Car-Free HQ2 Working Group

Let’s welcome the people of Amazon to Arlington, and build a community that allows them to live and work here without bringing their cars.

A few residents who believe that HQ2 is a critical turning point in Arlington County’s sustainable transportation future have formed a working group, in the shared belief that the ideal outcome for our community with the coming of HQ2 is that the County, Amazon, JBGSmith, and the community work together to achieve the goal of no one commuting alone in a car to HQ2.

We also know that while Arlington County has the potential to surpass Seattle in minimizing Amazon-generated car trips, we also are in even greater danger of accelerated displacement of residents through rising real estate prices. A car-free HQ2 is a failure if it creates an Arlington County that walls off people from the opportunities that it offers by creating price and accessibility barriers.

We intend to focus broadly on the following areas and big questions, and begin examining critical current and future projects and initiatives that impact each. If you would like to participate, suggest ideas, or have questions, email CarFreeHQ2@gmail.com, and/or follow @CarFreeHQ2 on twitter

Biking: The County’s recent passage of a revised Bicycle Transportation Master Plan element emphasized providing a network of facilities suitable for all ages and abilities. However, the facilities dictated by the 2010 Crystal City Sector Plan often fall short of that standard. What needs to change in order to get world-class bicycling facilities in the area?

Commuter rail: Crystal City is fortunate to include a commuter rail station, yet VRE service lags behind many commuter rail systems, including MARC in Maryland. What short-term and long-term strategies and projects can connect more Virginia and Maryland communities to HQ2 by commuter rail?

Housing, land-use and zoning: Up to 75% of Arlington’s land mass is zoned for single family homes. With so many Metrorail stations, how can we create more housing for all household types? How can we ensure affordability across the economic spectrum? How do we prevent the rapid price increases and displacement that occurred in Seattle, and are already occurring here?

Slugging: Also known as casual carpooling, how can HQ2 accommodate and encourage slugging, without disrupting the organic way it typically evolves?

Transit: HQ2 was chosen for its ample connections to premium transit. Are existing levels of service adequate to meet the need? What are the bus service gaps and opportunities?

Travel Demand Management (TDM): Arlington has invested millions of dollars in transportation funding to become a leader in TDM. HQ2 will present a huge challenge and opportunity. What is Amazon providing to employees in Seattle? What cutting-edge employee incentives, such as parking cashout, are possible? Are State and County statutes sufficient to compel Amazon to do as much as possible to minimize car travel?

Walking and accessibility: Do development design standards provide for walking facilities that are attractive, durable, safe, and accessible for everyone? Do street projects focus adequately on narrowing crossing distances and tightening curb radii at intersections to reduce vulnerability to motor vehicles? How can we prioritize pedestrian safety and convenience with traffic signal operations with pedestrian-friendly practices? How can we work with DES to do away with actuation, lengthen walk phases, protect left-turn phases, and reduce cycle lengths? Are the current artistic crosswalks safe and visible? How well does our pedestrian infrastructure accommodate people with mobility, vision, or intellectual impairments?