Arlington, VA

Earlier this week, a woman was struck by a van in a hit-and-run while crossing Columbia Pike at the intersection with S. Frederick Street.

The same intersection has been the site of several other crashes, according to data Arlington County Police Department shared with ARLnow. Between November 2016, and September 2019, there were 20 vehicle crashes at the same intersection — three of which involved pedestrians or cyclists.

ABC 7 reported that residents say the intersection is notorious for close calls between pedestrians and motorists, but the county isn’t able to install a traffic signal until nearby construction ends.

Data captured by ACPD between November 2016 and September of this year also show that another nearby Pike intersection at S. Columbia Street and S. Dinwiddie Street has seen even more numerous crashes. The Dinwiddie and Columbus intersection, near the Arlington Mill Community Center, has resulted in 28 crashes since the beginning of 2018, 6 involving pedestrians.

The rate of recorded crashes is similar to the dangerous Rock Spring intersection of Little Falls Road and Old Dominion Drive, where public outcry and ACPD’s reported 27 crashes and 9 pedestrians injured in the last two years has led county officials to ban left turns during rush hour.

Officials have expressed concerns about safe passage for cyclists and pedestrians in the area for 15 years. The Pike and S. Dinwiddie intersection was also the subject of a special ACPD pedestrian traffic enforcement campaign in 2015.

The intersection of Frederick Street and the Pike is marked with a striped crosswalk and flashing lights to alert motorists of crossing pedestrians, the latter of which was an addition made in recent years.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that the police department changed its system used for keeping track of incidents like these in November 2016. Since then there were 64 total crashes on the Pike between S. Dinwiddie Street and S. Greenbrier Street. All told, 10 of those crashes involved pedestrians or cyclists.

Data via ACPD

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(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) All lanes of Columbia Pike were blocked Monday afternoon after a pedestrian was struck and injured in a reported hit and run crash.

Initial reports suggest a woman was struck by the driver of a van while crossing the street near the Sunoco station on the western end of the Pike in Arlington. The van fled the scene after the crash, according to scanner traffic.

The woman was said to have been conscious but lying in the roadway and bleeding from the head when police arrived. Her injuries were initially thought to be potentially life-threatening, but were later determined to be minor and non-life-threatening, according to police.

The victim was rushed via ambulance to a local trauma center.

Columbia Pike is completely blocked between S. Greenbrier Street and the Arlington Mill Community Center. The road expected to remain at least partially blocked for an extended period of time while detectives investigate the crash.

Police are now seeking a white work van last seen heading north on S. Greenbrier Street.

The crash happened shortly before 2:40 p.m., at a crosswalk with high-visibility crossing lights.

As of 3 p.m., bloodied clothing could be seen balled up on the asphalt as police cars blocked off the scene. Later, detectives could be seen walking the roadway.

As of 4:05 p.m., all lanes of the Pike had reopened to traffic, according to Arlington Alert.

Vernon Miles contributed to this report

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Orangetheory Fitness will be joining Harris Teeter at a new development along Columbia Pike.

The trendy boutique gym will be located on the ground floor of the Centro Arlington complex at 4231 Columbia Pike. Franchise owner Mark Steverson said he’s aiming for a December 1 opening date.

“We’re excited for Columbia Pike,” said Steverson. “We think its a fantastic area and we look forward to opening.”

When finished, Centro Arlington will consist of the grocery store, the gym, additional retail space, a 22,000 square foot open space, a three-level parking garage, and an apartment complex. The project replaces the old Food Star Grocery store on the Pike.

Contractors applied for Orangetheory’s commercial building permit in June, according to county records.

This will be the fifth Arlington location for Orangetheory, which offers hour-long workouts utilize a combination of cardio, free weights, and heart rate monitoring to maximize calorie burn. Existing Orangetheory locations in Arlington include Rosslyn, Ballston, Pentagon City, and Clarendon.

Those who sign up for classes now will have access to exclusive pre-sale rates, Steverson said.

