Arlington, VA

Update at 9:10 p.m. — Power was briefly restored but is back off, according to a Dominion spokeswoman.

Earlier: About 3,700 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington as of 8 p.m. Friday night.

A massive outage is mostly affecting customers in Alexandria, but thousands in Arlington’s Crystal City, Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge and Fairlington neighborhoods are also in the dark.

Some have reported the power flickering.

Power restoration is currently estimated between 10 p.m.-1 a.m., according to Dominion’s website. The cause of the outage is a malfunctioning circuit at a substation, according to a company spokeswoman.

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Members of civic associations for Crystal City, Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge are developing a proposal for changes to Route 1

The associations, convening as “Livability 22202” in a Zoom meeting last night, focused on how to improve Route 1 in Crystal City, specifically where it goes over 12th Street S. and 18th Street S.

Proposed changes ranged from building storefronts or markets in the area underneath the overpasses, creating more open space where thick sandstone-colored walls now hold up the highway, and putting Route 1 underground to allow for development on top of it.

The discussion comes after the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) hired a contractor to conduct a feasibility study of removing the overpasses and lowering the highway to ground level.

Darren Buck — an Aurora Highlands resident, professional transportation planner, and member of the Arlington Transportation Commission — presented the possible changes, saying they were ideas meant to set a line of thinking. Factors like cost, construction time and general practicality are yet to be fully considered.

“These really are kind of unconstrained by a lot of reality,” Buck said. “They’re really trying to get to what could we do that would address some of… the identified things that we are concerned about with the at-grade proposal and start to toss around alternatives.”

Ultimately, Livability 22202 will make “community-based recommendations for an innovative new vision for Route 1 and its cross streets between 12th Street S. and 23rd Street S.,” a slide in the meeting said.

If the highway was at-grade, it could be turned into an “urban boulevard” running through Crystal City, according to VDOT.

This would fall in line with the transportation portion of Virginia’s HQ2 deal with Amazon, which lists “improvements to Route 1 through Crystal City and Pentagon City” as a project the government would fund.

According to a 2018 Virginia Economic Development Partnership presentation, this project could cost around $250 million.

Livability 22202 said dropping Route 1, also known as Richmond Highway, to ground level would force pedestrians walking between east and west Crystal City to cross the busy commuter artery.

“We want a pedestrian-friendly, walking-friendly neighborhood,” Michael Dowell of Livability 20222 said. “Having Route 1 be an impediment to achieving that is a really big worry.”

Pedestrians can currently cross under the overpasses, which many do to access the Crystal City Metro station on the east side.

Another Livability 22202 meeting on the topic will be held on September 30.

Images via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are investigating a weekend shooting in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, near Pentagon City.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning — around 3:45 a.m. — on the 1600 block of S. Joyce Street, near the RiverHouse apartment complex. Police say a man was shot and rushed to a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators believe the shooting followed a dispute with someone he knows. Thus far, police say they haven’t sought charges against anyone.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, this is an isolated incident with no ongoing threat to the community,” police said.

More from a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood in the early morning hours of December 29, 2019.

At approximately 3:45 a.m., police were dispatched to the 1600 block of S. Joyce Street for the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers located a male subject suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began performing emergency first aid until medics arrived. The subject was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation determined that a dispute between known parties preceded the shooting. All parties involved have been identified. This remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation and charges have not yet been sought. Based on the preliminary investigation, this is an isolated incident with no ongoing threat to the community.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS(8477).

Map via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are looking for a woman who agreed to give a man a ride but then reportedly robbed him.

Police say an officer was flagged down by the man just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday, on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road, in the area of the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

The man told police that just minutes earlier he had approached the woman in a parking lot and asked her for a ride to his home. The alleged robbery happened after she agreed and he got in.

“When the victim entered the vehicle, she requested compensation,” police said in a crime report. “As the victim pulled out his wallet, the suspect assaulted him and took an undisclosed amount of cash and other items of value from him.”

