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Heavy Traffic on I-395 After Truck Accident

by ARLnow.com | April 7, 2014 at 8:35 am | 1,593 views | No Comments

Accident involving a truck on I-395 Accident involving a truck on I-395

(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) Traffic on northbound I-395 is slow from the Beltway to Arlington due to an accident involving a truck near the Pentagon.

A truck slammed into the jersey wall and a light pole in main line northbound lanes, just before the 14th Street Bridge. Crews are working to get the truck down from the jersey wall.

Two lanes are blocked as a result of the accident.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | March 20, 2014 at 8:35 am | 3,546 views | No Comments

"Sun shines through" (Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA)

H-B Parents Peeved By Document Disappearance — Some parents of H-B Woodlawn students are up in arms after three documents that questioned a proposal to move the secondary program to a new building disappeared from an Arlington Public Schools website. One parent called the removal of the documents “heavy-handed and disturbing.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington Man Charged With Fairfax Sex Assault — Sloan Wilson Rappoport, a 44-year-old Arlington resident and former George W. Bush administration official, has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman he met at a Bailey’s Crossroads clothing store. Police say Rappoport invited the woman into his Mercedes-Benz, then drove to a nearby location and sexually assaulted her. [Washington Post]

Clement to Run for School Board — Perennial Green Party candidate Audrey Clement is planning on running for Arlington School Board. Currently running in the race are three candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement: Barbara Kanninen, Greg Greeley and Nancy Van Doren. [InsideNoVa]

Airline Changes at DCA — As a result of changes related to the American Airlines/US Airways merger, JetBlue, Virgin America and Southwest Airlines will all be expanding their presence at Reagan National Airport. [MWAA]

Endorsements for Howze, Vihstadt — Arlington County Board candidates Alan Howze (D) and John Vihstadt (I) have picked up notable endorsements in the past week. Howze has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, which says he has a “depth of knowledge and understanding of key environmental issues facing the County.” Vihstadt has been endorsed by the local firefighters union, which says it shares Vihstadt’s spending priorities — an emphasis on core services and opposition to projects like the streetcar and the aquatics center.

Will Arlington Regret HOT Lanes Opposition? – Writing about what may be the area’s “worst commute” — from Fredericksburg to the District via I-95 and I-395 — highway historian Earl Swift suggests that Arlington may ultimately regret its opposition to HOT lanes on I-395. Running HOT lanes from I-95 to just before Arlington on I-395 “could spawn new and fearsome jams on I-395, choking Arlington County with the exhaust of idling legions of cars,” Swift writes. “The HOT lanes could be so popular, and inspire so fierce a public demand for their extension to the Potomac, that talks between state and county resume.” [Atlantic Cities, Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

Drivers: New Pike Traffic Pattern is Causing Big Backups

by ARLnow.com | February 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm | 2,578 views | No Comments

Morning rush hour traffic on Columbia Pike has gone from bad to worse thanks to a new traffic pattern at the Washington Boulevard interchange, drivers tell us.

Two weeks ago VDOT, as part of its Route 27/244 interchange project, altered the traffic pattern for vehicles heading eastbound on Columbia Pike. Drivers heading toward northbound I-395 now have to turn left at the traffic signal on S. Quinn Street, whereas before northbound and southbound traffic could both take the right-hand ramp that also leads to southbound I-395.

Traffic pattern change at the Columbia Pike/Washington Boulevard interchangeLast week, one reader told us the new traffic pattern was a “disaster,” with eastbound Pike traffic backed up to S. Courthouse Road at 7:45 a.m. Today (Wednesday), another reader said that traffic was backed up to S. Walter Reed Drive at 8:15 a.m.

“That is absolutely ridiculous,” said Thierry Driscoll, a Pike commuter who now uses S. Courthouse Road as a shortcut to Washington Boulevard. “There are cars backed up in the left lane of Columbia Pike waiting to take a left onto the Washington Blvd access ramp, but cannot because the access ramp is full.”

“There is no excuse for such a boneheaded design,” he continued. “This new pattern has inconvenienced a lot of people.”

Map of the planned Washington Boulevard/Columbia Pike interchangeDriscoll said it takes 10-15 minutes to get from the start of the backups to Washington Blvd.

