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Arlington County Civic Federation

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Arlington County Civic Federation Resolution
concerning flexibility in existing County policy
regarding current mandatory inclusion of sidewalks
in construction projects, passed April 4, 2006

Whereas: The present goal for incorporating sidewalks in Arlington County is expressed in the "Pedestrian Transportation Plan, Goal #2, page 23 originally dated January 1997 and reaffirmed by the Board in 1999 and 2002, which states, in part: "All streets and areas within Arlington County should have pedestrian access and facilities. Continuous sidewalks should exist along at least one side of all minor streets in residential; areas, and along both sides of all arterial and neighborhood principal streets and commercial areas."

Whereas: A Director of Public Works' Inter-Departmental Memorandum to the County Manager dated November 14, 2002 states that before releasing plans for construction, his staff reviews designs to ensure they conform to the above goals, thereby effectively imposing a mandatory requirement for sidewalks in all street projects,

Whereas: The Civic Federation strongly supports the goal of installing ADA compliant sidewalks, which promote public safety and are a valuable community amenity; however, there will inevitably be some situations (such as cul-de-sacs, historic properties, and streets with very low traffic volumes) in which the installation of sidewalks would be neither prudent economically nor necessary for public safety. Such construction needlessly expends funds which should be used for sidewalks where they are most needed. Good management practice dictates that some flexibility in the present mandatory policy should be established.

Whereas: the County Manager has informed the Civic Federation that current policy does not give him discretion to waive the sidewalk requirement, and

Whereas: At the January 2005 meeting of the Federation, all members of the current County Board agreed that there are some cases in which flexibility in this policy would be warranted,

Be it therefore resolved by the Arlington County Civic Federation that:

    1. Arlington County allow flexibility in designing and funding street construction projects, so as to allow waiver of the sidewalk requirement in certain narrowly construed situations.

    2. Arlington County establish procedures and criteria for implementing this waiver policy; and pending such establishment, effective immediately, authorize the County Manager, or his designee, to approve any requested waivers adequately justified by the submitting civic association..

    3. These procedures and criteria should be developed in consultation with representatives of civic associations, the Civic Federation, the Neighborhood Conservation, Pedestrian and Transportation Advisory Commissions, and other interested citizens. The policy of permitting flexibility and waivers in certain specified situations should be incorporated into the Master Transportation Plan and other appropriate county documents.

This page was last revised on: April 12, 2006.
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