The Yorktown Civic Association is collection data about the frequent accidents at the intersection of N Harrison Street and 26th Street N. YCA is working with Arlington County to address this intersection, but the solutions by the County have proven so far insufficient to improve the safety for pedestrians and drivers.
Minutes of the May 4, 2022 Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- A meeting of the Yorktown Civic Association Executive Committee was held virtually. Brian Young, Secretary, reporting.
- Those in attendance include Lynda Ramirez-Blust, Barry Holt, Campbell Maloney, Brian Yost, David Haring, David Friedman, Frank White, Craig Mastrangelo, Karla Loper, Mark Loper, MJ Harford, Ori Nir, Jan Hartford, James Churbuck, and Terry Costello.
NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION PROJECT
- David Haring provided an update on the Neighborhood Conservation Project. The project to add sidewalks to 25th street has been submitted to the County and the engineering study for this project is under consideration.
- Lynda Ramirez-Blust, a consultant, described the Yorktown Neighborhood Plan. The intention of the Neighborhood Plan is to create a comprehensive list of projects, ranging for side walks and curbs to bikeability and walkability. The goal is to submit a plan to the County by the end of the calendar year. Blust helped facilitate the creation of a neighborhood survey, which she intends to distribute to the neighborhood in the near future. The plan is to hand deliver surveys to each house in the neighborhood. We hope to have residents complete the survey by the end of May.
- A discussion about the merits of the “Missing Middle” proposal was held.
- Campbell Maloney addressed the “bump outs” being created on 26th and Harrison, which appear to be intended to make the crossing distance shorter. The YCA received no notice or communication from the County regarding this curb extension. If you observe unsafe driving in the vicinity of 26th and Harrison, please contact Campbell Maloney at email@example.com.
- Michael Cantwell put a call out for new members to join the YCA Executive Committee.
Minutes of the November 16, 2021 Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- On November 16, 2021, the Yorktown Civic Association held a virtual general meeting. The following individuals were recorded as being in attendance at the beginning of the meeting, with Brian Young reporting the minutes:
- Michael Cantwell, Amelia Frenkel, Ann Adler, Ann Marie Thro, Berry Holt, Campbell Maloney, Carolyn Boswell, Christine Callsen, David Friedman, David Haring, Don/Krista Supon, Don Purka, Doreen Parekh, James Churbuck, James Maxstadt, John Boswell, Karen Morgan, Leslie Humes, Margaret Pollack, Mehul Vora, Nancy Murphy, Suzi Suchyta, Terry Costello, and Frank White.
Neighborhood Day Recap
- Brian Young and Amelia Frankel provided a recap on the Neighborhood Day held in October. Members of the Executive Committee introduced themselves.
Neighborhood Conservation Sidewalk Project for 25th Place
- Mr. Haring provides a description of the Neighborhood Conservation Sidewalk Project for 25th Place. Members expressed views on the project and a motion to end debate carried upon a voice vote. The following resolution was proposed: “the Yorktown Civic Association Affirms its previous selection of the 25th Place Sidewalk Project as its priority Neighborhood Conservation Project and asks the County to move forward with the design and engineering phase of the project.” A vote was held and the motion carried with 16 votes in favor and 12 opposed. The reporter notes that several members held more then one property in the YCA borders and were therefore able to cast more than one vote.
- Votes were recorded as:
- Vora – Yes
- Maxstadt – No
- Herbert – No
- Haring – Yes
- Frankel – No
- Hume – Yes
- Thro – No
- Pollack – No
- Gabardine – No
- Maloney – Yes
- White – Yes
- Suchyta – No
- Stephen – No x 2
- Young – Yes
- Churbuck – Yes
- Anderson – Yes
- Friedman – Yes
- Supon – No
- Holt – Yes
- Parak – No
- Keller – Yes
- Mormon – No
- Murphy – Yes
- Boswell – Yes x 2
- Costello – Yes
- Cantwell – Yes
Plan Langston Boulevard & Traffic and Pedestrian Safety
- Amelia Frankel delivered an update on Plan Langston Boulevard and Campbell Maroney delivered an update on traffic safety. The imperative of recording all traffic accidents in the YCA borders was discussed.
