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by ARLnow.com — May 3, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Walkway (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Metro Delays and Traffic This Morning — There are residual delays on the Orange and Silver lines due to a malfunctioning train near the Clarendon Metro station earlier this morning. For drivers, morning rush hour traffic is noticeably heavier than usual around Northern Virginia inside the Beltway. [Twitter]

Firefighters Applaud New Metro Move — WMATA will now staff its Metrorail control center with a uniformed fire officer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Arlington’s firefighter association applauded the move, calling it a “positive step for the safety of firefighters and citizens in the DMV.” [WTOP, Twitter]

CARD to Hold School Board Debate — The Pike Presidents’ Group and the Coalition of Arlingtonians for Responsible Development, which advocates for a wider distribution of affordable housing throughout the county, is holding a School Board candidate debate on Wednesday, May 11. CARD also sent a candidate questionaire to all four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Of them, only Tannia Talento declined to respond. [CARD, CARD]

Liberty Tavern Named Top Brunch Spot — A new-for-2016 list of the top brunch spots in the country, compiled from diner reviews by the restaurant reservation website OpenTable, includes The Liberty Tavern in Clarendon. [OpenTable, Patch]

Mrs. Arlington Wins Mrs. VirginiaMrs. Arlington, Elizabeth Peace, has been crowned Mrs. Virginia America 2016. [Facebook]

Mall Launches Walking Program — Today, the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is launching a new program called “Walk-Fit.” Open to all ages, the program is described as “an official way for walkers to meet up, exercise, socialize and even enjoy a morning cup of coffee,” all inside the mall.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com — April 5, 2016 at 9:20 am 0

It was not a good morning commute if you were driving on Route 50 or riding Metro’s Orange or Silver lines over the last hour or so.

First, a crash on Route 50 at N. Fillmore Street around 8 a.m. left a vehicle on its side and one person trapped, before being extricated by firefighters. The eastbound lanes of Route 50 just reopened after an extended closure. Delays extends back several miles.

On Metro, a number of issues on the Orange and Silver line have produced big delays and crowded station.

As a bonus, there were also some issues on the Yellow and Blue lines.

by ARLnow.com — March 16, 2016 at 8:55 am 0

Looking for evidence of a nightmare commute due to today’s Metrorail shutdown? Look no further than I-395.

I-395 is slow for the entire length of the highway, from the Beltway to the 14th Street Bridge. The good news is that traffic appears to be moving — just slowly.

Route 50 is also jammed, starting around Washington Blvd. The southbound lanes of the GW Parkway are slow from the bridge over Donaldson Run to Key Bridge, while northbound traffic is very heavy from Alexandria to the 14th Street Bridge. Washington Blvd is crawling all the way from I-395 to the Key Bridge.

There’s also heavier-than-usual traffic on some local roads. Clarendon Blvd is slow from Courthouse to Rosslyn. Eastbound Lee Highway jams up starting at N. Rhodes Street to Rosslyn. Pretty much the entire street grid of central Rosslyn is a mess.

There are some surprising bright spots: I-66 is pretty clear for most of the stretch inside the Beltway. Route 1 could be worse. And Columbia Pike traffic doesn’t appear to be out of the ordinary.

Despite the traffic mixed bag, it’s obvious that Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) doesn’t want to make the Metro shutdown a regular occurrence, based on his tweet below.

by ARLnow.com — February 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm 0

Virginia State Police are investigating a serious single-vehicle crash on I-66 near East Falls Church.

The wreck happened early this afternoon in the westbound lanes near the Sycamore Street exit. Photos show a dark gray sedan with heavy front-end damage on the side of the road, next to a crumpled-up guardrail.

One lane is blocked and westbound traffic is backed up to Glebe Road. Drivers should also expect delays approaching the crash in the eastbound lanes.

“Seek alternative routes,” Arlington County Police said, in a tweet.

by ARLnow.com — January 28, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Snowy sunrise (photo courtesy Valerie Crotty)

County Moves to ‘Phase 4’ of Snow Cleanup — With all residential streets passable, Arlington County has moved to “Phase 4” of its snow removal operation. “Phase 4 will focus on clean up, widening primary and secondary routes, as well as addressing trouble spots in residential areas,” the county said. “Widening and hauling snow from major corridors will continue at night when it is safest — we will do our best to minimize disruption, but please expect some noise.” [Arlington County]

Heavy Traffic Again This Morning — Pretty much the entire stretch of northbound I-395 was a parking lot this morning, as the D.C. area continued to get back to work following this past weekend’s blizzard. Other traffic problem spots include eastbound Route 50, which was backed up starting around Courthouse, Washington Blvd around the Pentagon, and the southbound GW Parkway, which slowed near the first overlook.

McMenamin Digs Out Maywood Neighbors — One Arlington neighborhood that was particularly slow to be plowed after the blizzard was Maywood, along Lee Highway. Residents pitched in to clear the streets, including former independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin, who “brought out his powerful snowblower and carved out walkways, driveways and helped clear a path for an Uber driver whose Chevy Suburban got stuck at the height of the storm.” [Washington Post]

Video: Marymount Swimmers Train in Florida — Want to think warm thoughts after this morning’s icy commute? Here’s a video of Arlington-based Marymount University’s swim team taking a recent training trip to Key West. [YouTube]

Photo courtesy Valerie Crotty

by ARLnow.com — January 27, 2016 at 9:55 am 0

Morning commute traffic map on 1/27/16Federal government employees are going back to work today for the first time since the blizzard, but it’s slow going for those trying to commute from Arlington to the District via car or bus.

As of 9:45 a.m., the northbound I-395 HOV lanes are jammed starting around Army Navy Country Club, while mainline I-395 slows near the Pentagon.

Memorial Bridge and Washington Blvd around the Pentagon is jammed. Traffic on eastbound I-66, approaching the Roosevelt Bridge slows near Rosslyn. N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn and the Key Bridge are also crawling.

Federal employees are to report to work on a three hour delay today, with an option for unscheduled leave or telework, the Office of Personnel Management announced last night.

Arlington County offices opened on time today, though certain community centers are closed or operating under modified hours. Arlington parking meters are being enforced today for the first time since the blizzard, but only in commercial districts. While Arlington Public Schools are closed, APS offices are opening at 10 a.m.

There’s some good news for commuters: full Metrorail service has returned to all lines, though some delays were reported on the Red and Green lines this morning. Also, the Custis Trail is clear for cyclists, though only one lane is cleared in places and some connecting trails are still snow-covered.

by ARLnow.com — December 1, 2015 at 9:15 am 0

Morning commute on 12/1/15

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and first day of December) is proving to be a turkey in terms of traffic.

Steady rain and accidents have helped to slow the commute to a crawl across much of Arlington.

On I-395 at 9 a.m., nearly the entire length of inbound I-395 was slow. I-66 is reported to be backed up all the way to Falls church. And the GW Parkway is a slog starting at the first overlook.

A reader reports that Route 50 was no picnic, either.

Elsewhere, minor flooding was reported in the area of Chain Bridge. Expect the rain to continue throughout the morning, forecasters say.

by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2015 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) Traffic backups caused by a barricade situation in downtown D.C. have spilled over into Arlington.

In Rosslyn, traffic on Lynn Street approaching the Key Bridge is backed up all the way to the Iwo Jima memorial.

The Memorial Bridge, Route 50, I-66 and I-395 are all slow and congested approaching the city, even at 10 a.m. Heavy traffic has also been reported on large portions of the GW Parkway and Washington Blvd near the Pentagon.

Reports out of D.C. suggest a mentally unstable person, possibly armed with a high-powered rifle, is barricaded in a downtown office building. Police have closed a multiple block portion of downtown near the Farragut North Metro station to pedestrians and vehicles.

As of 11 a.m., the suspect was reported to be in custody.

by ARLnow.com — October 30, 2015 at 4:02 pm 0

I-66 crash on 10/30/15

Update at 4:30 p.m. — The crashed vehicles are now on the right shoulder and two lanes of traffic are getting by. However, significant delays remain.

Update at 4:06 p.m. — One lane of traffic is now slowly squeezing by on the lefthand shoulder.

Earlier: The westbound lanes of I-66 are temporarily blocked due to a two-vehicle crash just past Glebe Road.

At least one non-life-threatening injury was reported and there appears to be some sort of a fluid spill on the highway at the crash scene.

Commuters should seek alternate routes.

by ARLnow.com — September 30, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,150 0

Wet leaves in early fall, in Fairlington

Major Traffic, Metro Woes — It was extremely slow going for commuters crossing the 14th Street Bridge this morning. Wet roads and a couple of crashes backed up traffic on I-395 and feeder routes for miles. Traffic issues were also reported on Columbia Pike, due to malfunctioning traffic signals at S. Queen Street. Meanwhile, a fire response at the L’Enfant Metro station and track issues on the Yellow Line bridge have resulted in speed restrictions and delays for Yellow Line riders. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]

Waiting for Joaquin — Arlington County is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Joaquin, which some models are suggesting may have a big impact on the D.C. area. [Twitter]

Cristol Touts Endorsements — Following a snub by County Board member John Vihstadt, who endorsed her Democratic ticketmate Christian Dorsey and independent candidate Mike McMenamin, County Board candidate Katie Cristol is touting her own endorsements. “Twenty elected officials, comprising all of Arlington’s School Board, Constitutional Officers and Richmond delegation, and much of the County Board, today endorsed Katie Cristol’s campaign,” the campaign said in a press release Tuesday. [Katie Cristol]