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Clarendon Day and two other festivals will take to Arlington streets on Saturday, prompting celebrations, road closures, and delicious food all around.

The massive Clarendon Day street festival which draws tens of thousands of attendees will run from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. this Saturday, September 21, and will feature food trucks and booths from vendors like donut maker Good Company, live music, arts and crafts vendors, and dance performances.

The annual Clarendon Day races will also return. Participants can sign up for the 5K race at 8 a.m., and a 10K race at 9 a.m. starting at Wilson Blvd and N. Fillmore Street, with both finishing in Rosslyn at Wilson Blvd and N. Fort Myer Drive. Runners also have the option of running both races.

Children can take part in their own, 713-foot race around the plaza driveway of the Market Common. The race, which starts at 9:30 a.m., welcomes parents along with kids and does not require separate registration for both. All kids who join the race will be awarded for their participation.

Registration costs $15 for the “Kids Dash” race, $45 for the 5K, and $50 for the 10K. Runners interested in both the 5K and the 10K can pay $55 for both races.

ACPD will close several streets from 3 a.m. until approximately 10 p.m. to make room for the festival, including:

  • Wilson Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • Clarendon Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street between Washington Blvd. and N. Hartford Street

Police will also close additional roads for the races from 5-10:30 a.m.:

  • Wilson Boulevard, between N. Garfield Street and Route 110
  • N. Kent Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street N.
  • The entirety of Route 110 northbound, from Route 1 to Wilson Blvd. Southbound lanes remain open to traffic.

Elsewhere, near Columbia Pike, police will close 9th Street S. between Walter Reed Drive and S. Highland Street from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. to make way for the Prio Bangla Multicultural Street Festival, which celebrates pan-Asian and Latin American cultures and runs from 12-9 p.m.

The all-day festival will feature vendors with traditional foods, as well as handcrafts, clothing, and jewelry, paintings and henna art, and representatives from local businesses.

“By simply the trading and transferring of ideas, customs, beliefs, cultural habits etc. between diverse cultures living here in the USA, we would be able to accomplish our vision of living in harmony in this community,” organizers wrote on its event page.

Meanwhile, the newly renamed Green Valley neighborhood will also be throwing a celebration of its history and culture from 12-6 p.m. at Drew Elementary School (3500 23rd Street S.)

The community party will feature a DJ, a basketball tournament at 2 p.m. for youth and service workers, as well as a fish fry and barbecue.

“Today, residents pride ourselves on being part of a community where all are welcome,” organizers wrote in an email announcing the event. “Despite development, migration and gentrification that have altered the demographics drastically, we are determined to retain our unique identity as Green Valley continues to be one of ‘Arlington County’s Finest Communities.'”

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The redevelopment of the Westmont Shopping Center could be one step closer to reality after this weekend.

The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote on moving the project forward during their meeting this Saturday, September 21. Developer Republic Properties Corporation (RPC) is seeking a use permit for the project, which aims to build six-story mixed use building with 250 housing units on the site and 22,500 square feet of retail space.

County staff have recommended Board members approve the permit, per a staff report to the Board.

Plans to demolish the current single-story strip mall and parking lot, located at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road, have been discussed for a year.

The 1.82 acre lot lies within an area designated for revitalization, subject to Columbia Pike Form Based Code, which is intended to streamline development within certain parameters.

The code lays out guidelines which cap a building’s stories to six and include other standards for projects along the Pike. In the case of this development, it allows the developer to build all market-rate housing, eschewing committed affordable units despite the county’s dwindling stock of affordable housing.

RPC is also planning to build a two-story parking garage with 343 parking spaces for cars, in addition to 60 above ground spaces. The garage will include 104 bike parking spaces, with 90 reserved for residents, per plans submitted to the county. Inside the donut-shaped building will be a courtyard with amenities for residents.

County staff issued a report stating that the new housing would only cause “minor increases in delay” for traffic at nearby intersections. As part of the project, RPC has promised to add three bus stops to the area, two along S. Glebe Road and the other along the Pike.

