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Shirlington I-395 Ramp Blocked by Accident

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 9:22 am 3,884 30 Comments

Update at 10:40 a.m. — The Shirlington ramp has reopened and only the far righthand lane of I-395 remains blocked before the ramp.

Update at 9:30 a.m. — All but one northbound lane is now blocked.

The ramp from Shirlington circle to northbound I-395 is blocked due to an accident.

A U-Haul truck and at least one other vehicle was involved in the accident along the northbound lanes of I-395. The vehicles ended up on the ramp, which is now completely blocked by emergency crews. One northbound lane is also blocked.

At least one injury has been reported as a result of the accident. Police are now directing the drivers stranded on the ramp to turn around and find an alternate route to the highway.

  • Chris

    The entire entrance/exit assemblies of exits 6 and 7 on 395 seem designed solely for population control.

    • thelevyisdry


  • JM

    I was coming down the ramp as this happened; literally was inches from being involved myself, as the white car in the incident was pushed forward and to the side into the ramp. Had I not braked hard and pulled hard to the right, I would’ve been hit too on the driver’s side. After it was all over, I immediatley pulled over and called 911. I’m sorry to hear someone was injured.

    From what I saw, the exit ramp to Glebe was already backed up, with traffic waiting to exit at a stand still in the right lane of 395. Then a UHaul slammed into a red car waiting to exit in the right lane, pushing it forward into other waiting cars. The red car did a 180, so it was facing south on 395. Two other cars got pushed forward when the red car was hit, one of which was the white car that got pushed into the oncoming ramp from the Shirlington circle…

    Using this entrance ramp almost every day for work, it is a nightmare. Traffic is constantly backed up and at a stand still between the oncoming traffic from Shirlington and the exiting traffic for Glebe. This accident was waiting to happen, and in fact, is just a another one now to add to the running total. How many more have to occur before the state will do something about it?

    • JohnE

      That state gave up on renovating this part of 395 when Arlington sued them.

      • yo yo ma

        why did Arlington sue them? What was their reasoning? What do they want to do about it instead..if anything?

        • CrystalMikey

          Arlington sued to stop the HOT lanes project.

        • drax

          Arlington’s advocacy for alternatives to the same old highway projects is well-known.

      • drax

        The state should do something ELSE.

      • Josh S


    • Bender

      JM — So you are saying that the red car and the white car (and others) were stopped in the right TRAFFIC lane, waiting to get into the EXIT lane, which was completely full and backed up?

      • JM


      • JM

        This (the back up to get into the exit lane) happens almost daily during the morning commute. The entrance/exit lane is small and there’s not a lot of length to negotiate. When the light at the Glebe exit for the off-coming traffic is red, traffic waiting to exit at Glebe backs up onto 395. Combine this with entering traffic from the Shirlington circle trying to get onto 395, and it’s just a cluster**** most mornings and is dangerous to navigate.

        • Bender

          Well, I do know that the few times I’ve come off the Shirlington ramp to get onto NB 395 that people take their sweet old time getting up to speed. Same thing at George Mason and Arlington Blvd. So you end up coming off the ramp at 25-30, with traffic barrelling down on you at 50.

          • JM

            Ha. I think you can say that of most on-ramps in Arlington.

            In this particular instance though, just coming down the ramp I could already see the lane was backed up with traffic trying to merge and exit simultaneously (and I was cursing that I didn’t choose the HOV lane instead), so no barreling was going on, except for by the UHaul I suppose…

          • JM

            I should specify, the lane was backed up with cars trying to merge and exit simultaneously. Traffic was whizzing by in the 2 left lanes, but the right lane of 395 was at a standstill with people trying to merge into the exiting lane for Glebe.

    • 1RLI

      Did you give a witness statement to the ACPD?

      • JM

        They have my contact info and said they would call me if needed.

        • 1RLI

          Cool. I imagine someone’s insurance company would love to have your statement.

  • Andy

    Just add a stoplight. That fixes everything.

  • JM

    There is one Andy

    • Andy

      I mean on I-395.

  • pennylane

    Ditto on the need for stoplights, but should be in the circle itself.

  • Hokie

    The problem here is the exit onto Glebe Rd. Although inconvenient- a fix would be to narrow Glebe down as it crosses under 395 toward the glebe split to one lane. Make the exit ramp onto Glebe from 395 N just one lane (keep the light though to control traffic into Avalon from Glebe, and from Avalon onto Glebe). This setup would remove the 395 exit from the light. You have one lane of traffic from 395 that is constantly going (and this eliminates the people that think they can go straight from 395 into Avalon- that caused many accidents when I lived there)- Glebe Rd is constantly moving- it’s a win win.

    Yes I know its an inconvenience- and might slow things down- but I’ve seen elsewhere. The key is to keep traffic constantly moving.

    That said- it’s so low on the priority because it isn’t crumbling roads or bridges.

    • Holly

      I agree. It seems that there is almost always more traffic coming down from 395 to go east on Glebe than there is on Glebe. But I think the real culprit is the light one down where West Glebe splits off to go into Alexandria. Simply put, glebe right there is too narrow there in that 200 feet of pavement.

      • nom de guerre

        I’m a little confused here. I thought Glebe Road ran north and south.

        • Hokie

          There is a N, S, E, and W Glebe. Kind of like Braddock Rd. in Fairfax, it goes everywhere.

      • Bender

        Arlington has this increasing habit of putting stop lights every block or even half-block. Some places you can’t go even 200 feet.

        And would it kill the County bureaucrats to hire a traffic engineer who knows how to time the lights properly???

  • brian

    what time did the accident originally happen?

    8:40? 8:30? 9:00?

    • JM


      • brian



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