“The suspect subsequently fled the area in the vehicle,” the crime report continues. “The suspect is described as a white female, approximately 40 years old, with long brown hair. The vehicle is described as an older model gray pick-up truck. The investigation is ongoing.”

Also in the latest crime report, a wanted suspect arrested on a theft charge in Pentagon City is accused of kicking and threatening officers. More from ACPD, below after the jump.

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The National Park Service (NPS) will host a special event near Rosslyn on Sunday (Aug. 25) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves arriving in the English colonies.

The Park Service is hosting events throughout the region as a day of remembrance for the first slave ship’s arrival at Point Comfort and the centuries of oppression that followed.

The Arlington event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Netherlands Carillon, near the Iwo Jima memorial.

According to the event page:

Beginning at 2 p.m. park rangers from George Washington Memorial Parkway will offer opportunities for visitors to explore themes of remembrance, healing and reconciliation related to African American history at the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington Ridge Park. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own bells to ring alongside the carillon at 3 p.m. The carillonneur will also play African American hymns and musical selections that reflect the African American experience.

Image via National Park Service

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The County is considering a major project to replace water main along 23rd Street S.

The Arlington County Board is set to consider starting a water main replacement project along the street from Fort Scott Drive in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood to S. Eads Street in Aurora Highlands. A staff report to the Board notes that the existing water main is 92 years old and corroding.

“The water main replacement is part of the efforts to replace the old unlined cast iron pipes which are subjected to internal and external corrosion that causes rusty water and reduces the fire flow fighting capacity,” the report wrote.

County Board members will consider awarding a $1,562,350 contract to the Loudoun-based A&M Concrete Corporation for the work during their meeting this Saturday, July 13 in Courthouse. The contract would also earmark an additional $312,470.00 in case of unexpected costs during the project.

“The overall goal for the proposed 12-inch water main is to improve the fire flow and provide adequate capacity to support demand in the neighborhood,” the report notes. The residential neighborhoods near Crystal City have seen an uptick in real estate interest since the announcement of Amazon’s nearby HQ2.

If members approve the project, it could cause some water service interruptions in the neighborhood but is not expected to significantly impact traffic, per the report.

The contract for the project is currently listed on the County Board’s consent agenda for their Saturday meeting, a place usually reserved for items expected to pass without debate.

Image via Arlington County

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(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) Anyone planning on hitting the Four Mile Run bike trail should watch out for a detour near the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant these next few days.

The county announced a “limited, partial detour” on the trail starting today (Wednesday) as it runs past 3304 S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood along the county’s border with Alexandria.

A tweet from the county’s Department of Environmental Services said the work should last for a “few weeks,” and that it stems from construction at the sewage plant. A subsequent tweet described the primary disruption for trail users to be “a 200-yard one-lane merge.”

The County Board approved a series of repairs at the plant in 2017, with work planned on some aging water tanks at the treatment facility.

Anyone biking or running on the trail should follow posted detours.

Photo via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting that happened last night on S. Glebe Road.

A man was shot at the intersection of Glebe and S. Arlington Ridge Road, two blocks away from Gunston Middle School, around 7 p.m., according to police. The victim is expected to survive and police are still seeking the shooter.

More from an ACPD press release, issued just after noon today (Monday):

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place on the evening of December 30, 2018.

At approximately 7:03 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and S. Arlington Ridge Road. Upon arrival on scene, officers located a male victim suffering from trauma to the upper body and immediately began performing life saving measures. The victim was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. Following medical treatment, the victim’s condition has been upgraded to stable and he is expected to survive his wounds.

This incident remains an active criminal investigation. At this time, no suspect(s) have been identified and there are no suspect(s) descriptions. Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected]

Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

File photo

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A large snapping turtle gave a few South Arlington parkgoers a surprise today (Wednesday), and animal control officers ultimately had to step in to guide the reptile to safety.

