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Contentious new sidewalk under construction on Polk Avenue

Ten months after Alexandria’s City Council struck down an appeal from neighbors to prevent a sidewalk from being built on Polk Avenue, construction on the sidewalk is now underway.

The project would add a sidewalk to the north side of the street — with the goal of helping students in the neighborhood walk to the nearby Polk Elementary and Hammond Middle School.

Last July, a group of residents along Polk Avenue expressed concerns that the city’s plans to build a new sidewalk on the north side of Polk Avenue, a stretch that was used at the time for on-street parking, would reduce parking in the neighborhood and potentially cut into the toe slope of the hill and could, in turn, affect the stability of the Polk Park hillside.

Local resident Kathleen Burns outlined her concerns in a letter to the editor published in the Alexandria Times, including concerns that there are no plans to include drainage grids or gutters for storm and waste water on the new curbs, potentially exacerbating flooding issues for the neighborhood.

The project team told ALXnow:

This project adheres to all applicable stormwater regulations. The sidewalk includes drainage features to manage runoff from the adjacent park, so there will be no more runoff than before. Due to over 80% of the new sidewalk is being built on the existing street footprint, very little new impervious surface is being added. No significant drainage impacts are expected.

Construction started on July 10 and is expected to finish early next month.

Image via Google Maps

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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).

ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.

This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!

In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!

We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

Family Fun Fall Fest

Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!

This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA

2023 Alexandria Fall Festival

Food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, magic shows and more at the 2023 Alexandria Fall Festival, an Alexandria Living event presented by The Patterson Group. Join us at River Farm on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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