Designers will meet to determine future of Lee Highway

ARLINGTON, Va. — It doesn’t get the same attention as the Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Pentagon City corridors, but Lee Highway residents understand that times are changing, and they have to plan for the next generation.

“My vision would be to have a series of village centers, serving the community, that people can walk to, bike to, take your kids to and where seniors can age in place,” said Ginger Brown, co-founder of the Lee Highway Alliance. “Right now it’s very difficult to walk along Lee Highway.”

The Lee Highway Alliance will hold what is known as a charette next weekend to discuss the future of the corridor. A charette is an event where a group of designers come together to solve a problem.

“We have architects, engineers and planners coming together to work with the community to sketch out, draw and create what the vision is for the community,” Brown said.

One goal is to make the corridor more friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. It wants Arlington to develop a complete streets policy, in which all users of the roadway are considered.

It also must address the transit challenge. Lee Highway does not have access to Metrorail like other parts of Arlington, although it has robust Metrobus and Arlington Transit service.

“There is certainly going to be development pressure in the coming years, so we just want to make sure that we have a cohesive plan versus it being developed piecemeal,” Brown said.

Arlington County staffers will help assist in the event and the overall planning process to develop the corridor.

“There has been a lot of planning for Columbia Pike, but not as much for Lee Highway,” said Jay Fisette, member of the Arlington County Board. “There is now increased attention to look ahead because redevelopment is happening. Residents are excited, hopeful and fearful at the same time because they want to get ahead with good planning.”

The charette runs from Friday Nov. 6 to Monday Nov. 9 at the Langston-Brown Community Center.

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