Metro leadership and members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee will be on hand at the meeting to hear what customers believe could be improved or changed. The meeting runs from 6:30-8:00 p.m., with an informational open house beginning at 6:00 p.m.
MetroAccess is a door-to-door shuttle service for people who have a disability preventing them from using rail or buses. The current MetroAccess contract expires on June 30, 2013.
Anyone who can’t make the meeting but has constructive comments to share can send an email to email@example.com or call 202-962-1141.
The driver of the SUV was reported to have suffered minor injuries. No injuries were reported on the bus.
Traffic heading toward northbound Washington Boulevard squeezes by the accident scene. No HOV lanes are blocked.
On Saturday the Arlington County Board approved a number of transportation projects designed to improve the safety, appearance and accessibility of streets, sidewalks, trails and bus stops in the county.
Arlington agreed to match $935,000 in state funds — a total of $1.87 million — for four “priority transportation projects.” The projects include:
- Old Dominion Drive, Phase II — “Installation of curb, gutters, storm drains, sidewalks, upgraded traffic signals, street lights and bus stops on Old Dominion Drive between North Glebe Road and 38th Street North. The County and State will each provide $500,000 toward this project. Total funding is $4.37 million.”
- Washington Boulevard Trail Phase II — “Construction of a trail parallel to Washington Boulevard from 2nd Street South to Columbia Pike. The County and State will each provide $170,000 toward this project. Total funding is $1.6 million.”
- Five Points Intersection Improvements — “Pedestrian improvements to sidewalks and street crossings at the intersection of Old Dominion Drive, Lee Highway, Military Road, and North Quincy Street. The County and State will each provide $225,000 toward this project. Total funding is $650,000.”
- Kirkwood Road Pedestrian Improvements — “Construction of new sidewalks along the west side of Kirkwood Road from 17th Street North to Lee Highway. Work is slated to begin in the fall of 2011.The County and State will each provide $40,000 toward this project. The total funding for this project is $280,000.”
“The transportation projects that the Board is authorizing today reflect the County’s policy of building infrastructure to support many types of travel,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement over the weekend.
The Board also approved five Neighborhood Conservation projects that will improve and beautiful streets, sidewalks and medians in the Tara Leeway Heights, Leeway, Glencarlyn, Ashton Heights and Yorktown neighborhoods. The projects carry a price tag of $2.8 million.
“Through Neighborhood Conservation, residents identify the projects that will improve pedestrian safety, prevent flooding, light streets and beautify public spaces in their neighborhoods,” Zimmerman said. “It is an effective way to ensure that Arlington neighborhoods remain strong, safe and attractive.”
Finally, the Board approved a nearly $400,000 contract to upgrade “31 existing, high-priority bus stops across the County.” (The stops include Metrobus and ART bus stops.) The upgrades include new bus shelters, improved street crossings, new or upgraded sidewalks, as well as new curb ramps, benches, trash receptacles and landscaping. The project is being paid for with federal and state funds.
While Columbia Pike will be getting its first of two dozen planned “Super Stop” bus shelters later this year, more modest improvements are in the works for 31 other bus shelters around the county (see map, left).
This weekend the Arlington County Board is expected to approve a nearly $400,000 contract to upgrade bus stops in various “County designated high-priority zones.”
“Improvements include improved crossings, curb ramps, the addition or replacement of bus shelters, benches and trash receptacles, the addition or upgrade of existing sidewalks, and landscaping,” according to the board report. “As the construction progresses, periodic traffic restrictions may be required upon roadways in the vicinity of the active construction zone.”
The project is being fully paid for with state and federal funds. A second, more limited phase of the project is expected to follow the current contract.
The first of the so-called “Super Stops” will be built at Walter Reed Drive and the Pike. Work on two other stops — at Columbus and Dinwiddie Streets — is also expected to begin this fall, with a fourth Super Stop expected to be built at Barton Street, near Penrose Square, during the spring of 2012. Combined, the four stops serve more than 2,000 passengers per day.
The new stops will feature heated seats, floors, new lighting, glass windscreen walls enhanced weather protection, and electronic signs that will show bus arrival and departure information. The Super Stops will accommodate 10-15 riders, compared to the six riders who can fit in current bus shelters.
“Super Stops are the bus stop of the future,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in 2008, when the stops were first announced. Plans to offer WiFi internet access at each stop has been scrapped due to advances in smartphones and other consumer technology, according to county spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel.
After the first four “pilot” stops are built, Arlington expects to construct future stops at Navy Annex, Courthouse Road, Glebe Road, Monroe Street, George Mason Drive, Taylor and Thomas Streets, Buchanan Street and Greenbrier Street. Eventually, 24 Super Stops will be built. Officials say the stops will eventually serve as stops for the planned Columbia Pike streetcar.
While the new stops are under construction, existing bus stops will be relocated to the other end of the block.
Update at 12:55 p.m. — WMATA will oversee construction of the stops, with Arlington and the federal government footing the bill, which is estimated at $2.15 million first the first
four three stops. Of that, $430,000, or 20 percent, will come from the county while the rest will come from federal highway funds, according to Whalen McDaniel. The remainder of the project will be about 90 percent funded by federal and state grants, with the rest coming from the county.
The agency says it is calling in additional support personnel, who will be “on duty throughout the weekend to respond to any situations that may arise.”
WMATA is supplying chain saws to Metro drivers, “for use in the event of downed trees.” Metrobuses and MetroAccess vehicles may be detoured around fallen trees and flooded areas, as necessary. Metro is also checking all drainage pumps and clearing out debris from drainage areas near Metro stations.
“Supervisors will monitor critical locations, such as bus garages, parking garages, and flood-prone areas throughout the weekend,” Metro said in a press release.
Metro has placed more than 2,000 sandbags around the escalators of Metrorail stations that have a history of flooding, including the Foggy Bottom and King Street stations. None of the listed stations are in Arlington.
“We’re putting all of our resources in place to address any issues that arise out of the extreme weather conditions this weekend,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles. “We will be updating our customers through our website, Twitter, email alerts and the media.”
See our earlier post on Arlington County’s hurricane preparations here.
Last Wednesday, according to the latest Arlington County crime report, a bus driver assaulted two women after one of the women tossed a drink at him.
ASSAULT AND BATTERY-ARREST, 07/13/10, 800 block of N. Randolph Street. On July 13 at 1:15 pm, a bus driver assaulted two women after one of the women threw a soda at him. Joseph Milliner, 40, of Temple Hills, MD, was charged with two counts of Assault and Battery. He was released on his own recognizance.
See the rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Shirlington Oktoberfest Returns — A date has been set for this year’s Oktoberfest event in Shirlington. The annual celebration of all things German and beer-related will take place on Saturday, Oct. 8. Tickets are $25. [Shirlington Village Blog]
Pike Library, Career Center Renovations — A series of improvements is planned for the building on S. Walter Reed Drive that houses the Columbia Pike Branch Library and the Arlington Career Center. Over the next 9 months crews will replace the building’s windows and front doors, roof and drainage system and the entire heating and air conditioning system.
Firefighters Endorse Areizaga-Soto — The Arlington Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association has endorsed Jaime Areizaga-Soto for state Senate. “Jaime understands the needs of Firefighters in Arlington County and across the 31st
District,” said local union president Sean O’Connell. Areizaga-Soto is facing a tough primary battle against Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola.
Don’t Blame Metrobus Drivers – County Board Chairman and former Metro board member Chris Zimmerman says overpaid drivers are not to blame for the transit agency’s troubles. Metrobus drivers make more than their counterparts at suburban bus systems like Arlington’s ART or the Fairfax Connector service. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Update at 9:30 a.m. — The accident has been cleared and Columbia Pike has reopened.
Westbound Columbia Pike has been shut down in front of the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse due to a truck fire.
A rental truck caught fire around 8:30 this morning. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, but an oil leak has now reportedly been discovered.
Firefighters and police are expected to remain on the scene for about an hour — until about 10:00 a.m. — as the leak is cleaned up. Traffic is being diverted onto Walter Reed Drive.
While ARLnow.com was on the scene, a Metrobus driver decided to skip the detour and instead drive westbound in the eastbound turn lane of Columbia Pike (see photo above).
Police and firefighters are responding to an accident involving a car and a Metrobus on Lee Highway.
The accident occurred near the intersection of Lee Highway and Spout Run. Initial reports suggest that there were four occupants on the bus at the time.
Drivers should expect some minor traffic issues in the area.
Arlington Transit officials say their Bus Riding 101 event last Friday night was a smashing success.
A Metro representative taught novice bus riders how to read a bus schedule, find the best route and pay bus fare. The workshop also discussed the benefits of using a SmarTrip card.
According to the Arlington Transit web site, 129 people attended the event, which was held at the Gates of Ballston community center. Attendees later visited a nearby CVS to learn how to add money to their SmarTrip cards.
The woman’s story was published on the Hollaback DC blog, which chronicles gender-based harassment in the Washington area. The woman said the driver’s suggestive comments about her height made her feel “paralyzed.”
“I was so mad, so pissed, I nearly cried,” she wrote.
The alleged incident took place during the evening rush hour on the 10B bus, which travels from Hunting Towers in Alexandria to the Ballston Metro station, via Shirlington and Buckingham.
Metro riders can submit complaints about employee conduct here.
As a result, the project — which started last summer and was originally slated to take 15 months — has been prolonged by an estimated three months. Planners will now have to redesign the relocation process. Work is not expected to resume until “late spring,” according to a letter from the county to local residents and organizations.
The delay will also affect the Metro and ART bus stops that were closed and relocated as a result of the project.
Separately, the county announced that it’s working to repair the torn-up and uneven stretch of the Pike between Four Mile Run Drive and South Wakefield Street. However, cold temperatures are expected to keep the necessary asphalt work from being completed until mid-February.
Residents have been complaining about the potholes and sinkholes and other car-rattling pockmarks in the roadway.
“Right now the road is in a very bad state,” said Takis Karantonis, director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. “Folks have complained often to us.”
Arlington’s Creeping Debt — Arlington is now one of just eight localities in Virginia with more than $1 billion in municipal debt. Arlington is on the high end of debt on a per-capita basis, at $5,240, but a number of Virginia cities including Richmond and Falls Church have higher levels. By comparison, however, Alexandria has only $3,269 in debt per capita. More from the Sun Gazette.
Rosslyn Commons Groundbreaking Scheduled — Developer JBG is planning a groundbreaking for its Rosslyn Commons residential complex, to be held at some point in January. The Rosslyn Commons project consists of two towers with a total of 474 housing units, including 55 affordable units. More from TBD.
Seven Corners Shell Station Robbed – The Shell gas station at 6623 Wilson Boulevard in Falls Church was robbed at gunpoint Monday night. The robbery was caught on surveillance video, but the suspect kept his face concealed the whole time. More from the Falls Church News-Press.
Changes to Metrobus Routes – WMATA is adding service on two Arlington Metrobus routes. The 7Y route, an extension of the 7E, will travel from the Pentagon to the Federal Triangle Metro station, via Memorial Bridge. The 16F route will travel down Columbia Pike to the Pentagon, ending up at Federal Triangle station via the 14th Street Bridge. More from Metro.
A Metrobus operator was among the unlucky drivers who did not heed warnings of stepped-up traffic enforcement in Rosslyn today.
Arlington police officers positioned themselves at the busy intersection of Wilson Boulevard and North Lynn Street during the morning traffic rush and the lunch time pedestrian rush, in an effort to catch people violating basic traffic safety laws. During the course of the morning rush hour alone, they handed out 33 citations to drivers and gave 50 verbal warnings to pedestrians and cyclists.
The enforcement was part of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s eighth annual Street Smart safety campaign, which officially launched today with a lunchtime press conference in Rosslyn.
“They key message here is: we’re not pointing the finger at the motorist, we’re not pointing the finger at the pedestrian, we’re not pointing the finger at the bicyclist… when you’re talking about prevention, we all have a responsibility,” said Arlington Police Chief Douglas Scott.
“Pedestrians, bicyclists and cars need to coexist and watch out for each other,” said Arlington County board member Mary Hynes, who told reporters that her own daughter was once struck and injured by a bus. (Clarification: Ms. Hynes’ daughter was struck by a bus in Europe. It was not a Metrobus. This article, which remains in its original form, did not mean to imply the type of bus involved in that incident.)
Scott said the police department will have stepped-up enforcement in the morning and evening rush hours throughout the course of the two-week campaign.
Among those nabbed during today’s lunch time enforcement was a Metrobus operator, who was issued a $91 ticket for making a right turn on to North Lynn Street from the center lane of northbound Wilson Boulevard. At one point, after the officer left to run his information, the bus operator slammed his window shut as television news cameras rolled.
Each year, a whopping 1,000 traffic citations are issued at just the Wilson Boulevard-Lynn Street intersection, according to police.