Photo: Steve Thurston
Three roads lead into the Arlington View neighborhood, and soon enough, only two roads will lead out.
Once construction is completed on S. Quinn Street, making it one-way from Columbia Pike, S. Rolfe and S. Queen streets will be the only roads both in and out of the neighborhood.
S. Pierce, 12th and 14th streets, they all dead-end in the neighborhood. The south end of Queen Street dead-ends at the Army-Navy Country Club property. One road--S. 13th Street--is a line segment on the map with dead-ends east and west.
Friends Marie Smith and Lewis Gee sat on Smith’s 12th Street porch. Smith and Gee have heard the plans for Columbia Pike. They have heard that taller buildings will be allowed in Arlington View if the county board approves the Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Plan early next week.
Then this neighborhood, with only two streets out, will have more people, more cars.
The country club, Washington Blvd., and I-395 all block the exits for this patch of Arlington. Westward is the only other chance for egress, and the county’s plan calls for 12th Street to extend that way into Columbia Heights.
If that road and others are fully built as envisioned, Smith could leave her driveway and travel back streets to the Walter Reed Community Center on S. 16th Street, more than a mile away, without ever touching a major road.
But Smith and Gee do not see the road like that. Right now, 12th Street dead-ends just before reaching the parking lot of one residential tower, and another, and another. If that road opens up, all those people will take 12th Street east to avoid the Pike for a few extra blocks during rush hour, they fear.
“We have too much traffic and too many cars in the neighborhood now...It gets pretty crowded in here,” Smith said.
Across Columbia Pike and Washington Blvd., the situation is a little different.
Foxcroft Heights is a small neighborhood--just two blocks wide--of about 100 homes plus small apartment buildings. It is boxed in between Columbia Pike, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the Navy Annex, and Arlington National Cemetery.
The neighborhood faces two-fold development pressure. The first is from the federal government: the Navy Annex buildings in the 1400 block of Columbia Pike are moving out, and the cemetery will absorb that space.
More pressure comes from the county’s Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan which would allow buildings on the border of the neighborhood to grow taller.