A lot of people celebrate the holiday season with alcohol, which can make the roads dangerous. To keep the streets a little safer from potentially impaired drivers, SoberRide is offering free taxi rides home.
From now through January 1, riders in Arlington and the surrounding areas can receive a free cab ride home, up to a $30 fare. The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WARP) teamed up with several sponsors to offer the service. Multiple taxi companies, including Arlington’s Red Top Cab, are participating in the initiative.
Riders must be at least 21 years old and follow a few guidelines, including not reserving a taxi in advance. The service runs from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m.
All calls must go to 1-800-200-TAXI. Do not call your local cab company directly to request SoberRide services. There is more information about the program on the WRAP website.
In order to make your holiday traveling easier, the Virginia Department of Transportation is suspending most lane closures during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Here’s what VDOT said in a release:
RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is clearing a path for travelers this holiday season by lifting lane closures over the extended Christmas and New Year’s weekends.
VDOT will suspend lane closures from noon Friday, Dec. 23, to noon Tuesday, Dec. 27, and again from noon Friday, Dec. 30, to noon Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
“We want everyone to arrive safely at their destinations during the year-end holidays,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “We are opening lanes where appropriate to increase lane capacity on our interstates and other major roads. I encourage motorists to do their part to keep one another safe by obeying all traffic laws, staying alert and engaged behind the wheel, and being courteous to your fellow motorists.”
While temporary work zones are lifted during the holiday period, VDOT is always prepared to mobilize in case of inclement weather. VDOT will monitor weather forecasts for any snow or ice that could affect travel over the holidays. Its offices and snow-removal equipment will be fully staffed in the event of any accumulation.
In addition, the Northern Virginia High Occupancy Vehicle Lane schedule is as follows:
The I-95/395 reversible lanes will be open to all traffic:
- Southbound from 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23 until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24
- Northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24 until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27 when HOV-3 takes effect
- HOV restrictions on I-95, 395 and 66 are lifted on Monday, Dec. 26
The I-95/395 reversible lanes will be open to all traffic:
- Southbound from 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30 until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31
- Northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, when HOV-3 takes effect
- HOV restrictions on I-95, 395 and 66 are lifted on Monday, Jan. 2
The election is being held to fill the seat vacated by Barbara Favola, who defeated Caren Merrick in the race for Virginia Senate last month. The date could not be set until Favola formally resigned from the County Board.
Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg said the County Electoral Board will meet on Wednesday to determine candidate filing deadlines for the special election. Candidates could not officially file to run until the special election date was released. Until now, they were required file as if they were running in the November 2012 election, and then amend the request once the special election date was official. So far, there are six Democrats who have expressed intent to run, but no Republicans.
Whoever claims victory in the special election still must run again for the seat in November.
If you’re looking to give the gift of fitness and transportation this holiday season, Capital Bikeshare may have the answer. It’s offering gift certificates for memberships at discounted rates until Christmas.
The annual membership is going for $65, down from $75, and the 30-day membership can be picked up for $20 instead of $25.
We’re told the discounts will be in place until December 25. You can find more information about the four options available for memberships, or make gift certificate purchases here.
A female jogger was struck by a car in the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and Lorcom Lane on Sunday, a tipster tells ARLnow.com.
The accident, which involved the pedestrian and 3-4 vehicles, was first reported around 5:05 p.m. on Sunday, according to police radio traffic. The woman was lifted onto the striking vehicle’s windshield but only suffered a broken wrist and other minor injuries, said the tipster. At least one of the drivers also suffered minor injuries.
The intersection was shut down temporarily following the accident. We’re told the jogger and a driver were both taken to the hospital.
An Arlington County Fire Department spokesman was not immediately able to confirm any details about the incident.
Mark Center Parking Capped — A roughly 2,000 spot parking cap is being put in place at the Mark Center in Alexandria, thanks to language placed in a federal appropriations bill. The cap should avert a feared traffic congestion nightmare around the Mark Center, located at the Seminary Road exit off of I-395. Thousands of Department of Defense jobs from Arlington and elsewhere are being transferred to the Mark Center, but transportation infrastructure improvement projects around the Center are still underway. [Rep. Jim Moran]
Ballston BID’s New Director — The new Ballston Business Improvement District formally announced last week that it has hired Tina Leone as its first executive director. Leone was previously president and CEO of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. [Ballston BID]
Cemetery Transfer May Not Be Necessary — A federal review of operations at Arlington National Cemetery concluded last week that a proposed transfer of the cemetery from the Army to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs may no longer be necessary. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief