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Public Forum on North Tract Park Proposal, 11-20-03

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  • Allen J. Muchnick
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2003
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      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
      project.

      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
      <http://www.co.arlington.va.us/calendar/scripts/ViewDetail.asp?Index=7482>.
      For questions about the forum or the project, call Erik Beach at
      703-228-3318.

      Allen Muchnick, President
      Virginia Bicycling Federation
      PO Box 5621, Arlington VA 22205
      muchnick@...
      703-271-0895
      http://vabike.org
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