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The Wilson Blvd intersection along the stretch of Glebe Road that may be getting safety upgrades (via VDOT)

Wider sidewalks, additional turning lanes and changes to bus stops are part of a newly released plan to make a busy stretch of Glebe Road safer.

The Virginia Department of Transportation on Monday announced possible changes to 2.4 miles of Glebe Road between Columbia Pike and I-66.

This stretch of Glebe Road being studied, which averages about 24,000 vehicles a day, has registered numerous crashes in recent memory, including a crash in the Ballston area that injured multiple people in April 2022.

Several of the proposed upgrades are intended to address pedestrian safety.

VDOT is considering widening all sidewalks on this stretch to 5 feet and upgrading curb ramps in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sidewalks on the west side of Glebe Road between 14th Street N. and 13th Street N. would be widened to 8 feet to create a “multi-use path,” according to a press release.

The state would also create a “pedestrian refuge island” by removing the leftmost southbound lane of Glebe Road at N. Carlin Springs Road and widening the median.

Plans also indicate two left-turn lanes could be added to N. Carlin Springs Road, which drew criticism from Chris Slatt, chair of Arlington’s Transportation Commission.

Other proposed changes include:

  • Changing the N. Carlin Springs Road lane configuration in order to add a second left turn lane.
  • Adding a dedicated southbound Glebe Road left turn lane and dedicated northbound right turn lane at N. Quincy Street, a bike lane on the southbound Glebe Road approach at N. Quincy Street and N. Henderson Street, and special transit signal heads for the southbound bus lane.
  • Combining bus stops between 4th Street N. and N. Quebec Street into two new bus stops connected by a new crosswalk with rectangular rapid flashing beacons.
  • Adding a dedicated southbound Glebe Road left turn lane at 7th Street S.

VDOT — which expects to complete its study of this stretch of roadway in the fall — is now taking public comment on the plans.

People have until Monday, Feb. 19 to provide a second round of feedback on the department’s plans for this portion of the roadway, which contains 32 intersections.

Glebe Road study area (via VDOT)
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The McDonald’s at 40 N. Glebe Road (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 11 a.m.) The McDonald’s on N. Glebe Road in the Buckingham neighborhood is on track to get a second drive-thru lane.

The fast food restaurant at 40 N. Glebe Road plans to add another queuing lane leading up to the existing drive-thru window, increasing how many customers can place orders at the same time. The change is expected to bring shorter lines, cutting down on the amount of cars that back up onto the road, according to a county report.

The Arlington County Board last week signed off on a site plan amendment making this project possible.

“These modifications will alleviate a common occurrence of vehicles queueing in the single drive-through lane and backing up onto North Glebe Road,” the report says.

The change will involve removing four parking spaces and relocating a dumpster. Between 60 and 80 vehicles will be able to move through the drive-thru each hour.

The Board unanimously approved the expansion as a consent calendar item, usually reserved for non-controversial actions.

The Arlington Heights Civic Association and Buckingham Community Civic Association expressed support for the proposal, the county report says. The changes will affect only the drive-thru lanes and will have no impact on the building or the existing drive-thru window.

By contrast, the McDonald’s location at 4834 Langston Blvd faced opposition from county officials in 2020 over its initial plan to add a second drive-thru ordering lane and a recirculation lane. A revised plan, minus the recirculation lane, was approved by the County Board last year. Construction has yet to start on that project.

Photo via Google Maps 

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Booeymonger in Ballston (staff photo by James Jarvis)

(Updated at 9:15 p.m.) Booeymonger in Ballston will be replaced by a new full-service Nepalese restaurant this spring, according to the incoming tenant.

Booeymonger, known for its sandwiches, wraps, bagels and salads, closed its doors at its two locations in D.C. this year, including Friendship Heights and Georgetown.

The storefront at 1010 N. Glebe Road was the well-known local deli chain’s last remaining location.

While the closure date for Booeymonger in Ballston remains uncertain, there are active plans for the deli to return to its former home in Friendship Heights, according to Booeymonger’s current owner, Rumana Chodry. She confirmed to ARLnow that the delicatessen will reopen with a new owner.

The new tenant in Ballston, Dipar Magar, told ARLnow he plans to open a new restaurant called Thakali Bhatti sometime between February and May. He owns another restaurant, Himalayan Wild Yak in Ashburn.

As of now, Magar has applied for a liquor license and the restaurant is still in its early stages of development.

“It’s going to be Nepalese food… similar to the food we have right now,” Magar said. “It’s gonna be pretty small, like 50-60 [seats], not more than that. It’s a pretty small space.”

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(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Ocean Shack, a new seafood restaurant and sports bar in Waverly Hills, is now open.

The restaurant officially opened on Wednesday, Nov. 15, but the owner, Cody Zhou, says he also plans to host a grand opening on New Year’s Eve.

“We will host a New Year’s Eve party where we will have a photo booth, DJ and champagne toast… and also give away a lot of gifts, drinks and food,” he told ARLnow.

The 1,767-square-foot space at 2163 N. Glebe Road in the Glebe Road Shopping Center became available after Thirsty Bernie closed in May due to poor sales.

Zhou, who operates several restaurants in Fairfax and Alexandria, including Ocean Crab in Chantilly and Mochinut in Reston, says he decided to expand into Arlington after the property owner approached him with a lease offer for the soon-to-be former Thirsty Bernie space.

“She’s a regular customer at Ocean Crab,” Zhou said. “She invited us over to the space. We looked at the surroundings and felt like this area could use something different.”

Zhou said he was also inspired by the increasing diversity in Arlington’s dining scene.

“When you look at the surrounding area, you will see a lot of Japanese restaurants opening up like Tiger Dumpling… so many Vietnamese restaurants and bubble tea restaurants are popping up around Arlington because there’s a population supporting those non-traditional American foods,” he said.

Like its Chantilly counterpart, Ocean Shack offers a variety of seafood dishes such as lobster rolls, tilapia sandwiches, fried oyster baskets, fried shrimp tacos and snow crab bowls.

The restaurant also has 16 beers on draft and serves specialty cocktails.

While seafood is on the menu, sports are on the numerous TVs at Ocean Shack. Taking a page from its sports bar predecessor, Ocean Shack bills itself as a destination for catching the big game.

“Whether you are stopping in for a business lunch, family dinner, date night or a night out with your friends for watching sports,” says the restaurant’s website.

Operating hours are 5 p.m. to midnight from Monday through Wednesday, noon to midnight on Thursdays and Sundays, and noon to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Plans to redevelop the Goodwill near Route 50 — with affordable housing, childcare and a new store and donation center — have received a relatively warm reception, per a recent survey.

Goodwill and AHC Inc. propose to replace the existing Goodwill Retail and Donation Center in the Alcova Heights neighborhood with a 6-story apartment building with 128 units of affordable housing, a new store and donation center and a 3,300-square-foot childcare facility.

The redevelopment at 10 S. Glebe Road would have 168 total parking spaces, including 50 for customers and four for childcare.

The plans are early in the Arlington County approval process. Now that the recent feedback opportunity is complete, there will be two site plan review committee meetings, not yet scheduled, followed by Planning Commission and Arlington County Board hearings.

A majority of respondents, including community members, planning commissioners and other county commission members, welcome the addition of childcare and affordable housing to the site. Most of the 167 respondents said the density and land use “appropriate,” with several suggesting even more units could be added.

“I love this!” wrote one. “The more childcare facilities and housing the better!”

Another noted that about three-quarters of the units would be family-sized 2- and 3-bedroom units, which are in short supply in Arlington.

“Likewise, Arlington is in desperate need of additional childcare facilities like this,” the person continued. “The playground and green space proposed would benefit the entire neighborhood. This corner abuts office, commercial, and multifamily site, so additional density here should not be a problem.”

Not everyone is pleased with the increased density, however. Some objected to locating housing and childcare so close to busy Arlington Blvd, predicting even more congestion.

“The building is much [too] close to Route 50 and the residents are not connected to the surrounding community,” wrote one commenter. “They will be isolated. For all its progressive bona fides, it looks like Arlington is opting for the warehousing of the poor.”

“I question whether this site can handle this sort of expansive growth,” said another. “Traffic in this area is already horrendous and has been getting worse. This new site use will only increase that.”

For self-identified county commissioners who responded to the survey, the devil will be in the details, with concerns about insufficient landscaping, greenspace and traffic.

“Installing Right- as well as Left-turn traffic lights for South- and North-bound traffic across S. Glebe Rd. at the entrance to and exit from the proposed building site would make it more convenient and safer for motorists and pedestrians who will use S. Glebe Rd. close to its intersection with Arlington Boulevard,” recommended one.

The county says the developer conducted a traffic analysis that looked at three signalized and three stop-controlled intersections around the site. It found that the overall operations are and will be “at an acceptable Level of Service” if the development moves forward, per a staff report.

As for donation traffic, donors would enter and exit a drive-thru line from S. Glebe Road, similar to the configuration used today. The difference is that the new one would take drivers inside the building and up a level.

The current line sees backups onto S. Glebe Road during busy donation seasons, according to some commenters and a county report. The report did not indicate whether the plans would address this, noting that traffic volumes were manageable most of the year.

The designs received several compliments, including that it was “genius” and “light years better than the existing circulation plan.”

Goodwill donation queuing crosses two levels (via Arlington County)
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(Updated at 10:10 p.m.) All lanes of S. Glebe Road were blocked between Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike this afternoon due to a crash.

Initial reports suggest that two vehicles collided near the intersection of Glebe and 15th Street S. around 1:45 p.m. One vehicle flipped on its side and at least one vehicle occupant was reported to be trapped and injured.

Numerous fire department and police vehicles were on scene as the person was extricated from their vehicle by firefighters and transported to a local hospital via ambulance.

Glebe Road was back open as of 3:15 p.m., according to Arlington County.

Traffic camera video of the crash posted Monday night by local public safety watcher Dave Statter shows some questionable driving decisions by a trio of drivers. One driver sideswipes the second — whose car overturned — while simultaneously trying to pass the third, who just turned onto the northbound lanes at the last second ahead of oncoming traffic.

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The Arlington intersection just before Chain Bridge is set for some upgrades.

The proposed $1.1 million project “focuses primarily on upgrading the outdated traffic signal at the intersection of North Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road as well as installation of a reversible lane control system to improve safety for vehicles approaching and travelling over Chain Bridge,” according to a report to the Arlington County Board.

The Board is set to vote on awarding the contract to M.C. Dean, Inc. at its meeting this Saturday.

“The project will also improve pedestrian safety and accessibility at the intersection by placement of ADA ramps and high visibility crosswalks,” the report adds.

The contract includes a $950,000 base and a $171,000 contingency.

This stretch of Glebe in Arlington’s far northern reaches has seen a number of construction projects lately, including a 2021 project to rehabilitate the bridge over Pimmit Run and the forthcoming restoration of a roadside ditch following a major water main break in 2019. Just up the steep, winding hill from Chain Bridge Road, VDOT is planning to replace the Old Glebe Road bridge in a few years.

Photo and map via Google Maps

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Ocean Shack is gearing up for its grand opening in two weeks.

The new seafood restaurant near the corner of Langston Blvd and N. Glebe Road, formerly home to the local watering hole Thirsty Bernie, is planning to open on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

ARLnow peeked inside and the renovations appeared to be still in progress. Window signs also announced the restaurant is hiring staff.

Thirsty Bernie shuttered its doors in May after a 15-year run in the Glebe Road Shopping Center, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood, citing lackluster sales. ARLnow reported in August that Ocean Shack planned to take over the 1,767-square-foot space, aiming to open sometime between November and early December.

Cody Zhou, the man behind Ocean Shack, also owns a Southern-style seafood place in Chantilly called Ocean Crab.

Much like its Chantilly counterpart, Ocean Shack aims to offer several different seafood dishes, such as lobster rolls, tilapia sandwiches, fried oyster baskets, fried shrimp tacos and snow crab bowls.

The restaurant also plans to keep 16 beers on draft and serve specialty cocktails.

“I think this will be an awesome place for people to hang out drinking and watching sports,” Zhou told ARLnow in an email, adding the restaurant will have nine TVs.

At least eight of them “will for sure consistently play sports for the patrons,” he said.

The restaurant will also have “karaoke equipment” for events like open mic nights.

Zhou says he’s still ironing out the details but expects to offer food and drink promotions.

The establishment will operate from 5 p.m. to midnight Monday through Wednesday, from noon to midnight on Thursdays and Sundays, and from noon to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

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Car overturning on S. Glebe Road as another driver approaches (via Dave Statter/Twitter)

(Updated at 1 p.m.) An out-of-control driver’s flipping car nearly struck another driver overnight near Columbia Pike.

The crash happened around 1 a.m. this morning on S. Glebe Road, a few blocks north of the Pike, on the border of the Alcova Heights and Arlington Heights neighborhoods.

Sparks fly as the car crosses the center median and rolls over before apparently coming to rest upright.

A driver heading northbound narrowly avoids the crashing vehicle as it crosses over from the southbound lanes. Local public safety watcher Dave Statter posted a video (below) of the near-miss later Monday morning.

“No indications of injuries,” Statter noted.

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A nearly 60-year-old bridge over N. Glebe Road is slated for replacement.

The circa-1964 Old Glebe Road bridge, which spans the north-south artery just before the steep hill down to Chain Bridge, would be too costly to repair, VDOT says. The state transportation agency is instead planning a $15 million project to replace it.

About 7,000 vehicles per day use the bridge, VDOT says. A virtual public meeting is planned this Wednesday at 7 p.m. to discuss the project.

VDOT’s current timeline calls for a public meeting late next year to discuss the design of the new bridge, followed by construction starting in mid-2027.

More, below, from a VDOT email.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will hold a virtual public information meeting Wednesday, Oct. 18 on the planned replacement of the North Old Glebe Road bridge over North Glebe Road (Route 120). The bridge, which averages 7,000 vehicles a day, was built in 1964.

A new bridge will be constructed due to the estimated rehabilitation cost of the existing bridge exceeding 65% of the estimated cost to replace the bridge.

The new bridge will feature a wider sidewalk on the eastern side and an additional sidewalk on the western side.

Get Involved

In lieu of an in-person meeting, VDOT invites residents and travelers to learn more, participate in the virtual meeting and give feedback in the following ways through Nov. 1:

  • Attend the Oct. 18 online meeting. Register for the meeting or to participate without registering in listen-only mode, call 844-992-4726 (use access code 2484-673-7292 and password 1234). The project team will make a short presentation beginning at 7 p.m. and answer questions after the presentation. In case an alternate date is needed, the meeting will be held Nov. 1.
  • Provide comments via the online comment form or by email to [email protected].
  • Mail comments to Ms. Dipali Patel, P.E., Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Meeting materials and the presentation will be available online at virginiadot.org/OldGlebe, including the recorded presentation after the meeting.

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A motorcyclist suffered a significant injury this afternoon after a crash near Ballston that was caught on camera.

The crash happened shortly before 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Washington Blvd.

Footage from a traffic camera, below, shows the rider of the motorcycle making a left turn in front of the driver of a silver car, who hit the brakes but too late to avoid the collision.

Two fellow riders who were also waiting to turn left can be seen hurrying to provide aid. A driver who was behind the trio can also be seen stopping to help. It was not immediately clear whether the striking driver remained on scene.

Initial reports suggest that the rider suffered a serious broken leg and perhaps other injuries. They were taken via ambulance to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The intersection was partially closed immediately after the crash due to the police and fire department response.

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