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JUST IN: Pedestrian Struck by Car Along Columbia Pike

(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

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After Pedestrian Crash, Neighbors Turn Up the Pressure in Fight for Bluemont Road Improvements

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.

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County Settles Lawsuit Alleging Police Officer Rammed into Pedestrian in Crosswalk

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.

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Morning Notes

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]

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ACPD Investigating Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Columbia Pike

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

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Morning Notes

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]

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Pedestrian Struck on Washington Blvd Near Washington-Lee High School

A 60-year-old man suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being struck by a car on Washington Blvd earlier today (Tuesday) near Washington-Lee High school.

A driver in a white SUV struck the man just before 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Stafford Street. According to scanner traffic, he had a head wound but was conscious, and was attended to by nearby construction workers before police and medics arrived.

Officers from the Arlington County Police Department canvassed witnesses nearby but did not close any roads, and traffic appeared to be flowing as normal.

Washington Blvd has had well-documented issues with pedestrian-vehicle conflicts in recent years, despite various safety improvements being installed. A teen was struck by a car in 2016 at its intersection with N. Utah Street and suffered a serious head injury.

In the aftermath, police stepped up traffic enforcement at the intersection to enforce traffic laws on scofflaw drivers. Still, reports of drivers ignoring pedestrians in the crosswalk continued.

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Wilson Blvd Closed in Ballston After Pedestrian Struck

Police closed the westbound lanes of Wilson Blvd in Ballston after a car struck a pedestrian Friday morning.

The crash happened at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street at around 10:30 a.m. A woman crossing the street was struck by a silver SUV and left unconscious and bleeding from the face, according to scanner traffic.

The SUV had minor damage to its hood. Officers had roads blocked with cars and put out cones as they sealed the accident site and blocked traffic. The victim was transported to the hospital.

Cars heading west were being diverted onto N. Randolph Street from Wilson Blvd. The driver stayed on the scene and was interviewed by officers, clearly upset by what had happened.

Drivers in the area can expect delays.

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In One Clarendon Office, Multiple People Have Been Struck By Cars Recently

Getting hit by a car seems like it would be a rare event, but it’s happened to at least three people who work in one Clarendon office recently.

None of the collisions have resulted in serious injuries, but it is nonetheless remarkable that so many people on one floor — in the MakeOffices coworking space at 3100 Clarendon Blvd — have been struck by cars in the past few months.

Zack Armstrong, who works at MakeOffices and lives nearby, told ARLnow his story. On a Saturday morning late last month, he was running along Washington Blvd near the Giant grocery store in Virginia Square when a woman struck him as he tried to cross the street.

Armstrong said it was only a minor collision, and that the driver stopped immediately, got out of her car and was hyperventilating with the shock of hitting a person. He said he was able to get right back up and walk over.

“I wasn’t really injured,” he said.

Another MakeOffices member who wished to remain anonymous said she was struck by a car and had a near-miss another time, both when she had the right-of-way at crosswalks and within weeks of each other.

The collision happened at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Clarendon Blvd, as a car turned onto N. Highland Street and clipped her as she crossed at the crosswalk. The near-miss happened as a car came too quickly out of the parking lot underneath the 3100 Clarendon Blvd office building as she crossed from beside the building.

A third person who works at MakeOffices was struck by a car in Maryland on Memorial Day, and had to wear a protective boot while her ankle healed.

Nanette Bass said she was crossing at a crosswalk when a car ran a red light and clipped her as she tried to get out of the way. The impact sent her spinning in the air, and she landed on her leg. The car did not stop.

Photos No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 via Google Maps.

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Morning Notes

Two Arlington Men Finish in MCM Top 3 — Arlington residents Desta Morkama and Kieran O’Connor finished first and third, respectively, in the 42nd Marine Corps Marathon yesterday. Al Richmond, the last remaining “Groundpounder” who has run every MCM since it started, kept his streak alive with a 6:48.35 finish. The race, which begins and ends in Arlington, had its start delayed by 10 minutes due to a suspicious package investigation. [RunWashington, Washington Post, NBC Washington]

No Major Incidents at MCM — Other than the short starting delay, no major incidents were reported at this year’s Marine Corps Marathon. Within the county, Arlington law enforcement and the fire department maintained a heavy presence along the course, along with Virginia State Police and other agencies. Arlington school buses were parked at key intersections to prevent anyone from driving onto the course. [Twitter, Facebook, Twitter]

Pedestrian Killed on Memorial Bridge — The Arlington Memorial Bridge was closed for more than three hours Saturday morning after a 47-year-old man was struck and killed by a car on the bridge. The driver remained on scene. Police are seeking additional information about the crash from witnesses. [NBC Washington]

Board Approves Library Renovation Project — Arlington Central Library will be getting $1.7 million in renovations, thanks in large part to a private donation. The Arlington County Board approved the project at its Saturday meeting. Per a press release, the plans include “new meeting rooms, an updated ‘tech-central’ area and a multi-purpose maker lab, a community-based space where people can share knowledge and tools to create together.” [Arlington County]

Roosevelt Memorial Anniversary Event — The National Park Service is holding a family-friendly event on Sunday, Oct. 29 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on Roosevelt Island. The event will feature food including fried chicken and Indian pudding; an address from the former president’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt; a Teddy Roosevelt re-enactor; and a “Teddy Bear story time.” Shuttles will be available from the Pentagon parking lot. [InsideNova]

Library to Launch New Digital Collection — “Arlington Public Library will launch a new digital collection of Arlington women and their achievements in March 2018. The Center for Local History’s (CLH) Community Archives contains many collections pertaining to women’s history and consequently the history of Arlington County.” [Arlington County]

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Morning Notes

Man Struck By Car Near Ballston Metro — A man was struck by a vehicle on Fairfax Drive near the Ballston Metro station yesterday. The incident happened between 5-5:30 p.m. Numerous witnesses immediately called 911 or rushed to the man’s aid. His injuries were reported to be not life threatening. [Twitter, Twitter]

Driverless Car Research Is Legal in Va. — Virginia law does not explicitly ban the kind of “driverless” car research conducted by Virginia Tech on the streets of Clarendon and Courthouse. While the Virginia Tech van was driven by a man in a seat costume, it is also legal to test legitimately self-driving cars in the Commonwealth. [NBC Washington]

Video: Weekend Apartment Fire — The Arlington County Fire Department has posted video of the apartment fire on Columbia Pike over the weekend. A 27-year-old man was arrested and now faces numerous charges in connection with the blaze. [Facebook]

Courthouse-Based Nonprofit Up For National Award – The Organization for Autism Research is one of 15 finalists in the country for a $50,000 prize that recognizes “innovative ideas for engaging people over 50 in improving the lives of vulnerable children and youth.” OAR, based in Courthouse, launched its Hire Autism initiative earlier this year, an online portal to connect adults with autism seeking work and potential employers. Online voting is open through August 31. [Hire Autism]

Nearby: McLean Residents Want New Potomac Span — Civic leaders in McLean are pressuring officials to expedite a new American Legion Bridge span across the Potomac River. The existing bridge is clogged with Beltway traffic, sending congestion onto local streets, residents say. There is an existing proposal to extend Beltway High Occupancy Toll lanes between the Legion bridge and the I-270 spur in Maryland. [InsideNova]

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Barrett Elementary Student Struck By Car In Front of School

(Updated 6/17/17) A Barrett Elementary School student was struck and injured by a driver in front of the school, just after dismissal Friday.

The crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. along N. George Mason Drive. The student was assisted by crossing guards and parents after being struck by the vehicle, before medics arrived.

The student’s injuries are being described as non-life-threatening, but the student was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital and police investigators briefly photographed the scene.

Part of N. George Mason Drive was blocked during the emergency response.

On Saturday, a police spokeswoman said no charges would be filed as a result of the crash.

“The investigation determined that the juvenile entered the intersection of N. George Mason Drive at N. Henderson Road against the traffic signal and was struck by a vehicle,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The driver of the vehicle remained on scene. The juvenile was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No charges are pending.”

Barrett principal Dan Redding sent the following email to parents about the crash.

I am writing to provide information regarding a student pedestrian accident that occurred at dismissal time today, June 16, 2017. A Barrett student was struck by a vehicle at 4th Street and Henderson Street, and Police and EMS responded immediately. The injuries are not life-threatening, and the student has been transported to the hospital for treatment. Police are investigating the accident.

This is an opportunity to remind families to review safety procedures with their children, and to practice them when they walk, bike or ride the bus to school. As always, we are grateful for our amazing crossing guards and for the Barrett families who stopped to provide assistance.

Map via Google Maps

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Pedestrian Struck By Car Near Courthouse

Scene of Presidents Day pedestrian crash (via Google Maps)Arlington County Police investigated a serious pedestrian accident Monday night in the Clarendon-Courthouse area.

A person was struck by a car near the intersection of 10th Street N. and N. Barton Street, just before 9 p.m.

The victim was transported to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to ACPD.

Police remained on scene for several hours to investigate the collision.

Image via Google Maps

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Car Runs Off Road Along Washington Blvd

The driver of a car ran up onto an embankment in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood this morning.

The crash happened around 9:15 a.m. at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Evergreen Street, just west of Ballston. No significant injuries were reported.

Shortly after the crash, a nearby resident emailed ARLnow.com to argue that Arlington County should be doing more to make the intersection safer.

“Residents at the northeast corner of N.Evergreen Street have yet again had a car land in their yard,” wrote Sharon Dorsey. “This is an incredibly dangerous area [with] daily horns blaring when drivers play chicken in the merge lane.”

“Neighbors in and around this area have engaged with a number of agencies within Arlington County over the years to make this safer,” she continued. “Currently, a Neighborhood Conservation project to narrow the mouth Evergreen Street and connect sidewalks is on the books but will not be completed for a number of years… The issue will not be resolved until Arlington County and VDOT work together to restructure the entire intersection, add in turn lanes north and south and remove (or restrict to buses) the eastbound merge lane on Washington Blvd.”

Separately, a crash involving a car and an elderly pedestrian was reported this morning at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Quincy Street. The pedestrian’s injuries were not reported to be life-threatening.

Photos by Samantha Moore

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BREAKING: Road Closed After Pedestrians Struck by Car in Tara-Leeway Heights

Update on 12/14/16 — The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield, said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The victims’ injuries are reported to be non-life-threatening.

“Mother and child struck were walking in the crosswalk,” Savage said, describing the circumstances of the crash. “[The] vehicle driver reported not seeing the pedestrians.”

Earlier: Washington Blvd is currently closed at N. Inglewood Street due to a pedestrian-involved crash.

Initial reports suggest a 40-year-old woman and a child were struck by a car near the intersection, in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood, just after 6:15 p.m. A caller heard the sound of the crash, saw the woman lying in the street, and called 911, according to scanner traffic.

The woman was reported to have a leg injury and was bleeding from the head, while the child was found sitting on the sidewalk. Both were alert and conscious, but the exact extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

The woman and the child were transported via ambulance to Inova Fairfax Hospital. That’s despite the crash happening not far from Virginia Hospital Center, which is considered less equipped to handle serious trauma patients.

Police remain on scene investigating the crash.There is a crosswalk at the intersection, but it’s unclear where the victims were struck.

Traffic is being diverted at N. Harrison Street and at Patrick Henry Drive.

Image via Google Maps

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