ASF QUESTIONS FOR ARLINGTON COUNTY BOARD JULY 7 SPECIAL ELECTION CANDIDATES

MAY 28, 2020

KEY ISSUE #3: INFRASTRUCTURE

 

Question 3 (two parts):

 

Stormwater Management - Severe flooding of July 2018 and July 2019 caused massive property and environmental damage; climate change will trigger more such events.  What should we be doing to factor in the adverse consequences of climate change in Arlington's stormwater management policies and capital projects, as well in private sector developments?

 

Schools and Transportation Needs - Planning and growth must also account for infrastructure needs of growing populations, whether schools, water, wastewater, fire/police systems, or transportation systems.  Pre-Covid-19, schools and traffic had become major stressors for residents, yet the county takes ad hoc approaches, with school reshufflings and traffic jams increasing without meaningful steps to increase public transport use.  Do you believe these are problems and what changes would you endorse?

Taki Karantonis Response:

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The floods of 2019 occurred in areas of the County that developed long before today’s stormwater management requirements were enacted. As a homeowner in Arlington Village, which was constructed in the early 1940’s, I -too- have experienced massive flooding and know how disruptive it can be.


I will support the devotion of significant CIP resources to upgrade the stormwater management and storage capacity in these older parts of the County built on streams. I also support taking the necessary steps to ensure that Arlington, like many neighboring jurisdictions, can require redeveloped lots to manage their downstream run-off via easements. It is critical that ALL developers are intentional and responsible for managing
the downstream consequences of new construction and I will be vigilant in requiring that all new development, including expanded single-family home footprints and public facilities, complies with the strict Chesapeake Bay Ordinance requirements.


To move beyond today and focus on a future more compromised by climate change, I will push for the creation of a Task Force of local civil engineers and other experts, charged with working with staff to validate DES plans and/or recommend additional state-of-the art strategies and best management practices for remediation. With this public review, the Board can demonstrate to the citizenry that the County is dedicated to resolving the issues at hand.

 

I fully support the joint County/Schools Arlington Committee for Transportation Choices that brings staff and citizens together to coordinate multimodal transportation for schools. For every school, I support wide sidewalks that can accommodate the foot traffic of those who live nearby, sufficient bike racks in safe places for kids/parents to bike to school, and timing ART buses to arrive at schools near the start time of school. When new schools open, carefully calibrated family plans need time to adjust. I support providing trial runs in the weeks before school starts to be ready when schools begin. And we need to acknowledge that we will never eliminate the family car - sometimes the only option to successfully juggle school and work schedules is to drive.

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