The Columbia Heights Civic Association will meet next month to discuss the possibility of a pod transit system on Columbia Pike.
Such a system could help ease congestion on the Pike, which is currently choked with tightly spaced and frequently stopping buses, particularly during the morning and evening rush hours.
The Columbia Pike streetcar was supposed to be a solution to that problem, but many Arlington residents objected to the system’s cost and the fact that it ran in mixed traffic. Ultimately, the project was canceled.
While a cost-effective, monorail-like transit system that runs above traffic seems ideal in theory, there are questions about the system’s real-world feasibility, cost and the trustworthiness of the company that’s proposing it.
(The system, as conceived, would be built with private funds and would be privately owned.)
Overall, what do you think of the pod transit idea that the civic association will be proposing?
This responsive website design allows mobile users to easily read our articles without having to zoom in and out. It also reduces mobile load times for readers.
While we kept key features on mobile, like our swipe-able photo galleries and Disqus comments section, mobile users may find it a bit more difficult to navigate to some of our pages — like our event calendar or real estate listings — which are now accessible via a mobile menu (button, top right).
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If you were commuting from Arlington to D.C. today, or vice versa, chances seem pretty good that your commute was awful.
Major delays were reported on Metro’s Orange, Blue and Silver lines, after service was suspended through much of downtown D.C. due to a derailed non-passenger train.
As if the Metro chaos wasn’t bad enough, a couple of crashes and perhaps an influx of would-be Metrorail riders has turned the length of I-395 into a virtual parking lot, with slow-moving traffic from the District to Springfield.
Also, Route 50 is reported to be backed up to Pershing Drive.
So, if you commute to or from D.C., just how bad was it this morning?
Arlington County plans to ask its state legislative delegation to sponsor a bill that would rename Jefferson Davis Highway, the Washington Post reports.
While the likelihood of such a bill passing is slim, County Board Chair Mary Hynes said the county has received “a flurry of letters from residents” asking that the Confederate leader’s name be removed from the highway, also known as Route 1.
(County Board Vice Chair Walter Tejada did not respond to an inquiry from ARLnow.com last month, asking whether a name change resolution for Jefferson Davis Highway was a possibility.)
In 2012, the county renamed the stretch of road formerly known as Old Jefferson Davis Highway “Long Bridge Drive.” This time around, talk of renaming the highway comes amid a national conversation about the Confederate flag and whether it’s more a symbol of southern heritage — or slavery and racism. Last week, South Carolina’s legislature voted to remove the flag from the grounds of the state capitol.
Do you think Jefferson Davis Highway should be renamed?
Photo via Google Maps
Arlington County announced yesterday that it has agreed to buy a six-acre light industrial property on N. Quincy Street, across from Washington-Lee High School.
In announcing the $30 million deal, County Board Chair Mary Hynes said it was “a rare opportunity for the county to acquire a significant piece of property in North Arlington… at a time when our community is struggling to find public land to accommodate our many facilities’ needs.”
There are a number of priorities for public property in Arlington that have been discussed lately. Of those, which two do you think are the most important priorities for the N. Quincy Street property?
Elementary Student Fascinated by Fallout Shelters — Nathan Eberhart, a McKinley Elementary student, has been trying to unravel the mysteries of school fallout shelters for his school’s student newspaper. Eberhart thinks the Cold War relics could be better put to use nowadays “as a community-activities storage area for things like Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, recreational sports and enrichments.” [InsideNova]
Protest Planned in Rosslyn — The Mayday Project will be protesting outside the Infectious Diseases Society of America headquarters in Rosslyn today and tomorrow. The organization wants Lyme disease recognized as a chronic illness. The protest will be held from about 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the 1300 block of Wilson Blvd. [Twitter]
Four Mile Run Cleaning Planned — Starting in a few days, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will begin a joint project to remove excess vegetation from the Four Mile Run flood control channel, which extends from I-395 to the Potomac River. “Residents will see crews working in or near Four Mile Run, removing trees, shrubs, and other vegetation growing in the channel,” the county noted in a press release. [Arlington County]
Washington Blvd Lane Closure — A northbound lane closure on the Washington Blvd bridge over Route 110 was put in place overnight, according to VDOT. A southbound lane closure, similarly reducing the number of lanes on the bridge from three to two, is expected to be put in place next week. The lane closures were originally planned for this past Monday.
Another County Board Straw Poll — Another straw poll in the race for the Democratic County Board nomination was held last night at Del. Alfonso Lopez’s campaign kick-off event at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse. The reported results were: Christian Dorsey 27%, Peter Fallon 23%, Katie Cristol 22%, James Lander 15%, Andrew Schneider 12%, Bruce Wiljanen 1%.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The results, which reflect the preferences of Garvey’s supporters, broke heavily for “crowd favorite” Christian Dorsey.
With the exception of the bottom two of the field, the results are an inverse of first quarter fundraising figures.
The straw poll results are:
- Christian Dorsey — 43
- Peter Fallon — 15
- Katie Cristol — 15
- Andrew Schneider — 8
- James Lander — 4
- Bruce Wiljanen — 3
A primary will be held in the race June 9. With just over a month left, ARLnow is conducting its own unscientific poll about reader preferences for the six Democratic candidates.
If you are a likely voter, which of the candidates do you prefer? Given the two available seats, pick two candidates.
It was revealed this week that Chipotle has begun offering an officially-sanctioned delivery service.
The food deliveries are being offered in a number of U.S. metro areas, including the D.C. area, through online delivery service Postmates.
While the idea of an on-demand burrito may sound appetizing, the cost of the service is less so. USA Today reported that the cost starts at $5, on top of the cost of the food. Re/code, which broke the story, was being asked for $12 in delivery and service fees, bringing the cost of an $8 order to $20 delivered.
ARLnow.com tested the ordering process using the Chipotle in the Pentagon City mall and was asked for $7.16 in fees for delivery to an address a couple of blocks from the mall, nearly doubling the cost of a steak burrito.
Can you see yourself ever using this delivery service for your Chipotle meal?
In Arlington County, residents who own dogs must pay a for a license.
The license costs $10 per year or $25 for every three years. Despite the abundance of dogs in Arlington, the tax only brought in $59,664 from about 7,000 licensed dogs during a recent fiscal year, according to the Sun Gazette.
That has prompted enquiries from County Board member John Vihstadt.
It also led the president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association, who fervently advocates for lower taxes, to suggest that the fee might be raised to help pay for the county’s dog parks.
What do you think should be done with the county’s dog license fee?
Today is Tax Day across the nation. Meanwhile, next week, the Arlington County Board will set the Fiscal Year 2016 real estate tax rate.
Last year, in advance of the Board’s FY 2015 budget vote, we asked what you think about the county’s tax rate.
Only 6.5 percent of respondents said the tax rate should be raised, while 27 percent said the tax rate should be held steady and 66.5 percent said it should be lowered.
(The Board ultimately lowered the rate from $1.006 per $100 in value to $0.996.)
This year, the Board advertised a tax rate of $1.011, giving itself the flexibility to raise the rate by up to 1.5 cents. Such a tax hike could be used to help fully fund schools, which are facing a $6.2 million funding gap.
On the other hand, because of higher residential assessments this year, the Board may consider lowering the rate to ease the increasing tax burden on homeowners.
What do you think should be done this year?
Last week a driver with Advanced Towing hooked a car at the CVS parking lot on Columbia Pike, before realizing that there were children inside. The driver unhooked the car but the car’s owner still told his story to a local TV station.
Towing has historically been a hot topic in Arlington. Last year we reported that food delivery vehicles were being towed off private property by Advanced. In past years it was towing fee increases, towing disputes and crimes against tow companies that have made headlines.
Then, last night, more towing drama: ESPN sportscaster Britt McHenry had her car towed by Advanced during dinner in Arlington. She was not happy about it.
Just got towed after eating dinner at an establishment in Arlington. How corrupt is Advanced Towing?
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) April 6, 2015
@ARLnowDOTcom in the Hunan parking lot, where I ate dinner. On a Sunday night!
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) April 6, 2015
Apparently McHenry wasn’t the only television personality to be towed from that lot in Clarendon recently.
— Jummy ABC7 News (@JummyTV) April 6, 2015
Throughout it all, there’s typically a debate: are tow truck drivers predators who employ shady methods to tow your car away and collect your cash? Or are they simply doing the job that they’re hired to do: protecting private property owners from drivers who park on their lots against the property’s rules?
Inherent in that question is another question: when the towing company does mistakenly tow a car that parked without violating the rules, is it an honest mistake or a cynical “mistake.”
Putting aside the above cases in the Hunan lot, sometimes the emotions of being towed can cloud a simple fact: that you were, in fact, violating the property owner’s parking rules, no matter what was in the car or how short your intended stop.
What do you think?
Peak cherry blossom season begins soon, bringing hordes of admirers to the Tidal Basin.
Are you planning on fighting the crowds to see the District’s most famous grouping of trees, are you happy to see fewer trees elsewhere?
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber
About 4-5 inches of snow fell in Arlington Monday night and Tuesday morning.
County crews worked throughout the night and day to clear primary and secondary roads, before starting to tackle neighborhood streets. Compared to past, disruptive snowstorms, they had some things working in their favor:
- The snow fell overnight, not during a rush hour
- It was predicted correctly well in advance
- It was a light, fluffy snow and, because the ground was already cold from the frigid weekend, there was minimal melting and refreezing
- Schools and the federal government closed for the day, limiting vehicle traffic
Regardless of the circumstances, how would you rate the county’s job in clearing the streets Tuesday?
Almost four years ago, we asked who the dating game in Arlington was more difficult for, men or women.
The question came after Bloomberg News declared that single women faced “long odds” in the D.C. area. By a slim majority — 53 percent to 47 percent — ARLnow.com readers said women had a harder time finding a suitable mate in Arlington.
Today, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, we’re posing the question again. But this time, a bit of additional information: while women are overrepresented in the District — 52.6 percent of the population in D.C. compared to the nationwide average of 50.8 percent — in Arlington women actually only comprise 49.9 percent of the population, according to 2013 census data.
So, if you have first-hand knowledge of the local dating scene, who has it worse, men or women?
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Two weeks ago, the Arlington County Board said “not now” to a planned elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Opponents of the plan cheered the County Board’s action, saying that plans to build on the TJ site would eliminate land that could later be used as parkland. Arlington Public Schools will now go back and conduct more studies and community engagement in order to figure out how to deal with its capacity crisis in south Arlington.
Supporters of the school plan said delaying the construction of urgently needed school capacity could result in 45 new trailer classrooms next to south Arlington schools by 2018.
While the “Save TJ Park” group that opposed APS’ proposed placement of the school was the most vocal during the lead up to the County Board vote, those who supported the school are now making their voices better heard.
In a letter to the Sun Gazette, Arlington resident Nathan Zee writes that the County Board decision shows that there is “an unquestionable divide” between north and south Arlington.
“The County Board’s direction to APS to keep working with the community until consensus is reached is nothing short of a total absolution of leadership and decision-making responsibility,” Zee writes. “There could always be more planning, but the time to act was now.”
In order to find out (unscientifically) how the community as a whole feels, we’re putting it to a poll: do you support the County Board’s decision?