Issues

The FCA tackles a number of important issues each year, often spurred by input from resident surveys. Some of the issues the FCA is tracking are below. You can also learn about additional long term issues, like Abingdon Elementary School, using the Issues drop down menu.

FCA Letter About Shirlington Density

In a March 20, 2020 letter to Arlington County’s Long Range Planning Committee, the FCA outlined concerns about a proposal to increase density in Shirlington, while also pointing out the value of a vibrant commercial area to Fairlington residents. FCA urges the county to look more broadly at a larger geographic area than just Shirlington and consider the cumulative impact of increased density across a number of areas near Fairlington.

Fairlington Bus Update

During the WMATA budget process earlier this year, there was a discussion that included altering or eliminating a number of Metrobus routes, including several that serve Fairlington. Now it has been determined that the existing 7Y and 22A/C bus routes in Fairlington will remain unchanged this summer. However, longer-term the 22A/22C is probably still at risk of being curtailed or modified given low ridership.

Read the FCA letter to WMATA regarding retaining the proposed budget 7Y bus line and postponing the 22A/C service changes. As part of the Metro budget process, there was a proposal to restructure and/or cancel several Metrobus lines that serve Fairlington.

Here is a summary of the proposed changes; any service changes adopted by WMATA would go into affect by about July 1:

  • Metrobus Route 7Y, which serves North Fairlington, is proposed to terminate at the Pentagon instead of going into DC to Farragut Square. Ridership is good; but WMATA’s reasoning is to reduce duplication of service. Riders would need to transfer to Metrorail instead. Subsidy for the current route extension is $342K annually.
  • During peak hours, Metrobus Route 22C would be replaced by additional 22F trips which would keep the current 10 minute headway between buses in South Fairlington. This is a minor change for most and could offer improved schedule reliability. However, there are some riders who prefer the current 22C route to avoid crowding on the 7 route. Also, there would not be direct bus service from Fairlington to Ballston.
  • Metrobus 22A and 22C service would be cancelled for off-peak hours and weekends. Ridership is low in South Fairlington during the off-peaks, but the community has long enjoyed access to/from Metrorail provided by this service. Subsidy for the current 22A/C route is $1.23M annually. During off peak hours, bus service would be available with a walk to the Route 7 in North Fairlington, as well as the Alexandria DASH bus service at Bradlee Center or Park Fairfax.
City of Alexandria Responds to FCA on King St. Project

For the past year, the FCA has been closely following the progress of a series of potential improvements that were proposed along the King St. corridor between Quaker Ln. and I-395. The proposed improvements included landscaping and beautification projects but also drainage solutions, stormwater management, and remediation of potentially hazardous intersections.

Following a series of discussions, the FCA sent a letter to the City of Alexandria outlining several concerns, and asking for an update on the status and timeline of the
project. Read the city’s response letter.

Fire Station 7 Closed

Fire Station 7 in Fairlington closed in October 2019 after an extended temporary closure to conduct a comprehensive engineering study.

Arlington County has reaffirmed the county’s commitment to obtaining the views of Fairlington residents on the station’s reuse .

County staff are currently conducting due diligence on the reuse of the building, including historic preservation review, zoning requirements, ADA compliance issues, and other constraints on the use of the site.

Once that staff review has been completed, the county expects to conduct some sort of online survey to gauge the preferences and suggestions of Fairlington residents.  After the results of the survey are examined, one option under consideration would be a formal briefing hosted by FCA on the results.

Farmers Market

The Arlington County Board voted to approve the farmers market continuation for an additional three years. If you would like to be included on the email distribution list, please email fairlingtonfarmersmarket@gmail.com. The market is held weekly on Sundays from May through November at the Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford St.

The Fairlington Farmers’ Market website is the perfect place to learn more about our vendors, figure out where (not) to park, and sign up for volunteer tasks or a market shift.

Fairlington residents overwhelmingly expressed their support for the market in an online survey conducted in 2015. Of the 275 responses, 86% expressed support for the market, while 13% were opposed.

If you have additional questions or would like to help with the market, please contact fairlingtonfarmersmarket@gmail.com.  Learn more about the market proposal:

HOT Lanes/Transportation 

The HOT Lanes opened in 2019. FCA had hosted briefings to update the community on the project, which began summer 2017. In November 2017, VDOT and Transurban discussed the sound wall project portion. View the I-395 Express Lanes Project Update PowerPoint.

Final VDOT Report on Shirlington Interchange

Update: VDOT has published its final report on recommended changes to improve safety in the Shirlington Circle. The key components of the study’s recommendations are:
1. Create a T-intersection and add a traffic signal at the intersection of the rotary and N. Quaker Lane. Traffic coming down Quaker often fails to yield to traffic in the rotary.
2. Create a signalized intersection with the southbound 395 off-ramp and Campbell Avenue and remove the southbound 395 off-ramp to Quaker Lane to eliminate weave movements.
3. Create a signalized intersection with the northbound 395 off-ramp and Gunston Road
4. Add a lane to the Arlington Mill Drive exit from the rotary to reduce the number of lanes required for traffic to weave from the rotary to the Arlington Mill exit.

After considering improvement alternatives for the Glebe Road interchange, the study determined that those would be ineffective in relieving traffic congestion or improving safety. It concluded that the level of improvements required to address issues at this location would involve considerable reconfiguration of the Glebe Road interchange, which went beyond the scope and objectives of the study.

There is no specific timeframe for implementation at this point. VDOT has funding for portions of the project, but not all of it. FCA is going to partner with our neighbors in Shirlington, Park Fairfax, and Parc East to seek additional funding.

Real Estate Development

  • Alexandria Gateway – Construction is underway at the Alexandria Gateway project. The centerpiece of the five-acre development is a 62,000-square foot Harris Teeter grocery store, which will occupy the street level of a seven-story building. The remaining six stories will hold 278 market-rate apartment units. The project also includes a three-story building with two stories of office space above a ground floor of retail space; a separate five-story building that will include 74 affordable housing apartments; and a five-story office building with retail space on the ground floor and a two-level, below-ground parking garage for 800 vehicles.
  • Park Shirlington – A new owner has taken over Park Shirlington Apartments, promising to rehabilitate and preserve the property
    as affordable housing. The new owners briefed Fairlington on plans to increase density on the site while preserving affordable housing units at the FCA meeting on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. View the presentation here. The meeting was video recorded and will be posted on the FCA Facebook page. Located at 4510 S. 31st St., Park Shirlington
    has 294 units. Standard Property Company, in partnership with the
    National Foundation for Affordable Housing solutions, acquired the property from Home Properties. The financing for the sale included a $6 million loan from Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund.
  • BRAC/Marc Center – There has not been the increase in traffic anticipated by the addition of BRAC to this area.
  • Beauregard Plan and NVCC – Construction to widen King Street from 28th Street to Dawes Avenue is scheduled to start in 2014. Some stores like Five Guys have already closed.
  • B/K/Q Intersection – At the March 2014 FCA meeting, Bob Garbacz from the City of Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services briefed residents on developments with traffic changes at the intersection–or as he called it “dysfunction junction.” Garbacz said that over the years several traffic studies have been conducted at this location. “Every generation has tried to do something with that intersection,” he said, “but nothing has changed.” The current proposal is to create additional left turn lanes off of King Street in both the east and west directions; however, the city lacks funding to make any changes at this time. Residents were concerned about pedestrian safety at this location, particularly for the safety of school children from T. C. Williams High School and Minnie Howard campus who cross the streets at this intersection every day.
  • Shirlington – Representatives of Federal Realty Investment Trust (Federal) visited an FCA meeting recently and highlighted anticipated changes and upgrades for Shirlington. Federal owns much of the property that makes up The Village at Shirlington. After a period of transition, new establishments opened recently have included DAK Chicken, serving Korean fusion cuisine; Hula Girl, a brick and mortar restaurant from the owners of the popular food truck; Palette 22, a restaurant that blends the experience of small-plate dining with the work of local artists. Lastly, Dudley’s Sport and Ale is slated to open during the second quarter of 2016. The ownership team consists of operators of the current Shirlington restaurant Copperwood Tavern, together with the general manager of the Washington Nationals as an investment partner. Their plan is to significantly improve the venue at the location of the now closed Bungalow, including adding a first for the village—a rooftop bar. In addition, renovation of the AMC movie theater has been completed, with plush, reclining seats; plans include wine and beer sales.

Capital BikeShare

Multiple bike stations have been installed around Fairlington.

Fairlington Green Landscape Project

A few years ago Fairlington Green undertook a major project along Quaker Lane. Here are the details:

  • The Landscape Restoration project was initiated and designed by Fairlington Green and the landscape architects and arborists of Brickman Landscaping.
  • The Fairlington Green community needed to address failing trees, a deteriorating visual barrier w/ Quaker Lane, and safety issues related to the proximity of this area to Quaker Lane and the heavy volume of traffic.
  • The plan was briefed at the 2012 Fairlington Green Condo Association annual meeting and an update was given at the 2013 annual meeting.
  • The project will include the planting of 133 new trees, additionally hedge shrubbery, and a 6′ black aluminum fence along the Quaker Lane boundary of the Fairlington Green property.
  • The project is fully funded by the Fairlington Green Condo Association.
  • View Quaker Lane Landscape Project Sheet – Apple Area and Quaker Lane Landscape Project Sheet – Cherry Area.

Generations Steering Committee

As Fairlington’s population becomes more diverse in age and needs, the FCA chartered a Steering Committee on Intergenerational Strategies to research and develop recommendations on how residents can support each other. Much of the committee’s work focused on ways to help Fairlington’s seniors stay in their homes as they age, with the goal of providing neighborly assistance to those who seek it from those who choose to offer it, regardless of age. Long-time older residents, for example, might offer newer younger residents information about oddities in remodeling a Fairlington unit, or might pass along tools they no longer use. Younger residents might use those tools to help an older person, and young people might offer computer assistance to those who didn’t grow up with a smart phone or the Internet. Opportunities abound for support across generations.

Since its formation in March 2014, the committee has created work groups to gather information on (a) how other neighbor-to-neighbor volunteer services are organized, (b) what services are already available from local governments and private organizations in Arlington and Alexandria, and (c) what services Fairlington residents might want to request or volunteer to provide.

The committee made its recommendations to the FCA Board in early 2015. Learn more below.

Survey Results

See our Charter and materials below from the November 15 community briefing.

See below for meeting minutes.