By Connie Ericson
ASNV efforts succeeded in convincing Arlington County officials to alter plans for two proposed bike paths that would have run through designated conservation areas in Glencarlyn and Barcroft Parks.
The Claremont to Four Mile Run Trail would have run through or adjacent to Magnolia Bog, a rare wetland ecosystem that is globally significant and a refuge for plants and animals not seen in other parts of the County for decades. The plan the Arlington County Board adopted April 23 eliminates this future trail.
The proposed Glencarlyn/Hospital Trail would have run through a natural resource conservation area with significant natural seeps and locally rare native plants and wildlife. Instead, the Board adopted a plan to move the trail out of the conservation area and Glencarlyn Park, protecting resources that include Willow Pond and a natural stream leading to Long Branch.
Because of comments from ASNV, individual ASNV members and several of Arlington County’s volunteer commissions (Environment & Energy Conservation Commission, Urban Forestry Commission) the final Bicycle Plan requires plans to upgrade bike trails by widening them and possibly adding lights to consider environmental and natural resource effects of those changes. For example, the final Bicycle Plan requires that plans to add lights to trails, many of which run through sensitive stream valleys, be guided by goals and standards set by the County’s Natural Resources Management Plan, which is set to be updated in the coming months.
Information about the Bicycle Plan is available here.