Juror Qualification Process Begins — A random selection of Arlington and Falls Church residents are being mailed juror questionnaires, which will be used to qualify residents for jury duty in 2016. [Arlington County]

Attorney General Holds Arlington Newser — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced a new training initiative for police at a news conference in Arlington yesterday. The training is intended to help officers de-escalate dangerous situations, thus preventing the need to excessive use of force, while also recognizing potential biases they may bring to the job. Arlington County already conducts similar training. [NBC Washington]

by ARLnow.com — September 8, 2015 at 9:05 am 2,945 0

The under-construction Central Place tower rises in Rosslyn

Petition to Rename DCA Nears Goal — A petition to rename Reagan National Airport “Washington National Airport” has gathered nearly 70,000 of its goal of 75,000 signatures. The petition is a progressive group’s response to Republican outrage over President Obama’s renaming of Mount McKinley to its original name, Denali. [CREDO Action, Washington Post]

Fire at Shopping Center — Arlington County firefighters battled a small blaze at the Lyon Village Shopping Center last night. [Twitter]

Meeting on Hospital Expansion — Arlington County and Virginia Hospital Center officials are holding a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) night regarding a proposed land swap between the county and VHC, which would allow the hospital to expand. [Arlington County]

Back to School, Back to Traffic — Arlington Public Schools students, along with students in other Northern Virginia localities, are returning to school today. Thanks to the influx of school buses and commuters returning from vacation on the roads, the first day after Labor Day is dubbed “Terrible Traffic Tuesday” by AAA Mid Atlantic.

by ARLnow.com — August 6, 2015 at 8:30 am 2,972 0

Heavy traffic on I-395 at Glebe Road on 8/6/15Update at 9:35 a.m. — ART buses are delayed too, Arlington County says, due to Metro-related traffic delays.

If you were commuting from Arlington to D.C. today, or vice versa, chances seem pretty good that your commute was awful.

Major delays were reported on Metro’s Orange, Blue and Silver lines, after service was suspended through much of downtown D.C. due to a derailed non-passenger train.

As if the Metro chaos wasn’t bad enough, a couple of crashes and perhaps an influx of would-be Metrorail riders has turned the length of I-395 into a virtual parking lot, with slow-moving traffic from the District to Springfield.

Also, Route 50 is reported to be backed up to Pershing Drive.

So, if you commute to or from D.C., just how bad was it this morning?

by ARLnow.com — June 4, 2015 at 10:30 am 6,543 0

Another big battle is brewing in Bluemont and this one is not about bocce.

Wilson Blvd was recently repaved and restriped between the Safeway and Bon Air Park, so that instead of four lanes of traffic, it is now has two lanes of traffic, a turn lane and two bike lanes. The change seems to have brought about two separate realities.

To hear one group of residents tell it, traffic is flowing as normal but families can finally walk down the narrow sidewalks along Wilson Blvd without the fear of imminent vehicle-induced death.

To hear the other group tell it, the loss of a lane in each direction is causing a traffic nightmare that’s adding 20-40 minutes to Wilson Blvd commutes during the morning and evening rush hours. Their tales of woe are relatively consistent.

“I had the displeasure of commuting westbound on Wilson Blvd Thursday [May 28] at 6 p.m.,” driver Alexi Bustillo told ARLnow.com via email. “It took me 20 minutes from Glebe and Wilson to Manchester and Wilson (1 mile distance).”

“Morning traffic backs up from the light by Bon Air Park up the hill… with dangerous merging,” said Josh Laughner, via Twitter. It’s “dangerous [because you can’t] see traffic stopped at bottom of [the] hill. At night it’s pretty bad where the merging starts by Pupatella. I never had any backups morning/night when it was two lanes all the way through.”

“The message boards of [the Boulevard Manor and Dominion Hills neighborhoods, to the west of the restriping] are full of the comments,” a tipster said. “Many complaints about trip times during morning and evening rush hours taking 20-40 minutes on the stretch between George Mason and Manchester.”

ARLnow.com visited the stretch during a morning and evening rush hour this week and didn’t observe any abnormally heavy traffic. Supporters of the restriping say, essentially, that it’s the answer to their pedestrian prayers and they don’t know what the critics are talking about.

“We are so grateful to Arlington County for these improvements!” said Ed Fendley, co-chair of the Bluemont Civic Association Sidewalk Safety Task Force. “The restriped roadway is working great. Traffic is flowing really well. Fewer drivers are speeding. When I’m driving, it is now easier for me to turn left onto Wilson because I can use the center turn lane to stage my turn.”

“It feels so much safer to walk and bicycle,” Fendley continued. “For the time ever, my kids and I bicycled on Wilson Boulevard to go to La Union restaurant. The road is now safer and more accessible for everyone — just as we had hoped.”

