Monday, May 2, 2016

County's Streets, Roads, Trails Too Unsafe for Bicycle and Running Events

Hi, Yupette,

I usually ride my bicycle to work on "Bike to Work Day", but not this year. Arlington's streets, roads, and trails are too badly in need of repaving. The County should reschedule "Bike to Work Day" for sometime in Fall when whatever the repaving is scheduled for this Summer has been accomplished and the potholes and major cracks have been fixed.

It's quite disconcerting that County Government keeps talking about $20 million gondolas and a $40 million swimming pool when the County's streets are such a deplorable condition. My friends in the mobility disabled community are very unhappy about broken sidewalks and crosswalks.

I notice that a number of streets in Lyon Park and Fairlington need repaving and I wonder what community leaders like Erik Gutshall and Libby Garvey are doing about that.

Thanks for your blog.

Nancy Smith

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

County Board Adds Smart Growth Facilitation Boosters

Hey, Yupette,

Thanks for keeping us posted about Chris Zimmerman's Smart Growth America antics. But it gets worse. The County Board just again enlarged the County's Smart Growth Facilitation Team. Arlington now has a Resident Ombudsman and a Director of Public Engagement. Two more VIP bureaucrats who will give you the run-around when you ask them when your crumbling street gets repaved. How much do all the new Deputy County Managers and other County Staff get paid to cater to the wants of the tear-down developers? Know what all these fat cat bureaucrats are? People who are past-due for retirement (like County Manager Schwartz) but are promoted because they're loyal Democrat Smart Growth boosters. Oh, they either don't live in Arlington or live in an Arlington neighborhood that's exempt from Smart Growth. Like the developers they cater to. My taxes keep going up and up. For what? Why don't the developers pay their servants on the County's payroll? Thanks again for this blog.

Robert, 22204

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What Does Erik Gutshall Want for Arlington?

Hi Yupette,

I'm a long time homeowner in Bluemont. I own a modest home that's assessed for $850,000. Not what I expected when I moved here 15 years ago. Why is everything allowed to crumble while my taxes keep increasing?

Who is Erik Gutshall? Another Machine Democrat. Another Chris Zimmerman. Another Jay Fisette. Another Smart Growth fanatic. Another worthless Yuppie. Packing as much density into older residential neighborhoods like mine, while opting his Lyon Park neighborhood out of Smart Growth. Packing Arlington with idiot Millennials. Talks about "leadership" while voting along with the rest of the Planning Commission to rubber stamp every in-fill site plan the developers and the County's so-called "planners" hand him. Owns a company that does housekeeping for the so-called "Creative Class" who haven't cleaned anything since they lived with Mom and Dad, and maybe not then. Someone should ask him if he pays his employees a living wage, which is $25 / hour and-up given the cost of living here.

We don't need another "vibrant" Chris Zimmerman on the County Board who will be a facilitator for Smart Growth America and the out-of-state REITs. Thanks for your blog.

Ted 22203

Monday, April 11, 2016

County Board Allows Demolition of Market Rate Affordable Affordable Apartments

Hi Yupette,

I live in Westover, in one of the few remaining market rate affordable garden apartments in the County that are actually affordable. The guy who owns several garden apartment buildins on 9th Street, 10th Street, 11th Street, and Kensington Street is demolishing the buildings and evicting the elderly, sick, and disabled tenants. The legacy oak trees surrounding the apartment buildings, one of them at least 100 years old, have all been cut down and the roots are being dug up. The tenants who are being and have been evicted are mostly poor and they have few housing options. The County Board has been well aware of the owner's intent to redevelop these properties into expensive townhouses. However the County Board gave the owner the go-ahead early this year and AHC, APAH, VOICE, Arlington Green Party, and the Arlington Democratic Party abided by the County Board's decision.

Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement, who lives on 9th Street, asked the County Board to directly intervene and arrange a sale of the buildings to AHC, but the County Board refused. Same County Board that approves market rate to AHC-owned conversions in complex deals at almost every County Board meeting, often via the Consent Agenda.

The demolition signals the intent of County Government to redevelop Westover into a neighborhood of McMansions, expensive condominium townhouses, and a redeveloped commercial sector of 6-10 story mixed-use buildings, like those in Clarendon.

I am voting for Audrey Clement in November. In 50 years we've gone from a War on Poverty to a War on the Poor. Thanks for your blog.

South Kennilworth Street

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When Will My Crumbling Street Be Repaved?

