDOT Public Meeting on Route 1 Feasibility Study (discussed below)
Is this what we want for Route 1 in National Landing?  Come to the VDOT public meeting on March 3rd and find out! 
 
March 9 Sustainable Mobility for Arlington (SUSMO) meeting at 7:30 (discussed below)
Come learn what is wrong with the proposed Crystal City Bike Network.
 
March 17 CCCA Meeting
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has agreed to provide a video and PowerPoint update on all the work that is being done at National Airport and which is expected to be completed by summer 2021.  Stay tuned for more details.  The Arlington County Police Department will also present on crime statistics and car jackings.

Your President
Carol Fuller

Livability22202 Meeting with VDOT on Route 1 Feasibility Study (Summary)

Good meeting February 22 with VDOT. Although the Livability Working Group on Route 1 provided VDOT with 19 pages of comments and requests for more data on their feasibility study, they responded only to a few comments at this meeting and promised more substantive reply on data later on. We took the opportunity to review the scope of the study, community concerns, and possible alternatives or ideas on how to deal with Route 1. You can view the recorded meeting here and see the Livability slide show and VDOT slides here.

According to the VDOT project website, the study on Route 1, from approximately 12th Street to 23rd Street South, will explore an at-grade urban boulevard, but also review and compare potential improvements to the current elevated condition, and the elevated urban boulevard described in the Crystal City Sector Plan. Ultimately, the study aims to provide sufficient information to make the best decision on a future project on Route 1 in Crystal City. However, from comments at the February 22 meeting, it appears that VDOT is only focusing on whether it is feasible to bring Route 1 down to grade and not on other options. This is disappointing and we will continue to advocate for a variety of alternatives and emphasize safety issues for crossing Route 1 without making it a major highway.

There will be a Task Force meeting February 25 (in which several Livability representatives participate) and a public meeting March 3. Register for the March 3 VDOT meeting here.

  • Agenda (Feb 22)
  • 1. Introduction to Livability22202 and the Route 1 Working Group role in the VDOT study
  • 2. Overview of VDOT Route 1 Multimodal Improvements Study scope and status
  • 3. Issues the Working Group identified through the L22202 survey and workshops
  • 4. Review of suggested alternatives for Route 1
  • 5. VDOT Responses to Livability22202 input
  • 5. Review of Working Group requested data & analysis (Us) (7:40-7:50)
  • 6. Scope and purpose of next VDOT public engagement March 3
  • 7. Q&A and discussion of next steps 

On January 11, 2021, the presidents of the three civic associations in 22202–Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, and Crystal City–forwarded to VDOT the Livability22202 comments on the VDOT feasibility study. These comments provide feedback to the VDOT Public Information Meeting on the Multimodal Improvements Study for Route 1 on 16 December 2020. The covering letter and the four extensive Appendices are linked here.

Livability22202 Detailed Feedback to VDOT on Feasibility Study (January 11, 2021)

On January 11, 2021, the presidents of the three civic associations in 22202–Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, and Crystal City–forwarded to VDOT the Livability22202 comments on the VDOT feasibility study. These comments provide feedback to the VDOT Public Information Meeting on the Multimodal Improvements Study for Route 1 on 16 December 2020. The covering letter and the four extensive Appendices are linked here.

The Livability22202 community is vitally interested in the outcome of the study and how the principles we have enunciated in our Framework and Action Plan of November 2019 will be addressed in the final VDOT recommendations.  Providing safe, convenient, connected, comfortable east-west Route 1 crossings for people of all ages and abilities and for all modes of transportation is a Livability22202 priority and the most important goal of the Working Group. 

We are pleased that VDOT described that the feasibility study “aims to provide sufficient information to make the best decision on a future project on Route 1 in Crystal City” in the VDOT Public Information Meeting No. 1, December 16, 2020. And we are also pleased that the study will include both an “analysis of existing configuration and analysis of concepts presented in the Crystal City Sector Plan,” along with exploring an at-grade urban boulevard. We are also in agreement that if the study develops an understanding “of potential costs and issues/solutions for constructability and multimodal access,” the Crystal City community and Arlington County will be able to make informed decisions about the future of Route 1.

With these goals in mind, we believe that the formulation of the alternatives for consideration, and the nature of the modeling undertaken to evaluate them will be critical to the outcomes of the study. Issues will include the selection of design concepts for Route 1 as a whole, as well as concepts for individual intersections and cross streets. Assumptions in the study regarding projections for future traffic volumes, peak hour volumes, transit use, and modal splits will also be critical. Because of the importance of the existing conditions data and planning assumptions, it is important that these be shared with the public now, during the early stages of the study formulation, rather than at the end of the study, or worse, not at all. While we are aware that sharing this background information and judgments about the future requires a little more effort from your consultant team up-front, we believe that it will save time overall and build public trust in the results of the study.

The Appendices, which address our concerns and explore some of our ideas, are divided into four broad sections:

  1.  Livability22202 Community Goals and Priorities
  2.  Missing information and Data in the “Existing Conditions” Presentation
  3.  Clarification of VDOT Study Concepts
  4.  Livability22202 Alternative Concepts

Livability22202: Route 1

  1. VDOT Feasibility Study for Route 1: VDOT has been tasked by the State to conduct a feasibility study for Route 1 multimodal connectivity in the vicinity of Crystal City and Pentagon City over the course of the next year, with a report due June 2021. The tasking stems from an MOU between the Commonwealth and Amazon in 2018 to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1.  Two reasons for this study:  1) transportation demand will increase with Amazon and development growth; and 2) the areas to be studied are already heavily developed with limited space for expanding the footprint of the transportation network. The study on Route 1, from approximately 12th Street to 23rd Street South, will explore an at-grade urban boulevard, but also review and compare potential improvements to the current elevated condition, and the elevated urban boulevard described in the Crystal City Sector Plan. Ultimately, the study aims to provide sufficient information to make the best decision on a future project on Route 1 in Crystal City. The first virtual meeting of the project Task Force took place Monday, September 28, and 22202 residents were well represented.  See the website and sign up for updates.

2. Livability Working Group Response: Obviously the VDOT study will have an impact on residents of 22202.  The working group is concerned that the scope of the study is very narrowly limited to the feasibility of bringing Route 1 down to grade, including at 15th and 18th Streets, and is not considering other alternatives. The 2010 Crystal City Sector Plan envisioned “the transformation of the highway into an urban boulevard with wide landscaped usable sidewalks and real building frontages,” but without specifics.   A Livability22202 working group has been studying the issue and conducted a survey of residents (with almost 300 responses) and two community meetings August 26 and September 30.  The results of the survey as well as the presentations from both meetings, including a study done by the National Landing BID, are posted below.  The live recordings of both meetings are posted to the CCCA Facebook page and linked below.  The major community concern is to preserve safety of the pedestrian/bike crossings at 15th and 18th Streets and avoid another bad situation like 23rd Street.  We will be inviting VDOT to a future 22202 community meeting.

September 30 Livability22202 Meeting: You can view the entire 2 hour meeting here. You can see the Working Group presentation here and the BID study presentation here. The results of the Route 1 survey conducted by the Working Group can be seen here. You can also see the referenced links, comments, and questions from the chat room here.

August 26 Livability 22202 Meeting: You can view the meeting here. The presentation is here.