Update at 7:45 a.m. — The station is back open and operating normally this morning after last night’s smoke incident.
Earlier: Trains are bypassing the Crystal City Metro station and the station has been evacuated due to smoke coming from a set of escalators.
The initial call went out shortly before 9 a.m. for the station filling with smoke. A large fire department response is now on scene.
No injuries have been reported.
Bus service is helping to bring passengers from Crystal City to the nearby Pentagon City station. As of 9:40 p.m., the source of the smoke had been found, according to the fire department, and most personnel were in the process of leaving the scene.
#FINAL: Source has been located and has been isolated. Smoke conditions are improving and most units are in the process of clearing the scene.
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 17, 2023
Blue/Blue+ Line Alert: Due to fire department activity at Crystal City, Metrobus routes 7A, 10A, 22A and 16E operate btwn Crystal City and Pentagon City.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 17, 2023
LOCATION: Crystal City Metro
INCIDENT: Fire Department Activity
IMPACT: Trains are temporarily bypassing Crystal City due to fire department activity. Bus service has been requested by Metro. pic.twitter.com/fbsHf3UE5a
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) March 17, 2023
Arlington County firefighters rescued a person from underneath a Metro train last night (Thursday) in Crystal City.
Arlington County Fire Department units were dispatched to the Crystal City Metro station (1750 S. Clark Street) at 8:25 p.m. for a report of an individual struck by a train, per a press release today. They found the person under a train, “conscious and alert.”
“Crews immediately began rescue operations, sending personnel onto the track bed and underneath the train to safely remove the patient,” per the release. “The patient was successfully extricated from beneath the train just before 9 p.m. and loaded onto an awaiting ambulance.”
RELEASE: Arlington County Fire Department Rescues Individual Struck by Trainhttps://t.co/xdeebBkM9W pic.twitter.com/IeuPBNK3uK
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 10, 2023
The person was taken to an area hospital in critical condition, according to ACFD.
“Rescue operations like the one our crews faced on March 9 can be extremely challenging,” Arlington County Fire Chief David Povlitz said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of our responders and WMATA safety partners for their ability to perform such a technical operation safely, proficiently, and quickly.”
Asked about the current condition of the person who was struck, a spokesman said the fire department typically does not do any immediate follow up once someone gets to the hospital.
Metro suspended service between the Reagan National Airport and Pentagon City stations in response to the incident and requested shuttle buses to accommodate passengers, according to a tweet published around 8:4o p.m. last night.
The ACFD is assisting @wmata with an incident at the Crystal City station. https://t.co/JoZp9JmFwL pic.twitter.com/DCC4i3aVan
— Arlington Fire & EMS (@ArlingtonVaFD) March 10, 2023
Two hours later, Metro announced that Blue and Yellow line service had resumed.
UPDATED: Blue Line Alert: Train service restored btwn National Airport & Pentagon City following a person struck by a train at Crystal City. Expect residual delays.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 10, 2023
(Updated at 8:45 a.m.) The Clarendon Metro station filled with smoke during this morning’s commute, prompting a large fire department and police response.
The initial dispatch went out around 8:15 a.m., for smoke in the station. The station was evacuated and trains were halted in the area.
Metro described the issue as “a track problem.” As of 8:30 a.m., reports suggest that the smoke is dissipating, no fire has been found so far, and the response is about to be scaled back.
Metro riders were told to expect significant delays in both directions of the Orange and Silver lines. As of 8:45 a.m., nothing hazardous had been found and trains were starting to resume normal operations. It’s still unclear what caused the smoke.
Orange/Silver Line Delay: Expect delays in both directions due to a track problem at Clarendon.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 7, 2023
UPDATED: Orange/Silver Line Delay: Train service suspended between Ballston & Rosslyn due to fire department activity at Clarendon. Buses requested.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) March 7, 2023
@ARLnowDOTcom something going on at Clarendon metro. Tons of fire and rescue
— HawkeyeKevin (@HawkeyeKevin) March 7, 2023
#WMATA investigating smoke reported in the Metro tunnel near Clarendon Metro station in the direction of Courthouse station. @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/Nl6HLt4DuV
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) March 7, 2023
(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) The Ballston and East Falls Church Metro stations are among those set to be impacted by a multi-week closure starting in June.
