Residents and Business Working Together for Community Betterment
CITY TASK FORCE PLANS GROUNDBREAKING CONCEPTS TO IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION
Alexandria’s seven-person Transportation Policy and Program Task Force has released its draft “Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan” encouraging alternative modes of ransportation and reducing dependence on the private automobile. The plan’s most detailed section relates to transit solutions and describes three alternative transit corridors within secure rights-of-way dedicated to transit use. One route would extend along Route 1 from Crystal City to south of Alexandria, perhaps as far as Ft. Belvoir; a second along Duke Street from Carlyle/Patent and Trademark Office west past Landmark Mall and possibly as far as Fairfax City; and the third along the western end of the city from Shirlington to Kingstowne.
Other sections of the plan examine alternatives to increase the use of bicycles for short trips and to encourage walking by improving pedestrian access, safety, and convenience. The Task Force did not address street improvements beyond those related to the safe accommodation of all forms of transit. The full report is available on line at:
Or call Director of Transportation Tom Culpepper at 703-838-4966 to request the report on compact disc. The Task Force welcomes your comments; please e-mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRADDOCK METRO PLAN TAKES SMALL STEP FORWARD
Completion of the proposed Braddock Metro Area Plan was set aside last spring after a community meeting raised questions about possible uses of the Metro plaza and redevelopment plans for a portion of the public housing units in the Braddock Metro/Inner City neighborhoods. Subsequently, the City contracted with Kramer and Associates of Annapolis to interview community “stakeholders” on what they would like to see happen in the Braddock neighborhood. Kramer has begun briefing City staff on its findings, and a community meeting to review their report and recommendations is scheduled for September 24, 7 p.m., at Jefferson Houston School on Cameron Street. On behalf of Old Town North, we have requested better pedestrian connections along Madison and Montgomery Streets so that our residents and guests can enjoy a pleasant and safe walk to the Metro.
WHY OLD TOWN NORTH IS SPECIAL
The reasons are numerous, as Christa Watters, resident since 1983, explains in a piece she wrote for one of our local newspapers. “To those of us who live here, Old Town North is one of Alexandria’s prime pieces of real estate,” she says in her article. “Old Town North is a vibrant mix of residential and commercial uses. And there’s only one traffic light between us and DC. For me, the neighborhood is defined by access to the Potomac River, with its broad water vistas, sometimes tranquil, sometimes stormy, always restful to the eye. We have easy access to the Mount Vernon Trail, a pathway for bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and inline skaters. I chose to move here … because it’s city life on a livable scale. Old Town North is dense, but also blessed with access to parks, including Oronoco Bay, Montgomery Park (with tennis courts, a gazebo, a playground, and dog run), the long parkland strip along the bike path, and other pockets of greenery. Citizens led a successful joint tree-planting effort with the City in the 1990s to improve the tree canopy.”
We couldn’t agree more! And let’s not forget Old Town North also offers a dozen wonderful restaurants, a variety of specialty shops, two grocery stores, festivals and events in our parks, and an easy walk to King Street’s attractions.
DRY SUMMER PUTS TREES AT RISK
Many trees in our community didn’t survive the summer drought — particularly the youngest trees, including those planted in Montgomery Park earlier this year. With our focus on maintaining and improving this neighborhood park, we are working with the City’s Recreation and Parks staff to replace the dead trees, still under warranty, and implement a better watering schedule. Fortunately, Oronoco Bay Park is watered by sprinklers and has been able to withstand the dry days.
A number of trees lining our streets have also been affected. If you can reach a street tree by hose from your house, please try to water it. Otherwise, no one else will, and we risk losing a portion of our green canopy.
CITY’S CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS BUDGET COULD FACE LEAN YEAR
The real estate slowdown and resulting decrease in the growth rate in property values means that even in relatively well-off Alexandria, City officials will have less funding available for needed capital improvements. In Old Town North, this could impact our plans for rebuilding the sunken, roller-coaster segments of Montgomery and Madison Streets, continued improvements in Montgomery Park, more landscaping, and improvements to the tennis courts. As City Council discusses needs throughout the City at work sessions in October, we will be monitoring the status of our neighborhood projects.
- Justin Wilson, Del Ray resident and Amtrak employee, was elected to fill the City Council seat vacated by Andrew MacDonald. Mr. Wilson is a strong proponent of mass transit.
- 3PT Personal Training Studio has relocated from its former St. Asaph location to 809 North Royal Street. Thinking about getting shape? Check out their Web site at www.3pt.biz or call 703-549-0083.
- Shop ’til you drop in Alexandria’s unique retail establishments, galleries, and eateries — and you’ll be helping convince developers to include space for even more small shops in our area. So please patronize our local merchants and service providers in Old Town North, on King Street, and in the West End — and don’t forget First Thursdays on Mt. Vernon Avenue, when shops are open until 9 p.m. and local performers provide live music!
- WORLD WATER MONITORING DAY 2007
Tues., Sept. 18, 10 a.m. to Noon, Oronoco Bay Park
This international education and outreach event invites the public to help protect the world’s water resources by monitoring local water bodies. RSVP by September 12 to email@example.com or call 703-535-5264. More information: www.worldwatermonitoringday.org.
- OTNCP BOARD MEETING
Thurs., Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., MRE Properties, 300 Montgomery Street, 2nd Floor
- ALEXANDRIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Sept. 27-30, Patent and Trademark Office
For more information, call 703-838-6348 or visit www.alexandriacommissionforthearts.org.
- 66TH ANNUAL TOUR OF HISTORIC ALEXANDRIA HOMES
Sat., Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Proceeds benefit Inova Alexandria Hospital. Call 703-683-5544 or visit www.thetwig.org for more information.
- PERSONAL PROPERTY TAXES (“CAR TAX”) DUE
Fri., Oct. 5
- ANIMAL WELFARE LEAGUE OF ALEXANDRIA ANNUAL DINNER & SILENT AUCTION
Sat., Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m., First Street Holiday Inn
Tickets $75, invitations to be mailed in September. To donate an item for the auction or advertise in the program, contact Diann Hohenthaner at 703-838-4774, ext. 216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PAWS FOR THE PARK — COMING IN NOVEMBER!
Watch for details in our next issue about a fun doggie event to raise funds for Montgomery Park improvements.
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E-mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your comments to: OTNCP, c/o Montgomery Center, 300 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314