Jennifer Toussaint, the county’s chief animal control officer, told ARLnow that her office received a call around noon that the large turtle was in the street at the intersection of Army Navy Drive and 28th Street S., just near Fraser Park.

She said an officer ultimately “safely moved the snapping turtle in the direction it was heading towards the stream adjacent to the brush line near the street,” which backs up to I-395.

Toussaint added that it’s hardly unusual for her office to receive calls about snapping turtles — animal control officers discovered someone keeping one as a pet just last month, a practice she strongly advises against — and the Arlington Ridge and Long Branch Creek neighborhoods seem to be particularly popular spots for the creatures.

“Snapping turtles mate from April [to] November and travel extensively on land when laying eggs and looking for [a] new habitat,” Toussaint wrote in an email. “Army Navy Drive [and]28th Street seems to be a very specifically popular areas for them, as we have yearly calls for service for snapping turtles in the roadway injured or needing assistance ranging back as far as 2013. Most of our snapping turtle calls in Arlington come in June [through] July.”

Justin Covert, one of the people to discover the turtle, added that his girlfriend discovered another turtle in the park earlier this month, even though he’d “never seen a turtle around these parts until now.”

Should the turtle sightings continue, Toussaint wants to warn people that the reptiles have “very flexible necks, sharp long claws, a strong jaw and can act defensive when handled.”

While animal control officers may be best-suited to move the creatures off roadways, she advises that it’s “inappropriate to pick them up by their tails,” if any turtle seems in danger.

“Their weight needs to be supported and dragging them can cause cuts that can get infected,” Toussaint wrote.

Photo courtesy of Justin Covert

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People living in neighborhoods around Reagan National Airport say a staging lot for Uber and Lyft drivers is snarling traffic in the area, and Arlington officials are taking new steps to work out some sort of fix.

The county is convening a public meeting on the issue Thursday (Sept. 27) after hearing persistent complaints about the lot (located at 2780 Jefferson Davis Highway and adjacent to S. Eads Street and a Holiday Inn hotel) over the last few months.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) started routing rideshare drivers to the lot in April, in order to account for construction as part of the airport’s massive improvement project known as “Project Journey,” and required drivers to wait there until would-be passengers request rides at the airport. Since then, neighbors have grown particularly concerned with the congestion the change has caused on S. Eads Street, with the Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands and Crystal City civic associations all mentioning it in recent community newsletters.

“Although there is no objection to the parking lot itself, the single entry/exit on S. Eads Street is causing considerable traffic problems and dangerous driving conditions,” the Crystal City Civic Association wrote in its September newsletter. “Plus, drivers in a hurry are [cutting] through the CVS and McDonald’s parking lots to get to the airport ramp on Route 1.”

The Arlington Ridge Civic Association added that the number of drivers cutting through those lots has “reached epic proportions,” and that “the police are now monitoring both.”

The civic associations noted in their missives that they’re pressing the county to reopen the lot’s access to Route 1, in a bid to ease traffic on S. Eads Street. But VDOT has jurisdiction over Route 1, meaning state officials would have to approve any change to the traffic pattern in the area.

“The county estimates the design work and construction to provide ingress and egress from the staging area onto Route 1 may take up to 14 months to complete and cost upwards of $250,000, which is not currently included in the county’s budget,” the Crystal City Civic Association wrote. “While undertaking this engineering work, the county says it is also exploring interim measures and/or options for phased implementation, which will also require coordination with and actions taken by both VDOT and MWAA.”

To that end, the county says it’s invited officials from both MWAA and VDOT to Thursday’s meeting. That gathering is set to be held at the Aurora Hills Community Center (735 18th Street S.) from 7-8:30 p.m.

Photo 1 via Google Maps

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Arlington firefighters extinguished a house fire in Arlington Ridge this afternoon (Friday).

First responders were called to a home along the 1100 block of 21st Street S. over reports of a structure fire around 4 p.m.

The blaze was concentrated on the rear deck of the house, and the homeowner managed to make it out of the building without injury.

Photo via Google Maps

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