Amid community pressure, Arlington County is taking a closer look at ways to improve safety in Green Valley.
Some residents are pushing for more action from the county on two fronts: dealing with nuisances and more actively policing criminal activity. In response to the mounting concerns, an internal county workgroup is beginning to meet this week to find ways to do just that.
The nuisances are related to drinking and smoking as well as public urination and loud music associated with some of the people who hang out around the John Robinson, Jr. Town Square, neighbors tell ARLnow. The criminal issues relate to gun violence, which some neighbors tie to the unaddressed open-air substance use.
Throughout the day, people can be seen hanging out in the area. Yesterday (Tuesday), for instance, ARLnow observed a handful of people sitting in folding chairs outside of The Shelton, an affordable housing building, while two other groups were congregated in the town square, talking and listening to music.
Neighbors, including Yordanos Woldai, say they don’t have an issue with people hanging out. They just want people not to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana outdoors, urinate in public or play music during quiet hours.
“Having lived in Arlington for such a long time, I am not aware of any other residential neighborhood where this conduct is allowed to happen in plain sight and not be addressed by the police,” Woldai tells ARLnow. “Children have to walk on the streets at times because there is no way to pass and there are broken beer bottles on sidewalks and grass.”
A few of the people hanging out told ARLnow that nearly everyone on the square yesterday likely came from outside Green Valley to this area to be together. Many grew up in the neighborhood but have since moved away.
One man, who appeared to be drinking beer from a plastic cup, put his hand out close to the ground and raised it up slowly to show how much of early childhood, marked in growth spurts, he spent in the neighborhood.
“They feel they are very much part of the community,” Woldai said. “I love the idea that people come to Green Valley to connect with old friends… It’s the illegal activities that are bothersome.”
Woldai addressed the Arlington County Board on Saturday about her concerns and said she had the support of 37 neighbors. This includes Lily Bozhanova, a Bulgarian immigrant who has lived in the area for five years with her family.
“My children are 5 and 7-year-olds. We often go to the spray park there and I sometimes have to explain to my children why they see people smoke or drink plein air. It’s not good but they see it every day and it’s a deterrent for going in the area,” she told ARLnow.
Bozhanova says she tries to avoid the area in the evening and lately Googled whether bullets can pass through brick.
“I shouldn’t be looking up to see whether my house can sustain gunshots. Brick is relatively safe, by the way,” she said.
Although she is grateful for the life she has built, she says, “it’s not exactly the American Dream we were trying to achieve moving here.”
Frank Duncan, a longtime resident of The Shelton (3215 24th Street S.) said he was shot last summer. A relative was also shot not long after.
“That’s the story about the life we live here,” he said.
Still, he said he cannot move away because it will be hard to find space in another low-income apartment building. He says he does what he can to promote safety in part by volunteering as a crossing guard for Drew Elementary School students.
Woldai ties the shootings to the nuisance issues.
“When people know there isn’t really a police presence in a neighborhood where you can drink and smoke marijuana, it attracts more serious crimes,” she said. “That has been a serious concern for residents living near the town square.”
Arlington County has converted two intersections near Nottingham Elementary to four-way stops, in the wake of last year’s fatal crash on Little Falls Road.
In October, a driver struck and killed a woman at the intersection of Little Falls and John Marshall Drive. She was the third pedestrian killed along a two-block stretch of Little Falls Road near the school over the past eight years.
In the aftermath, the county began investigating the appropriateness of an all-way stop at the intersection.
Two such traffic patterns were installed along Little Falls Road in mid-March, Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien says: one at the intersection with John Marshall Drive and the other with N. Ohio Street.
“The two new all-way stop locations are located on both sides of the Nottingham Elementary School and help facilitate crossing opportunities for pedestrians and traffic control on this section of roadway,” O’Brien said. “Additional pavement markings and tactical improvements were made at the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Nottingham Street.”
Last winter, as part of a traffic safety campaign, the county temporarily ramped up traffic enforcement on Little Falls Road, which saw two previous fatal crashes in 2014 and 2019.
Then, with the urging of the County Board to make safety improvements faster, it made some other short-term updates to the two intersections, says O’Brien.
