A good turnout and a full agenda provided an opportunity for lively discussion and exchange of ideas at the October 19 quarterly meeting of the Arlington Heights Civic Association (AHCA).
Transportation Committee member Karl Schwartz summarized the committee’s meeting with Arlington County Public Works Planner Richard Best and a follow-up letter. (See contents of the letter later in this issue.) This letter identifies priority concerns and requests traffic data collection by the County and increased police monitoring speeding within the neighborhood. Karl also announced that construction of left-turn lanes at the Columbia Pike and Glebe Road intersection is scheduled to begin in June 2000.
Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) representative Jim Gill described several proposed street lighting projects which were requested by neighbors and which had received the appropriate number of signatures on the NCAC petition form. He also described other activities under development by Arlington Heights representatives, including Carlyle-type street lights, curbs and gutters along Route 50; lighting footpaths servicing Garfield and Fenwick Streets; and a curb, gutter and sidewalk project on Highland Street. In addition, he noted that work is scheduled to begin in January to fix the street water drainage problem along 6th St. S., between S. Irving and S. Glebe. Jim also explained that the County has decided to no longer charge property-owner cost-sharing assessments for curb, gutter and sidewalk installations.
Neighbors attending the meeting unanimously approved the list of proposed street lighting projects and the priority ranking of the projects. The list now goes to NCAC for consideration.
Police Presentation - Captain Steve Holl, Commander of the Third District of the Arlington County Police Department, accompanied by three officers, spoke on common sense approaches to reducing the threat of burglaries. He was invited to the meeting in response to two recent larcenies in our neighborhood. He stressed the importance of keeping ground-floor doors and windows locked at all times, and he said most burglaries occur during daytime hours when homes are unoccupied. Residents discussed the desirability of crossing guards at 2nd St. S. and Glebe Rd. and whether the Police Chief ought to deputize residents interested in serving such roles. AHCA President Jay Jacob Wind was asked by those attending to write to the Police Chief suggesting he consider the role of such citizen-deputies.
Opening of Harris Teeter - Mr. Ronnie Cash, general manager of the Harris Teeter supermarket at N. Glebe and Quincy Streets, announced the opening of his store in November. The store will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Other Business - Rosie Haltigan expressed concern about persistent problems with traffic making erroneous turns on to the one-way 1st Rd. S. from S. Glebe and the need for the County to be more responsive to requests for improvements to the steep crown in the road. Those attending the meeting directed the president to write a letter to the appropriate County staff requesting (1) the mitigation of the excessively steep crown in the road; (2) the County move the sign directing motorists to Route 50 eastbound from its current location before 1st Rd. S. to after 1st Rd. S., since that sign appears to cause much of the wrong-way traffic; and (3) the County identify who has responsibility for maintaining the integrity and appearance of brick median strips in streets such as Glebe Rd.
Related to that corner, Jay Wind brought to the meeting a schematic showing a proposed expansion of the on-ramp to Route 50 (eastbound)from northbound Glebe Rd. This work is scheduled to be done in 2002. He said the VDOT plan does not require the taking of private property.
AHCA First Vice President Mary Ellen Finn announced that the landscaping of the park at S. Irving and 9th St. S. is proceeding.
Finally, John Morrill noted that election of association
officers is due to occur in January 2000, and he encouraged residents to
become active in leadership roles with AHCA. Jay Wind appointed Joan
Gill to the nominating committee.
