Allstate’s just-released 15th annual America’s Best Drivers Report ranks Arlington No. 168 out of 200 cities studied.
According to the insurance company, drivers in the county go an average of 7.4 years between car insurance claims (compared to a national average of 10.57 years) and have an average of 25.3 “hard-braking events” per 1,000 miles (compared to the national average of 19).
The good news: Arlington drivers are getting safer. The county’s 2019 ranking is an improvement over 2013, when it was ranked 10th worst in the country.
Arlington also ranks better than other nearby cities. Washington, D.C. ranks No. 199 and Baltimore is dead last at No. 200. Alexandria, meanwhile, slots in at No. 192.
In Alexandria, Route 1 (Richmond Highway) was said to be the most “risky road” to drive on. In D.C., I-295 was the riskiest road, according to Allstate’s data.
Top on the list this year: drivers in Brownsville, Texas ranked No. 1, going 14.9 years between crashes on average.
The national ranking has been fairly consistent for Arlington, while neighbor D.C. surpassed Minneapolis to take the first place spot. The “ParkScore” rankings rank the quality of the park system of the top 100 cities in the United States, including Arlington.
Arlington scored in the top percentiles for access, investment and amenities, though it scored fairly low in overall acreage.
The TPL noted in its report that 98 percent of Arlington residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park — exceeding the national average of 54 percent — and that park access was consistent across all income levels.
“Parks build community. Our mission is to promote wellness and vitality through dynamic programs and attractive public spaces. And it looks like we are right on track,” Jane Rudolph, Director of Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement. “Our public spaces, which include parks, playgrounds, trails, fields and nature and community centers, bestow a unique and irreplaceable benefit to everyone in Arlington. Our public spaces make us happier and healthier.”
The assessment noted that Arlington has a particularly high amount of basketball hoops — 7.8 per 10,000 people — and playgrounds — 4.4 per 10,000 people.
Arlington was commended for the amount the county spends on parks: $267.23 per resident.
But with 11 percent of Arlington’s land used for parks and recreation, the TPL noted this as being below the national median of 15 percent and D.C.’s 21 percent.
The TPL also pointed to locations across Arlington in need of a new park, mainly locations around the northwest periphery of the county.
Arlington County is ranked the fittest “city” in America, according to a new report by the American College of Sports Medicine.
“Arlington, VA’s balance of both healthy behaviors and community infrastructure earned them the #1 overall rank,” reads the 29-page American Fitness Index report released today (Tuesday)
The American Fitness Index scored the nearby District of Columbia at No. 6.
Arlington ranked as high as it did in part because 92.6 percent of adults reported exercising in the last 30 days. By comparison, 75.7 adults in D.C. reported exercising in the last 30 days.
Arlingtonians also ranked the highest in terms of health, with 71.4 percent of people recorded as being of “excellent” or very good health.
Other specific data helped improve Arlington’s ranking, including the low number of smokers (6.5 percent), and a low pedestrian fatality rate of less than one fatality per 100,000 people.
Pedestrian fatalities is a new variable for the study, which this year also added criteria to the ranking based on bicycling, air quality, and street infrastructure.
The study was funded by a grant from the Anthem Foundation.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
Arlington County rode ahead of D.C. in a newly-released bike friendliness rating.
Arlington achieved its ranking in part due to a strong safety record, said spokesman Alex Showerman. Arlington ranked first in the U.S. for bicycle safety, according to the organization.
PeopleForBikes used data in five categories to rank each location: ridership, safety, network, acceleration, and reach.
Arlington County’s Department of Environmental Services took to social media Tuesday morning to tout the results.
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) May 7, 2019
The county recently updated its bike master plan for future cycling infrastructure after advocates shared the need for more safe routes.
PeopleForBikes studied cities nationwide based in part from data via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The organization is planning to host a webinar with more details about the rankings and the data behind them next Tuesday, from 3-5 p.m.
Arlington County is the “best city for runners” again, according to the results of an annual study.
The county was also the top-ranked place for runners in last year’s list, compiled by the number crunchers at the website SmartAsset.
“Arlington has more races per 10,000 residents than any other city in our study,” SmartAsset wrote. “And residents who want to participate in races have places to train. Almost all residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. If you prefer to run indoors, the city also offers the third-highest number of gyms per 10,000 residents.”
“Beyond being a great locale for running, Arlington is also a very livable city,” the website added. “It ranked ninth in the study for lowest housing costs as a percentage of income and 16th for walkability.”
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Family of Detained Arlington Man Seeks Answers — “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met privately with the families of Americans detained abroad Tuesday and urged them not to abandon hope. The State Department declined to share the names of those present but they included… the daughter of Majd Kamalmaz, a 61-year-old psychotherapist from Arlington, Virginia, who has been missing in Syria since 2017.” [NBC News]
Jury Duty Changes — “The verdict is in, and at least from the standpoint of Arlington officials, a two-year-long revamp of how local jurors are selected appears to be a success. ‘We have received positive feedback,’ said Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson.” [InsideNova]
Arlington is Near Top for Dog Owners — Arlington has ranked No. 14 among the most dog-friendly places in the U.S. in 2019, according to pet website Rover. The most popular breed in Arlington: mutts. [Zebra]
Va. to Implement Conversion Therapy Ban — Virginia’s Board of Psychology is a month away from potentially implementing a ban on conversion therapy on minors by licensed psychologists. “This has been a long, arduous process but make no mistake, Virginia is going to ban this ineffective, harmful practice on children,” Arlington’s Del. Patrick Hope (D) said via Twitter. “This is the first of many steps toward protecting Virginia’s children.” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]
Nearby: Woman Runs All of Alexandria’s Streets — “For the last 19 weeks, Stephanie Lasure has been running every street in the City of Alexandria. She is weaving her way through every nook and cranny — down every block in Old Town, around every cul-de-sac in Seminary Hill and up every ascent in Rosemont.” [RunWashington]
Arlington is ranked as Virginia’s second healthiest county, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin.
The county ranked right behind Loudoun County when it came to overall health of residents, and scored third best (behind Fairfax and Falls Church) for lacking environmental and behavioral issues that affect residents’ health.
Arlington’s rate of premature deaths is about half the state average and part of a downwards trend of premature deaths — a trend the county has followed since 1997.
The project’s report on Virginia noted that statewide, the healthiest counties experienced an average of 3,400 premature deaths per 100,000 residents, versus 18,600 premature deaths in the counties ranked least healthy. The report also noted that seven percent of babies born in healthiest counties were low-weight, compared to 12 percent in the least healthy counties.
The study is part of a project mapping the health of residents in all U.S. counties, called the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, which ranked counties using the following data:
- Lifespan (measured against life expectancy of 75 years)
- Quality of life (measured by people self-reporting)
- Percentage of babies born with a low birth weight
The study’s health factors measured variables known to affect people’s wellbeing, like air and water quality, length of commutes, prevalence of addictions, and access to housing, healthcare and employment.
The study was done by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Photo via County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
‘I Voted’ Sticker Design Competition — “The Arlington Electoral Board is teaming up with the Arlington Artists Alliance and the county library system on its first-ever ‘I Voted’ decal competition. Modeled on a similar effort in New York City, the contest encourages Arlington residents to submit designs for the decal that will be distributed to voters on Election Day and used in a variety of outreach campaigns.” [InsideNova]
Crystal City Startup Implodes — “One of Trustify’s investors is asking Delaware’s Chancery Court to appoint a receiver to oversee the company, claiming in court documents that founder and CEO Danny Boice ‘misappropriated Trustify corporate funds for personal use’ and effectively abandoned the business.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington No. 1 for Working Moms — Arlington is the No. 1 best “city” for working moms, according to a new study. “Women in Arlington earn a median salary of $76,438, and the pay gap is narrower than the U.S. average,” the study notes. [Haven Life]
Local Gov’t Contractor Makes Acquisition — Clarendon-based By Light Professional IT Services LLC yesterday “announced the acquisition of [Tysons-based] Phacil, Inc., a diversified software, cybersecurity, systems engineering and managed services provider to the US Government. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.” [PR Newswire]
GW Parkway Closure — Updated at 9:15 a.m. — “All lanes of the GW Parkway are now closed during Friday morning’s rush hour due to a large sinkhole that was discovered overnight.” [Tysons Reporter]
HQ2 Impact to Be Bigger Than Expected? — JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and George Mason University’s Stephen S. Fuller both think many are underestimating HQ2’s impact on job creation in the region. [Washington Business Journal, Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Gets High Marks for Dog Parks — Arlington is No. 10 on the Trust for Public Land’s ranking of cities with the most dog parks per capita. Arlington has eight dog parks, or 3.5 for every 100,000 residents. D.C. ranked No. 22 on the list. [Trust for Public Land]
Wilson Blvd to Close Again in Ballston — “That stretch of Wilson Boulevard at @BallstonQuarter that’s now closed eastbound on school nights 8pm-6am for 8 weeks? It’ll also be closed both ways this weekend, Friday 8pm to Sunday 6pm. Lots of pedestrian bridge to do.” [Twitter]
Road Closures in N. Arlington — “The Nottingham/Discovery Elementary Schools 5K race will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will close several roads from approximately 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM to accommodate the event.” [Arlington County]
Basketball Fundraiser Tonight — “New Directions High School students will play Arlington County’s heroes — including some of the police department, fire department, probation and prosecutor’s office” tonight at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School to raise money for New Directions. [Twitter]
No Hyperloop for Va. for Now — “Virginia transit officials flew to California to check out Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel. They say they’re gonna stick with traditional roads and railways for now. ‘It’s a car in a very small tunnel.'” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]
Arlington is among the country’s least politically open-minded counties, according to new polling published in The Atlantic.
