FYI Alexandria - November 3, 2016

Page archived as of December 22, 2016

Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

Welcome to your community newsletter, FYI Alexandria, which is published twice a month. Our goal is to keep you informed of what's happening in City government and up-to-date with City-related meetings, events and other happenings in your community. We'll also include links to news releases issued by the City and its departments, and recaps of major actions by Alexandria City Council.

FYI Alexandria is distributed via Alexandria eNews, Facebook, and Twitter and will be available in print at City libraries and recreation centers. We'd love to hear what you think of it; let us know by contacting us at

Top News

Election Information

On Tuesday, November 8, there will be a General Election for President of the United States and the U.S. House of Representatives, and two proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution. All regular polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Did you know there are 16 ways you might be eligible to vote absentee before Election Day? To learn more about eligibility for absentee voting, the ways you may cast your absentee ballot, and key deadlines for absentee voters, visit the Office of Voter Registration's Absentee Voting page, or call 703.746.4050. Alexandrians who qualify to vote absentee may cast an absentee ballot in person at Beatley Library or the Alexandria Voter Registration Office.

It's Leaf Collection Time!

Leaf vacuuming and leaf bag collection began this week. Free leaf bags for residents who receive City trash services are available at City Hall, recreation centers, and the City's Field Office on Business Center Drive. Visit for a current schedule, to determine your collection zone, or get preparation instructions.

Planned Potomac Yard Metrorail Station Receives Federal Environmental Approval

The Federal Transit Administration and the National Park Service have completed their environmental reviews of the planned Potomac Yard Metrorail Station, allowing the project to move to the design and construction phase. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will now issue a Request for Proposals to procure a general contractor. It is anticipated that the contract should be awarded in the summer of 2017, and construction is projected to commence in late 2017 or early 2018.

Potomac Yard represents one of the most significant redevelopment opportunities for Alexandria. The new Metrorail station, to be built on Metrorail's Yellow and Blue Lines between the existing Braddock Road and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stations, will provide an extensive range of benefits for the city and surrounding community. The Potomac Yard station, which will be funded by grants, developer contributions, and Potomac Yard-generated tax revenue, will provide walkable access to regional transportation systems for neighborhoods in the northeast portion of the city, is expected to generate billions of dollars in new private sector investment, support 26,000 new jobs and 13,000 new residents, and remove thousands of private vehicles from the congested Route 1 corridor.

Upcoming Construction Activities on Bus Rapid Transit along Route 1

Lane Construction will be performing work on the bus shelters along the Bus Rapid Transit lanes within Route 1. The work, which entails replacement bus shelter wall panels under warranty, is currently scheduled to begin in early November and is expected to last approximately 30 days. Motorists should expect periodic lane closures along Route 1 during the performance of this work.

Street Sweeping to Resume in Spring

Street SweepingCitywide street sweeping operations have taken a break for the winter and will resume in the spring, as crews turn to leaf collection and snow removal preparation. Ice and snow are harsh on street sweeping equipment and in many cases sweeping cannot be performed in cold temperatures. The City's Street Sweeping program, which typically runs from March to October, is responsible for removing sediment, debris and litter from 1,740 lane miles annually to provide a healthy, safe and attractive environment for City residents and visitors. Residents can help in the winter months by cleaning the curb in front of their home and ensuring that nearby storm drains are not blocked, and any litter and debris removed can be thrown away during regular trash collection.

Automatic Vehicle Locators Installed in City Vehicles

Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) systems have been installed in nearly all City public works vehicles in the operations fleet, including refuse collection trucks, street sweepers and leaf trucks. AVL uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide City staff with real-time views of where equipment is allocated and how it is operating. AVL helps the City more effectively manage resources to improve performance and productivity. New this season, the City will use AVL for leaf trucks to allow customers to view online real-time status of leaf collection operations, including truck location and status.

City's Housing Trust Fund Leverages More Than $150 Million for Affordable Housing Projects

The Office of Housing has released a new report on the City's Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The HTF has played a critical role in providing affordable housing opportunities and choices to Alexandria residents and workers. Since its first contributions were pledged almost 30 years ago, the HTF has leveraged over $150 million in private and public financing to construct and preserve more than 1,100 affordable units, prepare Alexandrians for homeownership, and assist families struggling with the threat of homelessness. The HTF was recently featured by the Center for Community Change in its 2016 National Survey of Housing Trust Funds.