Thank you for doing a SUPER job this year. I have a lot to be thankful for:
A reliable, diligent executive committee
--Joan Gill, newsletter editor extraordinaire
--Mary Ellen Finn, first VP and chief AHCA visionary
--Wyatt Weber, second VP and membership booster
--John Morrill, secretary, who always has the minutes ready within 48 hours of any meeting
--Bryan Sieling, treasurer, who watched us grow this year to 105 household memberships, and traffic committee chair
--Jim Gill, who “retired” as AHCA president to head up our neighborhood conservation efforts, which looks to me like a net GAIN in level of effort
--Monique O’Grady, social chair, who treated us to “Winnie the Pooh” and then scared the dickens out of us with “Dracula” and “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” at Halloween
And I’m thankful to Arlington County employees
--Edward Byrd, for patching the potholes at “Lake Irving”
--Bill Boyce, for taking a hard look at 1st Road S. and admitting that, yes, there is a problem
--Reggie Nixon, for keeping us informed every step of the way about Dittmar’s construction plans at 5th and Glebe
--Dennis Johnson, for working with us to salvage 7th St. after E-Spire’s depredations
--Lisa Grandle, Chris Munson, Mark Schnieder and Eric Beach for working with us to redesign “South Park” and rename it “Arlington Heights Park” (someday soon)
--Richard Best, who will help us calm our frantic traffic and make our intersections safer
--Steve Holl, our Area 3 police commander, who supports our efforts to add crossing guards at Thomas Jefferson Middle School
--Chris Nixon and Robert Collins who work with us to bring neighborhood conservation and improvements to our community
And I’m thankful to our sponsors
--Mike Webb for our Arlington County Neighborhood Day movie extravaganza
--Judi Finney, the pumpkin lady, for sponsoring our t-shirt and sweatshirt sale
And I’m thankful for our colleagues and associates who have worked with us this year
-- Sharon Monde, principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School
-- Cintia Johnson, principal at Patrick Henry
-- Rabbi Marvin Bash and Presidents Rodney Sampson, Stuart Weiss, and Jerry Jacobs at Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation
-- Reid Goldstein, who was surprised to become the president of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization
-- Melinda Adams, Pat McDevitt and Tom Greenfield of Penrose Civic Association, across Walter Reed Drive
-- Jerry Gideon and Lander Allin of Alcova Heights Citizens Association, across Glebe Road
-- James Powell, Jennie Davis and Henry Dunbar of Columbia Heights, Nauck and Douglas Park Civic Associations
And I’m thankful for the American Beauty of the red roses, silver maples and purple chrysanthemums throughout our neighborhood.
My family and I wish all of you the very best in the New Year. May Y2K be a blessing to all of you!
Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!
-- Jay Wind
On November 17, the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) Board members were briefed by AHC, Inc. on a proposed plan to build a 7-story affordable housing, all-rental unit on Columbia Pike. AHC, Inc., a private, non-profit developer and manager of low and moderate income housing, proposes to build on the site directly behind the Crestar Bank Building on Columbia Pike (approximately the intersection of S. Highland St. and Columbia Pike). Currently, AHC, Inc. is in the “due diligence” stage, which means that they are gathering information and moving toward signing a contract to buy the land in January. The proposal includes 30 one-bedroom units, 24 two-bedroom units, and 6 three-bedroom units. The first floor would provide short-term or temporary housing. Following a presentation by AHC, Inc. on Wednesday, November 18, CPRO Board Members discussed the potential impact on redevelopment efforts on Columbia Pike and on the surrounding neighborhoods, especially the impact on schools and traffic. CPRO also heard from concerned citizens in neighborhoods along the Pike, including several from the Arlington Heights neighborhood.
CPRO Board Members voted to adopt the following position:
“CPRO and the County are about to embark on a major new planning initiative
for the Pike, which will examine a variety of needs, including housing.
To approve the AHC proposal now, before the 2000 planning initiative is
even underway, would short-circuit the planning process and potentially
lock in a development that may be neither appropriate from a planning perspective
nor desired by adjacent neighborhoods. The fragile renaissance now
underway along the Pike could well be jeopardized by the AHC proposal.”
It’s time to renew your AHCA membership. If
you’re not already a member, now is a great time to join. See the
insert in the December issue of Over the Fence for more information on
the activities of AHCA and for a membership form. Support your civic
Election of AHCA officers will take place during the January 18 meeting. If you have an interest in becoming involved in our civic association, in serving as an officer, or in simply learning more about our activities, call Joan Gill at 685-1760.
