Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Take this Survey to Help Improve Safety along the Avenue

Take this Survey to Help Improve Safety along the Avenue

The City of Alexandria is implementing the Mount Vernon Complete Streets project to address recent traffic deaths and serious injuries along the Avenue, as well as safety and accessibility concerns raised by the community through the Arlandria Action Plan, Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan Update, and subsequent discussions with neighborhood residents and businesses.

Help identify key the safety problems and unsafe locations along Mount Vernon Avenue (from Braddock Road to Four Mile Run), as well as solutions to these problems. Please take the survey and be a part of this effort to make your neighborhood safer and more accessible for all modes!

The survey closes on November 28.

https://survey.alexandriava.gov/s3/MtVernonAveCompleteStreetsProjectSurvey


Project Background

Mount Vernon Avenue is the main street of the Arlandria and Del Ray neighborhoods, and is heavily used by pedestrians, bicyclists, transit vehicles, and automobiles. The City is implementing this project to address recent traffic deaths and serious injuries along the Avenue, as well as safety and accessibility concerns raised by the community through the Arlandria Action Plan, Pedestrian & Bicycle Master Plan Update, and subsequent discussions with neighborhood residents and businesses.

Project Considerations

  • Accessibility of sidewalks, crossings, curb ramps, and transit stops for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs
  • Safe and comfortable north-south connectivity for bicyclists
  • High utilization of parking along Mount Vernon Avenue and side streets
  • Business loading and deliveries
  • Volume and speed of traffic on both streets
  • Highly used transit corridor with Metrobus and DASH service
  • Limited sight-distances at intersections

Implementation

PHASE 1 - SHORT-TERM IMPROVEMENTS (FALL 2017)

The City of Alexandria will conduct a traffic study of intersections along the Mount Vernon Avenue corridor, between Braddock Road and Four Mile Run. The study will:
  • Identify quick, low-cost improvements that can be made to improve traffic and pedestrian signal timing, signage, and sight-distances.
  • Identify improvements that can made as part of future resurfacing and re-striping of Mount Vernon Avenue (Phase 3).
We want to hear from you! Please look at the Mount Vernon Avenue traffic count maps to see traffic and turning counts (Braddock Road to E. Oxford Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue to Four Mile Run) from Spring 2017, and take our survey to provide input on traffic safety challenges along Mount Vernon Avenue as well as possible solutions for the City to consider. The survey closes on November 28, 2017.

PHASE 2 - PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS TO TRANSIT STOPS (MID-2018 - EARLY 2019)

The City of Alexandria conducted a Pedestrian Improvements to Transit Stop Study  along the entire Mount Vernon Avenue corridor that provided recommendations to improve pedestrian access to transit.  More information can be found here: www.alexandriava.gov/93440. The goals of the study were to: 
  • Comply with federal mandate to upgrade all bus stops to current ADA compliant standards
  • Create a ADA transition plan for bus stops Del Ray and Arlandria
  • Minimize parking loss & construction costs
  • Consolidate or relocate bus stops to improve bus travel time and encourage walking and active transportation
The Department of Project Implementation is managing the design and construction of the study's recommendations. Improvements will include:
  • Consolidate bus stops to balance accessibility, pedestrian/driver safety and on-street parking.
  • Upgrade ramps and crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety along the corridor.
  • Ensure construction process minimally impacts residents, businesses, access to parking and planned events.
  • Construct bulbs similar to the existing bus bulbs at Mount Vernon Avenue and Kennedy Street (shown below)
                                                                                bus bulb2

PHASE 3 - REPAVING AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS (SUMMER 2019 OR SOONER)

The City of Alexandria is scheduled to resurface Mount Vernon Avenue corridor, between Braddock Road and Hume Avenue. In conjunction with resurfacing, recommendations from the traffic study (Phase 1) and Arlandria Action Plan (2002) will be implemented. Improvements may include, but are not limited, to the following:
  • Additional high visibility crosswalks
  • Shared lane markings
  • Bicycle wayfinding signage
  • Parking edgelines
  • Flexpost curb extensions at intersections

Project Contact

Please contact Ray Hayhurst, Acting Complete Streets Program Manager, at raymond.hayhurst@alexandriava.gov, if you have any questions or concerns about this project.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Potential new Arlandria & Potomac Yard CaBi dock locations

The City of Alexandria is considering new dock locations for Capital Bikeshare. See the full news release below and follow the link to see the whole plan in context and provide feedback.

Two of the proposed locations are near Arlandria. Two are near Potomac Yard.

These are:

East Glebe Road at Main Line Boulevard



East Reed Avenue & Potomac Avenue


West Glebe Road at Old Dominion Boulevard (Le Bosquet Park)


West Reed Avenue at Edison Street



Community Input Needed for Future Capital Bikeshare Station Expansion

Alexandria is expanding its Capital Bikeshare network and welcomes feedback regarding the proposed bikeshare station locations. Community input can be provided through an online form through June 1. The online form can be accessed at https://www.alexandriava.gov/95476.

Each proposed bikeshare station will be brought before the Traffic & Parking Board for approval. The Traffic & Parking Board public hearing will take place on Monday, June 26, 2017 in City Hall Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m. For this round of expansion, the City will add 10 additional bikeshare stations with installation to occur in Spring 2018.

Bike sharing is public transportation using bicycles, and cities around the world provide bike sharing systems as a transportation option for residents and visitors. The City of Alexandria's bike sharing program, in partnership with the District Department of Transportation, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Montgomery County, is called Capital Bikeshare. With Capital Bikeshare, you can choose from nearly 400 stations in the region, and return a bike to any station near your destination. Motivate operates the system for Alexandria, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Arlington County, and Washington, D.C. Alexandria joined the regional Capital Bikeshare network in September 2012 with eight stations and now is up to 31 stations serving Old Town, Parker-Gray, Carlyle, Del Ray, Arlandria, Rosemont, and Bradlee neighborhoods.

For more information about the bikeshare program, visit alexandriava.gov/Bikesharing, or contact CapitalBikeshare@alexandriava.gov.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Four Mile Run Recognized a Frontline Park

National organization picks Four Mile Run Park 
for its innovative practices in community engagement and volunteer coordination

Designation marks the honor has been awarded to a Virginia Park and only the third time to a park in the Washington Metropolitan Area, after the National Mall and Yards Park. 

In recognition of its innovative and effective approach to community engagement and volunteer coordination, Four Mile Run Park has been named a “Frontline Park,” a nationwide competition sponsored each year by City Parks Alliance.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see this recognition after years of hard work, dedication and real collaboration between citizens, Alexandria City staff, and neighboring jurisdictions and agencies,” says Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson. “Having watched citizens become engaged in the Four Mile Run Park and stream restoration over my time in public service, I can attest that these massive improvements to the park and its neighborhood’s quality of life would not have been possible without these partnerships.”

In the early 70s, flooding caused incredible damage to Four Mile Run Park and surrounding residential area. The Army Corps of Engineers' flood control project managed to mitigate future flooding threats, but promised improvements to the park never occurred. As a result, the park was in severe need of restoration and maintenance, some of which was addressed through volunteer efforts in the early 2000s, but public investment in the park was reduced as the region dealt with the fallout of the financial crisis.

In recent years, dedicated community leaders and volunteers in Arlandria have worked tirelessly to maintain, restore, and program Four Mile Run Park to prevent it from falling into disrepair. A group of architects came together to create a work plan for the site, highlighting priority areas and making recommendations on where funds should be allocated in the absence of city attention to the space. While a task force made up of citizens from both Alexandria and neighboring Arlington County galvanized and shepherded public investment for stream and wetland restoration resulting in award-winning habitat creation in the park, the community has stepped in to make it cleaner and safer for visitors who come from all over the region to fish, bike the trails, walk dogs, and participate in other recreational activities.

In 2016, the nonprofit Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation was incorporated to increase capacity for fundraising and community engagement. The step toward formalizing the ad hoc approach to implementing a vision for the park represents the culmination of years of volunteer work from the community, which has been remarkable on its own.

Each month City Parks Alliance names one “Frontline Park” as a standout example of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship from across the country. The program identifies urban parks and programs that find innovative ways to meet the unique challenges facing cities today. The site was selected from a field of more than 30 entries across the country. As a Frontline Park, Four Mile Run Park will be featured on the City Parks Alliance website and in articles and blog posts by the organization.

The Frontline Parks program is made possible with generous support from DuMor, Inc. (www.dumor.com)

About City Parks Alliance

City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. It leads and serves a community of diverse organizations, championing high quality urban parks throughout the nation. CPA’s vision is that everyone in urban America will have access to parks and green spaces that are clean, safe and vibrant. www.cityparksalliance.org

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Four Mile Run Conservatory is Springing2Action in Four Mile Run Park!

Our kids are picking up after us. Let's not let them down. 
The Four Mile Run Conservatory is Springing2Action in Four Mile Run Park! Spring2ACTion is a 24-hour online event that provides a simple way to connect donors to the charitable causes they care about most and encourages them to take action. This virtual fundraising effort, hosted by ACT with the help of generous sponsors, will offer local nonprofits the chance to raise thousands of dollars for the benefit of all Alexandria.

Contribute now!!


By the time the group of summer camp kids got finished their clean-up of Four Mile Run Park in the summer of 2010, the results were astounding. In little over an hour, there lay in one big pile, a clump of 30 gallon trash bags, all mostly full. The thing was: it didn't look that bad when they started. Other groups had been through the park all summer and it had never looked better....well, at least not in the last decade. And yet, just a few weeks later, another clean-up turned up piles of more trash. It's a constant struggle.
I asked the kids what they thought was needed to keep some folks from having to continuously clean up after other folks. I suggested more trash cans. They suggested more police patrols and security cameras. All I know is that the winter hasn't been kind to the Four Mile Run. Without nice weather to bring volunteers out, the trash and debris, depressingly, is back. Without some intervening force to keep the litter out of the stream only the armies of helpers that come out month after month can keep the stream alive.














The Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation wants to be that force. As we continue working to plant trees and remove invasive plants, this year we also aim to reduce litter throughout lower Four Mile Run with "Clean Stream Extreme"!!
Help us equip volunteers with tools for stream clean-ups and install recycling bins & litter traps to make that less necessary. Our Spring2Action fundraising goal is participation - 100 donors, at any giving level. Help us today!!














In the past year, Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation volunteers contributed more than 400 hours of their time in improving the park, planting 26 trees, removing 12 cubic yards of invasive Kudzu vines, and documenting the wildlife that call Four Mile Run Park home. In March, we finished fundraising toward our 'Kick the Habit' project to install water bottle/jug fillers at the City's two most heavily used athletic facilities. These will soon be installed and we will conduct outreach to get citizens to 'Kick the Habit' of disposable single-use water bottles, which are such a major component of the litter found in Four Mile Run.
With your involvement and support, each day Four Mile Run becomes cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful.