Dominion says more than 300 customers, in an area centered around the Metro station, are in the dark as a result of a storm-related outage. Power isn’t expected to be restored until this afternoon.
The outage includes large office buildings and traffic lights up and down Crystal Drive. Police are on scene, setting up cones to direct traffic through the uncontrolled intersections, though generators are being brought in to bring the traffic signals back online.
Last night’s storm is causing other issues around Arlington this morning, as well. On the Custis Trail, a large tree has reportedly fell onto and blocked the trail between N. Quincy and Nelson streets.
— AlliMoe (@AlliMoe21) August 18, 2016
County Considering Rideshare Subsidies — Arlington County is studying a plan that would subsidize rides on Uber and Lyft for residents who live in “more remote residential areas of the county where bus service to Metro stations is limited.” The plan, if implemented, would “replace some fixed bus service in north Arlington.” [Washington Post]
APS SOL Results — The results of the Virginia Standards of Learning tests are out. In response, Arlington Public Schools released a press release with the title “APS Continues to Make Progress in Closing the Achievement Gap.” It says: “In 2016, the APS met or exceeded the state passing rates on 28 of 29 assessments, across all grade levels and subjects. APS exceeded the state passing rates by 5 to 13 percentage points on 16 of the assessments.” [Arlington Public Schools, InsideNova, Washington Post]
APS Doesn’t Make Newsweek List — Updated at 2:05 p.m. — Newsweek is out with its annual list of the top 500 public high schools in the country, and no Arlington public school made the list. In fact, only four Virginia high schools made the list. In 2010, every APS high school was on the list. APS says it has not been submitting stats to Newsweek over the past few years. [Newsweek]
Boxing Coming to Arlington This Weekend — A nine-card boxing bout will take place at the Crystal City Hilton hotel Friday night. [Fight News]
ACPD Wreath-Laying Ceremony at ANC — Arlington County Police brass laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. [Instagram]
Lost Dog On the Pike — A woman is trying to find her lost chihuahua, which was last seen near the intersection of Glebe Road and 9th Street S., near Columbia Pike. [Twitter]
A worker fell 20-25 feet at a construction site in Crystal City this morning.
The incident happened around 10:30 a.m., reportedly at the m.flats construction site at 505 18th Street S.
The worker was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with what were reported to be non-life-threatening injuries. State occupational safety officials are investigating the incident.
The Chili’s near the corner of Jefferson Davis Highway and 23rd Street S., in Crystal City, has closed.
As of this afternoon, the store’s awnings had already been taken down and a sign was posted on the door.
“After many years we are sad to say that we have closed this location,” the sign says. “Please be sure to visit one of our other local Chili’s restaurants.”
The sign lists two Chili’s locations in Alexandria and another on Route 7 in Bailey’s Crossroads.
The Century Center office and retail complex in Crystal City is expected to sprout a new 22-story residential building in the next few years.
Property owner Lowe Enterprises submitted a preliminary site plan application in June, outlining its plans: a 286-unit residential building, located at the busy intersection of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street S.
The new building will be built above existing ground-floor retail, including California Tortilla, Buffalo Wild Wings and Mezeh Mediterranean Grill. The building will have 327,396 square feet of floor space, connected with an existing underground parking garage with 1,620 spaces.
In a letter to the county’s zoning division, the new development is described as “architecturally created to establish a distinguishable, contemporary, and elegant presence that will bring modern prominence to the southwest quadrant of the intersection.”
The building, with an address of 2351 Jefferson Davis Highway, is expected to contain modern amenities including an rooftop patio, a fitness area, a club room, an outdoor courtyard and bicycle storage room. Also, an existing second floor roof will be cleared of the mechanical equipment there now and will offer open space for residents. As part of the plan, the building will achieve a minimum LEED Silver certification.
The developer has included a transportation management plan to encourage residents to use alternative forms of transportation. The location is 0.4 miles from the Crystal City Metro station. Elements of the plan include placing transportation information displays in the building, offering new residents their choice of a $65 SmarTrip card or one-year bikeshare or carshare memberships, and distributing information about transit to residents and employees.
Century Center is currently home to restaurants, a Post Office branch and other small businesses. All existing tenants are expected to be able to continue operations during the property’s redevelopment, the plan states. There will approximately 17,500 square feet of ground floor retail space after construction, with nearly 10,000 square feet dedicated to existing restaurant tenants, it says.
The surrounding streetscape is also expected to be improved. The plans contain provisions for retail and food service kiosks along with a Capital Bikeshare station. It also includes new open space at the corner of 23rd Street S. and Crystal Drive that will be home to kiosks, outdoor seating and other activities. While the existing parking garage will continue to be used, the current four entrances will be reduced to one in order to better fulfill the vision of 23rd Street as a pedestrian-oriented street.
A massive rock climbing gym has opened in Crystal City.
Earth Treks, at 1235 S. Clark Street, opened its doors on Saturday. The 45,000 square foot facility boasts 35,000 square feet of climbing walls, with more than 400 climbing and bouldering routes, plus weights and cardio eqiuipment, dedicated yoga and group fitness rooms, private climbing teaching areas, “high-end” locker rooms and a fully-stocked gear shop.
The gym is open seven days a week — 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weeknights, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 p.m. on Sundays. A day pass is $25; individual memberships are $89 per month and family memberships are $150 per month.
This is Earth Treks’ first Virginia location. The company has four other gyms in Maryland and Colorado.
In a press release, Earth Treks says it’s thrilled to be opening in a “growing vibrant hub for innovative concepts in Crystal City, home to an emerging technology hub, running and biking races, and healthy retailers like Sweetgreen and Whole Foods.”
The full press release is below.
Earth Treks, the premier climbing and fitness centers dedicated to building the climbing community, announces the opening of its first climbing gym within the beltway — and the largest in the region — on Saturday, July 30.
Located at 1235 S. Clark St. in Crystal City, VA, the 45,000 square foot center will feature more than an acre of climbing and fitness space, and will lead the industry in both amenities and size. Earth Treks adds a new layer to the active and creative community taking shape in Crystal City.
Designed by professional American rock climber Jason Kehl, the gym is packed with 35,000 square feet of awe-inspiring climbing featuring more than 400 climbing and bouldering routes. With its massive footprint, the indoor climbing gym will provide ample climbing space for every age and ability level.
“The climbing community has grown tremendously over the past decade, in part because it’s a great total-body workout, both physically and mentally. Climbing combines cardio, agility and strength training,” said Earth Treks’ founder and CEO, Chris Warner. “More importantly, it builds community, friendships, and a sense of family that lasts a lifetime. We are thrilled to be able to grow our community of climbers in Crystal City and hope to see this space bring new people to the sport.”
In addition to climbing, Earth Treks Crystal City is also a full-service gym. It goes beyond the sport of climbing to include cardio equipment and weights, yoga and group fitness, high end locker rooms and a fully-stocked gear shop. Guests can visit by purchasing day passes or monthly memberships.
Earth Treks also caters to families by providing family packages, youth programs, summer camps and birthday parties.
Earth Treks joins a growing vibrant hub for innovative concepts in Crystal City, home to an emerging technology hub, running and biking races, and healthy retailers like Sweetgreen and Whole Foods.
With easy Metro access, Bikeshare and ample parking, Earth Treks Crystal City is convenient to Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. The new location is steps from the Crystal City Metro stop off the Blue and Yellow lines, and is served by numerous biking trails. It is located one stop from Reagan National Airport, making for the perfect between-flight workout. On-site garaged parking will serve the gym and be free during peak hours. Monthly memberships begin at $89.
To learn more and follow the latest developments visit earthtreksclimbing.com and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EarthTreks.CrystalCity.
About Earth Treks
Earth Treks Climbing and Fitness Centers are the premier indoor climbing gyms in the area. Located in Maryland (Columbia, Timonium and Rockville), Colorado (Golden) and now Virginia (Crystal City), the gyms offer the best in rock climbing and fitness experiences. Earth Treks Crystal City is the newest and largest addition to the Earth Treks family. With a massive footprint exceeding 45,000 sq ft, the indoor climbing gym provides plenty of climbing space for every age and ability level. Earth Treks’ rock climbing and mountaineering guide service was founded in 1990. The first Earth Treks indoor climbing gym opened in Columbia, Maryland in 1997.
