2003 October

Next Civic Association Meeting

Tuesday, October 28, 7:30 pm

The The Rock Spring Civic Association will meet on Tuesday, October 28, at 7:30 pm in room 227 (the music room) at Williamsburg Middle School, 3600 N. Harrison Street.


The following candiates have been invited to speak briefly ( D = Democrat; R = Republican, I = Independent):
  • Virginia Senate: Kamal Nawash (R) and Mary Margaret Whipple (D)
  • Virginia House of Delegates: Robert Brink (D) and Steve Sass (R)
  • Arlington County Board: Paul Ferguson (D), Richard Kelsey (R), Sarah Summerville (I), and Walter Tejada (D)
  • Arlington School Board: Larry Fishtahler (I) and David Foster (I)
  • Arlington Commissioner of Revenue: Ingrid Morroy (D) and Tim Russo (R)
  • Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney: Richard Trodden (D)
  • Arlington County Sheriff: Elizabeth "Beth" Arthur (D)
  • Arlington County Treasurer: Francis X. O'Leary (D)
Reports on other issues

Bike Lanes in Arlington

As you probably have noticed, Arlington County has been striping bicycle lanes on many streets in our neighborhood. In July 2001 the County Board adopted an amendment to the Bicycle Transportation Plan that called for the establishment of bike lanes on 23 miles of County streets. A subsequent amendment added two more miles of streets where bike lanes are recommended. All streets designated for bike lanes within the Rock Spring neighborhood have been striped, except for Old Dominion Drive.

A bike lane is defined as a portion of a roadway that has been designated by striping, signing, and/or pavement markings for the preferential or exclusive use of bicycles. Vehicles are not allowed to drive in a bike lane but may cross it to enter a driveway or designated curbside parking area. At intersections, vehicles planning to turn right should merge across the bike lane before reaching the intersection and then turn right. If you have questions about bike lanes or bicycling in Arlington, please contact Charlie Denney, Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Manager, at cdenney@co.arlington.va.us or 703/228-3633. 

Neighborhood School Construction Updates

Jamestown  The $4.7 million renovation project began in March 2003 and is scheduled to be completed in May 2004. The work includes a new classroom addition, a new art/music addition, a new administrative suite, and renovations to the existing building. During the 2003 summer break, work was done on upgrading existing facilities including bathrooms, floors, sprinkler systems, and ceiling conduit and piping for future connections to the new additions. This work could not be done while school was in session. Work is under way on the new administrative suite, and it is scheduled to be available for use by the second week in November. Foundation work is also under way on the new additions. Due to the soil conditions under the art/music wing, a specialized foundation system using crushed-stone piers is being installed. This system should be installed by the end of September.

Williamsburg  Construction began in June 2002 on Phase 1 of this two-phase, $2.7 million project. The first phase of the project was a 2,400-square-foot media center renovation and expansion that was completed in January 2003. The second phase of the project is a six-classroom addition, which started after the media center and was completed in September 2003. The classroom addition is constructed to accommodate a second floor in the future, should enrollment needs increase. At this time, all scheduled work has been completed. 

Yorktown  Construction began in June 2003 on the $7.7 million, three-story addition at Yorktown and is scheduled to be completed by August 2004. Along with adding 30 new classrooms, existing space will be renovated to provide new art and kiln facilities and a new vestibule for the gym. In addition, the project includes two new tennis courts, eliminates access to the school from North Greenbrier Street, and incorporates a landscaping plan developed in coordination with community and adjacent property owners. Although the weather has delayed construction activities throughout the region, the addition is still scheduled for occupancy at the start of the 2004 school year.

Rock Spring Road Traffic Calming Project

According to Arlington County transportation planner Susan Finotti, "The final design of the Rock Spring Road extended nub (near Rock Spring Park) is complete. This plan is being routed to staff for signature. Staff expects the construction on this nub to be complete by the end of the year, with the speed cushions and textured crosswalks being installed in spring 2004."

