GW PARKWAY… pic.twitter.com/GkJfsxqhQU
— Jus4IKE (@EDISAAC72) August 2, 2017
Update at 4:35 p.m. — The northbound lanes of the parkway have reopened.
Earlier: Northbound lanes of the GW Parkway are blocked due to a multi-vehicle crash involving an overturned car.
The crash happened around 3:50 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Parkway near Reagan National Airport and left one car on its roof. According to scanner traffic, all occupants of the cars involved were able to get out without the assistance of rescuers.
A man and woman were reported to be injured in the crash. One was transported via ambulance to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital, while the other was taken to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment.
Northbound traffic is blocked and being diverted. One southbound lane is also blocked by the emergency response. The closures, coming during the evening rush hour, are causing significant traffic delays.
Arlington police and fire department units responded to the call, assisted by others from Alexandria and U.S. Park Police.
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) August 2, 2017
Traffic advisory: Motor vehicle crash with injuries NB George Washington Memorial Parkway at Reagan National Airport. NB lanes blocked.
— USPPNEWS (@usparkpolicepio) August 2, 2017
Traffic Alert: Accident on GW PKY North is causing delays near airport. Please allow extra time.
— Reagan Airport (@Reagan_Airport) August 2, 2017
Arlington, home to the Pentagon and other key government and military offices, will receive just over $1.2 million from the Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks grant program, administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
A total of $35.9 million was allocated nationwide, of which Virginia received $3.8 million.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management will receive just over $2 million, and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority will receive just over $595,000. MWAA is responsible for managing Reagan National Airport in the county as well as Dulles International Airport and the Dulles Toll Road.
VDEM will administer the money and coordinate a project to help enhance security and building safety to prepare for, prevent and respond to terrorist attacks. The agency will conduct an analysis alongside local and regional partners like Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management and its police and fire departments, to determine gaps in preparedness. Local first responders then will receive customized training to fill the gaps.
“Given our strategic location as a part of the national capital region, and our wide array of assets, including military infrastructure, we are at risk of experiencing these types of attacks and incidents,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in a statement. “FEMA clearly recognized that risk and has awarded Virginia nearly 10 percent of the total funding allocated nationwide to develop programs and capabilities that will enhance public safety across the Commonwealth.”
Spokespeople for Arlington’s police and fire departments had no further details at this stage on how the money will be spent.
The Crystal City Business Improvement District announced today (Monday) it is looking to study the feasibility of a new pedestrian link between Crystal City and Reagan National Airport.
In collaboration with other stakeholders in the neighborhood, the BID issued a Request for Proposals asking for consultants to study a possible connection.
Respondents will need to study optimal alignments, private and public real estate considerations, regulatory requirements, costs and financing and implementation, including the necessary agency and stakeholder approvals that would be required. Proposals are due August 4.
“Crystal City is the area’s most accessible neighborhood – with Metro, [Virginia Railway Express], connections to every major area highway, bike paths and an airport you can literally walk to,” said Angela Fox, Crystal City BID president and CEO, in a statement. “A new pedestrian connection will bring the airport even closer, from a 15-minute walk to a four-minute walk and transform the area into a unique multimodal transportation hub serving as a major economic development catalyst for Crystal City, Arlington County and the Commonwealth.”
In their announcement of the RFP, BID officials said the new pedestrian crossing would help leverage various upcoming enhancements to Crystal City’s transportation infrastructure, including the revamped VRE station and a proposed new Metro station entrance on Crystal Drive. Reagan National is also set for a $1 billion refresh, with construction there expected to conclude in 2021.
