Buses to Use I-66 Shoulder — Buses will be allowed to use the shoulder lane on I-66 inside the Beltway during heavy traffic, starting next month. VDOT is launching the program as a way to relieve some congestion and improve the on-time performance of bus routes that utilize the traffic-choked corridor. [Washington Post]
Parkmobile Now Available in Courthouse, Rosslyn — Arlington County has completed the implementation of the Parkmobile parking payment system for the Courthouse and Rosslyn neighborhoods, ahead of schedule. [Twitter]
KickStarter Launches for ‘Wearable’ Project — A Kickstarter fundraising campaign has started for a local startup company featured on ARLnow.com last month. OnYou is planning to produce a wearable compression sleeve and carbon case for smartphones. Worn primarily during workouts, the product uses powerful magnets to attach the phone and case to the sleeve. The product was designed by a former professional poker player and prototyped here in Arlington. [Kickstarter]
Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash Returns — DC 101’s Elliot in the Morning will be back in Arlington for the show’s annual Halloween bash. The costume party will be held starting at 8:00 p.m. on Halloween — Friday, Oct. 31 — at Clarendon Ballroom. A $3,000 grand prize is being offered for best costume. [Clarendon Nights]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn — It’s Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn. Today commemorates the 30th anniversary of the park, which is designed to cast shadows that align with the art installation once a year, on Aug. 1. Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette is expected to speak at a celebration at the park, at 1655 Fort Myer Drive, starting at 9:00 a.m. [Rosslyn BID, Ode Street Tribune]
Roads to Close for Signature Open House — Part of Campbell Avenue in Shirlington will be closed from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Saturday for the annual Signature Theatre open house. The event runs from noon to 10:00 p.m. and features numerous singing and theater performances, including a “Signature Idol competition.” [Signature Theatre, Arlington County]
Finding Love on Metro — Metro is D.C.’s most popular location for missed romantic connections. “There seems to be quite a lot of flirting, or at least furtive glancing, taking place on public transportation,” states the county’s Mobility Lab blog. As evidence of that, the blog interviewed Mary Rouleau, executive director of the Arlington-based Alliance for Housing Solutions, who met her husband while waiting for an Orange Line train. [Mobility Lab]
Library Seeks LEGO Creations — Arlington Public Library is seeking original creations for its 2nd annual LEGO exhibit. The exhibit is open to LEGO builders age 18 and under, and teams featuring at least one under 18 member. [Arlington Public Library]
Arlington Parkmobile Video — Arlington County has created a video showcasing its new partnership with Parkmobile, the smartphone app that allows you to pay for parking without feeding a meter. The service is currently available in Crystal City and Shirlington, and will be expanding to other parts of the county over the next 9 months or so. [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) Officials cut a ceremonial ribbon in Crystal City this morning to celebrate the Arlington launch of the mobile parking app Parkmobile.
At the ceremony in front of Charlie Chiang’s Restaurant, county Director of Transportation Dennis Leach and Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette spoke about Parkmobile’s partnership with the county and the convenience Parkmobile will bring to residents. Parkmobile debuted in Crystal City on July 18 and in Shirlington July 17.
“People are not shy about embracing new things here,” Leach said. “I believe we’ve had 1,500 transactions so far this week in Arlington.”
Parkmobile’s mobile parking apps are available with iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry smartphones. The county said it plans to bring Parkmobile to Arlington’s other corridors in phases, with Pentagon City in the fall, and Ballston and Clarendon by the winter. By spring 2015, Courthouse, Rosslyn, Columbia Pike and the rest of Arlington’s 5,329 metered spots are planned to have Parkmobile.
“It’s all about making it easier,” Leach told ARLnow.com this morning. “I take transit, I walk and I bike almost everywhere, but I can appreciate it for all the residents, workers and visitors who may need to drive. If I were to drive, this is a great app.”
All drivers need in order to register is a smartphone, a credit card and their license plate number, although paying at traditional meters or pay-and-display meters is still an option. Parkmobile has been in use in the District since 2010.
“Over the last 10, 20, 30 years there has been quite an amazing metamorphosis and transition here in Arlington,” Fisette said. “You have a seamless system between the District of Columbia and Arlington with a single app, just like you can take your Capital Bikeshare across the river.”
Fisette said that Parkmobile is important for Arlington and its place in the regional economy. Parkmobile became available city-wide in D.C. in 2011 and collects 56 percent of the District’s parking revenue, according to Parkmobile CEO Cherie Fuzzell. Through mists of rain at the ribbon cutting, Fuzzell and Crystal City Business Improvement District President Angela Fox also spoke of the app’s benefits.
“Parkmobile is a great solution not only for consumers, but also for the county,” Fuzzell said. “They have had a 20 percent increase in their parking revenue. Why? Because people pay if you make it easier to pay.”
Fox said Parkmobile is a perfect service to have in Crystal City because it’s in keeping with the area’s focus on accessible transportation.
“We have this original neighborhood that’s metro oriented with an airport you can walk to,” Fox said. “Anything that builds on that base of accessibility, we get excited about.”