The flashing lights will be installed at the crosswalk on the northbound GW Parkway, just prior to Memorial Circle.
“The purpose is to improve safety and increase awareness by slowing down traffic when pedestrians and bicyclists intend to cross the Parkway,” the Park Service said in a press release, adding: “Trail users need to be aware that the flashing beacon is a warning, not a stop sign.”
The lights will be temporary — in place for about a month. Park officials will consider the effectiveness of the installation during an upcoming evaluation of long-term safety and traffic improvements on the parkway.
The installation of the flashing beacon is expected to take place at some point next week.
(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) A Ferrari crashed and caught fire on the GW Parkway this morning, prompting an emergency response that then led to an accident involving a fire department vehicle.
The first wreck happened around 9:30 a.m., in the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway under I-66, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.
The Ferrari lost control on the rain-slicked road and struck the bridge, coming to rest on the side of the parkway. The Ferrari then caught fire, quickly becoming fully engulfed before the flames were extinguished by firefighters. The driver was uninjured, according to Marchegiani.
Just past 10:30 a.m., a pickup truck rear-ended an Arlington County Fire Marshal’s truck that was stopped in the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway, adjacent to the first wreck. A third vehicle was also hit but no injuries were reported, Marchegiani said.
The dual wrecks shut down lanes and caused major backups for GW Parkway commuters. Two trucks are currently on scene to haul away the vehicles involved.
Video (above) courtesy David Johnson. Photos (below) courtesy @Chief288.
The incident happened around 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. It’s unclear where exactly the woman fell, though there is a trail near the overlook.
The woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries from the fall, according to ACFD spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani, but the terrain made it difficult to get her to an ambulance. Instead, a technical rescue team was called to the scene and managed to lower her to a waiting D.C. fire boat.
The woman was transported to George Washington University Hospital. No additional information was available about the incident.
Photo via Google Maps
The car flipped around 3:00 p.m. as a result of an accident with at least one other vehicle. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police re-opened the parkway to traffic at 4:20 p.m.
The car is the second to overturn in Arlington Wednesday, following an SUV that flipped after a collision in Cherrydale Wednesday morning.
Photo via MWAA
Northbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway are closed due to a fallen tree.
Traffic heading from Lee Highway toward the GW Parkway is being diverted from Spout Run onto Lorcom Lane.
U.S. Park Police officers are directing traffic while crews work to clear the fallen tree.
(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Last week, a pro-gun activist cancelled his planned open carry march from Arlington National Cemetery to the District of Columbia. The planned protest has prompted U.S. Park Police to remind the public that D.C. gun laws apply to certain portions of parkland adjacent the the Potomac River.
March organizer Adam Kokesh encouraged supporters to join him on July 4 in publicly carrying loaded rifles during the march, which he dubbed a “non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent.” It was scheduled to begin at Arlington National Cemetery, and then continue over the Memorial Bridge into various parts of the District before returning to Arlington.
As widely reported, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier promised to enforce the District’s strict stringent laws, which ban the carrying of loaded weapons. Lanier suggested police might even meet the marchers at the District line. Last week organizers cancelled the march.
Yesterday, U.S. Park Police sent out a reminder that certain parcels of land along the George Washington Memorial Parkway that appear to be in Virginia — such as Theodore Roosevelt Island and Columbia Island, which includes LBJ Memorial Grove, Lady Bird Johnson Park and the Columbia Island marina — are actually in the District. Therefore, D.C. gun laws apply there.
As seen on the USPP-provided map (above), Columbia Island extends from just below the Roosevelt Bridge to the Humpback Bridge. From the press release:
The proposed “Open Carry March on Washington” that was being organized by Adam Kokesh to occur on July 4, 2013, has been cancelled by him.
The United States Park Police… want[s] to make sure the public is aware that portions of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) is located in the District of Columbia, and that their firearm laws applies there.
Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands are located in the District of Columbia. While most of the GWMP is located in Virginia, both the Theodore Roosevelt Island and Columbia Island is actually located in the District of Columbia. A good rule of thumb for Columbia Island, which includes the LBJ Memorial Grove, Lady Bird Johnson Park and Columbia Island marina, is that it surrounded by the Potomac River to the east and Boundary Channel to the west. The following are various access points that lead to Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands in the District of Columbia:
- The foot bridge leading on to Theodore Roosevelt Island from the parking lot off of the GWMP southbound.
- Northbound GWMP and the Mt. Vernon Trail in the area of Humpback Bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.
- Ramp to Rt. 50 from northbound GWMP to Columbia Island.
- Memorial Avenue to Columbia Island.
- Southbound GWMP south of Theodore Roosevelt Island to Humpback Bridge.
- Boundary Channel Dr. @ Rt. 27 to Columbia Island.
