Friday, August 28, 2015

Mary 'Safety Last' Hynes Should be a PAL - Retire Now from WMATA Board

Hey, Yupette:

I am tired of hearing sanctimonious sermons from Mary Hynes about Metrorail. What's happened to Metrorail during the five years she's been on the WMATA Board? More derailments, more accidents, more problems. Decades of dirt, rust, grease coated everything in the Metrorail the point power sources to the trains shorted out and caused fires. Every month another significant problem is discovered.

It gets worse. Mary's brought her 'safety last' mindset to Arlington via her service on the County Board. What kind of stupid safety slogan is "Be a PAL"?  We are risking our lives walking on the sidewalks in Shirlington Village, Westover, Clarendon, Rosslyn, etc. Why? Because Mary and the others with the authority to put a comprehensive multi-modal safety program in place, including enforcement, instead trade free range behavior by Bikeshare, Bike Arlington, and the other bikster bozos for votes.

Four months remain in Mary's term on the County Board. Time for her retire now from the WMATA Board.

Thanks for this blog.

Roger, 22205

Monday, August 24, 2015

Arlington Police Are Completely Reactive - Who Will They Chase Next?

Hey Yupette,

I was talking to a friend who's employed by and will retire from the Arlington Police Department in the near future. In the event you haven't heard by now, the Arlington Police Department is 100% reactive and only responds to anything when there's a report or complaint. There are a few exceptions like special events and providing security for bars, restaurants, and malls. And putting entire groups under surveillance for any reason or no reason. Latest group is Millennial males carrying backpacks. So don't expect any 'community policing' from ACPD anytime soon. This is the last week before summer interns go back to school and if  I were between 17 and 25 I would not venture into the pub crawl zones this weekend, especially after Midnight. Thanks for your blog.

Mark - 22201

Sunday, August 16, 2015

APS Planning Is Inadequate for Arlington's Projected Population Growth

Hey Yupette,

I watched the School Board meeting last Thursday and saw APS's Planning Guru John Chadwick's, AFSAP (Arlington Facitities and Student Accommodation Plan 2016-25) presentation. It's on the Web site under the August 13th meeting agenda.

What a bunch of ad hoc planning and wishful thinking. Everyone in County Government knows the County is dedicated to massive population growth and urbanization over the next 25 years. We are talking about at least 20,000 more pre-K through 12 students among a projected population increase of 66,000.

The Taj Mahal high schools that were just completed (Wakefield and Yorktown) will soon have additions. More trailer classrooms were installed over the Summer. Any additions to existing schools (e.g., Abingdon) will be at capacity when the additions are completed. APS will have to build a new school on the TJ Middle School campus and build large additions to the elementary schools near TJ.

So much for vibrant New Urbanism which has made Arlington into an expensive mess, with much worse in store for us in the future. I don't even want to think about how much our taxes will increase over the next 10 years.

Thanks for your blog.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Free Range Special Interests Persuading Jay Fisette Not to Retire from the County Board

Hey, Yupette,

As most Democrats who are active in the Arlington Democratic Party know by now, Jay Fisette decided to retire from the County Board next year after thinking it over for almost a year. But a dozen free range special interest groups that Jay not only helped but empowered over the last two decades don't want him to step down from the County Board. They range from LGBT advocacy groups, to bicyclists, to dog owners, to performing arts groups, to soccer parents. Over the years Jay's become the go-to guy for expensive gimmes for his special interests. Like a $1.5 million doggie spa, a $20 million bailout for the Signature Theater, and a $50 million aquatics center that's still under discussion. If it's hard to persuade the County Government to fund your vanity project with Jay on the County Board how's it going to happen with Jay off the County Board? Meanwhile, Democratic insiders report that Jay is unhappy about how much APS is taking from revenue that could be spent on sports, entertainment, and recreation. Stay tuned to see what occurs after this year's elections.

Barbara, 22201

Monday, August 3, 2015

Reeves Farmhouse Likely to Become an Upscale Home with Home Office


Details of the Reevesland deal began to emerge at last Wednesday's Reeves Farmhouse Open House meeting, held in the County Board Room.

A large pipestem lot will be created and the present driveway will be widened to Manchester Street at the County's expense. The County will permit the future owner to add an addition to the farmhouse. The structure will be zoned R-6. The zoning will allow for a realtor's, consultant's, or other professional home office with 2 1/2 outdoor parking spaces.

The present garage will be torn down and other improvements made to to the site at County's expense before the sale, using the $410,000 left over from the funds that were supposed to be used for fixing up the farmhouse.

Other of the left-over $410,000 funds will be used to make the milk cooling shed into a historic exhibit and for future "community amenities" like playground equipment.

The Reevesland site improvement proposals will go to the Historic and Landmarks Review Board's Design Review Committee for evaluation on August 5th and to the full HALRB for a public hearing on August 19th.

Planning Commission and County Board will vote on the pre-sale site improvements in September.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Arlington Planners to Penny Gross - 'Don't Clarendon Our Exclusive Neighborhoods'

Hey, Yupette,

Your blog's commenters are 110% correct about Arlington County's 'Planning' being a huge charade run by New Urbanist Cult members who live in Fairfax County. But don't believe me, just drive 5 miles up Columbia Pike from the Arlington border and you will see the pleasant suburban lifestyle of the Super Nimbys who are inflicting Supersized Smart Growth on Arlington.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross was given a loud and clear message in the form of facing a challenger in a Democratic Primary this year, the first in many years - 'Don't you dare Clarendon our exclusive neighborhoods'.

So it's going to be years before Mason District catches up to the Pike in Arlington County. Arlington's Senior Planners and the Developers, Architects, Consultants, Lawyers, etc. who work with them want nothing to do with Smart Growth, apart from work and attending Cult functions.


Friday, July 10, 2015

County Board to Double Down on 'Smart Growth'

Hi, Yupette,

I checked out the recent work sessions for the Second Generation "Smart Growth" redevelopment of Rosslyn and Courthouse. Rosslyn Sector Plan is going to the County Board for approval on July 22nd. Rosslyn and Courthouse will be luxury enclaves and affordable housing that's affordable for the people who will clean office buildings and wait tables in upscale restaurants will be miles away from Rosslyn, if any is available at all in Arlington.

New Urbanists have set a population goal of 283,000 Arlington residents by 2040, up from 217,000 today, which means Arlington's population would increase by about 2,600 per year, Building heights for most new office buildings will be at least 300 feet (or more if the FAA will go along with the developers' demands) and the buildings, with the usual ground floor mixed-use restaurants and retail will surround larger plazas which will be as densely populated as the small first generation mixed use so-called "open space" plazas because the surrounding buildings will be much taller. As for sports and outdoor recreation, Rosslyn and Courthouse are about built-out. Existing neighborhood parks will increasingly be repurposed into dedicated upscale playgrounds. The next generation of "complete streets" will use residential and commercial streets as "open space" for various events, and for activity and recreation space.

As for the "car free diet," redeveloped Courthouse and Rosslyn will see more parking for more motor vehicles and  bicycles. Bicycles will actively compete with motor vehicles for street space and with pedestrians for sidewalk space.

Bottom line - Arlington in 2040 is going to be an expensive urban mess.