Five “Complete Streets” roadway project designs are ready for community feedback.
As part of Arlington County’s Complete Streets program, the projects aim to improve safety and access on local roads. The changes are usually made in conjunction with repaving projects and mostly involve re-striping the roadway, sometimes at the expense of parking or through lanes.
According to the project website, the five stretches of roadway that are up for improvements this year are:
- Wilson Boulevard — N. George Mason Drive to N. Vermont Street (Bluemont)
- Clarendon Boulevard — N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street (Clarendon / Courthouse)
- Clarendon Boulevard — Courthouse Road to N. Scott Street (Courthouse / Rosslyn)
- S. Abingdon Street / 34th Street S. — Bridge over I-395 (Fairlington)
- N. Ohio Street — 12th Road N. to Washington Boulevard (Madison Manor / Highland Park-Overlee Knolls / Dominion Hills)
Those interested in giving feedback on the designs can fill out an online form on the project website through Wednesday, July 6. The final plans are expected to be released in late summer or fall.
S. Abingdon Street bridge
The county’s Department of Environmental Services plans to remove under-utilized parking from the S. Abingdon Street bridge over I-395 in Fairlington.
The project would add buffer zones to the bike lanes to improve access for cyclists and safety for those using the sidewalks, while narrowing the travel lanes for speed control, according to its concept design summary.
Residents previously expressed concern about drivers speeding on the bridge while students walk to and from school.
The bridge is also part of a planned VDOT rehabilitation project, which will include adding concrete protective barriers and replacing bearings.
Wilson Blvd between N. George Mason Drive to N. Vermont Street
The segment of Wilson Blvd in Bluemont between N. George Mason Drive and N. Vermont Street, near Ballston, could see additional high contrast markings at high conflict crosswalks, according to the designs.
The plan is to reduce Wilson Blvd to one travel lane in each direction, with a center turn lane into N. George Mason Drive to better control vehicle speed.
The design plan also includes modifying markings to extend the left turn lane near N. George Mason Drive. The project would also add bike lanes and a continuous center turn lane east of the fire station.
The section of Wilson Blvd between George Mason and the Safeway grocery store saw similar changes last year.
Clarendon Blvd from N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street
A segment of Clarendon Blvd is set for changes between N. Garfield Street and N. Adams Street, in the Clarendon and Courthouse area, including the removal of nine parking spots.
Apart from reducing parking spaces, the project team also plans to add high contrast markings at high conflict crosswalks. A bike box is set to be added at Clarendon Boulevard’s intersection with N. Garfield Street to make turning easier for cyclists.
The plan will also add parking protection to the bike lane between N. Garfield Street and N. Edgewood Street. A county summary says residents in the area expressed concern about speeding, unsafe pedestrian crossings and double parking in the bike lane.
The self-proclaimed “world’s first decentralized pizzeria” is now serving up pies in Courthouse
Bitcoin Pizza, a “virtual restaurant,” opened on Oct. 31 and operates out of the kitchen of Fire Works Pizza at 2350 Clarendon Blvd. It is one of about 100 locations across the country and one of seven locations in the D.C.-area.
And, yes, the restaurant accepts Bitcoin as well as U.S. dollars.
“We want to spread the word of Bitcoin through this pizza,” Popchew CEO Rushir Parikh tells ARLnow. “[Pizza] is a very approachable way to learn about Bitcoin. We want to make Bitcoin as widely known and available as pizza is.”
It’s about educating the public on cryptocurrency and making it less scary — all while serving up great food — he says.
Bitcoin Pizza is essentially a ghost kitchen, with the company doing the branding and marketing, a local restaurant (in this case, Fire Works) making the pizza, and a third-party (UberEats, DoorDash, etc.) delivering. Like many ghost kitchens, ordering is online-only.
About 20% of the generated revenue goes to Bitcoin Pizza, Parikh said.
There was no specific reason that Arlington or Courthouse was chosen as a location, beyond wanting to have a number of locations in and near major cities, he notes.
The idea for a pizzeria was inspired by the famous — in the crypto world, at least — story of how a Florida man in 2010 purchased two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. Eleven years ago, that equated to about $40 US dollars. Today, 10,000 bitcoins are worth more than $500 million.
October 31, the day of Bitcoin Pizza’s Arlington launch (along with the launch of a number of other locations) is also an important day in the cryptocurrency’s history. On Halloween 2008, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper which explained its rules, workings, and structure.
The menu includes pizzas with cryptocurrency-themed names, like Capital Greens (veggie), Satoshi’s Favorite (Hawaiian) and Laser Eyes (pepperoni).
On its website, the company behind Bitcoin Pizza, calls itself “the coolest food court on the internet.” Parikh compares the aspirations of Popchew to Yum! Brands, which owns fast food staples Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.
“What we want to do is work with influential brands and people to build the next generation of food brands,” he says.
Working with local restaurants, like Fire Works Pizza, allows the company and its ideas to scale up quickly.
And Popchew is already working on its next food brand. “Wingszn” has launched and is expected to open a location in Arlington in the next month or two, Parikh says.
That “virtual restaurant” will be serving up chicken wings and yes, you can pay with Bitcoin.
Jimmy John’s in Rosslyn has made its last sandwich.
The chain’s location at 1512 Clarendon Blvd in Rosslyn has permanently closed, the franchise owners tell ARLnow.
“Sales simply never recovered after the pandemic,” writes Jessica Manning, who owned the shop along with her father and her husband. “It was a difficult and incredibly emotional decision for us.”
Its last day was September 28, closing after lunch. The family also own the Jimmy John’s in Ballston on N. Quincy Street as well as a location in Woodbridge, Virginia. Both remain open.
Manning says that they were able to find all of their Rosslyn employees other jobs.
“Everyone is healthy and we were able to get all staff members another job immediately so that’s really all that matters,” she writes.
Rappaport Company, which is offering the retail space for lease, tells ARLnow that the space formerly occupied by Jimmy John’s is available and they “are actively marketing the space for lease.”
Jimmy John’s on Clarendon Blvd first opened in 2013, more than eight years ago, in what was then the new-Sedona Slate apartment complex.
(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) Arlington County will be holding a virtual public meeting tonight to discuss a trio of road projects set for later this year.
The county plans to repave and re-stripe portions of Wilson Blvd in the Dominion Hills and Boulevard Manor neighborhoods, Potomac Avenue in Potomac Yard, and Clarendon Blvd in the Courthouse and Rosslyn neighborhoods. The work is expected to take place this summer and fall, following the current public engagement process.
Arlington has been using its regularly-planned street maintenance to re-stripe roads in an effort make them safer, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. It often involves the addition or enhancement of bike lanes, sharrows and crosswalks.
More from the event page:
The Master Transportation Plan identifies routine street maintenance as an opportunity to provide cost-effective and easy to implement measures to improve safety and access for all people using the street. Community engagement is a core value in Arlington, and we wanted to provide opportunities for community members to share their feedback on the concept plans for the 2020 Street Maintenance season.
Please join county staff for an online meeting on Thursday, June 4 from 6:30-7:30 pm to learn about the project, ask questions and share feedback on the design concepts for the three 2020 Resurfacing Projects for Complete Streets.
Staff will present concepts for:
- Wilson Boulevard – N Larrimore Street to McKinley Road (Dominion Hills/Boulevard Manor)
- Potomac Avenue – S Crystal Drive to Alexandria City Line (Potomac Yard)
- Clarendon Boulevard – N Nash to N Oak Street (Clarendon-Courthouse/Radnor/Fort Myer Heights)
An online open house in April discussed all four projects.
(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Five arterial streets in Arlington are being considered as candidates for a Complete Streets overhaul.
The county’s Complete Streets program adds safety features to roadways that improve the experience of road users other than drivers, including pedestrians and cyclists. The changes are usually made in conjunction with repaving projects.
The streets that are up for a makeover later this year are:
- Wilson Boulevard — N. Larrimore Street to McKinley Road (Dominion Hills/Boulevard Manor)
- Potomac Avenue — S. Crystal Drive to Alexandria City Line (Potomac Yard)
- Clarendon Boulevard — N. Nash Street to N. Oak Street (Clarendon-Courthouse/Radnor/Fort Myer Heights)
- N. Lorcom Lane — Old Dominion Drive to N. Taylor Street
- Military Road — Lorcom Lane to Old Dominion Drive
The virtual public meeting is scheduled to run from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams Live Event. No account is needed to join.
Complete Streets upgrades may include “sidewalk expansion or obstruction elimination,” “curb ramp reconstruction,” “crosswalk and signal enhancements,” “pedestrian-scale lighting,” “improved access to transit stops” and bike lanes, per the county’s website.
Such changes have been implemented in other parts of Arlington, though they’ve also faced some public pushback from local residents concerned about traffic impacts. One Complete Streets project in neighboring Alexandria has become a legendarily contentious issue.
Photos via Google Maps
(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) The reconfiguration of Clarendon’s worst intersection is one step closer to finishing as crews begin paving.
Working began repaving the roads that together form the notoriously dangerous “Clarendon Circle” — a.k.a. the intersection of Wilson, Clarendon, and Washington Blvds — this past weekend.
The paving work will continue for the rest of this week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is expected to close some traffic lanes and cause temporary detours, the county’s Department of Environmental Services warns on its webpage for the project.
“Increased traffic congestion is expected, and drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes and avoid Clarendon Circle during this work if possible,” DES said on its website.
On Monday, for instance, through traffic on Wilson Blvd was blocked and redirected to Washington Blvd. On Tuesday, steam and a burning rubber smell clouded the intersection as crews directed traffic around a cluster of paving equipment.
Work on the project is expected to wrap up by Veterans Day, this coming Monday.
The county has long aimed to redesign the intersection to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists and less confusing for motorists, with a goal of reducing crashes. The project design selected will realign Wilson and Washington Blvd, shorten crosswalks, and widen sidewalks.
Since then, the county has made several changes to the tricky nexus of roads, including cutting off N. Irving Street and banning left turns onto Wilson from Washington — though many drivers at least initially ignored the ban.
Image 1-5 via Arlington County
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Eastbound Clarendon Blvd was closed between N. Veitch Street and N. Courthouse Road for most of Friday due to a water main break.
Crews started digging up the street near the former Cosi this morning in an effort to fix the 12-inch pipe, and as of 4 p.m. were still working.
A detour was in place for eastbound traffic, though one lane reopened Friday afternoon.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that a number of water customers in the area, including businesses, are without water.
Update 4:20pm: Water service is restored in the Courthouse area affected by today's water main break. One lane of Clarendon Boulevard is being reopened for pm rush hour eastbound #vatraffic. pic.twitter.com/23Zq6rxM62
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) June 7, 2019
Incident: Water Main Break
Location: EB Clarendon Bl btwn N Veitch and N Courthouse Rd
Impact: A traffic detour is in place. ETA to completion is 3 pm. Seek alternate routes. Questions? Call 703-228-6555. pic.twitter.com/GZbP3P6Ewf
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) June 7, 2019
Photo courtesy anonymous
A new round of construction is kicking off at one of Clarendon’s trickiest intersections, and that means more lane closures and traffic changes.
Starting today (Wednesday), workers plan to start major sidewalk expansions at the “Clarendon Circle” intersection, or the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards meet.
The county expects the widening work to last through April, with the ultimate goal of having the new sidewalks ready “in time to allow businesses to have outdoor seating during the spring and summer months.” Much of the construction centers on the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Irving Street, the home of both O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and The Liberty Tavern.
County officials signed off on the $2.5 million Clarendon Circle overhaul this summer, in a bid to make the intersection a bit easier to navigate for pedestrians and cyclists, in particular. In addition to the sidewalk expansions, the project will include the installation of new bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.
The construction first started prompting major traffic changes in the area early this month, and now the county is warning of additional changes. Those include a prohibition on left turns in the following areas:
- Northbound Wilson Boulevard to N. Irving Street
- Northbound Wilson Boulevard to westbound Washington Boulevard
- Southbound Wilson Boulevard to eastbound Washington Boulevard
- Westbound Washington Boulevard to southbound Wilson Boulevard
Some portions of the sidewalk will also be closed on both the Washington Blvd and Wilson Blvd sides of N. Irving Street. The left turn from eastbound Washington Boulevard to Clarendon Boulevard also remains off-limits, and will likely be shut down through this summer.
The county is hoping to have all of the work wrapped up by sometime in 2020, weather permitting.
The project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off sometime this winter, after the county cleared the way for the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties.
Crews have broken ground on the first phase of the “Clarendon Circle” project, bringing improvements to one of the county’s trickiest intersections for pedestrians and cyclists but creating some temporary traffic changes.
The County Board approved in June the contract for the overhaul of the “Clarendon Circle” — the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards all meet, just past the Metro station.
The first phase of the project involves concrete work along eastbound Washington Blvd — west of Wilson Blvd and Fairfax Drive — along with removal of the existing curb and gutter in the area.
Ardent Construction Company began in September Clarendon Circle’s reconstruction, which is anticipated to last one year, according to the county.
- Turn right on southbound N. Kirkwood Road, which turns into 10th Street N. Then turn left on Wilson Blvd and continue straight.
- Stay on Washington Blvd, crossing Wilson and Clarendon boulevards, and then turn left on N. Highland Street. Then turn right.
Additionally, left turns will be restricted on eastbound Washington Blvd along with the left turn from eastbound Washington Blvd to Clarendon Blvd through next summer.
Traffic disruptions with lane and sidewalk closures during the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. work hours on Mondays through Fridays are expected, the county said, adding that no weekend work is scheduled.
The planned improvements address planners’ desired changes to the intersection, like shortening the distances pedestrians have to walk across roads. The work will also include long-anticipated installation of additional bike lanes, the widening of Washington Blvd and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.
The project will also add a “green streets” element to N. Irving Street, next to the Silver Diner, which planners have said will help better manage stormwater.
Additional plans for the project include installing new Carlyle streetlights, adding curb extensions at the Liberty Tavern corner and planting more trees.
Maps via Arlington County
Work is wrapping up on improvements to one of Courthouse’s trickiest intersections, with some night paving set to close a few streets this week.
The county is putting the finishing touches on some changes to sidewalks and bus stops around the intersection of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, near the Courthouse Metro station. Starting last night (Tuesday), workers began paving the area and the county expects the work to last through Friday (Sept. 7).
Arlington officials are advising drivers to avoid the area where Clarendon Blvd meets N. Veitch Street and 15th Street N. during the paving, set to run from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the rest of the week.
Workers permanently closed the lane turning from Clarendon Blvd. to 15th Street N. in March, and have spent the ensuing months widening the sidewalks in the area and adding a new bus stop to accommodate additional Arlington Transit service in the area. The county hopes the project “will improve pedestrian safety, circulation and access in and around Courthouse Plaza,” per its website.
Construction was originally set to wrap up sometime this winter, but the county says it’s now “nearing completion, ahead of schedule.”
Arlington could soon kick off work on improvements at one of the county’s trickiest intersections for pedestrians and cyclists.
The County Board is set to approve a $2.5 million contract for the overhaul of the “Clarendon Circle” — the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson Boulevards all meet, just past the Metro station.
Planners have hoped for years now to add improvements to the intersection, like shortening the distances pedestrians have to walk across roads. The work will also include the installation of additional bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.
Plans also call for adding a “green streets” element to better manage stormwater on N. Irving Street, next to the Silver Diner.
The Board is scheduled to vote on the construction contract at its Saturday, June 16 meeting as part of its consent agenda, which is typically reserved for non-controversial items. Should Board members approve the deal, the county estimates that work could begin this fall and wrap up in the winter of 2020.
The Clarendon Circle project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off in the winter of 2019, after the Board voted on May 22 to let the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties move ahead.