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Shuttles Start Running Between Arlington Hall, Pentagon

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm | 2,628 views | 17 Comments

Shuttle buses are now running between the Pentagon and the National Guard Readiness Center (Arlington Hall), in a move that officials hope will help alleviate some of the traffic burden in the Barcroft neighborhood.

In July we reported that Barcroft residents were concerned about the influx of an additional 1,200 workers, whose jobs were being moved to Arlington Hall as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Congestion on George Mason Drive was part of the concern, and the fact that parking is only available for one in four new workers was another part. In response, Rep. Jim Moran requested that the military speed up approval of shuttle buses between the facility and the Pentagon Transit Center.

On Aug. 19, Moran’s office was notified that the shuttle service had been approved. Today, those shuttle buses started running, according to Moran spokeswoman Anne Hughes.

Adding service between Arlington Hall and the Pentagon will “undoubtedly reduce the use of single occupancy vehicles commuting to and parking near the bureau facility,” Moran said in July.

‘Stop’ Removed from Bike Trail at Lee Hwy and Lynn Street

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm | 3,239 views | 69 Comments

Two painted “stop” markers have been removed from the bike trail that runs along the north side of Lee Highway, at the dangerous intersection with Lynn Street in Rosslyn.

The markings were removed from the Custis Trail by Arlington’s Transportation Engineering and Operations Administration last week, according to spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. On Friday, ARLnow.com reported that a cyclist struck and injured at the intersection last month said he was issued a warning for failing to stop at the marker.

“The markings were removed because they provided a restriction to bicyclists that conflicted with the traffic signal at this intersection,” Whalen McDaniel said today. “This was recommended as part of a comprehensive trail traffic control study over a year ago. All users of the streets and sidewalks should exercise care at intersections and obey all regulations, signals, and signage.”

Flickr photo by @I_am_Dirt, via @BikeArlington

Heavy Rain Prompts Flood Watch

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm | 670 views | 3 Comments

A line of heavy rain showers is on its way out of moving through the area, leaving behind big puddles of water on local roads. Meanwhile, more rain from the remnants of Tropical Depression Lee is expected tonight.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the region earlier today.

… FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON…

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* THE WASHINGTON AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREAS… NORTH-CENTRAL AND LOWER SOUTHERN MARYLAND… AND NORTHERN AND CENTRAL VIRGINIA.

* THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON

* GULF AND ATLANTIC MOISTURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION LEE WILL CONTINUE TO INTERACT WITH A NEARLY STATIONARY BOUNDARY… PRODUCING WIDESPREAD RAIN ACROSS THE AREA. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS THROUGH WEDNESDAY WILL AVERAGE 1 TO 2 INCHES… WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS OVER 3 INCHES POSSIBLE. HEAVY RAIN MAY CONTINUE WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY.

* VERY HEAVY RAIN MAY CAUSE RAPID RISES IN CREEKS AND STREAMS… AS WELL AS SIGNIFICANT PONDING IN URBAN AREAS. DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH ROADWAYS COVERED WITH WATER.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

Cafe Parisien Closes on Lee Highway

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm | 4,885 views | 87 Comments

Cafe Parisien, located at 4520 Lee Highway in the Lee Heights shopping center, has closed.

The French restaurant first closed its doors about a week ago, one of the neighboring shopkeepers said. Most of the interior has been emptied out and a sign announcing that the space is for lease is now displayed in the window.

The closure was sudden, and customers have told ARLnow.com that they had no indication the restaurant was even considering closing. A long-time fixture of the Lee Heights shopping strip, Cafe Parisien lacked a web site, but it did earn a write-up in the Washingtonian Magazine ‘Cheap Eats’ column in 2005.

“The menu is heavy on sandwiches, salads, quiches, and crepes,” Washingtonian said. “Everything is house-made, except for the cheesecake.”

Crystal City Apartment Building Sold

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 11:29 am | 2,411 views | 10 Comments

The Crystal Plaza Apartments in Crystal City (2111 Jefferson Davis Highway) are under new ownership.

