Manager's Report - April 26, 2013
King Street and Union Street Left Turn Restrictions
On Wednesday, April 24, new left turn restrictions, approved by City Council in December 2012, were installed at the intersection of King Street and Union Street. These left-turn restrictions, a recommendation of the Union Street Corridor Study as a pilot, are designed to minimize conflicts between pedestrians, vehicles, and bicyclists at the intersection. Data will be collected to determine the effectiveness of the turn restrictions and to also measure the effects of the restrictions on nearby roadways, with a follow-up report and a decision on whether to make the turn restrictions permanent in fall 2013. For more information, contact Matt Melkerson at 703.746.4087 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional Street Smart Campaign Launched
Street Smart is an annual public education, awareness and behavior change campaign in the Washington, D.C. region. The campaign uses radio, newspaper, transit advertising, public awareness efforts, and added law enforcement to respond to the challenges of pedestrian and bicycle safety. In addition to the region-wide awareness efforts, Alexandria conducts pedestrian and bicycle trainings for all DASH bus drivers, provides safety information at the City's Local Motion program events, and posts safety messages in English and Spanish on DASH buses. The Alexandria Police Department will also be conducting targeted enforcement events at problem intersections.
Update - Edsall Road Construction
Milling and paving on Edsall Road will begin the week of April 29, and is expected to be finished mid-July. This work will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. There may be significant local traffic impacts and motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes. Variable message signs will be posted to alert drivers and provide detour information.
Health Department Leads Tabletop Exercise with Nursing Home and Partner Agencies
On Tuesday, April 23, the Alexandria Health Department led a tabletop exercise with Goodwin House Alexandria, a large two-building facility housing nearly 400 residents, including a mix of skilled nursing care, assisted living and independent living residents. This was the second exercise of its kind in Northern Virginia (the first one was also conducted by AHD in 2011), bringing together essential partners who will be involved if an emergency required a high-rise nursing home facility to evacuate patients. By having partners discuss response actions in a group setting, agencies establish relationships that will help them be better prepared for real-life emergencies. Participants included key Goodwin House administrators and staff, operational personnel from Alexandria Fire, Police, and Emergency Communications; staff from neighboring nursing home facilities; 2-1-1 Virginia personnel; and the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance. In preparation, Health Department emergency preparedness staff, along with representatives from Emergency Management, the Fire Marshal's Office and Inova Health System, worked with Goodwin House leadership to plan the exercise and coordinate the event. The Health Department plans to conduct similar exercises with other healthcare facilities in the City and hopes this will be a model for the rest of the region and Commonwealth. For more information, please contact Cyndi Lake at 703.746.4977 or email@example.com.
Commuter Challenge Results
The results are in for the third annual Commuter Challenge sponsored by the City's Local Motion program, in which 500 employees throughout the City of Alexandria, representing 14 companies, took the Challenge to walk, bike, ride transit or share a ride for their commutes. During the two-week competition, commuters who participated reduced 64,870 total vehicle miles traveled, 32 tons of pollution and 30,337 grams of CO2 emissions. Commuters saved 2,574 gallons of fuel, $6,700 dollars of fuel, and $36,716 dollars of total commuter costs. Over 100 prizes were given away during the two week competition, and four company winners were announced at the Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 20. For more information, contact Megan Cummings at 703.746.7085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Economic Development Strategy Discussed at Federation of Civic Associations Meeting
At the request of the Federation of Civic Associations, on April 24 Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks and Economic Development President and CEO Val Hawkins made a presentation on the purpose and strategies of City economic development at the monthly meeting of the Federation. The presentation focused on how economic development activities relate to the City Council's adopted Strategic Plan, and how commercial economic activity produces substantial tax revenues, which help fund City services that support quality of life goals, help keep the City tax rates competitive with our neighboring jurisdictions, and make the tax burden lower on residents than it would have been without commercial activity.
StoryCorps to Visit Alexandria Library
The StoryCorps Project, a nonprofit devoted to recording and sharing diverse stories of Americans, has partnered with Alexandria Library this spring as the library celebrates its sixth annual "All Alexandria Reads" (AAR) program. Visiting Alexandria from May 20 through 22, StoryCorps will document the lives of community members. The recorded interviews, a popular segment on National Public Radio, involve two people who care about each another, where one interviews the other. The segments began broadcasting on NPR in 2005, though StoryCorps was founded in 2003. Alexandria Library is excited about its collaboration with StoryCorps, which travels to every corner of the country, and currently has one of the largest collections of American voices ever gathered—more than 70,000 interviews of Americans in all 50 states. Additionally, the interviews will serve as a highlight to AAR's month-long invitation for Alexandria residents to read the nonprofit's book, "Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project." The book, edited by StoryCorps founder and radio producer Dave Isay, features the most remarkable stories from his collection of portraits.
Planning Department Showcases City of Alexandria at National Planning Conference
The Department of Planning and Zoning (P&Z) made presentations at the American Planning Association National Conference in Chicago, leading three sessions of planners, architects, educators, and practitioners from around the country and world. Approximately 500 attendees participated and showed an interest in the work the City has been doing. The opportunity to make a presentation at the national conference is a very competitive and highly selective process that required the hard work of a team of P&Z staff members over the last year. Special recognition goes to Faroll Hamer, Jeff Farner, Karl Moritz, Nathan Imm, Amy Friedlander, and Richard Lawrence for their work preparing the sessions.
Annual Flower Reduction in RPCA Budget
In Fiscal Year 2013, the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities budgeted $678,721 for horticultural planting and maintenance. The budget covers services at 150 landscape beds at parks, schools, rights-of-way and public buildings. In his proposed Fiscal 2014 budget, the City Manager recommends reducing the amount budgeted for planting annual flowers by $40,000. Seven sites will continue to get annual flowers: Founders Park, City Hall/Market Square, the Ramsay Visitor Center, Washington Street medians, the Court House, the Lyceum, and the Black History Museum. All other sites will still receive regular maintenance, shrubs and perennials, mulching, and continue to have a neat and well-maintained appearance. The 17 Alexandria City Public Schools do not currently receive annual flowers.