The early dismissals did create an early rush hour on local highways, as workers and students headed home, but here in Arlington roads and sidewalks remained passable and largely free of slick spots, despite a wave a sleet earlier this afternoon.
The precipitation is over for now, but more is possible this evening. A re-freeze is also threatening to make tomorrow’s morning commute treacherous.
The following tweets show activity during the two-hour-or-so span from the start of the sleet to the heaviest of the traffic.
Due to inclement weather, Marymount will close at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 8. Shuttle service will run on a regular weekend schedule until 5 p.m.
— Marymount University (@marymountu) January 8, 2018
Trucks throughout the district have begun patrolling and treating roads (where needed). People have also headed home from work early. Factor in extra time to get home and pls be patient.
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 8, 2018
— Doug Kammerer (@dougkammerer) January 8, 2018
Rain and sleet in Clarendon as well. So far, sidewalks are wet but not slippery. https://t.co/M3NUeIee3f
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) January 8, 2018
Runways remain open for landing/takeoff, and airfield surfaces have been treated in advance of possible freezing rain. Airlines are deicing planes. Expect some flight delays and cancellations. https://t.co/tYs3n9HI8p
— Reagan Airport (@Reagan_Airport) January 8, 2018
Traffic not too bad in Arlington as sleet arrives and workers head home, with the exception of heavy westbound traffic on I-66 pic.twitter.com/Pm16A1ftyV
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) January 8, 2018
For those trying to decide whether to leave now — it might actually be a good idea to just stay and work the day. As sleet exits, temperatures will warm. Refreeze possible later after the sun sets, but evening commute should be okay on treated main roads.
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) January 8, 2018
Commuters can expect Heavy Traffic conditions/Early Rush Hour due to Weather-Related Advisory/ Early dismissals. Slow Dow and use Caution
— DC Police Traffic (@DCPoliceTraffic) January 8, 2018
The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. in the area of Boundary Channel Drive. A 911 caller reported that the man was unconscious but breathing and that smoke was coming from the hood of his SUV.
Virginia State Police were the first on scene and were assisted by Arlington County officers in shutting down a highway ramp and several lanes during the emergency response. A number of witnesses appear to have pulled over to help before police arrived.
The man was transported by medics to George Washington University Hospital with what were reported to be minor injuries, according to scanner traffic. The closed lanes have since reopened.
A big hole on the side of a road in the Waverly Hills neighborhood has been damaging cars that fail to steer around it.
At least one car was disabled and more damaged by the hole, according to police scanner traffic. No damaged cars were seen when an ARLnow.com reporter stopped by later in the day.
Located at the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Woodstock Street, the hole appears to have been cut as part of road, curb and sidewalk work along Woodstock Street. While there are orange traffic cones around it, cars turning onto the residential street seem to have trouble squeezing by the hole when another is waiting at the stop sign to turn onto Glebe.
A car is on fire on the righthand shoulder of southbound I-395 just past Washington Blvd.
Arlington County Police and Virginia State Police are on scene. Firefighters are responding.
Traffic on SB I-395 is down to one lane near the scene.
Several lanes of King Street are blocked near Arlington’s Fairlington neighborhood due to a crash involving an Alexandria DASH bus.
At least three vehicles, including the bus, appear to have been involved in the crash, at the intersection of King Street and Menokin Drive, between I-395 and the Bradlee Shopping Center.
So far, there is no word on injuries, although numerous ambulances and fire trucks from Alexandria and Arlington responded to the scene following the crash.
🚨Service Alert: Accident at King St. and Menokin Dr. AT5 East/Westbound cannot service Bradlee Shopping Center. There will be AT5 access behind Bradlee on Braddock Rd side. AT9 will be detoured so expect slight delays.
— DASH Bus (@DASHBus) December 5, 2017
The rollout of the I-66 Express Lanes began this morning (Monday) with tolls already on the high side for solo drivers, and high prices could be the norm depending on traffic.
Tolls as high as $25-30 were reported this morning for non-HOV drivers heading from the Capital Beltway to Washington, D.C. on eastbound I-66.
— Julie Wright (@thejuliewright) December 4, 2017
And when an ARLnow reporter logged onto the 66 Express Lanes app just before 8:30 a.m., solo drivers could still expect to be hit in their wallets, even just traveling eastbound on I-66 within Arlington.
At that time, a trip from Sycamore Street in East Falls Church to Rosslyn would cost a solo rider $11.50, while a separate journey from the Glebe Road exit to the Pentagon would cost $7. A trip from the Beltway to Washington on I-66 cost $21 at the time.
A fact sheet on the Virginia Department of Transportation’s website said tolling “will be dynamic and will fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic on the Express Lanes.”
