Update at 5:55 p.m. — The few protesters who made it to the Virginia side of the Key Bridge were “pretty low-key,” says Arlington County police spokeswoman Det. Crystal Nosal. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported. A small group of young protesters wearing anarchist symbols and bandanas over their faces had a brief but peaceful confrontation with Arlington police that ended with the group crossing back into D.C.
Update at 4:50 p.m. — After a peaceful occupation of one of the bridge’s sidewalks, protesters have largely dispersed. Traffic on the Key Bridge is currently light and unobstructed.
Earlier: Several dozen Arlington County police officers in riot gear are stationed on the Virginia side of the Key Bridge, waiting to see if protesters from the Occupy D.C. movement decide to cross.
The heavy police presence on the Rosslyn side of the Potomac is accompanied by the presence of D.C. police mid-span and on the Georgetown side, and a U.S. Park Police helicopter overhead.
A couple hundred protesters are said to be marching in the District, compared to just over a dozen ‘Occupy NoVA’ demonstrators — mostly Verizon CWA union members — who marched down Wilson Boulevard around 3:00 this afternoon.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are advising the public about the possibility of traffic delays during the evening rush hour today (17 Nov) due to a planned demonstration and march by Occupy DC in the vicinity of the Key Bridge and McPherson Square.
The demonstration / march is scheduled to begin at 1430 and continue through the evening rush hour. Potential impacts include the possibility of heavy pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic between the Key Bridge, McPherson Square, and surrounding areas.
Arlington and D.C. police are stationed on either side of the Key Bridge to ensure the march remains orderly.
(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) A newly-formed group called ‘Occupy NoVA‘ plans to march from Ballston’s Welburn Square to the Key Bridge on Thursday afternoon.
“A national day of action is taking place around the country in the Occupy movement,” Occupy NoVA said on its website. “We are going to be marching on this day in solidarity with Occupy DC, from Welburn Square to join in a Labor-Community-Occupy Day of Action and March on the Key Bridge in Rosslyn/Georgetown in protest of the deterioration of our public infrastructure and public services.”
Protesters are expected to gather in Welburn Square at 2:00 p.m., before starting their march around 3:30 p.m. The marching route — which would take demonstrators through the heart of Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn — includes parts of Wilson Boulevard, Clarendon Boulevard and N. Lynn Street. It’s not clear if protesters will be marching on the sidewalk or in the street.
So far, Arlington County Police have not had any comment on their planned response to the protest. Last week an Occupy D.C. spokesman told ARLnow.com that the movement was aware of the Occupy NoVA group’s existence.
Occupy NoVA has not yet set up any encampments, but the group says on its website that it will discuss further plans at meetings on Thursday.
Two of three northbound lanes are closed on the Key Bridge due to a presidential speech in Georgetown.
The lane closures are causing traffic to back up in Rosslyn, before the bridge.
President Obama is currently speaking in Goergetown Waterfront Park, near the Key Bridge. The speech started around 11:30 a.m.
Obama to Visit Key Bridge — President Obama will make an appearance on the D.C. side of the Key Bridge tomorrow to “highlight the need for infrastructure investments.” The Key Bridge, the Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge are all structurally deficient and in need of immediate repair, according to a report released last month. [Washington Post]
CivFed Wary of A-Frame Signs — Arlington County Civic Federation delegates are wary of the county’s plan to allow A-frame — or sandwich board — signs on the sidewalks of commercial districts. The federation will vote tonight on a resolution that asks that the number of A-frame signs be limited, due to the potential for the signs to impede the mobility of the elderly and the disabled. [Sun Gazette]
Al Franken to Visit Four Courts — Updated at 9:30 a.m. — Comedian and U.S. Senator Al Franken is scheduled to appear at a Democratic fundraiser at Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse tonight. The fundraiser is reportedly off-limits to media. [Patch]
The cyclist was struck by a vehicle on Lynn Street, just past Lee Highway approaching the Key Bridge, around 3:30 p.m. Only minor injuries were reported, but initial reports suggest the cyclist is going to be brought to a hospital.
This is the second reported bicyclist accident at the intersection in three days. Arlington County is the early stages of designing and implementing safety improvements at the intersection. The project is not expected to be complete until 2014.
The accident happened on Lynn Street, near the intersection with Lee Highway. Two lanes of Lynn Street were blocked as medics treated the bicyclist and as police took photos of the accident scene.
The bicyclist was taken to George Washington University Hospital with unspecified injuries. So far there’s no indication that those injuries are life-threatening.
A driver was brought to the hospital after her Volvo ran off the road and flipped on its side in a small field across from the Marriott in Rosslyn.
The car was heading southbound on Fort Myer Drive, just past Key Bridge, when it hopped a curb, hit a tree and flipped over. Firefighters responded and used heavy equipment to extricate the woman from the driver’s seat.
The accident happened around 7:15 p.m., near the end of the evening rush hour. Key Bridge traffic heading into Arlington was snarled as emergency vehicles blocked all but one lane of Fort Myer Drive.
No word on what caused the car to veer off the road. The woman is expected to be okay.
Man Killed on Key Bridge Was Arlington Resident — Police say 23-year-old Arlington resident Aliester Elizardo Pineda-Medrano was walking his broken-down moped across the Key Bridge when he was struck and killed by an SUV Sunday night. The man who police say struck Pineda-Medrano and kept going has also been identified. [WUSA 9]
DMV Back Open After Roof Blown Off — A large section of the metal roof atop the DMV building on South Four Mile Run Drive blew off during Friday’s fierce winds. Nonetheless, the DMV opened as usual on Monday. [TBD]
Women of Vision Finalists Named — The Arlington Commission on the Status of Women has unveiled the four nominees for its 2011 ‘Women of Vision’ award. The winner of the award will be announced at a reception on March 10. [Sun Gazette]
ArlingtonSenator.com Registered — State political blogger Ben Tribbett has been mentioned as a possible candidate in the race to replace retiring state Senator Mary Margaret Whipple. The 31-year-old is at least considering a run. Domain records show Tribbett has registered ArlingtonSenator.com. [Network Solutions]
According to NBC 4, a person who was walking a moped across the Key Bridge was struck and killed by an SUV that then fled the scene. The officer was on the bridge investigating the accident when he was struck from behind by another vehicle.
The driver that hit the officer stayed on the scene and the SUV driver was later stopped in Maryland, NBC 4’s Tracee Wilkins reported. Both drivers are suspected of driving under the influence.
Initial reports suggest the officer briefly lost consciousness after being thrown into the striking vehicle’s windshield. He’s expected to be okay.