WMATA recently announced that it is planning to shut down a significant portion of the Orange Line during the summer for “system maintenance and modernization.”
Two Arlington stations — Ballston and East Falls Church — will be impacted by the infrastructure projects. The current plan is that only trains going east, towards Virginia Square and D.C., will be available at the Ballston station from June 3 to June 26, while the East Falls Church station will be shuttered during that time period.
The rest of the Orange Line, from West Falls Church through the end of the line at Vienna, will be closed for a longer period of time, from June 3 to July 17.
Elsewhere, there will be ten days of single-tracking from Stadium-Armory to Cheverly stations on the Orange Line and a complete 44-day shutdown from July 22 to Sept. 4 on the Green Line from Fort Totten to Greenbelt.
The reason for the shutdown, WMATA said, is to move forward on “five major projects to improve rail service reliability and modernize rail systems and facilities for customers.”
Those include completing a station roofing project on the Orange Line, replacing 30 miles of four-decade-old and failure-prone steel rails, installing fiber optic cables, modernizing information displays in the downtown stations, and elevator and escalator work at the Dupont station.
“Metro has used the lower ridership months in the summer to advance large maintenance and infrastructure projects with significant customer impacts,” the announcement notes. “By working closely with local jurisdictions, providing extensive free shuttle bus operations, and deploying comprehensive communications and outreach activities, Metro places significant effort to minimize the disruption to customers and the region.”
As for what the “free shuttle bus operations” could mean, county officials told ARLnow that hasn’t been figured out quite yet.
“WMATA will be scheduling coordination meetings with local jurisdictions to develop shuttle plans,” Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Claudia Pors told ARLnow via email. “As of yet, we haven’t heard from WMATA on their timeline. I don’t expect it to be dissimilar from other temporary station shutdowns.”
Locals have dealt with similar shutdowns. In September, Metro shuttered much of the Yellow Line for bridge and tunnel repairs as well as continuing work on the new Potomac Yard station. The Yellow Line shutdown is expected to continue at least through May, with free shuttles provided for impacted riders.
When Metro instituted similar construction-related shutdowns in both 2020 and 2018, the agency also provided free shuttle bus service.
A major portion of the latest work will be focused on “replacing 40-year-old steel rail that has become significantly more susceptible to rail breaks than rail in any other part of the system.” Metro says that it has been tracking rail breaks and determined the stretch of track between Ballston and Vienna “to be a top priority” for replacement.
The Ballston Metro station averages about 3,500 daily entries on weekdays, which is more than the Clarendon, Courthouse, and Virginia Square stations but below Rosslyn, Crystal City, Pentagon City, and the Pentagon. East Falls Church averages about 1,600 entries.
A 32-year-old man is in jail after being arrested for a second time in less than a month.
Necho Taylor, a D.C. resident, was initially arrested the night of Friday, Dec. 23, after he allegedly shot a woman with a BB gun while riding an escalator at the Rosslyn Metro station. Taylor was taken into custody by Metro Transit Police outside of the Clarendon Metro station, after attempting to flee from officers, and the gun was found in his coat, according to an arrest report.
Taylor spent Christmas in the Arlington County jail on a felony malicious wounding charge but was released on bond by a judge on Dec. 28, according to court records. He is also facing a felony conspiracy charge and a citation for resisting arrest in connection to the case.
The motive for the BB gun shooting was unclear. The victim was treated for an arm injury at Virginia Hospital Center, per the Metro Transit Police arrest report.
Three weeks after being released on bond, Taylor was back in Arlington. Police say he entered a business on the 1000 block of S. Hayes Street — which corresponds with the Macy’s in Pentagon City — and, around noon, fled with stolen merchandise.
He was spotted by Arlington officers and led them on a brief foot pursuit before being taken into custody, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
More from ACPD:
GRAND LARCENY (Significant), 2023-01180108, 1000 block of S. Hayes Street. At approximately 12:04 p.m. on January 18, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect had entered the business, selected merchandise and attempted to exit without payment. A loss prevention officer confronted the suspect and he fled the scene on foot. A suspect description was broadcast and responding officers located him walking in the area. An officer gave the suspect commands which he refused to follow and fled the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody. Necho Taylor, 32, of Washington, DC was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny and Obstruction of Justice. He was held without bond.
Taylor previously was sentenced to 5 months in jail in Arlington in 2016, for petty larceny, according to court records. He’s currently in the county jail awaiting his next court hearing on Feb. 23, records show.
Update at 5:25 p.m. — Metrorail service has been restored on the Orange and Silver lines after a power outage in Ballston that lasted around half an hour. Riders should expect residual delays, Metro said.
Earlier: Metrorail service on the Orange and Silver lines has been suspended due to a power outage.
WMATA said shortly before 5 p.m. that “a power outage at Ballston” has prompted a suspension of train service between Clarendon and West Falls Church/McLean.
So far there is no word on when service might resume. Shuttle buses have been requested to the affected stations, the transit agency said.
Dominion’s website currently lists an outage in Ballston with an estimated restoration time of 8-11 p.m.
Orange/Silver Line Delay: Train service suspended between Clarendon & West Falls Church/McLean due to a power outage at Ballston. Buses requested.
— Metrobus Info (@Metrobusinfo) January 23, 2023
UPDATED: Orange/Silver Line Delay: Train service restored btwn Clarendon & West Falls Church/McLean following earlier power outage at Ballston. Expect delays.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) January 23, 2023
Arlington Public Schools will open on a two-hour delay on Thursday due to expected freezing rain, the school system just announced.
APS follows Fairfax County Public Schools in announcing a two hour delay tonight. Other Northern Virginia districts have announced weather plans ranging from two hour delays to closures.
CODE 2: All APS schools and offices will open two hours late Thursday, Dec. 15. The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled. Custodial and maintenance staff and food service workers should report to work at their regularly scheduled time. All other employees should report to work two hours past their usual start time. For updates about Pool Operations, go to www.apsva.us/aquatics. For information about Arlington County operations go to www.arlingtonva.us.
More on the storm timing from the National Weather Service:
Here's a quick look at timing in regards to the wintry precip tonight into Thursday AM. Plan accordingly for slick roads & travel delays. Most locations change to rain late Thursday AM into the afternoon (outside of western MD). Drier conditions Friday. #VAwx #MDwx #WVwx #DCwx pic.twitter.com/UPDbPgz9dO
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) December 15, 2022
Metro, meanwhile, said today that it’s tracking the weather and will respond to hazardous conditions as necessary.
Metro is keeping an eye on the sky and advising customers to be prepared for potential service impacts to Metrobus service tomorrow, December 15, if icy conditions materialize.
Metrobus plans to provide regular scheduled service tomorrow. However, if road conditions are observed to be hazardous, Metrobus customers may experience delays or detours as outlined in Metro’s light snow plan, which adjusts service on a route-by-route basis to keep buses off of steep hills, narrow roadways, and other challenging route segments during inclement weather.
Customers can review planned detours in advance to see how their service may be affected by clicking here. If conditions require that a route be detoured, customers will be notified via MetroAlerts email and text messages. Customers are also encouraged sign up for MetroAlerts and to follow @wmata, @metrobusinfo, and @metrorailinfo on Twitter for the latest service information.
Customers should allow additional travel time and use caution on platforms, escalators, parking lots and other areas that may be slippery.
Elsewhere across the system, Metrorail is expected to operate on a normal weekday schedule. MetroAccess will operate normally, with extra travel time possible based on road conditions.
VDOT is encouraging drivers to stay off the roads after the frozen precipitation starts falling overnight.
Motorists should avoid travel as frozen precipitation will create icy roadway conditions in portions of the Commonwealth tonight and tomorrow morning. Pavement temperatures will be at or near freezing levels. Temperatures will drop overnight and could cause treacherous conditions during the morning commute, primarily in the northern, northwestern and parts of central Virginia. As a reminder, bridges, overpasses and shaded areas tend to freeze first.
Freezing rain is forecasted to begin around 9 p.m. tonight in northwest Virginia and will continue through the morning.
Most Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews did not apply liquid pretreatment to roads in areas where the event is forecasted to start as rain, as the pretreatment application will wash away and be ineffective. VDOT crews are ready to treat roadways with salt, sand and abrasives once icy conditions begin to develop. Wreckers are pre-staged along certain routes and tree crews are available to handle downed trees.
Motorists should be vigilant, pay attention to weather forecasts in areas where they plan to drive, and delay travel in the impacted areas.
Arlington County has drafted preliminary designs to slow speeds and improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along a busy artery in the East Falls Church neighborhood.
It proposes a number of streetscape changes to N. Sycamore Street between Langston Blvd and 19th Street N., near the East Falls Church Metro station and not far from the W&OD Trail. A fatal crash happened just over a year ago within the project’s boundaries at the intersection of N. Sycamore Street and Washington Blvd.
The plan calls for replacing right-turn-only lanes with protected bike lanes, removing slip lanes — which motorists use to turn while bypassing an intersection — and adding high visibility crosswalks and green skid marks for bicyclists.
It has taken more than a decade to get to this point. The 2011 East Falls Church Area Plan recommended shortening crossings, eliminating right-turn-only lanes and improving curb ramps on N. Sycamore Street. The, the 2019 Bicycle Element of the Master Transportation Plan recommended adding a bike lane along N. Sycamore Street between Williamsburg Blvd and the East Falls Church line.
County staff have studied the street twice, but progress was sporadic, due to two unsuccessful transportation grant applications and budget-tightening due to Covid. The Dept. of Environmental Services reprised the project last fall.
The department gathered feedback about problems with N. Sycamore Street where it intersects with Langston Blvd, 22nd Street N., Washington Blvd, the I-66 off-ramp and 19th Street N. Staff incorporated this feedback into preliminary plans, which can now be reviewed and commented on through Sunday (Nov. 20).
“Generally we heard from you all that the slip lanes in the corridor negatively impact pedestrian and bicyclist safety,” project manager Ariel Yang said in a presentation. “The other overarching thing we heard is a desire for safety and more comfortable crossings for people walking and biking N. Sycamore Street,” including better markings for bike lanes and better signalization for pedestrians.
Yang said participants reported frequent speeding, particularly around 22nd and 19th Street N., a tendency that the proposed changes are designed to address.
“Through design, we are trying to change behavior at the intersection where conflicts tend to happen more,” Yang said.
Other issues include unmarked and long crossings, narrow sidewalks and unclear markings in “conflict zones” between cars and cyclists, per the presentation.
The county proposes changes to five intersections.
Metro announced on Friday that transit police will soon resume citing those who try to ride without paying the fare.
The announcement follows an NBC 4 story earlier this month that fare evasion on buses is “reaching eyepopping numbers.”
A WMATA press release, below, notes that the transit is also considering faregate modifications at Metrorail stations, to prevent fare evasion.
Metro Transit Police officers will begin issuing fare evasion citations on Tuesday, November 1, following a monthlong awareness and warning campaign. Citations with associated fines may be issued to anyone jumping fare gates, improperly using emergency gates, or not tapping fare boxes on Metrobuses.
Fare recovery is a major issue and has been mentioned as one of the top concerns of customers when talking with Metro staff and Metro Board Members. Revenue from fares allows Metro to keep buses, trains, and MetroAccess serving our community.
Fare evasion is responsible for significant revenue losses and is part of the focus to close a shortfall of nearly $185 million in the upcoming budget. Using data from Metrobus and pre-pandemic industry averages for Metrorail, Metro estimates revenue losses due to fare evasion totaling tens of millions of dollars in fiscal year 2022.
Metro is working with local partners to offer resources to make public transit more equitable and affordable for those in need. A low-income fare pilot is getting underway in the District, and at Metro’s recent Board Meeting initial concepts about a regional means-based fare program were presented.
Metro is also exploring other methods that will prevent customers from entering rail stations without paying. This month, Metro is expected to begin testing faregate modifications as a preventative measure. Prototypes will be installed as a pilot at a selected rail station. Some of the modifications being explored include physical deterrents on top of faregates and higher barriers.
Fare evasion was decriminalized in D.C. in 2018, becoming punishable only by a civil fine rather than jail time. Civil rights advocates told WUSA 9 that they’ll be closely watching Metro’s new enforcement effort to make sure it is applied evenly and doesn’t unduly target certain places or groups.
The TV station also counted those skipping the fare at a few Metro stations, including Arlington’s Courthouse station.
“In just 20 minutes, we recorded 26 people hopping the [turnstile] at the West Hyattsville station — an average of 78 people per hour. Based on what we gathered, Courthouse in Arlington sees an average of eight jumpers an hour and three an hour at the Van Ness/University of the District of Columbia stop,” WUSA 9 reported.
Meanwhile, overly restrictive faregates have some critics, who say they constrict passenger flow, cost money to maintain and can make getting around more difficult for those with disabilities.
Given all of that, do you fully support Metro’s new measures? Let me know why or why not in the comments.
The annual Army Ten-Miler race will prompt numerous road closures in Arlington this weekend.
Runners will zip through parts of Rosslyn, D.C. and Pentagon City, starting and finishing the race near the Pentagon.
“The 38th annual Army Ten-Miler race will occur on Sunday, October 9,” Arlington County police noted last week in a press release. “The race begins at 7:50 a.m. on Route 110, crosses the Key Bridge into the District of Columbia, returns to Virginia via the 14th Street Bridge in the northbound I-395 HOV, and ends in the Pentagon reservation.”
“The Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police, United States Park Police, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency will conduct road closures to accommodate the race,” ACPD said.
Planned road closures include parts of Army Navy Drive, S. Eads Street, Route 110, northbound I-395, and N. Lynn Street and Long Bridge Drive.
Metro plans to operate on a normal Sunday schedule while opening the Pentagon station after the start of the race, directing participants to use the Pentagon City station instead.
The planned Arlington road closures, from the ACPD press release, are below.
Expect to see lots of emergency activity around the Pentagon this weekend. But don’t worry, it’s just a drill.
The emergency response training exercise is scheduled to take place from 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and will include first responders from a number of jurisdictions.
“Expect flashing lights/sirens near the Pentagon Transit Center,” Pentagon police said on Twitter.
EXERCISE-EXERCISE-EXERCISE. @PFPAOffical & First Responders will hold emergency response training exercise Saturday, Sept. 24, 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. Expect flashing lights/sirens near the Pentagon Transit Center. Training closed to public/ media. pic.twitter.com/6yzJKb0uK5
— Pentagon Force Protection Agency (Official) (@PFPAOfficial) September 21, 2022
The Pentagon Metro station will be closed until around 2 p.m. as a result of the exercise. Buses going to or from the Pentagon will be relocated to the Crystal City and Pentagon City stations.
More from a WMATA press release:
On Saturday, September 24, Metro will temporarily close the Pentagon Station to bus and rail service from opening until approximately 2 p.m. due to a security exercise at the request of the Pentagon. During this time, people in the area may notice a large amount of emergency personnel; however, customers should be aware this is only an exercise.
During the temporary station closure, Metrobus service that normally serves the Pentagon Transit Center will instead be relocated to Pentagon City. Express shuttle buses operating to/from Huntington and Franconia-Springfield to Pentagon due to major construction on the Blue and Yellow lines will be diverted to Crystal City where customers can transfer to/from the rail system.
While Pentagon Station is closed, Blue Line trains will bypass the station, passing through without stopping. Customers may wish to use Pentagon City Station as an alternative.
Bus and rail service will resume to the Pentagon at approximately 2 p.m. at the conclusion of the exercise. Metro will notify customers through our social media channels @MetrobusInfo @MetrorailInfo, online on the Status and Alerts page, and through MetroAlerts text and email messages. Customers are encouraged to sign up for MetroAlerts to be notified about the latest service information.
Metro’s customers service team will also be available to assist customers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to provide real-time information online or by phone. Metro’s customer service team responds to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social posts, emails and chat conversations. Customers may also get information by calling 202-637-7000 or visiting wmata.com.