Alexandria, VA

Morning Notes

Presidential Primary Day in Alexandria — Today is Super Tuesday, the presidential primary day in Virginia and 13 other states across the U.S. Here in Alexandria, polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. [City of Alexandria]

New Development Near Braddock Road Metro — “CRC Cos. LLC is pitching a plan to redevelop several single-family homes across from the Braddock Road Metro station into a new mixed-use building. The Arlington-based real estate firm submitted plans to Alexandria officials last week for a seven-story, 177-unit building along North West Street, bounded by Madison Street and Wythe Street. The proposal also calls for a small space set aside for ground-floor retail.” [Washington Business Journal]

Meeting Planned for Tot Lot Renovations — Alexandria’s parks department “will renovate Woodbine Tot Lot  in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation mid-March through mid-April. A community pre-construction meeting with City staff and the contractor is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. at Woodbine Tot Lot (1509 Woodbine St.). Make-A-Wish Foundation America approached the City of Alexandria with a wish from Whitaker, a local four-year-old undergoing cancer treatment.” [City of Alexandria]

A Tale of Two Kindnesses — A man who stopped to help a family in need in Alexandria was, soon thereafter, helped by the same family when it turned out that he was in need of assistance, too. [Alexandria Living]

Trampoline Park Opens in West End — “Get Air, an indoor trampoline park with a variety of activities, has opened at 340 South Pickett Street in Alexandria. The venue has thousands of square feet of trampolines, including vertical trampolines, a trampoline dodgeball area, trampoline lanes for slamball, tightrope walking challenge, and a foam pit.” [Patch, Alexandria Living]

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After more than eight years of planning, Alexandria will soon begin revamping its pocket parks.

In April, renovations at two of the city’s 25 pocket parks — parks less than a half-acre in size — are slated to begin with the Woodbine Tot Lot at 1509 Woodbine Street and the 48 South Early Street Park.

“We’re excited to start making an impact to some of the smaller parks that mean a lot to their communities,” Dana Wedeles, a principal planner with the city’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, told ALXnow.

The Park and Recreation Commission received a draft plan on the renovation of the parks last month, and the final Pocket Parks Improvement Plan will be the subject of a Feb.  20 public hearing before the commission at Mount Vernon Community School (2701 Commonwealth Avenue).

The plan will then go to the city council for their endorsement, and the parks will be be slotted in the city’s Capital Improvement Program for renovation over the next decade.

Renovations at the Woodbine Tot Lot are estimated to cost $80,000. Much of that amount has been cut down due to a contribution from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has contributed $25,000 toward the project through the city’s Community Matching Fund. Through the fund, the city provides a one-to-one matching contribution and the funds will be available at the start of the fiscal year on July 1. The renovation was made possible by the wish of a child living in the neighborhood, according to the city.

Rebuilding Together DC – Alexandria, which renovates homes and properties throughout the region, is partnering with the city on the pocket park at 48 South Early Street. The park is located in the city’s Society Hill neighborhood between Duke Street and Wheeler Avenue, and it has been adopted by the neighborhood homeowners’ association. Planned improvements include adding signage and natural play features like boulders, logs and stepping stones.

Most of the projects are stand-alone, and city staff are currently working on getting cost estimates.

Here is the city’s full list from the Pocket Parks Improvement Plan:

  1. 48 South Early Street Park
  2. 1301 Powhatan Park
  3. 2304 East Randolph Avenue Park
  4. Armory Tot Lot Park 
  5. Braddock & Commonwealth Dog Area
  6. Charles Hill Park
  7. Chetworth Place Park
  8. Elbert Triangle Park
  9. Gentry Park
  10. Hillside Park
  11. Hunter Miller Park
  12. Interior Park
  13. Lake Cook Pocket Park
  14. Le Bosquet at Sunnyside Park
  15. Lynhaven Gateway Park
  16. Lynhaven Park
  17. Mason Avenue Mini Park
  18. Pendleton Park
  19. Portner Park
  20. Potomac Triangle Park
  21. Ruby Tucker Park
  22. St. Asaph Park
  23. Sunset Mini Park
  24. Washington Way
  25. Woodbine Tot Lot
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Alexandria needs your help determining the best name for a park at 3550 Commonwealth Ave.

Should it be named Unity Park to reflect a place of connection, or Shirley Tyler Park after the first female African American to serve as chair of the Alexandria School Board?

Officials are asking the public to weigh in on the naming of the park in this online survey.

The city bought the half acre site in the Arlandria neighborhood in 2009. After neighborhood volunteers installed two gardens, a walking path and park benches, landscape architect Rhodeside and Harwell developed a site plan for a park that’s mostly trees and open green space, with some interactive features like game tables and a tricycle track.

The survey will remain open through March 3.

Image (top) via Google Maps (bottomw) via City of Alexandria

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A new bike campus is all painted and ready to go under the Alexandria side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

The smooth pavement between the bridge pylons has long been a popular spot for bicyclists on the Mount Vernon Trail or visiting Jones Point Park, but the new signs and lanes on the ground can help new cyclists learn the rules of the road and practice in a safe environment.

At a grand opening ceremony, scheduled for Saturday (Dec. 7) at 10:30 a.m., instructors from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) will be available to help teach cyclists of all ages about rules on the street and bicycling techniques. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 11 a.m.

According to the Facebook page:

WABA is excited to announce the completion of the Alexandria Bike Campus at Jones Point Park! The bike campus will serve as a dedicated space for people of all ages to learn how to ride a bicycle safely, comfortably, and confidently. WABA will be celebrating the completion of the Alexandria Bike Campus with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, December 7 at 11:00 a.m. at Jones Point Park in Alexandria, VA.

We invite you to bring your family and your bicycles to the ribbon cutting and to participate in a demonstration of the bicycle campus. WABA instructors will show how the campus can be used to teach new cyclists of all ages and how even experienced cyclists can learn and practice new skills. Our instructors will be at Jones Point Park at 10:30 AM – we hope to see you then!

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At long last, the Four Mile Run Wetlands Bridge is just about ready to open.

The bridge is scheduled to open on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned on the east side of the bridge, closest to the parking lot at 3700 Commonwealth Avenue, with comments from city officials and partners, as well as an overview of park improvements by city staff.

The event is planned to occur rain or shine.

The 120-foot bridge is the final link in a one-kilometer loop through the Four Mile Run Park. The trail currently dead-ends at the bridge, but once opened, will connect the park to Route 1 and the Mount Vernon Trail.

“The installation of the bridge is a significant element of the Four Mile Run Restoration Plan, which improves connectivity throughout the park,” according to a press release. “The bridge provides access to the wetlands, which were restored in 2016 for walking, passive enjoyment, and ecological education programming.”

Map via City of Alexandria

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A bridge spanning the last gap on the Alexandria side of the Four Mile Run Trail has been put into place, but the trail remains impassable for pedestrians.

“The bridge installation does complete the restoration project in this portion of the park,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities. “The installation is complete and its opening is pending final inspections. We anticipate it being open in two weeks.”

The trail starting at Mount Vernon Avenue currently dead-ends at an unnamed tributary with no connection to the other half of the trail, which runs to Route 1 and connects with Arlington and the Mount Vernon Trail.

The bridge was installed on Sept. 11, but orange construction barriers prevent access to the bridge on both sides of the trail.

The bridge is the final piece of a restoration project for Four Mile Run that started in 2006. The wetlands park officially opened in 2016 but work has continued since then on naturalizing the stream bank.

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