Moving the Walter Reed Outdoor Pickleball Court Project Forward 

During the last round of community engagement, participants were asked to share their thoughts on pausing the Walter Reed Outdoor Pickleball Project. A project pause would have meant that the County would treat Walter Reed the same as courts that were selected for pickleball restriping as part of the Arlington Outdoor Courts Assessment Project.  

After a thorough evaluation of input from stakeholders, deliberation by the project team, and discussions with leadership, the County has decided that this project will continue to move forward. This decision was informed by a review of response data, evaluation of comments, and discussions about resulting opportunities. The project team also took the current state of the courts under consideration— recognizing that they are in need of repair and this project could help address necessary updates. The project team worked to develop a design that balances the many interests shared through the engagement process.


Why Draft Concept 2?
The County recognizes that noise reduction is one of the primary design considerations throughout this project. Draft concept 2 was selected as the foundation for the final draft design because it moves the courts further away from 16th Street S, and spreads them further out which, in turn, will contribute to sound reduction efforts. The alternative, concept 1, would have kept the courts closer to the street and one another, which could result in more intensified play. Community comments showed that having courts clustered together tends to result in faster and more crowded games. The design of draft concept 2 will allow players to spread out and lessen the activity, which could help reduce noise. This design aims to further existing measures such as reduced operational hours and this summer's installation of temporary acoustic fencing. The project team believes that this move further away from 16th Street S., additional landscaping buffers, and the installation of permanent sound reduction barriers will contribute to existing efforts and provide a hybrid approach to a further reduction of noise.


Acoustic Fencing and the Need for More Places to Play 
This summer, acoustic fencing was installed around two sides of the multi-use tennis and pickleball courts at Walter Reed Park. This is an interim noise mitigation measure being used as the County works through the Walter Reed Outdoor Pickleball Courts project. Most of the sound readings have shown anywhere from a 6.5 to 13.4 decibel reduction in noise. 

In addition, DPR has created new places to play! This summer, Arlington increased its outdoor pickleball court inventory by 14 new courts overlayed on top of tennis courts at Hayes, Marcey Road, Virginia Highlands, and Fort Scott parks. This was done as part of the Arlington Outdoor Courts Assessment Project in an effort to provide more opportunities where people can spread out and decrease reliance on some of the other multi-use outdoor courts throughout the County.