Elsewhere along the Columbia Pike corridor, developers have also proposed to bulldoze the Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center, which is currently home to tenants like Turkish restaurant Atilla’s, dance studio the Salsa Room, and the beloved Burritos Bros food stand. Replacing it would also be a six-story, mixed-used building made up of housing units and ground floor retail.

Images 1-2 via Arlington County, 3-4 via Arlington County, Image 5 by Alex Koma

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(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A man has been arrested in connection with an overnight shooting along Columbia Pike.

The shooting happened just before 1 a.m., outside a business on the 3100 block of Columbia Pike. Initial reports suggest the man was shot in the abdomen and rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. As of 4 p.m. today, police said the victim was in “critical but stable condition.”

“The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. Police are utilizing the assistance of a helicopter to search for the suspect,” police said via social media, shortly after the shooting. “Suspect described as [a black male], 20s with skinny build wearing dark clothing. Expect police activity in the area.”

Aaron Steele, 29, was arrested and charged with aggravated malicious wounding, shooting in the commission of a felony, and aggravated malicious shooting, the Arlington County Police Department announced Thursday afternoon.

“During the course of the investigation, officers developed a possible suspect description based on evidence located at the scene and witness interviews,” said ACPD in the afternoon press release. “A lookout was broadcast and a patrol officer traveling in the area of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike observed the suspect on foot and took him into custody without incident.”

The suspect was also charged with violating a protective order and firing a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school — roughly the same distance the Arlington Career Center is from the scene of the shooting.

The Pike was closed between S. Glebe Road and Walter Reed Drive for an extended period of time after the shooting, according to WTOP.

As of 9:30 a.m. detectives were still on scene, canvassing the parking lot of Purple Lounge (3111 Columbia Pike). Discarded medical supplies could be seen along the sidewalk near the parking lot.

The full police press release is below.

The Arlington County Police Department has arrested and charged a suspect for his role in an early morning shooting on Columbia Pike. Aaron Steele, 29, of No Fixed Address has been charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Shooting in the Commission of a Felony, Aggravated Malicious Shooting, Discharging a Firearm within 1,000 feet of a School, Use of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony and Violation of a Protective Order. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 12:48 a.m. on September 12, police were dispatched to the 3100 block of Columbia Pike for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male in the roadway suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began rendering aid. The victim was transported by medics to an area hospital where he is listed in critical but stable condition.

During the course of the investigation, officers developed a possible suspect description based on evidence located at the scene and witness interviews. A lookout was broadcast and a patrol officer traveling in the area of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike observed the suspect on foot and took him into custody without incident.

The preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect and victim are known to one another and that a dispute preceded the shooting. This is an isolated incident and there is no evidence of any continued threat to the community.

This incident remains under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective S. King of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4243 or [email protected]. Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Airey contributed to this report

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The new Harris Teeter along Columbia Pike appears to be one step closer to opening.

State records indicate that the grocery store replacing the Food Star market at the corner of the Pike and S. George Mason Drive applied for a Virginia ABC permit to sell wine and beer last week, and a Harris Teeter spokeswoman said it’s expected to open soon.

The spokeswoman told ARLnow yesterday (Monday) that the new store at 950 S. George Mason Drive had an “anticipated opening date of fall 2019,” but did not provide an exact opening date. Previously, a spokesperson said the store was slated to open in late 2019.

The finished store will have 50,000 square feet of space and is part of the redevelopment of the Columbia Pike Village Center that demolished the shopping center that Food Star, EvolveAll fitness studio, and several other small businesses inhabited.

As part of the project, dubbed Centro Arlington, developers are also building a 22,150 square foot public space, 31,530 square feet of space for other retailers, a three-level parking garage, and 365 market rate apartments.

Pop-up hotelier WhyHotel is planning to open around 150 temporary hotel rooms in the new apartment building this fall.

Image 1 via Google Maps, Image 2-3 via Google Maps

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After serving as a local fixture and punchline for nearly a month, the Arlington Transit bus lodged into the side of a truck depot on Columbia Pike has been removed.

