County Officials Defend Amazon FOIA Deal — “The Arlington government’s top attorney says there’s nothing improper about part of the county’s incentive deal with Amazon that gives the company notice of Virginia Freedom of Information Act filings related to the agreement.” [InsideNova]
Pedestrian Struck in Virginia Square — Police, firefighters responded to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Wilson Blvd at N. Oakland Street Tuesday morning. The vehicle was turning and struck the pedestrian, who suffered minor injuries, we’re told. In Arlington, pedestrian-involved crashes like this are common, occurring almost every day, though most — like this incident — result in non-life-threatening injuries to the victim. [Twitter]
Smoke Fills Lee Highway Building — Firefighters responded to an under-construction commercial building on the 5800 block of Lee Highway yesterday afternoon to investigate smoke in the building. It was determined that the smoke came from a malfunctioning HVAC unit. [Twitter]
A driver struck a woman with their car while she was crossing the G.W. Parkway just south of the Arlington Memorial Bridge yesterday (Thursday), in what’s long been a troublesome stretch of road for pedestrians.
The woman was in the middle of a crosswalk just south of the bridge at the time of the incident, according to U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado.
The crash happened around 11 a.m. yesterday, and the woman suffered “non-life threatening injuries,” Delgado said.
Police believe that the right lane of traffic had stopped for the woman, but a vehicle in the left lane didn’t, Delgado added. Arlington Fire Department spokesman Ben O’Bryant said the woman was conscious when first responders arrived, and she was transported to a local hospital “in good condition.”
The stretch of the parkway leading up to the bridge has often been the scene of dangerous crashes involving pedestrians. Officials estimate that the area saw approximately 600 crashes between 2006 and 2012 alone.
Park officials are even in the process of weighing a variety of changes along the parkway and the nearby Memorial Circle to make them a bit safer for pedestrians.
In fact, some of the potential improvements would target crosswalks on the parkway south of the bridge, like making them a bit more visible for drivers or even narrowing the parkway to one lane as it approaches crosswalks.
Photo via Google Maps
Update on 1/11/19 — The victim was an 83-year-old Arlington man, police announced today.
The pedestrian has been identified as Maynard Thaxter, 83, of Arlington, VA. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police continue to seek witnesses and ask that anyone with additional information contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] 703-228-4159. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Original article: A man has been struck and killed by a vehicle on Route 50.
The crash happened around 10:15 a.m. on the westbound lanes of Route 50 at N. Manchester Street, near the western end of Arlington County.
Traffic camera images showed a man lying motionless, face down in the street and bleeding from the head, while a man kneeled beside him, holding a phone. A Jeep could be seen stopped in the left-hand lane behind the victim; it is unclear whether that is the vehicle that struck the man and whether the man on the phone was the driver or a passerby.
Later, a white sheet was placed over the body.
All lanes of Route 50 are blocked and are being diverted onto N. Manchester. The closure is expected to last an extended period of time while police investigate the crash.
Update at 2 p.m. — The westbound lanes of Route 50 have reopened.
Update at 2:25 p.m. — Police have issued the following press release about the fatal crash.
The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Tuesday, January 8 at the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and N. Manchester Street. At approximately 10:18 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in the westbound lanes of Arlington Boulevard. Members of the Critical Accident Team responded to the scene and are conducting an ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash.
The pedestrian, an adult male, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the pedestrian is being withheld pending proper identification and notification of next of kin. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.
Police are seeking witnesses to the crash and ask that anyone with additional information related to this investigation contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] or 703-228-4159. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477)
Editor’s note: Readers may find some of the images in the photo gallery above disturbing.
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) An apparent out-of-control driver struck an electronic sign and a light pole, which then toppled onto a stroller, at a busy Clarendon intersection Friday afternoon.
The crash happened shortly after 2 p.m. at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and Washington Blvd, which is currently under construction as part of the Clarendon Circle intersection improvement project. Tire tracks are visible on the road where the driver entered the intersection before coming to a stop across from Asiatique restaurant.
Three pedestrians, including two children, were evaluated for injuries, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant. Neither the pedestrians nor the driver were transported to the hospital.