Archstone sold the building to real estate investor Ralph Dweck at the end of last month. No word yet on why Archstone, a major Crystal City land holder, decided to sell the apartment complex.

We’re also awaiting word from Dweck about his plans for the complex. So far, however, no changes have been announced.

Residents were notified about the sale last week.

Dunk Tank Nixed at Dems Labor Day Chili Cookoff

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 10:39 am | 1,106 views | 7 Comments

Arlington Democrats held their annual Labor Day chili cookoff yesterday evening, but one ingredient was conspicuously missing: the dunk tank.

The plan was for elected officials and other Democratic notables to get dunked while raising money for the Arlington County Democratic Committee. Alas, Mother Nature had other plans. With storms in the forecast, organizers reluctantly canceled the first annual Democratic dunking. Instead, as heavy rains descended on the area, attendees had to make due with the usual formula of chili, music and conversation as they huddled inside the hot and humid Lyon Park Community Center.

Among the brave dunk tank volunteers who stayed dry last night were County Board member Mary Hynes, Del. David Englin, School Board member Sally Baird, former 31st District state Senate candidate Jaime Areizaga-Soto. Also on the dunk list were blogger and consultant Ben Tribbett, ACDC Chair Mike Lieberman, ACDC Finance Chair Bree Raum, Arlington Joint Campaign Co-Chair Lauren Hall, former School Board candidate Terron Sims and ACDC precinct operations chair Kip Malinosky.

County Board member Walter Tejada, who’s up for re-election, captured this year’s “best chili” crown for his “inclusive” selection of meat, mild veggie and spicy veggie chilis.

First Day of School for APS Students

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 9:36 am | 1,212 views | 18 Comments

Arlington public school students headed back to the classrooms today.

From the scheduled 7:50 a.m. start at middle schools to the 9:24 a.m. start at the H-B Woodlawn secondary program, from kindergarten to 12th grade, students made their way to school this morning on foot, on the bus and via car.

No significant problems with the back-to-school effort were reported, at least not from a public safety perspective.

As the school year starts, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy released a ‘welcome back’ video for students and parents. Also, Murphy announced that Deirdra McLaughlin has been appointed Assistant Superintendent for Finance, replacing the retiring Mary Beth Chambers.

Morning Poll: ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday’ Takes its Toll

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 8:54 am | 1,441 views | 28 Comments

The Tuesday after Labor Day in Washington is traditionally known as ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday.’

The monicker, which comes from AAA Mid-Atlantic, refers to the sudden, jolting return to heavy traffic that occurs when Washingtonians return from their summer vacations and head back to work — while students in Virginia, at the same time, head back to school.

Among other traffic jams, nearly the entire length of northbound I-395 was slow this morning, from the 14th Street Bridge through Alexandria.

How was your commute, either on the roads or on transit?

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | September 6, 2011 at 8:06 am | 1,125 views | 20 Comments

Businesses Encouraged By Action on Sign Ordinance — Business owners are hopeful that the new, proposed changes to the sign ordinance will dramatically “streamline” the time-consuming, costly process for getting signs approved in Arlington. [Washington Examiner]

DJO Student’s Dry-Cleaning Research Makes Headlines — It’s not everyday that a high school sophomore’s science project makes it into an peer-reviewed academic research journal, but that’s exactly what happened to Bishop O’Connell High School student Alexa Dantzler. The 15-year-old’s research on chemicals that remain on clothing after dry-cleaning, conducted with the help of the Georgetown University chemistry department, was formally published last week. [Washington Post]

Gay Service Members Honored — Two prominent ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal advocates celebrated their retirement from the military during a ceremony at the Air Force Memorial on Sunday. [The Advocate]

Flags Flying in Rosslyn for 9/11 — Buildings in Rosslyn are flying the American flag this week in honor of the victims of 9/11. [Rosslyn Blog]

Arlington Fire Chief Remembers 9/11 Response — Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz was recently interviewed about the department’s role as the “primary response agency” to the Pentagon on 9/11. “There isn’t a lot of time to dwell on the enormity… you’ve got to go to work right away,” he said.” [Firehouse.com]

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

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