Tuesday, March 31, 2015

cold wind doesn't chill rally to save Rosslyn Highlands Park

Over 100 residents turned out in cold, windy weather this past Saturday morning to rally to save Rosslyn Highlands Park. Two Dunkin' Donuts boxes blew over in the cold wind. Despite these difficult conditions, five announced County Board candidates -- Democrats Katie Cristol, Christian Dorsey, James Lander, and Andrew Schneider and Independent candidate Audrey Clement -- attended the rally.

Residents attending the rally were passionate about saving the park. One resident told the Tribune that she has been bringing her children and grandchildren to this park for 37 years. Another resident explained to the Tribune that Arlington taxpayers paid for the Cherrydale fire station and that Arlington taxpayers should also fund a new Rosslyn fire station.

With the growth of Rosslyn and the condition of the current fire station, the need for a new Rosslyn fire station seems clear. The current fire station sleeps six fire fighters and has room for only seven. Moreover, fire-fighters' beds are packed closely together and go right up to the bathroom. If one fire fighter has gastro-intestinal problems, all the fire fighters could have difficulty sleeping. Fire-fighting readiness could be compromised.

Highland Park facilities are a children's playground, a full-length basketball court, and greenspace. The adjacent school property includes a field that was previously covered with trailors for temporary classroom space. A reasonable development plan for the site should be able to preserve the children's playground and provide a publicly accessible basketball court.

Green space is harder to preserve. The best way to increase and highlight Rosslyn greenspace may be to connect better downtown Rosslyn to Roosevelt Island. The now highly successful Artisphere could help to direct traffic to that new Rosslyn greenspace.

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