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by Chris Teale June 13, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

The busy intersection of Route 50 and Park Drive is set for improvements under a plan being considered Saturday by the Arlington County Board.

The intersection, in the Arlington Forest neighborhood, is slated for new sidewalks, upgraded traffic lights, high-visibility crosswalks and new trees, curbs and gutters.

The majority of improvements are slated for the intersection and a small stretch of N. Park Drive between Route 50 and a traffic circle. That’s also near a small strip mall that includes an Outback Steakhouse restaurant.

County staff estimate that 64,000 cars travel through the intersection daily, and the traffic volume and speed can make life difficult for bicyclists, pedestrians and those getting on and off buses. The intersection has also been the scene of numerous crashes.

Staff said the plan creates an “urban-style intersection that will reduce speeding and the incidence of collisions, and ultimately improve safety for all.

“The project will create better access and crossings for pedestrians, transit users, bikers and those traveling on the shared-use paths parallel to Arlington Boulevard,” they continued.

The County Board is set to award a construction contract for the plan at its meeting Saturday. The contract is worth just under $1.5 million, with $224,000 as a contingency for rising costs. More than $1 million of funding is through the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, with the county adding $461,000 in general obligations bonds.

Under a timeline proposed by staff, construction would begin in August.

by ARLnow.com May 22, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Public Hearings Set for Sign, Rosslyn Streetscape Changes — At its meeting Saturday, the Arlington County Board set public hearings for changes to the county sign ordinance related to mixed-use retail centers and industrial districts, which would allow for more blade signs in certain places. The Board also set hearings for a plan that “would establish a cohesive set of streetscape furnishings to strengthen Rosslyn’s character, and encourage more pedestrian use and vibrancy in Rosslyn’s core.” [Arlington County]

Washingtonian Spends Day in Crystal City — The staff from Washingtonian magazine spent Friday — Bike to Work Day — in Crystal City, filing stories about everything from quirky neighborhood fixtures like a reasonably-priced strip club and a long-time puppet store to WeLive, TechShop and other places driving Crystal City’s innovation economy. The goal was to report “stories of a place that’s creating a new future for itself in the ashes of one that didn’t quite work out the way everyone thought.” [Washingtonian]

Bike to Work Day Record — This year’s Bike to Work Day set a regional record, with 18,700 registrants at 85 D.C. area pit stops. [Twitter]

Beyer Calls for Expulsion of Turkish Ambassador — On Friday Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) urged the Trump administration to kick the ambassador of Turkey out of the country in response to a violent confrontation between protesters and bodyguards for the visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey, meanwhile, today summoned the U.S. ambassador to complain about police treatment of the bodyguards who were seen beating up protesters. [Rep. Don Beyer]

D.C. Man Is Big Arlington Thrive Donor — A retired ophthalmologist who lives in D.C. has donated more than $750,000 to the nonprofit Arlington Thrive over the past few years, after reading about it in a Washingtonian magazine article. Arlington Thrive, formerly known as Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs, “delivers same-day emergency funds to our neighbors in crisis, so they can be secure in their jobs, health, and homes and thrive in a caring community.” [Washington Post]

Board Approves Intersection, Stormwater Projects — The Arlington County Board has approved more than $2.3 million in contracts to improve safety at the intersection of Arlington Blvd and N. Irving Street and construct a “green streets” stormwater management system along Williamsburg Blvd. [Arlington County]

Arlington Represented on Route 1 Renaming Group — The former president of the Arlington NAACP and former president of the Arlington Historical Society have been appointed to an “Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Renaming Jefferson Davis Highway” formed by the City of Alexandria. The city is moving forward with its effort to strip Route 1 of its confederate monicker, but wants to coordinate with Arlington in case the county decides to lobby Richmond to allow it to rename the road. [WTOP]

Columnist Blasts Website Comments — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark says that reader comments about the candidates in the recent Democratic Arlington County Board caucus were “inflammatory” and “pea-brained.” He singled out ARLnow’s comment section and “the slightly-more-civil commenters in the Sun-Gazette.” Caucus winner Erik Gutshall, meanwhile, said he seldom reads the comments, opining that “some are thoughtful, but it’s like opening a horror show.” [Falls Church News-Press]

by Katie Pyzyk April 18, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Video of Weekend ATV Riders — For the second consecutive weekend, dirt bike and ATV riders took to county roads. This time, there’s clear video of the riders taking up all lanes of traffic on Route 50 and performing stunts. [WJLA]

Operation Firesafe in Full Swing — Arlington firefighters are hitting the streets for Operation Firesafe, which is the annual free door-to-door smoke alarm and fire safety canvassing program. Firefighters travel throughout the county on Saturdays from April through October to check residents’ fire safety and to install smoke detectors. Arlington residents can request a free smoke detector online. [Arlington County Fire Department]

Teen Leadership Program Applicants Wanted — The Leadership Center for Excellence is looking for motivated rising high school juniors and seniors for its summer Leadership Arlington Youth Program. [InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com February 15, 2017 at 6:45 pm 0

Route 50 was temporarily blocked at Fillmore Street during the evening rush after multiple crashes that might have been the result of an attempted hit-and-run by an impatient driver.

It started with a crash near the intersection of S. Fillmore Street and 2nd Street S. around 5:15 p.m. A resident who lives near the intersection described what happened, in an account that matched police radio traffic.

“A car attempted to pass another car on [a] narrow street [with a] cop coming the other way,” said the resident, Casey Phillips. The driver “tried to go between the two cars and hit a pregnant lady driving an SUV. Then [the] vehicle fled and wound up causing [a] much larger accident at the intersection of Fillmore and 50.”

At least four vehicles were damaged in the crashes, including the Toyota sedan driven by the suspected hit-and-run driver. Another witness, who spoke to police and to ARLnow.com, said the man tried to push through traffic at Route 50 and Fillmore and almost struck his van, as well.

The suspect was stopped just north of the intersection and handcuffed, reportedly by the officer whose cruiser was nearly involved in the first crash. An Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman could not immediately confirm whether he was arrested and will face charges.

The spokeswoman said that one person — understood to be the pregnant woman whose vehicle was struck near 2nd Street S. — was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

While the Route 50 closure lasted only a few minutes, N. Fillmore Street was blocked between Route 50 and 1st Street N. for at least an hour while multiple tow crews worked to haul away some of the vehicles involved in the incident.

Update at 4:55 p.m. — The driver, a 27-year-old Alexandria resident, was arrested and is facing multiple charges. From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, 2017-02150218, Arlington Boulevard at N. Fillmore Street. At approximately 5:15 p.m. on February 15, an officer on routine patrol was driving south in the 200 block of S. Fillmore Street when a vehicle crossed the double yellow line and allegedly attempted to strike the marked patrol vehicle. The officer was able to avoid the collision and activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The suspect vehicle continued on, striking a vehicle traveling northbound. The suspect vehicle continued to drive north on S. Fillmore Street and entered the intersection with Arlington Boulevard against a red light. The suspect vehicle then struck two other vehicles. The officer was then able to stop the vehicle and take the driver into custody without further incident. Sulaiman Kanu, 27, of Alexandria Va, was arrested and charged with Attempted Malicious Wounding of a Law Enforcement Officer and Attempted Malicious Wounding (3 X).  He is being held without bond. One victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

by Tim Regan February 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm 0

(Updated at 10:30 p.m.) Police and firefighters responded to a serious three-vehicle crash on Arlington Blvd (Route 50) Thursday afternoon.

The collision happened on Route 50 near Glebe Road sometime after 4 p.m. One person was trapped and knocked unconscious in the crash, according to scanner traffic.

Rescuers freed the victim from the car and transported him or her to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital. It was not immediately clear how extensive that person’s injuries were.

Authorities shut down a portion of Route 50 shortly after the crash.

by ARLnow.com January 12, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

Police and firefighters responded to a five-vehicle crash on westbound Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) this afternoon.

The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. in the area of N. Columbus Street. No serious injuries were reported.

A nearby resident said crashes are common on this stretch of Route 50.

“Happens too often,” said Michael Thomas.

by ARLnow.com December 19, 2016 at 10:30 am 0

Rolled-over vehicle on Route 50 (photo courtesy ACPD)

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A crash involving at least two vehicles, including one that rolled over on its roof, closed westbound Route 50 for part of the morning commute.

The crash was reported around 7:30 a.m. at the intersection with Irving Street.

One person had to be extricated from the rolled-over vehicle. That individual, an adult male, was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

From the Arlington County police and fire departments, via Twitter:

Photo courtesy ACPD

by ARLnow.com October 25, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Rosslyn at night, as seen from the Key Bridge

Woman Hit By SUV on Route 50 — A woman was struck and critically injured by an SUV while crossing Route 50 at Fillmore Street during Monday’s evening rush hour. The victim is expected to survive; lanes were closed while police investigated the crash. Nearby residents say the intersection is dangerous and accident-prone. [WUSA9, Twitter]

House Fire in Arlington View — There was an unusual house fire last night in the Arlington View neighborhood near Hoffman-Boston Elementary. A house’s gas meter caught fire, spreading flames into the home’s basement. The blaze was quickly extinguished, sparing the home from major damage. [Twitter, Twitter, Twitter]

Man Pleads Guilty in Hot Car Case — The man who accidentally left a friend’s two-year-old child in the backseat of a car, causing the toddler’s death, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Daiquan Fields was sentenced to a net six months in jail, time he had already served since the April incident, and is now on supervised probation. [NBC Washington]

Bonnie Black Murder Case Begins — The estranged husband of slain south Arlington mom Bonnie Black is now on trial for her murder. The trial of David Black started with opening statements on Monday; this morning witnesses for the prosecution are expected to be called. [WJLA]

Crystal City Post Office Moving — The post office along Crystal Drive in Crystal City is moving a few blocks down the road. The existing post office will be closed Thursday and Friday and the new post office, at 2180 Crystal Drive, will open Monday, Oct. 31. [Patch]

High Praise for Ambar — New Clarendon restaurant Ambar, which opened this month in the former Boulevard Woodgrill space, may get an indirect boost from TripAdvisor rankings. Ambar’s original Capitol Hill location is listed as the top-ranked D.C. area restaurant on TripAdvisor. [Washingtonian]

Amputee Athlete Visits Students — “Ghanian athlete and activist Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah recently visited with Arlington students to share his message that physical disabilities should not stop individuals from achieving their destiny.” [InsideNova]

by Jackie Friedman August 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

Arlington County police and medics were called to a two-vehicle collision on the ramp from Arlington Blvd (Route 50) to Washington Blvd.

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. Thursday and closed the ramp for at least half an hour. Three people were evaluated for possible injuries but there were no reports of anyone being seriously hurt.

Two witnesses told ARLnow.com that the driver of a Ford sedan plowed into the side of an SUV while trying to turn onto the ramp.

by ARLnow.com July 5, 2016 at 5:25 pm 0

Route 50 closed due to bank robberyUpdate at 7 p.m. — All roads are back open again.

Update at 6:30 p.m. — Route 50 is closed in both directions again, according to WTOP and Fairfax County Police.

Update at 6 p.m. — Route 50 has reopened to traffic in both directions, WTOP reports.

Meanwhile, Metro commuters also had to deal with delays during this evening’s commute. A disabled train at the Courthouse station prompted single tracking and serious delays on the Orange and Silver lines.

Westbound Route 50 has been closed at N. Manchester Street, near Kenmore Middle School, due to a bank robbery investigation in Seven Corners.

The robbery was reported this afternoon at the TD Bank at 6198 Arlington Blvd. Initial reports suggest that the suspect told bank employees he had a bomb, then left a suspicious package in the bank before fleeing the scene.

Route 50 is closed near the bank, as Fairfax County police and the bomb squad investigate. Arlington County Police have closed westbound Route 50 at N. Manchester Street, not far from the county line, and as of 5:15 p.m. had also shut down access to westbound Route 50 from Glebe Road.

by ARLnow.com June 17, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

2600 block of Arlington Blvd (photo via Google Maps)A 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on her way home from school Friday afternoon.

The assault was reported around 3:30 p.m., on the 2600 block of Arlington Blvd. Initial reports suggest that a man reached up the teen’s skirt and touched her inappropriately, before fleeing on foot.

The suspect was described as a Hispanic male in his late 40s, who was wearing work pants, work boots, a white hat and a white t-shirt at the time of the attack. Police are currently searching for the suspect.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com April 5, 2016 at 9:20 am 0

It was not a good morning commute if you were driving on Route 50 or riding Metro’s Orange or Silver lines over the last hour or so.

First, a crash on Route 50 at N. Fillmore Street around 8 a.m. left a vehicle on its side and one person trapped, before being extricated by firefighters. The eastbound lanes of Route 50 just reopened after an extended closure. Delays extends back several miles.

On Metro, a number of issues on the Orange and Silver line have produced big delays and crowded station.

As a bonus, there were also some issues on the Yellow and Blue lines.

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2016 at 8:55 am 0

Looking for evidence of a nightmare commute due to today’s Metrorail shutdown? Look no further than I-395.

I-395 is slow for the entire length of the highway, from the Beltway to the 14th Street Bridge. The good news is that traffic appears to be moving — just slowly.

Route 50 is also jammed, starting around Washington Blvd. The southbound lanes of the GW Parkway are slow from the bridge over Donaldson Run to Key Bridge, while northbound traffic is very heavy from Alexandria to the 14th Street Bridge. Washington Blvd is crawling all the way from I-395 to the Key Bridge.

There’s also heavier-than-usual traffic on some local roads. Clarendon Blvd is slow from Courthouse to Rosslyn. Eastbound Lee Highway jams up starting at N. Rhodes Street to Rosslyn. Pretty much the entire street grid of central Rosslyn is a mess.

There are some surprising bright spots: I-66 is pretty clear for most of the stretch inside the Beltway. Route 1 could be worse. And Columbia Pike traffic doesn’t appear to be out of the ordinary.

Despite the traffic mixed bag, it’s obvious that Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) doesn’t want to make the Metro shutdown a regular occurrence, based on his tweet below.

by ARLnow.com August 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm 3,633 0

An Arlington County police officer was hospitalized this afternoon after his car was struck while responding to a call.

The crash happened around 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Arlington Blvd (Route 50) and N. Pershing Drive.

The officer was responding to a domestic violence call involving a possible weapon and was turning onto Arlington Blvd from Pershing when his cruiser was “T-boned” by a vehicle traveling westbound on Route 50, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

The officer was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was treated by paramedics on scene, Sternbeck said.

So far no charges have been filed. Police plan on reviewing footage from the cruiser’s dashboard camera as part of their investigation, which is still ongoing, Sternbeck said.

The injured officer has been on the force for fewer than three years, we’re told.

Westbound Route 50 was closed for about an hour while the scene was cleaned up and police investigated the accident.

Photos courtesy “Captain Awesome”

by ARLnow.com August 6, 2015 at 8:30 am 2,972 0

Heavy traffic on I-395 at Glebe Road on 8/6/15Update at 9:35 a.m. — ART buses are delayed too, Arlington County says, due to Metro-related traffic delays.

If you were commuting from Arlington to D.C. today, or vice versa, chances seem pretty good that your commute was awful.

Major delays were reported on Metro’s Orange, Blue and Silver lines, after service was suspended through much of downtown D.C. due to a derailed non-passenger train.

As if the Metro chaos wasn’t bad enough, a couple of crashes and perhaps an influx of would-be Metrorail riders has turned the length of I-395 into a virtual parking lot, with slow-moving traffic from the District to Springfield.

Also, Route 50 is reported to be backed up to Pershing Drive.

So, if you commute to or from D.C., just how bad was it this morning?

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