Kitten Rescued from Van — ” Caroline Elpers, a deputy animal control officer with Arlington County, responded to a call from a woman on Aug. 15. The woman said she was walking her dog and she’d heard the mewing of a cat coming from the inside of a van parked on the street. ‘Initially, the call stated that the cat was in the van,’ Elpers said, who arrived on the scene around 10 a.m. ‘Once I got there, it was apparent that the cat was underneath the van, running under and into the engine.'” [Patch]
Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Tax Collection — “Over the past year, staff of the Arlington treasurer’s office has been tasked with collecting $997 million in taxes due on real estate and personal property (both vehicles and business property). To date, more than $995 million of it is in hand. Treasurer Carla de la Pava on Aug. 16 confirmed to the Sun Gazette that the county’s tax-delinquency rate for the past year stood at 0.18 percent, a near-record.” [Sun Gazette]
New Faregates Coming to Local Metro Stations — “Work is also underway to replace the faregates at 13 additional stations, with new faregates being phased in as they are completed and ready for service. Eastern Market and Forest Glen are expected to be completed within the next week. That will be followed by the completion of Friendship Heights, Crystal City, Capitol South, the north entrance of Union Station, Arlington Cemetery, National Airport, and Addison Road in the coming weeks.” [WMATA]
New Pro-People Coalition Launches — “The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) partnered with local stakeholders today to launch the ‘People Before Cars’ Coalition to unite area organizations around shared priorities to create a safer and more accessible transportation network in National Landing.” [Press Release]
N. Va. Gov’ts Welcome Afghan Refugees — “The Northern Virginia Regional Commission… issued a statement regarding regional refugee resettlement on Tuesday. ‘Citizens of Northern Virginia are following with great concern and compassion the evacuation of Afghan refugees by the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and civilian agencies,’ the statement read. ‘We welcome our new neighbors and wish them much success as they transition to a new life here in the region and across the United States.'” [Prince William Times, Twitter]
N. Va. School System Goes Virtual Only — “Rappahannock County Public Schools on Monday announced that the schools will switch to virtual learning for the remainder of the week while officials work to create a new system to mitigate spread of COVID-19 as the virus has created a flurry of cases within the schools since the academic year began… Officials said a high number of flu cases reported in the schools was also taken into account when deciding the closure.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler
Pupatella Gets Millions for Expansion — “Arlington’s own Pupatella pizza restaurant chain has raised $7.5 million to continue its growth spurt, with plans to open more more than a dozen restaurants in the coming years. The round was fully subscribed and had participation from almost all of the investors who participated in the company’s first round in 2018, when it raised $3.75 million.” [Washington Business Journal]
Steel from WTC Donated to Arlington — “Two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center will now be on permanent display in D.C. and Virginia ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The words ‘never forget’ are written on the front of a piece of steel beam unveiled during a ceremony in front of the Arlington County Police Officer Memorial on Sunday.” [WTOP]
Crystal City Getting Cooler? — “Nearly three years after Amazon announced it would be bringing its second headquarters to Arlington — and specifically to ‘National Landing,’ a name conjured by local officials to sell the area as a tech hub — its reputation may be changing.” [Washington Post]
Food Scrap Caddy Being Delivered — “With Arlington’s weekly food scraps collection program launching next month, a County-provided countertop caddy, instructions and even introductory biodegradable bags will be delivered to curbside customer homes beginning this week.” [Arlington County]
Fire Engine Involved in Crash — “An Arlington fire engine was involved in a crash at the intersection of 18th Street S. and S. Fern Street this morning around 9:30. No firefighters were injured. One person in the second vehicle involved was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay, per an ACFD spokesman.” [Twitter]
CPRO to Mark 35th Anniversary — “As the group’s 35th anniversary looms on the horizon this fall, the recent annual meeting of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) was a chance to take stock of tumultuous times and fly the organization’s flag in the march toward the future.” [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Poetry Book — “I picked up a copy of the ‘Written in Arlington: Poems of Arlington, Virginia’ edited by Katherine E. Young, our poet laureate emerita. Published quietly last fall during the pandemic, it showcases storytelling via 150 poems by 87 poets who ‘live, work, study, worship in or simply pass through… and in so doing, make Arlington their own,’ Young explains. She nodded to famous Arlington-based poets — George Washington Parke Custis, Doors singer Jim Morrison, and Zitkala-Sa.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Monday, July 12
Beginning Fencing Class*
Nova Fencing and Archery Club (3501 Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 6-7 p.m.
The Nova Fencing & Archery Club is offering an introduction to the Olympic sport of fencing. The class is aimed at ages 7-12 and meets twice a week for four weeks.
Tuesday, July 13
Coffee Breaks at Summer House
National Landing’s Gateway Green (101 12th Street S.)
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Local coffee shops are coming together to serve morning cold brews at Gateway Green in Crystal City. Parking is available at 201 12th Street S.
Thursday, July 15
Arlington Chamber of Commerce Business After Business
WHINO (4238 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 5-7 p.m.
The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a networking event with food, beer, wine and soft drinks. The event will also have an opportunity to win door prizes and a cash jackpot for members only. Member registration is $25, and registration for non-members is $35.
Community Meeting: Crystal City to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Multimodal Connector (CC2DCA) Study
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation are hosting a meeting to discuss providing a multimodal connection between Crystal City and National Airport. The connection could help meet the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and people using micro-mobility devices, as well as providing a connection between the airport and the VRE station and the Mount Vernon Trail. Input can be submitted online.
Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway)
Time: 7-10 p.m.
The Rosslyn BID is partnering with American Pops Orchestra to host Rosslyn LIVE! The outdoor performances will focus on over-the-top, campy fun. Tickets are $10 per person. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Arlington Public School Choirs and will benefit improvements at Gateway Park.
Friday, July 16
9th Street Chamber Music Launch Party
St. George’s Episcopal Church (915 N. Oakland Street)
Time: 5-9 p.m.
New professional string quartet 9th Street Chamber Music is hosting a launch party on the lawn at St. George’s Episcopal Church. The event is free and open to all, and will include live music by the quartet. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
Saturday, July 17
Tuckahoe Park Invasive Removal
Tuckahoe Park (6550 25th Street N.)
Time: 10 a.m.-Noon
Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive plants from Tuckahoe Park. Helpers are asked to bring sturdy clothes, gloves, hat, sunscreen and bug spray. The group will meet on July 17 and August 21.
* Denotes sponsored listing
Big Changes Proposed for Shirlington — “A proposal to re-imagine the streets of Shirlington is being put forward. Last July, the Arlington County Board approved mixed-use rezoning for nearly ten acres of the Village at Shirlington. Now, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) is putting forth a vision to transform the streetscape throughout the area… Campbell Avenue will be the focal point for these improvements, updated with patterned pavers and interactive sculptures.” [UrbanTurf]
Yorktown Soccer in State Final — “Somewhere in the mess of bodies, Patriots senior Gibson Lusk poked the ball into the net. It gave Yorktown a lead for good and punctuated the full turnaround of a game that started slow and sloppy for the Patriots. Now, they are headed to the Virginia Class 6 title game after a 3-1 victory Monday.” [Washington Post]
Huske Reacts to Olympic Qualification — “In her first on-camera interview since returning from Omaha, Torri talked with 7News sports anchor Scott Abraham about her incredible journey to the Olympic Games. ‘At first it was very overwhelming, I feel like it’s just so unbelievable that this would happen to me of all people,’ Huske told Abraham… ‘I never thought I would be in this position and it’s really weird to think that some little kid looks up to you.'” [WJLA]
Feds Off Hook, But ACPD Still Being Sued — “A federal judge has dismissed multiple claims filed by protesters and civil liberties groups after law enforcement forcefully cleared demonstrators from Lafayette Square Park ahead of Donald Trump’s infamous photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church last summer…. The judge did allow litigation to proceed against D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department and Arlington County Police, however.” [DCist]
Amazon Donated Antiracism Books to APS — “The emails show Amazon employees reached out to Arlington Public Schools as part of ‘NeighborGood,’ a program to donate $100,000 to schools and other institutions that ’empower black voices and serve black communities.’ Despite Amazon’s offer to purchase Kindles or other equipment, Arlington Public Schools director of diversity and inclusion Arron Gregory requested copies of [Ibram X.] Kendi’s Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. Amazon donated between 500-600 copies of the book to Wakefield High School and paid $10,000 to have Kendi’s coauthor Jason Reynolds address students.” [Washington Free Beacon]
Crystal City Metro Mural Finalists Selected — “Six visual artists have been chosen as finalists to paint a new mural at the Crystal City Metro Plaza, according to a release from the National Landing Business Improvement District (BID). The BID put a call out in May for individual artists or teams of artists to submit their credentials by June 1 so judges could determine if they had the experience and the chops to tackle the project.” [Patch, National Landing BID]
Memories of a Local Cicada Expert — “Ann thought of Allard recently because of one of his favorite subjects: the periodical cicada. She hadn’t realized he was an expert in Brood X. Then she found his 1937 paper in the American Naturalist journal. Ann posted her memories on Facebook’s ‘I grew up in Arlington, VA’ page and was surprised at how many other people from the neighborhood remembered the old scientist.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
It’s official: The Virginia Department of Transportation recommends turning Route 1, which is elevated over 12th, 15th and 18th streets, into an at-grade urban boulevard.
“An at-grade configuration for Route 1 provides most desirable characteristics that meet the multimodal and community vision for National Landing,” according to presentation materials from a virtual VDOT meeting Wednesday.
The news caps off one year of study, but is not much of a surprise, as the at-grade solution seemed to emerge as the likely recommendation over the last few months despite some concerns about it being more dangerous for pedestrians. But the newest version appears to take into account concerns among some over the number of lanes, pedestrian safety, and the possibility of traffic overflow onto local streets.
The surface-level Route 1 that VDOT envisions would have wide buffered sidewalks on both sides, six to seven narrowed travel lanes, a 30-mph speed limit, wide crosswalks for pedestrians and bicycles, landscaping and medians with pedestrian refuges.
That is a few lanes fewer than the nine-lane option for the intersection with 15th Street S. that VDOT floated earlier this year. Last night’s presentation said eight- and nine-lane options are “not conducive for pedestrians or the vision for Crystal City.”
According to the presentation, however, even these improvements will not significant reduce crashes and increase pedestrian safety, increase transit effectiveness, or reduce vehicle traffic along an at-grade Route 1.
VDOT indicated two things will be needed to make an at-grade Route 1 safer. First is a travel demand management (TDM) strategy to bring down traffic levels. Second, and in response to public comments, the department said it will consider a separated pedestrian crossing over or under Route 1 at 18th Street S.
A “comprehensive and effective TDM strategy that reduces traffic volumes 20% to 30% below existing volumes” will “reduce future congestion and future diversion of traffic to local and regional roads,” according to the presentation materials.
The pedestrian crossing study would look at cost, aesthetics, use, construction feasibility, maintenance and accessibility, the presentation said. Possibilities for grade-separated crossings include a pedestrian underpass, a tunnel connection to the Crystal City underground, or a pedestrian bridge over Route 1.
Both the TDM and pedestrian crossing proposals will be explored in a second phase of the study. The next phase will likely further examine the department’s third recommendation — based on a concept requested by Arlington County staff — to allow all turns at 15th Street S. but no left turns at 18th Street S., near the Crystal City Metro station.
Realizing the urban boulevard vision could cost $180 million, which is less than the $260 million VDOT projects would be needed to create a split-level highway for through-traffic and local traffic, as envisioned in the ten-year-old Crystal City Sector Plan.
The National Landing Business Improvement District has been a champion of turning Route 1 into an urban boulevard. It recently released renderings of a road transformed by protected bike lanes, pedestrian refuges and prominent sidewalks, as part of a new campaign, “People Before Cars,” which has featured outdoor signs and public advocacy.
The state transportation department is accepting public comments on these recommendations through July 12. A draft report will come out in August and a final report in September.
“Summer House,” a colorful, beach-themed outdoor workspace and social spot, debuted today in Crystal City.
This nostalgic neon installation, sponsored by the National Landing Business Improvement District, is located at 101 12th Street S., a grassy area near Long Bridge Park. The pop-up open space was the site of a BID-funded art installation earlier this year and is slated to be redeveloped as an office building.
The National Landing BID held a dry-run yesterday (Tuesday) with Pride-themed margaritas, a DJ and food trucks. Similar experiences will continue all summer long so locals can work and play outdoors.
National Landing BID President and Executive Director Tracy Sayegh Gabriel said the idea of Summer House was “to celebrate this moment where we’re all ready to be done with COVID and to enjoy being together again.”
During the day, people can take advantage of remote-work essentials such as standing desks and WiFi. After work, the National Landing BID envisions the area transforming into a gathering place for locals, with food and drink provided by local businesses including The Freshman, which recently opened, and Peruvian Brothers.
Gabriel said the BID welcomes any local small businesses looking for extra exposure to come and present what they have to offer in the new space.
Additionally, the BID will host weekly events throughout August such as tie-dyeing, yoga and happy hours.
“I think we’re all done with staring at a computer screen,” Gabriel said. “This is a real-life way to interact and bring a little color, bring a little joy, bring a little summer into people’s lives.”‘
Photos courtesy Daniel Swartz
Thursday, June 10
Local historian Martin Suydam will provide a look at the Frasers, one of the lesser known “founding families” or Arlington. The event is sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society and is free to the public.
Friday, June 11
Fridays at the Fountain
Crystal City Water Park (1601 Crystal Drive)
Time: 5-8 p.m.
The National Landing BID is continuing its summer event series Fridays at the Fountain this Friday with a band called Run For Cover and the Peruvian Brothers food stand. Due to COVID restrictions, there will be strict attendance caps in place and pre-registration will be required to attend. Children under two do not need a ticket. There will be no standing room and masks will be required at all times when not seated.
Saturday, June 12
Arlington Bunny Hop
Bluemont Park (601 N. Manchester Street)
Time: 8-11 a.m.
Clarendon United Methodist Church is hosting its annual Arlington Bunny Hop to raise funding for Bridges to Independence and OAR (Offender Aid and Restoration). Runners of all skill levels and ages are invited.
Arlington Rose Foundation Summer Care Clinic
Bon Air Memorial Rose Garden (850 N. Lexington Street)
Time: 9-11 a.m.
The Arlington Rose Foundation is hosting a free clinic to education locals about caring for their roses, including discussions about blackspots, spider mites, midges and more. Attendees should bring their bypass pruners, garden shoes, and a hat.
Stuff the Truck 2021
Calvary United Methodist Church (2315 S. Grant Street)
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Calvary United Methodist Church is collecting food and supplies for Chirilagua residents in Alexandria still grappling with food and housing insecurity in the wake of COVID-19. The goal this weekend is to fill a 20-foot truck with the items most needed.
George Washington’s Forest Guided History Walk
Ball-Seller’s House (5620 3rd Street S.)
Time: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
A local historian from the Arlington Historical Society will lead guided tours of property in Arlington purchased by George Washington in 1775. The tour will include stops at the Ball-Sellers House, survey markers used by Washington in 1785, a historic spring, and a mill built by Washington’s step-grandson. Maps will be provided but attendees are encouraged to bring good walking shoes, weather-appropriate attire, and water.
Cherry Trees Planted in Pentagon City — “We are so excited to be celebrating with @CherryBlossFest and @amazon the planting of 12 Japanese Cherry Trees in #NationalLanding! Thank you for these beautiful new additions to the area!” [Twitter]
Renderings of Possible DCA Bridge — “JBG Smith Properties isn’t waiting to envision the future. In a video released to investors this month, the company showed off some 3D renderings of what a pedestrian bridge could look like, complete with some features that have not yet been showcased publicly for the project. There’s a small set of amphitheater-like steps for lounging on the bridge, for instance, plus some futuristic-looking coverings for people walking along the structure. There even appear to be bike lanes and greenery pictured at points along the bridge.” [Washington Business Journal, Vimeo]
Arrests in Malicious Wounding Case — “Officers located the vehicle the suspects were traveling in and conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of eastbound Route 50 and N. Courthouse Road… Inside the vehicle, officers recovered three loaded firearms including a black handgun with extended magazine, AR-15 style rifle and a shotgun.” [ACPD]
County 911 Center Administrator Honored — “The Virginia Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (VA APCO) has honored Arlington’s Emergency Communications Center (ECC) Deputy Administrator Jeffrey Horwitz with its Public-Safety Communications Information Technologist of the Year award.” [Arlington County]
Feds May Permanently Expand Telework — “As the Biden administration contemplates how to return the massive federal workforce to the office, government officials are moving to make a pandemic experiment permanent by allowing more employees than ever to work from home — a sweeping cultural change that would have been unthinkable a year ago.” [Washington Post, Washingtonian]
Virtual Chamber Ensemble Performance — “The National Chamber Ensemble will present a virtual performance of Vivaldi’s masterpiece The Four Seasons on May 29, 2021. The 2020-21 NCE season has been keeping the audience and artists safe as well as connected. Each concert is paired with a live virtual event/conversation with the artists. Taped May 22, the concert links will go out on May 29.” [Event Calendar]
(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) New renderings from the National Landing Business Improvement District explore what Route 1 would look like if it were surface-level.
These images of protected bike lanes, pedestrian refuges and prominent crosswalks are part of a campaign the BID launched this week touting the benefits of transforming the highway — which is elevated over 12th, 15th and 18th streets — into an at-grade urban boulevard.
“People Before Cars” aims to advocate “for the implementation of best practices in urban street design and highway-to-boulevard conversions,” according to the BID.
The new campaign builds on “Reimagining Route 1,” a report it released last year envisioning the highway as a leafy, vibrant urban boulevard. Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Transportation is wrapping up a study of how to improve the thoroughfare, which will likely involve making it surface-level.
“The improvement of Route 1 has been a huge priority for the collective community and was even featured in the historic negotiations that brought Amazon’s HQ2 to the area — further cementing its importance in the overall repositioning of National Landing,” said Jay Corbalis, Vice President of Public Affairs for JBG Smith, the largest property owner in the area.
More than half of Arlington residents surveyed by VDOT said Route 1 is not safe, easy or effective to use. About 45% of respondents said cyclists face dangers in the area and 64% want more protected bike lanes.
By 2040, conditions could be worse for drivers, who could experience heavy traffic at snail-like speeds during the morning rush hour, as the National Landing area and the region continues to grow, VDOT projects. Area employment by then is expected to double while the population is expected to grow nearly 50%.
The competing priorities of keeping traffic moving while making the corridor more attractive and safe is a tough balancing act for VDOT, and the BID is pushing a less car-centric approach.
The BID recommends shortening pedestrian crossings, narrowing vehicle travel lanes, dedicating spaces for all modes of transportation and automating traffic enforcement. It also suggests adding lush landscaping, public art and wider sidewalks. Growth does not necessarily equate to more traffic, the BID argues.
“As our area experiences an influx of new residents and workers in the coming years — a population that is anticipated to favor walking and biking as means of transit over cars — we must do all we can to ensure that Route 1 can safely and effectively serve the needs of our growing community,” said Tracy Sayegh Gabriel, President and Executive Director of the National Landing BID.
According to the campaign, traffic fell by 18% between 2000 and 2018, despite 67% population growth during that time. One-quarter of households in National Landing do not have cars, and the number of cars passing through National Landing dropped from 61,000 in 2005 to 47,000 in 2019, the BID says.
Still, JBG Smith and the BID have raised concerns that VDOT still views Route 1 as a highway where drivers are prioritized, the Washington Business Journal reported, after the department previewed a vision of Route 1 that included nine at-grade vehicle lanes at the intersection with 15th Street S.
That worry is shared by some others, who also question whether crossing the road at-grade is safer than the current underpasses.
The trees and vaporware bike lanes are pretty, but this isn't safer than what's at 18th Street S now. It just isn't. Is that #VisionZero plan we passed on Saturday already shelved? pic.twitter.com/mmSs0Kgmfk
— Car-Free HQ2 (@CarFreeHQ2) May 18, 2021
VDOT is slated to issue a new report on possible improvements this summer. A virtual public meeting will be held Wednesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County and local events being held online. If you’d like your event considered, fill out the event submission form to submit it to our event calendar.
Tuesday, May 18
Anxiety, Isolation And Hopelessness: The Pandemic Mental Health Crisis
Via Zoom or Facebook
Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.
WAMU host Kojo Nnamdi will be part of a round-table discussion with a panel of experts to discuss the state of mental health in the wake of the pandemic. Kojo and the panel of experts will discuss the effects of COVID-19 on mental health and what can be done to get people the needed help.
Thursday, May 20
The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is celebrating its 35th year with a virtual luncheon to discuss how far the Pike has come as a community and the progress still being made. A donation to the organization is required for registration, with optional amounts of $35, $50 and $89.
Saturday, May 22
National Landing Farmers Market
Metropolitan Park (1330 S Fair Street)
Time: 8 a.m.-Noon
The National Landing BID is launching a weekly farmers’ market in Pentagon City every Saturday, offering a variety of meat, eggs, and produce options. The markets start this Saturday and will run through July 31.
Troop 647 May Drive-Through Scouting for Food
Church of the Covenant (2666 Military Road)
Time: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Troop 647 is pushing to reach a goal of raising 8,000 pounds of food by June. Over 5,000 has been raised since November and the Troop is hoping to make a big push for unopened canned or packages of dry food at an event this Saturday. Scouts will be at the church to receive the donation then box it and take it to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event.
Ballston Company’s IPO Soars — “Privia Health Group, which provides technology and services to physician practices, began trading Thursday on the Nasdaq and saw its share price jump in early trading — and stay there. Shares closed at $34.75 per share, up 51 percent from its opening share price of $23, with just over 10 million shares traded.” [Crunchbase]
Ambulance Crash in N. Arlington — “Crash involving an ambulance (not ACFD) at Old Dominion Drive & Lorcom Lane. @ArlingtonVaFD & @ArlingtonVAPD on the scene.” [Twitter]
New Hire for County Retirement System — “After a nationwide search, the Arlington County Employees’ Retirement System (ACERS) has selected Susie Ardeshir as Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer. The appointment is effective July 6, 2021. Ms. Ardeshir has more than 15 years of investment management experience. Before joining ACERS, she was the investments director at a public university system in California.” [Arlington County]
Grants to Nat’l Landing Merchants — “The National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) teamed up with Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) to provide $100,000 in relief funding to 30 businesses as part of their “Love Local” campaign. Funds are allocated evenly across the eligible National Landing establishments to help cover necessary operator-related expenses including rent and employee wages.” [Press Release]
VHC Doc, Nurses Honored — “Virginia Hospital Center… is pleased to announce Michael Silverman, MD, FACEP, chair of emergency medicine, was recently selected as one of five 2020 Facility Medical Directors of the Year by Alteon Health [and] five members of the nursing team were selected by Washingtonian Magazine to receive Excellence in Nursing Awards.” [Press Release]