January 2018 Newsletter

[ 0 ] January 3, 2018 |

[View the printed-format newsletter here]


All Aurora Highlands / Pentagon City residents are encouraged to come to our monthly meetings to meet neighbors, discuss topics of interest, and share information.

MEETING – Wednesday, January 10 at 7 p.m.

Aurora Hills Community Center
735 18th St. S.

Aurora Highlands Civic Association Newsletter – January 2018

Happy New Year! Join the Civic Association!

Make a resolution to build our community. Support AHCA with your dues, come to a meeting, and enjoy the many fun community events AHCA supports throughout the year.

What Are Civic Associations? Civic Associations represent neighborhoods throughout Arlington. They are the voice for promoting the interests of your community at the level of County government—in meetings with staff, County Board and School Board members, and private interests doing business in the neighborhood such as developers. We also have a voice with state elected representatives.

Become a member to have a say in what AHCA should be standing for. Civic Associations are the communities’ advocates for improvements and the front line of defense against activities that can harm the quality of life in the community. We promote the interests of the neighborhood in a non-partisan and non-sectarian manner. Every Arlingtonian can advocate as an individual, but a civic association’s voice carries weight.

AHCA is unusual and needs lots of voices. Unlike many civic associations that represent only single-family homes or only high rises, AHCA is a true hybrid. At the County level we represent all Aurora Highlands and Pentagon City residents. So whether you’re a home owner or renter, live in a high rise or a detached home, care about traffic or transit, parks or development, we welcome your participation. Come join us!

Membership dues for 2018 are only $20 per household. Please pay online with Paypal, send a check, or bring payment to the meeting. Details at the bottom of p. 2.


Meeting Agenda

  • 395 Express Lanes Extension. Come learn about this project, which is extending the 395 Express Lanes for eight miles north from Edsall Road to the vicinity of Eads Street. The two existing HOV lanes (or High Occupancy Toll) lanes are being converted to express lanes and a third lane is being added, providing three reversible express lanes. Carpools of 3+ riders will be free and other drivers will pay a variable toll depending on traffic. Construction began in August, and the new lanes are slated to open next year. Discussions are underway regarding the installation of soundwalls along the edge of the highway in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood.
    The main purpose of this meeting is to learn about how the express lanes will affect the neighborhood at the Eads St. exit and to discuss signage for the express lanes. Members of the Crystal City and Arlington Ridge Civic Associations have also been invited.

Community Dates and Updates

  • Virginia Highlands Park Softball Fields. You’ve probably noticed that sections of the fencing around the softball fields have been removed. This opens up the space for public use, although the Dept. of Parks intends to keep reserving the fields for games during the spring and fall. AHCA is still working to convince the Parks Department and the County Board of the value of having a general-use public park in that space, given its location at the nexus of the Pentagon City high-rise community, commercial sector, and single-family neighborhood.
  • Lawn game lollapalooza. January 14, 2 p.m-4:30. AHCA is organizing events and impromptu gatherings while the Virginia Highlands fields are unreserved. In December, we had a castle- building project using leftover holiday boxes. We are planning another community event for Martin Luther King weekend. Stay tuned to Nextdoor. The weather may be cold, so bring a warm drink and thoughts of spring. We’ll post future events, but feel free to create one on your own!

    “Parks have long been recognized as major contributors to the physical and aesthetic quality of urban neighborhoods. But a new and broader view of parks … goes well beyond the traditional value of parks as places of recreation and as visual assets to communities, and focuses on … parks as valuable contributors to larger urban policy objectives” including job public health, community building, tourism, and improved property values. [Urban Institute 2004. The Public Value of Urban Parks.]

  • Helicopter Noise Forum, Jan. 16. Congressman Don Beyer will host a forum for residents upset about helicopter noise. This is part of a study arising from a provision Rep. Beyer inserted into legislation last year directing the Pentagon to study flight routes and possible ways to minimize the noise. The meeting will be at Abingdon Elementary School at 7:30—9:00pm
    3035 S Abingdon St. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/41503727767.
  • New Pocket Park Coming to Aurora Highlands. The Arlington County Board voted in December to buy two properties at S. Ives and 20th St. S to create a new pocket park. One parcel is an empty lot; the bungalow on the adjacent property will be demolished. Plans for the park are to keep it relatively undeveloped—no dog park, no playground, just green space improved with plantings and minimal seating and pathways.
  • Clark St. Demolition. Construction crews are preparing for the next step in the makeover of Crystal City’s street network – demolishing the elevated section of Clark Street north of 18th Street South. South of 18th Street, new open space will be created in the existing roadway right-of-way, and new sidewalks, landscaping and lighting along US Route 1 will be provided. Crews are scheduled to begin mobilizing on-site in January, and construction should begin in February and last about 18 months.
    The first major traffic change during this project is expected in March, when the access ramps north of 15th Street and north of 18th Street will be closed. This will mark the permanent closure of elevated Clark Street. Signs noting the closure will be posted several weeks in advance. Updates will be provided at https://projects.arlingtonva.us/projects/south-clark-bell-street-demolition/
  • Bike/Pedestrian Path on Eastbound Washington Blvd. A new 14-foot wide path for bicycles and pedestrians along eastbound Washington Blvd (Route 27) over Route 110 opened recently, replacing a narrow concrete sidewalk that pedestrians and cyclists used to use. This will make the bridge crossing itself safer, but you’ll still have to contend with the old, narrow sidewalks along Route 27 to get you to and from the bridge itself.

If you are interested in advertising, please send an email to ahcanewsletterads@gmail.com.

Please sign up with the Aurora Highlands group at Nextdoor.com to stay informed about happenings in the hood, including AHCA-related issues, and to share events and other items with your neighbors.

Aurora Highlands Civic Association       P.O. Box 25201       Arlington, VA 22202

Please join online with Paypal


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