Monday, October 22, 2007

BRT and Parking Loss (Brace Yourself)

The Growler conducted an interesting analysis yesterday.

We've been told in the course of the Ad Hoc Transportation Task Force deliberations that bus rapid transit (BRT) works best in dedicated lanes.

If you remember, the original draft of the Braddock Road Metro Plan showed BRT with and without dedicated lanes. That graphic was later excised but it is reasonable to assume that the City would want to remove parking and dedicate lanes in order to avoid a huge impact on the already congested highway.

Well, the Growler counted up the potential loss of parking spaces to our neighborhood, where many residents have no off-street parking and the supply of spaces is already constrained. Since buses are built to allow passengers to alight and descend on the right side (as one looks straight ahead from inside the bus), the Growler checked the spaces on the west of N. Henry Street from the 200 to 900 blocks and the east side of N. Patrick Street from the 200 to the 800 block (where on-street parking ends).

And it looks like Parker-Gray and the Braddock Metro area stand to lose approximately 200 parking spaces if a lane of each street is dedicated to BRT.

Of course these numbers are subject to more formal validation, but the Growler invites pedestrians or dog walkers to take the walk and help refine the counts.

E-mail the Growler (link on the right) if you would like a copy of the spreadsheet with the block-by-block analysis.

Hope Anew

Just a quick note that ARHA will again hold a public meeting on the upcoming HOPE VI grant application and the process for the redevelopment of James Bland and Glebe Park.

While these meetings are principally held to inform residents of schedules and what to expect, they also offer an excellent opportunity to learn more about this important project as well as a chance to direct questions to ARHA and City Housing staff and the consultant retained to help with the application submission (which is due November 7 to HUD). The Growler found the meeting very informative.

Here is the notice:

This notice is to remind you that the Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority (ARHA) has scheduled a community meeting for:

Monday, October
22 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM
to be held at
The Durant Center
1605 Cameron
Street

HUD has announced the availability of $94.2 Million in Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) Revitalization Grant Funds. ARHA intends to apply for HOPE VI in order to improve the living environment of public housing residents of James Bland and Glebe Park by demolishing outdated public housing units and replacing them with new improved housing. Most recently, HOPE VI funds were used by ARHA to build the Chatham Square community.

This is a very competitive grant and we would appreciate your input into our
application for these funds.

Please take the time to participate in the meeting and inform yourself of how Alexandria could benefit from this tremendous opportunity. The planning for the Revitalization Grant will not conflict with discussions of the Braddock Metro Plan and the Braddock East Plan so we welcome the participation of those with so much knowledge already of related issues.

If you need special accommodations, please contact Ms. Lewis at (703)
549-7115 x 260.