52°Scattered Clouds

by ARLnow.com — September 23, 2016 at 8:45 am 0

Morning flight at Reagan National Airport (DCA)

E-CARE Event This Weekend — Arlington County will hold its biannual E-CARE recycling event this Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road). The event allows Arlington residents to drop off “household hazardous materials, bikes, small metal items, shoes, clothing and other recyclable items.” [Arlington County]

Arlington GOP Says No to Metro — The Arlington County Republican Committee voted to oppose a transportation bond on the local November ballot. GOP members objected to the portion of the bond that would fund Arlington’s obligatory share of Metro’s capital budget, saying that voting no would send a message to Metro’s management. [InsideNova]

Reminder: Hey Frase Podcast — The Hey Frase Podcast will be holding a live taping tonight at the Clarendon Ballroom. Hosts Sarah Fraser and Samy K will be interviewing the “King of Arlington,” A-Town Bar and Grill and Don Tito partner Scott Parker. They will also be giving away ARLnow t-shirts to a few lucky attendees before the show. [Facebook]

Changes at Ragtime — Long-time Courthouse watering hole Ragtime recently introduced new accordion windows that open the bar up to fresh air. “Perfect timing for fall,” Ragtime touted in a Facebook post last week. [Facebook]

by Tim Regan — July 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

Police car (file photo)Arlington County Police have arrested two men for using a pellet gun to shoot holes into a kiosk window outside of the East Falls Church Metro station and shatter a glass enclosure at a nearby bus stop last night.

The crime occurred at the Metro station just after 11:30 p.m. last night, police said.

Two men shot a pellet gun at a kiosk window at the Metro station, puncturing the glass three times, police said. They also allegedly fired the pellet gun at a bus stop on North Sycamore Street, breaking its glass enclosure.

Officers originally responded to a report of two suspicious men looking into vehicles on the 2200 block of N. Somerset Street. When they arrived, they heard a gunshot and located the two suspected shooters.

In addition to the pellet gun, one of the men had a loaded gun in his possession at the time of arrest, police said.

From an ACPD crime report:

POSSESSION OF CONCEALED WEAPON (Significant), 160721003, 2200 block of N. Somerset Street. At approximately 11:38 p.m. on July 20, officers responded to the report of suspicious males looking into vehicles. Arriving officers heard the discharge of a firearm and located two suspects. Nico Wilson, 32, of Fort Washington MD, was arrested and charged with possession of a concealed weapon and discharge of a firearm. Carlos Parker, 18, of Temple Hills MD, was arrested and charged with destruction of property and possession of a concealed weapon.

by ARLnow.com — July 20, 2016 at 10:50 am 0

Outside of one of Arlington's polling locations

As part of its latest Capital Improvement Plan, the Arlington County Board last night approved a new slate of bond referenda that will appear on the ballot this fall.

The county has proposed four bonds for voters to consider. In total the bonds add up to some $315.8 million.

  • Metro and Transportation — $58,785,000
  • Local Parks and Recreation — $19,310,000
  • Community Infrastructure — $98,850,000
  • Arlington Public Schools — $138,830,000

In a board report, county staff detailed the planned use of funds for each bond.

Metro and Transportation:

This proposal will fund a variety of transportation, road, pedestrian enhancement and transit projects across the County. The largest components of this proposal are $30 million for Arlington County’s share of WMATA / Metro’s capital improvement program, and $24 million to fund a portion of the costs for paving local streets and roadways. Proceeds of this proposal will also fund bridge renovation, street lights, transportation systems & traffic signals, as well as the WALKArlington, BikeArlington, Safe Routes to Schools, and Curb & Gutter Missing Links programs. The County Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.

Local Parks and Recreation:

This proposal will fund various parks improvements and enhancements, as well as $3 million for the Land Acquisition and Open Space Program for strategic park acquisitions. This proposal would also fund the Trail Modernization program, design and planning at Jennie Dean Park and construction at Tyrol Hills Park, and maintenance capital improvements such as playground, courts and other parks infrastructure improvements. The County Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.

Community Infrastructure:

This proposal will fund a variety of County infrastructure projects. The largest component of this proposal is $46.46 million for the Lubber Run Community Center project. Also included is $12 million of funding for Neighborhood Conservation projects, as well as funding for the Nauck Town Square, planning & design of the Fire Station 8 replacement, renovations & improvements to government facilities in the Court House Complex, renovation of the Barcroft Sports & Fitness Center for additional gymnastics, and a County childcare facility. The Neighborhood Conservation Program provides funding for a variety of neighborhood-identified capital improvement projects including street improvements (sidewalk, curb and gutter, drainage, paving), traffic management and pedestrian enhancements, park improvements, street lighting, recreational facilities, landscaping, and beautification.

It also includes funding of a joint County & Schools parking deck and other improvements at the Thomas Jefferson middle school site due to the construction of a new elementary school, critical systems infrastructure upgrades to 24×7 hour facilities; and facilities maintenance capital improvements, including design and construction of projects including but not limited to roofs, electrical and heating / cooling systems and other facilities infrastructure. The County Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.

Arlington Public Schools:

This proposal will make funds available for the Arlington Public Schools’ capital improvement program. The proposed bonds will fund the following projects:

  • The new middle school at the Stratford site ($26,030,000)
  • The new school at the Wilson site ($78,400,000)
  • Addition and renovation at the Career Center/Arlington Tech ($12,000,000)
  • Planning for secondary seats at location(s) to be determined ($10,000,000), and
  • Infrastructure capital projects such as HVAC, roofing, etc. ($12,400,000)

The School Board may reallocate bond funds among the various projects to the extent necessary or desirable.

The Board also approved its $3.3 billion 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan Tuesday night. A county press release on the plan, after the jump.


by Tim Regan — July 19, 2016 at 4:15 pm 0

Metro’s fifth SafeTrack maintenance surge will cause a “severe service reduction” on portions of the Orange and Silver lines for 11 days starting tomorrow.

From Wednesday, July 20 until Sunday, July 31, Orange and Silver line trains will continuously single track between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations. This is the same area that was affected during first Metro SafeTrack surge.

On weekdays, Orange Line trains between Vienna and Ballston are expected to operate every 18 minutes. Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes during the surge, according to Metro.

Additional Orange Line trains will operate between Ballston and New Carrollton during the maintenance period. Trains from Vienna to Ballston and Wiehle-Reston East to Ballston are likely to be extremely crowded, especially during rush-hour, Metro said.

“Customers at Ballston should consider using the additional train service that originates at Ballston and will board on the opposite platform from through-train service,” the agency advised in its latest announcement. “This may lengthen your departure time, but will give you the best opportunity to find space.”

Metro Commuters who have the ability to do so should consider alternate travel options and avoid traveling during rush hour if possible, Metro added.

An Arlington County website has the following information those affected by the latest Metro surge:

Street operations changes

Supplemental local bus service

  • Using 40-foot buses for ART 55 (East Falls Church-Lee Highway-Rosslyn) to add capacity along the affected section of the Orange/Silver line.
    • Each 40-foot bus has five more seats and room for more standees compared to the 35-foot bus normally used on this route.
  • New midday, evening and weekend service for ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Courthouse), which started during Surge 2, continues to be available.
  • For changes to bus service operated by Metro and other jurisdictions, visit Metro’s website.

Alternate work and travel options

The County is encouraging telework/flex time, ridesharing, biking and walking – options other than driving alone:

  • Arlington Transportation Partners is reaching out to employers and building managers to urge them to encourage telework or flex schedules and provide travel option information.
  • Arlington’s Commuter Page has travel option resources for residents and businesses – for example, assistance for vanpooling and other car-free options.
  • Arlington County Commuter Services Hispanic Marketing offers comprehensive information about each surge in Spanish.
  • For teleworkers who can’t work at home, Arlington Public Libraries offer wifi, office equipment, design stations with Adobe software, and small meeting rooms.

For those who bike, these changes are continued from prior surges:

Video via Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

by Andrew Ramonas — July 11, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Metro SafeTrack Surge 4 service changes (Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority)Arlington is set to lose one of its Metro stops on the Blue and Yellow lines for seven days as part of another “SafeTrack surge,” which is set to start tomorrow.

“Surge 4” track repair work is slated to begin Tuesday and will keep the station closed through the following Monday.

