Public Forum on North Tract Park Proposal, 11-20-03
- The North Tract is a 28-acre former industrial site, just north of Crystal
City, that Arlington County will redevelop as recreational facilities and
public open space, including four soccer fields and an aquatic center.
For the past two years, a citizen's task force, charged with planning this
park, has been collecting ideas and evaluating the challenges of this
On Thursday, November 20th, 7-9 PM, at the National Rural Electric
Cooperative Association building, 4301 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, the
Arlington County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources
and the North Tract Task Force will hold a public forum to present a draft
conceptual plan for the site and to solicit comments.
The Arlington County Bicycle Advisory Committee has long sought a
transportation path, running along the west side of the CSX railroad at
the eastern edge of the North Tract site, to connect the north end of
Crystal Drive to a future bicycle/pedestrian overpass of the George
Washington Memorial Parkway and from there the Mt Vernon Trail and the
14th St Bridge. Despite strong support for this important bicycling
connection expressed at earlier community forums for the North Tract
project, the Task Force's current concept omits such a direct link.
Instead, bicyclists would be shunted west outside the park, along an
indirect and convoluted route, onto proposed bike lanes on Old Jefferson
Davis Highway, and twice squeezed between a variety of active recreational
activities on east-west paths through the park. Bike lanes will be needed
and should be provided on Old Jefferson Davis Highway, but a direct
bikeway through the North Tract is also an important objective, especially
to increase bicycle commuting.
The North Tract site can and should accommodate a direct, high-quality,
and conflict-free bikeway between Crystal City and downtown DC, closely
aligned with the CSX railroad. Furthermore, such a rail-trail could have
minimal negative impact on the quantity and quality of other active and
passive recreational activities desired for the North Tract site. Please
attend the forum to support this quality bikeway. You can also submit
written comments via email to <northtract@...>.
Project background information is posted at
<http://www.co.arlington.va.us/forums/northtract>, and an announcement of
this meeting is posted at
For questions about the forum or the project, call Erik Beach at
Allen Muchnick, President
Virginia Bicycling Federation
PO Box 5621, Arlington VA 22205