On Aug. 5, a bus carrying roughly 10 passengers lost control and careened through the Pike and S. George Mason Drive intersection, veering over the curb and smashing into the side of the Penske Truck Rental building at 4110 Columbia Pike.

When it crashed into the building, pushing another truck into the side of the structure along with it, the bus became load-bearing — meaning extraction was impossible until a temporary structure could be built to support the building while the bus was removed.

The bus was removed this past Friday, Aug. 30, according to county transportation spokesman Eric Balliet.

A wooden wall is now in place, supporting the side of the building where the bus had crashed. A sign on the side of the building says the building is still considered unsafe and the Penske phone line said the location is currently closed.

Penske couldn’t be reached for comment and a security guard working outside the building said he wasn’t sure when it would be open again.

Balliet noted that the contractor that runs the ART service, National Express, will be responsible for the cost to repair the building.

“National Express’ insurance company will assess and determine the estimate for repairs,” Balliet said.

The investigation into the crash is being conducted by Arlington County Police, Balliet said, declining to comment on what might have caused the wreck. As for the bus itself?

“The bus will be put back into service,” Balliet said. “It’s currently being inspected by National Express’ maintenance team to determine how to address repairs.”

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A new hot pot restaurant is coming to 2301 Columbia Pike, near William Jeffrey’s Tavern.

The restaurant, called Supreme Hot Pot, is set for interior construction along S. Adams Street, on the ground floor of the Siena Park Apartments.

According to a permit application, Supreme will be a Chinese hot pot restaurant with an electric cooktop on each table, allowing customers to cook their own boiled soup pot. The storefront has been vacant since the building was constructed, the permit application says.

The company is listed as Supreme Hot Pot LLC, which filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission in April.

So far there’s no word on when the restaurant is hoping to open.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Jay Westcott contributed to this story.

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(Updated on 8/31/19) Two men, one armed with a gun, carjacked a man in a parked car along Columbia Pike early Wednesday morning, according to Arlington County Police.

The alleged carjacking happened shortly after midnight on the Pike at S. Thomas Street.

The victim was forced into the backseat but was dropped off unharmed several blocks away, near the corner of the Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive, as the suspects fled, police said. The suspects were later arrested in Fairfax County, according to an ACPD crime report, below.

CARJACKING (late), 2019-08280013, Columbia Pike at S. Thomas Street. At approximately 1:10 a.m. on August 28, officers were dispatched to the police station for the late report of an armed carjacking. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:20 a.m., the victim was inside his parked vehicle when he was approached by two unknown male suspects, one of which brandished a firearm. The suspects stole the victim’s personal property before forcing him into the backseat. The suspects fled the scene in the vehicle and dropped the unharmed victim off at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Access Road. A lookout was broadcast and the suspects were later apprehended in Fairfax County. Charges are pending.

Map via Google Maps

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A little over two weeks after an ART bus made an unexpected detour into the side of a truck depot at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive, the wayward bus is still there.

The Arlington Transit bus is sitting exactly where it was when first responders arrived to the scene, face planted against the side of the concrete wall.

Eight days into the bus’ tenure at the crash scene, ABC 7 reported that structural concerns for the building are keeping the bus in place. Officials confirmed to ARLnow this week that that is the reason it’s still there and will remain in place indefinitely.

“We are not able to move the vehicle at Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive until the building structure is stabilized,” county transportation spokesman Eric Balliet told ARLnow. “Because columns were displaced and damaged, the roof must be properly shored up by a professional shoring contractor before removing the bus.”

ART’s service contractor National Express has been attempting to work with the property owner on the repairs, Balliet said, but there is no estimate for when those repairs will be done and the bus can be moved.

“Once repairs are complete and deemed safe by building authorities, the bus and the other vehicle pushed into the building will be moved and County police will finalize their investigation,” Balliet said.

In the meantime, the bus remains out of service.

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