Military Base: No Pokemon Players, Please — Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is advising visitors that hunting Pokemon is not a valid reason for visiting the base, even though Pokemon supposedly abound there. “There’s multiple Pokestops and gyms on post,” noted a military police officer, who added that she has played the game “to learn more about it.” [Pentagram]
‘Oasis’ For Runners Near Key Bridge — Amid sweltering temperatures, local running store Pacers is setting up an “oasis” Saturday morning from 7-10 a.m. near the Key Bridge and the Mt. Vernon and Custis trails. The oasis will offer “nutrition, hydration, and a shady place to take a break.” [Pacers]
Twilighter 5K Saturday — Crystal City will hold its annual Twilighter 5K race Saturday evening. The race starts at 8:30 p.m. Expect lane and road closures in the area. [ARLnow]
Flickr pool photo by xmeeksx
A new “pop-up” library is coming to Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood.
The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved an agreement with the Crystal City Shops that will allow the county to open the temporary library in a vacant retail space rent-free for at least nine months.
The county will pay nearly $1,900 per month for maintenance and utilities and incur one-time costs of $60,000 for a connection to the county’s fiber optic network and about $113,000 to renovate the space. The funds have already been allocated in the county’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
With the “pop-up” library open, those who live and work in Crystal City will be able to walk to a library without having to cross busy Route 1. The nearest library is the Aurora Hills branch near the Pentagon City mall.
“We chose Crystal City as the first neighborhood to experiment with a pop-up library both because we have found that Route 1, which runs through Crystal City, poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library, and because people in the neighborhood expressed interest in the approach,” Library Director Diane Kresh said in a press release (below).
Taking an innovative approach to meeting patrons where they live and work, Arlington Public Library plans to open a temporary “pop-up” library this September in Crystal City.
Library Director Diane Kresh sees the pop-up facility as a low-cost way to push library services into more neighborhoods and introduce people of all ages to the wide scope of what the County’s public library system has to offer. In addition, the Crystal City pop-up branch is expected to help enliven the Crystal City Shops.
“We chose Crystal City as the first neighborhood to experiment with a pop-up library both because we have found that Route 1, which runs through Crystal City, poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library, and because people in the neighborhood expressed interest in the approach,” Kresh said.
Dubbed “The Connection: Crystal City,” the pop-up will be a compelling location for checking out books, accessing the internet, holding community meetings and attending workshops.
The County Board approved a lease this month with CESC Plaza Limited Partnership for 1,222 sq. ft. of space inside the building located at 2100 Crystal Drive, within Crystal City Shops at 2100, 2117 Crystal Plaza Arcade.
The pop-up library staff will hold community discussions this summer to learn more about what types of services people would like offered within the constraints of space, time and budget, Kresh said.
The County’s nine-month lease may be renewed on a month-to-month basis. One-time funding for the pop-up library was approved in the adopted Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
Although the space is being offered to the County rent-free, the County will pay a monthly fee for its share of common area maintenance expenses, real estate taxes and electricity associated with the shopping center. That share is estimated to be $1,603 a month for maintenance, $176 for real estate taxes and $100 for electricity. The County expects to spend about $113,000 to renovate the space. Kresh notes that many of the features the County will install – carpeting, shelving and furniture – will be reused elsewhere by the County after the lease is terminated. The County also will spend $60,000 to install fiber and conduit to connect the pop-up library to the County fiber optic network, ConnectArlington.
The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a new 10-year transit plan that provides a vision for “more frequent bus service, more late night and weekend service, better north-south connections, and a new Premium Transit Network along Columbia Pike.”
There’s an asterisk to the Transit Development Plan’s unanimous approval and the subsequent cheery press release, however. Responding to criticism from residents and the county’s own Transportation Commission, the Board directed County Manager Mark Schwartz to report back next year on possible improvements to the post-streetcar transit plan for Columbia Pike.