The Arlington Community Outreach program reaches immigrant and refugee families in our area. Their programs are designed to teach life skills, such as nutrition, language and financial management. Several specific items are needed at this time for their program.
If you have computer “mice” you’d like to pass on, a TV and/or VCR they can use to show video tapes in classes, or a microwave oven for the community center, call Ginger Geoffrey at 703-243-7181.
The community center serves as classrooms, meeting
places and offices for much of the work carried out by the program.
There is also a new class forming for sewing, and sewing machines are needed.
Please call Ginger if you would like to make a donation. She will
pick up donations at your door step.
The following letter, dated October 12, 1999,
was sent by the Arlington Heights Traffic Committee to Richard Best, Arlington
County Department of Public Works.
Dear Mr. Best:
Thank you so much for meeting with the Arlington Heights Traffic Committee on September 28. The meeting was productive, informative and encouraging.
As you suggested, we have listed our primary traffic concerns within Arlington Heights, including specific streets and the observed problem(s) associated with each street. We have used the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Traffic Survey conducted earlier this year, as well as recent problems brought to our attention by our civic association president, as a basis for this letter.
1. STREET: 2nd Street, between Glebe and Fillmore
Problems: safety (Thomas Jefferson Middle School located on 2nd St.; cut-through (primarily to avoid Glebe and Columbia Pike intersection); speeding; high volume of traffic, noise; rush-hour back-up (several blocks) at intersection with Fillmore.
2. STREET: Highland, between 2nd and Columbia Pike
Problems: safety (Patrick Henry Elementary located at 7th and Highland); cut-through -- Highland is a main north-south artery through the neighborhood. With only one stop sign between 2nd and Columbia Pike, the wide, straight street is a speedy neighborhood thoroughfare in both directions; high volume of traffic, noise; speeding.
3. STREET: 7th Street, between Glebe and Walter Reed
Problems: safety (Patrick Henry Elementary located at 7th and Highland); cut-through (primarily to avoid Glebe and Columbia Pike intersection); high volume of traffic, noise; speeding; heavy truck traffic (18-wheelers not uncommon).
4. STREETS: Fenwick, Garfield, Highland, Hudson, between Route 50 and 2nd
Problems: safety (pets killed on Highland); cut-through and speeding in both directions
5. STREET: Irving, between Route 50 and 7th Street
Problems: cut-through; speeding
6. STREET: Fillmore/Walter Reed, between route 50 and Columbia Pike
Problems: safety (Patrick Henry Elementary located nearby); speeding
7. STREET: Garfield-Fenwick-5th, between 2nd and Fillmore
Problem: cut-through and speeding in both directions to avoid light at 2nd and Fillmore (despite posted rush-hour turn restrictions)
8. INTERSECTION: Glebe and Columbia Pike
Problem: Lack of left turn from southbound Glebe to eastbound Columbia Pike creates speeding cut-through traffic through much of Arlington Heights. this is causing serious safety issues with schools located on 2nd (TJ Middle) and at 7th and Highland (Patrick Henry Elementary), popular streets used to avoid the intersection. We know left turns at this intersection are planned for June 2000, but ask the County to consider measures to encourage use of the new left turns and discourage the already well-established cut-through routes.
9 STREET: Service Road adjacent to route 50, between Fenwick and Fillmore
Problem: Motorists traveling eastbound on route 50 exit at Fenwick and take the service road to Fillmore to avoid the light at Route 50 and Fillmore.
10. INTERSECTIONS: Glebe and 2nd, Old Glebe and 2nd
Problem: These busy intersections make it difficult for pedestrians, particularly students at TJ Middle School, to cross these streets.
11. STREET: 1st Road
Problem: Heading northbound on Glebe, the sign for eastbound Route 50 is located just BEFORE 1st Road, causing some motorists to mistake 1st Road for the entrance to Route 50.
