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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2012 at 8:45 am 9,036 100 Comments

Rosslyn Lights Up Tonight — The 19th annual Light Up Rosslyn night is tonight. The holiday event is taking place from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. in front of the WJLA building (1100 Wilson Blvd). Local officials will flip a big switch to “light up” the Rosslyn skyline. In addition, there will be musical groups performing and free hot cocoa, chili, cider and cookies. [Rosslyn BID]

Reduction in Blue Line Service Planned — Metro plans to further reduce service on the Blue Line when the Silver Line to Tysons Corner opens. With the Silver Line in operation, perhaps by the end of 2013, Blue Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Largo, during both peak and off-peak hours. [Washington Post]

More Commuters Are Using Transit — Updated at 10:10 a.m. — There has been a significant jump in the number of Arlington residents using mass transit as their primary means of commuting to work, according to U.S. Census figures. In 2011, 28.4 percent of residents used transit, compared to 23.3 percent in 2000. [Sun Gazette]

Winter is Coming — This week is Winter Preparedness Week. Though the weather might have been warm over the past few days, Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management is advising residents to take steps to prepare for winter weather. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

  • Ansel

    Nice picture. Must have been taken from that new really really tall building going up in Rosslyn.

    • nom de guerre

      “View of Clarendon to Ballston from a commerical flight”

      • Josh S

        So we didn’t think it was from a non-commercial flight?

        “View of Clarendon to Ballston from the air.”
        Even that is fairly obvious.

        “View of Clarendon to Ballston”

        It took me a few seconds to get oriented when I looked at the picture and then I said to myself – oh, it’s Ballston.

        “View of Ballston.” Seems about right.

        • G Clifford Prout

          We are clearly the San Francisco on the Potomac.

          • Sou

            lol…no according to the people who live in SF.

      • Ansel

        Sorry. Attempt at humor, highlighted by the exagerated reference to the “really really tall building,” must have been too subtle and/or lame.

        • sunflower

          fwiw—i lolled

      • sunflower

        time for that second cup…

    • ArLater

      *face palm*

    • Buckingham Beauty

      That would have to be one darned tall building…

  • Quoth the Raven

    What does the silver line have to do with the blue line? I don’t understand the connection there.

    • FrenchyB

      The Blue, Orange and Silver lines all use the Rosslyn tunnel.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Oh, I had that totally wrong then. I thought silver was going to stop at EFC, rather than continue into the city.

        • drax

          The Metro system is designed so you won’t ever have to transfer more than once for any trip.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Got it. It seems like an odd decision to run the silver line all the way to the stadium simply to maintain the “one transfer” ideal, when the result is more congestion in the tunnel and screwing blue line people.

          • drax

            It’s also about where they have room to turn trains around. They just announced today that they’re going to send Silver Line trains all the way to Largo because they can’t safely turn around at Stadium-Armory.

          • South Awwlington

            /\/\ only accounts for heavy rail trips…

          • Confused

            stopping the silver line at EFC would mean a transfer to go from Tysons to ballston – which makes no sense. Or even to go from Tysons to Rosslyn. Or Tysons to Foggy Bottom. All of which are pretty reasonable commutes (and reverse commutes). Once you go to Foggy Bottom, you are conflicting with the blue line whether you go furhter or not.

          • sunflower

            this may be bleedin’ obvious to everyone else, but don’t metro trains just pull onto a Y switch and reverse direction rather than “turn around”?

          • Thes

            If you are going from Dulles to National (or the other way) then you would want to have the maximum number of Silver-Blue transfers at Rosslyn. So when the Silver Line get to Dulles, it may make sense to figure out a way to let Silver or Blue line trains turn around at Rosslyn.

          • Josh S

            Yes, trains just switch direction in order to “turn around.” However, since Stadium Armory is not at the end of the line, doing so might cause difficulties with through trains. (It’s been so long since I’ve been to Stadium ARmory I can’t remember if they have a third track, which obviously would help….)

