In past years, Arlington has been ranked as having some of the worst drivers in the nation. That doesn’t surprise Brian Meenaghan, who has started a Twitter account to document what he views as a never-ending parade of bad drivers on his block.
Meenaghan, an Arlington Heights resident, started the Twitter account @BadDriversof1stRdS at the end of April. The account focuses on the worst offenders on the 3600 block of 1st Road S., a one-way street located in a high traffic area around S. Glebe Road, Route 50 and the Thomas Jefferson middle school and community center.
“I started this account as a cathartic thing because we’ve had a lot of frustrations on our little block. We’re about 400-450 feet long as a block and we dead end at a middle school,” said Meenaghan. “We have people whipping up this block and people coming the wrong way from the middle school. Because of the oddity of the exit for Route 50 around Glebe Road, we also have a lot of people turning around in driveways and going back up the wrong way, trying to go back to 50.”
Meenaghan’s main concern is drivers going the wrong way on the one-way street (traffic is supposed to only flow from S. Glebe Road to Old Glebe Road). From cars to school buses and even Metrobuses, Meenaghan has caught all types of drivers driving the wrong way or speeding — or both — on the narrow street. Photos and video posted to the Twitter account document the broken traffic laws. (See some of the tweets, below.)
“I work downtown and I’m not here physically during the day all that much and I personally see three or four people turning around every day. I’m probably outside maybe 45 minutes to an hour before dinner with my daughter and I see in just that short amount of time a lot of people going the wrong way,” said Meenaghan.
The Twitter account is a joint venture with his neighbors, who often supply the photos he uploads to the website. Meenaghan said he and his neighbors have been trying for years to convince Arlington County to implement traffic calming measures on the block.
“My neighbors are all very involved in this,” said Meenaghan. “I’m not here that much so I’m not here to take a lot of these pictures. You miss a lot of them because they happen so quickly. Probably six of my neighbors have given me photos over the last couple of weeks. It’s kind of a group-wide effort.”
Part of the impetus for the effort is that the block is now chock full of children.
“We now have 15 kids on this block. There are only 23 houses and there are 15 kids under the age of 10. There have been five kids born in the last six months,” said Meenaghan. (One could perhaps see the block as a microcosm of the challenges with burgeoning enrollment facing Arlington Public Schools.)
Along with the kids living on the block, the presence of Thomas Jefferson Middle School at the end of the block means that there is a constant stream of kids on the block during the school year. It’s only set to become busier, with continued growth at the middle school and the construction of a new elementary school on the middle school’s former parking lot.
The Arlington County Board has approved the redevelopment of the Berkeley Apartments near Four Mile Run.
The Berkeley, located at 2910 S. Glebe Road near the Arlington-Alexandria border, currently contains 137 apartments in two four-story buildings. Of those, 110 are committed affordable.
The redevelopment will replace them with two five-story buildings containing 257 apartments, 155 of which are committed affordable. One hundred forty units will be family sized, containing two or more bedrooms.
“This project will add high-quality housing — both market rate and committed affordable — to Four Mile Run,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey, in a press release. “Two older apartment buildings will be replaced, and we will gain a total of 45 affordable units — most of them big enough for families.”
The project’s developer, AHC Inc., will file an application with the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund to help finance the redevelopment. During the financial underwriting process, AHC is hoping to increase the number of committed affordable units from 70 percent to 80 percent.
AHC also committed to achieving Earthcraft Gold green building certification, ensuring that the buildings meet Energy Star requirements. Community benefits of the project include a widening of the Four Mile Run trail from 8 to 12 feet and a $75,000 public art contribution.
The project was met with resistance from the Arlington Ridge Civic Association, which expressed concerns about the size of the new buildings.
Some building residents also expressed concerns a condition imposed by county staff that the property’s fence that runs along the Four Mile Mile Run trail be removed. The fence helps to improve the building’s security, residents said. County staff and others said the fence does not comply with the Four Mile Run Master Plan.
“The proposed fence would completely undercut that effort, and send a message to both Berkeley residents and others that Four Mile Run is a scary place to be avoided,” said Liz Birnbaum of the Four Mile Run Joint Task Force. “Just as we are beginning to achieve the Master Plan vision of an inviting, accessible Four Mile Run, the fence proposal denies that possibility.”
Ultimately, staff softened the language of the condition, instead requiring that the fence be removed no later than Dec. 31, 2026.
“The proposed change ensures that there will not be a continuous fence along the entire frontage of the Four Mile Run Trail and provides a date certain for removing the fence, while addressing the the applicant’s concerns related to safety and security in the near term,” staff wrote, noting that AHC preferred to keep the fence in place.
On the afternoon of March 9, a verbal dispute between two drivers turned violent when, according to police, one of them got out of his car and smashed the other’s car window — and hand, in the process — with a bat.
Arlington County Police say 60-year-old John Strickland of Alexandria has been arrested in the case and charged with unlawful wounding, destruction of property and driving on a revoked license.
“The victim was struck in the hand with the bat,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. He did not sustain severe injuries and did not require transport to the hospital. The victim and another witness were able to provide detectives with information that led to the suspect’s identification.”
Photo courtesy ACPD
The sign on the front door says it all: new pie store Livin’ the Pie Life expects to open “April-ish.”
Located at 2166 N. Glebe Road, near the intersection with Lee Highway, the store is the bricks-and-mortar manifestation of what has up until now been a business that sold its wares primarily at local farmers markets.
Owners Heather Sheire and Wendy MacCallum, two Arlington moms who founded the company in 2011, says they don’t have an opening date set yet — but they’re close.
The store just added a new espresso machine and will be serving Virginia-based Red Rooster Coffee. That’s of course in addition to cookies, cakes, pies (savory and sweet) and other pastries.
The pies will be served in regular and individual sizes, plus by the slice. There are also plans to serve ice cream later this year, once a suitable vendor is selected.
The store is awaiting a couple of county permits before opening. It includes a sizable kitchen, a counter service area and a seating area for customers.
Sheire and MacCallum will still be selling pies at the Westover Farmers Market, and on Saturday will begin serving the Courthouse Farmers Market for the first time. The company only offers whole pies at farmers markets.
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A 17-year-old has been charged with murder following a fatal stabbing Friday night.
Police say the teen is a “relative” of the victim, and that the stabbing “resulted from a domestic incident that took place in a residence in the 3600 block of 3rd Street S.”
The deceased victim was identified as 46-year-old Arlington resident Dennis Adams. This was Arlington County’s first homicide of 2016.
From an ACPD press release:
On April 1, 2016 shortly after 8:00 p.m., Arlington County Police officers were dispatched to the 100 block of S. Glebe Road for an assault with injuries. Arriving officers located one juvenile male suffering from minor injuries. A police unit responding to the scene was flagged down by medics at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and 3rd Street S. where a second male victim suffering from numerous stab wounds was located. The second victim, Dennis Adams, 46, of Arlington VA was transported to George Washington University Hospital Trauma Center where he was pronounced deceased.
The juvenile male was able to provide police with a detailed account of the events that occurred on April 1. Through the course of the investigation, detectives uncovered a number of inconsistencies in the juvenile’s account of these events and other evidence that lead them to believe his account was fabricated.
The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit has determined that this stabbing resulted from a domestic incident that took place in a residence in the 3600 block of 3rd Street S. Detectives have charged a 17-year-old relative of the victim with murder and stabbing while committing a felony.
Anyone with information about this incident and/or who may have observed anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Detective S. Bertollini 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).
Sweet Leaf Cafe has opened its second Ballston location.
“Ballston has a heavy lunch crowd and we believe it’s dense enough to support two stores,” co-owner Andre Matini tells ARLnow.com. “We have had a lot of positive feedback, most of our diners had not been to our location on Quincy Street. With all the development of Liberty Center and and redevelopment of Ballston Common Mall we think there is more than enough to go around.”
Sweet Leaf’s new location has been a challenging one for sit-down restaurants, which have struggled to convince diners to cross to the western side of busy Glebe Road, where high-rise Ballston meets the residential Bluemont neighborhood.
One high-profile casualty was Pizza Vinoteca, which closed after just six months. A new Cheesetique store is coming to the former Pizza Vinoteca location, and a new Total Wine store is coming to the same building.
There are also rumors of changes afoot at the Greene Turtle restaurant, just up the street at 900 N. Glebe Road.
Sweet Leaf now has six locations total, all in Northern Virginia. Its first Arlington eatery opened at 2200 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse in 2013.
Photo courtesy Sweet Leaf Cafe
The incident happened Wednesday around 1:30 p.m., at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and West Glebe Road, on the Arlington-Alexandria border near I-395.
Police say a verbal dispute turned violent when one of the drivers — both drivers were men — got out of his car and smashed the other’s car window with the bat, striking him with the bat and broken glass in the process.
From an Arlington County Police crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 160309023, 1200 block of West Glebe Road. At approximately 1:36 p.m. on March 9, following a verbal altercation between two drivers, a male subject pulled out a wooden bat and swung at the victim’s car. The victim’s vehicle was damaged and he was struck with the bat. The suspect is described as a black male in his fifties, approximately 5’11” tall and weighed 125 lbs. He was wearing a short sleeved cream colored button-up shirt and green pants.
In an Italian automotive two-fer, the Maserati dealership on Glebe Road near the I-395 exit is now also offering Fiats.
Both high-end Maserati sports cars and diminutive Fiats are now displayed outside the dealership.
Hat tip to Tom C. Block
According to an unnamed witness, a fox apparently attacked a couple pushing a stroller on N. Glebe Road in the Chain Bridge Forest neighborhood, near the northern tip of Arlington.
Animal control officers would like to talk to the victims and are trying to locate the fox.
From an Animal Welfare League of Arlington spokeswoman:
Arlington County Animal Control is seeking information regarding a fox incident that occurred Tuesday, 2/2/16 in the 4400 block of North Glebe Road at approximately 11am.
A witness saw a man and a woman with a stroller who may have been attacked by a fox in the street. The man tried to scare the fox away and may have been bitten. Animal Control has posted flyers in the neighborhood.
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact animal control immediately at 703-931-9241. In addition, if you see a fox acting abnormally in this area, please contact us.
A small cluster of fox attacks in the area close to the Arlington/McLean border have occurred. On Monday night two people were attacked by a fox on the Custis Trail at North Nelson Street.
Fairfax County police have also reported that a fox bit and scratched a woman in the 1400 block of Laburnum Street in McLean.
The robbery occurred around 11:30 a.m. at the Shell station at 5630 Lee Highway, near the intersection of N. Kensington Street.
According to scanner traffic, the suspect is a white male wearing gray pants and a gray sweater, described as approximately six feet tall and in his 40s.
Early reports said he robbed the station at gunpoint with a semi-automatic weapon and stole $400 to $500. Police said he fled the scene on foot, traveling south on N. Kensington.
A K-9 unit was dispatched from Alexandria to help the search. Police also went to the Rivendell School, which is across the street from the station, to notify administrators about the situation.
No injuries were reported.
Earlier this morning an armed robbery was reported at the Giant supermarket at 2901 S. Glebe Road near Arlington Ridge, prompting administrators to secure the building at nearby Gunston Middle School, according to scanner traffic. So far police have not responded to a request for comment about the earlier robbery.
The County Board unanimously approved the plans for a new six-story development on Glebe Road in Ballston during it meeting on Saturday.
The new building, to be located at 670 N. Glebe Road, will be developed by Penrose Group. It is planned to have 173 apartments, seven of which will be affordable housing units, two different retails spaces on the ground floor and an underground garage with 177 parking spaces and 70 bicycle spots.
The building, to be known as 672 Flats, will sit on the site of a current Exxon gas station, used sales lot and parking lot, which are across from the Ballston Commons Mall and a few blocks from the Ballston Metro station.
“672 Flats is part of the exciting redevelopment of the west side of Glebe Road in Ballston. Importantly, this new building is the last piece in the long-planned transition from the high rise mall to the site-plan townhome communities built nearly 25 years ago,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement.
Under the approved site plan for the development, the seven affordable housing units must stay affordable for 30 years. Penrose will be giving the county $75,000 for the public art fund and $12,000 toward a new bus shelter. The site plan also requires the developer to reimburse the county for the $7,000 needed to conduct transportation and parking performance studies.
The new development will provide a tapering of density from the the core of Ballston to the neighborhoods that surround it, the county said.
“The site, located between North Carlin Springs Road and Seventh Street North, will provide a transition from the high-density commercial core of Ballston to medium-density residential uses to the west,” said a press release. “Between 672 Flats and the abutting townhouses, The Townes of Ballston, a shared alley will have plantings and a special paving treatment to ease the transition between the new residential building and the existing townhouses.”
The County Board’s decision was met with little protest, with only three speakers talking about the development during public comment. Of the three, two spoke out against the site plan, while the third spoke on behalf of the Bluemont Civic Association in support of the new development.
“Some 40 homeowners were planning to attend today but given the positive report before you they decided to go about their normal activities. On behalf of them and Bluemont, we support, enthusiastically support, the site plan on the agenda today,” said Terry Serie, who led the civic association’s task force on the Glebe Road development.
Other Arlington residents raised concerns about a supposed lack of transparency surrounding the Board’s process and the possibility of extending street parking on N. Glebe Road.
Under the site plan, Penrose will have to work with the Virginia Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study of extended street parking on N. Glebe Road. The developer will also be required to help implement the new parking spaces and meters.
Local civic activist Bernie Berne criticized the decision to increase parking spaces on the Glebe Road, saying that it would cause the road to be even more dangerous to cyclists.
“Glebe Road is a major cycling route, even though its not dedicated as one. You put parking there, the card doors will open in the way of people on the bikes,” Berne said. “This is one of the biggest hazards of cycling. There’s no bike lanes there. There are no plans for a bike lane on Glebe Road. You put parking there, people are going to be on the sidewalks.”
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A new six-story residential building may be coming to Ballston.
The County Board is scheduled to vote Saturday on a proposal by developer Penrose Group to turn a parking lot, used car lot and Exxon gas station into a six-story mixed-use building. County staff is recommending that the Board approve the request.
If approved the new building, located at 670 N. Glebe Road — across from Ballston Common Mall and a few blocks from the Ballston Metro station — will have 173 apartments, 177 parking spaces in an underground garage and two separate retail spaces on the ground floor. The first retail area with 1,799 square feet will be located at the corner of N. Glebe Road and 7th Street N. The second area, which is 2,527 square feet, will be at the corner of N. Carlin Springs Road and N. Glebe Road.
The new mixed-use development — originally dubbed 672 Flats — will also have bike storage, two lobbies, a leasing office, mail room, gym and amenity room on its ground floor. There will be 175 parking spots for residents and two for retail uses. Typically, the county calls for at least eight retail parking spots for mixed-use buildings.
“Staff supports the applicant’s request for modification because of the small amount of retail space and the likelihood of its serving users in the immediate vicinity of the site, and the availability of parking in the Ballston area. The applicant’s proposal implements the ‘High-Medium Residential Mixed-Use’ General Land Use Plan (GLUP) designation in that it provides a transition from the high-density commercial core of Ballston to medium-density residential uses to the west,” county staff said.
Of the 173 apartments, at least seven of them will be committed affordable units (CAFs), according to Penrose Group’s proposal. The building falls under the Bluemont Civic Association.
“The applicant is proposing bonus density in exchange for achieving LEED Silver certification consistent with the County’s Green Building Density Incentive program, and is proposing an affordable housing plan including a cash contribution and seven (7) on-site committed affordable units (CAFs) consistent with Arlington County Zoning Ordinance (ACZO) requirements,” county staff said.
According to county staff, Penrose Group’s proposal for the mixed-use building fits in with the 1980 Ballston Sector Plan and the 1981 West Ballston Land Use Study.
“The proposed site plan implements a successful transition through use of architecture to the existing townhouses abutting the site to the west, including façade design, plantings, and a special paving treatment in the alley,” county staff said.
Lights are dark along Washington Blvd in Ballston after a tree fell, pulling power lines down.
A large tree fell across N. Stuart Street, bringing power lines down and causing a power outage. N. Stuart Street is currently closed to traffic.
Power is currently out from N. Stafford Street to N. Glebe Road. Police officers are directing traffic at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Washington Blvd.
Dominion is reporting 188 customers out of service, with an estimated restoration time between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Washington-Lee High School is also out of power, according to a police officer working security at the school.
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Cyclists will have to use detours around parts of Custis Trail while crews work to resurface and repair the pavement.
The county started repairing parts of the trail between N. Harrison and N. Frederick Streets and 11th Street N. and N. Glebe Road on Tuesday. Construction is expected to last until next Friday, Aug. 21.
During the trail work, crews will be milling the surface, removing root heaves and overlaying the trail with asphalt, according to the Bike Arlington forum.
The planned construction will cost $150,000, said Susan Kalish, spokeswoman for the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation.
During construction cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to use marked detours, which primarily run along low-traffic residential streets.
The incident happened around 10:30 a.m., on Glebe near 20th Street S.
Police say they initially received several calls for a man in his 20s or early 30s jumping on the hoods of cars in the area. Then, they received the first report of a naked man in the middle of S. Glebe Road yelling at passing cars.
The man was taken into custody without incident after police arrived on scene. His clothes were found in the median, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The arrest was witnessed by numerous drivers. The man, reported to be a habitual PCP user, was transported to Virginia Hospital Center “for observation.”
— rrriot79 (@rrriot79) August 6, 2015