Commuters to, and through, Arlington from Northern Virginia’s western suburbs will soon have a new bus option.
The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, commonly known as PRTC, is starting up a new bus route to connect Haymarket to stops along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Starting Dec. 17, buses will stop at four locations in Haymarket, including a soon-to-be-completed commuter parking lot, and five stops in Arlington.
The new “OmniRide” route, approved by PRTC’s governing board earlier this month, will provide the first direct link between western Prince William County and Arlington’s urban core. PRTC currently runs buses connecting Woodbridge to Rosslyn, Ballston and Crystal City (and one route linking Gainesville to the Pentagon), but commuters along I-66 previously had to hop on Metro or another bus to reach the area.
“New routes always start with four trips in the mornings and four trips in the afternoons/evenings, and this route will follow that pattern,” PRTC spokeswoman Christine Rodrigo wrote in an email. “As ridership grows, additional morning and afternoon/evening trips can be added.”
Stops in Arlington will include:
- The intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Taylor Street, near the Ballston Metro station
- The intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Kansas Street, near George Mason University’s campus
- The intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Herndon Street, near the Clarendon Metro station
- The intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Veitch Street, near the Courthouse Metro station
- The intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Kent Street, near the Rosslyn Metro station
Del. Danica Roem (D-13th District) expects that the new bus route will be incredibly meaningful for her constituents in her western Prince William district — so much so that she says she was “over-the-moon ecstatic” when she heard the news that the route was becoming a reality.
Not only does she expect it will help Haymarket residents commuting to the Pentagon or other jobs around Arlington, but she sees plenty of local benefits too. The PRTC bus will provide yet another option for people traveling between Rosslyn and Ballston, and could ease some of the relentless traffic pressure on I-66 around Arlington.
“Arlington and Prince William County don’t exist in a vacuum without each other,” Roem told ARLnow. “We are connected. My constituents routinely work in and commute through Arlington. And Arlington relies on our highly skilled workers, just as they rely on Arlington to provide them with high-paying jobs to make those long commutes worth it… so I’m hoping this linking bus will enhance our connectivity, not just in terms of mass transit, but also in encouraging stronger working relationships between eastern Northern Virginia and western Northern Virginia. We need to realize we really are in this together.”
With no small degree of pride, Roem notes that the new bus route wouldn’t be possible had the General Assembly not acted to set a floor on the region’s gas tax this year, providing a stable source of funding for PRTC for the first time in years. Without that provision, included in the sweeping deal to provide dedicated funding for Metro, Roem expects PRTC wouldn’t have been able to afford the Haymarket-Arlington connection until next September.
However, she notes that new money will only get the new route “off the ground,” not fund it in perpetuity. Money from the I-66 tolls will eventually help keep the service running, but PRTC will still need to scrounge up additional funds until the toll money arrives, according to the transit service’s documents.
Even still, Roem has every confidence that PRTC will find a way to make the math work, especially because she fully expects to be popular among riders. She notes that many commuter lots in western Prince William are already thoroughly overcrowded, so there should be a constituency for the new route right away.
Additionally, Roem notes that Arlington Transit plans to honor PRTC’s tickets, allowing riders to easily connect from Rosslyn and Ballston to the Pentagon, or even Crystal City.
“Now, you’ve got yourself a commute connecting Haymarket all the way to the Pentagon,” Roem said. “And with Amazon coming in, we’re going to need a lot more mass transit going out to Crystal City. This is a small step in that direction.”
The Marine Corps Marathon returns to Arlington next Sunday (Oct. 28), likely bringing over 30,000 runners to Arlington and a resulting tangle of road closures and transportation changes.
The opening ceremonies for the marathon will be held at 6 a.m., followed by the wheelchair and handcycle race starting at 7:40 a.m. Races will continue throughout the day until 3:10 p.m. Award celebrations are scheduled to continue until 9:30 p.m.
Street parking near the race will be restricted and motorists should keep an eye out for temporary “No Parking” signs. Use of rideshare and public transportation is encouraged.
Metrorail will open at 6 a.m. for the race, two hours early, and run extra Blue and Yellow line trains. The closest stop to the race will be the Pentagon station, which will be exit-only until 8:30 a.m.
According to an Arlington County press release, the following roads will be closed for the race.
3:00 AM-5:30 PM Marshall Drive from N. Meade Street to Route 110
3:00 AM-5:30 PM N. Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Lynn Street
3:00 AM-6:00 PM Route 110 from I-66 to Jefferson Davis Highway
3:00 AM-6:00 PM Wilson Boulevard from N. Nash Street to Route 110
3:00 AM-6:00 PM Lynn Street from N. Meade Street to Lee Highway
3:00 AM-6:00 PM Fort Myer Drive from N. Meade Street to Lee Highway
3:00 AM-6:00 PM N. Moore Street from Wilson Boulevard to Lee Highway
3:00 AM-6:00 PM 19th Street N. from Lynn Street to N. Nash Street
3:00 AM-4:00 PM Route 110 ramp from Washington Blvd. to Pentagon North parking
6:00 AM-12:00 PM Lee Highway (eastbound) from Lynn Street to Kirkwood Road
6:00 AM-12:00 PM Spout Run Parkway from southbound George Washington
Memorial Parkway (GWMP) to Lee Highway
6:00 AM-12:00 PM GWMP from Spout Run to Memorial Circle Drive
6:00 AM-12:00 PM Francis Scott Key Bridge (all lanes)
6:00 AM-2:00 PM HOV lanes from 14th Street SW to HOV ramp at S. Eads Street
5:00 AM-4:30 PM S. Eads Street from S. Rotary Road to Army Navy Drive
5:00 AM-4:30 PM Army Navy Drive from S. Fern Street to 12th Street S.
6:00 AM-10:00 AM 15th Street S. from Crystal Drive to S. Eads Street
6:00 AM-4:00 PM 12th Street S. from Army Navy Drive to Crystal Drive
6:00 AM-4:00 PM Crystal Drive from 12th Street S. to 23rd Street S.
6:00 AM-4:00 PM Longbridge Drive from 12th Street S. to I-395
3:00 AM-5:00 PM Boundary Channel Drive from I-395 to Pentagon North Parking
3:00 AM-5:00 PM Washington Blvd. from Columbia Pike to Memorial Circle
(southbound lanes will reopen at approximately 9:30 AM)
A map of the course, as well as additional race information, can be found at the Marine Corps Marathon website.
Tens of thousands of runners will flock to the streets of Arlington and D.C. Sunday for the Army Ten-Miler race, with a changed-up course that will prompt a slew of road closures.
The 10-mile race starts and ends at the Pentagon. The course will guide participants along Washington Blvd into Rosslyn, then across the Key Bridge into the District, before they return to Arlington via I-395.
This marks the first year the course won’t include the Arlington Memorial Bridge, due to substantial renovations, in the race’s 34-year history.
County police are warning drivers of an extensive list of road closures, which include the following:
- Route 110 between Rosslyn and Crystal City will close in both directions beginning at 5:00 a.m. and will remain closed until approximately 2:00 p.m. Motorists can use the George Washington Memorial Parkway as an alternative route. There will be no access to southbound Route 110 from N. Marshall Drive. The public may access Arlington National Cemetery from N. Marshall Drive.
- I-66 westbound from Washington D.C. to N. Nash Street will close from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Motorists can use the George Washington Memorial Parkway or Route 50 as an alternative route.
- Lee Highway westbound at N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway eastbound at N. Lynn Street will close from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- The Francis Scott Key Memorial Bridge will close in both direction with no vehicular access from approximately 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- I-395 HOV northbound from Crystal City to the 14th Street Bridge will close at 6:00 a.m.
- S. Eads Street from Army Navy Drive into the Pentagon/northbound I-395 HOV lanes will close at 5:00 a.m.
- I-395 southbound HOV exit to S. Eads Street/Pentagon south parking lot will close at 5:00 a.m.
- Route 27 in both directions from George Washington Memorial Parkway to I-395 will close from 7:00 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Army Navy Drive from S. Eads Street to S. 12th Street will close from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- 12th Street from S. Eads Street to Long Bridge Drive will close from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Long Bridge Drive will close from S. 12th Street to Boundary Channel Drive from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Police hope to re-open all of these roads, except Washington Blvd, by 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Pentagon’s north parking lot will be restricted to authorized vehicles only between 4:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Pentagon employees and memorial visitors will be able to use the south parking lot.
Police are encouraging race participants and attendees to use Metro to reach the race, as the rail service will open an hour early, at 7 a.m. The race has also designated a drop-off point for rideshare drivers at the intersection of S. 12th Street and S. Hayes Street.
Participants in wheelchairs and “Wounded Warriors” will start the race at 7:50 a.m., with subsequent waves of runners following soon afterward.
Organizers expect to attract as many as 35,000 participants and 900 teams. Full details on the new course and other logistics are available on the race’s website.
Pentagon Ricin Case Update — “Letters sent to the White House and the Pentagon did not contain a finished form of ricin, law enforcement officials said Wednesday, but did contain a primitive form or precursor… A man was arrested in Logan, Utah, on Wednesday in connection with [the] suspicious letters.” [NBC News, NBC News]
Candidates Call for Speedier Lee Highway Planning — “Indications are pointing to redevelopment of significant portions of the Lee Highway corridor through Arlington beginning to gather steam. But is the Arlington County government going to be left behind as the process grinds on? The two candidates for County Board say the local government needs to get moving on its efforts to lead a comprehensive effort in helping plan the corridor’s future.” [InsideNova]
GMU ‘No Scooter Zone’ Nixed — George Mason University “recognizes the popularity of the scooters, so it is softening the message, [spokesman Buzz] McClain said. ‘I think the ‘no scooter zone’ sign got the attention of a lot of people, a little exclamatory. So we’re gonna tone down the messaging and say, ‘park the scooters over by the bikes,’ and that’s it.'” [NBC Washington]
Tonight: Family Film Showing in Clarendon — “Join Market Common Clarendon each Thursday in October starting at 6:30 p.m. for a FREE family-friendly movie on The Loop! Pre-movie fun begins at 4:30 with face painting and balloon twisting and free popcorn and candy from 6-8 p.m.” [ARLnow Events]
Teachers Endorse Kanninen, de Ferranti — The Arlington Education Association PAC has endorsed Democratic candidate Matt de Ferranti for Arlington County Board and incumbent Barbara Kanninen for School Board. The PAC represents Arlington teachers. [Twitter, Twitter, Arlington Education Association]
Domestic Violence Awareness Month Kickoff — “Project PEACE is hosting Kate Ranta, a local domestic and gun violence survivor… for a community conversation about sex, violence and the Arlington community. The event takes place [on] Thursday, October 4 [at] 6:30 p.m., at the Walter Reed Community Center.” [Press Release]
Arlington’s Pros and Cons Compared to Tysons — “‘Arlington has old office spaces with bad floor plans,’ said [GMU Professor Stephen] Fuller. ‘That’s sending people out to Tysons, which has newer office space… [But] when Amazon was looking at Northern Virginia, they were looking at Crystal City, not Tysons. Tysons just doesn’t offer lifestyle that they’re looking for.'” [Tysons Reporter]
Department of Defense officials have told local and national news outlets that the packages were addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Admiral John Richarson, but never made it inside the Pentagon itself. The mail center is located on the building’s campus, but not inside the Pentagon.
The FBI will take the lead in the investigation, officials told reporters. No word yet on how much of the poison was discovered, or if anyone came in contact with it.
DEVELOPING: Pentagon: At least 2 packages at Defense Dept. mail processing center at Pentagon campus are suspected to contain ricin; FBI is taking lead of investigation. – @MoshehNBC
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 2, 2018
The Pentagon's Central Processing Center is located on the Pentagon compound, but not directly attached to the main building. Packages never entered the building. More TK… 2/2
— Elizabeth McLaughlin (@Elizabeth_McLau) October 2, 2018
Justin Tirelli is currently an Arlington County Fire Department captain, but 17 years ago he was a rookie firefighter in the ACFD ranks.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Tirelli was responding to a fire call in Rosslyn when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the west side of the Pentagon. As his engine company was diverted to join the massive and heroic emergency response to the terror attack, Tirelli and his fellow firefighters focused on the task at hand — not realizing that it would change them and the community they served forever.
In this special episode of the 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Tirelli about what it was like to be a first responder at the Pentagon on that fateful day.
Screenshots via @ReadyArlington
Civic Federation Holds Candidate Forum — The unofficial kickoff to the local fall campaign season took place on Tuesday: the Arlington County Civic Federation candidate forum. Contenders for County Board, School Board and Congress squared off in front of a standing-room-only audience at Virginia Hospital Center’s auditorium. [InsideNova, InsideNova, Blue Virginia]
Drug Take-Back Boxes Deemed a Success — “In June, Arlington County installed three permanent drug take-back boxes to address a crucial public safety and public health crisis facing communities across the country – prescription drug abuse. In the first three months of the program, the public safely disposed of 407 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications. Due to the success of the program, the police department is exploring expanding the program.” [Arlington County]
New Commuter Store Opens — A new Arlington Commuter Store opened at the Pentagon on Tuesday, near bus bays 7 and 8. [Commuter Page]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Construction on the Arlington Memorial Bridge has convinced organizers of the Army Ten-Miler race to change up its course, marking the first time in the race’s 34-year history that participants won’t cross the bridge.
The 10-mile road race, set for Sunday, Oct. 7, starts and finishes at the Pentagon. Since 1985, the race has directed participants along the Memorial Bridge to reach D.C., but with rehab work necessitating a series of traffic disruptions in the area, organizers announced today (Wednesday) that they’re opting for a few changes to the course.
Now, runners will start on Route 110 and continue into Rosslyn, using the Key Bridge to cross into the District.
Then, competitors will turn onto the Whitehurst Freeway and use the Rock Creek Parkway to eventually pick up last year’s course near the Lincoln Memorial.
“This year’s modified course will reduce congestion within the first two miles and allow the runners the opportunity to settle into their pace,” Race Director Jim Vandak wrote in a statement. “We believe our 35,000 registered runners will be pleased and the changes will improve the runners’ experience.”
Participants in wheelchairs and “Wounded Warriors” will start the race at 7:50 a.m., with subsequent waves of runners following soon afterward. All participants must maintain a 15-minute-per-mile pace or better, complete the entire course, and finish the race within two-and-a-half hours to receive an official race time and results.
Organizers estimate that they attract 35,000 participants and 900 teams each year. Full details on the new course and other logistics are available on the race’s website.
Local Leaders Brace for White Supremacist Rally Sunday — “Unite the Right 2,” stemming from last year’s violent demonstration in Charlottesville, comes to D.C. this weekend. Counter-protesters are are set to greet participants, who plan to march from the Foggy Bottom Metro station to Lafayette Park. D.C. and Virginia officials alike have heightened emergency precautions, particularly around Metro stations, as rally participants plan to ride from Vienna into the city. [WTOP]
Federal Court Rejects Airplane Noise Appeal — Some D.C. residents suing over noise generated by Reagan National Airport, a contentious issue among Arlingtonians as well, now have only the U.S. Supreme Court to turn to, after an appeals court tossed out their case last month. Maryland’s attorney general is pursuing a similar case, targeting noise from BWI. [Washington Post]
El Salvadorian Residents Face an Uncertain Future — The Trump administration’s decision to rescind “temporary protected status” for immigrants from El Salvador means that many who’ve settled around Northern Virginia and D.C. are left wondering what comes next. [Washington City Paper]
Korean War Veteran’s Belongings Return to Arlington — Nearly 68 years after an Army medic disappeared in North Korea, the Pentagon arranged an emotional reunion with some of his possessions for his family at a Crystal City hotel. [Washington Post]
Photo via @thelastfc
Arlington Has Some of the Oldest First-Time Mothers Nationwide — A new analysis suggests that the average Arlingtonian mother has her first child at 31, putting the county sixth in the nation in terms of the oldest average age. Falls Church ranks fourth. [New York Times]
Arlington Planetarium Faces Temporary Closure — The facility could be closed for a year or more in 2020-2021, as the school system renovates the Education Center to allow for more high school seats. [InsideNova]
Pentagon City Rescue — Firefighters rescued an injured worker from a rooftop near the 400 block of 11th Street S. The worker suffered non-life threatening injuries. [Twitter]
Pentagon Set to Ban Fitness Trackers — Military and other DoD personnel soon won’t be able to take their Fitbits onto bases or other secure facilities, or even use step-tracking apps or other GPS functions on their phones. [WTOP]
Back to School at Barcroft Elementary — The school welcomed students and teachers back to class Monday (Aug. 7). Barcroft offers a “modified” calendar, reducing the summer break but not eliminating it. [Twitter, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo via wolfkann
Very little about the effort to build an aquatics center at Long Bridge Park has ever been easy — and that includes the project’s long-awaited groundbreaking.
Mother Nature had one last obstacle in store for county leaders as they gathered to finally turn some dirt at Long Bridge, delivering a formidable deluge that thoroughly soaked the construction site ahead of Tuesday’s ceremonial start to construction.
Yet even as the rain turned the ground to mush and tested the limits of attendees’ umbrellas, Arlington officials pressed on with a celebration of a project that’s been decades in the making.
“This project has endured worse than a little rain,” joked County Board Chair Katie Cristol.
Voters approved funding for the project in a 2012 bond referendum, but major cost overruns prompted county leaders to delay the facility’s construction two years later, and it quickly became a hot-button issue in that year’s local elections.
After a lengthy process of scaling back the project’s scope, and reducing its cost, the Board signed off on its construction last fall — but even still, some in the community would rather see it pushed back once more as the county wrestles with a budget dilemma.
Those are all big reasons why Jay Fisette, who served on the Board for 20 years, compared the project to a church in Barcelona, Spain that’s been under construction since 1882. Toby Smith, a local activist who helped lead the Long Bridge Park planning process, added that he “can measure the project’s length by the height of my kids.”
“It’s fair to say I did have doubts over the years, even as the community was largely still behind it,” Fisette told ARLnow. “It wasn’t clear every moment that it was going to happen… but groundbreaking helps it become eminently real.”
Fisette remembers some delays prompted when planners working to design the park, which opened across from the Pentagon in 2011, decided to shift where the aquatics center would be located within Long Bridge. He also puts some of the blame for the project’s long timeline on himself, recalling his insistence that the facility meet the new energy efficiency standards he fought to impose for county buildings.
“It was never expected to happen quickly,” Fisette said. “Good things sometimes take a long time.”
Still, Cristol lamented that it was “bittersweet” that the county would break ground on the project without Carrie Johnson around to see it. As one of the county’s longest tenured planning commissioners, Johnson played a key role in shepherding the entire Long Bridge Park project through the process, but she passed away this May.
“Years down the road, we’ll all be thanking Carrie Johnson for this,” Smith said.
But for all the project’s long history, Cristol points out that many of Arlington’s new arrivals are only now learning about aquatics center. She feels Long Bridge is as much about the county’s future as its past, and she hopes the upcoming construction work “will give people a chance to learn about what will be coming here.”
Work is set to wrap up in 2021, with a 50-meter pool, diving towers, a family pool and a series of additional park improvements on tap for the area by the time it’s completed.
So even if the project required some long nights, a few headaches and one last morning in the rain, Fisette feels it was all worth the effort.
“This area used to be an invisible place,” Fisette said. “It was a wasteland, where you’d only come if your car got towed. This is going to transform it into a vibrant community amenity.”
Watch out for some delays along the S. Washington Blvd bridge near the Pentagon tonight (Thursday).
The Virginia Department of Transportation says workers will be shifting the two westbound lanes to left, closer to the middle of the road, from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. They’re advising drivers to avoid the area, near the Pentagon’s north parking lots, or prepare to encounter some backups.
VDOT adds that the shift is to “allow for railing and pedestrian fence installation along the west side of the bridge deck,” as work on the renovation project nears its end. Construction has been ongoing since 2015, and VDOT hopes to have it wrapped up by sometime this fall.
The County Board recently asked state officials for permission to name the newly renovated bridge “Arlington Veterans Bridge.”
Photo via VDOT
Construction around one of the Pentagon’s parking lots kicking off this week could produce some big headaches for drivers and bus riders alike.
Starting this morning (Monday), work will shut down the west side of S. Eads Street from Army Navy Drive to where it nears the Pentagon’s south parking lot at S. Rotary Road.
That will shift both northbound and southbound traffic to the east side of the street. In the mornings, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., that will cut off access to I-395’s northbound HOV lanes and Army Navy Drive from S. Rotary Road. Crews will post a detour and drivers should follow signs. In the same time period, access to northbound S. Eads Street from the right lane of S. Rotary Road will be reserved for anyone heading for I-395’s southbound HOV lanes.
Construction will include “median reconfiguration, road widening, pavement and drainage work,” according to VDOT, prompting some major traffic snarls.
“As current traffic volume along Eads Street is near capacity during peak periods, we expect significant traffic congestion and delays along Eads Street,” VDOT wrote in an advisory. “Periodic nighttime/weekend closures may also take place to complete the construction activities.”
VDOT is recommending that drivers looking to reach the I-395 HOV lanes during the construction to use the ramps near the Pentagon’s north parking lots at Boundary Channel Drive instead.
Arlington Transit is also warning bus riders looking to reach the Pentagon to expect “significant delays for ART buses entering and exiting” the facility’s lots. ART plans to issue service advisories as needed.
VDOT says work will shift to the east side of S. Eads Street sometime this fall, then last for an additional two months. The construction is included as part of the broader project focused on the I-395 express lanes.
Photo via VDOT
(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) Transportation planners have nearly finalized designs for a long-awaited effort to overhaul Virginia’s only railroad connection to D.C.
Officials from Virginia, D.C. and an alphabet soup’s worth of federal agencies have spent years working on plans to replace the Long Bridge — which runs roughly parallel to the 14th Street Bridge — and improve rail capacity over the Potomac River.
Officials say they are almost ready to commit to more concrete plans to guide the redesign. The project still needs millions of dollars in funding to move ahead, and construction wouldn’t start until 2020 at the earliest, yet planners are pushing to have engineering and environmental analyses drawn up by summer 2019.
State rail officials told the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission at a meeting last night (June 7) that they’ve managed to narrow down a long list of alternatives for replacing the bridge, which stretches from near the Pentagon in Arlington to Southwest D.C., to two final possibilities.
Both plans involve building a new, two-track bridge alongside the existing structure, which was first built back in 1904. One alternative calls for the current bridge to stay in place; the other would involve fully replacing it.
Either way, officials believe the project is critical for initiatives like ramping up Virginia Railway Express and Amtrak service between Virginia and the District.
“It is really a bridge of national significance,” Jennifer Mitchell, the director of the state’s Department of Rail and Public Transportation, told the commission. “It carries a tremendous amount of traffic with commuters that would otherwise be on I-66 or 395.”
Doug Allen, the CEO of VRE, stressed that increasing rail capacity across the Potomac will be particularly critical for his trains. Commercial freight trains from the company CSX, which owns the bridge, often have to compete with commuter trains for space on the tracks, and Mitchell suggested that running a second bridge alongside the Long Bridge would help avoid that sort of conflict.
“For us to be able to add more service to our trains, we need to add more tracks there,” Allen said.
But even with so many people invested in seeing the project finished, Mitchell was sure to note that the whole effort is “very complex.” The bridge stretches just past historic resources like the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, not to mention other, “sensitive areas dealing with security” in D.C. itself, Allen said.
The project will also require extensive conversations about how exactly officials can include bike and pedestrian options alongside the new bridge, a key point of concern for Arlington’s representatives on the commission.
Allen noted that officials are considering two options for bike and pedestrian crossings that would not be attached to the Long Bridge, running closer to the bridge for Metro trains nearby, but still included in the overall project. But he said planners could decide to add bike and pedestrian options on the new bridge itself, though he did note that could prompt some “security concerns.”
Whichever option officials choose, Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol urged Allen to keep bicyclists, walkers and runners in mind throughout the planning process, given the unique opportunity this project presents. After all, she noted, the current crossing along the 14th Street Bridge does not offer a connection to the regional trail network on the D.C. side.
“By tying the regional trail network together, this would allows hundreds or even thousands of commuters to get off our roads,” Cristol said. “Trying to come back and do this at a later date… would be incredibly difficult due to the sensitivity of the assets here.”
Mitchell says officials hope to have more public meetings on the project this fall, with cost estimates, preliminary engineering plans and an environmental impact analysis all ready by next summer.
Then, leaders will have to somehow find funding for the project. She says the state rail agency and CSX have committed to chip in a total of $30 million for the effort, and she fully plans to ask state lawmakers for more money by the General Assembly’s 2020 legislative sessions.
“We are trying very, very hard to get this schedule completed on time,” Mitchell said.
Thousands of motorcyclists are gearing up for the 31st edition of the annual “Rolling Thunder” ride through Arlington and D.C. in a few weeks.
Bikers with the veterans group are scheduled to gather in Arlington once more this Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27. The Rolling Thunder headquarters is again set for the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, with events planned throughout the weekend.
On Friday, May 25, riders will roll into town and then gather for a “Blessing of the Bikes” at the National Cathedral and a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Sunday, May 27 will feature the main event, as bikers convene in the Pentagon parking lots early that morning before riding across the Memorial Bridge into D.C. for a rally, which will include speakers and musical performances around the Reflecting Pool. Country artist Rockie Lynne is set to headline the concert.
The group’s mission is to raise awareness about American prisoners of war and service members who remain missing in action, according to the Rolling Thunder website.
Anyone looking to celebrate Rolling Thunder’s arrival can also gather for free outdoor concerts hosted by the Crystal City Sports Pub for the entire weekend.
Come celebrate Memorial Day weekend and Rolling Thunder on 23rd Street! We’ll have live music, cold beer and good food all weekend from 4-8pm on Friday, Saturday AND Sunday.
The legendary Roadducks will be jamming all weekend, so come by for a bit, or party for three days straight. Either way, a good time will be had by all!
This outdoor event is FREE to attend and there will be a cash bar and food available for purchase.
Location: 536 23rd St. S (the parking lot across from the Crystal City Sports Pub)
Rolling Thunder typically causes road closures around Arlington the day of the main rally, not to mention the occasional noise complaint from neighbors. County police have yet to release exact details on the changes in traffic patterns.
Flickr pool photo by Michelle Dupray