“As with other Express Lanes facilities, dynamic pricing will manage demand for the lanes to provide users a reliable trip,” VDOT continued. “When traffic volumes increase, tolls will rise, and when traffic volumes decrease, toll rates will fall.”
⚠️ Reminder: 66 inside the Beltway is now E-ZPass only during rush hours. If you want to travel for free, you need to be HOV-2 with an E-ZPass Flex in HOV mode. Otherwise, you can pay a toll with your E-ZPass. pic.twitter.com/UJywT6MKhX
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) December 4, 2017
Eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway is free for carpoolers with at least two people in the car and an E-ZPass Flex device set to HOV. Solo drivers can take I-66 towards D.C. in the morning, as long as they’re willing to pay a toll that will vary with demand.
The High Occupancy Toll restrictions and charges will apply only to the peak demand direction during rush hour — 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the morning and 3-7 p.m. in the evening.
Traffic appeared to be flowing relatively freely on I-66 this morning from the overpass by Washington-Lee High School, where Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) broke ground on the HOT Lanes last year.
Virginia State Police had warned drivers to plan ahead and recognize the change in traffic patterns at the Express Lanes, and to not stop or back up.
And VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller said there were “[no] significant crashes or traffic problems to report with this morning’s rush hour.” Based on social media accounts, eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway experienced delays on the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge heading into D.C. — a fairly typical occurrence for the morning rush.
“State police thanks all the motorists who put the extra effort into planning ahead and being prepared for the I-66 changes,” Geller said.
Update: Delay: EB on I-66 at T. Roosevelt Bridge in Arlington Co. No lanes closed. Minor Delays.8:54AM
— 511 Northern VA (@511northernva) December 4, 2017
Image No. 1: screenshot via 66 Express Lanes app
After more than a year of work, the switchover from HOV to HOT lanes on I-66 is upon us, and Virginia State Police are asking commuters to be prepared for changes to their routines.
Starting with Monday’s morning commute, the inbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway will be free for carpoolers with at least two people in the car — and, now, an E-ZPass Flex device set to HOV. All other drivers will be able to take I-66 towards D.C. in the morning, as long as they’re willing to pay a toll that will vary with demand (as announced by electronic signs).
The High Occupancy Toll restrictions and charges will apply only to the peak demand direction during rush hour — 5:30-9:30 a.m. in the morning and 3-7 p.m. in the evening. During the evening commute, lone drivers heading outbound (westbound) on I-66 will be charged, even if they’re heading to Dulles airport.
Another change: drivers of hybrid vehicles who were previously able to use I-66 during HOV-only times will now have to pay.
In a press release, below, Virginia State Police said Sunday night that drivers should get ready for changes to the morning commute and a stepped-up police presence along I-66.
With the opening of the new 66 Express Lanes, Virginia State Police are encouraging all drivers to plan in advance if needing to travel I-66, especially during the Monday morning commute on Dec. 4, 2017. State police will have additional troopers on I-66 to help ease the flow of traffic, especially as motorists become accustomed to the new Express Lane changes.
“If you will be traveling I-66 on Monday morning and/or afternoon, then please plan ahead and before your trip research your options with the new Express Lanes,” said 1st Sgt. Steve Mittendorff, Virginia State Police Area 45 Office Commander. “Your morning and afternoon drives on I-66 inside the Beltway are going to look much different from what you are used to, so take advantage of the maps and detailed information provided at http://www.66expresslanes.org. Familiarize yourself with where the traffic lanes change to decide if you want or can use the Express Lanes on I-66 inside the Beltway during the designated hours.”
Plan Ahead. Recognizing and being prepared in advance of the change in traffic patterns at the Express Lanes entrance will help keep traffic moving safely and smoothly along I-66 during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
Don’t stop or back up. Drivers should never stop or back up in an attempt to avoid the Express Lanes. If you accidentally find yourself in the Express Lanes, then just keep going in the Express Lanes and get off at the first exit. Go to http://www.66expresslanes.org and follow the directions on how to pay the toll online. Backing up or stopping puts you at risk of causing a crash and being seriously injured or killed.
Update at 3:25 p.m. – Police have reopened the left-hand lane of westbound I-66. Traffic is proceeding slowly. Drivers can still expect delays as firefighters leave the scene.
Earlier: A vehicle fire closed the Rosslyn Tunnel on I-66 just after 3 p.m. this afternoon.
According to scanner traffic, a vehicle caught fire in the westbound lanes at mile marker 74.5. Traffic cameras showed the car had pulled over into the right shoulder.
Virginia State Police shut the tunnel to traffic heading west, with firefighters from the Arlington County Fire Department on scene to help put out the flames.
From the traffic cameras, there appeared to be some flames from the car’s underside, but firefighters quickly put out any fire just before 3:20 p.m.