The Board’s guidance to Schwartz and county staff:
This generally ambitious and robust Transit Development Plan nevertheless falls short of the urgency and innovation needed to create a transformative transit network serving Columbia Pike and to realize its potential as a thriving and dynamic residential and commercial corridor.
Therefore, in adopting the FY 2017 -FY 2026 Transit Development Plan, the County Board also gives the following guidance to the County Manager and staff:
Look and Customization of Vehicles. The current TDP phases in the most modern version of current vehicles, WMATA buses and ART buses, with no unique features beyond re-skinning the buses on WMATA routes. Recognizing the significant logistical, cost and inter-jurisdictional challenges, please provide to the Board for consideration and analysis, during Q2 2017, the details of a possible path to customized and unique vehicles.
Articulated Buses. In consultation with WMATA, provide a plan by Q2 2017 to add articulated buses to the highest-demand routes on Columbia Pike (on either a pilot or permanent basis). Continue to assess effectiveness of articulated bus service and determine sustained levels of service for these routes through FY2026.
Headways. The current TDP identifies 6-minute peak headways and 12-15 minute off-peak headways for the Metrobus Connector “trunk line.” Please provide to the Board, by Q2 2017, a cost/benefit analysis (to consider efficiency, capacity, ridership impacts) of reducing the off-peak headways and ultimately achieving a 6-minute headway for 18 hours/day.
Coordination with Other Agencies. To effectuate this guidance, the County Manager and staff will coordinate as appropriate and necessary with WMATA and other federal, state, regional and local government agencies and transportation bodies.
Most of the public comments at Saturday’s Board meeting were complimentary of the overall plan, save the plan for the so-called Premium Transit Network. That plan seemed in many ways diminished from the “TSM-2” enhanced bus plan the county and supporters originally said was inferior to its since-cancelled streetcar plan for Columbia Pike.
Among the public speakers at the Board meeting was John Snyder, member of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization and a former streetcar booster. Snyder said the plan for Pike transit presented by county staff was inadequate to support growth along the corridor.
We had a debate for several years [about] TSM-2… and the streetcar. TSM-2 won the debate. Now, when I look at the plan, what is written in the plan has disappeared. The whole idea of premium new vehicles that have higher capacity: it’s gone. This wasn’t announced and it wasn’t part of a public process. We found out about it by looking at the Capital Improvement Plan. There’s no money to buy new buses. There’s still money in the plan for the transit stations if they’re maintained at the current level but the buses have disappeared. There’s great things in the Transit Development Plan, what’s in there is great and the consensus is that the county board supports all of it. But the concern is what’s not in there. We don’t see anything that’s going to help businesses with more frequent service on the off-hours. People go out to dinner not during the commuting hour, they go out to dinner after that time and they come back after that time. The idea of six-minute intervals all the time makes it reliable, frequent, easy and simple to use. We have the simplicity, the new 16M line is great in the way that it simplifies many of these different routes but it needs to have that frequency to help our businesses and connect our residents to that so we get out of the car mentality. Seventy percent of the people on the Pike do not use transit even to get to work. The percentage on other sorts of trips is even higher. We need to change that. That’s the whole idea behind the Pike plan and it has been supported by the Board for the last 15 years.
There is no plan to increase capacity. We understand that you’re going to be coordinating with WMATA on how we can get articulated buses. I heard the same thing in 2003 at the first meeting I attended regarding transit on the Pike. WMATA has a lot on its plate. What we need in that regard is a statement that says Arlington will. Arlington will go do this, we will go get the additional buses, we will get the additional facilities needed to maintain them and we’re going to do that by a particular date.
Some were more charitable about the plan as currently conceived.
“These critics failed to appreciate that no amount of service upgrades will defeat car culture,” said perennial County Board candidate Audrey Clement, who’s running as an independent this year. “If state of the art transit technology were the solution, the Silver Line would not be running half-empty in the I-66 median with cars parked on the interstate on either side every day.”
Dennis Leach, Arlington’s Deputy Director of Transportation, said the enhanced transit stations and other amenities included in the Premium Transit Network plan will, in fact, move the needle in terms of making transit a more attractive option along the Pike.
