Arlington, VA

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The Pentagon Metro station is closed due to a reported water main break.

Photos posted to social media show riders walking through several inches of murky water to exit the station.

The flooding was first reported by Metro around 7:30 a.m. Blue and Yellow line trains are bypassing the station and buses were brought in to run between the Pentagon and Pentagon City stations.

“The flooding at Pentagon Station is the result of an apparent water main break,” Metro later said via Twitter. “Response personnel on scene addressing the issue.”

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services inspected the water main break and determined that the line belongs to WMATA.

The station is expected to reopen by the evening rush hour, according to Metro.

The Unsuck DC Metro Twitter account highlighted a number of photos posted on social media, showing flooding in the station:

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Morning Notes

Dorsey Declares Bankruptcy — “Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey, who was penalized Thursday for failing to disclose a campaign contribution to the Metro board in a timely manner, filed for bankruptcy last month after falling behind on his mortgage and accruing tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt…¬†he attributed his personal financial troubles to a drop in income since he was elected to the five-member Arlington board four years ago.” [Washington Post]

Metro Delays During AM Rush¬†— “Blue/Yellow Line Delay: Single tracking btwn Braddock Rd & National Airport due to a signal problem outside Braddock Rd.” [Twitter]

Arlington Among Best Cities for Frugal Dating — Arlington is No. 17 on a new list of “the best cities in the country for budget-friendly dating.” [SmartAsset]

County Aiming for More Budget Feedback — “This week marks the beginning of the¬†FY 2021 budget season, Arlington County’s process to decide how it will spend County dollars. From now through July 2020, you will have multiple opportunities to provide input and inform decisions about the County’s operating budget and capital budget.” [Arlington County]

County Football Teams May All Make Playoffs — “Depending on the outcome of final regular-season games on Nov. 8, there is a possibility that the Wakefield Warriors, Washington-Liberty Generals and Yorktown Patriots could all end up as district football champions. Wakefield (5-4, 4-0) and Yorktown (8-1, 4-0) are in sole possession of first place currently in the National and Liberty districts, respectively, and are guaranteed at least co-championships if they lose Nov. 8.” [InsideNova]

Yorktown Field Hockey in State Tourney — “It took a while, but when the stakes became the highest, that’s when the Yorktown Patriots started playing their best field hockey of the 2019 campaign, in what has become an historic season for the girls team… By reaching the region final for the first time in program history, Yorktown also earned a Virginia High School League Class 6 state-tournament berth, also for the first time.” [InsideNova]

DJO Runners Win State Title — “After not winning the state championship the past two seasons, the Bishop O’Connell Knights have returned to that throne this fall. The girls high-school cross country team won the 2019 Division I state private-school crown Nov. 7 in Mechanicsville by dominating the field with 46 points.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Potomac Yard Plan Takes Shape — “Just a few days after¬†submitting plans¬†for the Virginia Tech site near the North Potomac Yard Metro station, JBG Smith has submitted early concept designs for the development that will replace Target and the other Potomac Yard stores.” [ALXnow, Washington Business Journal]

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(Updated at 9:25 a.m.) Metrorail riders, especially those heading toward D.C. on the Orange/Silver line, are experiencing major crowding due to an incident in the District overnight.

Two trains, neither of which were carrying passengers, collided near the Foggy Bottom and Farragut West Metro stations around 1 a.m. Both train operators were injured.

An investigation into the crash has prompted single-tracking past the scene, leading to major delays during the Monday morning commute. Trains on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines are only running every 15 minutes, while the Silver Line is only running between the Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston stations.

Significant crowding has been reported at the East Falls Church and Ballston stations in Arlington. The cost of Uber and Lyft rides has also reportedly spiked.

“Consider alternate travel options,” Metro said via Twitter. The investigation is expected to continue for most of the day.

More via social media and the Unsuck DC Metro Twitter account:

https://twitter.com/mathewsjh/status/1181182610212556800

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Arlington County firefighters are on scene of a reported track fire near the East Falls Church Metro station.

The fire was reported just outside of the station, along the Orange and Silver line tracks. Metro workers have extinguished the fire, according to scanner traffic.

Metro trains were temporarily single-tracking in the area as a result of the fire.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Metro’s Fire Hydrant Problem — “A fire safety advocate and a D.C. firefighter took to social media Tuesday to criticize the transit agency after a Metrobus was spotted parked in front of a hydrant in Pentagon City for about 10 minutes. They also said it’s a chronic problem.” [Washington Post]

Va. Was Amazon Oasis After NYC Debacle — “In late January, Holly Sullivan, the head of world-wide development at Amazon, returned to Washington, D.C., where she and some colleagues dined with executives from JBG Smith, the real-estate firm managing the Arlington County site.. A JBG Smith official remarked that Amazon’s team looked like it had come from a war zone. ‘How much more space can we get in Virginia?’ one of the Amazon executives joked.” [Wall Street Journal, Twitter]

Ballston Office Building Sold — “Hines Interests LP has acquired Ballston’s Two Liberty Center” — where ARLnow has its offices — “from New York-based real estate investment management company Westbrook Partners for $93.2 million. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL) brokered the Aug. 20 sale of the 178,000-square foot, nine-story building.” [Washington Business Journal]

APS Expanding Healthy Lunch Options — “In 2017, Caf√© + Teria was originally introduced to high school students attending Arlington, Virginia’s three public high schools, Wakefield, Yorktown and Washington-Lee. Due to the success at these schools in Arlington it will also expand to The Heights (the new home of H-B Woodlawn) and the Arlington… Career Center on September 3.” [Press Release]

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Metro removed a bus stop, citing Amazon’s planned HQ2 construction, but it’s not clear whether the transit agency told riders first.

Metro’s website now¬†lists the stop¬†at S. Eads Street and 15th Street S. as being out of service for the 7Y route, as well as the 7A and 7F Lincolnia lines, and the¬†10N line to¬†Reagan National Airport.¬†However, as of Thursday afternoon, the transit agency’s website still listed arrival times at the stop for buses with the¬†Barcroft-South Fairlington Line (22A.)

The stop was reporting missing last week by rider Scudder Waag, who told ARLnow he rode his usual 7Y route from Alexandria to Pentagon last week with no problems.

“But on¬†Thursday I pulled the cord because we’re going to get off the bus, but the driver just get going and I hollered, and other riders were hollering,” he said.

Ultimately,  the driver was able to drop passengers off on the entrance ramp to the newly renamed Richmond Highway, before the bus continued on into D.C.  Waag he said the new stop is further from his office, and while he can walk longer distances, not everyone has the ability to do so.

The transit agency initially told Waag it would replace the missing sign. Five days later, Metro replied replied that the “bus planning team informed us that the bus stop… has been temporarily abolished due to the construction of a new office building, which is expected to take 6-9 months.”

The Eads Street stop is located right where Amazon is currently constructing the two, 22-story office towers that make up the first phase of its new headquarters in Pentagon City — though the project is still early in the county’s approval process¬†and months away from starting construction.

“As the WMATA RAC’s Virginia Co-Chair, it’s distressing to see this happening in the¬†middle of the BL/YL shutdown in Alexandria,” said WMATA Riders’ Advisory Council (RAC) member Andrew Kierig, referring to the ongoing Metrorail shutdown. “The best solution would be to have¬†temporarily relocate the stop instead of ‘abolishing’ it without warning.”

Waag, a senior associate for a private transit planning firm,¬†has worked with Alexandria’s DASH bus service, as well as Richmond’s GRTC. He told ARLnow that changing schedules and alerts for bus stops is¬†“phenomenally complicated and takes a ridiculous amount of time.”

“Overall my experience riding with WMATA most days is quite nice, and quite good,” said Waag. “That day was certainly strange.”

Making the matter more complicated is Metro’s own confusing communications with riders.¬†The transit agency shared an advisory alert about the project this week that stated the station, “has been permanently closed, effective immediately” — contradicting their earlier tweet about the station only closing temporarily.

It’s also not clear when Metro posted that alert to the website. The alert is listed as being effective from July 15, however an archived copy of Metro’s website from July 17 shows no alerts regarding the staton.

Metro also deleted its Wednesday tweet which shared the advisory alert.

The transit agency did not respond for requests for more information in time for publication.

“As someone who works with APIs and is also personally interested in transit service¬†schedule data APIs like this, I’m concerned that this continues to be an issue that WMATA¬†isn’t making a priority,” said Kierig. “I’ve raised this question at multiple RAC meetings with bus planning¬†staff in regards to the replacement shuttles on the Metrorail shutdown. I’ll continue to do¬†whatever I can to get them to fix this particular thing.”

“Winning back ridership means fixing the service and reliability side but also¬†having the communications infrastructure and quality to make people aware that WMATA¬†is truly #Back2Good,” Kierig added.

Map via Google Maps

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Update at 9:55 a.m. — The issue has been resolved and Blue Line service resolved, Metro says, though residual delays remain.

Earlier: Metro riders are facing delays this morning due to a reported signal problem at the Rosslyn station.

Currently, Metro says the Blue Line is no longer running to Largo and shuttle buses are being requested to run from Rosslyn to the Pentagon. Service at Arlington Cemetery station is said to be suspended.

Delays have also been reported on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines since the problem was first reported around 8 a.m.

More via social media:

File photo

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Morning Notes

New Lyon Park Neighborhood Plan Approved — “The Arlington County Board today accepted the first update to historic Lyon Park’s Neighborhood Conservation plan since 1973. The update, spearheaded by the Lyon Park Citizens Association, seeks to address increased non-resident traffic and other challenges through 19 recommendations for improvements.” [Arlington County]

ACPD Traffic Enforcement in Crystal City — “Motor Officers conducted high visibility traffic enforcement along Crystal Drive today to curb illegal practices including stopping/parking in the bike and travel lanes. Increase roadway safety [by] being a PAL — Predictable | Alert | Lawful.” [Twitter]

How to Beat the Heat in Arlington — With a scorching weekend of dangerous heat ahead, and an Excessive Heat Watch¬†issued, Arlington County is reminding residents of some ways they can keep cool, stay informed and help at-risk individuals. [Arlington County]

Metro Waterfall, Explained — Metro has an explanation of why a waterfall developed in the ceiling of the Virginia Square Metro station and inside a passing train during the Flash Flood Emergency last week. [DCist]

Grants for African-American Heritage Projects — “Two Arlington-based organizations are among 25 non-profits statewide that will share more than $140,000 in new grant funding from Virginia Humanities” for projects exploring local African-American heritage and history [InsideNova]

Beyer on Trump Impeachment Vote — “I strongly support an impeachment inquiry into the conduct of President Trump. I voted to table H. Res. 489 because it would effectively prevent the House from conducting such an inquiry… It would initiate an impeachment trial in the Senate solely to consider whether the President should be removed from office for his recent racist tweets.” [Twitter, Blue Virginia]

Dueling APS Letters to the Editor — On one hand, Arlington Public Schools should stick to funding only the basics, like providing textbooks and pencils, according to one letter to the editor published in the Sun Gazette. On the other hand, APS should have a comprehensive approach to sustainability, including recycling and excess cafeteria waste, according to another letter to the editor writer. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

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(Updated at 9:27 a.m.) Commuters on Metro’s Orange and Silver lines faced minor delays this morning after smoke filled the tunnels of the Ballston station.

A Metro spokeswoman told ARLnow that a train suffered a brake malfunction and offloaded passengers at the station.

“The fans will be turned on and the smoke will dissipate,” said the spokesman. He added he not aware of any health concerns for those who breathed in the smoke.

As of 9 a.m. the gray smoke was still visible and smelled of burning rubber, but crowds has dissipated and first responders had left the scene.

First responders were dispatched to the scene around 8:45 a.m. this morning to reports of smoke filling the tunnel.

Metro-tracking bot Metro Hero Alerts reported that a train went out of service at the Ballston station at 8:43 a.m. this morning and that riders disembarked the train at the station.

https://twitter.com/metroheroalerts/status/1146036674255867905?s=20

Outside, one commuter ditched Metro and was waiting on an Uber to get to work.

“I could smell it going down,” Ashley McMahon said of the smoke as she walked down the escalator to the tunnel earlier that morning. “There was a lot of people.”

Photo courtesy of Ashley McMahon

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Morning Notes

Real Estate Smoking Hot Near HQ2 — “Since Amazon announced in November its choice of Crystal City and Pentagon City, the median home sale price in that area has increased 17.7%, leaping to $655,000, and the typical home was placed under contract in just six days, down from 10 days last year,¬†according to fresh data from real estate brokerage Redfin.” [Washington Business Journal, Axios, WTOP]

Marymount Names Tech-Oriented Interim Business Dean — “Tech expert and entrepreneur¬†Jonathan Aberman¬†is the new interim dean of Marymount University’s School of Business and Technology. Aberman replaces outgoing dean Marianne Ward-Peradoza and officially takes the reins of the school July 1.” [Washington Business Journal, PRNewswire]

Missing: Firefighter’s Keys — “A firefighter left his keys on the bumper of a fire truck while rushing to an emergency! If you happened to pick up this set of keys along Wilson Blvd from Ballston to 7 Corners, kindly return them to Fire Station 2!” [Twitter]

Water Main Work in Lyon Village — “Emergency Water Main Repairs: Crews are working on an 8-inch main at the 2800 block of Key Boulevard. Some 150 water customers could be affected. The street is detoured around the work site.” [Twitter]

Metro Summer Shutdown Underway — “After long lines and packed buses shortly after opening, commuters on Metro’s Yellow and Blue lines are seeing more frequent pick-ups but some traffic delays…¬†Tuesday is the first work day that six stations on Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines south of Reagan National Airport are closed for platform repairs and other upgrades until Sept. 8.” [WTOP]

Photo: Tomb Sentinel in Thursday’s Storm — “On Thursday, Arlington was hit hard with¬†rain and wind with gusts up to 70mph, but that didn’t stop one man from honoring the fallen. A Tomb Sentinel withstood torrential rains and wind gusts to honor the fallen at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” [WJLA, Facebook]

Photo courtesy Peter Golkin

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Several Blue Line trains barreled through Arlington Cemetery station without picking up passengers this past month as Metro gave little to no notice to riders.

Inbound Blue Line trains have not stopped at the station several times due to repairs, transit agency spokespeople told ARLnow, but riders waiting on the platform have few ways to learn they might as well have been waiting for Godot.

The trains have stranded passengers seven times since March 13, as seen by this reporter and according to alerts from transit tracker Metro Hero.  

The only alert for riders waiting on the platform during a March 19 incident was a loudspeaker announcement which, according to tipsters, was unintelligible on the echoing platform. 

Spokespeople for the transit agency told ARLnow that trains were directed to pass through the station to arrive faster at Rosslyn, and avoid an ongoing bottleneck caused by a “signal problem” at Stadium Armory station.

“Because the issue involved the junction where three lines diverge, fewer trains could get through the area, and the delays were starting to grow as more trains arrived,” said Metro spokesman Ian Jannetta.

To decrease the number of trains headed to the junction, Jannetta said Metro’s Rail Operations Control Center (ROCC) also directed Silver Line trains to turn back at Ballston. ROCC also directed three Blue Line trains to skip Arlington Cemetery and arrive earlier to Rosslyn and avoid bottlenecking with the rescheduled Orange Line train also arriving at Rosslyn.

Three more Westbound Blue Line trains have skipped Arlington Cemetery this week, one on Tuesday and two more today (Thursday.) Trains also skipped out on the station on March 13 and 18.

The transit agency did post an alert that Blue, Silver, and Orange line riders may “experience minor delays when traveling through the work area” as upgrades are made to Stadium Armory until March 29.

The alert does not mention trains passing by the station, nor were there signs posted at the station by March 19.

Jannetta said passengers on the selected train were alerted two stops from the cemetery that the train would not be stopping there. He added that the transit agency’s reimbursement for late trips applies to anyone affected.

“Arlington Cemetery ridership during the AM commute is extremely light, which factored into the decision making process,” Jannetta told ARLnow. “On the other hand, the action benefited several hundred customers aboard trains approaching Rosslyn.”

Arlington Cemetery experiences the largest ridership increase of any Metro station during the Cherry Blossom season, per Metro’s now-defunct planning blog. Earlier this month, Metro cancelled some track work in Arlington in anticipation of the arrival of the tourists.

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