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: [email protected].
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!
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update June 23, 2021: The 3 civic associations sent a letter June 23 prepared by the Schools Working Group to the County Board voicing support for the Board’s attention to development of a plan for the creation of more K-12 seats in 22202. It calls for the County to conduct focused engagement with APS with the near-term aim of siting an elementary school within walkable distance of a significant percentage of children in 22202. It calls for a long-term plan in next year’s CIP to address capacity issues at Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School, through construction of existing facilities or new and innovative solutions leveraging partnerships with industry and commercial real estate developers. This follows on the following April 21, 2021, letter to APS and the Superintendent of Schools.
Update April 21, 2021: The 3 civic associations sent a letter April 21 to the Superintendent of Schools and School Board members, with copies to the County Board members, identifying our concerns regarding school capital improvement projects for the upcoming FY2022 APS CIP. This letter reiterates concerns that the 22202 Civic Associations have been voicing for several years to the County and to local developers. The need for school seats at all levels is critical as South Arlington, and particularly National Landing, continue to see new development and increased residential units being built. Our elementary, middle and high school are already near or over capacity and face substantial seat deficits in the next five years if nothing is done to increase capacity. APS must begin the process of planning for a new elementary school in 22202, and start developing creative solutions to solve the capacity issues at Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School.
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 Facebookpage 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.
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings: We’re in a period of many virtual meetings that will affect our community. Plus we have 6 Livability 22202 working groups started which are actively working. This is why a) we aren’t holding CCCA meetings; and b) this newsletter is late. We try to post regularly on our CCCA Facebook page and as often as possible on our CCCA and Livability22202 websites. This Newsletter covers many of them—read this carefully. Stay tuned for updates. We really need volunteers for a number of issues—please consider getting involved.
1. Community Outreach and Feedback: With so much going on that can affect the lives of all residents in Crystal City, not to mention all of 22202, keeping you all informed and getting your input is increasingly critical. Its not enough to have a few people representing some 10,000 or more in the County’s SPRC development process. Or a larger group of volunteers participating in the (now) 6 working groups of Livability 2220. We really need to hear from residents who don’t have time to get actively involved. With so many Livability and community engagement meetings, we haven’t even tried to organize a CCCA virtual meeting. We may be going out with some surveys in the near future, but they need to be based on information we have provided, or will provide. We absolutely want your input to appropriately represent you.
2. Schedule of Upcoming Meetings (known so far): October 6: Clark Construction Conversation on MetPark Phases 6/7/8, 7 pm October 7: Crystal City Parks Final Community Engagement, 7 pm October 14: Livability22202 Workshop on the Future of the Underground, 7 pm October 19: LRPC #2 on Block M (Crystal Plaza block) November 3: General Elections November 10/11/12/16 (TBD): CCCA Annual Meeting (including elections of officers for 2020-2022) TBD: Planning Commission and Board meetings for 101 S. 12th Street site plan TBD: Community meeting on JBG site plan amendment proposals for the Water Park
As you may have heard, a study will kick off soon to change Route 1 north of 23rd Street. The proposal is to drop Route 1 to grade, eliminating the 15th and 18th Street underpasses. This is just a study and no decisions have been made.
On August 26, the three zip code 22202 civic associations–Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge, and Crystal City–hosted a web meeting on a study to bring portions of Route 1 down to grade. The meeting was recorded so those who didn’t participate can watch it, and it is posted on the Crystal City Civic Association Facebook page and Google Drive. The meeting begins at 5:40 minutes, so jump ahead to that point. It will eventually be posted on the Livability22202 website as well, along with the slideshow which can be seen on Google Drive.
Part of the presentation was to introduce a survey to better understand how you may cross Route 1. Please take the survey so we have the best understanding of the community thoughts. The survey is at https://forms.gle/YDuHtYQs8n4LrVxJ6 and will be available until September 10. This is our way of doing community outreach as broadly as possible. If you missed the meeting, you might wish to view it on the Facebook page before responding to the survey since a lot of information was shared during the meeting which might address your questions or concerns.
Finally, a reminder that our next meeting will be on September 30. We have invited the National Landing BID to share a study that they have prepared on ideas for Route 1, and we will also share with you the analysis of the survey we are currently conducting. It is possible that VDOT will have launched its own website by that time about the VDOT Feasibility Study they will conduct this year. We are told that the County will ensure that VDOT utilizes the Pentagon City transportation data to inform the Route 1 analysis: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/pentagon-city-planning-study/pentagon-city-planning-study-transportation-analysis/
There are a lot of other meetings coming up in September of interest to the community. If you’re not already a member, or attuned to, one of the 3 civic associations, this would be the time to join and find out what’s going on.