Clarendon Center Wins Architectural Award — The Clarendon Center development has won a 2013 Charter Award, which is a global architectural award for excellence in urban design. The building straddles the 3000 block of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd. Clarendon Center was highlighted for being an example of walkable urban density in a suburban context and for its use of Art Deco styling. [Congress for the New Urbanism]
Arlington Transit Bus Survey — Arlington Transit is asking residents to fill out an online survey regarding the county’s bus service. Survey respondents are asked to suggest improvements for ART and Metrobus service. The information will help shape updates to the county’s six-year Transit Development Plan. The survey closes on Friday, June 28. [Arlington Transit]
Dream Scholarship Award Ceremony on Friday — Twenty-nine students from Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax will be honored at Friday’s Dream Scholarship award ceremony. Undocumented students in good academic standing qualify for the scholarship if they or one of their parents were born outside of the United States, and the student will attend an accredited college or university. The ceremony takes place on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Arlington Education Center (1426 N. Quincy Street). [Facebook]
The driver of an Arlington Transit bus has been cited for a crash involving an ambulance this morning.
The accident happened near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Four Mile Run Drive. The ambulance, Arlington medic unit No. 101, was en route to a call at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall around 7:45 a.m., when the ART bus pulled out in front of it, causing a crash, according to Arlington County Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Fitch.
The ambulance, which had its lights and sirens on, slammed into the bus, causing the bus to roll into a small ditch adjacent to the W&OD bike trail.
One of the firefighters in the ambulance was transported to the hospital for observation, Fitch said. No other injuries were reported.
The driver of the bus, who was the only person on the bus at the time of the crash, was cited for failure to yield.
(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) An Arlington Transit bus suffered an apparent brake malfunction and rolled down a steep hill on N. Barton Street this morning, coming to a stop half-way down the hill after it ran into a car.
The crash closed N. Barton Street between Fairfax Drive and 14th Street N. in the Courthouse area for more than an hour, as a heavy-duty tow truck was brought in to haul away the bus.
According the driver of one of the vehicles damaged in the crash, the natural gas-powered ART 45 bus started rolling back toward Fairfax Drive as it neared the crest of the hill. It rolled at least 10 feet before slamming into a black Lexus, which in turn rolled back into a Volkswagen minivan and a Reston Limousine bus.
The driver of the Lexus was transported to the hospital for evaluation, we’re told. The driver of the ART bus was shaken but not hurt. So far, no other injuries have been reported.
The crash may have prevented an even more catastrophic incident; had the other vehicles not stopped it, the bus could have gained speed as it rolled all the way down the steep hill.
Arlington County said late Monday afternoon that the bus “experienced a braking systems failure” and that it would pull three all three natural gas-powered ART buses from service while it investigates the cause of the malfunction. The county press release about the wreck, after the jump.
Man Struck by Car in Clarendon Runs Race — Michael Sizemore, 28, is making a remarkable recovery after being struck by a car in Clarendon and nearly dying this past fall. Sizemore, who suffered a fractured skull and two broken legs in the accident, among other injuries, ran a 5K race in Martinsville, Va., near his hometown of Collinsville, this past Saturday. Sizemore’s father, girlfriend, friends and other families were on hand to cheer him on. [Martinsville Bulletin, Facebook]
Residents Speak Out at Tax Rate Hearing — It was a much shorter affair than Tuesday’s nearly four hour public budget hearing, but a public hearing on Arlington County’s proposed tax rate drew a small crowd of activists Thursday night. Those advocating for more affordable housing and social services asked the County Board to raise taxes up to the legal maximum of 5 cents, while budget hawks asked for no tax increase or, at minimum, following the County Manager’s recommendation for a 3.2 cent tax increase. [Sun Gazette]
County to Hold Student ‘ART’ Contest — The county is challenging budding middle school and high school artists in Arlington to design a pedestrian safety-themed “wrap” for buses. The winning entry will be used to wrap one ART bus. The submission deadline is June 3. [Arlington County]
The first of 24 planned “Super Stop” bus stops on Columbia Pike opened this morning.
The stop, on Columbia Pike at the intersection with Walter Reed Drive, offers riders a brighter, more open and attractive take on the traditional sheltered bus stop. The stop features lighting, an electronic display that shows when the next buses are coming, and a number of unbranded newspaper boxes (not yet filled).
At any given time some 15 passengers can use the stop, which serves Metro 16 and ART 45 buses.
Completion of the stop was long delayed, hampered by “a number of unexpected issues regarding construction and new materials,” according to a project rep. The project was first approved in 2011.
Crews are expected to begin work this spring on a “Barton West” Super Stop near Penrose Square, followed by work on new stops at Columbus and Dinwiddie Streets later this summer.
Also called Presidents Day, the holiday marks the end of a string of winter federal holidays. The next federal holiday is Memorial Day, on May 27.
In Arlington, all courts, schools, libraries and county offices will be closed. All community centers will be closed, with the exception of the Barcroft Community Center, which will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Wakefield, Washington-Lee and Yorktown pools will be open on a holiday schedule. Monday marks the last day before the pools start their spring schedule.
Trash and recycling collection will proceed as normal.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Friday (January 18), police say a woman was riding the ART bus when a man got on at the Ballston Metro station and sat across the aisle from her. He allegedly began speaking to the woman in a vulgar manner and she asked him to stop. The woman became nervous and also asked the man to move away from her.
Around the area of Washington Blvd and N. Pershing Drive the suspect allegedly leaned over and grabbed the victim’s breast. The victim yelled and told the man to stop, to which he reportedly responded, “F— you.” The bus driver pulled over and called police upon hearing the commotion, and the suspect took off on foot.
Police quickly found a man in the area meeting the suspect description, and the woman was able to identify him. Police arrested 28-year-old Aaron Darnell Alexander, of no fixed address.
Alexander was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for a laceration on his hand, which he said he received when he was robbed and stabbed the previous evening. Alexander has been charged with sexual battery and is being held on a $3,500 bond.
Legislators Holding Public Meeting Tonight — Arlington County’s delegation to the Virginia General Assembly will hold their annual public legislative hearing tonight (Friday). The public is invited to address the delegation at the meeting, which starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Arlington County Board room on the third floor of 2100 Clarendon Blvd. The delegation includes three state Senators and four members of the House of Delegates. [Arlington County]
Changes to ART 42 Schedule — Minor schedule changes to the ART 42 bus route will take effect starting Monday, Jan. 7. The changes in scheduled arrival times are designed to “improve on-time performance.” [Arlington Transit]
Camel to Visit Arlington Church — A live camel will be visiting an Arlington church this weekend in celebration of Epiphany. Chewy the Camel is scheduled to show up at the Church of the Covenant (2666 Military Road) around 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, and the public is invited to the event. “Join everyone that morning at 10:45 a.m. for a celebration and parade, as well as the Spanish and English telling of the Wise Men’s visit, accompanied by goodies and crafts for children in Fellowship Hall,” the church said on its website. [Church of the Covenant]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Individual residents or groups can sign up to adopt and perform light maintenance at one of the ART bus stops. At first, the program will focus on stops along the ART 51, 52, 53 and 61 routes. Additional routes and stops will be added soon.
Participants enter into a one year agreement, during which time they will maintain the stop at least once a week. They’ll perform duties such as picking up trash, reporting vandalism or safety hazards, clearing the area of snow and reporting items left at the stop.
The county will perform necessary heavier maintenance once it’s requested by the participant. Those tasks include removing graffiti, cutting tall grass and repairing bus stops. Should the participant request it, the county will also install a trash receptacle at the bus stop.
Transit Bureau Chief Stephen Del Giudice said although Arlington fared well in the recent recession, there was a reduction in the ability to commit resources to these types of maintenance projects. The county’s efforts mainly have focused on heavily used commercial corridors.
“We’re not always able to get to some of the residential areas. We see this as filling a need as far as our ability to commit resources to residential areas,” said Del Giudice. “We thought it would be a good idea to get community involvement in our transit program.”
Since the program began on May 16, three individuals each adopted a stop, and one group adopted two stops. Those who take part will get a certificate of participation, a mention on Arlington Transit’s website and a sign of recognition at the designated stop.
Sign up can be done online. Participants must be at least 18 years old, unless they are part of a group led by a person at least 18 years old.
Arlington Mill Student Gets Scholarship — Arlington Mill High School Continuation Program student Marleny Giron has been awarded a $10,000 “Founders Scholarship” from Comcast. The scholarship is intended to recognize students for their leadership, academic achievement and community service. It was created in honor of Comcast founder Ralph Roberts.
New Art on the ART Bus — A new “Art on the ART Bus” exhibit is up. The exhibit, by local artist Jenny Sidhu Mullins, explores the idea of national identity. [Facebook]
Flickr pool photo by Alex
The building, at 2900 S. Eads Street near Crystal City, was originally purchased by the county for use as storage space for the adjacent water treatment plant. It will now house the Arlington Transit (ART) operation center, which will contain administrative and management offices, dispatch and other operating functions, a break room for bus drivers and a classroom for training.
D&A Contractors won the contract, which is valued at a little more than $1 million. The board approved the measure at its meeting on April 21.
Interior renovations will be made to about 5,000 square feet of office space, and will involve HVAC upgrades and work to achieve Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. An emergency generator will also be installed, to keep bus dispatch services running during power outages.
The Department of Environmental Services Transit Bureau requested the upgrades for its ART bus operations staff, which has been operating out of a temporary office across the street at 2910 Jefferson Davis Highway.
Once the renovations are complete, the temporary office will be removed and a vehicle fueling and wash station installed. There will also be extra parking for buses.
Generally speaking, the changes to ART 42, 52, 75 and 77 will be to add additional hours of service or to tweak existing schedules by a few minutes. However, one stop is being removed in Clarendon for two of the routes.
For more information and for full ART bus schedules, log on to the Arlington Transit website. Details for the changes starting on Monday are as follows:
- ART 42 — Additional times are added on weekdays so buses run more frequently during the morning and evening rush hours. Saturday schedules do not change. Buses will no longer travel down N. Highland St in Clarendon, but will instead use N. Garfield St. The stop at N. Highland St and Clarendon Blvd will no longer be in service.
- ART 52 — Slight time adjustments will be made to help the buses run more efficiently. The schedule will help buses better coincide with the Yorktown High School bell schedule. Students should be able to use the bus to get to and from school more easily.
- ART 75 — Additional midday and evening service will be added. Buses will now run weekdays until after 10:00 p.m. The changes will also help buses better coincide with the Wakefield High School bell schedule.
- ART 77 — Saturday service will be added, starting at 7:00 a.m. and going until 11:54 p.m. The change should make it more convenient for riders to visit Shirlington on the weekends. Slight changes will also be made to the weekday schedule to make buses run more efficiently. Buses will no longer travel down N. Highland St in Clarendon, but will instead use N. Garfield St. The stop at N. Highland St and Clarendon Blvd will no longer be in service.
The incident happened at 11:00 a.m., near the intersection of Washington Boulevard and S. Uhle Street in the Penrose neighborhood.
“There were no injuries reported and ACPD remain on scene conducting an investigation,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Although the area is not a main thoroughfare, police are re-routing traffic as necessary.
Courts, DMV facilities, human services offices, libraries, public schools and administrative offices will be closed.
No recreational classes are scheduled and all community centers will be closed, with the exception of the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center, which will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
ART 41, 42, 51, and 87 bus routes will run on a Saturday schedule. All other routes will not operate. Parking meters, meanwhile, will not be enforced.
Trash and recycling collections will continue normal operations, but the county trash call center will be closed.
According to statistics quoted by Hynes, ART is on track to serve 2.5 million riders for the 12 month period ending this June. That’s a marked increase from just seven years ago, when ART bus ridership was just under 800,000 during financial year 2005.
Hynes said 1.2 million passengers rode ART from July to the end of December 2011 — a 14.5 percent increase over the same time period in 2010. ART now serves more than 9,000 passengers every weekday, versus 8,000 a year ago.
The transit service is planning to add additional service to the ART 42, 75 and 77 routes, according to Hynes.