Fairfax and Arlington counties announced this week that their joint streetcar project did not receive federal funding in the current cycle. The counties had submitted the project for the Federal Transit Administration’s Small Starts program for fiscal 2014.
The county board’s first endorsed the Columbia Pike streetcar in 2006. The proposed line would travel nearly five miles from Pentagon City in Arlington to the Skyline Drive area of Fairfax County. Both the Arlington and Fairfax Boards of Supervisors reaffirmed their decisions last year, when they chose streetcar as the locally preferred alternative for Columbia Pike and opted to apply for federal funding.
Both counties said they remain committed to the project and will continue to explore other funding options. Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada said the counties do not yet have an explanation for the FTA’s decision.
“The Columbia Pike Streetcar Project is vitally important to the economic revitalization of Columbia Pike and the Skyline/Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County, which has long desired connection to a rail transit network,” Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason) said in a released statement. “Although I am disappointed that our joint application for Small Starts funding was not approved this year, I am confident that the strong community and business support for the project and the long collaborative partnership between Fairfax and Arlington counties will merit federal funding in the future.”
The cost estimate for the streetcar line is $249 million, just under the maximum project cost for the Small Starts program.
The Fairfax County Park Authority will conduct a public comment meeting Tuesday, April 30, to gather input on the draft master plan for Westgrove Park. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of the Belle View Elementary School, 6701 Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria.
At the meeting, park staff will provide information about the park, current site conditions and elements of the draft master plan. A moderated public comment session will follow staff presentations.
The park property was a sewage treatment plant until the late 1980s when operations were ceased; any related facilities were either removed or buried. A master plan process for the park began in 2004 and was indefinitely deferred due to the lack of community consensus in 2005.
Last year, the Park Authority Board approved an interim dog park at Westgrove Park. The draft master plan affirms the dog park as a permanent fixture and recommends other facilities for the park, including:
• Outdoor classroom affiliated with Belle View Elementary
• Trail network
• Open lawn areas for community use
Comments on the plan will be accepted through May 31. For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/westgrove.htm, or call 703-324-8662.
The John Marshall Library in the Rose Hill community in southeastern Fairfax County is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.
The John Marshall Library first opened April 22, 1963, in a storefront in the Rose Hill Shopping Center and moved to its present location 12 years later in 1975.
The library will mark the special occasion with a day of festivities from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 20.
Special events include Uno, Dos, Tres con Andres, a program featuring music and dance from Latin America, at 10:30 a.m. and a presentation of David Mamet’s play for children “The Poet and the Rent” by Travelers Player Ensemble at 1:30 p.m.
Visitors also can view displays on the branch’s history as well as by the Mt. Vernon Miniatures Club and eat birthday cake.
The Tysons Partnership, a business and civic group helping to implement Fairfax County’s vision for Tysons Corner as a new urban center, has relaunched its website.
The updated site offers a guide to Tysons redevelopment, including depictions of the high-rises and wide boulevards that are expected to define the area’s future.
It also includes information on transit in Tysons and encourages visitors to “Leave your car behind” — something that will become easier once new rail and bus service begins at the end of the year.
View the website at tysonspartnership.org.