Until the Crystal City station’s scheduled reopening on Tuesday, July 19, Metro will have free shuttle bus service to connect the stop with the Reagan National and Pentagon City stations.

Arlington and airport officials are encouraging travelers to avoid driving near the three stations and use buses and other modes of transportation to get around.

An Arlington County website has the following information those affected by the Metro maintenance work and station closure.

Street operations changes for Surge 3 and 4

Supplemental local bus service continued from prior surges

  • The new ART service and additional ART bus capacity on routes that parallel the Blue Line will continue through Surges 3 and 4:
    • Midday, evening and weekend service for ART 43 (Crystal City-Rosslyn-Courthouse) – This route provides a direct connection from Crystal City to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. On weekdays, 40-foot buses will be used to add capacity.
    • 40-foot buses for ART 42 (Ballston-Pentagon) to add capacity – Each 40-foot bus has five more seats and room for more standees compared to 35-foot buses normally used on this route.
  • For changes to bus service operated by Metro and other jurisdictions, visit Metro’s website.

Alternate travel and work options

Image via Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

by Adrian Cruz — July 5, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Starting today, the third stage of Metro’s SafeTrack maintenance plan begins, affecting Blue and Yellow line service in Arlington.

The third stage will begin at 8 p.m. on July 5, continuing until July 11 and it will involve the Blue and Yellow lines being completely shut down between National Airport and Braddock Road, in Alexandria.

Blue Line trains will run every 15 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between National Airport and Greenbelt.

Riders will be able to take Metroway BRT buses for free, between Pentagon City and Braddock Road, to bypass the closure. For airport customers coming from stations below Braddock Road, shuttle bus service will run between the station and the airport.

The fourth SafeTrack stage will run from July 12-18 and the same lines will be shut down between National Airport and Pentagon City. That includes a closure of the busy Crystal City station.

Blue Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Franconia-Springfield and National Airport and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line trains will run every 12 minutes between Huntington and Braddock Road and every 12 minutes between Pentagon City and Greenbelt.

Shuttle bus service will run to National Airport from Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Metroway shuttle service will also be available for free during this stage.

For its part, Arlington County will continue to run the expanded bus service implemented for SafeTrack’s second stage. That includes expanded midday, evening and weekend service on the ART 43 between Rosslyn and Crystal City and additional 4o-foot buses to increase capacity on the ART 42, which runs from Ballston to Pentagon.

Arlington County is encouraging alternative commute options during the surge, such as teleworking, ridesharing, biking and walking if possible.

Video Courtesy WMATA

by ARLnow.com — June 29, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Cupid's Garden Sculpture in Rosslyn

Bracing for the Next Two Metro Surges — There will be no Metrorail service at the National Airport station during the next two Metrorail maintenance surge projects, from July 5 to July 18. Blue and Yellow line riders can expect major service impacts and should consider alternative means of commuting, from biking to Uber to taking the bus. The new Metroway Bus Rapid Transit line from Alexandria to Crystal City will be free during the two surges. [Washington Post, NBC Washington, Twitter, WMATA]

Tributes to Cafe Asia — As ARLnow.com first reported, today is expected to be the last day in business for Cafe Asia in Rosslyn. The restaurant was a go-to lunch, after work and event spot for some of Rosslyn’s media and political types, who have been posting memories of Cafe Asia on Twitter and elsewhere. [Washington Business Journal, Twitter, Twitter]

Garvey Profiled in Weekly Standard — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey, who defeated challenger Erik Gutshall in the Democratic primary two weeks ago, has been profiled by the conservative political magazine the Weekly Standard. “From her fight for fiscal conservatism over a costly streetcar plan to her endorsement of Republican-turned-independent John Vihstadt (who eventually became a fellow Board member), it is no wonder that some of her fellow liberals are worried about the county’s direction,” the magazine wrote. [Weekly Standard]

Photo by Jackie Friedman

by Adrian Cruz — June 18, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

The second round of closures related to Metro’s yearlong SafeTrack maintenance plan is slated to take effect today, with big impacts to Blue Line service in Arlington.

Maintenance crews will work on portions of the Orange, Silver and Blue lines until July 3, according to a service advisory.

