Arlington, VA

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) The ramp from eastbound Route 50 to the Roosevelt Bridge is closed due to a serious crash involving a motorcycle.

The exact circumstances around the crash are unclear, but initial reports suggest a motorcyclist lost control and crashed into a guardrail around 12:40 p.m., potentially suffering broken bones and other injuries.

The rider was transported via ambulance to a local trauma center in critical condition, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant. Arlington County Police later clarified that the rider’s condition was critical, but with non-life-threatening injuries.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

VC Firms Eyeing Arlington, D.C. — “Two venture capital firms that have invested mostly in tech companies in the middle of the country are keeping their eye on Greater Washington in the wake of Amazon.com Inc.’s decision to place its second headquarters in Arlington.” [Washington Business Journal]

Owl Rescued from Middle School — “Last week, [the Animal Welfare League of Arlington] got a call from a local middle school that an owl was trapped in their boiler room. Officers Toussaint and White responded and were able to safely remove the owl.” [Facebook, Twitter]

Five-Vehicle Crash on Route 50 — At least two people were reported injured after a five-vehicle crash on Route 50 yesterday afternoon. [Twitter]

Wild Press Conference Near Rosslyn — “Pro-Trump operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman… hosted a bizarre press conference in the driveway of Burkman’s Arlington, Va. home, while being frequently interrupted by noise from nearby garbage trucks.” [The Daily Beast]

Arlington Org Office Attacked in Kabul — The Kabul, Afghanistan office of Crystal City-based non-governmental organization Counterpart International was attacked yesterday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadly terror attack. [CNN, Counterpart International]

Nearby: Silver Diner Coming to Alexandria — Silver Diner is seeking permission to open a new location at 4610 King Street, in a new development in the City of Alexandria, near Arlington’s Claremont and Fairlington neighborhoods. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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(Updated 2:15 p.m.) A crash involving a motorcycle and a subsequent fire prompted the temporary closure of the westbound lanes of Arlington Blvd near Courthouse around noon today.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 11:55 a.m. for a crash between a motorcycle and an SUV. First responders reported that the motorcycle was on fire as they arrived on scene.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said all lanes re-opened at 1 p.m. and that the motorcycle rider was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“The driver of the vehicle did not sustain any injuries, remained on scene and was cited with unsafe lane changes,” added Savage.

Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow that firefighters had doused the flames “quickly.”

At 12:45 p.m. two lanes were still shut down under the 10th Street bridge and firefighters were again hosing down the motorcycle, which had by that point been placed on the bed of a tow truck.

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Update at 3 p.m. — Power has been restored to Dominion customers in western Arlington, though more than 1,500 remain without power in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County.

Earlier: Thousands are without power in Arlington Monday afternoon, following a major outage in the western portion of the county.

The outage was first reported around 1 p.m., after a tree fell onto power lines near the intersection of Route 50 and Carlin Springs Road. All told, including an ongoing outage along N. Glebe Road, nearly 2,750 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington.

Traffic signals are reported to be dark along S. Carlin Springs Road, from Route 50 to Columbia Pike. Police are on scene, setting up cones and helping to direct traffic. The ramps from Route 50 to Carlin Springs have been closed.

Arlington Public Schools says Kenmore Middle School and Campbell Elementary are currently without power and unable to receive phone calls.

The large outage is also affecting parts of neighboring Alexandria and Fairfax County. As of 1:15 p.m., Dominion was reporting about 1,000 outages in Alexandria and more than 8,000 outages in Fairfax.

Numerous trees are down around the area as a result of today’s widespread wind storm.

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(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) Firefighters battled an intense vehicle fire today in front of the Arlington Assembly of God Church, along Route 50 in the Arlington Forest neighborhood.

Initial reports suggest that a food truck caught fire, though the vehicle was later reported to be a work van. A traffic camera showed flames and a thick column of smoke coming from the van as firefighters arrived on scene. The smoke could be seen from as far away as Crystal City.

The fire was extinguished after a few minutes and no one was injured. The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause.

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Update on 1/11/19 — The victim was an 83-year-old Arlington man, police announced today.

The pedestrian has been identified as Maynard Thaxter, 83, of Arlington, VA. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Police continue to seek witnesses and ask that anyone with additional information contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] 703-228-4159. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Original article: A man has been struck and killed by a vehicle on Route 50.

The crash happened around 10:15 a.m. on the westbound lanes of Route 50 at N. Manchester Street, near the western end of Arlington County.

Traffic camera images showed a man lying motionless, face down in the street and bleeding from the head, while a man kneeled beside him, holding a phone. A Jeep could be seen stopped in the left-hand lane behind the victim; it is unclear whether that is the vehicle that struck the man and whether the man on the phone was the driver or a passerby.

Later, a white sheet was placed over the body.

All lanes of Route 50 are blocked and are being diverted onto N. Manchester. The closure is expected to last an extended period of time while police investigate the crash.

Arlington County recently completed a safety improvement project for the intersection, intended “to reduce speeding and accidents along Arlington Boulevard.”

Update at 2 p.m. — The westbound lanes of Route 50 have reopened.

Update at 2:25 p.m. — Police have issued the following press release about the fatal crash.

The Arlington County Police Department is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash that occurred on Tuesday, January 8 at the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and N. Manchester Street. At approximately 10:18 a.m., police responded to the area for the report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle in the westbound lanes of Arlington Boulevard. Members of the Critical Accident Team responded to the scene and are conducting an ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash.

The pedestrian, an adult male, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the pedestrian is being withheld pending proper identification and notification of next of kin. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene.