          • Trains Don’t Turn

            Trains don’t turn around….they just switch directions at the terminus points.
            Take a look at the cars….they are completely redundant and can function going either way.

  • Curious George

    Blue and Orange use the same potomac tunnel to get across the river. Add Silver line trains and you have 3 lines going through Rosslyn.

    As someone who commutes from Virginia Square to Crystal City I am pretty much screwed.

    • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

      ya, i have same commute. that’s our hood in the pic, george!! cool

    • drax

      We need a trolley.

      • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

        shoot yeah we do

      • Thes

        A trolley that went from Ballston down Glebe to connect with Columbia Pike might actually be helpful.

    • Josh S

      ART 42 – Virginia Sq to Pentagon station? Too slow?

      • NIMBY The Chicken

        23A from Ballston to Crystal City? Headed that direction it goes from 23rd St all the way up to the train station so most-to-all of crystal city is serviced.

      • YTK

        No, not too sow at all. I ride it frequently. And, hooray hooray, the 42 is alot less dysfunctional than it used to be when it took over the #24 route.

        • FrenchyB

          +1. I’ve noticed the improvement on that route as well.

      • Curious George

        I live 2 block from the Virginia Square station so by the time I walk to Ballston the time savings taking the bus would be a wash.

        Also there is a bit too much VIBRANCY in Ballston right now for me to be walking through there after dark.

        • Corey

          Yeah, Ballston’s an awfully tough neighborhood these days.

        • NIMBY The Chicken

          I don’t blame you, that’s an interesting crowd to walk through headed from VA Square to the Ballston bus bays.

          • Curious George

            Add the possibility of getting flattened trying to cross Quincy twice a day.

            And “interesting” is a good way to put it. Probably no threat except when it is. Also there seem to be robberies every few weeks.

            @corey Not sure if that was sarcasm but I have lived and worked in the Ballston area since 1995 and it has gotten more sketchy. Not ghetto sketchy but something to be aware of. At least the money laundering used car dealerships that used to be in the area seemed to keep the hood more stable.

        • FrenchyB

          You could also catch the 42 eastbound on Wilson.

        • Ballstonian

          I find it hard to believe that the walk between Ballston and VA Square is all that different vibrancy-wise than the walk between VA Square and your residence such that you would honestly feel unsafe (or whatever) between one but fine with the other.

          • Curious George

            Well 2 blocks vs. around 8 blocks for starters. Plus with all the residential in VaSqr there are usually always people walking to or from the station. There is a daily homeless meal distribution in Oakland park but everyone involved seems pretty well behaved.

        • JamesE

          these comments are insane, I walk around Arlington all the time and I am never scared.

          • sunflower


          • Curious George

            I would not say that I am scared; just that I am aware of what is around me and like to avoid the muggers and the crazies. It is more likely that one of the oblivious people I see walking around will get picked off before I would..

          • Ballstonian

            Tell me about it. If Ballston is sketchy and worth avoiding, I’d be curious how these people manage a trip into the city.

          • NIMBY The Chicken

            ^^ I work downtown and I feel safer walking down 19th St than I do at the bus bays at Ballston.

    • confused

      a y connection at Rosslyn would solve that, at relatively modest cost.

  • John Fontain

    +1 on today’s photo. Neat to see things from the air. The original size on flickr has a ton of detail.

    • Westover2

      Yeah, lots of detail. I think you can see the Reeves farm house and property.

  • Ballstonian

    Since the only 100% dedicated Blue Line station is Arlington Cemetery, i wonder if they’d consider just running a shuttle train between Rosslyn and Pentagon, and just make the Orange/Yellow rush-hour trains permanent.

    • NIMBY The Chicken

      That would cause anarchy. Have you ever seen all the suits and fatigues get off an inbound orange line train at Rosslyn and head downstairs to head to the Pentagon?