On the Orange Line, trains will not run between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Road. Orange and Silver line trains will run every 10 minutes between Vienna/Wiehle-Reston and Eastern Market.

Metro shutdown graphicOn the Blue Line, trains will not run between between Arlington Cemetery and Rosslyn. Trains will, however, run between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery each weekday until 10 p.m. Yellow Line trains will run on a Rush+ schedule all day on weekdays to compensate for the loss of Blue Line service.

Metro will provide shuttle service for riders traveling to and from affected stations. Arlington County has also expanded ART 43 service, which runs between Rosslyn and Crystal City, on middays, evenings and weekends until Aug. 20.

Trains may be extremely crowded, especially during rush hour, Metro officials said. Regular riders are encouraged to use commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting.

Video Courtesy WMATA

by Adrian Cruz — June 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

SafeTrack Metro work between Ballston and East Falls Church

The first SafeTrack maintenance surge, between Ballston and East Falls Church, is ahead of schedule, Metro GM Paul Wiedefeld announced today.

At the end of the day Monday, 96 percent of the planned work had been completed, with three days remaining in the schedule, Wiedefeld said. Continuous single-tracking on the Orange and Silver lines is still slated to wrap up tomorrow (Thursday), as originally planned.

“Given the importance of quickly getting into this intensive track rehab program, I am pleased with the work getting done in Surge #1, and want to thank the entire region for their support over the last twelve days,” said Wiedefeld. “While the immediate benefit for any surge is safety, as we conclude the surges, customers should see an improvement in track reliability and overall ride quality along this area of the Orange and Silver lines.”

The work done included rail tie replacement, insulator renewal, fastener renewal and leak repairs, as detailed in a report released by Metro.

Although early indications suggested that SafeTrack was causing delays for most commuters, the din of complaints on social media largely faded as the work continued. Riders who spoke to ARLnow.com outside the Ballston Metro station last Thursday (see video, below) said their commutes weren’t overly affected by the changes — fears of major overcrowding and delays did not materialize, at least in their experience.

Stage two of SafeTrack will begin on Saturday with shuttle buses replacing trains between Eastern Market and Minnesota Ave/Benning Road on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Blue Line trains will only run between Franconia-Springfield and Arlington Cemetery in both directions. The work is scheduled to wrap up by July 3.

Photo by Jackie Friedman. Video by Omar DeBrew.

by ARLnow.com — June 7, 2016 at 11:35 am 0

Metro worker suffering dehydration on the Orange/Silver line tracks along I-66 (courtesy photo)

Working on the railroad is hard work.

That was in evidence this morning when a Metro contractor who was on the team performing “SafeTrack” maintenance work on the tracks near the East Falls Church station reportedly passed out from dehydration.

Firefighters and paramedics responded to the section of track along I-66 and transported the worker to a local hospital for evaluation.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the agency is taking steps to make sure its workers are well hydrated.

“Obviously, this is hard, physical labor on a hot and cloudless day,” Stessel told ARLnow.com. “We are providing water and sports drinks to all workers on site, and requiring frequent breaks — but the lack of shade is really the issue.”

Courtesy photo

by Jackie Friedman — June 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Christian Dorsey, Libby Garvey and Paul Wiedefeld at a Metro press conference in East Falls Church

Nearly two weeks of continuous single tracking between East Falls Church and Ballston, on the Orange and Silver Metro lines, begins tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

Major travel disruptions are expected during Metro’s maintenance “surge,” dubbed “SafeTrack.” WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, along with Arlington County Board members Libby Garvey and Christian Dorsey, held a press conference this afternoon at the East Falls Church Metro Station to discuss preparations.

“We are going to make this work, it is a team effort,” said Garvey, touting Arlington’s plans to assist commuters and ease congestion. “We’re all working together.”

Metro riders can seek commuting alternatives such as carpooling or telecommuting. Free shuttle buses between Ballston and East Falls Church and Ballston and West Falls Church will be offered during the project. Additional Capital Bikeshare stations are being installed at the East Falls Church station in preparation for the work.

The single tracking will last for 13 days, ending on Thursday, June 16.

According to Wiedefeld, the worst impacts on the Orange and Silver lines will be west of Ballston. Orange Line trains will run only every 18 minutes between Vienna and Ballston, while Silver Line trains will run every 18 minutes. Additional trains will be placed in service east of Ballston.

The biggest effects will be felt during rush hour — riders are being told to expect “extreme crowding and delays” in each direction.

“Remember, the reason we are doing this is to make the system more reliable and safer,” said Wiedefeld.

The track work is just the first of numerous SafeTrack projects planned over the next year, many of which will impact Arlington riders.

Arlington County streamed a video of the press conference on Facebook, and yesterday released a video discussing SafeTrack (below).

by ARLnow.com — May 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm 0

Weekend Metro track work outside of Reagan National Airport station (file photo)

(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Metro has released its final version of the SafeTrack plan, beginning with work between the East Falls Church and Ballston stations.

This morning Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld outlined the agency’s plan for working through Metrorail’s deferred maintenance backlog.

The “safety surge,” dubbed SafeTrack, “accomplishes in one year, work that otherwise would take about three years to complete.” It comes at a time when major Metro track problems and electrical fires seem to be increasingly commonplace.

The plan involves fifteen long-duration track outages between June 4 and May 8, 2017, to allow for extensive track work.

The goal: to achieve “safety and state of good repair of basic track structure.”

So what can Arlington riders expect? First, there will be a moratorium on early system openings and closings — the system will close at midnight, seven day a week.

Additionally, the following track outages are planned.

Metro SafeTrack logoJuly 5-12
National Airport to Braddock Road

Impact: Entire line segment shut down
Service Reduction: Trains running every 12 minutes at Virginia Blue and Yellow Line stations

July 12-19
National Airport to Pentagon City
Impact: Entire line segment shut down
Service Reduction: Trains running every 12 minutes at Virginia Blue and Yellow Line stations

Aug. 20-Sept. 6
Eastern Market to Minnesota Ave/Benning Road 
Impact: Entire line segment shut down
Service Reductions: Three lines affected. Orange and Silver lines running every 10 minutes, Blue Line running every 12 minutes.

Nov. 2-12
West Falls Church to East Falls Church
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Orange and Silver lines each running every 16 minutes

Nov. 12-Dec. 5
East Falls Church to Ballston
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Silver Line running every 18 minutes, Orange Line trains from Vienna to Ballston running every 18 minutes

Dec. 6-24
Pentagon to Rossyln
Impact: Entire line segment shut down, Arlington Cemetery station closed
Service Reduction: Reduced service at all Blue Line stations

March 6-14
West Falls Church to East Falls Church
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Orange and Silver lines each running every 16 minutes

April 16-May 8
Braddock Road to Huntington/Van Dorn 
Impact: Continuous single tracking
Service Reduction: Trains on Blue Line running every 18 minutes

In order to maximize productivity, all of the track outages will be continuous and will affect rush hour service. For the line segment shut downs, buses will replace trains around the station closures.

The safety surge will not only affect Metro riders, it’s expected to affect those who drive as well, in the form of additional traffic.

Here’s what Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) had to say about the plan.

After the jump, the full press release from Metro.


by Larry Roberts — May 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

Larry RobertsProgressive Voice is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of their organizations or ARLnow.com.

By Lawrence Roberts

I was pleased to join fellow ARLnow columnists Mark Kelly and Peter Rousselot on a panel discussion at “ARLnow Presents: Hot Topics on Columbia Pike.” We had a spirited discussion of County issues and I hope you’ll watch the video when it appears on Arlington Independent Media and ARLnow.

While I don’t often agree with ARLnow’s “The Right Note” column, I was pleased that Mark identified Metro as the County’s highest transit priority.

Metro is vital to Arlington’s economy, serving tourists and providing the impetus for a commercial tax base carrying half of Arlington’s real estate tax burden – a substantially higher percentage than other area jurisdictions.

Metro is also vital to Arlington’s mobility – for commuters to and from Arlington as well as people using public transportation to get around the region without driving. Metro (and other transit options) helps Arlington avoid massive traffic gridlock in its urban corridors and along residential streets.

Today’s federal government could not function without Metro and the ripple effect of reduced federal activity without Metro would be highly detrimental to Arlington companies and workers intersecting with the federal sector.

So what are we to make of this week’s National Transportation Safety Board’s report on the L’Enfant Plaza accident in January 2015 that led to NTSB’s heavy criticism of Metro and, in particular its lack of a safety culture?

I believe that Arlington’s first reaction should be to acknowledge that Metro is essential to Arlington’s economy, its desirability as a place to live, its mobility, and the health of a commercial tax base that supports the many public services that Arlingtonians want and expect, including schools, public safety, parks and social services.

For that reason, Arlington government officials and residents should be at the forefront of efforts to support and encourage Metro as it undergoes necessary changes.

Second, Arlington should be working with our federal delegation and regional partners to demand dedicated funding streams for Metro – as most urban transit systems have.

Essentially, the federal government takes the position that it heavily funded Metro’s construction and that its obligations largely stopped there without ensuring an adequate dedicated funding stream for operations and maintenance.

While federal warnings about safety are important, it is easy to lay blame on Metro management and employees without acknowledging that the federal government has not been a reliable partner in solving the chronic and well known problem of deferred maintenance due to lack of funding.

Metro’s importance to the federal workforce and travelers from across the country who come to the Nation’s Capital warrant strong federal financial support.

Third, we should not fall prey to the convenient and simplistic assertion that if only Metro management had been more disciplined about spending there would be no safety problem. Metro management could squeeze every ounce of waste, fraud and abuse out of the system without making a dent in the structural deficiencies in Metro funding.

Fourth, it is important not to jump on the bandwagon of finding fault with Metro at every turn. I had occasion to review the Washington Post’s 2015 stories about Metro. They constituted a steady drumbeat of identifying one problem after another that would lead one to conclude that no one is able to commute effectively or safely by Metro.


by ARLnow.com — March 16, 2016 at 6:20 pm 0

The Metrorail system will reopen at 5 a.m. Thursday, following today’s shutdown, but riders should expect possible single-tracking and delays as crews continue to fix damaged power cables along the tracks.

That’s the word from officials at a 6 p.m. press conference, in which Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld showed a video (above) of a damaged “jumper cable” found during today’s inspections. With most of the inspections complete, 26 damaged cables have been found — mostly along the Blue, Orange and Silver lines — and 18 have been repaired so far.

Evening rush hour traffic on 3/16/16 (image via Google Maps)“The shutdown was necessary,” Wiedefeld said.

Fears of a traffic nightmare today largely did not materialize, as many workers either telecommuted, took buses or rode bikes to work. The morning commute was a bit slower than usual on some routes, while evening rush hour traffic — at least in Arlington — was lighter than usual.

Bus stops were certainly more crowded than usual today, but some of the biggest queues could be found at Reagan National Airport, as travelers waited for taxis.

After the jump: the press release from WMATA about the inspections and the planned reopening of the system Thursday.


by ARLnow.com — March 15, 2016 at 5:40 pm 0

Update at 6:10 p.m. — The federal government is open tomorrow. Federal workers has the option of unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework, says the Office of Personnel Management. Arlington County government is also open with a telework option.

Arlington’s congressional delegation is weighing in on tomorrow’s complete closure of the Metrorail system for safety inspections.

Rep. Don Beyer (D):

Our office has been in contact with the Office of Personnel Management. We have urged them to allow unscheduled leave for federal employees, and I urge other employers in the region to be equally flexible, allowing employees to take unscheduled leave or to work from home if at all possible.

I have confidence in the new leadership of Paul Wiedefeld and look forward learning more about the technical details behind this decision. We must overhaul this critical public transit system, and we must continue our federal investment in Metro in order for that to happen. Tomorrow we will get a glimpse of what our nation’s capital will look like without this essential system.

Sen. Mark Warner (D):

“It’s sad that it’s come to this, but hundreds of thousands of people depend on the safety of the Metro system. We need to take it seriously. I’m glad that Metro’s new leadership is treating system safety with an appropriate sense of urgency.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D):

“While this is an unprecedented step and a major inconvenience for thousands of daily commuters, it’s also the type of tough call that signals WMATA’s new management team is doing whatever it takes to ensure the safety of Metro riders.  Employers across the region — including OPM — should offer their employees flexibility tomorrow as they face limited transit options.”



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