The all-way stops were deemed necessary after multiple observations and on-site reviews to “assess the operations and effectiveness of the recent short-term improvements,” the spokeswoman said.
In another step to increase safety, last week the county reduced speeds near Nottingham. It made the area around the school a “School Slow Zone,” where there is a permanent 20 mile-per-hour speed limit on a neighborhood street within 600 feet of a key access point to a school.
Earlier this week, meanwhile, at the intersection of N. Quincy Street and 9th Street N. in Ballston, an all-way stop was added in response to an extensive study and data collection effort. Pavement markings will follow soon, says O’Brien.
Safety concerns at this intersection date back more than a decade. The county has added upgrades incrementally to the originally sign-free intersection, Google Maps shows.
By 2010, ARLnow previously reported, a crosswalk and “yield to pedestrians” flags were added. Then, the county added neon yellow pedestrian signs and a repainted crosswalk.
O’Brien says the county studied whether to add stop signs given the limited impact of previous upgrades and repeated safety concerns from residents who cited the high volume of traffic at the intersection.
“This most recent study’s conclusion at this location reflects further consideration of the travel volumes and crash history at this location,” O’Brien said. “It also is part of our Vision Zero approach to safety intervention that calls for a progressive method on implementing safety measures when past efforts do not result in the desired outcomes.”
A driver struck a mother pushing her baby in a stroller in Ballston yesterday morning, police and a witness say.
The crash happened around 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of N. Park Drive and N. Carlin Springs Road.
The driver remained on scene while the baby was taken via ambulance to a local hospital “for injuries considered non-life threatening,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
“The investigation determined the pedestrian, who was pushing a child in a stroller, was crossing the street when a motorist turned and struck the stroller,” said Savage.
The driver was cited for “failure to yield the right of way,” she added.
In a Twitter thread, resident Mark Blacknell said he was on his way to chaperone a field trip for one of his kids when he saw the aftermath of the crash.
“When I saw that people in cars were still driving within inches of this mother on the street, impatient to get on their way, I stepped in to direct some traffic to down a side street, away from her,” he said. “I wasn’t the first to do that. A much older woman had, but drivers were simply rolling at her until she got out of the way. Not with me.”
He left after police arrived and onlookers helped the mother onto the sidewalk but said “her cries, those I won’t forget for a long long time.”
He told ARLnow that yesterday afternoon he saw signs of an investigation, including spray paint marks on the road where the stroller stopped. The front grill emblem from the Toyota that hit them was still in the street.
In his series of tweets, he called on Arlington County Board members to put more pressure on County Manager Mark Schwartz to prioritize pedestrian safety.
“The fix, thus far? Two little yellow signs that say ‘Cross traffic does not stop,'” he wrote. “If a mother cannot push her baby across the street in safety, all of the arts funding, tourism development, stormwater mitigation and that the rest of that is meaningless.”
“This particular intersection isn’t Arlington’s first or last transportation safety challenge,” he said. “But it’s pretty emblematic of where we are.”
The second year of Vision Zero — Arlington County’s plan to to reach its goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030 — is coming to a close this month. As a result, the county is asking for anonymous feedback on how Vision Zero is changing transportation safety.
Over the last two years, the county has analyzed data, installed quick safety treatments, embarked on pilots and investigated serious crashes.
“We track and investigate all critical (fatal or severe) crashes throughout the year — which lead to immediate engineering response where possible,” Arlington County says.
The County Board is set to vote this weekend on a contract to build a long-awaited pedestrian bridge.
On Saturday, it is expected that the Arlington County Board will approve a $1.6 million contract to construct the Shirlington Road Pedestrian Bridge. The 15-foot-wide prefabricated steel bridge will run the length of Four Mile Run and parallel to the road with the purpose of providing safer bicycle and pedestrian access.
It will connect Shirlington and S. Arlington Mill Drive to Jennie Dean Park and the Green Valley neighborhood. It will also serve local users of the heavily-used Four Mile Run and W&OD trails nearby.
Work on the bridge could begin in the second half of this year if the contract is approved over the weekend, Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokesperson Claudia Pors told ARLnow. That would mean a completion date in mid to late 2024.
“The existing Shirlington Road vehicular bridge primarily funnels vehicles to/from I-395 and lacks safe, comprehensive accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling through this area,” the report to the Board says.
“This project will provide a key missing link in the County’s bicycle network by providing a north-south protected bicycle facility that will link up with the existing Four Mile Run Trail along South Arlington Mill Drive to the west and along Four Mile Run in the City of Alexandria to the east of the bridge,” the report adds.
The bridge has been under discussion for two decades and has been the topic of conversation among county staff and the public for years.
It will be constructed in two parts, per Pors. First, the span will be built offsite, a process that will take about nine months, while abutments will be added at S. Arlington Mill Drive and Jennie Dean Park where each end of the bridge will go. Around this time, the bridge’s walls will be built and the sidewalk and crosswalk at S. Arlington Mill Drive will be shuttered. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be detoured.
The bridge, then, will be lifted by a crane and installed.
“It’s possible that lanes on the existing bridge will close to accommodate this installation, and the public would be given notice of any detours,” Pors noted.
New street lighting on each end of the bridge will be installed as well, plus median, sidewalk and crosswalk retrofits. A new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon will be installed in the median as well.
The work is set to be done by D.C.-based Milani Construction, whose $1.38 million bid (plus $277,000 in contingency costs) actually came in under the county engineer’s estimated construction cost.
Last year, work was completed on the parallel vehicle bridge on Shirlington Road. That included resurfacing, routine maintenance, widening the sidewalk by several feet on the west side of the bridge, widening curb ramps, and adding a median at the mid-block crosswalk near 27th Street S.
A number of these improvements came as a result of public feedback.
Additionally, the county is set to study the feasibility of adding another crossing at the intersection of S. Arlington Mill Drive and Shirlington Road.
“County staff have begun study efforts and anticipate reaching out to the public for input this fall,” Pors said.
Arlington County police will be out in force tomorrow along two busy roads, conducting high visibility traffic enforcement.
The action is part of the region’s annual spring “Street Smart” campaign, which “focuses on educating drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists about traffic laws and how to safely share our roadways.” The campaign will run through Sunday, May 14.
“As the warmer months approach and the days grow longer, more people will be walking, biking and operating shared mobility devices throughout our community,” ACPD said in a press release today. “To ensure all travelers can reach their destinations in a safe and timely manner, area law enforcement will participate in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Spring Street Smart campaign.”
“Through a two-pronged approach of education and enforcement, the campaign aims to reduce the number of traffic related crashes and injuries on our roadways by identifying and changing unsafe behavior patterns among travelers,” the release continues.
A pair of “high-visibility enforcement activations” are planned Wednesday for the campaign.
Officers will be out enforcing traffic laws along Langston Blvd in Rosslyn, between N. Lynn Street and Fort Myer Drive, from 11 a.m. to noon, according to ACPD. That’s the same block on which a woman pushing a stroller was struck by a dump truck in 2018. The woman lost a leg but the truck driver ultimately only received a traffic citation.
Later, from 4-5 p.m., officers will post up on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road, near the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.
Another round of traffic enforcement is planned for Thursday, May 2: from 11 a.m. to noon along N. Pershing Drive at N. Thomas Street and from 4-5 p.m. on the 5200 block of Columbia Pike.
“As part of our department’s key initiative of Transportation Safety, officers will conduct traffic enforcement throughout the campaign with the goal of compliance, even when police are not present,” ACPD said.
Arlington Public Schools has “paused” some overnight field trips amid a law enforcement investigation.
Some fifth-grade students were on a recent overnight field trip to the school system’s Outdoor Lab in Fauquier County when an incident allegedly occurred and was reported to the local Sheriff’s Office.
In response, APS is not conducting any additional overnight field trips to the facility for fifth graders at this time, spokesman Frank Bellavia confirmed to ARLnow.
“APS has temporarily stopped overnight trips but day trips are still happening,” he said. “This is a temporary pause in overnight trips to the Lab as we review and revisit our staffing and safety procedures.”
Jeffrey Long, Public Information Officer for the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed law enforcement is looking into an incident reported on March 30. He did not elaborate on what allegedly transpired at the 225-acre wooded facility about an hour from Arlington, just that it involved “one or more juvenile.”