      • Kate

        Yes, I have been pushed down the escalator many times by people flooding out of the upper trains and running down to the lower platform.

      • Ballstonian

        Right, but you currently have to transfer if you’re heading inbound, so the anarchy, at least in that sense, wouldn’t change. It would create more problems if people were transfering heading outbound, but inbound would be the same.

    • NIMBY The Chicken

      It would have to be a shuttle every 5 or 10 minutes.

      • Ballstonian

        Considering that it would be only going 3 stops and then turning back, i don’t think that’s out of the question. The problem would be having to turn the trains around or having to back them up (like at the end of the line stations) with the inbound and outbound not having designated “sides” of the platform.

    • Mike

      A shuttle would be a great idea, but it would require significant modifications to the Rosslyn and Pentagon stations to add another platform and set of tracks. The shuttle couldn’t use the existing tracks, because those will be too crowded with the Orange and Silver trains (which is why the Blue Line has to be diverted and we need a shuttle in the first place). That seems like it would be very expensive. But if we could find the money to do it, it could serve as the first step in eventually building a completely separated Blue Line that would run from Rosslyn north into Georgetown, and then through DC in a new tunnel.

  • Ed

    The path of the original blue line is itself an abomination to the concept of Metro. The system is designed as spokes that go from the suburbs into the central city. The design was not to move laterally that far outside of the city core. So the whole idea of turning the blue line north and trying to elbow their way into someone else’s tunnel is complete anathema to the original planning concept. I’m glad the fully-realized metro plan for Nova is putting the blue line path back where it should be.

    I would also posit that it exposes another failure of the planning of the Pike trolley, in that the best way to supplement Metro service in Arlington is to move people north-south, bridging the Orange and Blue line parts of the county better. As much as I shudder to think of South Arlington people having a subsidized trip to the north in the middle of Glebe, it would at least ease some of the commuting problems for the white collar North Arlington residents who need to work south of 50.

    • Thes

      I agree, Ed. Better transit north-south, especially along Glebe, is needed.

  • BoredHouseWife

    brace yourselves, winter is coming

  • Josh S

    Oh, what a nice suburban community. That kind of dense development is exactly what I think of when I think of living in the ‘burbs.

    • nom de guerre

      Funny how 50% of the picture is occupied by single family homes.

      • BBMS

        And funny how folks are obsessed with arguing on the internet. Grow up Arlington!

      • JamesE

        just like northwest DC!

      • Mr T.

        I counted more trees than single family homes

    • Captain_Obvious

      It’s not that dense.

  • WeiQiang


  • Josh S

    Gosh, where is the central business district in this picture of a suburban community? I can’t find it.

    • Captain_Obvious

      Cause there isn’t one in ballston. A few office buildings don’t qualify as a CBD. The rest of the picture is the mall and some high-rise condos/apartment buildings.

      • Josh S

        Love it!

        • Captain_Obvious

          me too.

      • drax

        A CBD doesn’t define “urban” anyway.

  • YTK

    i see NO logic in reducing the Blue Line Trains. Reduce the ORANGE line if you have to reduce something and give us some more Blue Line trains– 8-car Blue Line trains while you’re at it. Ever had to wait for a Blue Line at rush hour and have THREE Orange Line trains come in a row– the last train usually being VERY empty. THEN the Blue Line Train comes and it is PACKED. Then the Orange Line flotilla comes by again and again and again.

    • dang!

      oh yeah — I always think to myself ” Thank doG I don’t use the blue line ! sheesh ! ”
      Coworkers & I get on at Farragut West ..I’m going O Line to VaSquare and they are going B line to Franconia/Spring….I *always* get a train first…

    • Libby

      OR, have you ever had to wait for an Orange Line at rush hour and have THREE Blue Line trains come in a row- the last train usually being VERY empty. THEN the Orange Line Train comes and it is PACKED. Then the Blue Line flotilla comes by again and again and again.

