Meeting Notes

Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting

Welcome

  • Mike Cantwell started the meeting at 7:31. Board members introduced themselves to the attendees. There were approximately 30 people in attendance.

Dr. Kevin Clark, the new YHS principal

  • Mike Cantwell introduced the new YHS principal
  • Dr. Kevin stated that this was his Third week at Yorktown.
  • He looks forward to ways YHS and YCA can partner
  • There are some ways we can collaborate to make the community strong.
  • Common themes student safety. Drivers and pedestrian
  • He knows groups are advocating for additional signage near the school. He thinks that will be helpful.
  • He is looking forward to a chance to collaborate with the association
  • Dr. Clark introduced Scott McCallan the assistant principal who is responsible for safety and security. Works with the school resource officer.

Roni Robins, Lee-Harrison VP of Development

  • Mike Cantwell introduced Roni Robins.  Roni works for A.J. Dwoskin
  • A.J. Dwoskin owns and manages the Lee-Harrison shopping center.  
  • The L-H shopping center has 120k sq ft. of retail/restaurants/service space
  • Roni provided a history of the center. Built in the 1960s. Major renovation in the 1980s. Harris-Teeter added in the 2000s. New 100 car garage.
  • Provided list of tenants.
  • Added cameras in 2011, renovated lower levels.
  • A new retail pad is under construction. Will consist of three retail stories. 3400 sq ft. of retail space. One story buildings. Expect the same kind of uses. No expectation of intense parking demand usage.
  • The construction will be completed in June
  • Starting on Monday they will be putting in water lines. Lee highway access will be closed from 7 to 3. They will try to keep people updated.
  • She then took questions:
    • They could have gone higher but were worried about pressure on parking demand and the need to offer lower rents.
    • There were questions about parking, but they aren’t really able to change parking due to Harris-Teeter. They don’t expect there to be a loss of parking spaces, maybe a very marginal loss of one or two spaces.
    • Asked whether choosing new tenants could limit the types of businesses that create more in and out traffic, she said that they are taking that into account, but that they need to treat it as a balancing act.
    • Was a discussion about putting Capital Bikeshare bikes there, but they didn’t think that it was appropriate for Harris-Teeter. Frontages are narrow.
    • Possibility of up to three tenants, could be one, but most likely 2 or 3.
    • No longer term redevelopment plan in place. Lee Highway alliance considers them to be a neighborhood and community center.
    • No tenant yet for Starbucks.
  • Directed other inquiries to the website.

