May Updates: School Planning, WMATA SafeTrack and Save the Date

From preparing for WMATA SafeTrack impacts to launching the 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan process, May has been a busy month for the County Board. Here are a couple of items we're working on - plus, a tasty announcement about the First Annual Great Arlington Bake-Off on July 1st:

Preparing for WMATA SafeTrack Service Disruptions
For those of us on the County Board, as well as on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and Virginia Railway Express Operations Board on which I serve, the Metrorail SafeTrack maintenance program starting next month is top of mind. I support the long-overdue and badly-needed schedule of safety repairs, but know that the impacts of single-tracking and other disruptions will be frustrating for Arlington residents and commuters. County staff is working hard on plans for redeploying buses, beefing up BikeShare, and coordinating with other jurisdictions and employers on van pools and telework. As you plan for disruptions to your own commute, visit Arlington County Commuter Services for the latest on SafeTrack updates and details on alternative options that might be available to you: www.commuterpage.com/pages/safetrack-know-your-transportation-options. 

Joint Planning for a New South Arlington Elementary is Underway - and Congratulations to Democratic School Board Candidates
For the coming months, I'm serving as the Board's liaison to the planning process for a new elementary school at Thomas Jefferson, joined by my School Board counterpart, Barbara Kanninen. We're working hard, along with staff and civic leaders, to knit together "school side" and "County side" citizen planning teams that have formerly worked in parallel. It's all part of an effort to more quickly surface and resolve challenges to meet the Fall 2019 deadline for opening the school. We're two joint meetings in, and although there will be a number of tough problems ahead - particularly on traffic management - I'm encouraged by the productive conversations that happen when parents, educators, neighbors, and community advocates get in a room together to review design drafts and resolve issues. 

On a related note, congratulations to Nancy Van Doren and Tannia Talento, winners of this weekend's caucuses and Democratic endorsees for the Arlington County School Board. Nancy's analytical skills and advocacy for students with special needs are invaluable on the current Board, and Tannia will bring a unique parent perspective and miles-long civic resume. I'm proud to join the Arlington County Democratic Committee in endorsing Nancy and Tannia for the November election. Learn more about their candidacies at http://www.nancyvandoren.org and http://tanniatalento.org.

First Annual "Great Arlington Bake-Off" on July 1st  

Join us on July 1st at 7 pm at Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan Street. I'm hosting the First Annual Great Arlington Bake-Off, a family-friendly event to start the 4th of July weekend. I hope you'll consider entering the competition as well as attending: Sign up to enter your famous apple pie, gluten-free brownies, alfajores or other prize-winning baked goods at: http://goo.gl/forms/eOFaIAtX1o.

Celebrity Guest Judges include Barcroft's own Former Virginia Delegate Karen Darner and Paty Funegra, founder of La Cocina VA (http://www.lacocinava.org/). Crowd favorites will also be awarded. The Bake-Off is free to enter and to attend. Contributions are welcome and can be made at www.katiecristol.com/donate or at the event. 

Hope to see you there...

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