      • Carmen Turner

        Except this NEVER happens.

      • Alex

        Sorry Libby, that doesn’t happen since RushPlus took effect. I agree it was skewed in blue line’s favor prior to the changes, but blue line trains have been running 8-12 mins apart during rush hour ever since. I board at Crystal City in the mornings and very often the train becomes so packed we leave people on the platforms at Pent City & Pent; I board at McPherson Square in the evenings and ditto for Foggy Bottom & Rosslyn.

  • YTK

    That Clarendon to Ballston photo is at least 2 yrs old – that big pit is now the site of a high rise.

    • JamesE

      october 12 2012, the Darpa building is up, that pit you mention is still there today

    • BBMS

      I don’t think it is more than a couple of months old at the most. There is construction equipment around the McDonalds at Wilson and George Mason, and it looks like the new building is in place.

    • benballston

      negative. It’s from October 2012. You can see the new building were Bob Peck used to be and that’s less than one year old.

    • Stop being low information

      Here’s what the photo caption states:

      Clarendon to Ballston, Arlington VA

      From flight to Cleveland out of DCA. Clarendon Intersection of Washington Blvd (right)., Wilson Blvd. (left) , and Fairfax Drive (center) in foreground. Construction hole near Virginia Square. Most large buildings aggregated around Ballston WMATA Metro Station. Top right is Interstate 66. (LouisvilleOct2012-0983)

      • Mr. Lowell Information

        No one calls me Lowell.

  • Glebe Roader

    The Sun Gazette link take you to the Rosslyn BID site.

  • Glebe Roader

    The Sun Gazette must have had the numbers wrong in an earlier posted story. These are the “real” numbers.

    The percentage of Arlington residents using mass-transit options as their primary means of commuting rose from 23.3 percent in 2000 to 28.4 percent in 2011, according to federal census figures – an increase County Board Chairman Mary Hynes terms “very cool news.”

    • Quoth the Raven

      Just curious, but did the transit subsidy exist in 2000? I didn’t live here then and couldn’t find the answer (google didn’t know!). If not, that certainly might account for the change.

    • The Sun Gazette has updated its article. We’ve updated the blurb and fixed the link.

      • Glebe Roader

        There are so many other interesting things that can be learned by looking at the Census data for Arlington. For instance, the number of homes valued at $1 million or more in 2000 = 123 (or 0.4% of homes). Homes valued at $1 million or more in 2011 = 3869 (or 9.0% of homes).

  • Hadur

    Well, thanks to Metro my Crystal City-based lifestyle will soon be unsustainable. I guess it’s time to move to Ballston.

  • lk

    Rossyln’s gonna be high, high,high!

  • Ryan

    I live in Crystal City and commute to Foggy Bottom every day. I guess my best option is just to move away from Crystal City.

    • HappyCyclist

      I’d say your best bet is to bike to work.

    • Andy

      If your destination if walkable from Rosslyn, you could take the 10E bus.

  • KRS

    Guess I won’t bother taking Metro from Va Square to National Airport anymore.

  • Buckingham Beauty

    It might help if Metrobus or ART had some rush hour express routes that would run south out of Rosslyn, pick up 50 E, then the GW Parkway S to the Pentagon, and the reverse, to pick up the slack on the blue line. And then make it free if you have a SmarTrip card since you’d be connecting from Blue to Orange or Orange to Blue, and then when you reach your destination, you’d be charged total the same as you would if you had ridden the Blue line the whole way. They could run them every 5-10 minutes or something.

    • Herndon Hag
      • Buckingham Beauty

        Ah, I forgot about the 9A. But in order to be efficient as an express for those looking to skip the long wait for Blue line trains, it would need to go no further then Pentagon and turn around there, and run more often, and isn’t Jeff Davis Hwy slower than the GW because of all the stoplights? Maybe they could create a new version of the route, like a 9X or something.


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