The magazine partnered with polling company PredictWise to rank all 3,000 U.S. counties on an interactive map published today (Monday) by how much “partisan prejudice” citizens from the areas expressed. PredictWise is run by economist David Rothschild and is dedicated to “help progressive change-makers,” per its website.
Counties were ranked based off of surveys of 2,000 respondents who were asked questions such as, how they felt about family members marrying across the political aisle, and whether Democrats or Republicans were “selfish, compassionate, or patriotic.” PredictWise then combined the data was combined with county “voter files” that record voter turnout and registration. The result is a heat map ranking every county from “less prejudiced” to “more prejudiced.”
The polling places Arlington County in the most “prejudiced” category of the map. Not only that, but the polling data ranked Arlington in the 100th percentile of most prejudiced counties — that’s higher than Alexandria (99th percentile), D.C. (98th percentile of most prejudiced), Prince William (81 percentile), and Fairfax (95 percentile.) The least prejudiced county in the Greater Washington Area area is St. Mary’s County which was ranked at the 52nd percentile, meaning 48 out of 100 counties have more politically divided citizens.
PredictWise found that demographic variables like age, race, education, and proximity to cities correlated with the amount of prejudice in a county. They reported predicted more prejudice in communities that are whiter, older, urban, and more highly educated.
A subsequent poll showed that Arlington also ranked in the highest category for Democrats being dismissive of Republicans. But a third poll indicated Arlington’s Republicans are not very dismissive of Democrats — bucking a national trend showing Republicans are more dismissive of Democrats on average.
PredictWise co-founder and Chief Science Officer Tobias Konitzer tweeted that polling project is “data-driven ethnography” that “opens healthy debate.”
One last larger point: What I love about the story (yes, I am biased) is its method of data-driven ethnography – not aware of many pieces nowadays that can say that – to get at incredibly complex problem. It opens healthy debate, and beats every @nytimes Ohio diner story! https://t.co/dA1jOHUMEW
— tobias konitzer (@KonitzerTobias) March 4, 2019
The area of the country PredictWise’s data deemed the most politically close-minded was Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The most open-minded was Watertown, New York.
Flickr pool photo by Jeff Reardon
Arlington has once again been ranked as the “Best City to Live in America” by the online review service Niche.
The website awarded the county with its top marks in part due to its high-quality public schools, low crime rate, abundant nightlife options and walkability. Niche calculates the rankings each year, and last named Arlington to its top spot in 2016.
Niche also previously ranked the county’s school system as the top option in the state and one of the best public school systems in the country last summer. The site has named Arlington among the best suburbs in the country as well.
The county beat out Ann Arbor, Michigan for the top spot, which placed in second after finishing in first last year. Rounding out the top five cities were Berkeley, California; The Woodlands, Texas; and Plano, Texas.
In a new list created this year, Niche also ranked Arlington neighborhoods among the top places to live in Virginia using similar metrics.
In fact, five Arlington neighborhoods claimed the top five spots in the company’s rankings — in order, Bluemont, Colonial Village, Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights, North Rosslyn and Waycroft/Woodlawn topped the website’s list.
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards