Friday, May 20, 2016
Well, I'm sorry but I'm not going to drive to work or bike to work on Arlington's Bike to Work Day, May 20th.
Too many of Arlington's streets and roads need repaving and are too dangerous to ride bicycles on.
Too many of Arlington's bicyclists engage in various forms of reckless behavior.
Nothing said about bicycle safety by County Government, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington Police, CivFed, Local Media.
I'm staying home and doing Spring Housecleaning while the weather is still cool. Keeping in touch with my colleagues at work via e-mail. You should too.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
A.Y. contributors attended last evening's County Board Candidate Forum, sponsored by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Event was held at the Rosslyn Hyatt and moderated by Scott Brodbeck, who publishes the ArlNow blog.
The clear winner was Independent candidate Audrey Clement, the only candidate who articulated what she would specifically do when elected to County Board, attend to basic public infrastructure first, provide immediate tax relief, preserve existing affordable housing by having the County directly intervene to save affordable apartment buildings like those being demolished in Westover.
County Board Chair Libby Garvey essentially asked for another 4 years on the County Board to "get it right this time". Whatever problems occurred in the past were the fault of the previous County Board majority (Tejada, Hynes and Fisette). As an example of what the County Board is doing right, Libby pointed to last Saturday's County Board meeting when, after hours of discussion, the County Board approved a driveway rather than a grassy pervious surface for Stratford School. In fact, the County Board caved to pressure from upscale well-organized SUV soccer parents who want to drive their kids to and from Stratford.
The other Democratic candidate, Erik Gutshall, was positively scary with his prescriptions for fixing the "missing middle" between single family homes and high rise apartments and condos. These consist of tearing down existing single-family homes along arterials (including Westover Village) and replacing them with in-fill condominiums and apartment buildings on small parcels of land. He also encourages the "repurposing" of single family homes into boarding houses. Like his supporters, Chris Zimmerman, Paulie Ferguson, and others who live in exclusive neighborhoods, Erik's own Lyon Park neighborhood is off-limits to missing middle re-purposing.
We looked for a report about the forum in ArlNow this morning and were surprised when we didn't see one. Maybe it's just as well, because at least a hundred nasty comments would have also appeared about Audrey.
Monday, May 16, 2016
I live in the Westover area and sometimes help a mobility-disabled friend who lives in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor get around Arlington. Yesterday, for the first time in several years, we attended Taste of Arlington on Wilson Boulevard.
We arrived at 3 PM and to say the event was crowded would be an understatement. Wilson Boulevard was almost impassable. The event was overcrowded to the point where, if we stayed, we would have had to wait in line up an hour to purchase a small plate of what was essentially bar food. We weren't interested in drinking beer. My friend could hardly make progress down Wilson Boulevard on her mobility scooter. Families with small children and strollers had the same problem. Wilson Boulevard and Quincy Street need repaving. Sidewalks need to be repaired in many places. About 30 uniformed police and firefighters were standing around watching everyone. We gave $40 worth of food and drink tickets to a family with young kids that was standing in front of NSF deciding whether to stay or leave. Then we left.
Obviously, Taste of Arlington was meant for Millennials - thousands of young women dressed in tight clothing (many of them obese) and thousands of young men who looked like they slept in their clothing.
Please don't believe what you may read in the ArlNow blog and the PR from the Ballston BID about Taste of Arlington. The event was a mess, meant for Millennials, and I wonder how many of them had a good time, given the overcrowding.