VDOT spokeswoman Jennifer McCord says the current traffic pattern is temporary and will be in place for another 8-12 months while new ramps are built.

“We realize it’s slower for drivers trying to get to I-395N since they have to yield to the oncoming traffic,” she said. “Our folks… added as much time as possible to the left-turn signal” to alleviate some of the traffic.

“No more significant changes” are planned, said McCord. She advised using S. Glebe Road as a possible alternate route to I-395 for those heading from western portions of Columbia Pike.

New Traffic Pattern on Columbia Pike Takes Effect Today

by Ethan Rothstein | January 30, 2014 at 11:30 am | 2,161 views | No Comments

Interchange of Columbia PIke and I-395 (via Google Maps)(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) Starting today, drivers heading eastbound on Columbia Pike toward I-395 will be following a new traffic pattern.

Drivers heading toward northbound I-395 will now turn left at the traffic signal on S. Quinn Street and bear right to merge onto the interstate, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Those going south will drive through the intersection with S. Quinn Street and use the ramp on the right.

That’s a change from before, when northbound and southbound traffic could both take the ramp. VDOT workers will be on the road today making the switch, which is expected to be complete by 5:00 p.m.

VDOT also announced that Columbia Pike will be closed to drivers between S. Queen Street and Orme Street each of the next three weekends as workers demolish the old Washington Blvd overpass. The closure will begin at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow night until 4:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3, and it will be closed again at the same times Feb. 7-10 and Feb. 14-17.

The demolition is the next phase in the $51.5 million Washington Blvd improvement project, still slated to be finished in the summer of 2015.

Photo via Google Maps

New Traffic Pattern Coming to Pike Interchange

by ARLnow.com | December 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm | 2,264 views | No Comments

Traffic pattern change at the Columbia Pike/Washington Boulevard interchangeUpdate at 10:00 a.m. — VDOT says the change has been postponed: “Please note this new pattern has been postponed until January due to additional signal work. A new date for the shift will be announced soon.”

A new traffic pattern will be in effect at the under-construction Columbia Pike and Washington Boulevard interchange starting Thursday.

VDOT says drivers heading eastbound on the Pike will now have a different way of getting to northbound I-395 (toward the District). Now, instead of bearing right after the light at S. Quinn Street, drivers will need to wait to turn left at the light, onto a new ramp to Washington Boulevard.

Those heading to southbound I-395 will still bear right onto the ramp after S. Quinn Street.

“Work to complete the switch will take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday,” VDOT said in a press release. “Message signs will be in place to notify drivers of the new traffic pattern.”

“This new access is part of the $51.5 million project to replace the Washington Boulevard bridge over Columbia Pike,” the press release continued. “The project will be complete in summer 2015.”

As part of the project, the new bridge over Columbia Pike opened last month.

Multi-Vehicle Accident Slowing I-395 Traffic

by Ethan Rothstein | November 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm | 661 views | No Comments

I- 395 accident with injuryThree cars were involved in an accident on northbound I-395 just after 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.

The accident happened right in front of the on-ramp from the George Washington Parkway. Multiple lanes were blocked as fire trucks and police cruisers responded, but the cars have been moved so they are blocking only the right lane.

No significant injuries were reported.

Collision Blocking Two Lanes of I-395

by Ethan Rothstein | October 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm | 712 views | No Comments

Accident at I-395 and Glebe Road  Accident at I-395 and Glebe Road

A crash involving multiple vehicles is blocking two lanes of traffic on northbound I-395 near the Glebe Road interchange.

The crash occurred just after 12:10 p.m. today (Tuesday), and traffic cameras show at least two vehicles that appear to be involved in the collision.

As of 12:30 p.m. police and fire department personnel were on the scene and had shut down the two left lanes of NB I-395. No word yet on any injuries.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | September 20, 2013 at 8:55 am | 1,263 views | No Comments

Long line for the iPhone 5S outside the Apple Store at Pentagon City mall on 9/20/13

Reconfigured W. Glebe Road Intersection Considered — Arlington and Alexandria are considering moving the intersection of W. Glebe Road and S. Glebe Road in order to lessen congestion on Glebe near I-395. The proposal is now part of Alexandria’s long-range planning process. [Patch]

New Picnic Shelter for Lacey Woods Park — The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote this weekend on an enhancement to Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive). The Board will consider awarding a $341,000 contract to reconstruct the park’s 100-person picnic shelter. [Sun Gazette]

Moran Decries Proposed Cuts to Food Stamps — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says a Republican plan to cut nearly $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will hurt low-income families and children and unemployed adults. Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the plan by a vote of 217-210. In his weekly newspaper column, Moran wrote: “it is disheartening to find House Republicans wasting valuable time on efforts to reduce food availability for the hungry instead of addressing urgent issues facing our nation.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Arlington Girl Raises Awareness of Rare Disease — A 5-year-old Arlington girl, who just started kindergarten at Abingdon Elementary, is battling a genetic, degenerative mitochondrial disease for which there is no known cure. Ellie McGinn and her parents have launched a campaign to raise medical awareness of the extremely rare disease. [Washington Post]

NB I-395 HOV Lanes to Close an Hour Earlier

by Ethan Rothstein | August 5, 2013 at 9:30 am | 922 views | No Comments

I-395 at Washington BlvdThe HOV schedule on I-395 will change by an hour starting today, to help ease congestion caused by various construction projects.

The northbound HOV lanes will now close during the week at 10:00 a.m. rather than 11:00, VDOT announced, and the southbound lanes will open at noon instead of 1:00 p.m.

The change in schedule will be in effect until mid-October “to help ease southbound congestion during construction of the 95 Express Lanes, the 95 Shoulder Lane project in Prince William County, and BRAC related work in the I-395/Seminary Road area along with routine summer road maintenance,” VDOT announced in a press release.

Board to Consider Decreasing Speed Limits

by Katie Pyzyk | July 8, 2013 at 11:45 am | 1,989 views | No Comments

Stretch of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd in Courthouse (photo via Google Maps)The County Board may decide to decrease speed limits on a number of roads throughout Arlington, including the main thoroughfares from Rosslyn to Clarendon. Board members are scheduled to take up the issue at their meeting on Saturday (July 13).

The Department of Environmental Services conducted studies to examine the viability of changing speed limits on several streets. Information was gathered regarding factors such as vehicle speeds, collisions, traffic volumes, pedestrian and bicyclist activity and development patterns. Studies were performed in the following areas: N. Meade Street from Arlington Blvd to Marshall Drive (formerly Jackson Avenue), Clarendon Blvd from Washington Blvd to N. Oak Street, Wilson Blvd from Route 110 to Washington Blvd, and N. Sycamore Street from Washington Blvd to 17th Street N. and N. Roosevelt Street from 17th Street N. to the county line.

The studies indicated that speed limits along N. Meade Street, Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd could be decreased from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. The N. Sycamore Street/N. Roosevelt Street studies indicated the speed limit could be lowered from 35 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour.

Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan includes a policy to design streets with lower vehicle speeds without impeding or diverting traffic. Part of that involves adopting a 25 mile per hour speed limit in the county’s “downtown” areas where pedestrian traffic is high, such as along Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd.

The Board also has been asked to authorize the correction of speed limit discrepancies along parts of I-395 and I-66. According to VDOT records, the speed in the regular lanes of I-395 from Alexandria to D.C. is 55 miles per hour. The county code, however, was recently discovered to list a portion of the segment as 35 miles per hour, and that the entire segment is 55 miles per hour. There is a similar discrepancy between county code and VDOT records regarding the HOV lanes. Additionally, the county code does not include speed limits for I-66, but VDOT lists the limits at 45 miles per hour and 55 miles per hour, depending on the section in question.

County staff members recommend Board approval for the speed limit discrepancy corrections and for decreasing the speeds along the four stretches of county roads.

The cost of installing new speed limit signs to reflect the changes is estimated to be $5,000. Funds are available in the Fiscal Year 2014 Department of Environmental Services Transportation Engineering and Operations operating budget.

Overturned Vehicle on I-395

by ARLnow.com | June 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm | 2,339 views | No Comments

395-flippedPolice and firefighters are on the scene of an overturned vehicle on southbound I-395, just south of the Arlington Ridge Road onramp.

The single-vehicle accident happened on a stretch of the highway that’s extraordinarily accident-prone during rainstorms.

The lone occupant of the flipped vehicle was able to self-extricate and only suffered minor injuries to his hand.

Southbound I-395 traffic is backing up near the Pentagon.

Multi-Vehicle Accident on SB I-395

by ARLnow.com | June 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm | 1,152 views | No Comments

Multi-vehicle crash on NB I-395(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) A multi-vehicle accident closed all but two lanes on southbound I-395 near the Pentagon this afternoon.

Up to three people were reported hurt in the wreck, but no serious injuries were reported.

As of 5:05 p.m., at least one of the vehicles had been towed away and four lanes of traffic were getting by the scene, with only the far righthand lane blocked.

County: No Plans to Reopen Abandoned Tunnel Under I-395

by ARLnow.com | May 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm | 2,229 views | No Comments

Despite a lack of progress on another planned pedestrian route under I-395, Arlington County says it has no plans to reopen an abandoned pedestrian tunnel that connects Army Navy Drive and the Dolly Madison Towers apartment complex.

The mysterious tunnel was the subject of an ARLnow.com forum post earlier this month.

The tunnel connects Army Navy Drive near 25th Street S., south of I-395, to the grounds of the Dolly Madison Towers apartment complex, north of I-395. It was built in the mid-1960s but closed in the mid-1990s due to periodic flooding and frequent vandalism of the lighting fixtures, according to Arlington County spokeswoman Laura G. Smith. The tunnel was also deemed difficult to patrol by police.

Smith says the county does not have any plans to reopen the tunnel. According to a comment on GreaterGreaterWashington.org, the tunnel was once used by apartment dwellers who wanted to access the bus stops on Army Navy Drive.

The county has previously expressed interest in providing additional north-south access points across I-395 to pedestrians and cyclists. However, a plan to build an emergency access road and bike path from S. Queen Street to Army Navy Drive, by way of an easement on Army Navy Country Club property, remains on hold.

“There is… no news to report,” Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel said of the stalled plan.

Although the 1960s-era tunnel is officially closed, it can still be accessed and used by curious urban adventurers. A sign above the tunnel on the Army Navy Drive side reads: “Danger: Proceed at Your Own Risk.”

Other pedestrian and bike-accessible routes under or over I-395 in Arlington (from west to east) include the Shirlington pedestrian bridge, Four Mile Run Trail, S. Joyce Street, the Pentagon pedestrian tunnel, and the Mt. Vernon Trail.

BREAKING: Vehicle Pursuit Ends on I-395

by ARLnow.com | March 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm | 4,108 views | 19 Comments

traffic-cam(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) A vehicle pursuit has ended on I-395 near the 14th Street Bridge.

The pursuit began when the suspect vehicle rammed an Arlington County Police cruiser near N. Barton and Pershing Drive, in Lyon Park, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The vehicle, a late model Honda Accord, slammed into the front passenger side of the cruiser after the officer attempted to pull it over for a traffic stop, Sternbeck said. No injuries were reported as a result of the crash, though Sternbeck described the damage as “significant.”

Arlington County officers then chased the vehicle to I-395. The chase ended after officers set up a “rolling roadblock” in the northbound lanes, just before the suspects crossed into D.C.’s jurisdiction.

Police activity is currently blocking all but one northbound HOV lane just before the 14th Street Bridge. Police have two suspects in custody, both District of Columbia residents, Sternbeck said. The men are expected to be charged with felony hit and run.

It is normally Arlington County Police policy to not pursue fleeing vehicles except in special circumstances.

Couch Causes Accident on I-395

by ARLnow.com | February 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm | 1,412 views | 53 Comments

Arlington Police CarA rogue couch caused a single-vehicle accident on I-395 last night, according to police radio traffic.

The couch fell off a truck on southbound I-395 near the Pentagon. It’s unclear if the victim of the accident ran into the couch or swerved and ran into a highway barrier.

No injuries were reported. Police attempted to locate the owner of the couch, but as of this morning no police report has been filed, according to an ACPD spokesman.

File photo

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