“The premium amenities are proving those high-quality stations with near-level boarding, longer platforms and real-time information,” he said. “These stations are the front door of transit in the corridor. It is shifting this entire corridor to off-vehicle fare collection. We’ve already started work on transit signal priority and we are committed to actually implementing it in the full corridor.”
“We are actively coordinating with Metro to replace the current buses with modern low floor vehicles,” Leach added. “The intent is to implement a unified brand for this premium transit network.”
“I would say this was the most intensive and comprehensive transit update that the county has ever done,” Leach said of the overall transit plan. “I was here for 2011, this effort well exceeded that. We looked at every route and every part of this community to bring these recommendations before you.”
The full press release from Arlington County, after the jump.
“The depth of the water main has made this a more complicated repair and weather is also slowing us down,” said Jessica Baxter. “The estimated completion is now midnight tonight. We’ll continue to monitor progress and communicate any updates.”
Update at 1:55 p.m. — The office building at 2001 Jefferson Davis Highway is affected too, the county has confirmed.
A water main break has closed a road and at least one building in Crystal City.
Crews are currently working to repair the 12-inch water main, which broke last night. Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says an office building and an apartment building are affected; ARLnow.com has heard reports of other buildings without water in the area.
“Buildings 2111 and 2221 S. Clark Street are currently impacted,” said DES spokeswoman Jessica Baxter. “Repairs will continue through the day and the estimated time of completion is 6 p.m., barring complications. South Clark Street is closed between 20th and 23rd Street, however, Jefferson Davis Highway remains open and traffic is flowing.”
Last night co-working space WeWork, which is located at 2221 S. Clark Street, told customers in an email that the building would be closed today.
A water main break is affecting people citywide this evening in Crystal City. This affects our water and HVAC and we are closing the building tomorrow until water has been restored. We will communicate with you as soon as we hear from the city.
In the meantime, you are welcome to work out of any other DC WeWork location. Please reach out to the Crystal City team with any questions. Thank you for your patience and support as we work to rectify this situation.
The WeWork Crystal City Team
“Surge 4” track repair work is slated to begin Tuesday and will keep the station closed through the following Monday.
Until the Crystal City station’s scheduled reopening on Tuesday, July 19, Metro will have free shuttle bus service to connect the stop with the Reagan National and Pentagon City stations.
Arlington and airport officials are encouraging travelers to avoid driving near the three stations and use buses and other modes of transportation to get around.
An Arlington County website has the following information those affected by the Metro maintenance work and station closure.
Street operations changes for Surge 3 and 4
- Temporary changes around the Pentagon City Metro station will accommodate alternate travel options.
- Includes removing street parking on east side of South Hayes Street to allow for shuttle bus drop-off and staging.
- Pentagon City bus service locations
- Changes for Surge 2 around the Crystal City and Rosslyn Metro stations will continue for Surges 3 and 4.
Supplemental local bus service continued from prior surges
- The new ART service and additional ART bus capacity on routes that parallel the Blue Line will continue through Surges 3 and 4:
- Midday, evening and weekend service for ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Courthouse) – This route provides a direct connection from Crystal City to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. On weekdays, 40-foot buses will be used to add capacity.
- 40-foot buses for ART 42 (Ballston-Pentagon) to add capacity – Each 40-foot bus has five more seats and room for more standees compared to 35-foot buses normally used on this route.
- For changes to bus service operated by Metro and other jurisdictions, visit Metro’s website.
Alternate travel and work options
- The County continues to encourage telework/flex time, ridesharing, biking and walking – options other than driving alone:
- Arlington Transportation Partners is reaching out to employers and building managers to urge them to encourage telework or flex schedules and provide travel option information.
- Arlington’s Commuter Page has travel option resources for residents and businesses – for example, assistance for vanpooling and other car-free options.
- For teleworkers who can’t work at home, Arlington Public Libraries offer wifi, office equipment, design stations with Adobe software, and small meeting rooms.
- For those who bike, these changes are continued from prior surges:
- Additional capacity at Capital Bikeshare stations and bike parking around the Rosslyn and Crystal City Metro stations.
- Custom Bike Trains arranged for County residents upon request – contact [email protected]. BikeArlington also will support promotion of Alexandria’s bike trains that will run from Braddock Road Metro station to Pentagon City.
- Improved directional signage along bike commuter routes.
- For those who use transit, bike or walk:
- Ambassadors will be at Pentagon City Metro station to help travelers with their questions and trip planning.
- Enhanced wayfinding signage at affected Metro stations will point people along safe routes to buses, shuttles, bike parking, Capital Bikeshare, station elevators, and other service locations.
Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
ArtJamz Underground Studio, a new “paint and sip” studio, will be opening next Friday, July 15, in Crystal City.
Located in the Crystal City Shops, at 2105-B Crystal Plaza Arcade, the 1,000 square foot public art studio and lounge will offer freestyle paint sessions, guided classes, and other private and public special events.
Studio time for customers includes art materials, an easel, a smock, two complimentary glasses of wine or one beer and local artists that are on hand to give tips and guidance.
“We really encourage original art, for people to create something unique,” said founder and CEO Michael Clements. “Our tagline is unleash your inner artist because we want our studios to be as close to what an artist would experience in their studio.”
Customers can choose from six different canvas sizes — and they’re also allowed to paint on the walls. Just for fun, fake artist mustaches and berets are offered at an additional charge.
“Our mission is make the world a more creative place,” said Clements.
Customers can book sessions online. Until opening night, ArtJamz is offering a special where patrons can book sessions using the promo code “opening16” to receive 20 percent off a reservation.
The third stage will begin at 8 p.m. on July 5, continuing until July 11 and it will involve the Blue and Yellow lines being completely shut down between National Airport and Braddock Road, in Alexandria.
Blue Line trains will run every 15 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Largo Town Center.
Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Greenbelt.
Riders will be able to take Metroway BRT buses for free, between Pentagon City and Braddock Road, to bypass the closure. For airport customers coming from stations below Braddock Road, shuttle bus service will run between the station and the airport.
The fourth SafeTrack stage will run from July 12-18 and the same lines will be shut down between National Airport and Pentagon City. That includes a closure of the busy Crystal City station.
Blue Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and National Airport and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Largo Town Center.
Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Greenbelt.
Shuttle bus service will run to National Airport from Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Metroway shuttle service will also be available for free during this stage.
For its part, Arlington County will continue to run the expanded bus service implemented for SafeTrack’s second stage. That includes expanded midday, evening and weekend service on the ART 43 between Rosslyn and Crystal City and additional 4o-foot buses to increase capacity on the ART 42, which runs from Ballston to Pentagon.
Arlington County is encouraging alternative commute options during the surge, such as teleworking, ridesharing, biking and walking if possible.
Video Courtesy WMATA
Crystal City will host the annual Crystal City Twilighter 5K race on Saturday, July 23.
The race, organized by Pacers, will kick off at 8:30 p.m. The relatively flat course will start and finish will be in front of 2121 Crystal Drive.
There will also be a post-race party with food and drink specials at local restaurants. Cash prizes will be awarded to overall male and female runners. Age groups ranging from 1-10 and 80+ will also be given prizes.
Registration is $45 for adults over the age of 18, but $25 for those 18 and younger. Space is limited to 3,000 runners.
Disclosure: The run is sponsored by the Crystal City BID, an ARLnow.com advertiser.
View from Central Place — An ABC 7 reporter visited one of the top floors of the still under-construction Central Place residential tower in Rosslyn. The residential building is slated to open in 2017 while a twin office tower next door is set for 2018. [Twitter]
Wine in the Waterpark Extended — Crystal City is extending its popular Friday night Wine in the Waterpark events through July. The event offers beer, wine and music in an outdoor setting. [Crystal City]
‘Women in Secularism’ Conference — A Crystal City hotel will be hosting the fourth “Women in Secularism” conference in September. The conference “brings together a diverse lineup of speakers to address what it means to be a ‘woman in secularism’ — not just in theory, but in practice.” [Women in Secularism]
Photo by Jackie Friedman