Reminder: Inauguration Closures Today — Many Arlington County facilities are closed today, Inauguration Day, and parking meters are not being enforced. Traffic is light around Arlington but drivers should expect closures and delays approaching the District. [ARLnow]
Arlington EOC Open — Arlington’s Emergency Operations Center is open and fully functional today for the inauguration. [Twitter]
Two Local Neighborhoods Among D.C.’s Hottest — Arlington Heights, between Columbia Pike and Route 50, and Yorktown in north Arlington, are No. 2 and 3 respectively on real estate firm Redfin’s list of the hottest Washington, D.C. area neighborhoods for 2017. [Redfin]
Schlow May Open Arlington Restaurant — Restaurateur Michael Schlow, the man behind Tico and The Riggsby in D.C., is “close to a deal” to open a new restaurant in Arlington. [Washington Business Journal]
School Bus Accident — There was a minor collision between two school buses at Randolph Elementary yesterday afternoon. According to initial reports more than a dozen students were evaluated by medics, but ultimately no injuries reported. [Twitter]
Schmuhl Sentenced for Home Invasion — Former lawyer Alecia Schmuhl was sentenced to 45 years in prison for her role in the home invasion attack on her former boss and his wife. Leo Fisher, a shareholder in Arlington law firm Bean, Kinney & Korman, was held captive by Schmuhl’s husband, who shot, stabbed and tased the couple during a three hour torture session. [NBC Washington]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin
Getting around in Arlington on Inauguration Day tomorrow shouldn’t be much of a challenge, but there will be important changes of note for those heading into the District.
VDOT has announced the following traffic changes for Friday:
- I-395 HOV northbound lanes will close at 3 a.m. on January 20. HOV lanes on I-395 will re-open southbound upon the conclusion of the Inaugural parade.
- HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-66 (as well as on I-395 when the lanes reopen Friday evening).
- Memorial Bridge will be open to pedestrian traffic and authorized vehicle traffic only.
The Key Bridge and Chain Bridge will be open to all traffic, as will the I-395 main lanes and I-66.
Metrorail, meanwhile will open at 4 a.m. and will run at near-rush hour service levels through 9 p.m. The Pentagon Metro station and several stations in the District, however, will be closed for security reasons.
ACPD says there are no known credible threats but is stepping up security around the county, including in Metro stations.
“Arlington County Police have increased patrols for Friday,” the department said. “There are no credible threats in the area but as with all large scale events, the public is encouraged to remain vigilant.”
“Traffic in Arlington County will be impacted on Friday and motorists should be prepared for congestion, delays and detours,” ACPD added. “Use of public transportation is encouraged. If you must drive, be sure to have a full tank of gas before you leave, or you may become stranded while waiting in traffic.”
Though many bridges are open, once drivers get into the District they will have to contend with major detours and closures, including the closure of numerous streets around the White House, the Capitol and the inaugural parade route.
Additional inauguration resources are available on the Arlington County website.
Art Thief Arrested in Arlington — Convicted art thief Marcus Sanford Paton was arrested outside the new Pentagon City Starbucks on Fern Street Sunday. He’s accused of driving a stolen car from Miami to D.C. to try to seek a presidential pardon. [Daily Mail]
Wreath-Laying Ceremony at ANC — President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery around 3:30 p.m. this afternoon, kicking off the inaugural weekend. Afterwards, they will make an appearance at a “Make America Great Again” concert at the Lincoln Memorial. As a result of the inaugural activities, Memorial Bridge was closed at 4 a.m. this morning and will not reopen to vehicular traffic until after the inauguration. [Presidential Inaugural Committee, Newsweek]
Another Win for Arlington Jeopardy Player — Arlington resident John Avila has now emerged as the Jeopardy champion three nights in a row. He will try to make it four in a row tonight. [Sun Chronicle]
Walking Causing Escalator Problems? — The frequent escalator breakdowns in the Metrorail system are well known, but what causes it? It might be uneven wear caused by people standing on the right and walking up the escalators on the left, experts say. [Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle]
Local Democrats are planning a series of events, dubbed the “Weekend of Action,” to “send a bold message to the new administration on its first day in office.”
The prelude to the events will kick off Friday night with a poster making party in the basement of the Clarendon Presbyterian Church (1305 N. Jackson Street).
On Saturday, local Democrats will meet on the Arlington side of the Memorial Bridge — accessible via the Arlington Cemetery Metro station; Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. — and around 8 a.m. will walk into the District to join the Women’s March on Washington.
“Walk together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our Commonwealth and our country,” says the Arlington Democrats website. “Marchers may choose to carry signs, shout through megaphones, walk in silence as a member of The Bricksters, or otherwise express their views in a peaceful manner.”
A number of local lawmakers, including Rep. Don Beyer and County Board members Libby Garvey, Katie Cristol and Jay Fisette, are expected to be among the marchers.
Wrapping up the weekend, on Sunday, is the Commonsense Commonwealth Rally and Brunch, featuring Democratic gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello as keynote speakers. That event is scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) in Clarendon.
Arlington Sending Officers to Inauguration — Updated at 10:55 a.m. — The Arlington County Police Department is assigning “more than a hundred” officers to help with inauguration security on Friday. Like other local departments, ACPD will sending some of its officers to D.C. to assist the Metropolitan Police Department. Others will be assigned to Metro stations or areas where large crowds are expected. [WJLA]
Local Inauguration Day Event — A number of local nonprofits, from the Arlington Food Assistance Center to activist groups like Moms Demand Action, will be participating in an “alternative” Inauguration Day event at the Barcroft Community House. The event encourages attendees to “explore how you can get involved in their important causes” and “post your thoughts about how we, as citizens of Arlington, can work to further our common good as we face new tests to our society and democracy after Inauguration Day.” [ARLnow, Facebook]
Senators Hope New Administration Will Fund Bridge Repairs — Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have written a letter to two of president-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, asking them to “do all in your power to see that the rehabilitation of Memorial Bridge is fully funded.” The senators note that the weight limit imposed on the bridge has forced some changes to inauguration plans. [Scribd]
Arlington Jeopardy Contestant Keeps Winning — Arlington resident John Avila, 30, again bested his fellow contestants on last night’s episode of Jeopardy, his second appearance on the show. Avila, an attorney, will face a high school physics teacher from Indiana and a writer from Brooklyn on tonight’s episode. [Sun Chronicle]
Small Dog Owners Want Separate Area of Dog Park — A group of owners of small dogs have proposed a separate small dog zone at the Fort Ethan Allen Park community canine area. There are currently two other dog parks in Arlington with separate small dog areas. [InsideNova]
Remembering Preston King — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark recounts the life and times of Preston King, for whom the Westover Post Office is named. King was killed while bailing out of his plane in the midst of a reconnaissance mission during World War II. [Falls Church News-Press]
Beyer Won’t Participate in Inauguration — Don’t expect to see Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) at the inauguration of Donald Trump nor at any celebratory inaugural events. Beyer says he “will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing” president-elect Trump, whose “values and… actions are the antithesis of what I hold dear.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Cubs at the Pentagon City Ritz — The World Series-winning Chicago Cubs made the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton their home base before meeting President Obama at the White House on Monday. The hotel is a popular destination for visiting sports teams. [Twitter]
Crash on I-395 — All but one lane of traffic was blocked on northbound I-395 yesterday following an afternoon crash near Shirlington. A police officer helped to calm down a dog who was in one of the cars involved in the crash. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Group Will March in Inauguration — The Arlington-based Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will march in Friday’s inaugural parade in D.C. The organization supports the families of fallen military service members. [WJLA]
Hot Start for Wakefield Girls — The Wakefield girls basketball team is off to an impressive 12-2 start this season. The team plays Falls Church tonight. [Washington Post]
Business Book Club at Library — Arlington Public Library has launched a Business Book Club “for adults interested in reading about business strategy, leadership and management.” The first meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28 at Central Library. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Most Arlington County facilities and services are slated to close or operate on altered schedules next week in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony.
Arlington County government offices, courts, libraries and other facilities will be closed next Monday, Jan. 16 and Friday, Jan. 20, the county said. Though metered parking will not be enforced on those days, recycling and trash pickup is scheduled to go ahead per normal.
Additionally, Commonwealth of Virginia offices, which include courts and the DMV, will be closed tomorrow, Jan. 13, for Lee Jackson Day. Metered parking will not be enforced that day, but Arlington County offices will be open.
‘Pop-Up Hotel’ Opening in January — “WhyHotel” is the new name of a “pop-up hotel” in the Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. Starting in January, the hotel will offer 50 unleased, furnished apartments as hotel rooms. Although most of the building is leased, owner Vornado is experimenting with “WhyHotel” as a way to monetize new apartment buildings during the lease-up period. [Washington Business Journal]
School Board Responds to Student’s Letter — Arlington School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren has responded to an open letter published in the Washington-Lee Crossed Sabres student newspaper. The letter, which was widely shared across social media, took the school board to task for approving high school boundary refinements that were seemingly antithetical to APS’ diversity goals. Without addressing the diversity issue, Van Doren defended the process and encouraged students to participate in future high school boundary decisions. [PDF]
County Board Approves Polling Place Changes — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a number of precinct and polling place changes, to take effect in time for next year’s elections. [Arlington County]
Memorial Bridge Worries — The deteriorating Memorial Bridge can’t handle heavy support traffic for the presidential inauguration next month, officials said in a briefing yesterday, according to reported Tom Sherwood. Such traffic will use the 14th Street Bridge instead. [Twitter]
Wreaths for Every Grave at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery — “Wreaths Across America announced Wednesday it has reached its goal to place about 245,000 wreaths in the cemetery ‘thanks to an outpouring of support.’ Earlier this week, the organization had said it was about 10,000 wreaths short of its goal.” [WTOP]
A number of road and government closures will be in place on Monday for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and for the Presidential Inauguration.
The following government offices will be closed on Monday, January 21:
- Parks, community centers and nature centers (except Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center, which is open from 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.)
- Human Services
Parking meters will not be enforced on Monday. Trash and recycling pickup will run on a normal schedule, but the call center will be closed.
ART will run a Saturday schedule on Routes 41, 51, 77 & 87. ART will also run a special Inauguration schedule on the ART 42. All other routes will not operate. Metrorail will be open on Monday from 4:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Rush hour service runs from 4:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. and peak fares will be in effect.
The following roads and bridges will be closed or restricted on Monday for the Inauguration:
- I-395 HOV northbound lanes will close at 9:00 a.m. HOV lanes on I-395 will re-open southbound at the end of the Inaugural address. I-395 main lanes and I-66 will be open to all traffic.
- All traffic on the 14th Street Bridge will be diverted by MPD onto the Southeast/Southwest freeway beginning at 5:30 a.m.
- Traffic coming across the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge will be diverted into northbound Potomac River Expressway to Pennsylvania Avenue or Whitehurst Freeway/K Street.
- Memorial Bridge is restricted to pedestrians and authorized vehicles only.
In addition to the numerous road closures in the District, U.S. Park Police will also close the following Virginia roads starting at 5:00 a.m. on Monday:
- Route 27/Washington Blvd at Route 50 Bypass (at 5:30 a.m. when ACPD closes Route 27, closure moves to Northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway ramp to Memorial Bridge)
- Southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway at the ramp to Memorial Bridge
- Southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway at the ramp to Southbound Route 27/Washington Blvd
- Southbound Boundary Channel Drive at the ramp to Route 27/Washington Blvd
- Northbound Route 110 ramp to Memorial Drive. All vehicles will be forced to take a left to Arlington National Cemetery. All vehicles exiting Arlington National Cemetery must take Route 110 South.
Citizen Receives Reward for Crime Tip — A tipster will get a $650 reward from Arlington County Crime Solvers (ACCS) for helping police solve a case from Christmas Day. The tipster’s information helped police arrest a suspect from an armed robbery of a 7-Eleven. “We are delighted to pay a reward to a local resident whose tip led to an arrest in an armed robbery,” said ACCS President Andres Tobar. “We encourage local residents who have information on a crime to call the ACCS tip line at 866-411-8477 to remain anonymous. If the tip leads to an arrest, a reward will be paid.” [Arlington County Crime Solvers]
Tejada Launches Campaign Targeting Childhood Obesity — County Board Chairman Walter Tejada kicked off his Moving Forward Together Campaign at a community meeting yesterday. The initiative involves the county working with a volunteer coalition and community members on several points, such as getting kids moving more at recess and in after school programs, establishing healthier vending options and training childcare providers in nutrition and physical activity. Residents are encouraged to get involved with the newly formed Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT). [Arlington County]
Construction Work at Central Library — Work has started on the Central Library’s first major interior renovations since the early 1990s, and includes painting, carpeting, new signs and new desks. Because staff needs to use the Quiet Study Room during construction, it will be closed to the public for the duration of renovations. Construction is expected to finish in the spring. [Arlington Public Library]
Free Inauguration Viewing on the Big Screen — Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) is allowing customers to stop by on Monday, January 21, to watch the public Presidential Inauguration on the big screen. Admission is free and doors open at 11:00 a.m. [Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse]
Mind Your Body Oasis Grand Opening — Saturday (January 19) is the grand opening celebration for the new Mind Your Body Oasis (1750 Crystal Drive) in Crystal City. There will be raffles and samples of the juices sold at the yoga studio and holistic center. Customers will also be able to try a free yoga class.