Manager's Report - October 18, 2013
City Receives Highest Certification for Virginia Municipal League’s Go Green Government Challenge
On Tuesday, October 15, the City was recognized by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) with platinum-level certification for being a green and sustainable government. The Go Green Government Challenge, a VML initiative, encourages local governments to implement specific environmental policies and practical actions that reduce carbon emissions generated by both the local government and the broader community. VML’s platinum-level certification, the highest level for local governments, is awarded to those scoring more than 175 out of 200 possible points. This is the sixth consecutive year that VML has recognized the City at this highest level. The City was given maximum innovation points for 1) its efforts in permanently closing the local coal-fired power plant, 2) achieving the highest-ever solid waste recycling rate of 48.4%, 3) establishing a Capital Bikeshare program in Alexandria and installing eight stations in Old Town, 4) purchasing new hybrid DASH buses and trolleys, 5) installing a 42-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at Beatley Central Library, and 6) retrofitting traffic lights with LED technology.
New Grocery Store Coming to Mark Center
In an effort to restore grocery store services, The JBG Companies have announced that Global Food, an international grocery, is moving into the former Giant Food location at Mark Center. Scheduled to open by mid-2014, it will serve as a convenient shopping option for area residents and the broader community. The store will sell fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish along with a wide variety of Korean, American, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Central and South American foods. Global Food currently has four locations in Virginia and Maryland, and has been providing international food choices to local residents since 2002. The early phase of the Mark Center redevelopment plan to include a modern, large-format grocery store has not changed; the Global Foods store will serve as an interim solution.
City Wins Alice Ferguson Foundation’s Potomac Champion Award
The City has received the Potomac Champion Award for work performed by the Code Administration Department, Police Department, and Sheriff’s Office during Litter Enforcement Month. The Alice Ferguson Foundation awards this recognition to organizations that make extra effort to help achieve a trash-free Potomac. The Foundation was inspired by the number of City agencies that worked together to address litter and illegal dumping in Alexandria. The award will be presented at the Potomac Watershed Annual Trash Summit, on October 18, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law.
League of American Bicyclists Names Alexandria a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community
The City of Alexandria has been named a Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists, recognizing Alexandria’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in education and safety programs, bicycling promotion, and infrastructure. Awarded the bronze level in 2008, this new achievement reflects the City’s launch of the Capital Bikeshare program, and the significant growth of on-street bike lanes, shared lanes, bicycle and pedestrian trails, and the adoption of a Complete Streets policy, which ensures accommodations for multiple users, including bicyclists. The award echoes Alexandria’s commitment to providing a multimodal transportation network, with bicycling as a key component. The BFC application is a rigorous nationwide process with more than 500 community applicants. The five award levels – Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze – provide a clear incentive to continuously improve a City’s bicycle programs.
Le Tour d’Alexandria Library
Alexandria Library invites the community to participate in its first bicycle tour of all Library locations on Saturday, October 26 at 10:30 a.m. Guests can bring their bike and join library staff for a leisurely 12-mile loop starting and ending at Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St.. While promoting sustainable transportation, the bike tour will also highlight many of the Library’s unique programs, and offer participants the opportunity to socialize with other bicycling enthusiasts. Participants will receive gift bags and additional prizes will be offered to those who follow the Library on Twitter or Facebook and post/tweet photos of their bikes. Registration for the event is required; space on the tour is limited. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Public Meeting on Brick Sidewalks
On Wednesday, October 23, the City will host a public meeting to review the application for design requirements for brick sidewalks and other sidewalk materials outside of the historic district in Old Town. Community feedback is sought on the draft City policies involving the installation of brick sidewalks in redeveloped areas. A new brick-concrete hybrid sidewalk option proposal will be presented along with a citywide map that will help determine which materials might be used to construct new sidewalks throughout the City, including new construction in the Eisenhower East area. At this meeting, the City will also discuss proposed new construction standards for brick sidewalks as well as a draft change to the City Code that would change the current policy that allows residents to pay for brick sidewalks in front of their property. Staff will provide an update regarding these issues to City Council in November. For more information contact Hillary Poole at Hillary.firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jeff Farner at Jeffrey.Farner@alexandriava.gov.
City’s Waterfront Landscape and Flood Mitigation Design Community Meeting Series Begins
On October 15, the City held the kick-off event for a series of community meetings on waterfront landscape and flood mitigation design. Laurie Olin, pre-eminent landscape architect, was the speaker for this event. Approximately 175 people attended the meeting. The City, community and the Olin Studio will work together with engineering firm URS Corporation (who will provide flood mitigation design), for the next nine months to begin development of the landscape and flood mitigation design for the waterfront. At the kick-off event, Mr. Olin discussed his philosophy in designing vibrant and sustainable public parks and spaces. He used examples from his world-wide award winning portfolio to illustrate how public places can be alluring yet functional and how, through good design, can transition effectively between passive and active uses. A video of Mr. Olin’s well-received presentation will be available for viewing shortly on AlexTV Channel 70 and the City’s website.