Posts about Arlington
When the new Rosslyn Metro entrance opened earlier this week, it became the first in what will be an exciting string of big transit projects opening in the DC region. Still to come: Metro, MARC, streetcars, and BRT.
From left to right: Alexandria's BRT, MARC, Silver Line, DC streetcar.
BRT and Metro photos from Alexandria and Fairfax County.
MARC and streetcar photos from BeyondDC.
The next big event will be on December 7, when MARC trains begin running on weekends between DC and Baltimore. MARC's transition from a commuter railroad to a more general-purpose transit system will open up Baltimore and other parts of Maryland like never before.
After that come streetcars. Sometime in late December, or possibly January, DDOT expects to start running streetcars along H Street. Then in February, the Silver Line will open, and begin carrying passengers to Tysons Corner and Wiehle Avenue.
Finally, sometime in the spring of 2014 Alexandria will open its Route 1 transitway, marking the beginning of the first bona fide bus rapid transit line in the region. All together, it's the most exciting time for transit openings in the DC area since the early 1980s, when Metrorail was opening new segments every few months.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
The new entrance combines 3 high-speed elevators with a new track-level mezzanine, complete with more fare gates and a manager kiosk. It expands the passenger capacity of the station, providing room for more passengers to enter and exit more quickly.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
Rosslyn is booming with new buildings, new amenities, and new infrastructure. But what's missing? Better restaurants? A more prominent skyline? More lively public spaces? Planners for Arlington's Realize Rosslyn plan hope you'll tell them at public events today and on Saturday.
Rosslyn has historically been an office-heavy counterpoint to the cultural and entertainment destinations in nearby Georgetown. But with strong growth underway, and even more to come, Rosslyn is beginning to come into its own as a cultural destination itself.
In the past 10 years, hundreds of new condos, apartments, and hotel rooms have opened in Rosslyn, plus hundreds of thousands of square feet of new offices. This coming Monday, the Rosslyn Metro station's new second entrance will open. Artisphere is a great gallery and program space, and events like the Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival and the Rosslyn Jazz Festival provide cultural value and entertainment. Once it opens, the views from Rosslyn's public observation deck will be unmatched in the region.
Yet there is still much to do. The growing number of Rosslyn residents and workers need more and better public spaces. The transportation network must be reconfigured to better serve internal circulation, rather than merely funnel traffic through. And Rosslyn's retail and restaurant offerings need to serve sit-down evening and weekend users as well as they serve fast-casual work day ones.
Realize Rosslyn kicked off in December 2012. Since then, planners have been working to identify issues and outline future alternatives.
Now they're ready to hear back. Planners are hoping to gather feedback at events today and tomorrow. Specifically, Arlington is hoping for guidance on:
- Translating proposed design ideas into an action plan.
- The potential shape of Rosslyn's skyline, and preservation of key view corridors
- Possibilities for a new 18th Street corridor through Rosslyn's core
- Transformation of Fort Myer Drive and Lynn Street into more complete streets
- New destinations for outdoor events, including a re-imagined Gateway Park and an esplanade connecting Rosslyn to the Potomac River
Tomorrow there will be a more organized community workshop in the Artisphere ballroom, at 1101 Wilson Blvd, from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
Today is Park(ing) Day, and all across the US city-dwellers are claiming car parking spaces and temporarily converting them to parks for people.
Instead of using all our street space to store cars, why not use some of it to make our cities nicer places to live? On Park(ing) Day, groups find an on-street parking space, pay the meter to claim it legally, and instead of parking a car, they park seats, tables, plants, or whatever.
Groups are sponsoring parklets all over the DC region today. I visited two near my Arlington office alone.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
Arlington's bike planners are designing a new bike map that will highlight the most comfortable routes, instead of focusing strictly on infrastructure. They want your help, to figure out the most important things to show on the map.
Most bike maps focus on infrastructure, with separate symbols for things like bike lanes, cycletracks, and trails. But another school of thought suggests they should focus on rider comfort, putting more emphasis on mixed-traffic roads with slow-speed car traffic, and doing more to call out things like hills.
To help strike the right map balance and illustrate the right things, planners are asking bike riders in the region to take a short survey. The survey has 13 questions and should take less than 5 minutes to complete.
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.
Arlington will create a pop-up park in Clarendon on land donated by the Korean Embassy, one of several being built in the neighborhood. Now, they want your help deciding what goes in it.
In May, the embassy offered two parcels of vacant land on Clarendon Boulevard between North Adams and North Barton streets to Arlington County rent-free for an initial term of 2 years. The 1/3-acre property is around the corner from the embassy's annex. Arlington can use the property until whenever the embassy or the county decides to cancel the agreement.
The park is just one of many being built during a boom time for park redevelopment and reconstruction in Clarendon. Arlington County's Department of Parks and Department of Environmental Services recently refurbished the plaza at the entrance to the Clarendon Metro station, making it more open and providing moveable seating and covered bike parking. Meanwhile, James Hunter Park, also known as the Clarendon Dog Park, is also being redeveloped.
The park will include a network of paths through the site, different kinds of seating options, like movable tables, chairs, umbrellas and benches, a small lawn area, and a landscape buffer along the north side of the park, where a public alley runs. The county will preserve several shade trees as well and provide site drainage improvements. Since any permanent structure would require further approval from the embassy, the county plans on using recycled materials and landscaping to reduce costs and emphasize the park's temporary nature.
Arlington County also wants your input on what should go in the pop-up park and has set up a website to collect comments. One option is more bocce ball courts, similar to the ones that were installed next to the Ballston Common Mall parking garage. This area is similar to the embassy's parcel because it is oddly shaped and is along a major commercial street.
These pocket parks can have a big impact in dense areas by providing immediate relief to nearby residents and other individuals when larger, open parks aren't as accessible. They are also a great way to use small, awkward spaces. Because of their size, they can look busier than a bigger park, making it easier to activate street life.
- It's fine to not build parking at Tysons Metro stations
- Arlington considers using fees to reduce parking
- Sexist Metro ad asks "Can't we just talk about shoes?"
- Downtown & Georgia Avenue Walmarts open for business
- Are our sports spaces serving all genders?
- Rural Virginia leads eastern US in cars per household
- Good design, lots of parking at Wheaton's tallest building