“As this is an ongoing investigation I am not able to provide details of the incident,” Long told ARLnow in an email. “There have been no charges filed at this time.”
In addition to one-night overnight field trips for fifth graders, the school system sponsors day trips and summer camps at the Outdoor Lab.
Owned by the nonprofit Arlington Outdoor Education Association and used by APS, Outdoor Lab celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. It was founded with financial support from the late Arlington philanthropist Preston Caruthers.
Public safety in Arlington County is poised to be increasingly automated and unmanned, with more traffic enforcement cameras and drones potentially coming soon.
The updates came during a work session on County Manager Mark Schwartz’s proposed budget, attended by County Board members and heads of public safety departments yesterday (Thursday).
Installing new speed cameras and adding more red-light cameras are part of the county’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes, as well as a recommended way to reduce potentially adverse interactions between officers and civilians during traffic stops.
Cameras and drones could also help the Arlington County Police Department work more efficiently with fewer officers, as ACPD has had to scale back services amid ongoing challenges with recruiting and retaining officers.
More than a year ago, the County Board approved the installation of speed cameras in school and work areas to reduce speed-related crashes in these areas as part of the Vision Zero campaign to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries. Now, according to Police Chief Andy Penn, a contract with a speed camera vendor could be ready this spring.
Last fall, the county told ARLnow that there would be more signs of progress, including camera installation and community messaging, once a contract is finalized this spring. Penn told the County Board yesterday that a request for proposal for both speed cameras and more red-light cameras will close next week.
“My hope is that we’ll have a contract for both of those in the next couple of months,” Penn said.
Meanwhile, the police department is working with the Virginia Dept. of Transportation to expand locations with red-light cameras, according to Penn.
“We’re almost at the finish line with VDOT on the PhotoRED expansions, there’s a couple intersections… we should be there soon,” he said.
There are nine intersections that currently use PhotoRED cameras, according to the county’s website. These intersections are located along major corridors including Columbia Pike, Route 1, Glebe Road and Langston Blvd.
Arlington is also considering deploying drones, which could be a safety tool for both police and fire departments. Penn and Fire Chief Dave Povlitz told the Board they are focused on improving employee safety and wellbeing, which could bolster staffing levels.
“While we’re on equipment, drones? Are we thinking about drones?” asked Board Vice-Chair Libby Garvey. “It’d be a lot safer to send a drone in than a person into a burning building.”
After working with other jurisdictions in the region and conducting a survey, a comprehensive proposal on drones could be ready for Board review in “the next couple of months,” according to County Manager Mark Schwartz.
“They are fantastic additions to any fleet,” he said. “We absolutely would, in many cases, prefer — not just for fire but police and also for our building inspections — to have the ability to have drones.”
Police may already be using drones locally in some cases. One could be seen flying near the former Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn this morning as part of a large public safety agency presence at the aging building, which the county condemned amid the continued presence of squatters.
Two hurdles to greater drone use could be privacy and flight regulations governing drones in the region, Schwartz said.
“We want to make sure we address the privacy concerns, which I think have been successfully handled in other jurisdictions,” he said.
Unmanned aircraft flights, including drones, are heavily restricted within a 30-mile radius of Reagan National Airport, according to rules the Federal Aviation Administration put in place after 9/11. Drones need FAA authorization and have to operate under certain restrictions.
A South Arlington intersection that has seen two pedestrian-involved crashes this year, including one last week, is set to be updated to improve safety.
In the evening on Tuesday, March 14, an adult man was struck by a driver at the intersection of S. George Mason Drive and S. Four Mile Run Drive, causing bleeding from his head, per initial reports. His support dog ran off but was later returned, according to social media.
Planned renovation to this intersection are part of the South George Mason Drive Multimodal Transportation Study, which will bring changes along the major road from Arlington Blvd to the county border. The county and a resident involved in the process say complexities at this intersection have slowed down progress on this initiative, which was first expected to wrap up last fall.
“This project is part of the larger S. George Mason Drive project, but the county discovered fairly quickly that this intersection specifically was going to cause them to have to slow down the project to allow for additional study and design,” Douglas Park resident Jason Kaufman said.
A virtual meeting a few months behind schedule was scheduled to be held last night from 7-8:30 p.m., around the same time as the contentious Missing Middle vote, to discuss new designs for the proposed changes along S. George Mason Drive.
Concept plans from last summer proposed treatments including narrower roads, widened sidewalks and vegetation buffers between pedestrians and road users. One option included protected bike lanes while another mixed cyclists and drivers.
A county webpage for the project says staff have conducted an in-depth analysis of S. George Mason Drive where it intersects with S. Four Mile Run Drive, as well as with Columbia Pike, in preparing its plans.
The high-traffic intersection is a major artery for three neighborhoods that links road users to the City of Alexandria, I-395 and Shirlington. A service road, also called S. Four Mile Run Drive, runs parallel to the main road, basically creating a “double intersection.” The W&OD Trail runs parallel to and in between these two roads, crossing six lanes of traffic on S. George Mason Drive.
“Anyone that bikes, rides, drives, scoots or traverses through that intersection on a daily basis is aware of its challenges,” Kaufman said. “There are a number of conflict points that are dangerous. That intersection has one of the highest incidents of accidents in the county, including accidents that are considered ‘severe’ for the purposes of Vision Zero calculations, and it needs to be fixed.”
The county considers this intersection a “hot spot,” based on a review of crash data from 2019 and 2022. Between 2017 and 2019, there had been more than 15 vehicle crashes and at least two cyclist-involved crashes, per a 2020 report. The county’s crash dashboard lists two crashes with severe injuries, one in 2015 and another in 2017, and ARLnow reported on a hit-and-run with severe injuries in November 2021.
That’s in addition to last week’s crash.
@ArlingtonDES is working on designs at this very intersection because it's a known safety hazard
This is why we need them to work faster https://t.co/O7WXZJf0Ps
— eBike Gillian (@BikeGillian) March 14, 2023
For all road users, navigating the intersection requires hyper-vigilance, but people are rarely able to pay attention to “an overwhelming number of inputs,” says Douglas Park resident Kristin Francis.
More signs preventing right turns at red lights are going up around Arlington County to reduce crashes.
They were added to long stretches of major arterial streets, including Columbia Pike and Wilson Blvd. The county has concurrently reprogrammed walk signals to give pedestrians a head start crossing the street.
These changes are being made to eliminate crashes that are fatal or result in serious injuries, the aim of its two-year-old traffic safety initiative known as Vision Zero.
“This is a win for pedestrian safety benefit,” said Chris Slatt, a member of Sustainable Mobility for Arlington, which has advocated for more of no-turn-on-red signs in areas with many pedestrians. “You would want to be safe to walk and not have to worry about driving through crosswalk.”
Some drivers have anecdotally reported congestion and longer idling times to ARLnow.
“Seems like these signs cause a lot of cars to sit and idle at intersections longer than they used to,” notes one tipster. “They also generally gum up traffic.”
County documents note there have been safety benefits seen in areas with high pedestrian volumes. Additionally, a focus group of elderly adults appreciated the red light restrictions.
The county’s view is that any reasonable trade-off is worth it.
“Although traffic may slightly increase at times due these safety interventions, the trade-off is a safer environment for our most vulnerable users — pedestrians and bicyclists,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Katie O’Brien said.
During Vision Zero’s second year, per a report, the county has been adding no turn on red signs on:
- Columbia Pike from the county line to Washington Blvd
- Fairfax Drive from N. Glebe Road to N. Kirkwood Dr
- Clarendon Blvd from N. Highland Street to Ft. Myer Drive and Wilson Blvd
- Wilson Blvd from N. Glebe Road to Fort Myer Drive
Year 2 of Arlington’s Vision Zero plan wraps up this spring.
The county says it has also grown the number of signalized intersections with a 3-7 second head start for pedestrians from 31 to 77 during Year 2. Studies show this change can reduce pedestrian-vehicle collisions by up to 60%.
As of March 2022, the county had no-turn-on-red signs at 147 approaches — each point of an intersection — after adding signs at 35 approaches in Year 1 of Vision Zero, per a May report.
Priority intersections for these changes include those with many pedestrians and bicyclists, restricted sight distance and a history of turn-related crashes, according to a “Vision Zero toolkit” of traffic safety treatments.
Arlington joins other states and municipalities, including D.C., phasing out the right-on-red at busy intersections. A number of studies have shown right on red decreases safety and restrictions improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
"Washington, D.C., will end most right-on-red turns by 2025. Already, the state of Hawaii has prohibited them on a tourist-dense stretch of road in Honolulu. The city of Berkeley in California is considering banning right on red at all intersections." https://t.co/zF0etmTtTr
— The War on Cars (@TheWarOnCars) March 10, 2023
Right on red was legalized 50 years ago to prevent idling and save gas during an oil embargo proclaimed by oil-exporting Arab countries, according to the county. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 required states to allow right turns on red to receive certain federal funds.
“Unfortunately, the country has been experiencing the trade-offs of right on red turns ever since,” the county said in the Vision Zero toolkit.
Safety signage and markings are coming this spring to a long-troubled intersection near Lubber Run Community Center.
The intersection of N. Park Drive and N. George Mason Drive in the Arlington Forest neighborhood will be getting updated signage and street markings reading “SLOW SCHOOL XING” within the next few months, a county official has confirmed to ARLnow.
“Marking should be installed this spring, depending on the weather,” Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokesperson Claudia Pors wrote in an email.
The county is also aiming to get a traffic signal installed there, said Pors, but it would have to be funded in the next Capital Improvement Plan. There’s not yet a timeline for when that could happen and when a signal might be installed.
This is all in addition to the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons that were installed there about two years ago.
The N. Park Drive and N. George Mason Drive intersection has long concerned neighbors due to the high rate of crashes there.
In October, residents told ARLnow that speeding drivers and the four-lane expanse made the intersection particularly dangerous. It’s also tricky for drivers on N. Park Drive — including those going to and coming from the Lubber Run Community Center — trying to cross or turn left on George Mason.
That’s in addition to the presence of Barrett Elementary School and hundreds of students one block away.
In the fall, neighbors provided testimony and photos to ARLnow that showed cars jumping curbs, vehicles ending up in the woods, and a near-miss between a bus and a motorcycle at the intersection.
DES said at the time that since the intersection had not been identified as part of its Vision Zero High-Injury Network corridor or Hot Spot program, it wasn’t eligible for any further safety upgrades beyond the flashing beacons. DES did promise to investigate further the possibility of adding more, though.
Data collected by the county since then has confirmed the concerns of neighbors and led to the addition of these new features at N. Park Drive and N. George Mason Drive.
“Crash analysis revealed there were four visible injury angle crashes within 18 months (April 2021 – Oct 2022) at this intersection, which escalated the importance of safety improvements,” Pors said.
The intent was always to review “the safety and operations of this intersection post completion of the Lubber Run Community Center,” she also noted.
The news of the updated signage, markings, and, potentially, a traffic signal was included in a recent edition of the Arlington Forest Civic Association newsletter, a reader shared with ARLnow.
“That’s huge for the neighborhood. I was surprised they didn’t put one in when they built the new community center,” the reader said.
Hat tip to Henry Grey
Arlington County is one of the top 15 safest “cities” in the United States, according to a new set of rankings.
The number crunchers at SmartAsset looked at violent and property crime rates, as well as rates of vehicle-related deaths, drug-related deaths and excessive drinking. They ranked Arlington at No. 11, below No. 10 Yonkers, New York, No. 6 Alexandria and No. 1 Frisco, Texas, among others.
Arlington outperformed Alexandria in all published metrics, so it’s unclear why the charming city to our south was ranked higher. The county had significantly higher rates of violent and property crime than Frisco, however.
On the positive side, Arlington had the lowest rate of vehicle deaths — 3.1 per 100,000 residents — of any city in the top 15. That vehicle mortality rate was less than half that of any of the six Texas cities that topped the rankings.
Arlington is now in the third year of its Vision Zero plan to reduce or eliminate vehicle fatalities and severe injuries.
The crime data was primarily supplied by a 2021 FBI database, SmartAsset said. That year saw a decline in carjackings, car thefts and homicides in Arlington. The county has since seen a rise in carjackings and student overdoses, in particular, to start the year.