The driver was cited by police, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
“It was determined the driver of the striking vehicle was traveling on Wilson Boulevard when he attempted to merge into another lane to avoid construction. As he was doing so, the driver allegedly struck another vehicle, struck two construction signboards and hit a light pole causing it to fall,” she said. “Medics evaluated multiple people on scene but no serious injuries were reported. The driver remained on scene and was cited with failure to maintain proper control of the vehicle.”
The westbound lanes of Wilson Blvd approaching the crash scene were blocked for a period of time, but have since reopened.
County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the crash happened around 6:30 a.m. today near the intersection of Jefferson Davis Highway and 23rd Street S.
Savage said a vehicle struck the pedestrian, who was transported to a local hospital with “non-life threatening injuries.”
A tipster told ARLnow that the vehicle in question was a landscaping truck.
Based on the initial investigation, police do not believe the pedestrian was in the crosswalk at the time of the crash. Savage said the investigation is still ongoing.
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The driver of a dump truck who allegedly struck a woman pushing a stroller in a Rosslyn intersection yesterday (Thursday) is now facing criminal charges.
Arlington Police announced today (Friday) that they’re charging 63-year-old John Washington of Silver Spring, Maryland with reckless driving and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk in connection with the crash.
The incident happened around the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive around 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Police believe the woman was crossing the street with a child in a stroller when the truck driver struck her.
She was taken to the hospital with “serious but non-life threatening injuries,” though police say she was able to maneuver the stroller out of the way before the crash, and the child was not hurt.
Washington will face his first hearing on those charges on Monday (Dec. 17), according to county police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a crash in Rosslyn involving a dump truck and a woman who was pushing a stroller.
The crash happened around 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Lee Highway and Ft. Myer Drive. According to a police spokeswoman, a female pedestrian was struck by a dump truck and suffered serious — but at this point non-life-threatening — injuries. The woman was pushing a stroller at the time but the child was not injured, police said.
The victim was rushed to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital. Detectives are on scene investigating, as is standard procedure for crashes involving very serious injuries.
All lanes of eastbound Lee Highway were previously blocked at N. Nash Street, but have since reopened. Police have moved the investigation onto N. Lynn Street, closing two lanes on that road. Major backups have been reported on the Key Bridge and Ft. Myer Drive approaching Rosslyn.
Road closures are expected to remain in place “for a significant amount of time” while officers investigate the cause of the crash, according to Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
Police were dispatched at 9:26 a.m. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. The pedestrian was transported with serious but non-life threatening injuries. Police remain on scene investigating.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 13, 2018
INCIDENT: Fire and Police Activity
LOCATION: EB Lee Hwy at Nash
IMPACT: The two right lanes of EB Lee Hwy have reopened. Officers are still on scene directing traffic. Use caution and follow police direction. pic.twitter.com/4VBoe0EspU
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) December 13, 2018
A woman was struck by a car and suffered serious injuries as she crossed the street in Westover earlier this month, convincing neighbors of the urgent need for safety improvements in the area.
County police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that a pedestrian was in the middle of a crosswalk along the 5900 block of Washington Boulevard around 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, when a vehicle ran into her. The area is home popular businesses like the Westover Beer Garden and the Italian Store.
Savage says the woman was “transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.” Police also issued a warning summons to the driver “for failure to yield the pedestrian right-of-way,” but otherwise didn’t pursue criminal charges.
Stephanie Gordon, who lives right behind the scene of the incident on N. Lancaster Street, says she remembers seeing the immediate aftermath of the crash. She subsequently learned that the woman who was struck is one of her neighbors: Virginia Fairbrother, a 30-year Westover resident.
Fortunately, Gordon says she’s since heard that Fairbrother has been released from the hospital and is recovering from her injuries. But the crash only underscores her conviction that the Westover area desperately needs some traffic and pedestrian safety changes.
“Westover is a bit of a valley, so cars can pick up speed either way as they’re driving,” Gordon said. “I feel bad for both drivers and pedestrians, because I don’t think drivers, even if they want to stop, are aware of a crosswalk there. A lot of times cars just speed through and won’t even see you.”
Gordon says her father, another Westover resident, brought some of these concerns to the county more than a year ago, but the neighborhood still hasn’t seen many changes.
She’d much rather see more reflective crosswalks installed on Washington Boulevard, or perhaps improvements to the “dinky little signs” marking the pedestrian crossings. The county is currently planning on some improvements as the road runs between Westover and East Falls Church, including some new bike lanes, additional pedestrian crossings and clearer markings for existing crossings. Transportation officials have spent the past year collecting traffic data on the area, with plans to implement those in the coming months.
Gordon would also be in favor of the county dropping the speed limit to 25 miles per hour down from the current 30, and hopes that this latest crash will spur Arlington officials to examine that possibility in particular.
“My neighbors and I have been saying for a while that it was just a matter of time before someone was hit by a car crossing Washington Blvd,” Gordon said. “It’s just crazy that it’s so fast, when people are frequently walking across the street.”
Photo via Google Maps
Still No Answers About Ghaisar Shooting — Tuesday was the one year anniversary of the death of Bijan Ghaisar, who was shot by U.S. Park Police officers. Thus far, Arlington County has declined to release the recording or transcript of 911 calls connected to the case. [WUSA 9]
Spotted: Beto and TMZ at DCA — Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who narrowly lost his nationally-followed electoral challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), was seen being interviewed by a TMZ producer outside of Reagan National Airport yesterday. [Twitter]
Chamber: Keep Dillon Rule — “As part of its 2019 package of legislative priorities, the [Arlington] Chamber of Commerce is continuing its belief that the ‘Dillon Rule‘ needs to be maintained, and urged members of the General Assembly to do nothing that would lessen it.” [InsideNova]
Ballston Booster Saves Dozen Dogs — Ballston BID chief Tina Leone has “rescued more than 200 dogs from around the world, and brought a dozen more to Northern Virginia on Monday.” [Patch]
Nearby: Pedestrian’s Foot Run Over Along W&OD Trail — Last week at a road crossing of the W&OD Trail in Falls Church, “a black or gray sedan of unknown make failed to yield to a pedestrian on the sidewalk, ran over their foot, and failed to stop at the scene.” [City of Falls Church]
Flickr pool photo by Duluoz Me
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) A pedestrian was struck by a taxi cab in a crosswalk along a busy section of Columbia Pike, per scanner traffic.
The incident happened around 3 p.m. today (Tuesday), near the the intersection of the pike and S. Walter Reed Drive, just near the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.
County police spokeswoman Kirby Clark said the pedestrian “suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital.”
She added the driver was cited for “failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.”
Photo courtesy of @karaokemookie
After a man was struck by a car in the middle of a Bluemont intersection, some of his neighbors see new urgency for their years-long effort to force the county to improve conditions for pedestrians in the area.
County police say Eric Larsen was crossing N. Carlin Springs Road near its intersection with N. Edison Street early in the morning last Monday (July 16), when a car slammed into him. Larsen was taken to George Washington University hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and neighbors say he’s still recovering from some broken bones caused by the crash.
Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage says “charges are pending” against the driver, but people living in the area see the intersection’s design deficiencies as the real cause of the crash.
Lora Strine, who lives in the Arlington Forest neighborhood nearby, says her citizens’ association has pressed the county for changes in the area going back to at least 2016. She points out that Carlin Springs is a popular option for walkers looking to reach the Ballston Metro, as Larsen was at the time of the accident, or even the Safeway near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive.
Yet Strine says the area lacks clearly marked crosswalks or traffic calming measures to slow drivers, particularly on such a wide road, and she can’t understand why it’s taken the county so long to address the issue.
“This accident is not really an accident,” Strine told ARLnow. “It’s really been years in the making.”
Arlington officials point out that they’re hardly ignoring the area, however.
County transportation spokesman Eric Balliet says workers plan to install a flashing sign that can be activated by pedestrians crossing Carlin Springs near the road’s intersection with N. Harrison Street, just a few blocks from the Larsen crash. That signal should be in place as soon as next month.
Balliet added that the county is also planning some curb extensions and crosswalk improvements all along Carlin Springs, leading up to Edison Street, with work set to start in the spring of 2019 and wrap up the following year.
But Strine feels that’s far too long for the neighborhood to wait, and managed to secure a meeting with county staff and County Board member John Vihstadt to make that argument.
Vihstadt says “the jury is still out” in terms of how, exactly, the Board might be able to speed up the construction, though he certainly agrees with Strine’s assessment of the intersection. He’s spent the last year or so working with Arlington Forest residents on the issue, and he sees a need for the county to act quickly, as development in Ballston continues to ramp up and bring people to the area.
“That’s an awful long time to wait for these measures,” Vihstadt said. said. “I don’t find that acceptable at all.”
At the very least, Vihstadt hopes to see the county beef up the webpage displaying details about the road improvements to keep neighbors better informed.
But even if Vihstadt can successfully convince officials to speed up construction, Strine worries that the work won’t actually slow cars speeding along Carlin Springs. She’d much rather see an additional stop light in the area, or even a stop sign, to bring speeds down.
“They’re wasting time and money by making changes that we know aren’t going to work,” Strine said. “These are just incremental changes: another Band-Aid, as one of my neighbors said.”
While county officials are confident that their planned changes will indeed slow passing cars, Vihstadt agreed that he wants to see the county do more to take into account “context-specific considerations” raised by neighbors about local road projects.
Overall, he lamented that this latest community clash is indicative of a pattern he’s seen all around Arlington in recent years, and provides a clear example of how the county still struggles to balance traffic congestion and pedestrian safety.
“While we like to say that our public policies like ‘the car-free diet‘ are having a positive impact on Arlington traffic, and I think they are, a lot of neighborhoods don’t yet feel that way,” Vihstadt said.
Arlington County is paying out $97,000 to settle a lawsuit from a woman alleging that a police officer struck her with a car while she was in the middle of a crosswalk near Rosslyn.
The County Board voted unanimously to approve a settlement agreement last Wednesday (July 18) with Samantha Birr, an Arlington resident who filed suit seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages in circuit court in December 2017. The Board discussed the matter in closed session, and did not reveal additional details of the settlement ahead of its vote.
Birr had claimed that she suffered serious injuries stemming from a crash that took place on Jan. 13, 2015. She alleged that Marling Montenegro, then a county police officer, slammed into her with a police vehicle as she attempted to cross Lee Highway near where it intersects with N. Veitch Street, just past the MOM’s Organic Market.
Montenegro’s lawyers insisted in legal filings that she did nothing wrong, asserting that Birr was equally at fault for the accident, yet the county’s settlement averts the need for a trial on the matter that was originally scheduled to start Wednesday (July 25).
County attorney Steve MacIsaac was not immediately available for comment on the settlement, but county police spokesman Ashley Savage told ARLnow that Montenegro is no longer with the department. Savage added that the county commissioned an “internal administrative” investigation of the matter, but declined to share the results, citing privacy considerations.
Birr declined to discuss the settlement, and her attorney did not respond to a request for comment on the case. But, in legal documents, Birr’s attorney claimed that the incident “significantly affected [her] liveliness and livelihood.”
The lawsuit claims that Birr was heading home from her Rosslyn office immediately before the crash, walking west on a sidewalk along Lee Highway. As she turned right to cross the highway, she says Montenegro suddenly turned right off of N. Veitch Street, striking her on her left side.
“The impact knocked Ms. Birr onto the hood of [Montenegro’s] vehicle, where Ms. Birr’s left elbow smashed into and cracked the vehicle’s windshield,” Birr’s attorney wrote in the suit. “Ms. Birr rolled off the hood of the vehicle and fell onto the ground.”
Birr claims that she had a “walk” sign from a nearby crosswalk signal at the time, and said that Montenegro “did not stop, slow down or yield” for her. Additionally, she says that Montenegro did not have her lights flashing and was not responding to an emergency at the time, a fact that Montenegro’s lawyers conceded.
Birr’s attorney claimed she “sustained serious and continuing injuries to her elbow, arm and hand, including nerve damage, chronic pain, numbness and decreased sensation in and use of various body parts” as a result of the crash, necessitating surgery.
Accordingly, the suit alleged two different counts of negligence against Montenegro, and demanded $350,000 in damages stemming from each one.
Montenegro’s attorneys pushed back on all of those accusations in a Jan. 19 filing, even asking to have the suit dismissed in its entirety. However, a judge denied that motion in a May 18 hearing, setting up the trial that was eventually averted by the county’s settlement.
Police Searching for I-66 Wrong-Way Driver — Police are still looking for the driver who crashed into another vehicle while driving the wrong way on I-66 near Rosslyn early Sunday morning, after being chased by a uniformed Secret Service officer who spotted the car driving the wrong way in D.C. [Fox 5, WTOP, Twitter]
Vehicle Crashes into House in Barcroft — A vehicle that was driven into the side of a house in the Barcroft neighborhood Sunday morning caused only minor damage to the building, according to the fire department. [Twitter]
Truck Brings Down Power Lines in Long Branch Creek — “Downed power lines caused around 1,000 customers to lose power in Arlington County on Saturday. Dominion Power said a truck ‘snagged’ the lines and broke two of the power poles around 8:15 a.m. It also damaged some vehicles in the area.” [WJLA]
Runner Struck By Car Hopes to Run Marathon — A local runner who was struck by a car while running recently hopes to run the Marine Corps Marathon in the fall despite suffering two broken bones in her foot. [Twitter]
Projects to Transform Crystal City — Six major transportation projects “will play a significant role in transforming the Crystal City area in the coming years.” [Bisnow]
Arlington Teens Arrested in Ocean City — Three teens from Arlington were arrested in Ocean City, Maryland after they pulled over to ask police officers about parking in the area and the officers “immediately recognized the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.” They searched the car and found “roughly a half a pound of marijuana along with prescription drugs, methamphetamine, brass knuckles, an assisted opening knife and several items of drug paraphernalia,” plus “a full face mask in the vehicle [and] a .25 caliber handgun.” [The Dispatch]
Dems Still Distributing Print Newsletter — Print may be waning as a medium, but the Arlington County Democratic Committee is still going all-in on its printed campaign newsletter, “The Messenger.” The party is recruiting more than 400 volunteers to distribute the newsletter to homes throughout the county. [InsideNova]
The pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Columbia Pike Monday morning died from his injuries, Arlington County Police said Tuesday afternoon.
Police are still investigating the crash, according to ACPD. The victim has been identified as 44-year-old Arlington resident Jay Thoman.
More from a press release:
The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Monday, April 30 at the intersection of Columbia Pike at S. Queen Street. At approximately 7:08 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle. Members of the Crash Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and are conducting an ongoing and active investigation.
The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. The victim was transported to George Washington University Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced deceased.
The identity of the pedestrian is being withheld pending proper identification.
Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to contact Detective Johnson at [email protected] or 703-228-4193. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).
Photo via Google Maps
Pedestrian Hit, in Critical Condition — Police closed a ramp to Washington Blvd and southbound I-395 during a portion of the Monday morning rush after a vehicle hit a pedestrian in the area of Columbia Pike and Queen Street. The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. [WJLA, WTOP]
Woman With Cerebral Palsy Finishes First Marathon — Arlington resident Jamie Watts has completed her first marathon, finishing the New Jersey Marathon in 14 hours and 33 minutes. Watts, 36, has cerebral palsy and started participating in races a few years ago to get in shape for a family trip. She has since worked her way up to half marathons and now a full 26.2 miles. [WUSA 9]
Homebuyers’ Cost Per Square Foot Increases — Arlington homebuyers’ cost per square foot increased by 3.6% during the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same time last year. Those buying homes within the county paid a median $462 per square foot, which is more than in any other Northern Virginia jurisdiction. [InsideNova]
Taekwondo Legend Dies in Arlington — “Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, the man known as the ‘father of American Taekwondo,’ died Monday after a long illness. He was 86. His son, Chun Rhee, said his father died in hospice care in Arlington, Virginia.” [Associated Press]
Cinco De Mayo Options in Arlington — Ragtime, Pamplona and Bar Bao are a few of the Arlington options for celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby this weekend. [Eater]