Police are seeking witnesses to the crash and ask that anyone with additional information related to this investigation contact Detective S. Whalin at [email protected] or 703-228-4159. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477)

Editor’s note: Readers may find some of the images in the photo gallery above disturbing.

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A crash at the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and Route 50 is causing significant backups.

The crash was reported around 5:45 p.m. As of 6 p.m., all westbound lanes of Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) were blocked and traffic was backing up past Courthouse.

So far there have been no reports of serious injuries.

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Arlington County is working on some modest improvements to the Arlington Boulevard Trail in Lyon Park, renewing hopes among cycling advocates that the trail will someday provide a fully contiguous alternative to Route 50.

The county is currently planning a series of changes on the trail as it runs near Arlington Boulevard’s intersection with N. Pershing Drive, near the Day’s Inn hotel in the area. Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services says it hopes to complete the following alterations sometime this fall:

  • Construction of a new, ADA-accessible curb ramp at the corner of N. Pershing Drive and Wainwright Road (the frontage street between Arlington Blvd and the Days Inn hotel)
  • Addition of on-street markings along the eastern portion of Wainwright Road to separate trail users from motorized traffic.
  • Removal of parking on the eastern portion of Wainwright Road.
  • Connection of the Wainwright Road on-street trail to the existing Arlington Boulevard Trail as it approaches 2nd St N.

The county envisions the new curb ramp connecting the trail to the new on-street trail along Wainwright Road, which will then connect to the rest of Arlington Boulevard trail running past the Washington and Lee Apartments.

“Arlington County expects that the markings/bollards used to delineate the trail along Wainwright Road will be short-term,” the county wrote in a NextDoor post. “Given the availability of funding, Arlington County plans to build out a curb separated trail adjacent to Wainwright Road to further increase the safety of this portion of the trail.”

The cycling advocacy blog WashCycle noted that these changes come a few months after Washington Gas replaced a pipeline in the area, leading to the repaving of the trail and the removal of some bollards nearby.

The blog hailed these latest proposed changes, noting that the trail is currently “discontinuous and below standard” and referred back to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s proposal to someday add three miles worth of trail along Arlington Boulevard as evidence of the trail’s potential for growth.

“The boulevard trails, like the ABT, MacArthur Boulevard Trail and the planned or under-construction South Capital and Washington Boulevard Trails, don’t get quite the coverage that the rail or stream trails get; but they’re [arguably] more important for transportation as they go right through the areas where people live and work,” WashCycle wrote. “The ABT has a long history and, as WABA points out, plenty of potential. It can, or already does, connect to eight trails including Rock Creek, Mt Vernon, W&OD and Cross County. As proposed by WABA, it could be a real backbone for Arlington County biking. It would be great to see this once again become a must-see trail.”

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A series of water main breaks in South Arlington sent workers scrambling last night into this morning, though the county now seems to have made all the necessary repairs.

The problems started around 7 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday), when the county’s Department of Environmental Services received word of pipe problems near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Frederick Street.

A short time later, workers encountered another water main break not far away at S. Park Drive, just off Route 50.

By 10 p.m., they reported several other water main breaks along the pike running up to S. Dinwiddie Street as well, and determined that the S. Park Drive problem was “related” to the previous breaks. DES spokeswoman Katie O’Brien told ARLnow that the subsequent breaks all stemmed from work on the first one, located along the 5000 block of Columbia Pike.

“After the break was repaired, crews were pressurizing the water main which caused it to break again,” she said. “As a result, this caused two additional breaks in the area.”

O’Brien estimates that anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 people were left without water during the work. However, as of roughly 9 a.m., all the mains have been repaired.

DES is warning of continued repaving work in the area through the afternoon, however.

Photos 1 and 3 via @ArlingtonDES, photo 2 via @LuckyLyzzie

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Morning Notes

Fire at Retirement Home — A fire broke out in the laundry room of the Sunrise at Bluemont Park senior assisted living facility Sunday morning. The blaze was quickly extinguished, but not before filling part of the building with smoke. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]

Serious Crash on Arlington Blvd — Arlington County police investigated a crash involving critical injuries and a reported vehicle rollover last night on Route 50 at N. Pershing Drive. One person was transported to a local hospital. [Twitter]

DEA Staying in Pentagon City — “A federal judge has ruled against an Alexandria building owner’s efforts to lure the Drug Enforcement Administration from Pentagon City… Judge Loren Smith’s judgment, issued Thursday, effectively clears the way for the General Services Administration to award a new lease for the DEA to CSHV Lincoln Place LLC, the agency’s current landlord at 600-700 Army Navy Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]

Dragonfly Population Booming — “Your eyes are not deceiving you – there really are more dragonflies (and their cousins, damselflies) in the local area this summer. And according to Arlington naturalists, that’s a good thing.” [InsideNova]

No, Arlington’s Recycling Program Is Not Ending — Apparently a rumor has been circulating that Arlington County was ending its recycling program. A local TV station fact checked that and found, unsurprisingly, that the rumor is not true. [WUSA 9]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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Construction has wrapped up on improvements to Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) at the Manchester Street and Park Drive intersections.

According to Eric Balliet, transportation spokesperson for Arlington County, the road and lane closures around the project have come to an end and landscaping work on the surrounding area is expected to begin this fall.

The intensity of traffic in the area led the county to develop a series of improvements to reduce speeding and accidents along Arlington Boulevard. New improvements include ADA curb ramps, sidewalk improvements, high-visibility crosswalks and upgrades to the signals. New curbs and gutters, along with new trees, were added at the Park Drive intersection.

Improvements were made to the street, with new asphalt pavement and lane striping. The storm drainage pipes at the site were also upgraded.

The project had been in the design process since 2011, with construction beginning late in 2017.

Photo from Google Maps

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