Robbery Foiled By Lack of Cash — An attempted armed robbery in Arlington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood was foiled when the would-be victims told the knife-wielding robber that they did not have any money. “When the victims advised they did not have any cash, the suspect fled the scene,” said a crime report. [Arlington County]
Average Home Price Exceeds $1 Million — The average sale price of a single-family home in Arlington in June rose 2.7 percent to $1,007,044. Condo and townhouse prices, however, fell. [InsideNova]
Texas Lawmaker Wants Flight from DCA — A Texas Congressman has proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would permit direct flights from Reagan National Airport to San Antonio, which is outside DCA’s federally-set perimeter. [Washington Post]
Arlington Hosting Youth Baseball Tourney — Arlington will host the Babe Ruth state baseball tournament for 13-year-olds this weekend, at Barcroft Park and Wakefield High School, and a local team is in the tournament. Reports the Sun Gazette: “The opening ceremony will take place just before the host Arlington All-Stars take the field against Augusta at 7 p.m. on July 13 at Barcroft Park.” [InsideNova]
Beyer Calls on Kushner to Resign — In light of his participation in a meeting with a Russian lawyer regarding potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton, White House advisor Jared Kushner should either resign from his post or be fired, says Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). Kushner “should be held to the highest ethical standard,” Beyer said. The Congressman has also introduced an amendment to a bill to block the Trump administration from setting up a joint “cyber security unit” with Russia. [Rep. Don Beyer, Rep. Don Beyer]
Most Dangerous Intersections in Arlington — The three most dangerous intersections in Arlington, by 2016 crash data, are: Washington Blvd and S. Walter Reed Drive (22 crashes), Army Navy Drive and S. Hayes Street (28 crashes), and Route 50 and Washington Blvd (37 crashes). [Arlington Magazine]
FAA Facility Issue Causes Delays — Construction-related fumes prompted the evacuation of a Federal Aviation Administration building in Leesburg last night and caused flights to be delayed at all three major Washington area airports for several hours. [WTOP, Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards
NRECA Tree Planting Ceremony — In honor of its 75th anniversary, yesterday the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association planted a tree next to its Ballston headquarters using soil collected from hundreds of its 900 electric co-op members. [Facebook]
SoberRide Active for July 4 — The regional SoberRide program will be offering free Lyft rides up to $15 each on the Fourth of July, to help get impaired drivers off the road. Between 7 p.m. on July 4 and 2 a.m. on July 5, Lyft users can use the promo code “SOBERJULY4” to get a free ride up to $15 or a $15 discount on a more expensive ride. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
Work on DCA Project Starting Soon — A $1 billion improvement project for Reagan National Airport is set to kick off soon, with construction of new security checkpoints for terminals B and C. That construction is expected to wrap up in 2020, while construction of a new commuter concourse is expected to conclude in 2021. [Washington Business Journal, Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Ridge Mansion to Be Auctioned — A 6 bedroom, 7 bath home in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, built in 2015 and valued at $3.7 million, is being auctioned next month. [Patch]
Summer is officially here and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has some tips for reducing hassles at the airport during the summer vacation season.
MWAA, which operates Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport, says that travelers should plan ahead, keep an eye on the weather and monitor social media.
Among the tips from the airports authority:
- “Be aware of airport travel peaks and when to arrive: Passengers should arrive to the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights. Peak travel times at the airports include the early morning (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.), mid-day (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and late afternoon (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).”
- “Check in online and print your boarding pass before coming to the airport.”
- “Follow airport social media accounts for up-to-date information. Passengers should follow @Dulles_Airport and @Reagan_Airport on Twitter and check out FlyDulles and ReaganAirport on Facebook.”
- “Confirm the status of your flight before coming to the airport. Weather here or even in other parts of the country may affect flight schedules.”
- “Pack wisely with no prohibited items in carry-on luggage and no valuable items in checked luggage. With the Fourth of July holiday approaching, passengers should remember that fireworks are prohibited at all times.”
- “Label your luggage so your name is clearly visible.”
- “Economy lots tend to fill quickly during the summer. Be sure to check parking availability for Reagan National online at flyreagan.com/parking.”
- Reserve a parking spot: “At Reagan National, ePark allows travelers to assure a parking spot. Travelers can make reservations from 24 hours to six months before their trip. Reservations can be changed or canceled online up to 24 hours before arrival time, free of charge.”
“Travelers should prepare ahead of time, make full use of airport websites and follow airport social media accounts to have the best experience possible,” MWAA said in a press release.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Widening of W&OD Trail Studied — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority is considering a proposal to widen the W&OD Trail in parts of Arlington, Falls Church and Fairfax County. The proposal also calls for separating pedestrians and cyclists along the widened portions of trail. [The Wash Cycle]
Stormy Weather Expected Over the Next 24 Hours — The remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy are expected to bring heavy rain and scattered storms to the area between now and Saturday morning. Most of the rain is expected to fall early Saturday. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Lawmakers Confronted at DCA — Protesters confronted lawmakers returning home to their districts at Reagan National Airport yesterday. They were protesting against the proposed GOP health care bill, holding signs like “don’t take away our healthcare” and “Medicaid matters.” [The Hill]
