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New Study Suggests People in Arlington’s Poorest Neighborhoods Are Less Able to Lead Healthy Lives

New research suggests that people living in Arlington’s poorest neighborhoods also have the fewest opportunities to lead healthy lives when compared to other communities throughout the entire D.C. region.

A study commissioned by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University show that many of Arlington’s most diverse neighborhoods with the lowest median incomes, such Columbia Heights, Nauck, Douglas Park and Buckingham, also scored the lowest in their measure of “health opportunities” across metropolitan Washington. The results closely mirror a previous study’s findings that people living in many of the same neighborhoods lack economic opportunities as well.

The researchers developed a “Healthy Places Index,” known as HPI, to evaluate not only health outcomes (like life expectancy) in each community, but also to understand whether people have the opportunity to be healthy based on where they live. That includes evaluations of factors like air quality, access to healthcare, housing affordability, the availability of public transportation and education levels.

The study applies that index to neighborhoods across the D.C. area, examining communities using granular Census tract designations to detect patterns within counties and cities in the region. Though the group found that the overall health of the 4.5 million people living in the District and its suburbs is “excellent” and “well above the national average,” they also uncovered “islands of disadvantage” within even wealthy localities like Arlington.

Even though some of the more affluent, higher educated areas of the county rate quite highly in the study’s measure of health opportunities, others rank among the lowest in all of Northern Virginia. The researchers identified the Columbia Heights neighborhood, just off Columbia Pike, as having one of the “the lowest HPI scores in the region,” noting that about 23 percent of adult residents there live in poverty. Buckingham, located along Route 50, also posted poor HPI scores, and the study noted that its residents have a median income of about $38,125 annually.

“The researchers found stark contrasts in socioeconomic and environmental conditions in Northern Virginia, often between neighborhoods separated by only a few miles or blocks,” the VCU academics wrote. “As was observed elsewhere in the region, people of color were disproportionately exposed to adverse living conditions.”

To illustrate those points, the study compared McLean — one of the wealthiest and whitest communities in the area — to Columbia Heights. The former ranked among the top-scoring neighborhoods in the region on the HPI, a far cry from Columbia Heights’ own performance.

“The population in the McLean tract was predominately white (70 percent) and Asian (19 percent), the population in Columbia Heights was largely Hispanic (51 percent) and black (19 percent),” the researchers wrote. “More than half was foreign-born, and most immigrated during 2000-2009.”

While the researchers identify a whole host of factors that could be contributing to such a split, they also stress that it is impossible to ignore the impact of “institutional racism” in understanding why such a divide exists between the races when it comes to health opportunities. They note that discriminatory housing and economic policies mean that people of color are “more likely to live in racially and ethnically segregated neighborhoods that suffer from decades of disinvestment,” which can have a whole host of negative consequences for their health.

“As a result, neighborhoods of color often lack access to affordable high-quality housing, stores that sell healthy foods, green space, clean air and clean water,” the researchers wrote. “These communities are often targets for fast food outlets, tobacco and alcohol marketing and liquor stores. These conditions affect not only the health, economic opportunity, and social mobility of people of color, but they also weaken the health and economy of the entire region.”

Accordingly, the study recommends approaches recognizing that history to officials sitting on the Council of Governments, as they try to craft a response across the region.

“Real solutions require targeted investments in marginalized neighborhoods to improve access to affordable, healthy housing as well as affordable transportation, child care, and health care (e.g., primary care, dental care, behavioral health services),” they wrote. “Everyone benefits from this approach, not only the residents in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, but also the entire regional economy. Economic and racial inequity saps the strength of the economy. Everyone pays a price for inaction: persistent poverty and social isolation fuel discontent, unhealthy behaviors (e.g., drug addiction), crime, and violence.”

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New Research Reveals Opportunity Gap Between North and South Arlington Neighborhoods

(Updated at 6 p.m.) Striking new research reveals that where children are born in Arlington can have a decades-long ripple effect on their futures, with kids in the county’s more ethnically diverse neighborhoods growing up to make less money and end up in jail at higher rates than their counterparts.

The analysis, compiled by the Census bureau and a team of academic researchers, shows that children born to a family in a wealthy, predominantly white North Arlington neighborhood earn tens of thousands of dollars more, on average, than kids from a more diverse, lower income South Arlington neighborhood. Incarceration rates generally follow the opposite pattern.