- LBJ Memorial Grove footbridge (leading from the Pentagon parking lot) to Columbia Island.
District of Columbia firearms laws apply on Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands. Before entering Theodore Roosevelt and Columbia Islands, people need to know that they are located in the District of Columbia. This is important because since February 22, 2010, 16 USC 1a-7b generally provides that people can legally possess firearms if they are in compliance with the law of the State in which the park area is located.
It remains the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws. For example, D.C. Code 22-4504(a-1) provides that “[e]xcept as otherwise permitted by law, no person shall carry within the District of Columbia a rifle or shotgun.” While there are a number of public sources to locate the firearms laws, the GWMP’s website at www.nps.gov/gwmp/parkmgmt/firearms.htm has hyperlinks to the firearm laws of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Parkland located in Arlington, meanwhile, is subject to the following Virginia gun laws.
(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) Arlington commuters woke up to something of a surprise this morning: accumulated snowfall.
Arlington County says local roads are “slushy,” and its snow removal crews are in the “Phase 2” of snow removal — working to treat heavily-travelled roads.
“Commuters will encounter slushy conditions on area roads,” the county said in an Arlington Alert. “Use caution when approaching intersections and on/off ramps.”
Arlington Public Schools are not impacted by the snowfall; students are currently on spring break. But snow-covered roads perhaps played a factor led in a number of accidents in and around Arlington this morning.
Accidents have been reported on the northbound GW Parkway near Spout Run and Route 123. The second accident involved an overturned car and northbound traffic is reportedly blocked.
Meanwhile, a rollover accident happened earlier at Reagan National Airport.
A vehicle flipped over on the departures roadway, beyond Terminals B and C on the “return to the airport” ramp.
“[The] driver of the vehicle was transported to a local hospital,” said airport spokesman Robert Yingling. “No other occupants [and] no other vehicles [were] involved.”
The vehicle has since been removed and the road reopened.
Commuters are experiencing major backups on the GW Parkway due to a serious accident in Fairfax County.
The crash occurred on the GW Parkway near Route 123. According to an Arlington Alert email, traffic was shut down in both directions to allow a Medevac helicopter to land.
Backups on the northbound lanes of the Parkway reportedly extend down to the Memorial Bridge
Accident Shuts Down GW Parkway — The northbound GW Parkway was closed this morning before Route 123 due to a reported multi-vehicle accident. Northbound traffic was being diverted onto Spout Run Parkway. [WTOP Traffic]
The Origins of Broyhill Forest — In 1952, homes in Broyhill Forest, a planned community adjacent to the Washington Golf and Country Club, went on sale for $19,000 to $27,000. Falls Church News-Press columnist Charlie Clark, a resident of Broyhill Forest, recalls the Broyhill family and their impact on Arlington. [Falls Church News-Press]
Pistol Certification Class at Arlington Church — A local firearms instruction company is offering NRA First Steps Pistol Orientation courses at Bloss Memorial Church in Lyon Park. The course completion certificate can be used to obtain concealed carry permit in Virginia. While classroom instruction is conducted at the church, live fire portions of the class are conducted at the NRA headquarters range in Fairfax. [Liberty Firearms Instruction]
Energy Journey Game on Saturday — Arlington County is organizing an “interactive life-size board game” that offers residents a chance to “challenge yourself on everyday actions that have an energy impact.” The “Energy Journey Game” starts at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 2). [Fresh AIRE]
‘Georgetown Cuddler’ Conviction Overturned — An appeals court has overturned the conviction of Arlington resident Todd M. Thomas, 26, the accused “Georgetown Cuddler.” [Washington Post]
The accident happened near Lorcom Lane, possibly at the turn-around between Lorcom Lane and the GW Parkway.
Two vehicles were reportedly involved in the wreck and one vehicle flipped on its roof. An individual was stuck in the overturned vehicle but seemed to to be okay, according to scanner traffic.
Drivers should expect significant traffic impacts in the area. It’s currently unclear whether the Parkway is blocked or if there are only lane closures in place.
Photo courtesy @StormPins
A cyclist was struck by a vehicle at the dangerous intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway around 8:15 this morning. The cyclist was treated for a reported knee injury and transported to the hospital.
Although emergency activity from the accident blocked a right-hand lane of Lynn Street, the bigger traffic problem was the ramp to the northbound GW Parkway. According to scanner traffic, ongoing rock stabilization work on the parkway — which has blocked a left-hand lane — is causing traffic on the parkway to slow and, in turn, is causing major delays for traffic merging on to the parkway from Rosslyn.
As of 8:30 a.m., cars heading to the parkway were backed up all the way to Wilson Blvd on Lynn Street.
(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A large stretch of the northbound George Washington Parkway will be shut down this weekend due to rock stabilization work.
All northbound lanes of the parkway will be closed from Spout Run to Chain Bridge. The closure is scheduled to be in place from 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, to 5:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, according to the National Park Service.
“Detours will be posted, variable message boards have been placed, but alternate routes are strongly advised,” NPS said.
One possible way around the closure for GW Parkway drivers is to take the northbound Spout Run Parkway to Lee Highway, Lee Highway north to Military Road, Military Road north to Glebe Road, Glebe Road northeast to Chain Bridge Road, and Chain Bridge Road north to back to the GW Parkway. Another alternative route, for drivers heading to the Beltway, is to take Spout Run to Lee Highway to westbound I-66.
The rock stabilization project is being performed through Dec. 19 by the Federal Highway Administration. The goal is to stabilize the “rock slopes” of two sites near Spout Run that experienced recent “rock fall events.” The second site, just north of Spout Run, had a boulder fall onto the parkway as a result of the Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake, according to FHA.
In addition to the closure this coming weekend, one of the three northbound lanes of the parkway near Spout Run is closed through the end of the project, and a second (middle) lane is closed during non-rush hours. On top of that, two additional full weekend closures are also planned this month.
“A second and third full weekend closure at the north slide is tentatively scheduled for the weekends of October 13th and 14th and October 20th and 21st,” according to the Park Service.
Photo via the Federal Highway Administration
(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) The Alexandria Fire Department and U.S. Park Police were on the scene of a car that flipped on the George Washington Parkway this afternoon.
The Honda landed on its roof in the median between the northbound and southbound lanes, in the area between Reagan National Airport and Daingerfield Island. There’s no word on injuries, but we hear that the driver was not trapped and did not need to be extricated by rescue personnel.
As of 2:35 p.m. the scene had been largely cleared, though residual delays remained in the southbound lanes of the parkway.
The first of several planned safety improvements along the GW Parkway will be made today (Friday).
This morning, the National Park Service is expected to starting installing the first of 46 signs (including 9 pedestrian warning signs and numerous trail and route guidance signs) that will be placed near five crosswalks around Memorial Circle. The signs, along with planned directional pavement markings, rumble strips and a trail crossing relocation, are all steps being taken in response to numerous accidents between cars, pedestrians and bicyclists near Memorial Circle.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, officials said the changes, though simple and relatively inexpensive, will help improve the safety of all parkway users.
“We believe these improvements will increase the awareness of the dangers of crossing a very busy parkway for all travelers, whether it be on foot, bicycle or motor vehicle,” said Capt. Scott Fear of the U.S. Park Police. “Our officers have handled many, many crashes related to this area, and we continue to look for ways to improve the safety of the park’s visitors and travelers. The steps being taken should held decrease the crashes and educate the public of the surroundings and challenges they may face as they visit the park.”
“We’re going to see a major reduction in accidents,” promised Rep. Jim Moran, at the press conference. “This is going to affect thousands of people on a daily basis. It’s the right thing to do, it doesn’t interfere with anyone, and it makes everyone feel more safe and secure.”
The changes are all expected to be complete by the end of October. The Park Service, meanwhile, says it will explore more dramatic, long-term changes that could be made to improve safety, including creating a traffic island in the middle of the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway.
Fear said Park Police are considering stepping up speed enforcement along the parkway, but no final decision has been reached yet.
See the full National Park Service press release, after the jump.
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) The National Park Service will be installing a series of safety improvements along the George Washington Parkway, intended to make Memorial Circle and several Mt. Vernon Trail crossings across the parkway less dangerous.
The improvements were announced this morning by Rep. Jim Moran (D). Work on the improvements will start next week and will wrap up by the fall. Among the planned changes, according to Moran’s office:
- “Replacing many of the directional and regulatory signs in the Circle and on Memorial Bridge”
- “Installing rumble strips bumps to alert drivers before each of several specific crosswalk areas”
- “Painting directional arrows, information, and symbols directly onto the pavement to help drivers select proper lanes early”
- “Moving one crosswalk area from where there are two lanes to where it is only one lane wide”
The announcement comes just three days after a cyclist was struck by a car and injured at a trail crossing just south of Memorial Circle. Several other accidents and close calls have been reported at GW Parkway trail crossings over the past two years.
“It’s a confusing area and unfortunately we have a lot of accidents involving bicyclists and motorists and joggers,” U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Brooks acknowledged earlier this week.
Moran says the changes should help make things safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.
“The health and safety of those commuting to work or simply exercising along the Potomac River should never be threatened due to poor infrastructure planning,” the congressman said in a statement. “I am pleased the National Park Service has agreed to put needed fixes into the trails and roads surrounding Memorial Circle. With the scheduled improvements, tourists, commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists will be able to truly share the road.”