Quarterly Membership Meeting (7:00 pm)
Patrick Henry Elementary School
The meeting was called to order at 7:29 pm.
Attendees: Bob Dannemiller, Carole Lieber, Adam Croswell, Betty Siegel, Bryan Sieling, Joan Gill, Jim Gill, Mark Loughney, Scott Fredericks, Maura Fredericks, Mary Crosby.
Carole apologized for not getting any guest speakers, and then she had everyone introduce themselves.
Carole reported on the construction on Columbia Pike at Glebe. She had been concerned about the possible disruption that late night construction might have on neighbors but she didn't get any response from neighbors in the effected area. The work involves the new left hand turn lanes, and some undergrounding of wires.
Another issue Carole addressed from the last meeting was the possible development at Columbia Pike and Highland. AHCA did not write a letter supporting this development, and Carole hasn't heard any more about it.
Motion: To approve the minutes of the July 2003 and October 2003 meeting minutes as amended. Seconded, and passed.
Bob Dannemiller reports that AHCA finished 2003 with 86 family and 4 business memberships, and a bank balance of $2922.28. As of this evening AHCA has 27 family memberships. there are 80 family members and 2 business members.
The expenses for the Association include: membership dues in the Civic Federation and CPRO; table fees for festivals like the Blues Festival; the newsletter which is actually the largest expense, sign decorations, the neighborhood float, etc. AHCA Board will meet to draft this years budget. Joan Gill asked about possibly budgeting for children's activities as had been done in the past.
Carole mentioned how much she has learned as President and thanked the other board members, especially Adam for helping out so much when Carole was unavailable.
The uncontested slate: Carole Lieber for President, Adam Croswell for 1st VP, Paul Hashemi for 2nd VP, Bob Dannemiller for Treasurer, and Betty Siegel for Secretary.
Motion Accept the slate as proposed. Seconded and passed.
Betty Siegel briefly covered the three traffic calming issues currently in discussion on the list serve. Mark Loughney volunteered to chair the traffic calming committee. Bryan Sieling offered to go over with Mark what traffic calming efforts the neighborhood has made in the past. Betty asked about approaching traffic calming in AHCA more comprehensively rather than piece meal. Bryan said that in 2000 the neighborhood did surveys, and put together a comprehensive plan, submitted it to the county and got no where.
He will give this information to Mark.
South Highland between Columbia Pike and South 7th
The following information is from Ron Hicks, county staff, who is assigned to the traffic calming project on South Highland between South 7th and Columbia Pike.
The intersection of South 9th Street has many engineering issues including a valley gutter that are difficult to design. The project in the final design status. Items like the gateway treatments which include nub construction will possibly be completed by late "04". The raised crosswalks and gateway at Columbia Pike and South Highland again, no later than the summer "04". The redesign of South 9th Street and South Highland Street intersection is in process which includes the valley gutter, may take a bit longer to complete.
Everyone is concerned about the progress, or lack thereof, on South Highland Street. Betty referenced Ron Hicks email that was distributed on the AHCA list serve. Carole said she was distressed because this was the exact same response Mr. Hicks had given the year before, just changed the dates from '03 to '04. Bryan wants to make sure that the entire plan for traffic calming on South Highland is executed and was concerned that Mr. Hicks didn't mention the raised crosswalk at the exit of the school, and the textured crosswalks at all four crossings at South 7th and South Highland.
Carole will follow up with county staff and county board to find out: 1) why this project isn't getting the attention it deserves, 2) why it is taking over two years to get this project done when other traffic calming measures in other neighborhoods approved after this one have moved forward; 3) and when AHCA can expect to see this project moved up on the counties priority list and be finished. Bob Dannemiller, who is now President of the Patricick Henry Elementary School PTA, will also bring the lack of progress up at the next PTA meeting.
South 7th Street Between Glebe Road and Walter Reed
Mark Loughney, AHCA resident, expressed concern over the speed of traffic along South 7th street and contacted Jeff Sikes who is the county staff assigned to the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Committee (NTC): Mr. Sikes explained that South 7th Street as it runs through AHCA is considered to be a Neighborhood Principle, as opposed to a Neighborhood Minor. Neighborhood Principle streets are those streets that funnel traffic to the major arterials. South 7th is designated as a Neighborhood Principle on the County Master Transportation Plan. As of January 2004 South 7th Street had a ranking score of 55 from the NTC. The NTC looks at volume, speed, and numerous other factors to get the score. The Neighborhood Traffic Calming Committee is looking at streets with scores in the upper 50's and 60's. At a guess, Mr. Sikes thinks South 7th may be considered for traffic calming by the NTC committee Fall '04 or Spring '05.
South Second Street
This street isn't eligible for traffic calming measures under the NTC because it is considered by the county to be an arterial road, not a neighborhood road. NTC can only look at roads that are designated as Neighborhood Principle and Minor roads in the County's Master Transportation Plan.. The County is currently doing a study to see what they can do to develop an Arterial Traffic Management program. Mr. Richard Best is the staff person leading that project. Mr. Sikes recommended contacting Lt. Brian Berke (703) 228-4149 of the Special Operations Section of the Police Department for speed enforcement on the street.
Columbia Pike Streetscape Task Force
Betty reported on the recommendations of the Columbia Pike Streetscape Task force that she was serving on for the past 8 months on behalf of AHCA. The Task force was trying to keep traffic speeds down, pedestrian safety as a priority and walkable environments. The biggest point of dispute was on street-bike lanes. The Task force recommended bike lanes only at the east and west ends. This did not sit well with the cycling community. The County accepted the recommendations but responding to pressure from the cycling community added on street bike lanes against the recommendation of the task force. The task force members primarily thought that emphasis should be on keeping wide functional sidewalks, that the bike lanes would conflict with the high volume of public transportation on the Pike, and would make traffic speed up because drivers would perceive the extra width in the cartway as permission to go fast.
Activities Coming Up
May 1, 2004 - The Blues Festival
May 8, 2004 - Neighborhood day
May 15, 2004 (Tentative) – Neighborhood Yard Sale. Amy Vennet has mentioned the possibility of doing the neighborhood yard sale on the third Saturday in May. Carole mentioned that Penrose might join us for the yard sale.
June 26, 2004 - Garden Tour. Joan Gill be hosting and coordinating the Garden Tour again this year.
If anyone is interested in the Federation let Carole know. Adam reported that the hot topic at the last meeting he attended was a dog park in another part of the county.
Betty reported that the NCAC project for:
Completion of installation of Carlyle type street lights on 6th Street South between South Glebe Road and South Walter Reed Drive, and installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Garfield Street between 6th Street South and 7th Street South.
was recommended for funding by NCAC in the winter funding round. Project delays are caused by a backlog of projects approved but still waiting to begin construction including the AHCA project for the installation of Carlyle type street lights on 2nd Street South between South Glebe Road and South Fillmore Street; on 1st Road South between South Glebe Road and Old Glebe Road; and on Old Glebe Road between 1st Road South and 2nd Street South.
This backlog is being addressed by the addition of new staff specifically assigned to work on NCAC projects and an experiment in contracting out some of the work to scope projects. But, neighbors can keep track of the progress on neighborhood NCAC projects by going to: http://www.co.arlington.va.us/cphd/ons/conservation/plans.htm#projects
Motion: The Arlington Heights Civic Association approves of the following NCAC projects and prioritizes them in the following order:
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Garfield Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Fenwick Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of curbs, gutters, and Carlyle type streetlights on South Irving Street between Arlington Boulevard and 2nd Street South.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Ivy Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street, on South Highland Street between South 9th Street and Columbia Pike, and on South 9th Street between South Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive.
- Installation of Carlyle type street lights on South Highland Street between South 7th Street and South 9th Street
- Installation of Carlyle type streetlights on South 5th Street between South Glebe Road and South Jackson Street.
Motion was seconded, and passed.
Bryan pointed out that the 244 signs are still up on South 7th street. These signs should come down now that there is a left hand turn at Glebe. Carole will follow up with the county.
Carole thanked Joan Gill.
Nothing new going on there.
There was concern about information on the possible closing and renovation of both Safeway and Giant on Columbia Pike.
Changes to Ordinance
Jim Gill thought AHCA should look into the possible ordinance changes he has been hearing about and reading about that might be coming out of the County Planning Commission to limit lot coverage to 50% of the property. The examples they use are primarily in North Arlington and he thinks AHCA and residents in South Arlington should be concerned about how such a change would affect South Arlington. The lots are smaller and it may have un-intended results of severely limiting a homeowners ability to extend the size of their home, and maximize their home value, as many people are doing quite successfully in AHCA. He asked that Carole, as President of AHCA, ask County staff to come and do a presentation for the neighborhood and address this issue.
Bryan asked about the possibility of the school getting its roof repainted. The previous Principle had said that it was slated to be repainted and that she would like input from the neighbors on a new color. Those neighbors who live where they see the school daily would like to see it painted a more neutral color, instead of "Smurf Blue".
AHCA Next Quarterly Meeting
Date was not set.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:25 pm
Betty Siegel, Secretary