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Capital Bikeshare May Come To Roosevelt Island, Gravelly Point

Arlington may get two new Capital Bikeshare stations, at Roosevelt Island and Gravelly Point.

The County Board is set to approve a “memorandum of understanding” with the National Park Service, which has to approve the bikeshare stations since they would be located on NPS land.

The approval would further the goal of an expansion of the bikeshare network along the Mt. Vernon Trail.

Responsibility for the installation and maintenance of the bikeshare facilities on NPS land would fall on the county, according to the memorandum. It also restricts any advertisements on the stations, and sets requirements for site preservation and, should the stations be removed in the future, restoration.

The office of the County Manager has recommended that the memorandum be approved at Saturday’s County Board meeting (April 21).

Currently there are about 440 stations and 3,700 Capital Bikeshare bikes in the region. As of 2017, 85 Bikeshare stations were in Arlington.

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Crime Report: Woman Groped on Mt. Vernon Trail

A man ran up to a jogger on the Mt. Vernon Trail and groped her, according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The incident happened around lunchtime last Wednesday, on the trail near Rosslyn.

Police searched for the suspect but were unable to locate him.

More from the ACPD crime report:

SEXUAL BATTERY, 2017-09130162, Mount Vernon Trail. At approximately 2:07 p.m. on September 13, police were dispatched to the intersection of Lynn Street at Lee Highway for the late report of a sexual battery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:30 p.m. on September 13, a female victim was running on the Mount Vernon Trail when an unknown male suspect approached her from behind and inappropriately touched her. Once the victim called out for help, the suspect fled the area on foot. The suspect is described as a light-skinned Hispanic male, 30 – 40 years old, approximately 180 – 220 lbs with an average to medium build. The suspect is clean shaven with short black hair. He was wearing a light blue long-sleeved shirt, tan khaki pants and brown sneakers at the time of the incident. Officers canvassed the area with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (SERIES), 2017-09190018, S. Lynn Street at 18th Street S. At approximately 2:16 a.m. on September 19 police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person looking into cars. Upon arrival, officers canvasing the area located and detained a suspect matching the description provided by the witness. During the course of the investigation, multiple vehicles were located with signs of tampering and items of value missing. Rodre Holloway, 19, of Washington, D.C. was arrested and charged with two counts of grand larceny, one count of petit larceny and three counts of tampering with a vehicle. He was held on $3000 secured bond.

CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT GRAND LARCENY AUTO, 2017-09190037, 1400 block of S. Joyce Street. At approximately 4:40 a.m. on September 19, an officer on patrol observed suspicious activity inside a parked vehicle. As the officer approached the vehicle to investigate, two occupants fled the area on foot. A perimeter was established and a search of the area was conducted with negative results. Two additional suspects were located in a vehicle nearby. Kenneth Pollard, 30, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny Auto. A warrant for Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny Auto was secured for the second suspect.

BRANDISHING, 2017-09180007, 3100 block of 19th Street S. At approximately 12:22 a.m. on September 18, police were dispatched to the report of a larceny of a cell phone. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect had left his cell phone in a cab earlier in the evening. After the driver responded to the location to return the property, the suspect allegedly accused him of stealing his phone and brandished a firearm. The victim was not injured. Jason Yoon, 72, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Brandishing a Firearm. He was held on no bond.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-09180026, 300 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 3:00 a.m. on September 18, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that a suspect approached a male victim from behind and stabbed him multiple times. The victim was transported to G. W. Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as an adult Hispanic male. The investigation is ongoing.

INDECENT EXPOSURE (late), 2017-09150111, 6100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 9:24 a.m. on September 15, police were dispatched to the report of a late indecent exposure. Upon arrival it was determined that between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on September 13, a juvenile male suspect exposed himself to a female victim inside the laundry room of a residential building. The suspect is described as a black male in his teens, about 5’10, wearing a black t-shirt and black shorts. The investigation is ongoing.

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-09160088, 2900 block of 13th Street S. At approximately 8:13 a.m. on September 16, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure. Upon arrival it was determined that a female victim inside a residence observed a male suspect masturbating in the bushes. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 30-40 years old, approximately 5’6-5’7, medium build, with black short hair, a thick black mustache, wearing blue jeans. The area was canvased with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-09130224, 2200 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 5:24 p.m. on September 13, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a restaurant, approached a female victim, placed his arm around her neck and threatened her with a pair of scissors. Witnesses came to the aide of the female victim, intervened and detained the suspect until police arrived. Neal Jesspace, 49, of Jamestown, IN was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held on no bond.

ROBBERY, 2017-09130163, S. Four Mile Run Drive at Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:00 p.m. on September 13, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male victim was approached by a known male suspect who asked him for a beer. When the victim refused, the suspect assaulted the victim and stole the victim’s cash. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 35 – 40 years of age, approximately 5’2″ to 5’4″ in height with a heavy build. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2017-09130220, 6400 block of 16th Street N. Between 3:00 p.m. on September 12 and 4:57 p.m. on September 13, an unknown suspect forced entry into a residence. It was unclear if any items were stolen. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2017-09130129, 6700 block of 25th Street N. Between 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. on September 13, an unknown suspect forced entry into a residence and stole numerous items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2017-09120068, 2300 block of 6th Street S. At approximately 8:29 a.m. on September 12, police responded to the report of a burglary which had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that a female victim was awoken by an unknown noise and upon investigating, she discovered a known suspect inside the residence. The suspect let the scene without any items. Warrants for burglary were obtained.

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Morning Notes

Sixteenth 9/11 Anniversary — A flag was unfurled at the Pentagon this morning as the nation marked the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford were among those expected to attend a ceremony at the Pentagon, honoring the 184 people killed in the attack there. Arlington County also hosted its own remembrance ceremony and is posting recollections from Sept. 11, 2001 on social media. [ABC News, Twitter, Twitter]

Another Police-Impersonation Phone Scam — Local residents are again getting calls from a scammer claiming to be a law enforcement officer, demanding a fine be paid over the phone. As a reminder, police never call on the phone to collect fines. [Twitter]

Arlington 9/11 5K Recap — The 2017 Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K was held in Pentagon City on Saturday evening amid perfect September weather. Among those on hand to address the crowd were Police Chief Jay Farr, County Board Chair Jay Fisette and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. Spotted among the runners: former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who was wearing a Navy t-shirt and was all smiles after the race as the occasional group of fellow runners asked to take a photo with him. [Facebook, Chronotrack]

Park Service May Revamp MVT Boardwalk — As part of a larger improvement project for Theodore Roosevelt Island and the TR Bridge, the National Park Service is considering rehabilitating the nearby, aging boardwalk bridge along the Mount Vernon Trail, which carries bike and pedestrian traffic. [The Wash Cycle]

County Holds Transportation ‘Pop Up’ Event — “Arlington Transportation Partners, the County’s business-to-business transportation outreach organization, held its very first ‘Our Shared Street’ Pop Up festival recently at Arlington Mill Community Center. The late August gathering brought together residents of Columbia Pike with local businesses to highlight Arlingtonians’ many transportation options.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Crash — Earlier this morning, northbound traffic on the George Washington Memorial Parkway was temporarily blocked near the TR Bridge following a multi-vehicle crash. [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

FBI Seeking Man Who Touched Girl at Cemetery — The FBI’s Washington Field Office is searching for a man who “inappropriately touched a girl as the two stood in a crowd during a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.” [NBC Washington]

Task Force Recommends ‘Fleet Elementary’ — The task force charged with recommending a name for the new elementary school being built next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School has settled its choice: “Alice West Fleet Elementary.” Fleet was the first African-American reading teacher in Arlington’s public school system. The task force did not recommend transferring the name of Patrick Henry, a slave owner, from the current school, which will be transferring its students to new new school when it is complete. [InsideNova]

Bicyclist Group Calls Out Biking Bullies — In a blog post, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is calling out aggressive male riders who yelled insults at a female bike commuter on two separate occasions on the Mt. Vernon Trail. “This sort of behavior is totally unacceptable,” the group said. [WABA]

Mt. Vernon Trail Upgrade Complete — The National Park Service has completed an upgrade to a portion of the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs through the Theodore Roosevelt Island parking lot. The upgrade includes a new crossing and speed table across the parking lot and the widening of the trail. [Greater Greater Washington]

Arlington Sells Bonds at Low Interest Rate — Arlington County solds $185 million in bonds at a relatively low 2.5 percent interest rate. “The interest rate we received today is one of the lowest we’ve ever received,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a press release. “However, it is slightly higher than the rate we received last year.” [Arlington County]

Tight Race in Va. Gov. Primary — The two candidates battling it out in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary are in the midst of a tight race. The race between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello is being portrayed as a contest between an establishment figure (Northam) and a progressive darling (Perriello). Primary voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 13. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Demolition at Ballston Common Mall (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Cemetery to Start Screening Visitors — Arlington National Cemetery will begin security screening of visitors and random inspection of vehicles in November. Visitors, particularly those in large groups, are being advised to allow extra time to go through screening. [Dept. of Defense]

Police: Dog Walker Stole from Residents — A dog walker who served clients in Arlington has been charged with stealing from them. Police say 34-year-old Margarita Denison and an accomplice stole valuables from watches to jewelry to baseball cards from homes in Arlington and Fairfax. Denison worked for the dog walking service Time for a Walk, which said it runs background checks and checks references but will be tightening security. [NBC Washington]

NPS Recommends Trail Projects in Arlington — Among the 18 regional trail-related projects recommended by a new National Park Service study are two in Arlington: connecting the Roosevelt Bridge path to the Mt. Vernon Trail, and improving safety at the so-called Intersection of Doom in Rosslyn. [Greater Greater Washington]

ACPD Lauded for Crisis Intervention — A father whose son spit and cursed at police as he was taken into custody in Arlington has written an op-ed to praise the Arlington County Police Department for its crisis intervention training. The father called police after his neurologically-disabled son got drunk and left the house. Officers could have hurt the son and threw him in jail, but instead used the minimum amount of force necessary and took him to a hospital, the man said. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Morning Notes

Rosslyn

Wahlburgers Coming to Ballston — Wahlburgers, the burger chain founded by the show biz Wahlbergs (Mark, Donnie, Paul), is coming to Ballston next year. The eatery will be located near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road. [Washington Post]

SER Expanding to Capitol Hill? — The team behind SER restaurant in Ballston — or, at least, part of the team — is opening a new restaurant on Capitol Hill in the former Sona Creamery and Wine Bar space. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Releases Cause of Derailment — What caused a Metro train to derail near the East Falls Church station on Friday? The transit agency says it was a deteriorated section of track in which the rails became too wide. [Washington Post]

Dark Star Park Day — Yesterday Arlington County held its annual observance of Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn. The public park, built in 1984, is designed to have its shadows line up once a year, on Aug. 1. [Storify]

County Touts Innovation Recognition — Three Arlington County programs have been recognized for innovation from the Virginia Association of Counties. [Arlington County]

Road Rage on a Bike Trail — Road rage isn’t something that only happens with motorists. Occasionally, it happens among cyclists as well, as this story from an incident on the Mt. Vernon Trail demonstrates. [Storify]

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Morning Notes

Wet day in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by lifeinthedistrict)

Patrick Henry Elementary Honored by State — Patrick Henry Elementary School was among 40 schools around the state honored by the Virginia Board of Education for improving the academic performance of economically disadvantaged students. It was named a Highly Distinguished School for exceeding both state and federal benchmarks two years in a row. [WJLA]

Arlington, Falls Church Have State’s Best Jobs Numbers — Arlington and Falls Church tied for the lowest jobless rate in Virginia last month. They both listed a 3.7 percent unemployment rate for September. Arlington’s unemployment rate had been at 4 percent in August. [InsideNova]

Dog Loose at Airport — Among the cases recently handled by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington was a dog loose on the property at Reagan National Airport. The pooch had been reported missing and was reunited with its owner. [Washington Post]

Bike Light and Arm Band Giveaway — All cyclists, runners and walkers who stop by the Crystal City exit of the Mount Vernon Trail tonight from 4:00-6:00 p.m. will receive a free bike light or LED arm/leg band, courtesy of the Crystal City BID. Limit one item per person, while supplies last.

Flickr pool photo by lifeinthedistrict

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Temporary Closure on Portion of Four Mile Run Trail

Four Mile Run trail detour (map via Northern Virginia Regional Commission)A section of the Four Mile Run trail along the Arlington-Alexandria border will be closed periodically until the spring, starting next Monday, December 2.

A portion of the trail near the junction with the Mt. Vernon Trail will close during the day in order to demolish a bridge overhead. Closures will be in place from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The trail will be open on Sundays.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) notes that a detour will be in place for ADA compliance, but it may not be the best option for some trail users, such as bikers. The detour diverts traffic off of the trail and onto the west sidewalk of Jefferson Davis Highway, then across the highway at the S. Glebe Road signal. Those using the detour can reconnect with the trail farther east via new switchback ramps.

The closure and detour should be in place for about six months. Updates will be available via the NVRC website and on the BikeArlington blog.

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One Man’s Homeless Camp Takes VDOT Five Hours, Ten Trucks to Remove

One man’s palatial homeless camp near Rosslyn took VDOT crews five hours to tear down using heavy machinery and numerous dump trucks, WJLA reported.

The camp, located in the woods along the path that leads from the Mt. Vernon Trail to N. Lynn Street, near the Key Bridge, was about half the size of a football field. The camp was reportedly the work of one El Salvadoran immigrant, who spent years building it, eventually adding a makeshift kitchen, bedroom, and living room.

VDOT crews with bulldozers and heavy machinery spent hours tearing the camp down on Monday, after complaints from some passersby, according to WJLA.

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Safety Improvements Coming to GW Parkway

 

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) The National Park Service will be installing a series of safety improvements along the George Washington Parkway, intended to make Memorial Circle and several Mt. Vernon Trail crossings across the parkway less dangerous.

The improvements were announced this morning by Rep. Jim Moran (D). Work on the improvements will start next week and will wrap up by the fall. Among the planned changes, according to Moran’s office:

  • “Replacing many of the directional and regulatory signs in the Circle and on Memorial Bridge”
  • “Installing rumble strips bumps to alert drivers before each of several specific crosswalk areas”
  • “Painting directional arrows, information, and symbols directly onto the pavement to help drivers select proper lanes early”
  • “Moving one crosswalk area from where there are two lanes to where it is only one lane wide”

The announcement comes just three days after a cyclist was struck by a car and injured at a trail crossing just south of Memorial Circle. Several other accidents and close calls have been reported at GW Parkway trail crossings over the past two years.

“It’s a confusing area and unfortunately we have a lot of accidents involving bicyclists and motorists and joggers,” U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Brooks acknowledged earlier this week.

Moran says the changes should help make things safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.

“The health and safety of those commuting to work or simply exercising along the Potomac River should never be threatened due to poor infrastructure planning,” the congressman said in a statement. “I am pleased the National Park Service has agreed to put needed fixes into the trails and roads surrounding Memorial Circle. With the scheduled improvements, tourists, commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists will be able to truly share the road.”

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Changes Proposed for Gravelly Point, Roaches Run

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) The National Park Service is seeking public input on a series of changes proposed for Gravelly Point and the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, which are located along the George Washington Parkway near Crystal City.

The proposed changes, which have been in the works since 2008, are intended primarily to improve access to Roaches Run and reduce trail use conflicts along the Mount Vernon Trail at Gravelly Point. Other changes will “enhance the visitor experience… and enhance the safety of pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists.”

The proposal includes:

  • The addition of a boardwalk/pedestrian trail from the Crystal City pedestrian underpass to Roaches Run
  • A removable, floating boat launch at Roaches Run
  • Either widening the congested trail area at Gravelly Point or building two separate trails — a “through route” and a “pedestrian route”
  • A permanent “waterless restroom” located in the southwest corner of Gravelly Point
  • Converting the dusty, over-used field at Gravelly Point into two rotating fields or one permanent field with either reduced use or more intensive turf management
  • “Interpretive sites” at Gravelly Point that will include “signage detailing cultural and natural histories of the area”
  • Improved landscaping at Gravelly Point that will remove invasive species and “frame parkway views across the Potomac to Washington, D.C. based on historic planting plan”
  • Additional safety features along the Mount Vernon Trail where it parallels the GW Parkway near Reagan National Airport. Safety features may include reflective lines, protective barriers, or protective plantings.

The National Park Service will be holding a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5 to gather input on the options  for the Gravelly Point field and the Mount Vernon Trail safety improvements. The meeting will be held at the Indigo Landing Restaurant on Daingerfield Island, located off of the GW Parkway near Alexandria.

Interested parties can also submit comments via the project website. Comments will be gathered through June 22. There will be another opportunity to comment on the options later this year, after an environmental assessment is released for the project.

Once the environmental assessment is released and final project decisions are made, park planner Thomas Sheffer says it could “take a number of years” until the entire project is complete. The timeline is still very much up in the air, and depends on the project’s ability to receive federal funding. Some work, however, may be completed sooner.

“Smaller actions would be considered for more immediate completion by Parkway work crews,” Sheffer told ARLnow.com.

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Bike/Pedestrian Underpass to Columbia Island Marina Now Open

A bike and pedestrian pathway between the Mt. Vernon Trail and Columbia Island Marina/Lyndon B. Johnson Memorial Grove is now open.

The pathway opened less than two weeks ago. It runs under the new Boundary Channel Humpback Bridge, which carries traffic from the GW Parkway and the Mt. Vernon Trail.

In addition to making Columbia Island safely accessible via the Mt. Vernon Trail, the new underpass allows easier access to the Pentagon’s North Parking Lot. The lot is connected to the LBJ Memorial Grove by an existing wooden pedestrian bridge.

Below are a few photos of the grove and the marina.

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Part of Mt. Vernon Trail Closed Due to Flooding

Part of the Mt. Vernon Trail is closed between Roosevelt Island and the Humpback Bridge due to flooding.

The Potomac River is now covering a low-lying section of the trail. This afternoon ducks and debris could be seen floating where humans can usually be seen exercising.

The National Park Service has placed “trail closed” signs on either side of the flooded portion, but joggers and bicyclists are simply diverting to a narrow dirt path that runs dangerously close to the northbound GW Parkway, which has been the scene of two serious accidents in the past week.

Flooding along the banks of the Potomac has also forced evacuations in Georgetown and the rescue of a group of Boy Scouts near White’s Ferry. A tipster tells us the rescued Boy Scouts are from Arlington, but so far we’ve been unable to confirm that.

More photos after the jump.

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Death Investigation in Roosevelt Island Parking Lot

U.S. Park Police have cordoned off the section of the Mt. Vernon Trail that runs through the Roosevelt Island parking lot due to a death investigation.

Preliminary reports suggest the victim committed suicide with a firearm. Right now it’s unclear whether anybody who was on the busy stretch of trail at the time witnessed the shooting.

The deceased individual’s identity has not been released.

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