Man Found Dead in Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — A middle-aged man was found dead in the bathroom at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Crystal City Monday afternoon. The restaurant was closed and the man was found by a cleaning crew. Arlington County police say the death is not considered suspicious. [WTOP, Fox 5]
Same-Sex Marriage Rate Falls — So far in 2016, only 1.9 percent of the more than 3,600 marriage licenses issued by the Arlington Circuit Court were issued to same-sex couples. That compares to 5.3 percent from June to December 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally. The first same-sex marriage in Arlington took place in Oct. 2014. [InsideNova]
Morning Rush Hour Crash on I-395 — Several lanes of northbound I-395 were blocked near Shirlington Circle this morning due to a crash. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Reunited With Trophy — Arlington resident Larry Funkhouser has been reunited with a high school baseball trophy he won 50 years ago but had since lost. Thanks to a post on the “I grew up in Arlington” Facebook page, the trophy was located at an antique shop in Purcellville and delivered to Funkhouser just in time for Christmas. [Fox 5]
Arlington’s Family Christmas Miracle — An Arlington couple’s two-year-old has become only the fifth child in the country to receive an auditory brainstem implant surgery. As a result of the procedure, which is in a clinical trial, the child, who was born deaf, can now hear. [WJLA]
(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) D.C. police and Virginia State Police chased a stolen D.C. Housing Authority Police car down I-395 in heavy rush hour traffic Tuesday night.
Initial reports suggest a woman wanted for crack cocaine-related drug charges stole the police car in D.C. and then drove it onto I-395 in the direction of Virginia. The chase entered Arlington via the 14th Street Bridge around 5:30 p.m.
Arlington County Police did not engage in the pursuit, per department rules, according to scanner traffic.
A police helicopter was overhead, shining a spotlight down on the stolen car, as it continued to slowly make its way down traffic-clogged I-395. At least one multi-vehicle crash, near Washington Blvd, was reported during the pursuit.
Ultimately the suspect took the King Street exit into the City of Alexandria — going the wrong-way down the ramp, according to scanner traffic — and was boxed in by police.
The woman, who was reported to be pregnant, was quickly taken into custody. She was evaluated by medics for possible injuries.
Drivers should expect road and ramp closures on King Street at I-395. Numerous emergency vehicles remain on the scene as of 6:10 p.m.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 13, 2016
Update at 3:10 p.m. — From an updated Virginia State Police statement:
The Virginia State Police have charged Jessica M. Pierce, 26, of Stafford, Va., with one felony count of eluding police, one felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, one felony count of grand larceny, reckless driving and one misdemeanor count of giving false identification to law enforcement. The charges resulted from Pierce’s crash in the City of Alexandria.
Virginia State Police were assisting the Metropolitan-DC Police Department with a pursuit that entered Virginia on Interstate 395, when the suspect vehicle – a Ford Explorer – crashed in Alexandria Tuesday evening (Dec. 13). At approximately 5:35 p.m., as the Ford Explorer was taking the ramp from westbound King Street to northbound I-395, the Explorer rammed a marked Metro PD police cruiser involved in the pursuit. The Metro PD officer was then able to pin the suspect vehicle against the Jersey wall.
The suspect driver, Pierce, was taken into custody without further incident and transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
No police officers were injured in the crash. No other vehicles were involved in this crash.
The Virginia State Police is investigating the crash.
The Ford Explorer belonged to the DC Housing Authority Police Department.
The wreck happened on northbound I-395, approaching the Pentagon, just after 12:30 a.m.
Police say Julio Cesar Marcia Castro, a 27-year-old Maryland resident, crashed into a police SUV that was pulled over on an unrelated traffic stop. Luckily, no one was inside the police vehicle at the time of the crash.
Castro had to be extricated from his vehicle by paramedics and was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Two officers were treated and released at Virginia Hospital Center for injuries from flying debris.
“During the course of the investigation, officers determined that the driver of the suspect vehicle was under the influence of alcohol,” police said in a crime report. “Julio Cesar Marcia Castro, 27, of Fort Washington MD, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (3+ offense or 2+ felony offense), driving with a suspended license, and driving with DUI suspended license (3+ offense in 10 years).”
Castro is still in police custody in D.C., awaiting extradition back to the Virginia, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 13, 2016
(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) The northbound lanes of I-395 are partially blocked just past Glebe Road, approaching the Pentagon, after a police chase ended in the middle of the highway.
Initial reports suggest the car was being chased for an assault on law enforcement, possibly as a result of the car ramming a Fairfax County Police cruiser.
Fairfax County Police and Virginia State Police officers chased the car up I-395 until it reportedly lost control and was boxed in by several police cruisers. The chase ended around 12:25 p.m. Arlington County officers trailed the chase and helped to assist with traffic control, according to scanner traffic.
Three occupants of the car were instructed to come out with their hands up, and were arrested at police gunpoint without further incident. No word yet on what charges they may face.
As of 12:35 p.m., one lane of northbound I-395 had reopened to traffic after being completely blocked for a short time.
Update at 11:30 p.m. — The chase started when officers tried to pull over the car in connection to a theft from a department store in Tysons Corner, according to Fairfax County Police.
Around 11:40 a.m. today (Tuesday, December 6), the Tysons Urban Team (TUT) team was investigating a larceny case at a department store in Tysons Corner Center. The suspects fled in a car. Officers located it nearby and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit traveled out of Fairfax County. Virginia State Police and Arlington County Police assisted us.The pursuit ended along I-395 and Washington Street. Initial information determined three people were taken into custody.
Wardian Wins Vegas Marathon Dressed Like Elvis — Not only did Arlington’s own marathoning superhero Michael Wardian, 42, win the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon over the weekend, but he did it while dressed like Elvis Presley. Wardian even set a world record for the fastest marathon while dressed like the King, at 2:38:04. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, Competitor]
Fox Rescued from Construction Pit — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington rescued a fox from a large pit at a construction site on Monday. The fox was cold and muddy but uninjured; it was released back to “a quiet patch of trees nearby.” [Facebook]
APS Accused of Poor Communication — Arlington Public Schools is “a great school district,” says Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, but it has communicated “poorly” regarding the potential for middle schools to move to block scheduling. [Washington Post]
Reminder: Preventing Sewer Backups — Ahead of the holiday season, Arlington County is reminding residents to avoid sending fats, oils and grease down the drain. The “FOG” from cooking and cleaning can clog home sewer lines and lead to catastrophic sewage backups. [Arlington County]
I-395 Issues on Monday — I-395 in the District was briefly blocked by anti-Trump protesters yesterday afternoon, leading to some backups. Later, a multi-vehicle crash near the Route 1 exit in Arlington blocked multiple lanes during the evening rush hour. [Washington Post, Twitter]
A van caught fire in the HOV lanes near Shirlington Circle around 2:45 p.m. The fire was extinguished by firefighters, who are still on scene examining the van’s engine compartment.
Currently, two mainline lanes and one HOV lane is squeezing by the scene, with HOV backups extending to the Pentagon.
Separately, there are currently significant delays on westbound Columbia Pike due to a reported three-vehicle crash just past Glebe Road. At least two injuries were reported in that crash, while no injuries were reported as result of the vehicle fire.
Arcing Insulator at Rosslyn Metro — An electrical issue on the Metrorail tracks outside of the Rosslyn station caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines during this morning’s rush hour. The arcing insulator prompted single-tracking and a large fire department response. [WJLA]
Beyer to Shadow DCA Worker — Today, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is expected to “accompany contracted wheelchair agents to learn first-hand their role helping passengers with disabilities at Reagan National Airport.” The workers and their union, 32BJ SEIU, are fighting for a $15 per hour wage. Currently, they receive as little as $6 per hour plus “unreliable tips.”
Samsung Collecting Note 7 at DCA — Electronics manufacturer Samsung has set up a booth at Reagan National Airport to collect their now recalled and discontinued Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are banned from flights due to a propensity to randomly go up in flames. [Twitter]
I-395 HOT Lane Update — VDOT updated the Arlington County Board yesterday on its “managed HOV/toll lanes” project slated for I-395. County staff is currently studying traffic and noise impacts to Arlington and the project’s allocation of at least $15 million per year to transit along the corridor, which the county believes is insufficient. [Arlington County]
Tech Incubator Founder Moves to Arlington — Evan Burfield, the founder of D.C.-based tech incubator 1776, has moved to Arlington with his wife and one-year-old daughter. Burfield chose a $1.6 million home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood outside of Crystal City, calling it “a great buy on an up-and-coming area.” 1776 has a location in Crystal City that Burfield said is performing well. [Washington Business Journal]
Police: Arlington Man Called Reporter the N-Word — An Arlington man, 21-year-old Brian Eybers, has been arrested in Charleston, South Carolina on disorderly conduct and drug-related charges. A local TV reporter in Charleston says Eybers called him the N-word and then stood in front of his news van, blocking it from leaving. [The State]
Tonight’s evening commute was much worse than usual for many local residents.
A combination of factors — track problems on multiple Metrorail lines and a fuel spill that blocked the Outer Loop of the Beltway in Maryland — led to very crowded Metro stations and trains and very heavy traffic, particularly on I-395.
The latest Metro woes come as WMATA is reportedly considering raising fares to close a big anticipated budget shortfall.
Currently: There are significant Metro delays, traffic is a nightmare, the outer loop of the Beltway is blocked and the Nationals are losing pic.twitter.com/yGU5Pxbzec
— Arlington News (@ARLnowDOTcom) October 11, 2016
Yellow Line: Expect residual delays in both directions due to an earlier switch problem at National Airport.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) October 11, 2016
Orange Line: Single tracking btwn Smithsonian & Federal Ctr due to a track condition outside Smithsonian. Add'l delays in both directions.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) October 11, 2016
— Yumi Kim (@YumiKimSK) October 11, 2016
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is scheduled to hold an open house prior to the Arlington Transportation Commission meeting at 2100 Clarendon Blvd from 6:30-7:30 p.m. this evening.
The purpose of the open house is to discuss an ongoing DRPT study designed to come up with a list of projects eligible for funding from revenue generated by the plan to extend the 395 Express Lanes to Eads Street in Arlington.
Those projects could include better bus or rail service, more carpooling options and other ways to “support mobility, economic development, and sustainability goals for communities along the corridor,” officials said. Virginia has committed at least $15 million per year to funding possible projects.
Locals can weigh in on the study before the meeting by completing this DRPT survey.
Crash Closes 395 Ramp — A multi-vehicle crash closed the ramp from northbound I-395 to northbound Washington Blvd during this morning’s rush hour. The ramp reopened just after 9 a.m. [Arlington County, Twitter]
Metro Delays This Morning — There were delays on the Yellow, Orange and Silver lines this morning due to “unscheduled track repairs.” [Washington Post]
Jefferson Davis Highway Name Change? — The Virginia attorney general’s office has determined that Alexandria can legally change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway in the city, while Arlington cannot remove the Confederate leader’s name from Route 1. One local lawmaker says he wants the name to change, for various reasons, but adds that he doesn’t have a problem with routes named after Robert E. Lee. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
Hazmat teams are on the scene of a fuel spill on southbound I-395 between Shirlington and King Street.
Nearly 50 gallons of fuel have spilled from a ruptured tractor trailer fuel tank, according to scanner traffic. Firefighters are trying to contain the leak.
All but two lanes of the main line of I-395 are blocked due to the emergency response. The ramp from Shirlington Circle to southbound I-395 is being closed.
Update at 4:30 p.m. — Firefighters managed to contain the spill in about 30-45 minutes. Before the lane closures were lifted, southbound traffic was backed up to the area around the Pentagon.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) August 22, 2016
As of 3:25 p.m., all but two lanes were blocked and traffic was backing up before the crash scene.
Arlington County Police are on scene assisting with traffic control. To help ease congestion, the on-ramp to northbound I-395 from Shirlington Circle has been temporarily closed.
Minor Charges for Man Who Ran from Cops — The man who ran from police Tuesday in Ballston did so, apparently, to avoid being charged with driving on a suspended license and improper registration. He’s now also facing eluding and failure to I.D. charges. The passenger in the car did not flee and is being charged with identity theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. [Arlington County]
I-395 HOT Lanes ‘Pretty Close to a Done Deal’ — A plan to convert the I-395 HOV lanes to High Occupancy Toll lanes appears to be proceeding. Thanks to promises to use toll revenue to enhance carpooling and express bus service, Arlington officials have been generally supportive of the plan so far. That, after the county sued to block a previous I-395 HOT lane plan. [Washington Post]
Arlington Names New Zoning Administrator — Arlova Vonhm, the county’s Acting Zoning Administrator, has been appointed to the position on a permanent basis. “Vonhm, who joined the County in 2012 as a principal planner, leads a team of 30 Zoning staff. Her team collaborates with Inspection Services and other County staff to process and approve building permits, while actively enforcing the County’s Zoning Ordinance,” notes a press release. In the past few years, Arlington’s zoning administrators have drawn the ire of many in the business community for a heavy-handed approach to enforcing Arlington’s zoning rules. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
(Updated at 11:25 p.m.) Arlington County police and firefighters responded to a multi-vehicle crash on northbound I-395 just before the 14th Street Bridge.
The crash happened around 6:30 p.m., in the midst of rush hour. More than 20 vehicles were involved over a stretch of I-395. All lanes heading to D.C. were completely blocked at the main crash site. Traffic was being diverted onto the GW Parkway and Washington Blvd, though HOV lanes remained open.
There was a report of a woman trapped in one of the vehicles, but she was quickly freed, according to scanner traffic. Four people were said to be injured, but their injuries were reported to be non-life-threatening. Three were transported to local hospitals.
The driver of a pickup truck suffered a medical emergency, leading to the crashes, according to a statement from Virginia State Police (below).
At 6:25 p.m., Tuesday (July 12, 2016), Virginia State Police responded to a multi-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-395 in Arlington County.
The driver of a 2002 Toyota Tundra was traveling north on I-395 when he experienced a medical emergency and lost control of his vehicle. The Tundra began bumping into other northbound vehicles causing a chain reaction crash over a five mile stretch of interstate that ended when the Tundra got boxed in by traffic and came to a stop at Exit 10C.
A total of 21 vehicles were involved – to include the Toyota Tundra. The majority of vehicles had only minor damage with just eight having to be towed from the scene.
The driver of the Tundra, a 57-year-old Alexandria, Va., man was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained in the crashes…and for his serious medical emergency. At this stage of the investigation, he is not being charged due to the circumstances of the medical emergency.
Three other people were also transported to nearby hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.
The scene was cleared and all lanes re-opened by 8:55 p.m.
VDOT is holding a community meeting next week to discuss plans to extend the I-395 Express Lanes north through Arlington.
The meeting is being held at Wakefield High School’s cafeteria (1325 S. Dinwiddie Street) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11.
The project will extend the 395 Express Lanes ” for eight miles north from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road to the vicinity of Eads Street in Arlington,” according to VDOT.
“The improvements primarily will be built within the existing footprint of the I-395 HOV lanes,” the agency said on its website. “The two existing HOV lanes (or High Occupancy Toll) lanes will be converted to express lanes and a third lane will be added, providing three reversible express lanes.”
Among the promised benefits of the project, besides the additional lane and faster travel for single-occupant drivers willing to pay a toll, are:
- “An active traffic management system to keep traffic moving”
- “Sound walls for nearby neighborhoods”
- “Improving connections between the I-395 Express Lanes and Eads Street”
- “Providing dedicated annual funding for transit”
Following a multimodal study and a public hearing this fall, construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2017 and wrap up by the summer of 2019.