BREAKING: SUV Driven into Creek at Bluemont Park

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) An SUV wound up in Four Mile Run creek in Bluemont Park this morning, prompting a hazmat response to contain a fuel spill.

The crash happened shortly before noon, near a parking lot adjacent to the intersection of N. Manchester Street and 4th Street N. It’s unclear how exactly the crash happened.

No injuries were reported. A woman could be seen sitting on the ground near the crash scene, being interviewed by police.

Arlington County firefighters placed booms in the creek to try to contain fuel from the SUV, some of which spilled into the creek and was visible as a sheen on the water.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Crash Closes Part of Parkway — A serious crash has closed the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway between the Daingerfield Island marina and I-395. A crash investigation is underway. [Twitter]

False Report Prompts Big Police Response — “At approximately 2:30 p.m. on March 6, police were dispatched to the report of a man brandishing a firearm in the lobby of” the Days Inn hotel on Arlington Blvd. “The investigation determined that no disturbance had occurred and that the reporting party allegedly had an ongoing dispute with the hotel over a refund. A warrant for Filing a False Police Report was obtained for the suspect.” [Arlington County]

Garage Races Cancelled This Weekend — Updated at 9:35 a.m. — Crystal City’s Crosshairs Garage Races series will continue to bring fearless cyclists and spectators together for races through one of the neighborhood’s sprawling parking garages later this month. This year the series is being held on Saturdays in March, but this weekend’s scheduled races have been canceled due to a water main break. [Crystal City, Twitter]

Local Road Project ‘On the Bubble’ — “With tolls set to begin on Interstate 395 in October and already underway for more than a year on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is set Thursday to consider the next steps of how to spend part of the money… Arlington County plans for a High Occupancy Vehicle and bus-only lane on Lee Highway in Rosslyn would be on the bubble.” [WTOP]

Remember to ‘Spring Forward’ This Weekend — “On Sunday, March 10, at 2 am, daylight saving time begins. We’ll set our clocks forward one hour, and the change will push sunsets later into the evening hours and sunrises later into the morning hours.” [Vox]

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Experts See More Amazon Jobs Heading Here — “Given Amazon’s Northern Virginia incentives allowing for as many as 38,000 jobs over 15 years, CoStar Managing Consultant and Senior Real Estate Economist Paul Leonard expects it will absorb much of the planned New York payroll, despite Amazon’s company line that ‘nothing has changed’ for National Landing.” [Bisnow]

More on I-395 Incident — Arlington County Police say it was a juvenile suspect, driving a stolen car without a driver’s license, who caused a big crash on I-395 before leading police on a foot chase during Tuesday’s evening rush hour. [Arlington County]

Inside Look at Memorial Bridge Work — Workers are laboring to restore the Arlington Memorial Bridge to its former glory, one piece of 90-year-old granite at a time. [NBC Washington]

Copa Kitchen & Bar Opening Today — The latest restaurant to open at Ballston Quarter is Copa Kitchen & Bar, which is expected to serve customers from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. today, according to a social media post. [Instagram]

Where’s the Weather? — Our faithful weather bar, which has graced the top of our site for many years, is out of commission, for now. IBM, in its infinite wisdom, killed the source of our data. Why, Watson, why? We’re working to restore the current conditions display with a new data source, but it’s probably going to take a few months. [Weather Underground]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

0 Comments

TRAFFIC ALERT: Multi-Vehicle Crash along I-395

Drivers should expect police activity along I-395 and the GW Parkway following a reported multi-vehicle crash and police foot chase.

A suspect ran from the five-vehicle crash along northbound I-395 near the 14th Street Bridge, according to scanner traffic. He was reportedly apprehended by police along the GW Parkway.

Traffic is heavy and building approaching the crash scene. Two northbound lanes are blocked. Police are also planning a rolling closure on southbound I-395 to assist with the investigation.

At least one injury was reported in the crash.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Amazon HQ2 Update — “JBG Smith Properties has begun design and pre-development on the first installment of Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters buildings in Arlington County, with the aim of starting construction on HQ2’s initial 2 million square feet of office space ‘within the next year.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Mosaic Park Contract Approved — “The Arlington County Board today approved a contract for slightly more than $6.08 million with Nastos Construction Inc. to build a new Mosaic Park in the heart of Ballston.” [Arlington County]

Amazon Spurs on Real Estate Investors — “After real estate agents reported ‘packs of investors’ at open houses in Virginia’s Arlington and Alexandria in December, the number of houses and condos on the market has been seriously depleted.” [WTOP]

Eden Center’s Past and Present — “The opening of the Clarendon Metro station in December 1979, made it far easier to get to Little Saigon. This wasn’t good news for everyone… Rents went up and shops closed. Luckily, only about three and a half miles down Wilson Boulevard, Eden Center was taking shape.” [DCist]

Clarendon Crash Causes Traffic WoesUpdated at 9 a.m. — A crash at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N. closed westbound 10th Street and blocked a lane of Wilson Blvd in each directions during the morning rush hour, leading to traffic congestion around the area. [Twitter]

We’re Seeking Story Pitches — Do you have an interesting, important and original story to tell about Arlington? Thanks to our Patreon community, we’re seeking pitches from local freelancers. Email us at [email protected] and tell us the story you’d like to tell.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

0 Comments

TRAFFIC ALERT: Morning Road Closures Due Crashes, Downed Trees

Closures on a number of major commuter routes snarled traffic in parts of Arlington Monday morning.

Most recently — around 9:15 a.m. — a two-vehicle crash with three reported injuries happened on N. Glebe Road at Cathedral Lane, blocking northbound traffic at Route 50.

Northbound Route 110, meanwhile, was closed between Memorial Circle and Marshall Drive due to a crash involving a vehicle that reportedly ran off the road.

Just north of Ballston, downed trees blocked several roads, including the southbound lanes of N. Glebe Road near 16th Street. Nearly 200 Dominion customers are without power in the area, according to the utility’s outage map, below.

0 Comments

Pedestrian Struck in GW Parkway Crosswalk, A Frequent Spot for Dangerous Crashes

A driver struck a woman with their car while she was crossing the G.W. Parkway just south of the Arlington Memorial Bridge yesterday (Thursday), in what’s long been a troublesome stretch of road for pedestrians.

The woman was in the middle of a crosswalk just south of the bridge at the time of the incident, according to U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado.

The crash happened around 11 a.m. yesterday, and the woman suffered “non-life threatening injuries,” Delgado said.

Police believe that the right lane of traffic had stopped for the woman, but a vehicle in the left lane didn’t, Delgado added. Arlington Fire Department spokesman Ben O’Bryant said the woman was conscious when first responders arrived, and she was transported to a local hospital “in good condition.”

The stretch of the parkway leading up to the bridge has often been the scene of dangerous crashes involving pedestrians. Officials estimate that the area saw approximately 600 crashes between 2006 and 2012 alone.

Park officials are even in the process of weighing a variety of changes along the parkway and the nearby Memorial Circle to make them a bit safer for pedestrians.

In fact, some of the potential improvements would target crosswalks on the parkway south of the bridge, like making them a bit more visible for drivers or even narrowing the parkway to one lane as it approaches crosswalks.

Photo via Google Maps

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Rabid Raccoon in Tara-Leeway Heights — “On Wednesday, February 13, 2019, a raccoon was reported in the area of 1500 block of N. Greenbrier Street acting lethargic. The raccoon was captured and removed from the community. It was later found to be carrying rabies.” [Twitter, AWLA]

Crash Knocks Out Traffic Signals — Traffic signals at at least three intersections in the Clarendon area were rendered inoperable over the weekend due to electrical transformer damage following a single-vehicle crash at Wilson Boulevard and 10th Street N. Power to the signals was reported to have been restored Monday night. [Arlington County, Twitter]

Second Amazon Bill Advances in State Legislature — “On the same day that Amazon’s plan to move 25,000 workers into a distressed area of New York City was imploding, the Virginia General Assembly gave the online giant another in a series of welcome-to-the-commonwealth valentines.” [InsideNova]

Hitt’s Home for SaleNow-convicted fraudster Todd Hitt has listed his north Arlington home for sale for $1.75 million. However, the home’s back deck is currently the subject of a Board of Zoning Appeals case. [Washington Business Journal, Arlington County]

Booz Allen Staying in Crystal City — “Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. will remain in Crystal City, inking a lease extension and expansion for its space at 1550 Crystal Drive, building owner JBG Smith Properties announced Thursday. The lease, which commences in September, brings Booz Allen’s space at 1550 Crystal to 84,000 square feet, about 10,000 square feet more than it currently occupies.” [Washington Business Journal]

Take Our Reader Survey — Once a year, we ask readers to take a couple of minutes to weigh in on the future of ARLnow. This year, we’re asking about ideas for new emails, features, approaches and events. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. [SurveyMonkey]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

0 Comments

A War in the Streets: In Arlington, Cars and Bikes Battle for Space, Safety and Respect

The following feature article was funded by our new Patreon community. Want to see more articles like this, exploring important local topics that don’t make our usual news coverage? Join and help fund additional local journalism in Arlington. 

There’s an ongoing war being fought on the streets of Arlington.

The skirmishes are fought amongst us daily, for turf, for respect, for safety — and, some would say, for outright survival. The combatants are cars and bicycles, jockeying to safely share a common infrastructure.

Arlington has long prided itself as a “bike friendly” locale. Every bicycle on an Arlington street is potentially one less car on the road, thus reducing traffic congestion and pollution.  Cycling also meshes nicely with Arlington’s reputation as one of the fittest communities in the nation.

Consequently, the county has taken numerous steps toward encouraging bike ridership. Recent years have seen the addition of many miles of dedicated bike lanes, including protected lanes, a move supported by a majority of Arlingtonians. Further, Arlington’s enviable network of interconnected bike paths provides a safe and efficient venue for pedal-powered transportation.

But it’s not always possible to physically separate bikes and automobiles. The problem arises from the fact that two modes of transportation, consisting of vehicles of differing size and weight, traveling at different speeds, with different degrees of visibility, often must share the same physical space.

Far too often, the two sides view each other as adversaries. One Arlington cyclist cited his top complaints against motorists as “parking/standing totally or partially in the bike lanes, and not allowing the Virginia state three-foot minimum of clearance when passing a cyclist.”

Drivers find their share of faults in cyclists, as well. “They act as if traffic laws don’t apply to them,” said one motorist. “So many times I’ve waited to safely pass a bicyclist on the road, only to have them zoom by me when I stop at a red light. They then blow through the light, and I have to wait to pass them all over again.”

Undoubtedly, there is bad behavior on both sides. And while these actors may represent only a small portion of each group, they are the ones that tend to stick out, not the majority of thoughtful, law abiding Arlingtonians.

Arlington County law enforcement officials monitor all modes of transportation for potential safety infractions, not merely automobiles.

“The police department’s overall vision for transportation safety in Arlington County focuses on the safety of all travelers. We encourage all who use our roadways to comply with the law and proceed with care and caution to ensure their safety and the safety of others who may be sharing the roads,” said county police spokeswoman Kirby Clark. “Officers observing traffic violations issue citations, based upon their discretion, to travelers, regardless of their mode of transportation.”

The stakes for cyclists are high — according to ACPD’s 2017 Annual Report, there were 80 bicycle-related crashes in Arlington County in 2017, ending a multi-year downward trend. There were 32 such crashes reported in 2016 and 46 in 2015.

It doesn’t require a degree in physics to understand that in a direct encounter between the two, bicyclists are at a far greater safety risk than are drivers. As one cyclist put it, “Any generally bad driving behavior and/or willful ignorance of traffic laws is exacerbated when you are cycling since one doesn’t have the protection of sheet metal and the bulk of a car.”

Arlington County has taken a number of steps in working toward a negotiated truce between the two sides.

The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) advises the County Manager on issues that affect cycling in Arlington, including safety, education, community involvement, awareness and promotion, and the development, operation and maintenance of on- and off-street bicycle transportation and recreation facilities. Elsewhere, county staff and members of a citizens working group are in the final stages of developing a draft update to the Bicycle Element of Arlington County’s Master Transportation Plan.

Education is a critical element of the solution, as well. The county’s PAL program — encouraging drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to be Polite, Alert and Predictable — seeks to educate all Arlingtonians about ways that they can remain safe regardless of their selected mode of transportation.

The Safe Bicycling Initiative (SBI), a cooperative venture between ACPD and BikeArlington, utilizes education and enforcement to make Arlington’s roads safer for bicycles. SBI’s targeted enforcement throughout the county resulted in numerous citations of both bicyclists and motorists, all of which served as an opportunity for police to increase awareness of the SBI and related traffic laws.

In the end, however, the solution lies out on the roads. The “us versus them” mentality adds to the problem, not the solution. It is critical to respect all users of shared spaces, and to look out for their safety needs. Both sides need to be well educated, and need to be willing and able to put that knowledge into practice.

And when somebody, somewhere, does something wrong — as they inevitably will — it’s important to realize that they are merely an individual behaving badly, and not representative of an entire group.

While such efforts will not be easy, they will make Arlington’s roads safer, and less stressful, for all.

Photo courtesy Sal Ferro

0 Comments

SUV Drives off Side of I-66 Near Rosslyn

(Updated at 9 p.m.) An SUV crashed and flipped on its roof near Rosslyn this morning, injuring one person.

The crash happened before 9:30 a.m. According to police, the SUV was on I-66, heading toward D.C., when it careened off the side of the highway and landed along Route 110 — near a construction zone where Route 110 splits off to westbound I-66 and Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

One person suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Arlington County Fire Department. The northbound lanes of Route 110 were closed for an extended period of time, but reopened shortly before 10:45 a.m.

It was a busy morning for ACFD, which also responded to a call for smoke that filled a one-story commercial building — reported by one witness to be the 7-Eleven store — in Virginia Square.

0 Comments

TRAFFIC ALERT: 14th Street Bridge HOV Lanes Blocked by Crash

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) All lanes of the HOV span of the 14th Street Bridge are blocked by a serious crash.

Four vehicles are involved, one person is trapped in their vehicle and four people are injured, D.C. Fire and EMS said via Twitter. Of the four injuries, one is considered serious while the other three are considered minor.

Firefighters are currently working to free the person trapped in a vehicle.

0 Comments

Driver Flips Car in Yorktown Neighborhood, Lands in Front of Home

A driver ran off the road in a Yorktown neighborhood last night (Thursday), flipped the car over and landed directly in front of someone’s home.

The crash happened around 9:30 p.m. along the 2600 block of N. Harrison Street, according to county police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

She says the driver “left the roadway, struck a telephone pole, rolled over and struck a parked vehicle.” It ultimately settled in the front yard of a small home on N. Harrison Street.

One neighbor also told ARLnow that the crash brought down some nearby power lines.

Savage says the driver was “transported to an area hospital with reportedly minor non-life threatening injuries.”

Police are still investigating the incident, she added.

0 Comments

BREAKING: Out-of-Control Driver Strikes Signs, Light Pole in Clarendon

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) An apparent out-of-control driver struck an electronic sign and a light pole, which then toppled onto a stroller, at a busy Clarendon intersection Friday afternoon.

The crash happened shortly after 2 p.m. at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and Washington Blvd, which is currently under construction as part of the Clarendon Circle intersection improvement project. Tire tracks are visible on the road where the driver entered the intersection before coming to a stop across from Asiatique restaurant.

Three pedestrians, including two children, were evaluated for injuries, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant. Neither the pedestrians nor the driver were transported to the hospital.

The driver was cited by police, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“It was determined the driver of the striking vehicle was traveling on Wilson Boulevard when he attempted to merge into another lane to avoid construction. As he was doing so, the driver allegedly struck another vehicle, struck two construction signboards and hit a light pole causing it to fall,” she said. “Medics evaluated multiple people on scene but no serious injuries were reported. The driver remained on scene and was cited with failure to maintain proper control of the vehicle.”

The westbound lanes of Wilson Blvd approaching the crash scene were blocked for a period of time, but have since reopened.

0 Comments

Police Investigating After Vehicle Strikes Pedestrian Near Busy Crystal City Intersection This Morning

Police are investigating after a truck struck a pedestrian near a busy Crystal City intersection this morning (Friday).

County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the crash happened around 6:30 a.m. today near the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway and 23rd Street S.

Savage said a vehicle struck the pedestrian, who was transported to a local hospital with “non-life threatening injuries.”

A tipster told ARLnow that the vehicle in question was a landscaping truck.

Based on the initial investigation, police do not believe the pedestrian was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash. Savage said the investigation is still ongoing.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

0 Comments

JUST IN: Airport Traffic Snarled by Access Road Crash

It’s one of the busiest travel days of the year and a big crash is making it worse for those heading to or from Reagan National Airport.

The crash involved a vehicle that hopped the guardrail along a bridge that connects the airport and Route 1, coming to rest with its rear wheels in the air and smoke coming from its engine compartment. The access road — known as Route 233 — was blocked for a period of time by the police and fire department response, leaving the GW Parkway as the only way to access the airport.

As of 2:30 p.m., at least one eastbound lane had reopened. A traffic map shows heavy traffic on both the Route 233 airport access road and the access road leading from the southbound GW Parkway, with slow extending onto the parkway itself.

Update at 2:55 p.m. — All lanes of the access road have reopened.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list