Thursday, September 16, 2010

Arlington County continuing plans for Rosslyn boathouse

Arlington County Manager Michael Brown spoke at the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM) meeting this evening.  Brown, who has been in office for four months, came from a job as City Manager of Savannah, Georgia.  He grew up in Northern Virginia.  He also mentioned that he proposed to his wife at L'Enfant Plaza.  While that might raise questions in some persons' minds about his appreciation for urban space, the bottom line is that his proposal worked.  In fact, his wife even attended the RAFOM meeting and sat through his presentation.  That's a very loyal and supportive spouse.

Brown's presentation, most of which is included in the video below, touched on a wide variety of projects the County is undertaking.  Brown stated that he is involved in continuing planning for a boathouse along the Potomac in Rosslyn.  Brown noted that the Virginia Department of Transportation this past week turned over Columbia Pike to the County.  The County is moving forward with renovation plans for Columbia Pike, including the streetcar.  Brown also noted that the state has agreed to fund improvements to Route 50.  Brown observed that the County faces a much tighter budget than in previous years and will have to establish priorities and ensure a minimum standard of services across the County.  Brown has walked the Rosslyn neighborhood and eaten at the Quarterdeck.  He showed good local knowledge, especially for a manager who has been on the job for only four months.

Brown faced some tough, informed questions about new LED streetlights.  A resident at 13th St. and Troy stated that the color and direction of the LED light there is extremely bothersome.  Other persons at the meeting also observed lights that are not well-directed.  Much of the light goes upward rather than downward onto the street.  Stop lights, which all now use LED lights, demonstrate possibilities for coloring and directing LED lights. However, streetlights run about $1,100 per fixture, so changes to streetlights are a serious cost issue.  Brown was well-informed about light technology.  He expressed a willingness to put County staff to work to address residents' concerns.

Other items from the meeting:

  • Verizon will be splicing a new section of cable about 2220 Fairfax Dr. through Sept. 24.  This may create some noise in the neighborhood. 
  • Excavation at the Rosslyn Commons site across from the Belvedere will begin by the end of this year.
  • Excavation at 1716 Wilson Blvd, just down from Cafe Assorti, will also begin by the end of this year.
  • A proposals is stirring in Congress to increase the number and size of flights out of Reagan National Airport.  That creates the risk of more airplane noise over Rosslyn.  RAFOM will circulate a petition opposing the proposal.
  • Hillside Park renovations are running behind schedule, but they should be finished by the end of this year.
  • Urban Forestry Commission member Steve Campbell is co-coordinating a tree survey at Ft. Myer.  We are lucky to have those trees nearby.  Helping to preserve them is definitely in our neighborhood's interest.
  • The RAFOM annual meeting this past June attracted 140 persons.  RAFOM Vice-President Patricia Darneille led the organization of this event.  The event benefited from the generosity of Burns family in making the gorgeous Top of the Town venue available, and from the generosity of Lou Gatti of the Quarterdeck for providing drinks.
The next RAFOM meeting will be Oct. 12, 7pm, at the Belvedere.  It will feature candidates for Congress, the County Board, and the School Board.  The candidates will present their views, question each other, and take questions from the audience.

[video included above]

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Thanks for covering this and for including video. I am visiting Savannah this week - great walkable city. Good to hear Mr. Brown talk about a boathouse in Rosslyn. The <a href=">Arlington Boathouse Coalition</a> was active early this decade. As I recall, NPS would not let a structure be built on the shoreline, which it controls, but may allow a floating boathouse. Parking is an issue considering the need for boat loading/unloading, parking for scull trailers, etc. Here's to the creativity needed to overcome the challenges and build the boathouse.