These effects largely persist regardless of a child’s race, or the income level of their parents, mirroring results researchers found around the country in creating this new “Opportunity Atlas.” The interactive map combines anonymized data on 20 million people born 30 years ago with granular Census tracts, in order to provide a glimpse of the gaps in opportunity across different neighborhoods nationwide.

Researchers are still sorting out the exact reasons behind these disparities — everything from the quality of local schools to an area’s employment rate could help explain the variations. But officials and public policy analysts increasingly view this data as a key way to guide where government intervention might be most needed to lift people out of poverty, particularly when evaluating which neighborhoods have borne the brunt of decades of racially discriminatory policies.

In Arlington, the atlas helps provide concrete examples of how the split in income levels and diversity between the northern and southern halves of the county affect residents of each neighborhood.

For instance, kids born in the Douglas Park Census tract, an area just off Columbia Pike with the largest share of non-white residents in the county as recorded in the 2010 Census, grew up to record an average household income of $36,000, regardless of their race or income level. That figure is the second lowest in the entire county.

Low-income children, defined as those born to families making $27,000 a year or less, in the area grew up to make $33,000 a year. High-income kids, who were born to families making $94,000 a year, grew up to make about $51,000.

In Nauck, a historically black community, children grew up to earn $34,000 a year, the lowest salary in the county.

Children born to low-income families made $30,000 a year, the lowest figure among that cohort in the county. Kids in high-income families there grew up to make $42,000 a year, again the lowest for the income bracket in Arlington.

People in Nauck are also incarcerated at the highest rate in the county — 4.8 percent of the people studied in the area are currently in jail. That includes 6.9 percent of children born to low-income parents and 1.6 percent of those born to high-income families, rates that are both among the highest in the county.

The results are also striking in the High View Park Census tract, which encompasses the historically black Halls Hill neighborhood, which was literally walled off from its white neighbors for decades in the Jim Crow era.

Kids growing up in the area, of all income levels, went on to make about $44,000 a year, roughly the median for the county. Low-income children, however, recorded the third lowest salary among that group in Arlington, at $29,000 per year. High-income kids went on to make about $57,000 per year, much more towards the county’s median. The neighborhood has the second-highest share of incarcerated residents in the county, with 9.2 percent behind bars.

By contrast, children born in the county’s whitest areas tend to grow up to become considerably wealthier, regardless of their family’s income level.

In the county’s Census tract with the lowest share of non-white residents (an area including neighborhoods like Bellevue Forest, Dover Crystal and Woodmont), children grew up to make an average of $68,000, tied for the second highest salary in the county. Low-income kids recorded that same $68,000 average, as did high-income kids.

Similarly, the county’s second whitest Census tract — an area in Northwest Arlington containing neighborhoods like Country Club Hills and Arlingwood — kids grew up to make $80,000, the highest salary in the whole county. Low-income kids eventually made an average of $51,000 per year, while high-income children made it to $70,000 a year.

And, in the vast majority of the county’s whitest areas, incarceration rates were below 1 percent.

Graphic via Opportunity Atlas

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Army Ten-Miler Race Set to Close Slew of Streets Sunday

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.

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Clarendon Day Street Festival Returns Saturday

Clarendon Day, one of Arlington’s oldest and largest street festivals, will return this Saturday (Sept. 22).

The event will dominate the heart of Clarendon’s main strip of businesses from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering all manner of exhibits, food, drinks and performers. The Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the event, is expecting as many as 20,000 attendees this year.

The fair will run rain or shine, and offer dozens of vendors, Virginia wine and beer and food booths from restaurants in Clarendon and elsewhere around Arlington, per its website.

Performers at the event’s two stages include:

Main Stage

  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Ruepratt
  • 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Soul Stew
  • 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Calista Garcia
  • 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Dave Kline Band
  • 3 p.m.-4 p.m. SubRadio
  • 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Fellowcraft
  • 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Bushmaster featuring Gary Brown

Performers Stage

  • 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Adagio Dance Company
  • 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Carley Harvey
  • 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Ballet Nova
  • 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Melissa Elizabeth Wright
  • 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Jaleo Arte Flamenco
  • 4:30 p.m.-5 p.m. O’Neill – James School of Irish Dancing

The Clarendon Day 5K and 10K races, backed by Pacers Running, will also return Saturday. The races are set to begin at 8 a.m.

Arlington police are warning of plenty of road closures associated with the race and the event itself. From 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. the following will be closed:

  • Wilson Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • Clarendon Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street between 11th Street N. and N. Hartford Street

And the race will prompt the following closures from around 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.:

  • Wilson Boulevard, between N. Garfield Street and Route 110
  • N. Kent Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street N.
  • The entirety of Route 110 northbound, from Route 1 to Wilson Boulevard

Organizers recommend biking, walking or using public transit to reach the event to avoid those closures.

File photo

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Army Ten-Miler Changes Course to Avoid Memorial Bridge for First Time Ever

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.

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Morning Notes

Free Admission at New Observation Deck — The new observation deck in Rosslyn is holding “Arlington County residents day” this weekend. Arlington County residents with valid ID can present it at the Observation Deck at CEB Tower box office for free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. [Observation Deck at CEB Tower]

Stanley Cup to Visit ACPD Today — The Arlington County Police Department is set for a visit from the Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and the Stanley Cup today. [WUSA 9]

Pike May Get New ‘Showplace’ Library — “The current two-story community library in the corridor is tucked away on the Arlington Career Center campus, which is slated for a massive, if currently undefined, redevelopment effort in coming years. A library space is expected to be part of the redevelopment package, but county officials are looking at other options, including a full-frontal signature space facing Columbia Pike itself.” [InsideNova]

Road Closures for 5K Race — Several roads will be closed in and around Pentagon City Saturday morning for the 2018 ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk/Dash for Dads 5K Race. [Arlington County, ZERO]

Flickr pool photo by GM and MB

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Morning Notes

That Time Anthony Bourdain Visited Va. Square — The late, lamented Anthony Bourdain visited Arlington’s El Pollo Rico for a 2009 episode of his Travel Channel show No Reservations. [Patch, YouTube]

Arlington At the RAMMYs — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — No individual Arlington restaurant won a RAMMY regional restaurant award Sunday night, though regional chain Moby Dick House of Kabob, which has locations in Shirlington and Clarendon, won in the “Favorite Fast Bite” category, and Cheesetique in Shirlington was nominated under the “Favorite Gathering Place of the Year” category. [Washingtonian]

Clarendon, Crystal City Bike Races — Despite the threat of rain, both the Clarendon Cup and the Crystal Cup of the annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic largely avoided weather woes over the weekend. [Twitter, Twitter, Cycling News]

Photo courtesy @thelastfc

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Arlington Youth Triathlon Kicks Off Next Week

The fifth annual Arlington Youth Triathlon will kick off next Sunday, June 10, at the Washington-Lee High School pool.

The public event hosted by the Arlington Triathlon Club will feature swimming, running and biking among children ages 7-15 and will start at 7:30 a.m.  The Arlington Youth Triathlon is a part of the USA Triathlon Mideast Region Youth Triathlon Series, where young triathletes from Ohio to Tennessee will come to Arlington to participate.

The triathlon will include a pool swim, a bike ride on closed streets around the school and a track finish. Each event features short distances to include kids of all abilities.

This year’s triathlon will be held in honor of Anne Viviani, an Arlington resident who died April 9 in a car crash striking a deer on I-85 in South Carolina. Viviani, 68, was a world champion triathlete and coach.

Registration for the Arlington Youth Triathlon is open until June 9. It costs $75 to register before May 15, and $85 afterward.

Photo Courtesy Arlington Triathlon Club

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Taste of Arlington to Close Roads in Ballston and Virginia Square This Weekend

Taste of Arlington will result in significant road closures in the Ballston area this weekend.

The closures will begin on Saturday at 12 p.m. through Sunday at 10 p.m. to accommodate the annual event, which runs from 12-6 p.m. Sunday. Organizers are encouraging attendees to take the Metro or other forms of transit, rather than driving.

Here are the specific roads that will close for the event, according to Arlington County Police:

  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed between N. Randolph Street and N. Lincoln Street, all North/South cross streets will be blocked.
  • The 7-11 Store at 3510 Wilson Boulevard will be open and accessible by motorists using the eastern parking lot entrance.
  • N. Quincy Street will be closed with modified traffic between N. 5th Road and N. 9th Street.
    All traffic trying to cross Wilson Boulevard on Pollard, Piedmont, Oakland, Nelson and Monroe Streets will be turned around.
  • N. Randolph Street will be open between the Ballston Parking Garage/Loading Dock to N. 9th Street, the area garages will not be closed.
  • Other area roadway restrictions may be in place to minimize traffic impacts in the event and area neighborhoods.
  • Motorists are encouraged to use Fairfax Drive as an alternate East/West route.

The Girls on the Run 5K, held in conjunction with Taste of Arlington, will be happening Sunday morning. Here are the specific times some roads will be closed in Ballston, per ACPD:

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Taylor Street to Kirkwood Road. Both directions will be closed from 8:15 AM until 10:15 AM.
  • Fairfax Drive, from Kirkwood Road to Wilson Boulevard/N. 10th Street, eastbound lanes only, from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Traffic lanes will be closed, from N. 10th Street to N. Irving Street, then east on N. 7th Street to Washington Boulevard. Roads will be closed from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM, but parking will not be affected.
  • Washington Boulevard, from N. 7th Street to N. 10th Street, will be closed to eastbound traffic. Motorists from Washington Boulevard will be diverted to N. 10th Street east toward Rt. 50. from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • 10th Street, from Washington Boulevard to N. Irving Street, will be closed to eastbound traffic from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th West bound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while east bound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.
  • Wilson Blvd. will be closed from 8:15 AM to 10:15 AM.
  • Ballston Metro Buses will be delayed for 15 minutes at the start of the race and ALL buses will be re-routed via N. Quincy Street to exit the area and continue their assigned routes.
  • Motorists are reminded that other roads in the Ballston area will be closed further west of the race course for the Taste of Arlington event. Pershing Drive, Glebe Road, and Lee Highway are recommended as alternate routes to reach points west and north of Ballston.

For both events, ACPD notes there will limited parking in the area and motorists should look out for “No Parking” signs. Those who violate the signs run the risk of getting ticketed or towed.

Photo courtesy of ACPD

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Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Heads to GMU’s Arlington Campus, Hopes to Continue the South African Leader’s Legacy

Siyabulela Mandela, grandson of the iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela, never thought he had much reason to come to America.

After all, the 25-year-old scholar is busy working on his doctorate at a South African university named for his famous grandfather. Someday, he even hopes to work as a diplomat for his country and follow in Nelson’s footsteps to resolve conflicts across Africa.

Nevertheless, he felt himself pulled toward the U.S., and Arlington specifically, for one simple reason — he had to get to George Mason University. Mandela arrived in Arlington on April 1, and he plans to spend the next four months working as a visiting scholar at Mason’s conflict resolution program.

“If it was not because of George Mason University, I would’ve never laid my foot in America,” Mandela told ARLnow in a recent interview. “I never wanted to come here. But the school here gave me an opportunity. The work that they do at George Mason overshadows that track record America has in the rest of the world.”

Indeed, Mandela confesses he is quite skeptical of America’s influence abroad, particularly after President Donald Trump’s vulgar, derogatory remarks about African nations sparked an international uproar earlier this year. But as a student of diplomacy, Mandela felt compelled to take a chance on Mason and its School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

“I think we are where we are in South Africa because of the contribution of scholars who came from George Mason,” Mandela said.

He’s hard at work on a dissertation on diplomacy and conflict resolution in African nations, like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and he aims to bring some of the insights he gleans from the Mason scholars whom he admires so much into his work.

Mandela is also planning to do a little sightseeing (he says he’s already toured D.C. a bit and hopes to see the rest of the country in the coming weeks), yet he’d also like to do his best to spread a bit of his grandfather’s wisdom to his American counterparts. He sees plenty of parallels between South Africa’s struggles with racism and America’s history, and he hopes his paternal grandfather’s experience as president working to unite his country after the end of apartheid offers some lessons for American leaders.

“Even though for years and years he was imprisoned by the white folks who perceived themselves as supreme, he could emerge out of that pain and seek nothing but reconciliation,” Mandela said. “That is something that is phenomenal, and angelic. A prisoner who could come out and say, ‘It’s time to make peace.'”

Mandela was born in Qunu, a village in the same province from which his grandfather hailed, yet he reports only spending limited time with Nelson before his death in 2013. As his grandfather began to step away from politics in the early 2000s, Siyabulela says he got the chance to see him more often at family gatherings.

In particular, he remembers his grandfather’s tradition of holding a massive party at his home each Christmas Day, open to any child living nearby.

“He’d stay from morning until evening and shake the hand of each and every child and hand them gifts,” Mandela said.