Middle School Students Burning Books — Yesterday, on the last day of middle school in Arlington, the fire department was called for a report of middle school students burning books in a field. An ACFD spokesperson could not be reached for additional information. [Twitter]
Last Day of School — High school is already out and the Class of 2017 has held its graduation ceremonies. Middle school ended yesterday. Today elementary students will have their last half-day before Arlington Public Schools is officially on summer break until Tuesday, Sept. 5. [Arlington Public Schools]
Criticism of School Drug Searches — The Arlington School Board last week heard public criticism of a new initiative to conduct K-9 drug searches after hours at Arlington’s public high schools. Despite talk of a drug problem in local schools, one activist said of the K-9 plan: “I don’t think it is reasonable.” [InsideNova]
Economic Segregation at APS — Arlington Public Schools is just below the threshold of “hypersegregation” in a new study of de facto economic segregation in public schools. Neighboring districts like Alexandria and Fairfax score well below Arlington on the “hypersegregation index,” though Prince William scores just above Arlington and is above the level considered hypersegregation. [Center for American Progress]
County Honors ‘Women of Vision’ — Arlington County’s 2017 Women of Vision honorees have been announced: emergency preparedness advocate Jackie Snelling, Washington Business Journal Editor-at-Large Jennifer Nycz-Conner and La Cocina VA founder and CEO Patricia Funegra. Arlington’s Commission on the Status of Women also honored former Arlington School Board member Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez with a lifetime achievement award. [Arlington County]
Backyard Chickens Blamed for Salmonella — There have been eight salmonella outbreaks sickening more than 370 people this year due to contact with backyard or pet poultry, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In Arlington, backyard chickens are legal for only a handful of residents with very large backyards. In 2013, after dueling lobbying campaigns by chicken enthusiasts and opponents, Arlington’s county manager recommended against allowing more residents to keep egg-laying hens. [Washington Post]
Delta Experimenting With Biometrics at DCA — Delta is experimenting with a biometric identification system at Reagan National Airport. For now, the system is only being used by members of both CLEAR and Delta’s Skymiles program to enter the airline’s Sky Club lounge. If all goes well, in Phase 2 members will also be able to use their fingerprint to check a bag and board a flight. [Delta]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Sun Gazette’s County Board Endorsement — The Arlington Sun Gazette newspaper has endorsed Erik Gutshall in the Democratic County Board caucuses, which are happening this week. At the same time, the paper urged readers to also consider Kim Klingler, thanks in part to her background on public safety issues. [InsideNova]
SoberRide Triples Cinco de Mayo Usage — Having switched from offering free taxi rides to free Lyft rides, the regional SoberRide anti-DUI program reported that its ridership on Cinco de Mayo tripled this year: 676 riders compared to 225 last year. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]
Hurricane Hunters at DCA — Government officials and members of the public were on hand at Reagan National Airport yesterday to tour the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane hunter aircraft. Among those on hand were acting FEMA director Bob Fenton and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The director of the National Hurricane Center called it “the biggest, baddest hurricane awareness tour stop we have ever had.” [Roll Call, Capital Weather Gang]
TV Station Visits Local School — WJLA (ABC 7) and meteorologist Brian van de Graaff broadcast live from Hoffman-Boston Elementary School, near Columbia Pike and I-395, yesterday as part of the station’s “lunchbox weather” program. [WJLA]
Activists Target FCC Chair’s Arlington Neighbors — In their fight to retain net neutrality policies, activists have been leaving advocacy materials for and knocking on the doors of FCC Chair Ajit Pai’s neighbors in Arlington. Pai has suggested such policies should be rolled back. [Silicon Beat, DSL Reports, Popular Resistance]
Arlington Water Quality Report Posted — The results of Arlington County’s annual water quality testing have been published online. Per a press release: “Based on sampling data taken throughout the year at our treatment plant and distribution system, the report confirms that Arlington’s high-quality drinking water meets and exceeds all federal and state requirements.” [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
Next Tuesday, for the first time at Reagan National Airport, the public can tour four planes that fly into hurricanes for better weather forecasts.
Hurricane Hunter aircraft pilots from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Air Force will be on hand, as well as hurricane experts. Dr. Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, NHC hurricane specialists and local National Weather Service meteorologists will educate residents of vulnerable communities about hurricane preparedness.
NOAA will be joined by staff from FEMA, local and state emergency management offices, non-profit organizations such as the American Red Cross, and other partners.
Participating aircraft are the WC-130J, the Lockheed WP-3D Orion “Hurricane Hunter,” the NOAA G-IV and NOAA’s King Air Special Mission. All the planes are used to gather data on hurricanes and forecast their future intensity.
Tours are scheduled to be open to the public from 2-5 p.m.
Registration is not required for the public tours, although no backpacks or large bags are permitted. Tours begin at the aircraft hangar near the Signature Air terminal at shuttle bus stop No. 9. Four pre-selected school groups of 80 local fourth- and fifth-graders will also tour the event and aircraft that morning.
Image via National Weather Service
Lander Apologizes for Insensitive Comments — School Board member James Lander has apologized for making insensitive comments about domestic violence yesterday on the “Arlington in the Morning” radio show. Lander has taken flak for appearing to engage in victim blaming when discussing the 2010 murder of UVA student Yeardly Love. In a statement, Lander said he made a “terrible communication mistake.” [Facebook]
Airport Contract Workers Win Pay Increase — Contract workers at Reagan National and Dulles International airports won their two-year fight for higher wages. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board voted yesterday to require companies doing business with area airports to pay their workers a base hourly wage of $11.55 starting in January. Some of the workers currently make $7.25 an hour. [Washington Post]
More Passengers at DCA — More than 1.6 million passengers traveled through Reagan National Airport in February, which is a 2.6 percent increase over last year. [InsideNova]
Failing Air Grade — Arlington County earned an F grade in the American Lung Association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report. The region’s traffic created a lot of air pollution that contributed to a high level of smog in both Arlington and the District. Arlington did, however, receive an A grade in one category: particle pollution, also known as soot. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Yesterday, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) joined other D.C. metro area legislators in writing to members of the House Appropriations Committee to support airplane noise mitigation provisions in the fiscal year Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill.
Beyer is a member of the Congressional Quiet Skies Caucus, and urged the committee to fund health studies on the effects of airplane noise. The legislators cited past studies that have linked excessive exposure to noise with hypertension and learning difficulties.
Beyer requested that appropriators include language directing the Federal Aviation Administration to expedite its review of current noise standards.
“Airplane noise is a pervasive problem around the United States, but especially in Northern Virginia neighborhoods below ever-shifting flight paths in and out of DCA,” said Beyer in a statement. “To date, the FAA has not satisfactorily addressed the situation, while the problem has worsened in many communities. It is past time for Congress to take action, and I hope my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee heed our call.”
Legislators also signed a bipartisan letter urging the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority — which operates Reagan National and Dulles International Airport — not to add more flight traffic at DCA.
They point out that Reagan National has experienced six consecutive years of passenger growth and outpaced passenger volume at Dulles in both 2015 and 2016. In fact, they say domestic commercial passenger traffic since 2000 has increased by 50 percent at Reagan, but it decreased by 9 percent at Dulles.
Congress is preparing to work on legislation to reauthorize the FAA for this year. The delegation said that maintaining the current rules will allow Dulles and BWI to continue to grow and serve long-haul destinations, while also not subjecting National to additional traffic.
“Our airports enable Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia to access the global economy in ways that create jobs and opportunities for the region,” the letter reads. “Part of the rationale for the relocation of major corporate headquarters such as SAIC, Hilton Hotels, Nestle USA and Volkswagen of America is the connectivity our regional aviation system provides.”
Both the House and Senate are expected to consider FAA reauthorization proposals in the coming months. The current FAA authorization expires at the end of September.
Arlington County and other D.C. area jurisdictions are under a Dense Fog Advisory this morning.
From the National Weather Service:
… DENSE FOG ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EDT TODAY… * VISIBILITIES… ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS. * IMPACTS… AREAS OF DENSE FOG WILL CAUSE SUDDEN REDUCTIONS IN VISIBILITY AND RAPIDLY CHANGING CONDITIONS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A DENSE FOG ADVISORY MEANS VISIBILITIES WILL FREQUENTLY BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE. IF DRIVING, SLOW DOWN, USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS, AND LEAVE PLENTY OF DISTANCE AHEAD OF YOU. &&
The fog is causing some delays at Reagan National Airport, the airport tweeted this morning.
Some fog this am causing minor delays. Check with your airline for your flight status. Happy Monday! pic.twitter.com/IOwGZBOY20
— Reagan Airport (@Reagan_Airport) March 27, 2017
Pike Booster ‘Disappointed’ By Transit Delay — Cecilia Cassidy, executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, said the group is “very disappointed” by the latest delay in bringing enhanced transit service to the Pike. Cassidy said the cancellation of the streetcar cancelled much of the planned development along the Pike and that the delays in providing a viable transit alternative have put other development into a holding pattern. [WAMU]
More on DCA Plans — The airports authority has released more details about “Project Journey,” its $1 billion plan for upgrading Reagan National Airport. “Scheduled to mobilize in summer 2017, Project Journey includes construction of two new security checkpoints that fully connect the concourse level of Terminal B/C to airline gate areas, buildout of an enclosed commuter concourse to replace the 14 outdoor gates currently serviced by buses from gate 35X and future improvements to roadway and parking configurations.” [Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority]
Good News, Bad News About Tech in Arlington — Arlington has risen in the rankings of the best places in the U.S. for women in tech, from No. 34 to No. 22 this year. However, women in tech in Arlington still earn less than men, there are significantly more men than women employed in tech in Arlington and overall tech job growth in Arlington over the past four years is flat. D.C., meanwhile, ranked No. 1 on the list. [DCInno]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman