On February 8th, 2017, the SCA received the following news from the Department of Environmental Services (DES) about the Arlington Transit (ART) buses now in the park and related matters.
(Loyal Readers will recall that in response to our many protests in 2015 and 2016, the County informed the Nauck and Shirlington Civic Associations that the ART buses would be MOVED! Since September 2015, a fleet of ART buses has been parked in the LaPorte lot along Four Mile Run Drive. This land, which is in the Nauck Civic Association area directly adjacent to the SCA area, was purchased with park bond funds.)
“I am writing to share an update on the South Eads ART House Project and the relocation of buses from the former LaPorte site. Please share with residents and stakeholders.
ART Relocation by March 1
Our contractor has encountered some additional construction challenges in the final phases of building the ART House facility in Crystal City– the facility is now expected to open by early summer. However, this will not impact the timeline for the relocation of ART buses from the former LaPorte site. We made a commitment to move the fleet as soon as we could and we intend to fulfill that promise. The anticipated date (dependent on weather) that we’ll be moving the entire fleet is by March 1st.
Staff has looked extensively at feasible and cost-effective options to house the buses until the ART House facility is completed. The majority of buses will go on the leased 2629 Shirlington Road property while the balance of buses will be housed on the Water Pollution Control Plant. Some spares will go to our maintenance facility in Alexandria. We are currently working through operational logistics needed to dispatch from two sites. Our goal in the move is to not disrupt bus service for the entire community.
As you know, once completed the ART House and Shirlington will accommodate all of our bus fleet. The Shirlington site is not a long-term solution as our lease expires in 2023. A long-term solution will be examined as part of the Joint Facilities Advisory Committee.
The Department of Environmental Services (DES) is working with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) on the plan to restore the former LaPorte lot. The work will take place this spring. DES staff will be removing: lights and car stops, gravel and all sides of the fence except for the Four Mile Run frontage (due to safety reasons). Staff will then cover the ground with topsoil and grass seed. DPR will place some strategic boulders along the street frontage to keep cars from parking on the grass.
Other Parking Items
At the February 6th Nauck Community Meeting, there were questions raised about APS bus parking on 2629 Shirlington Road and possibly moving police vehicles onto their building on South Oakland Street. Here are the responses to those questions:
APS: Buses will remain on the Shirlington Road site while the County and APS continue to explore long-term solutions to site school buses.
S Oakland Street: It would be costly to bring the building up to code for police vehicles to be operated and stored on the site. There are also issues with the heating and cooling system, vehicle access and the roof would need to be reassessed and possibly replaced. The site is also directly in the path of the Jennie Dean Phase II Project, and may need to be moved again once the planning process is completed.
Relocation and Restoration Updates
We’ll begin providing weekly updates on the Four Mile Run Valley website until the relocation and restoration is complete. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Jessica Baxter, Communications Manager, Arlington County Department of Environmental Services”