8th Road North from North Kensington Street to North Lexington Street, and North Lexington Street from 8th Road North to Wilson Boulevard, in the Bluemont neighborhood.
This project was identified as a needed improvement to provide a safe, accessible pedestrian route to connect students and Bluemont residents to Wilson Boulevard and Ashlawn Elementary School. The project remains a priority connection due to the lack of an accessible pathway, the 20% of students who walk or bike to Ashlawn Elementary School, and the expanded walk zone for the 2020/2021 school year.
The renovation and expansion of Ashlawn Elementary School identified several enhancements needed in the walk-zone of the school, including the need for a safe, accessible route to connect students from the portions of the Bluemont neighborhood south of Wilson Boulevard to the school.
The recommended concept plan is a revision of the Advanced Concept Plan that addresses community concerns around parking by retaining some parking on each side of the street. The recommended concept:
The advanced concept plan retains the benefits of providing an accessible and safe pedestrian route from the preliminary concept plan. In order to maintain required clearance for emergency vehicles, the advanced concept includes parking restrictions on one side of 8th Road North.
The initial configuration identified for this project would have paved an existing gravel service road through Bluemont Park, but the project scope was revised to instead connect to Wilson Boulevard. This change in scope was due to changes in state environmental legislation discouraging increases in impervious surfacing, and to connect to existing transit service routes. The route will connect the existing pedestrian infrastructure within the south portion of Bluemont neighborhood for the benefit of all pedestrians.
The preliminary concept plan scope includes:
As the project undergoes detailed design, County staff are reviewing the existing “yield” sign at the corner of 8th Road North and North Lexington Street. The review of the suitability of the yield sign will be incorporated into the detailed design.
Staff will monitor vehicle speed and volumes through the project area before and after the improvements are implemented.
Detailed design will include consideration of existing drainage and grading, discharge of sump pumps and roof leaders/gutters, replacement of driveway aprons, and grading and site restoration to match conditions on private property. Works performed as part of this project will occur at the expense of Arlington County, and will not be charged to property owners. In some cases, temporary construction easements may be necessary to match to the existing grading.
This project was first identified through the process of expanding and renovating Ashlawn Elementary School, completed in 2015. The highest level of engagement planned for the project will be at the “Communicate and Consult” level in the early stages, and “Communicate” once the concept design has been identified.
The following engagement activities have taken place:
The FY 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) dedicated funding for these improvements through the Safe Routes to School program. A portion of the project will be funded through the Transportation Alternatives Program grant administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation.