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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com June 23, 2011 at 8:27 am 3,257 24 Comments

Pentagon Suspect Suspected in Shootings — The man whose arrest prompted authorities to shut down Washington Boulevard during the Friday morning rush hour is now being investigated for a possible connection to a mysterious series of incidents of shots fired at the Pentagon and various Northern Virginia sites linked to the Marine Corps. Yonathan Melaku, a 22-year-old Marine reservist, is currently being held at a Loudoun County jail. [Inside Nova]

Arlington Cabbies Stage Sit-In — Arlington taxi drivers surprised county officials by packing into a Arlington County office yesterday in protest of regulations that they say give the owners of taxi companies too much control over drivers. [Washington Examiner]

Pike ‘Bike Boulevards’ Generate Opposition — Some residents are upset about what they see as a lack of advanced notice regarding Arlington’s plan to build ‘bike boulevards’ on two streets that run parallel to Columbia Pike. Also: more details on how the bike boulevards would work. [Greater Greater Washington]

Bishop O’Connell Teacher Missing — A popular English teacher at Bishop O’Connell High School has gone missing. Tom Duesterhaus was last seen on Friday in Virginia Beach. [Patch]

Photo courtesy James Mahony

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    I saw someone who looked like Jay Fisette on G. Mason this morning driving a yellow Mini with plates “MY M1NI”.

    • JamesE

      Some vanity plates are just awful. That being said I was quite upset that UMADBRO was taken

    • G Clifford Prout

      Wonder if he was referring to his car or something else? Wink wink nudge nudge.

    • Arlwhenever

      I wish men would stop Weinerin on their vanity plates.

  • G Clifford Prout

    I got a little chuckle out of the bike boulevard story where there was discussion about removing stop signs to help bikers proceed along the route. Show of hands. How many people have actually SEEN a biker stop at a stop sign on a side street?

    • TGEoA

      too funny

      • Ren

        Hilarious. I never hear anti-cyclist humor. I am a cyclist who stops at stop-signs. Unforutnately, obeying traffic laws designed for autos does not provide me an invisible shield from drivers who break laws that endanger my safety. Some drivers do obey traffic laws and some don’t (my junior high school covered stereotyping).

        And thanks, arlnow, for a headline that gives too much attention to a group who hijacked a meeting to rant when they should have been paying attention in the first place. They were downright rude to Arlington County employees and prevented more fruitful discussion of their actual concerns.

    • R.Griffon

      Point taken. IMHO they should keep the stop signs, and cyclists should darn well abide by them. And red lights too. I almost killed a cyclist on Clarendon one morning rush hour as I started through my green light and he came barreling through the red from my left. Even had the audacity to put his hand out to me to tell me to stop.

      A-hole.

      Cyclists like that give them all a bad name. If you ride on the road, you play by the rules of the road. Simple as that.

      But also don’t understand why the grief over the bike boulevards. Sounds like a great idea that makes it safer and easier for everyone. And they’re not even banning cars from them as I understand it. Why do people have a problem with this?

      • SArl2

        Lack of notification to the affected neighborhoods is causing the grief. Sounds like they might be taking away a left hand turn from S.9th onto Walter Reed as part of improvements to the intersection – kind of like the lack of County notification of the Walter Reed “road diet” to the neighborhoods on either side of Walter Reed.

        • Josh S

          Arguments like this are just disruptive. Protesting something because you weren’t told about it ahead of time. It’s two different issues. Are there any arguments against the bike boulevards based on the merits of the idea itself?

          Now – as to the merits – no left turn in which direction – south or north? If it’s south, that’s crazy, especially with the Penrose Square opening. There is going to be increased traffic on 9th St heading towards Walter Reed and a fair number of those folks want to turn left. No left turn northbound is less of an issue because there are far fewer cars making that movement through the intersection.

          And the section of 9th that will become two way – I assume street parking on one side would then become limited. Because that corner is too sharp to make it a yield street – site lines are way too short.

          • MB

            It would remain a yield street. The two-way proposal was put forward in lieu of removing parking from one side of the street (which would make the noise about notice seem trivial, I’d imagine).

          • Chris Slatt

            It’s hard to see on the online plans, but I’m 90% the “no left turn” sign is applying only to the Fillmore Gardens parking area’s exit onto Walter Reed Dr. Folks on 9th St proper will not be turn restricted.

            The plans are up online and we’re still in the open comment period, check it out:

            http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/EnvironmentalServices/dot/planning/page81623.aspx

    • Michael H.

      I’ve seen many CARS blow straight through red lights. Not just speeding up to beat a yellow light, which is also dangerous behavior. I’ve seen many cars and trucks actively try to force pedestrians out of a crosswalk so that the car/truck can turn. This happens even when the pedestrians have a green light/walk signal and they are already in the crosswalk. This happens all the time.

      Do all cyclists obey every traffic regulation and sign? No. But I don’t see much of a difference between the level of compliance between cyclists and car drivers, as you seem to be implying.

      • charlie

        good point. in fact, i bet proportionately more auto drivers break laws than bike riders (cars don’t break laws, drivers do).

        I don’t know of a SINGLE bicyclist who speeds. Yet I just drove up 395 at 55 MPH and thought I was going to perish in a fiery rear-ending crash.

      • Greg

        As someone who commutes on a bike I disagree with this. I almost never see cyclists stop at stop signs or red lights — or at least stay stopped at the red light until it turns green. It is rare that I see a car blow through a stop light. Rolling stops at stop signs are more common.

        I am willing to bet 99% of the cyclists I see completely disregard redlights and stop signs.

        • charlie

          agree bikers are bad. but cars are too. and they hurt more when they hit. your bike commute mustn’t be on a route where Maryland drivers are or you’d see more flagrant violations.
          I commute to work by bike and I want to make a t-shirt that says “Don’t worry, I plan to stop” — it drives me nuts that bikers are so bad about the bike laws.
          if you ever have a bike wreck you will slow down. i have.

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    So bikes will be banned from Columbia Pike because of the trolley. Great urban planning. Really great.

    • South Arlington

      I didn’t read where they were being banned. But considering there are no bike lanes and disjointed sidewalks currently on Columbia Pike, it’s not like cyclists are riding on the Pike that much as is. This seems to be a better solution that moves cyclists off the Pike and onto parallel streets, this helps motorists and cyclists.

      Not sure what the trolley has to do with it other than being inane bluster intended to inflame a less intelligent audience. Really great.

    • MB

      They won’t be banned. It’ll just be more dangerous to ride on Columbia Pike.

    • Chris Slatt

      The Bike Boulevards have been in the planning stages since well before any talk of a streetcar on Columbia Pike.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        You are correct. And they have been opposed by the bicycle community since day one.
        Bikes should be on any main road that cars are on.
        In fact, maybe the cars should go down the side street and let the bikes and trolley’s have Columbia Pike.

        • bb

          No thanks. The cars can keep the Pike. I already use 12th Street now because it’s a lot easier route with fewer hills than the Pike. Going from S George Mason, I take the trail through Douglas Branch park to the end of 12th, then 12th up to Highland.

          The thing that I find odd is the notion of removing that stop sign at Highland. It’s not an easy intersection to see cross traffic on when you’re on 12th crossing (or turning onto) Highland. I’d have to say that keeping the stop sign there is probably a good idea.

  • Rick

    A sit-in in Courthouse by cabbies is a lot better then all of them standing in the middle of Stafford St behind the ballston metro…

  • SoCo Resident

    An lay religious O’Connell English teacher is curiously “missing” in Virginia Beach. A couple of weeks ago, we had a similar very GWU religious young adult “missing” with an all points bulletin out, only to find out he had driven to his hometown in NC.

    (In “Same Time Next Year” a very religious woman skips her annual religious retreat every year to …. )

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