Mandela says his family is so large that he’s not quite sure how many people can count themselves as Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren — according to his official biography, Mandela was married three times and had a total of six children — yet Siyabulela always felt the pressure to live up to the family name.

“You can’t do things other people can do,” Mandela said. “I cannot be found drunk in the street or fighting in the street like everyone else. I have to conduct myself on the basis of having him as my role model. It’s never an easy road, but interestingly enough it has shaped me as a person and made me to be a better person.”

Indeed, whether it’s his work at Mason or his studies in South Africa, the younger Mandela hopes to live up to his grandfather’s legacy, in ways big and small.

“It’s about taking up the baton and continuing that legacy, taking up the fight against injustice, the fight for human rights and peace for all,” Mandela said.

Photo by Anna Merod

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Fairlington 5K Tomorrow to Benefit Girl with Rare Disease

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) The Fairlington 5K Run and Walk tomorrow will raise money for an Arlington girl with a rare, degenerative disease.

In 2011, Ellie McGinn was diagnosed with LBSL (leukoencephalopathy with brainstem and spinal cord involvement and lactate elevation), which causes impaired nervous system functioning that can lead to muscle stiffness, tremors, weakness, poor balance and difficulty coordinating body movements.

The nonprofit organization “A Cure for Ellie” has been set up in her name to raise awareness of LBSL and funding for research. McGinn appeared on the Today Show last year for her and her parents’ work in their search for a cure.

Tomorrow’s non-competitive run/walk in Fairlington aims to promote general health and physical fitness while also supporting McGinn, who is a third-grader at Abingdon Elementary School. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at Abingdon Elementary (3035 S. Abingdon Street) and registration is $35 for adults, $20 for children ages 6-16 and free for children five and under.

Arlington County police will oversee the following road closures from approximately 7-9:30 a.m. to accommodate the race:

  • Abington Street between S. 29th Street and S. 36th Street
  • 36th Street between S. 34th Street up to, and including, Stafford Street
  • Wakefield loop off S. 34th Street
  • Utah Street between S. 32nd Street and S. 34th Street

Photo via A Cure for Ellie

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Morning Notes

Flooding Closes Roads, Prompts WarningUpdated at 8:45 a.m. — Many Arlington residents may be bleary-eyed this morning after being woken up twice overnight: once by thunder, and another time by a Flash Flood Warning that sounded on many phones. Heavy rain caused flooding that prompted the temporary closure of I-66 in Arlington and the HOV lanes of I-395 just before the 14th Street Bridge. A Flood Warning remains in effect until 11:45 a.m. as additional rain is expected this morning. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Crystal City ‘Makes Parking Garages Cool Again’ — Some national press for the Crosshairs Garage Races in Crystal City: “Unbeknownst to the few at street level, there’s a crowd gathering in a parking garage below an unremarkable office building. Inside, giant speakers blast rock music. Cow bells ring. There’s whooping and hollering, there’s pie and beer–and there are bikes everywhere.” [Citylab]

County Employee Recognized for Preventing Abuse — “Cheryl Fuentes, who has been working in the Arlington County government for more than a quarter-century changing the lives of parents and children, was honored as Arlington’s 2018 ‘Ally in Prevention’ by Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia.” [InsideNova]

APS Finalists for WaPo Awards — Hoffman-Boston principal Kimberley Graves and Thomas Jefferson Middle School teacher Timothy Wyatt Cotman, Jr. are among the finalists for the Washington Post Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year awards. [Washington Post]

ACPD to Hold Award Ceremony — “The Arlington County Police Department will hold its annual Principles of Government Service Awards (PGSA) Ceremony on Monday, May 7, 2018, at Kenmore Middle School, 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, at 7 p.m. The ceremony recognizes the achievements of police personnel in service to the community and highlights the Department’s dedicated pledge of duty, honor and commitment.” [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Kathleen Branch

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Armed Forces Cycling Classic Returning to Arlington

Cyclists can now register for the Armed Forces Cycling Classic, which is returning to Arlington in June.

The cycling event, which is taking place the weekend of June 9-10, is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year. The event was previously known as the Air Force Association Cycling Classic.

The event is sponsored by Boeing, but companies can join as supporting sponsors or enter the race as part of the “corporate challenge,” raising money for nonprofits like the ALS Association, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and Our Military Kids.

