NPS is preparing a new transportation plan and environmental assessment for the heavily-trafficked zone, Park Service Superintendent Alexcy Romero announced Thursday.
“The purpose of the [environmental assessment] is to reduce conflicts between trail, walkway and roadway users and to increase overall visitor safety around the memorial area,” Romero said in a statement.
The Park Service installed temporary flashing lights last winter at a crosswalk on the northbound GW Parkway, prior to the circle, to urge drivers to slow down for pedestrians and cyclists. In summer 2012, various other safety improvements – pedestrian warning signs, rumble strips for drivers and directional pavement markings – were installed.
The changes were made in response to a series of accidents and near-misses.
Comments on new safety improvements can be submitted through September 30 on the Park Service’s planning website.
The Park Service asks that commenters include their addresses, phone numbers and email addresses in their remarks, warning that “personal identifying information may be made publicly available at any time.”
Additionally, park staff will set up information booths at Alexandria farmers markets and near Memorial Circle.
The public will have opportunities to review the transportation plan following its release this fall, according to NPS. The Park Service is expected to make a final decision on the plan by the summer of 2016.
Photo (top) via Google Maps
(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Arlington County firefighters and paramedics responded to a serious multi-vehicle accident on the GW Parkway this afternoon.
The accident happened just after 2:00 p.m. near the Windy Run overpass, northwest of Spout Run. Three vehicles collided in the northbound lanes, sending one of the cars off the roadway and down an embankment, nearly to the Potomac below.
Two people were in that car; at least one was trapped following the accident and had to be extricated by a rescue team.
One of the victims was flown to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, via a U.S. Park Police helicopter, with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Sean O’Connell. The other victim in the car was transported via ambulance to George Washington University Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
A third person was injured in one of the other cars involved in the accident. That individual was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with moderate, non-life-threatening injuries, O’Connell said.
All lanes of the GW Parkway were closed between Spout Run and Route 123 following the accident, according to WTOP. Closures remain in place as police investigate the wreck.
Photo courtesy @CAPT258
One Found Dead in Submerged Car — A person was found dead in a submerged car near the GW Parkway’s Humpback Bridge Sunday afternoon. D.C. and Arlington firefighters were called to the scene after a Duck Tours boat operator saw the submerged car. The car reportedly plunged into the Potomac while traveling northbound on the Parkway. [WTOP, WJLA]
BRT Debuts in Arlington — Metroway, Metro’s first bus rapid transit system, made its debut over the weekend. The service runs from Crystal City to the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria, utilizing dedicated lanes along Route 1. [Washington Post]
CAIR Banquet Coming to Arlington — The Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold its 20th annual fundraising banquet in Crystal City next month. The event will take place Sept. 27 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. Announced participants include retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who’s scheduled to be the keynote speaker. [CAIR]
Fewer than Half of Area Residents are Native-Born — Fewer than half of the residents of D.C., Maryland and Virginia were born there. The number of native-born residents of the District, Maryland and Virginia has been falling since at least 1970. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by erkiletian
(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) U.S. Park Police are on the scene of a multiple vehicle accident that’s snarling traffic in the southbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway, near I-395.
Traffic is being diverted around the accident but the entire area is congested. Park Police recommend avoiding the area.
Rescue crews attended to one injured person who sustained non-life threatening injuries. The Arlington County Fire Department confirms the injured person was an off duty Park Police officer.
ACFD confirms a Park Police helicopter landed at the scene to assist and transported the injured officer to Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. From Twitter:
– BADGE-258 (@CAPT258) August 12, 2014
Investigators are hoping to learn more about a fatal wreck on the George Washington Parkway earlier this month.
The crash happened just before 4:45 p.m. on July 2. A black BMW traveling southbound near the first overlook crossed over the center median and collided head-on with a Hyundai SUV, according to U.S. Park Police.
The driver of the SUV, identified as Michael Poling of Vienna, Va., was flown to the trauma center at Medstar, where he succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the BMW was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
So far there’s no word of charges being filed. Police are asking witnesses and those with information about the crash to come forward to assist with their investigation.
U.S. Park Police issued the following press release about the crash this afternoon.
Detectives from the United States Park Police (USPP), Criminal Investigations Branch, are investigating a three car vehicle crash which occurred N/B George Washington Memorial Parkway in the area of the 1st Overlook.
On Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at approximately 4:43 pm units from USPP District Two responded for the report of a motor vehicle crash with one victim trapped. Fireboard and EMS personnel arrived on scene and extricated the trapped operator identified as Michael Alan Poling of Vienna, Virginia from the vehicle. Mr. Poling was transported by USPP Eagle 1 to Medstar where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Preliminary investigation reveals that a black BMW traveling in the left lane S/B on the GW Parkway in the area of the 1st Overlook crossed over the grass median into oncoming traffic of the N/B GW Parkway lanes. The BMW entered the travel lane of a Hyundai SUV Mr. Poling was operating striking it head on and additionally struck a Honda traveling in the left lane of N/B GW Parkway.
The operator of the BMW was transported to GW Hospital by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries but was held for observation.
The Criminal Investigations Branch is asking for the assistance of commuters that were traveling S/B on the GW Parkway that witnessed the crash or that may have information. Anyone with information is asked to call the United States Park Police Tip Line at 202-610-8737.
Photo courtesy @CAPT258
(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) The northbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway were shut down during Wednesday’s evening rush hour due to a fatal crash.
A three vehicle accident near the second overlook left one driver entrapped in his car and gravely injured. A second driver was also injured, while the third was unhurt. There were no passengers in the vehicles, according to U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Lelani Woods.
The U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter landed just north of the accident and flew the first victim to the trauma center at Medstar, where he was later pronounced dead. The second victim was transported via ambulance to George Washington University Hospital.
Northbound and southbound GW Parkway traffic was closed following the accident and the helicopter’s landing. The Parkway remained closed until just before 10:00 p.m. while police investigated the crash, Woods said.
One driver stuck near the accident scene said via Twitter that the northbound lanes were “a parking lot.” Northbound traffic was diverted onto the Spout Run Parkway during the closures.
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]