Hello, Yupette,

Spring arrives in Arlington. One drives around the County dodging potholes and broken pavement. It's worse if you ride a bicycle. When will my crumbling street be repaved?

Maybe this year. The County Board just approved $11.5 million for milling and repaving the worst streets, roads, and trails, those that were allowed to deteriorate to the point where they couldn't be repaired by slurry coating (Consent Agenda Item 13 on March 12th).

Two constructuon companies will do the repaving, Finley in North Arlington and Ft. Meyer in South Arlington.

The bad news is the amount of repaving that can be done for $11.5 million depends on the width of the streets that need repaving. And wide streets like Wilson Boulevard and Washington Boulevard need repaving.

It's also disconcerting to see where the funds for CY 2016 repaving will come from. About $6.4 million will come from a 2014 bond referendum, about $3.8 million will come from carried-over pay-as-you-go funds from FY 15 and FY 16, and about $2.1 million from the yet-to-be-approved FY 17 budget. Which leads me to wonder whether the County's bond rating firms know about the fiscal shenanigans that are being played so the County can maintain its AAA bond rating.

Oh, County also had an item on the March 12th Consent Agenda for a new parking deck for County employees who work at and out-of the Trades Center. About $6.6 million for 155 parking spaces. Do the math.

Thanks for your blog.

Beth, 22205

Monday, March 28, 2016

Stafford-Spotsylvania Development to Create 'Massive Traffic' on HOT Lanes to DC


We became concerned about reports in the Stafford and Sportsylvania news media that current and future development would put thousands more single-ocupant vehicles on I-95 and I-395 every weekday, to the point where HOT lanes in Arlington would be stop-go during morning rush hours. So we asked a neighbor to drive to VDOT's meeting last Thursday in Stafford, which was about extending HOT Lanes 2 miles farther South to 'relieve congestion and improve accessibility'.

It took our neighbor 2 1/2 hours to reach the meeting, via non-HOT lanes, just off Exit 140. Reason for the HOT Lanes extension is so that Stafford County residents who drive to work in DC, at the Pentagon, and elswwhere inside the DC Beltway won't be backed up in traffic for 2 miles exiting the HOT Lanes PM rush hour and backed up for 1/2 mile or more accessing the HOT lanes during AM rush hour. Cost to unhappy SOV drivers is about $15 one-way via EZ-Pass between Stafford and Alexandria, which is driving the 2-mile HOT lanes extension.

Massive development is occurring in Stafford County, mostly to build 'affordable' townhouses. A big selling point for the developers is ease of access to HOT lanes for single-occupant vehicle drivers who work at the Pentagon, in DC, and so on, typically an hour or less to the Pentagon.

Which answers the question - what happened to the middle class that was gentrified out of Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, DC, because of 'Smart Growth'?

It's obvious that HOT lanes in Arlington would be jammed with single-occupant vehicles a short time after they're constructed. It's also obvious that members of the General Assembly know all about what they want to inflict on Arlington, since they often drive to and from Richmond.

But don't believe us. Take a relaxing trip on I-95 to Stafford County some weekday afternoon, after 3 PM, and see for yourselves.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Fairfax County Approves Massive Sports Center for 395 Corridor

Hi Yupette,

As if the single-occupant vehicle traffic isn't going to be bad enough on I-395 from development in Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties, the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals just approved a massive sports and wellness center on industrial property owned by Washington Gas, just off I-395, near Backlick Road and Edsall Road in Springfield.

According to a press release from Fairfax County:  "The 435,000-square-foot (approximately 10 acre) St. James Sport and Wellness Center will have a multipuropse turf field for full-length soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey, and softball; two NHL-regulation-sized ice rinks for hockey, ice skating, curling, basketball/volleyboard courts; batting cages; indoor golf simulators; racquet courts; a gymnastics and dance center; laser tag; and rock climbing walls. It will alnso have a comprehensive health and wellness center.

The St. James Center will be membership-based, but non-members will be able to sign up for programs. It will accommodate 1,240 people plus 900 spectators. In addition to regular sports and fitness activities, the center plans to host special events, such as tournaments, meets, and athletic showcases on weekends.. As part of the approval, the St. James Group will install a bus shelter, 22 bicycle parking spaces, bike lanes on Industrial Drive, and other road improvements."

You can do a Web search on this project and obtain a wealth of details about this project. So the "future" if there is a "future" for those of us who live in the I-395 corridor will be to suffer from massive traffic and massive air pollution from tens of thousands more fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

Thanks for your blog.

Joan, 22206