There are three main competitions throughout the event. The first is the Clarendon Cup, a pro/am criterium race with 1 km course that begins and ends near the Clarendon Metro station. The event’s website says the race is “one of the most difficult criterium races in the USA” due to technical demands of the course.

On June 10 both the Crystal Cup and the Challenge Ride will occur.

The Crystal Cup will feature multiple races starting with the men’s pro race, then the kids races, followed by the women’s pro race and then the men’s amateur race. The 1.3 km course will run down Crystal Drive between 23rd St. S. and 18th St. S., and around S. Clark Street.

The Challenge Ride will take place between 7-10 a.m., allowing riders to take as many laps as they can within the three hour limit. The course is 6.5 miles long and wraps through Pentagon City, Crystal City and Rosslyn.

Each branch of the armed services will have its total laps tracked as a part of the Navy Federal Credit Union Armed Forces Cycling Challenge. The service with the most total laps and the most laps by its top six riders will be awarded on the stage during Sunday’s men’s pro race.

To participate, cyclists will need to indicate which service they are or have been in while registering and must bring a military ID the day of the race. The U.S. Air Force was the top lap accumulator in both 2015 and 2016.

Last year the UnitedHealthCare professional cycling team made a strong showing with a member winning first place in the men’s Clarendon Cup, and two other members winning second place in the men’s and women’s Crystal Cup.

Expect a number of road closures for each course going through the Clarendon, Rosslyn, Crystal City and Pentagon City areas.

File photo.

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Morning Notes

Dem Support for Country Club Bill Slips — A procedural vote in the Virginia House of Delegates to send the Arlington country club bill to the governor’s desk passed, but without a veto-proof margin. Some Democratic lawmakers who supported the bill the first time around voted no instead. If signed by Gov. Ralph Northam (D), the legislation would greatly lower the property taxes of Army Navy Country Club and Washington Golf and Country Club. [InsideNova]

Four Courts Four Miler Closures — The annual Four Courts Four Miler race will close roads parts of Wilson Blvd and Route 110 in Courthouse and Rosslyn this coming Saturday morning. [Arlington County]

Food Trucks Grumble About Festival Fees — “To participate in May’s Taste of Arlington festival… food trucks must pay a flat fee of between $400 and $500. Festival attendees purchase tickets worth $5 each that can be redeemed at food trucks for a few bites. When the gates close, event organizers reimburse the food truck between 25 and 75 cents per ticket… Would you sign this contract?” [Washington City Paper]

‘Women of Vision’ Awards — Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Arlington Women of Vision Awards. The nomination deadline is April 20. [Arlington County]

How to Do Business With Arlington — Arlington is hosting an event next week that will show small businesses “the nuances of successfully doing business with Arlington County.” Per the event website: “Experts will be speaking on topics such as obtaining opportunities to work with the County and understanding the procurement process.” [Arlington Economic Development]

Nearby: Alexandria Tops Tourism List — Alexandria is No. 1 on Money magazine’s “The 20 Best Places to Go in 2018” list, topping Anaheim, Calif., the home of Disneyland, among other destinations. Harper’s Ferry, W. Va. was ranked No. 2. [Washington Post]

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‘Love the Run You’re With 5k’ Brings Road Closures to Pentagon City

The annual Love the Run You’re With 5K is returning to Pentagon City this Sunday, prompting some road closures.

Runners can register as a couple, as singles, or can run without signaling their relationship status. Solo registration currently costs $45 and couples’ registration is $80.

The race will begin and end at the Pentagon City mall, with after-race deals at Shake Shack and nearby Commonwealth Joe. The course runs up S. Joyce Street and along Army Navy Drive to 23rd Street S. and back.

ACPD has provided a list of road closures for the race, below.

The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closures to accommodate the race:

  • South Joyce Street, between South 15th Street and Army Navy Drive, will be closed from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM.
  • South 15th Street, between S. Hayes Street and S. Joyce Street, will be closed from 6:00 AM until 11:00 AM (The southern entrance to the Pentagon City Mall Garage will be closed for the duration of the event).
  • Army Navy Drive, between South Joyce Street and South 23rd Street, will be closed from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM.

Street parking in the area will be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs, and illegally parked vehicles will be subject to ticketing and towing. If your vehicle is towed from a public street during this event call the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.

Race attendees are strongly encouraged to use Metro or other forms of transportation services.  Participants arriving by car can park in the Pentagon City Mall garage, which will be accessible via the Army Navy Drive entrance.

Photo via Pacers Running

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