Car-Free Living On The Orange Line – Part Two

by Dan Lesniak

legs-19759_640I spoke of some of the ways that Orange Line Living can help you live car-free in Arlington in my last post. There are more reasons why car-free living is possible in Arlington, which I’d like to share with you as well. Beyond the emphasis on public transit, the development of new mixed use centers, ever changing technology and services, as well as the planned walk-ability of Arlington, a car-free lifestyle is an easy choice to make.

Perhaps one of the biggest influences for a car-free lifestyle is the variety of mixed use zoning that has been developed and is continuing to grow. The most recent mixed use development is the open air mall set to be built in Ballston (one of my posts reviews this at length), but there are other projects already completed or in the works. Located between Courthouse and Clarendon, the Clarendon Center offers living, retail, restaurant and office space in the heart of Arlington. Named One of America’s Great Places by the American Planning Association, it has led the trend since 2008 in bringing a car-free, walkable life style to the Orange Line. In 2012, Arlington County established the Realize Rosslyn Sector plan to study and then develop a plan to move Rosslyn from a car-centric to transit-centric neighborhood. This plan is fully in place with projects in the works such as a two tower development along Wilson and Key Blvd’s.

Another key improvement of Orange Line neighborhoods is the walkability factor. As areas are redeveloped, a focus on wider sidewalks, better crosswalks, safety measures and pedestrian access have all played a role in making our area more walkable. From the Metro stations on the Orange Line you can walk a short distance to any number of shops, restaurants, markets, parks and plazas. To encourage more walking in Arlington, the county initiative Arlington Walkabouts provides maps and information for self -guided tours that you can walk and enjoy at any time. There is a walkabout for Ballston-Virginia Square, Clarendon-Courthouse and Rosslyn.

New technology has brought innovative services to the Orange Line as well. One of the best ways you can live car-free and still have access to a vehicle when you need one, say for a trip to the home improvement center, is through a car sharing membership. Car sharing gives you access to a variety of cars, reserved online through an app or by phone. You can check with the service in an instant with their app to see where an available car is within walking distance, reserve it, and off you go, quick and simple. Different from renting a car, car sharing is usually done at an hourly rate, allowing you to get your business done and off the road quickly. This service also allows you the freedom from owning a car, as all care and insurance is covered by the company.

With a focus on Transit living, Arlington is leading the way in living a car-free life by supporting the environment, local community, technology and walkability. Myself, and the Orange Line Living team, are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected].

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