I’m excited to join in spirit with our convention delegates this week in Philadelphia. I have supported Tim Kaine since his run for Lieutenant Governor in 2001, and I’m delighted that he is joining the ticket with Hillary Clinton, Don Beyer, Nancy Van Doren, Tannia Talento, and me. While national politics has taken a lot of our attention lately, and deservedly so, we also have had a lot going on here in Arlington this month.
At our July meeting, we adopted our Transit Development Plan setting the path for more frequent bus service, more late-night and weekend service, better north-south connections, and a new Premium Transit Network along Columbia Pike. In passing the plan, we also gave guidance to our staff to look into further improvements in our bus fleet and more frequent off-peak service.
The Board also approved a $3.3 billion investment program for the next decade in our biennial Capital Improvement Plan including funding for schools, Metro, fire stations, community centers, technology, land acquisition, and more. As part of this plan, we are submitting four bond referenda to voters: one each for transportation, parks and recreation, infrastructure, and schools. This year’s referenda will include more detail about the programs our bonds will fund, a direct response to concerns that our bond questions have not been transparent enough in the past.
Lastly, we took actions on developments related to two fire stations. The Board voted 4-1 to rebuild Fire Station No. 8 at its current location. Although I disagreed with the outcome of the vote because I had concerns about fire and ambulance response times, I am heartened by the community discussion and the work of the Fire Station No. 8 Task Force. It was a very well run community process. We also delayed a decision on the location of a temporary fire station in Rosslyn to allow the community time to review and to make recommendations over the summer. I encourage you to weigh in on this decision, which we will resolve in our September meeting.
Stay safe and cool in this summer heat.
Next Saturday, August 6th, is the 3rd Annual Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride, open to all ages and experience levels, with 15, 30, 60, 90, and 100-mile ride options. Please spread the word. It is not too late to sign up as a rider, to sponsor a rider/donate to the ride, or to volunteer to help out. Phoenix Bikes is a great cause and I’m pleased to support it in memory of my husband.