- Mr. Andersson delivered a Treasurer’s report and emphasized the need to collect dues.
On June 23, 2021 Mike Cantwell wrote to the Arlington County board to share the Civic Associations position on the Plan Lee Highway Scenarios:
“Arlington County Board and Plan Lee Highway Staff,
The Yorktown community includes many citizens who are deeply opposed to the increased density in each of the proposed Plan Lee Highway scenarios. Our community also includes many residents who welcome aspects of the plan. There are, however, a few things we can all agree on:
First, we would like a commitment from the county board that they will plan and budget for the purchase of land for green space and public use in our area. It is not sufficient to hope that private developers will subsidize the cost of green space in the future. According to a recent review by the Arlington County Civic Federation, the county has underinvested in public land park acquisition for over a decade. As a result, there is less park land acreage per 1,000 residents today than at any other time in the last 50 years. Increasing the density along Lee Highway without adding additional open space will further reduce the amount of park land per capita. In our area, we are lucky to have public spaces that are heavily used by existing residents. In order to maintain quality of life with increased density, more public spaces are necessary. Monies for those spaces should be considered and budgeted alongside the revised general land use plan for Lee Highway.
Second, we would like a commitment from the county board that they will plan and budget for schools and infrastructure commensurate with the increased density and population growth along Lee Highway. Planning for private development without planning for public infrastructure will necessarily lead to underinvestment and a more-expensive, less-thought-out game of catch-up in the future.
Third, we would like a commitment from the county board that they will not use eminent domain, now or at any point in the future, to achieve any portion of the Plan Lee Highway use scenarios. Our neighbors want assurance that they will retain the ability to decide what to do with their own property, even as the area may be changing.
Thank you for your consideration. We welcome further dialog with our civic association about this planning process.
President – Yorktown Civic Association
Vice President – Yorktown Civic Association”
On July 30, 2021 the County Board responded:
“Dear Mr. Cantwell,
Thank you for your message and for sharing your thoughts concerning the Plan Lee Highway study. I’m responding on behalf of my colleagues, and please know that your email and perspectives have been shared with and read by each member of the Board.
First, I’d like to underscore that the study is in its early stages. County staff, and PLH civic leaders, have sought to shape a process where community members can weigh in with your priorities and the positives and negatives of the various scenarios.
We appreciate that you’ve done so – and in your comments, as well as in those of your neighbors, it’s clear how much you value both the environment and quality of life in your community currently. Thank you for taking the time to share stories, as well as perspectives and concerns, with us on the County Board.
As you may know, Plan Lee Highway is designed to build upon the community’s vision and guiding principles as we work to create a walkable, “Main Street” type corridor, looking at everything from multi-modal transportation options to responsible development and public facilities. Currently, County government and civic partners from Lyon Village and other neighborhoods along the corridor are developing ideas and offering different possibilities to the community so we can better understand the impacts and benefits of different types of development along the corridor. These plans are also designed to explore and evaluate how government and the private sector can work together to help achieve the community’s aspirations for this “Main Street.” The goal of this phase is to open the door to meaningful discussions with the community so that staff can make informed decisions as the proposal evolves. With community feedback on preliminary land use concepts, the Planning Team will be refining the ideas and developing a Preferred Concept Plan which will be shared with the community in Fall 2021. Again, no conclusions or decisions have been made at this time.
The land use scenarios currently under discussion were developed with a number of things in mind, including the community feedback received during last year’s workshops. You may find it of interest to visit the Plan Lee Highway project page to review the latest presentation materials and reports. On this page, there is also a link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which provides answers to many key questions and concerns about the effort.
The most important thing to emphasize from these FAQs: The County has no plans to rezone existing single-family residential properties and will not be seizing private property through eminent domain as a part of this project. Regardless of what scenarios or zoning tools are ultimately recommended in the Plan Lee Highway study, each property owner will make their own decisions about whether to maintain their property unchanged, or whether to pursue changes and how.
We thank you again for reaching out with your concerns, as well as your meaningful reflections about what makes your Arlington neighborhood special, and we encourage you to stay engaged in the process.
Vice Chair, Arlington County Board”
Minutes of the July 21, 2021 Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- On July 21, 2021, the Yorktown Civic Association held a virtual general meeting. The following individuals were in attendance, with Brian Young reporting the minutes:
- Bryan Walsh, Campbell Maloney, Christine Purka, Craig Mastrangelo, David Haring, David Friedman, Ginger Brown, Hillary Gillen, James Churbuck, Kristi Roberts, Maisie Meade, Mehul Vora, Melissa Jackson, Michael Strazzella, Mike Cantwell, Paul Gibson, Paul Holland, Rob Fisher, Sally Linderman, Shelly Pelletier, Terry Costello, Amelia Frenkel, Frank White.
In Memoriam: James and Shauna Waites
- Craig Mastrangelo offered condolences to the families of Shauna and James Waite of North Greenbrier Street, who were killed in a tragic accident last week. Please keep the Waites and their family in your thoughts.
Plan Lee Highway
- Paul Holland and Ginger Brown addressed Plan Lee Highway, a land use development plan for the Lee Highway corridor. They took questions. Documents pertaining to Plan Lee Highway are available here: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/land-use/lee-highway/process/. Residents may contact Plan Lee Highway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms. Brown may be contacted at email@example.com and Mr. Holland may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Cantwell reported that the Goddard School is renting the former bank location near Lee Highway and George Mason and is hopeful that this space will become a childcare center. Ms. Brown reported that an eatery had expressed interest in the space that was formerly occupied by Tops Cleaners on Lee Highway but had no further information.
- The Association discussed holding a neighborhood day in Chestnut Hills on a date to be determined this fall. Mr. Cantwell put out a call for someone to volunteer to serve as chairperson of the event. In the past, Neighborhood Day featured food trucks, musical entertainment, and a bounce house. Please contact Mr. Cantwell at email@example.com if you wish to volunteer.
Crime and Traffic
- Mr. Cantwell gave an update on crime developments and traffic safety.
Minutes of the January 27, 2020 Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- A meeting of the Yorktown Civic Association was held virtually. Brian Young, Secretary, compiled these minutes.
- Meeting attendees include: Brian Young; Amelia Frenkel; Anne Bodine; David Coia; David Friedman; David Haring; Jeanne Mershon; Matt Duckery; Michelle Winters; Mike Cantwell; Peter Rousselot; Rene Sollod; Terry Costello; Craig Mastrangelo; Matthew Cleaveland; Mehul Vora; Campbell Maloney; James Churbuck; Karen Hardee; Ginger Brown; Rick Epstein; Margie Bell; Rick Epstein; Susan Kerin; Terry Costello; Dave Schutya.
- Mike Cantwell nominates Brian Young to serve on the Executive Board of the YCA and as the Secretary for the YCA. Craig Mastrangelo seconded the motion. The motion carries unanimously on a voice vote.
Special Guest – Matthew Duckery, Arlington County Code Enforcement
- Mr. Duckery, of Arlington County Inspection Services, addressed code enforcement for Arlington County, which enforces Virginia’s Property Maintenance Code. The County has eight inspectors to survey all land within the County borders and strives to perform inspections in response to complaints in 3-5 business days. Code inspectors are not permitted to reveal the identity of complainants – that information is confidential. Inspector Duckery may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those wishing to lodge complaints may call 703-228-3232 or email email@example.com. The phone number for Arlington County Environmental Services, which inspects permeable driveways, is 703-228-3883.
Special Guest – Peter Rousselot, Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future
- Mr. Rousselot spoke on behalf of Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF), a community advocacy group concerned with sustainable development. He addressed many of the issues raised in his Arl Now column of January 27, available electronically here: https://www.arlnow.com/2021/01/27/peters-take-arlington-flying-blind-in-planning-for-critical-infrastructure/. Mr. Rousselot discussed projected budget deficits and other impositions on public resources resulting from anticipated population growth as well as suggested public policy solutions. Citizens may contact ASF at firstname.lastname@example.org and may obtain additional information at www.asf-virginia.org. Ginger Brown, Executive Director of Lee Highway Alliance, also addressed many of the public policy challenges raised by Mr. Rousselot. Ms. Brown may be contact at Ginger.email@example.com. Michelle Winters, the Executive Director of Alliance for Housing Solutions, also spoke to these issues. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms. Winters referenced a housing study available at https://housing.arlingtonva.us/housing-arlington/housing-arlington-affordable-housing-master-plan-review/. The speakers took questions.
