The northbound lanes of the GW Parkway are blocked near Potomac Overlook Regional Park in Arlington due to a protest.
Climate protesters associated with the group Declare Emergency blocked the busy commuter route shortly before 8:45 a.m.
U.S. Park Police officers are on the scene.
Northbound traffic on the Parkway is backed up to Spout Run.
Update at 9:25 a.m. — Traffic is starting to move again, according to WTOP and USPP.
Traffic update: Road closures on the George Washington Memorial Parkway have reopened. https://t.co/CNWBkhHXu2
— USPPNEWS (@usparkpolicepio) April 26, 2023
Declare Emergency supporters block traffic because this is an emergency, we all need to act like it!#a22network #ClimateEmergency #ClimateAction #declareemergency pic.twitter.com/wXEglGiu36
— Declare Emergency (@DecEmergency) April 26, 2023
#DeclareEmergency supporters step out onto the #gwparkway to demand climate action. This is nonviolent #civildisobedience, this is done out of love for our fellow humans and our collective future. #A22Network #stopwillow #ClimateAction pic.twitter.com/gwqOsheFwN
— Declare Emergency (@DecEmergency) April 26, 2023
Police are on scene with Declare Emergency protestors on the #gwparkway
We disrupt the status quo for a livable future. #A22Network #declareemergency #climateaction #civildisobedience pic.twitter.com/hM3zvtRloJ
— Declare Emergency (@DecEmergency) April 26, 2023
U.S. Park Police are dealing with a large group of protesters who are blocking traffic on the George Washington Parkway. #VATraffic @ARLnowDOTcom https://t.co/cLchLHsvMP
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) April 26, 2023
LOCATION: NB George Washington Parkway / Spout Run Parkway
INCIDENT: Police Department Activity
IMPACT: Traffic is blocked on the George Washington Parkway from Spout Run Parkway to Chain Bridge. Seek Alternate routes. pic.twitter.com/JXpMk2Rf5M
— Arlington Alert (@ArlingtonAlert) April 26, 2023
Hat tip to Alan Henney. Map via Google Maps.
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A march against drugs drew a large crowd of parents and community members to Wakefield High School, where a student died this week.
Sergio Flores was found unconscious in the bathroom Tuesday morning and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He died Thursday and his death is being investigated as a possible overdose.
Latino parents, mostly mothers, planned the march as a way to show love and support for their children.
Classes were canceled for Wakefield students today (Friday) after the overdose this week and a lockdown Thursday prompted by a possibly armed trespasser. Arlington County police have since arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the trespassing incident.
Still, parents marched, carrying signs saying “Your community is here for you!” and “Queremos lo mejor para nuestros hijos,” Spanish for “We want the best for our children.”
The idea came from a community meeting held by community activists Elder Julio Basurto and Janeth Valenzuela — who wear many hats, but this time, were organizing under their organization, Juntos en Justicia. They have been advocating for more attention to opioids in Arlington Public Schools for more than a year through the organization.
Attendance swelled and other community members, as well as some School Board and County Board members, joined the march.
“It was very scary for me to read the student involved in the drug incident has died,” said Green Valley resident Frederick Craddock. “That just gives you an example: It’s in our neighborhood schools. It’s in the home somewhere, so then parents have a big role. It’s all got to come together. Maybe this will raise more awareness of the issue.”
Rebecca Brunner said three generations of her family have attended Wakefield. The high school needs police officers returned and the school system needs to be more transparent, she said.
“Don’t tell us there’s a medical emergency when a child ODed. Tell us the truth so we know what to tell our children, we know how to talk to them, we know to tell them, ‘don’t take anything,'” she said. “Fentanyl is out there.”
“Yesterday, I’m getting a video from inside the school of the SWAT team coming through the doors with assault rifles and they’re telling us, ‘Oh, we might have a possible trespasser,'” Brunner continued. “Yeah, something way more than that is going on.”
(Updated at 9:55 p.m. on 2/3/23) A coalition of parents will be marching on Friday at Wakefield High School to encourage students not to use drugs and to demand a countywide response to in-school opioid use.
The planned silent demonstration responds to an apparent drug overdose on school grounds discovered yesterday morning (Tuesday). An unconscious student was found in a boys bathroom and taken to the hospital in critical condition. Medics evaluated four additional kids at the school and students were released early so police could conduct an investigation.
Parents who plan on marching came up with the idea during a Spanish-language Zoom call hosted by Juntos en Justicia (Together in Justice in Spanish), a community advocacy group, last night after the news of the overdose spread.
“We’re going to walk to Wakefield with signs of encouragement and love for students,” said Juntos en Justicia founder Janeth Valenzuela. “We want to let them know they’re not alone.”
She said co-founder Elder Julio Basurto intend to meet with Superintendent Francisco Durán. Kenmore Community Families in Action, a school community-based organization which she helped found, intends to host a meeting open to all parents on Thursday, Feb. 23 at Kenmore Middle School.
“Every community has this issue,” said Valenzuela, who previously sounded the alarm about opioids in a report ARLnow published last fall.
Last night, parents floated a number of APS responses, including an immediate increase in school security.
“You can improve your security right now. You can check the bathrooms right now,” said Basurto. “We continue to have reports about distribution inside the school, and usage in hallways, bathrooms and classrooms. We still have reports of… people coming in and out of buildings without being checked.”
They heard from parents that drug deals involving dealers from within and outside Arlington are facilitated via social media and that some students are, allegedly, bullied into taking drugs.
Many meeting participants expressed a desire for the return of School Resource Officers, Basurto and Valenzuela said. The Arlington School Board removed them from school buildings to decrease racial disparities in interactions with police inside school buildings.
Should SROs be reinstated — a process that the Arlington County Police Department have previously said could take years due to staffing shortages — Valenzuela said some feel the dynamic could be different because of recent policing reforms. Anecdotally, she said newer recruits “don’t treat us with disregard” during stops or when responding to 911 calls.
“Parents think that the respect for the uniform will alleviate the problems,” she said.
Parents asked about supervised after-school programming and suggested that the Arlington County Dept. of Parks and Recreation update existing programs to be more relevant to younger generations and do fresh promotion.
Some parents want more effective disciplinary action for students caught dealing drugs while others want the zoning code to prohibit vape shops from opening near schools.
Basurto says APS needs to evaluate the efficacy of existing drug abuse curricula in schools.
“Just because we have presentations doesn’t mean we’re having success,” he said.
Last year, APS published a newsletter summarizing the work by its six substance abuse counselors, staff and teachers and Arlington Addiction Recovery Initiative to combat the opioid crisis. These are some of the efforts to date:
- Substance use counselors have trained more than 100 school staff on how to reverse an opioid overdose using naloxone, known by the brand name “Narcan”
- AARI provided some 65 boxes of Narcan throughout school buildings
- Counselors and AARI are developing resource folders and medication deactivation bags for families and have provided community education at PTA meetings, school events and online
- Counselors added a K-12 over-the-counter medication safety curriculum this year and provide regular education on avoiding use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in the middle and high schools, as well as lessons for fourth and fifth-grade students
Last night, more than 100 parents tried to log into the Zoom meeting and Valenzuela constantly let in new people as others logged off. The demand for information and action underscores the longstanding concern among parents, Basurto says.
“We’ve been telling the schools for over a year now about the situation in Arlington Public Schools, we’ve shared concerns specifically about Wakefield,” he said. “This is a serious problem and we need to take immediate action on these issues.”
Groups of Arlington Public Schools students walked out today (Tuesday) to protest model policies the Commonwealth says local school boards should adopt regarding the treatment of transgender children.
Released last week, the draft policies from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), among other things, direct schools only to affirm a transgender student’s identity if parents request it. The document is perceived as a rebuttal to last year’s Democratic-led policies, which advised schools to affirm the child’s gender expression regardless of their family’s support.
In less than a week, a student-led LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization in Virginia mobilized kids across the state to protest the proposed revisions. The group said these changes would allow students and teachers to misgender transgender students while forcing those students to use restrooms corresponding to their sex assigned at birth.
In Arlington, walkouts were scheduled at Wakefield and Washington-Liberty high schools, the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, and Thomas Jefferson and Kenmore middle schools, according to the student group, Pride Liberation Project.
A few dozen W-L teens gathered this morning in nearby Quincy Park (1021 N. Quincy Street), and some — including a few transgender students — made speeches and spoke to the media. The walkout was not school-sponsored, per an email to W-L parents.
“It’s just so bad. I don’t understand why [Gov. Glenn Youngkin] wants to bully these kids, including myself, I don’t see what’s so scary about using the name Matteo, using he/him pronouns, and why that threatens him so much, but it’s really sad that it does,” W-L junior Matteo Hope, a transgender boy, told ARLnow.
Mars Cirtain, a W-L junior, said politicians and family members cannot override how transgender students choose to express themselves.
“For a parent to tell a child that they are not the person they identify as is the same as their parents telling them, ‘You are not the person I raised you to be,'” Cirtain said. “It’s not about what your parents think you are, and it’s not about what your family thinks you can be. It’s about who you are and you get to decide that for yourself, not Gov. Youngkin, or your parents.”
Under the draft, teachers could not be compelled to use a student’s preferred pronouns, and students would use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their sex assigned at birth. Schools would only accommodate students who identify as transgender at the written request of their parents. The document says these changes respect parents’ rights and beliefs and reverse Democrats’ attempts to “promot[e] a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools.”
Waltz Fellone, W-L senior and a school organizer for Pride Liberation Project, told participants that Youngkin’s policies were “cruel and evil.”
“All of you have made a difference,” they said. “I know it may not feel like it because we are just a small school in Arlington. We might not even be affected by this, but it still means a lot.”
Generally, the W-L students in attendance expressed optimism that Arlington Public Schools would continue to affirm transgender students’ right to self-expression, with support from residents of Arlington, which runs deep blue. W-L junior Sophia Braier said she has “several” friends who would be affected by this decision if they lived in more conservative, rural areas.
“Beyond just protecting people here, we’re doing it to garner attention all over Virginia,” Braier said.
The walkout drew a large crowd at Wakefield this morning, according to Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-49), who posted about it on social media.
— Alfonso Lopez (@Lopez4VA) September 27, 2022
APS and neighbor Fairfax County Public Schools are adhering to their current policies while they review the updates, ARLnow previously reported. FCPS students also held walkouts at a number of schools today.
Yesterday (Monday) marked the start of a 30-day public comment period in which people can respond to the policies and potentially change VDOE’s approach. APS says it is currently reviewing the draft policies and would not take action until it has reviewed the final document.
(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) The Arlington County Board today called for action to stem the tide of gun violence, while groups of students around the county held walkouts in response to the elementary school shooting in Texas.
The Board condemned gun violence and urged state legislators to tighten gun control in a statement issued this afternoon.
Board members called on state lawmakers to close the gift exemption to background checks and allow local licensing and registration requirements for buying and selling guns, among other measures.
“There is a great deal more to be done to address gun violence, and we call on the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor to make protecting all Virginians a priority and to remove the restrictions that bar the Commonwealth’s localities from implementing the gun safety actions that make sense for our communities,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, students at Washington-Liberty High School, Arlington Career Center, Dorothy Hamm Middle School and Williamsburg Middle School participated in walkouts as part of a national effort led by Students Demand Action.
Around 20 students at Washington-Liberty participated in the demonstration, walking to Quincy Park, where students took turns giving short speeches.
One of the students participating said she had to ask her friends about their safety on three different occasions in a year due to issues related to gun violence.
“We’re so desensitized to our own deaths in this society,” she said, “People are desensitized to them dying, that’s terrible because this has happened so much.”
Students also talked about a shooting threat their high school received in October, which led to the school shutting down for the day. The threat turned out to be false.
“This nationwide walkout is mainly to protest the fact that we go to school, especially with bomb threats and shooting threats, and have to sit there, subconsciously knowing that ‘hey, we may be victim one day,'” Megan, a student, said.
Megan told ARLnow that she heard about the walkout from an email the school principal sent in the morning acknowledging the nationwide walkout, as well as hearing about the effort. Another participant, Grace, learned of the walkout from her friends and her mother. Both students said they had participated in several walkouts against school gun violence in the past.
“I went to this walkout because I think people should protest for things they believe in, and this is something I believe in,” Grace said.
Some of the signs made by the students who say “enough is enough”
They walked out of school while chanting “thoughts and prayers are not enough, lawmakers need to step it up.” pic.twitter.com/L7pA8kvfdQ
— Natalie Brand (@NatalieABrand) May 26, 2022
Students at the Career Center walkout held up signs that read “Enough is Enough” and “Thoughts & Prayers are NOT Enough,” according to photos tweeted by CBS News correspondent Natalie Brand.
“We’re out here not because we want to skip class but because we fear for our lives going to school, because anyone can go out and buy an assault rifle and shoot up a school,” one of the students said in a speech, according to a video tweeted by Brand.
Impassioned words from one of the organizers of today’s student walkouts. Before her comments, she called for a 21 second moment of silence for the 21 victims. pic.twitter.com/zZGRZYW1Rs
— Natalie Brand (@NatalieABrand) May 26, 2022
Arlington police stepped up patrols around schools in the wake of the mass shooting. Arlington Public Schools, in an email sent to families, said support services are available for students and staff trying to grapple with the horrific crime.
The County Board’s full statement is below.
Metro Delays Due to Safety Snafu — “Metro’s Chief Safety Officer reports that nearly half of Metro’s 500 rail operators have lapsed recertification… In consultation with the Board of Directors, Metro management is taking immediate corrective action to remove from service 72 train operators who became out of compliance prior to May 2021. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to an operator shortage.” [WMATA]
APS Changes Bell Schedules — “The School Board in Arlington, Virginia, voted to lengthen the school day by a little less than 10 minutes and to rearrange school start and end times in the first change to the county school system’s bell schedule in more than two decades. At its Thursday meeting, the board unanimously voted in favor of the adjustments.” [WTOP]
Psaki Spat With Arlington GOP — Outgoing White House Press Secretary (and Arlington resident) Jen Psaki “acknowledged that there have been instances in which she shared information with the Secret Service about threats… She said that no one has physically come to her home, but added, ‘There is a circulation of my address among the Arlington Republican Party.’ The Arlington GOP in a statement to The Hill said it ‘has not publicly disseminated any Biden Administration official’s home address.'” [The Hill]
Rosslyn Tunnel Congestion Revisited — “The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) is pressing leadership of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority not to forget about congestion at the Rosslyn tunnel. In a May 6 letter to (outgoing) Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld, NVTC chair Carek Aguirre urged the transit agency to ‘recognize the strategic importance of moving swiftly to design a solution to relieve train congestion’ at the tunnel.” [Sun Gazette]
Wakefield Rowing Storms State Tourney — “At Saturday’s regatta… the Warriors stood just as deep as any other school on the Occoquan River and stepped into the dynasty conversation themselves, with the boys’ and girls’ top varsity eight boats each rowing to titles.” [Washington Post, Twitter]
Trucker Protest Returning — “The People’s Convoy is slated to be in D.C. by Tuesday, as they’re currently in Ohio. Further, a convoy leader tonight took to the microphone to try and squash fear over being hit with eggs in the city, saying: ‘I happen to like eggs.'” [Twitter]
DCA Using UV to Zap Covid — “Reagan National and Dulles International airports now have ultraviolet disinfection technology to combat the spread of viruses including Covid… The airports authority’s statement of work specifically called for the technology to disinfect the air in 39 spaces at National and 73 spaces at Dulles, including ticketing and baggage claim areas, security checkpoints, transit platforms and gate hold rooms.” [Washington Business Journal]
Local Real Estate is Really Expensive — “There may be an end in sight at some point for rising single-family home values in Arlington. But so far, it hasn’t been reached. The average sales price of the 100 single-family properties that went to closing in April was $1,348,813. That’s up 14.5 percent from a year before.” [Sun Gazette]
Missing Falls Church Teen — “City of Falls Church Police seek information to help a teen return home. Abigail… is 16 years old and was last seen at her home in the City at about 3 a.m. on Sunday after an argument with family. Abigail is about 5 feet tall, has black brown hair and a nose ring.” [City of Falls Church]
It’s Monday — Rain and storms, some severe, in the afternoon and evening. High of 77 and low of 64. Sunrise at 5:56 am and sunset at 8:16 pm. [Weather.gov]
Photos courtesy Will Wiard, Geoff Collins, Dave Statter and Kelly Harrington
(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A progressive group says an Amazon- and county-funded plan to keep the Barcroft Apartments affordable will actually displace low-income residents.
The more than $300 million purchase of the 60-acre, 1,334-unit complex along Columbia Pike will take what are currently aging but affordable market-rate apartments and renovate or reconstruct them, while converting them to dedicated affordable units.
The hasty and hefty purchase happened, county officials said, in response to the possibility that the complex could be redeveloped without affordability protections. That is what happened to the nearby Columbia Gardens Apartments, which are being torn down to make way for townhouses.
But the group Asian American Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Collaborative (ACE), an offshoot of Alexandria-based New Virginia Majority, says the Barcroft Apartments plan is flawed and will actually displace some long-time residents. The rent they are currently paying, according to rates listed online, is actually lower than the dedicated affordable rates that the rents could eventually rise to.
ACE is holding a rally this afternoon at Doctor’s Run Park, across the street from the apartments in the Douglas Park neighborhood, to speak out against what it says is the “predicted displacement of Arlington tenants within next year in [the] highly diverse Barcroft Apartments.”
From a press release:
On May 12, 2022 at 4 p.m., Asian American Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Collaborative (ACE) organizers and tenants from Barcroft Apartments will hold a press conference and rally at Doctor’s Run Park, 1301 S. George Mason Drive. During the press conference, tenants will share their experiences trying to prepare for skyrocketing rental costs, and organizers will reveal the results of a recently completed survey conducted by organizers and Marymount University predicting tenant displacement of low-income residents.
Barcroft Apartments provides a home to one of the most culturally-diverse neighborhoods in the area, and was recently sold to new owners Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners. The current agreement involving Arlington County, Jair Lynch Real Estate Partner, and Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund risks displacing long time tenants in the upcoming years because their rental rates will be increased by 3% every year up to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) starting next year. A majority of the long-time tenants that were surveyed by ACE make below 60% AMI which also increased this year as well.
Tefera Negash, a five year tenant, said, “This was the last place in this area that was in our budget. This will bring too much inconvenience in our life on top of the economic difficulties we are experiencing recently.”
Nupur Chowdhury, community organizer for ACE said, “I’m a Bangladeshi-American living here in Arlington. My family and I have lived in Barcroft for 17 years. As someone who is living and active in this community, I am afraid that the scheduled rent increases year after year will make it too expensive for our diverse community to continue living here.”
Asked about the rally, Arlington County Housing Director Anne Venezia said she and Jair Lynch, the developer that is buying the complex with the loans from Amazon and Arlington, have been in touch with ACE.
“No Barcroft residents are being displaced,” Venezia asserted.
She issued the following statement in response to inquiries from ARLnow.
The Jair Lynch team and I have been working one-on-one with ACE since early this year. Last week we spoke with them directly to talk about their survey, the results, and their concerns. Our conversations have been collegial and constructive. We continue to share that no Barcroft residents are being displaced. Starting in 2023, rents may increase a maximum of 3% annually, up to the 60% AMI rent limit. The County remains committed to working with residents who need financial assistance. Last Friday and again this Tuesday, I followed up with additional information for families facing financial hardship, including a handout in 11 different languages about existing County programs that they could share with any residents. We are working to connect struggling families with rental resources, such as housing grants, including the potential for an information event about County resources at the property. County staff continues to be available to ACE and all Barcroft residents and to provide information and resources as needed. The Arlington Department of Human Services team is also available to help Barcroft residents with assistance for food, rent, and other services, regardless of immigration status. Residents can call 703-228-1300.
A representative with Jair Lynch echoed Venezia in saying that no residents will be displaced.
High school students across Arlington staged walkouts Monday afternoon and rallied to demand measures to codify Roe v. Wade.
After a Supreme Court draft opinion to overturn the 1973 decision that protects abortion access leaked last week, youth-led student group Generation Ratify Virginia helped organize walkouts across the state. In Arlington, Washington-Liberty, Arlington Tech and Wakefield High students left their schools and rallied to discuss the implications if the ruling is overturned.
Wakefield organizer Anabelle Lombard said they will not be the “post-Roe generation” and will be vocal to fight for their future. About 300 students gathered on the school’s football field during the walkout, according to Generation Ratify Virginia.
“Today, Virginia students have made it clear that we are going to defend our access to abortion and preserve our rights to reproductive healthcare,” Lombard said in a statement. “We have made it clear that we need these rights supported by a strong legal backing of gender equality that enshrining the Equal Rights Amendment in our constitution would provide.”
“We have made it clear that Gen-Z will not stand idly by as a few conservative judges strip away our right to choose — a right that the majority of Americans agree should be upheld,” she added.
About 100 students at each Washington-Liberty High School and Arlington Tech participated in walkouts, some wearing green to show support for abortion rights.
Washington-Liberty senior Valentina Lopez-Landeo said she organized the walkout at her school to unite and inform students because abortion rights isn’t something talked about in school.
“Roe v. Wade is not something that we ever thought would be overturned so once we got the news of that, I guess most of us, specifically seniors, wanted to rally up against all that,” she said. “We do believe that we are the new generation and we wish for change and we realized that we can ask for more change if we join together.”
Lopez-Landeo was particularly proud to see the number of freshmen and sophomores who attended the walkout.
“Hearing them voice their opinions on it was so inspiring because I felt like we were leaving them in good hands and… they were going to make sure that the school and students in school kept up with trying to search for change,” she said.
Felix Hedberg, Policy Director at Generation Ratify Virginia and junior at Richmond’s Open High School, said students want to have their voices heard.
“It’s time to listen to youth,” Hedberg said in a statement. “Virginia was the 38th state to ratify the [Equal Rights Amendment], shining the spotlight on Virginia in the movement for gender equality and reproductive justice. Generation Z is ready to capitalize on that attention to ensure [Gov. Glenn] Youngkin and Virginia Republicans won’t succeed in rewriting Virginia as a commonwealth against abortion access.”
Bye, Bye Bank Building — “A new residential development is on the boards for Columbia Pike. Marcus Partners filed plans late last week with Arlington County for a new 250-unit residential development at the site of the Bank of America office building at 3401 Columbia Pike. The six-story building will have ground floor retail, a central courtyard and 287 parking spaces on 2.5 below grade levels.” [UrbanTurf]
It’s Official: No Caucus — From Blue Virginia: “The @arlingtondems announce that their School Board Endorsement Vote process is canceled, as there is only one candidate (Bethany Zecher Sutton) left after the other withdrew.” [Twitter]
Rents Still Rising — “The median Arlington apartment rent in April was up 16.8 percent from a year before, the third highest growth rate among the nation’s 100 large urban areas, according to new data. The median monthly rental for an apartment in the county last month was $1,999 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,420 for two bedrooms, according to data reported by Apartment List.” [Sun Gazette]
Truck Crash Caught on Camera — From Dave Statter: “Just happened. 3rd crash in as many days on I-395S at Exit 8C/Rt 1. It appears the red car didn’t stop & no other cars struck. @VSPPIO has all lanes open.” [Twitter]
Protest Outside DEA HQ in Pentagon City — “I’m outside DEA headquarters in Arlington, where protests have gathered to draw attention to terminally ill patients’ rights to try experimental drugs like psilocybin.” [Twitter, The Hill]
WaPo Reporter Rappels Down Hotel — “On Thursday and Friday, about 80 people, including two local elected officials, a Washington Post reporter, and a member of the D.C. Divas women’s football team, dressed in full pads and uniform, rappelled down the side of the Crystal City Hilton to raise funds and awareness for New Hope Housing.” [Washington Post]
Boeing HQ May Draw More Companies — “Even without a sizable addition of jobs or expansion, Northern Virginia landing another major corporate headquarters has strategic ‘marketing value,’ Terry Clower, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, said in an interview. The presence of a headquarters attracts the attention of other corporations, as well as site-selection consultants who advise companies where to locate new facilities. ‘Nothing draws a crowd like a lot of people,’ Clower said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Metro: Ridership Rebounding — “Metro ridership is outpacing projections through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2022 by nearly 40 percent. Through March, ridership has exceeded the initial forecast by 28 million passenger trips as more people chose bus and rail for travel throughout the region. Metrobus leads the way, accounting for 60 percent of overall Metro ridership, compared to about 40 percent for rail.” [WMATA]
It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 68 and low of 48. Sunrise at 6:02 am and sunset at 8:11 pm. [Weather.gov]
Police Oversight Board Appointed — “The Arlington County Board is excited to announce the newly appointed members of the Community Oversight Board (COB)… The Oversight Board will consist of seven voting members who are residents of the County and reflect our demographic diversity along with two non-voting members with prior law enforcement experience.” [Arlington County]
Local Chef Feeding Ukraine Refugees — Bayou Bakery owner and chef David Guas is on “the frontlines in Przemyśl, Poland with [José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen], to give a helping hand to the emergency food relief for #UkraineRefugees crossing the border. Guas will be preparing and providing meals to help nourish those communities.” [Instagram]
Large Fight Near TJ Middle School — “3500 block of 2nd Street S. At approximately 3:47 p.m. on March 21, police were dispatched to the report of a large disorderly group of juveniles who appeared to be preparing to fight. Upon arrival, officers were approached by two juvenile victims who stated that they were physically assaulted by two juvenile subjects. Officers located the subjects in the area, detained them and determined one had sustained minor injuries consistent with being struck with BB gun pellets.” [ACPD]
Convoy Rumbles Through Arlington Again — From public safety watcher Dave Statter yesterday: “#TruckersConvoy2022 has made its presence known on I-395N, noisily crossing the 14th St. Bridge. @DCPoliceDept has the usual ramps blocked & #traffic is slowing.” [Twitter]
It’s Wednesday — A cloudy morning, then rain starting in the afternoon. Gusty winds and storms possible later tonight. High of 61 and low of 45. Sunrise at 7:08 am and sunset at 7:24 pm. [Weather.gov]
Another day of trucker convoys in the area have resulted in major traffic headaches for those heading into D.C.
Police have just lifted a series of road closures in District, implemented to try to mitigate the vehicular demonstrations against Covid-related policies. Several convoys headed through Arlington earlier this afternoon, and there were recent reports of a slow-moving group on Route 110 near the Pentagon.
The damage has been done: northbound traffic on I-395 is backed up to Shirlington, while inbound traffic on I-66 is backed up well past the Rosslyn tunnel.
There are also considerable delays on the GW Parkway, in both directions prior to ramps heading into the District, as well as backups on the Key Bridge and N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn.
More via Twitter:
UPDATE: At 2:15 pm the 2nd group of #TruckersConvoy2022 on I-395N stopped across from the Air Force Memorial. @VSPPIO moved them on where a few feet later they hit stalled traffic approaching the 14th St Bridge. It's extremely slow going into DC. @WTOPtraffic @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/34EpvoJ1tP
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) March 18, 2022
UPDATE: The 2nd #TruckersConvoy2022 group took an hour to go from the Pentagon to the 14th St Bridge. Some scenes in the backup, including @VSPPIO who have also handled shoulder runners & people backing down ramps. @WTOPtraffic @ARLnowDOTcom @dclinenews @cuneytdil @RamirezReports pic.twitter.com/IiOwxzmGNW
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) March 18, 2022
I saw/heard a small group(maybe 10-12 trucks) on I-66E taking exit 75 to VA-110 about 30 minutes ago
— Kelly Cook (@kellycook93) March 18, 2022