“I just want to say that for the first time in the 23 years I’ve lived on Kensington Street, my family and I have been able to comfortably walk down Wilson Boulevard,” said Chris Healey, Fendley’s co-chair. “I can’t express how great it is to be able to walk to Safeway and the many great neighborhood restaurants and shops without worrying about being clipped by a passing car or bus. This is a giant step toward Bluemont becoming a true community. We look forward to phase two and we are confident that the momentum from the success of this project will take us there sooner rather than later.”

(Phase II of the project, which will take place should the county be satisfied with the flow of traffic and pedestrians on the reconfigured roadway, will include wider sidewalks and other improvements.)

“For the first time in two decades, kids can walk or bike safely to Ashlawn school and the pools on Wilson Blvd,” said Tom Carter, a 21-year Dominion Hills resident. “The walkable, bikeable stretch of Wilson should be extended from Seven Corners to Clarendon. Families should be able to walk and bike through the heart of Arlington.”

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — January 6, 2015 at 8:00 am 11,075 0

Extremely slow regional traffic due to snow on 1/6/15 at 7:45 a.m.

(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) This morning’s commute is officially a traffic nightmare for anyone still out on the roads.

The map above shows just how bad traffic is around the region as two and a half inches of slick, powdery snow have fallen. Numerous accidents have been reported around the county as students make their way to school and commuters make their way to work.

Metrobus service has now been limited to snow emergency routes — major roadways only. There is no Metrobus service on secondary streets.

Arlington snow crews so far are only treating primary and secondary roads, not neighborhood streets.

Conditions are bad enough on local roads that we’ve heard of at least one tow truck getting stuck en route to an accident scene An Arlington County Police spokesman, who himself was stuck in heavy traffic having moved only 3 miles in an hour and a half, said officers were doing their best to keep up with all the accidents.

“Obviously traffic is pretty [bad],” said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The county’s 911 call center is “getting a steady flow of emergency calls. The majority of calls are for struck vehicles… we’re addressing accidents first, then stuck vehicles.”

Sternbeck noted that the police department has a normal staffing level this morning.

At least one crossing guard has not been able to make it to her post near Jefferson Middle School, but no police officers are available to replace her, according to scanner traffic. At N. McKinkey Road in 9th Street, medics are responding to a crossing guard who slipped, injured her knee and is lying in the middle of the road.

Students are tweeting ARLnow.com saying their buses are running late or are getting stuck. Others say their school bus never showed up at all.

There have been police reports of school buses getting stuck in various locations, including near Oak Ridge Elementary and on 16th Street S. at S. Taylor Street.

The following roads have been closed by police due to cars getting stuck on hills:

  • 14th Street N. between Kirkwood and Kenmore
  • S. Adams Street between 25th and 26th
  • Wilson Blvd at N. Larrimore Street
  • 16th Street between Taylor and Stafford
  • N. Patrick Henry Drive at 9th
  • 8th Road S. at Dinwiddie
  • N. McKinley Road north of Wilson Blvd (several accidents reported)

Drivers and residents have been tweeting reports of accidents and stuck vehicles.

Trash collection is being delayed until later in the day today, according to the Dept. of Environmental Services.

A “ground stop” was in place for flights at Reagan National Airport for part of the morning. As of 8:50 a.m., the airport said the main runway had been treated and “our operations are back to normal.”

While numerous problems have been reported on the roads, at least one bike trail was well-treated this morning.

The National Weather Service belatedly issued a Winter Storm Warning just after 9:00 a.m.

… WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW… HEAVY AT TIMES.
* ACCUMULATIONS… 4 TO 6 INCHES.
* TIMING… UNTIL 1 PM. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WILL BE THROUGH 11 AM.
* TEMPERATURES… LOW 20S.
* WINDS… VARIABLE 5 MPH.
* IMPACTS… HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATING ON ALL SURFACES WELL BELOW FREEZING AND VISIBILITY BELOW HALF MILE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE FOR VERY HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL… KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT… FOOD… AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

by Ethan Rothstein — December 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm 4,443 0

Anyone who’s driven along Clarendon Blvd near the Whole Foods at 2700 Wilson Blvd knows the grocery store has a tendency to cause minor backups.

This afternoon during the lunch hour, the traffic problems escalated, backing up traffic for several blocks in the area and leading to police being called for traffic control. We’re told backups like this are common around major holidays, like Christmas and New Years.

Part of the problem, according to the responding officers, is cars parking — legally — in pay spots on the left-hand side of Clarendon Blvd between the entrance to Whole Foods and N. Edgewood Street. That causes cars waiting to turn into the store’s parking lot to wait in one of the travel lanes.

At about 1:00 p.m., there were three officers on Clarendon Blvd helping to direct traffic. That helped to clear much of the backed up traffic, which also extended to several side streets.

When asked, two of the officers each said it was far from the worst Whole Foods-caused traffic they had seen in Clarendon.

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