Mike Cantwell introduced members of the Arlington County Police Department

  • Sgt Thomas Rakowski
  • Captain Wayne Vincent
  • Captain Darrin Cassedy
  • Corporal Beth Lennon:
  • They Thanked Dwoskin for allowing ACPD to use the L-H parking lot for the toy drive.
  • ACPD made some arrests on the 2018 burglaries. Only two reported larceny from autos reported since the arrests (September to present).
  • Crime is down.
  • It’s tax season, there will be frauds. Do not give money over the phone. Do not give someone gift cards. Be leery of phishing attempts. (amazon prime renewals, apple).
  • Reminded people of the 9 o’clock routine.
  • Property crimes detectives made an arrest of a juvenile. A one man crime spree. Unlocked car doors is the problem region wide. We are not finding people who have any way to unlock electronic locks.
  • Stolen cars are up in the sense that the people doing these, 1 in every 200 times someone leaves the ignition key there and they test it and take it if they do.
  • Questions
    • A member asked, “I hear a lot of helicopters traveling low and at night.”
      • Arlington doesn’t own any helicopters. If needed they borrow from parkpolice or Fairfax. Possible a bleed over from Fairfax. We problably request less than once a month.
      • Mike Cantwell explained that the helicopter noise is most likely from the presidential helicopters. Rep. Beyer is trying to help. Visit Rep. Beyer’s website for more information.
    • A member asked, “How do they get into the cars?”
    • They don’t break windows anymore. Too noisy. Do not leave your car doors unlock. The only time a car window was broken was when a laptop was visible on the front seat.
  • Capt. Cassidy spoke about traffic and pedestrian safety
    • Capt Cassidy is from ACPD special ops
    • The County Board adopted Vision Zero goal. The plan will be implemented in 2021. The goal is to eliminate all transportation fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all people. First public meeting about Vision Zero was last night.
  • Campbell Maloney talked about the Harrison and 26th intersection.
    • On Friday second accident in three days, car trying to cross Harrison and 26th. The accident on Tuesday was a three-car accident. Campbell showed the website and photos of accidents.
    • Members can fill out a form on the YCA website to share information about accidents, allows photo uploads.
    • The first year I saw this there were about 5 accidents in a year.
    • Stephen Powers asked how many cars go through location without accidents so that people could understand and what things are designated and why it’s not suitable for a red light or four-way light.
    • Mike asks what the criteria are for a cop to record an accident
      • Capt. Cassidy stated that it’s a state criteria set by VAPD. Their numbers will only be as good as what was reported to the police. If the drivers involved in the accident don’t call the police, there is no record of the accident. [§ 46.2-373. Report by law-enforcement officer investigating accident. Every law-enforcement officer who in the course of duty investigates a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $1,500 or more]. Campbell encouraged everyone to upload their photos to the YCA website.  
      • Capt. Cassidy works cooperatively with DES-TEO@arlingtonVA.us on statistics and possible solutions. Members should contact DES-TEO to discuss ideas to improve safety.
      • A member stated that he thinks that it is the bump outs are causing more accidents, if in fact more accidents are happening.
      • Mike asks if there’s any reason to think that an officer failed to report an accident. Capt Cassidy stated that there was no evidence that cops aren’t reporting accidents. There have been people who got in trouble for not taking reports, but overall people follow the rules.
      • Vision zero is supported by all County Board members.
      • Mike suggested making a policy that would require ACPD to make a record of all accidents, regardless of estimated damage amounts. This policy could increase the workload. ACPD is already pretty understaffed.
  • When an accident is reported it goes to the state as well and it goes to the crime analysis/traffic analysis mapping group and it will be included in the yearly report. 2018 had 2500 crashes. If a pedestrian scooter or bike is involved it goes to Lt. Dan Murphy who looks at all of these accidents. 58 bike and 125 ped accidents in 2018.
  • They are receptive to individual crowdsourced reporting.
  • Asked if there was a way to target the specific intersection for more rigorous reporting. He said that it’s still probably better to go incident by incident.
  • Information is available and we have been getting it.
  • Someone says that she sees near misses of kids every day.
  • We need to agree on safety over convenience or mode of transportation. Officer promises to follow up on collecting statistics
  • Wishes that all of the intersections could be fully engineered but that’s not always possible. Use your safe options.
  • Typically we do not stop people for going less than 10 mph over. They do pedestrian enforcement details will need to look at this intersection to see if it meets the standard.
  • Officer advocates for people being as serious as possible about their safety and taking steps to ensure it if they can.
  • Audience advocates for people to educate drivers about obligations.
  • Discussion of how to improve understanding and executive of pedestrian right of way
  • Officer advises that they invite someone from the county to talk about dos and don’ts.
  • Tickets are about to go up in some places by 200 dollars. Country will need to follow the law in determining this.
  • Mike summarizes situation: most would like to see more enforcement on Yorktown, George Mason, and other through ways. They just did a traffic classifier and they can do that here.
  • They will speak to APS officer about school traffic

YCA Business

  • Currently YCA is unincorporated. Plan to become incorporated as a 501(c)(4). Will work with attorneys for formal filing.
    • Harrison guy asks how the traffic committee works. Response is that it hasn’t been done very formally.
    • Back and forth regarding the classification of the road as an arterial road.
  • Motion to form traffic and pedestrian safety committee
    • Passes unanimously
    • Craig Mastrangelo nominated, seconded.
    • Mike nominates James, seconded.
    • James nominates Campbell, seconded.
    • Campbell nominated Frank White, seconded, James Churbuck, Mehul Vora all seconded.
    • Stephen Powers nominates himself on to the committee, seconded. There is some opposition. Count called for:
      • Five in favor
      • 15 hands opposed.
      • “I am not going away.”

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