Lee Highway News
- Mike Cantwell discussed developments on Lee Highway, particularly including the site on the corer of George Mason and Lee Highway. Mr. Cantwell reported that the new tenant provides business services such as printing and virtual meeting facilities.
- Mr. Cantwell addressed crime in the YCA borders and stressed preventative measures such as security measures and ensuring that residents lock car doors.
- A Treasurer’s report was deferred until the next meeting.
Future YCA Meeting
- The YCA aspires to hold an outdoor meeting in March or April. Details will be forthcoming.
Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- 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.
- 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.
- A member asked, “I hear a lot of helicopters traveling low and at night.”
- 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
- 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.”
Pay your dues
- Dues can be paid by PayPal.
Arlington County recently installed traffic control measures at two major intersections in the YCA. The committee tried an innovative approach in reaching out to county officials. The group met at the intersection of 26th and Harrison on a Friday at 3 p.m. just as YHS students were coming out. This proved persuasive, convincing officials that something needed to be done.
The group also looked at the intersection of George Mason Drive and Yorktown. This site regularly sees minor accidents and close calls. This intersection also now has safety measures to protect pedestrians and realigned vehicle lanes. One member of the committee noted that, on his own, he had raised issues about the intersection near his house to no avail. When he linked up with others and worked through YCA, something positive happened. Nobody can guarantee such results every time, but there’s a lot of power in working together.
by James Churbuck
Be a Good Neighbor: Snow Removal
Snow and Ice Removal – All property owners (private residents and businesses) are required to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent
to their property:
- Must be removed from the entire width of the sidewalk up to a maximum of 36 inches (to accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, etc.)
- Must be removed within 24 hours after the snow stops falling, when accumulations are less than 6 inches, and within 36 hours when 6 or more inches of snow accumulate.
- Noncompliance could result in a civil penalty and fine of $50 for sidewalks less than 200 linear feet in length or $100 for more than 200 feet.
If you know of a resident who is unable to clear their sidewalks because they are physically unable to shovel snow, please contact a member of the YCA Executive Committee. If you are just tired of shoveling, try connecting with your neighbors on the Yorktown Civic Association Facebook page or on Nextdoor Yorktown.
The Arlington County Neighborhood Traffic Calming Committee (NTCC) has selected Little Falls Road and N. 27th Street as candidates for traffic calming during its fall funding round.
The two streets are being considered as separate projects, and county staff has already held preliminary meetings with residents of each street to begin the planning process for each project.
The Little Falls Road project runs between the Harrison Street and Yorktown Boulevard intersections. Daphne Lathouras has volunteered to serve as the neighborhood block captain. The county has assigned Betty Diggs to staff the project. She can be reached at 703/228-3202 and email@example.com. Traffic calming solutions under consideration include nubs at the Harrison and Yorktown Blvd. intersections, along with possible speed cushions. An open house has been scheduled for November 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Yorktown High cafeteria to review solutions.
Twenty-Seventh Street between N. Lexington and N. Harrison Streets has been selected by the NTCC under its expedited speed bump alternative. Therefore, speed bumps are the only traffic calming solution available for consideration by residents. Karen White has volunteered to serve as the neighborhood block captain for that project. Ron Hicks is the county staff member serving the project. Ron can be reached at 703/228-3691 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. An open house has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Yorktown High cafeteria to discuss this project. 27th Street (west of N. Jefferson) is the boundary between the Yorktown and Leeway-Overlee civic associations so residents of that civic association are also involved in the project.
Even though project solutions are developed by residents of each street, program guidelines require that 60% of affected residents sign petitions in support of the projects before funding will be approved by the county. Petitions will be circulated after each of the block meetings.
Residents on adjoining cul de sacs are defined as “affected residents” and are also petitioned. Thus, all houses on the Jefferson Street cul de sac will be petitioned as part of the 27th Street project.
Extra points are given to any project receiving civic association support, so there will be votes on each project at the YCA fall meeting on October 20.
If the projects are approved by residents and the county, installation of speed bumps could be expected as early as mid-2005 with construction of other enhancements to follow at a later date.