Drivers in the area can expect delays.
The department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to share the reminder: “Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time.”
More from ACPD:
Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes. As we approach the winter holiday season, we want to make sure people are doing the one thing that can save them in a crash, buckling up. As part of the national seat belt enforcement campaign, law enforcement agencies around the country will be stepping up enforcement from November 20 to December 1, 2017.
According to NHTSA, during the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, 301 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 53 percent were not their wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. Nighttime proved even more deadly, with 57 percent of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night. That’s why one focus of the campaign is nighttime enforcement. Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.
To learn more about the campaign, visit the NHTSA website.
In a similar effort, Virginia State Police will be be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program designed to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and not wearing seatbelts.
State police will have increased enforcement from tomorrow (Wednesday) through Sunday.
“Tragically, traffic fatalities are on the rise in Virginia,” Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent, said in a statement. “We’ve seen an 11 percent increase over this time last year. With so many people estimated to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, we need everyone to help prevent crashes by driving smart, buckling up and never driving drunk or drugged. We want everyone to arrive alive and enjoy the holiday.”
And while traffic may be busy along the I-95 corridor, as it has been historically at this time of year, the Virginia Department of Transportation is trying to make life a little easier.
During the Thanksgiving travel period, VDOT will suspend most major highway work zones and lift lane closures on Virginia interstates and major streets from Wednesday through noon on Monday, November 27.
VDOT’s Thanksgiving traffic trends map shows that Tuesday evening and midday Wednesday are among the busiest times on Virginia highways for heading out of the D.C. area.
— Adam Tuss (@AdamTuss) November 15, 2017
Similarly, Metro has no scheduled track work on Thanksgiving Day, with trains and buses operating on a Sunday schedule. The system opens at 8 a.m., and will close at 11 p.m. On Friday, November 24, the system will be open on a normal weekday schedule.
Firefighters are on scene of an overturned vehicle on the GW Parkway.
The crash happened shortly before 10:45 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the parkway, near the Key Bridge. First responders are reporting that a white van flipped onto its side.
The driver was able to get out of the vehicle and is being evaluated for minor injuries.
A cement spill closed a lane and might have damaged a car on S. Glebe Road this afternoon.
The spill happened in the northbound lanes of Glebe just prior to the busy intersection with Columbia Pike. Traffic cameras showed a road crew hastily cleaning up the spill with shovels around 2:45 p.m., blocking the righthand lane.
As seen on the cameras, a white Mercedes Benz was stopped near the spill. Its driver called police to report damage to the car caused by the spill, according to scanner traffic.
Police closed the center and left southbound lanes after the crash at around 3:45 p.m. near Mile Marker 7, just north of the Glebe Road exit. Cars could still get by slowly in the two right-hand lanes.
Backups were already reaching as far north as the Pentagon just after 4 p.m. Drivers in the area should expect delays.
Update: Accident: SB on I-395 at MM7 in Arlington Co. 2 travel lanes closed. Potential Delays.4:04PM
— 511 Northern VA (@511northernva) October 31, 2017
Crash. I-395 SB before VA-120 (Ex 7). Arl Co, VA. 2 left lanes blocked, 2 right lanes get by. Delays appx 2 miles.
— MATOC Alerts (@MATOC) October 31, 2017
A car fire prompted a closure of southbound I-395 at Glebe Road this morning.
The incident started just before 8 a.m. A vehicle in the lefthand lanes adjacent to the Glebe exit somehow became fully engulfed in flames. The fire department responded and helped to extinguish the blaze.
The cleanup from the fire is ongoing but the right-hand lane of SB I-395 reopened around 9:30 a.m.
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) October 29, 2017
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) October 29, 2017
Photos courtesy Eric Davis
From approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the northbound lanes of S. George Mason Drive will be closed between Columbia Pike and Arlington Blvd (Route 50) to accommodate the exercise.
“Realistic training is critical to enhancing the police department’s capabilities to serve and protect the community to the best of our ability,” organizers wrote. “Those traveling in the area can expect to see an increase in public safety presence but are reminded that this is a training exercise only.”
A passing truck spilled asphalt onto Lorcom Lane in Cherrydale earlier this morning, prompting a cleanup and causing some delays.
According to scanner traffic, the truck dropped the asphalt just after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Traffic slowed on Lorcom Lane’s eastbound lane at Nelly Custis Drive, near the Cherrydale United Methodist Church, as officers from the Arlington County Police Department cleared the debris onto a nearby sidewalk.
Police put flares out to alert drivers to the material in the road, but did not close any roads. Traffic continued to flow normally heading west.
By 10:15 a.m., police had cleared the asphalt from the street and removed the flares.