Manager's Report - October 26, 2012
The National Hurricane Center currently forecasts Hurricane Sandy to affect weather in our area beginning late this weekend into early next week. The City is fully prepared and is monitoring weather conditions. Residents are being advised to review storm preparation procedures to handle possible flooding, high winds, downed tree limbs, and power outages. For preparation tips and weather related updates, including closings and cancellations, visit alexandriava.gov/Storm.
Beat the Election Day Lines! In-Person Absentee Voting at Beatley Central Library
Avoid the hassle of the waiting in voting lines by casting your ballot before Election Day! In-Person Absentee Voting began at Beatley Central Library on Thursday, October 25 and ends Saturday, November 3.
Long Range Educational Work Facilities Program Update
The City and the Alexandria City Public School System (ACPS) are jointly developing a work program for a Long Range Educational Facilities Plan to improve facilities planning, accommodate the growing student population, and enhance educational programs and services. An initial draft of the Plan was presented at the September 18 City Council/School Board Subcommittee meeting. From this meeting, City and ACPS staff incorporated several suggestions into the work program, including 1) the creation of a fiscal analysis subcommittee, 2) increasing the number of resident members of the work group, 3) revising the Staff Contribution section to reflect Departments/Divisions, not individual staff, and 4) modification of the work group’s attendance and meeting requirements. City Council will continue to be informed as the process continues.
Washington Street Left Turn Restrictions
Left turn restrictions on Washington Street went into effect Wednesday, October 24. A 2011 safety study, approved by the City’s Traffic and Parking Board on November 28, 2011, found an elevated accident rate for vehicles making left turns from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Protected left turns, where vehicles can turn left on a green traffic signal arrow, have been added for southbound vehicles at Washington Street and Wythe Street, as well as Washington Street and Queen Street. Existing restrictions will stay in effect from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Leaf Collection Starts Monday, October 29
Alexandria’s Leaf Collection Program starts Monday, October 29. Residents who receive City refuse collection services can recycle their leaves three different ways: composting leaves and yard waste, recycling leaves in paper bags, or raking leaves to the front curb for pickup. Leaf collection is organized by zone. There is no leaf collection in alleys. The program runs through January 4, 2013.
On October 22, Agenda Alexandria held a discussion on transportation as part of its regular monthly meeting. At the meeting, Rich Baier, Director of the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services; Mark Jinks, Deputy City Manager; and Eric Wagner, member of the Alexandria Planning Commission, presented “Riding Transit Into a Financial Black Hole?”. This presentation focused on three issues: 1) why transportation funding has become a major issue in the City and across Virginia (with no gas tax increase since 1986 Virginia ranks 41st in the nation in regard to the gas tax rate); 2) the process for determining a site location for the Potomac Yard Metrorail Station (Locations A, B and D are now under consideration); and 3) the debt policy implications, funding plans, and risk mitigation actions that can be put in place regarding the financing of the Potomac Yard Metrorail station. A Potomac Yard work session to brief City Council on a wide range of Potomac Yard activities and issues is being planned for November.
Breast Cancer Walk Outcome
On Saturday, October 20, Alexandria hosted the 19th Annual Walk to Fight Breast Cancer. The event drew nearly 900 walkers and runners to the City and raised more than $90,000 to help the fight against breast cancer. Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota and the Alexandria Fire Department were major supporters of the event. For every car sold during October, Jack Taylor Alexandria Toyota donated $50; the company also donated $15 for every “Like” the dealership received on Facebook. Alexandria Fire Department staff wore pink breast cancer t-shirts while on duty during October, and sold the shirts, raising more than $7,000. These funds will benefit the Alexandria Walk to Fight Breast Cancer Fund, which pays for mammograms and other diagnostic screenings for Alexandria women who are not adequately insured and could not otherwise obtain this necessary medical care. The event is jointly sponsored by the City of Alexandria and the Inova Alexandria Hospital Foundation. For information or to make a donation, contact Sarah Watson, 703.746.3123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Institute of Architects Northern Virginia Chapter Honors City Architect Al Cox
On Tuesday, October 23, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Northern Virginia Chapter recognized City Architect Al Cox with the Award of Honor at its Annual Awards Dinner. The Award of Honor is given to a member architect who has demonstrated outstanding levels of professional influence and activity over a sustained period of time. This is the highest award of the Chapter and presentation of this honor does not necessarily occur every year.
October is Housing America Month!
October is Housing America Month! To celebrate the Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority (ARHA) is hosting a property tour to showcase our efforts to meet the country’s growing need for affordable, moderate and low income housing. The tour will feature ARHA’s mixed-income communities, newly developed public housing, existing housing as well as Old Town Commons our current development under construction. Housing America is a year-long campaign to inform the public and decision makers about the need to meet the country's affordable housing and community development challenges. It is designed to educate the American public about the critical role safe, decent and affordable housing plays in all aspects of life.