Call.Click.Connect. is Your Customer Service Connection

Call.Click.ConnectIf you need to report a pothole, request a new trash container, or make dozens of other types of non-emergency service requests, Call.Click.Connect. is the place to go.

You can also visit our offices at City Hall, 301 King St., Room 1900, between Monday and Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and talk with experienced staff who will help answer your questions about City services.

City Council Meeting Highlights

October 25: Legislative Meeting

I-395 Express Lanes Northern Extension Project

Staff from the City's Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation provided a status report on the extension of the I-395 express lanes north from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road to the vicinity of Eads Street in Arlington County. The two existing HOV lanes will be converted and a third lane will be added, providing three reversible Express Lanes. The improvements will be primarily built within the existing footprint of the I-395 HOV lanes.

View the staff presentation to City Council, click and use the "Jump To" menu to go  item #13.

Fire Prevention Week/Alexandria Fire Department 150th Anniversary

Fire Station Open HousesStaff from the Alexandria Fire Department reported on National Fire Prevention Week activities in Alexandria, which included Fire Station Open Houses with tours, fun activities, and information about fire safety and emergency preparedness. The Fire Department also reported on the yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary, including a video with vintage film footage and photographs from the Department's distinguished history.

View the staff presentation and video, click here and use the "Jump To" menu to go to item #14.

In The Community

City of Alexandria Welcomes Tall Ship "El Galeón," Nov. 9-14

El Galeon

The City's Marina will be the scene of living history as "El Galeón," an authentic replica of a 16th-century Spanish Galleon, visits the city from Wednesday, November 9, through Monday, November 14. Galleons, used by the Spanish Crown for maritime expeditions from the 16th to 18th centuries, were fabled merchant vessels and war ships that made up the early navies of Europe. The ship will be docked at the City Marina (0 Cameron St.) and will be available for tours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12, and free for children under age 5.

City Hosts 15th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

The City of Alexandria and "Friends of Rocky Versace" will host the 15th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, November 11, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Captain Rocky Versace Plaza and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave. The indoor ceremony will honor Captain Rocky Versace, posthumous Medal of Honor recipient, Ranger Hall of Fame inductee, Distinguished Member of the Special Forces Regiment and Distinguished Member of The Old Guard Regiment. The ceremony also honors the 66 other Alexandrians who died during the Vietnam War and all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in attendance. 

Celebrate Virginia Cider Week: Tasting Festival at The Lyceum

Cider Week, VirginiaCelebrate Virginia Cider Week (November 11-20) in Alexandria with a special tasting festival at The Lyceum, Alexandria's History Museum on Saturday, November 19, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. This event is hosted by the Office of Historic Alexandria in partnership with the Alexandria-Caen Sister Cities Committee and includes cider tastings, live music, a tasting glass, and light refreshments. During the course of the evening, learn more about the growing Virginia cider industry and its connection to Alexandria history and the Caen region of France, all while enjoying ciders from Albemarle, Blue Bee Cider, Bold Rock, Castle Hill, Cobbler Mountain Cellars, Corcoran, Foggy Ridge, Old Hill, Potter's Craft, Wild Hare, Winchester Cider Works, and the Winery at Kindred Pointe.

Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased by calling 703.746.4994 or through Check in at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., beginning at 7 p.m. Attire for the event is casual.

Veterans Day Lecture - A Dawn Like Thunder: Africa, Black America & World War II

Noted historian and Port Of Harlem Magazine contributor C.R. Gibbs will discuss the often neglected role African people played in WWII and the impact it had on Africa and Diaspora, and the interactions between all three. The lecture is scheduled for Friday, November 11, at 11 a.m., at the Alexandria Black History Museum. The lecture is free and open to the public. C.R. Gibbs is the author/co-author of six books and a respected lecturer on a variety of historical topics. A popular television guest, Gibbs provided historical commentary for WUSA-TV, Channel 9's coverage of the dedication of the King Memorial, and has also appeared on the History Channel. For more information or to RSVP contact the Alexandria Black History Museum at 703.746.4356.

City Scene

Celebrating 150 Years: Alexandria Fire Department

From water buckets and horse drawn steamer engines to state-of-the art fire stations, equipment. apparatus, and technology, the Fire Department has enjoyed a storied history.

Fire Anniversary Video

News Releases

Upcoming Events

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