Arlington Heights Civic Association
October 7, 2005
The Honorable Jay Fisette
Chairman, Arlington County Board
2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201
Dear Mr. Fisette,
At its July 19, 2005 meeting, the Arlington Heights Civic Association unanimously passed two resolutions requesting County action on issues related to the public outdoor space at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. The first resolution requested that the County install lights on the track at the north side of TJ's athletic field and extend those lights on the footbridge that crosses Arlington Blvd. At issue is the walking track which circles TJ’s athletic fields. There was a strong feeling from those who use the track that it is unsafe because of the poor lighting. One young female resident spoke of being accosted by men hanging out on that portion of the track and feeling extremely threatened. At times there has also been a great deal of broken glass back in that area. Many of our neighbors use this track both in the early morning and evening periods to get exercise and stay healthy, but many more are frightened away by the complete lack of lighting and the safety concerns that it causes. We therefore request that the county take action to add lighting to the track so that this public fitness resource can be taken advantage of by more residents.
The second resolution we unanimously passed requested that the County examine the health and environmental impact of the particulate matter of the bluestone soccer field at TJ on the users of the soccer field and the residents whose homes surround the soccer field. A resident who plays soccer almost daily on that field said that he has serious concerns over his health and what the particulate matter and dust of the bluestone might be doing to the health of the players on the field and the people who live around the field. Over all the residents around the field have consistently expressed concern about the serious problem with the current field because of excessive particular matter, dirt and dust that is being thrown or blown into the air. Particularly on dry, windy days you can see a dense cloud of dust at a great distance from the field. When near the field on such a day, the dust has a noticeable effect on breathing. We therefore request that the County study these effects and make necessary changes in order to correct or mitigate any negative health effects that this field causes.
President, Arlington Heights Civic Association