For more information, call Susan Finotti at 703/228-3735 or email her at sfinotti@co.arlington.va.us 

Little Pimmit Run Flood Control

After many delays and two years of investigation by an outside engineering consultant, the project to correct flooding along Little Pimmit Run has finally reached the design stage. 

Partial plans (so-called "35%" drawings) to replace the culverts at Old Dominion Drive and Williamsburg Blvd. plus perform needed channeling work in the creek bed have been completed. By mid October, the Arlington County Department of Public Works hopes to begin going door-to-door to discuss these plans with individual homeowners who live along the creek and to secure construction access easements from them. This process could take as little as one month or stretch out for several months, depending on the owners' availability and cooperation. Final design work will be going on simultaneously, so construction potentially could begin 2 ½ months after the access permits to work on owners' properties have been obtained. 

Estimates of the actual construction time for each of the three work segments are premature at this point, but county engineers expect the project will spread over a full year once construction gets under way. 

For more information, call Carl Cunningham, 703/237-8950.

Clear Walking

Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to meet neighbors, stay in shape, and control our weight. But sometimes it's difficult-if not dangerous-to walk because of overgrown shrubs and low-hanging tree limbs. Look around and see if you or your neighbors have any limbs that might be an obstacle to walkers or for that matter that might block your sight as you back your vehicle from your driveway. Remember to check again in late spring after the usual spurt in new growth.

With winter just around the corner, be prepared to clear the walkways of snow and ice as soon as possible. The number of pedestrians may be less than in warmer weather, but some can get around only by walking, especially children going to school and the mail carriers.

Sidewalks on Old Dominion Drive

The Old Dominion Drive sidewalk/curb/gutter project is slowly moving forward. Arlington County Department of Public Works (DPW) engineering plans are close to 100% complete, and DPW is in the process of obtaining easements from affected property owners. This is a big project that extends from Lee Highway almost to the Fairfax County line. Construction is expected to begin next summer.

For more information, call planner Rich Viola, Arlington County Department of Public Works, at 703/228-3699.

Albemarle Street Traffic Calming

The first neighborhood meeting of the Albemarle Traffic Calming Committee was held in November of 2000, and the Arlington County Board approved the preliminary Neighborhood Traffic Calming Committee (NTCC) plan for traffic calming on North Albemarle in May 2001. The finishing touches on the traffic calming changes were completed August 28, 2003. 

Albemarle Street looks great, with three attractive new moderately raised speed humps (starting at the McLean border). The street also sports new faux brick crosswalks. On schools days, safety patrols monitor the crossing at Albemarle and Delaware. Residents of the neighborhood around Albemarle are very pleased with the results and believe the changes were effective. People who live on or back up to Albemarle are convinced that the volume of traffic has lessened and that speeding has diminished. 

The Albemarle traffic calming committee truly appreciates the efforts of county transportation planner Susan Finotti and the rest of the county staff in making this project happen. The time frame for the project fit within the county's experience of traffic calming plans ranging from two to three years from initiation to completion. 

RSCA Needs Your Help!

Did you know that, on the average, only 10% of the households in the Rock Spring Civic Association's geographical boundaries contribute dues each year? And yet, ALL the households within the RSCA benefit from the work of the relatively few volunteers who sit on the association's board and otherwise work very hard-on their own time-to effect the association's purposes. The RSCA works with the County and other government organizations to protect wetlands, promote flood control, beautify public property, calm traffic, promote and oversee school construction/renovation projects, etc. In addition, the Rock Spring Civic Association sponsors candidate nights for local and state elections. We need your help and financial support! A mere $10 contribution per family pays for this newsletter and also helps support the other activities of the association. Please help us (and yourself!) by contributing dues payments.

Annual dues of $10 cover the cost of printing and mailing The Rock Springer to all 1,100 households in our civic association. Help us continue to keep everyone informed about neighborhood issues. Send your dues to RSCA Treasurer Deirdre Donahue, 4844 Rock Spring Road, 22207, or pay them at any RSCA meeting. Thanks!