Arlington will hold its annual Neighborhood Day on Saturday, May 21. Fifteen neighborhood-specific events will be held throughout the county to mark the occasion.
Among the events planned:
- H-B Woodlawn 5K Trail Run
- Ashton Heights Yard Sale
- Old Dominion Neighborhood Day & Yard Sale
- Fairlington Invasive Plant Pull
- Patrick Henry Fun Run
- Save Barcroft from Plant Invaders!
- Bluemont Park Turtle Trot 5K
- Highland Park-Overlee Knolls Walk-A-Bout
- Bluemont Park Ribbon Cutting
- Lyon Park’s 87th Annual Spring Fair
- Bluemont Spring BBQ at Firehouse #2
- North Highland Community Picnic
- Nauck Neighborhood Day: “It’s a Family Affair”
- Rockwell Plaque Dedication at Fillmore Park
- Dominion Hills Park and Playground Dedication
See the full list of event times, locations and descriptions here.
The Arlington County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office held its annual observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day this morning.
Drummers, bagpipers and a bugler helped to mark the solemn occasion at the Arlington County Justice Center Plaza om Courthouse. Courthouse Road was shut down for the ceremony, which started at 8:00 a.m. Through speeches, the law enforcement community remembered the six Arlington County officers who have died in the line of duty.
Later in the day, Whole Foods and Applegate Farms grilled a free lunch on the plaza for law enforcement officers and employees.
National Police Week, an annual law enforcement gathering held in the D.C. area, officially begins on Friday.
Sohaib Athar achieved worldwide fame for providing real-time Twitter updates during the raid — without knowing that it was a raid or that it was Osama bin Laden’s secret hide-out that was being raided. Munasifi, meanwhile, achieved region-wide fame for his music video ode to life in Arlington.
Despite the fact that Athar lives in Abbottabad, Pakistan and Munasifi lives in Clarendon, Remy’s comedy apparently crosses physical and cultural borders — his parody video “Hey There Khalilah” is one of Athar’s “favorites” on YouTube.
Unleashed (5400 Lee Highway) opened for business last week and now its planning a grand opening celebration this weekend.
The store is part of the ‘Unleashed’ boutique pet store chain run by giant pet retailer Petco. It replaced a Blockbuster video store that closed in January.
On Saturday and Sunday the store will hold a grand opening sale with 50 percent off a number of products, including certain natural dog and cat foods. Employees are also handing out $5.00 off coupons to those who stop by the store this week.
According to real estate web site Zillow, real estate list prices in Arlington were up 8.6 percent year-over-year in April, but the web site’s estimate of home values in Arlington was down 2.5 percent year-over-year as of March. That’s consistent with a nationwide downward trend, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
According to an accounting by the Sun Gazette, home sales in Arlington are down while both average and median sale prices were down year-over-year in April. By contrast, Northern Virginia as a whole saw a continued rise in sale prices.
According to Realtor Laura Rubinchuk’s Arlington VA Real Estate News blog, however, home inventory in Arlington is down while demand and median prices are up. But, she says, there are some homes that just aren’t selling.
“I wish I had an explanation for what the heck is going on in the market right now, but I can’t seem to find a pattern,” she wrote.
Flickr pool photo by Christopher Doorley
Changes are coming to the steep stretch of Walter Reed Drive where a bicyclist was killed over the weekend.
Arlington County plans to begin work this summer to add a number of safety improvements to Walter Reed between S. Pollard Street and Four Mile Run Drive. The changes, which were in the works before the accident, include:
- Replacing the painted asphalt medians with planted, landscaped medians
- Curb extensions, or “nubs,” and raised pedestrian islands at Quincy, Quebec and Pollard Streets
- Six foot curb extension on the east side of Walter Reed Drive at the W&OD Trail crosswalk
- Additional signage for drivers approaching the W&OD Trail crosswalk
- A parking lane stripe and “sharrow” markings to the downhill lanes (the uphill lanes already have a dedicated bike lane and a parking stripe)
- Bus shelters at Four Mile Run Drive and Randolph Street
The 45-60 day construction project will also eliminate the right turn lane from southbound Walter Reed Drive to the Four Mile Run Drive access road. (The bicyclist, who had been heading downhill on Walter Reed Drive, struck a car heading east on the access road just after the turn lane, according to police.)
Arlington Traffic Engineering and Operations Chief Wayne Wentz says that eliminating the turn lane and replacing it with landscaping will help slow down cars — which will now have to make a 90 degree right run at the intersection — and will make it easier for pedestrians to cross.
“People treat [such lanes] very much like ramps rather than just intersections,” Wentz said. “It just reinforces that you’re turning onto a neighborhood street, not on to some major arterial.”
Wentz said the overall goal of the project — which he says will cost about $180,000 — is to reduce the number of potential “conflict points” between pedestrians and vehicles. The project, he said, will not explicitly attempt to reduce the speed of cars or bicycles heading downhill on Walter Reed Drive.
The travel lanes on Walter Reed Drive will not be narrowed, Wentz said. The county also has no plans to add a speed limit sign to the downhill lane, even though the nearest speed limit sign for southbound drivers is at 19th Street, well before the hill.
Jim Morrison in Arlington? — The late Doors frontman Jim Morrison apparently was an Arlingtonian. The son of a Navy admiral, Morrison lived at as many as three different Arlington addresses. The current resident of one of his reported former addresses says Morrison’s ghost has haunted the house on three different occasions. [Falls Church News-Press]
Pete’s Apizza Groupon Selling Fast — A 50% off Groupon for Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza (3017 Clarendon Blvd) has nearly sold out. As of this writing, 5,800 people have purchased the deal — 4,800 specifically for the restaurant’s recently-opened Clarendon location. Expect the Clarendon restaurant to get considerably more crowded over the next few weeks as a result. [Groupon]
Mobile Visitors Center Honored — Arlington’s first-of-its-kind electric-powered Mobile Visitors Center has been honored as the Visitor Center of the Year by the Virginia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus. The Mobile Visitors Center “serves travelers and residents at six Metro locations five days a week, and at major annual events.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99