We realize this is a long list. However, it reflects the direct observations and experiences of the residents of Arlington Heights and shows that traffic-calming in our neighborhood is sorely needed.
...its homes looking festive, adorned in bright lights;-- (Words by Joan Gill. Reprinted from the December 1996 Over the Fence.)
And families were gathered by the fire’s warm glow,
Awaiting the sight of the first fallen snow.
Happy neighbors were bustling, their arms piled high
With well chosen gifts that were sure to delight,
And mail sacks were stacked, nearly reaching the sky,
While postmen delivered well into the night.
But from the North Pole came a different story.
Santa paced, frowned and fretted; he was weary with worry.
He stroked his white beard and furrowed his brow.
His mind’s full attention on one matter now.
Something was unmistakably missing,
Santa tried to determine just what.
There was plenty of mistletoe hung for kissing
And pretty bows tied with a knot.
Milk, cookies and carrots for strong bones and hooves,
For pulling the sleigh and climbing on roofs.
The elves had assembled the last of the toys,
And lists were compiled of good girls and good boys.
The aroma of gingerbread tickled his nose,
And hot apple cider warmed him down to his toes.
The lights from the tree shone and danced in his eyes;
“But something is missing,” he said through his sighs.
When from fields afar came a sound to his ear,
Amusing and stirring his tine reindeer,
Laughter and music and sleighbells a ‘ringing,
“That’s it!” he exclaimed, “What is missing is singing!”
He called to the elves and to Mrs. Claus, too,
“Let’s gather the carolers; let’s join in on cue.
Now altos, sopranos, now tenors and basses,
To Arlington Heights! We’ll put smiles on their faces!
“On Saturday, at five, the eighteenth of December,
Let’s make it an evening we all shall remember.
Bring candles and mittens and grandmas and kiddies,
And friends and members of all the committees!”
Later that evening as he readied for bed,
Plans having been made, prayers having been said,
Santa chuckled and beamed as he turned out the light,
“It will be a good Christmas; now to all, a good night!”
Don’t miss this chance to enjoy old-fashioned fun with your family and friends! Join your neighbors on Saturday, December 18, for an annual tradition in Arlington Heights -- Christmas caroling through our neighborhood. We’ll meet at 5:00 pm at the TJ parking lot next to the tennis courts, at the intersection of 2nd St. S. and S. Ivy St. All you need to do is dress warmly and bring a flashlight or candle. Musical accompaniment and song sheets will be provided. Afterwards, carolers will be welcomed at the home of Jim and Joan Gill to enjoy coffee, hot chocolate and dessert.
If you would like the carolers to make a special
stop at your home, call 685-1760 and leave a message along with your address.
Dec 7 - Arlington County Civic Federation, Arl Hospital Hazel Conference Center, 1701 N. George Mason Drive
Dec 9 - Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, 7:30 pm, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Conference Room CC-2
Dec 18 -Caroling through Arlington Heights, 5:00 pm, meet in the TJ parking lot next to the tennis courts, at the intersection of 2nd St. S. and S. Ivy St.
Dec 27-31 - “Winnie the Pooh, A Christmas Tale,” The Children’s Theatre performs at TJ Community Theatre, 125 S. Old Glebe Rd. Performance dates and times: Dec 27, 28, 29 and 30 at 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm; and Dec 31 at 1:30 pm
Jan 4 - Arlington County Civic Federation, Arl Hospital Hazel Conference Center, 1701 N. George Mason Drive
Jan 13 - Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, 7:30 pm, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Conference Room CC-2
Jan 18 - AHCA Quarterly Meeting/Annual Election of Officers, 7:30 pm, Career Center, 816 S. Walter Reed Drive
Feb 7 - Arlington County Civic Federation, Arl Hospital Hazel Conference Center, 1701 N. George Mason Drive
Feb 10 - Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, 7:30 pm, 4301
Wilson Blvd., Conference Room CC-2