A number of police chases initiated outside the county have careened through Arlington this month.
An armed robbery last Tuesday at the Home Depot in Seven Corners resulted in a police chase up I-395 before the driver got stuck in traffic approaching the 14th Street Bridge and tried to escape on foot at the exit for the GW Parkway.
Here's another view of the @FairfaxCountyPD chase of robbery suspects into Arlington that shut I-395N yesterday. The suspects got stuck in 14th St. Bridge traffic & #police boxed them in. @ARLnowDOTcom @matthewyoung31 @RealTimeNews10 #traffic #vatraffic #dctraffic #395cam pic.twitter.com/FFGXHL76wb
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 19, 2022
In another chase last week, Fairfax County police initiated a chase after a cruiser was struck in Lincolnia.
Two weeks ago, the Alexandria police department followed a car into Arlington and Virginia State Police joined the pursuit — until the driver escaped across the river into D.C. and the chase was called off.
#caughtoncamera: Just before noon, an @AlexandriaVAPD officer followed a car reported to be connected to a felony into Arlington on I-395. The car ran & escaped into DC as @VSPPIO tried to stop it. @ARLnowDOTcom @HCBright10 @charlienbc @RealTimeNews10 #police #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/dZ5j71t7Ej
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 11, 2022
Public safety watchdog Dave Statter keeps records of most these chases from his perch in Pentagon City. While there has been a recent mini-rash of Fairfax County-initiated pursuits, he tells ARLnow this is a less common phenomenon compared to VSP chases.
“From my experience, those two recent chases by Fairfax County Police into Arlington are more of the exception that the rule,” said Statter. “In fact, they are so infrequent I had to put in a new folder in my police video file for FCPD.”
The same night as the Lincolnia chase, Statter said state police troopers were pursuing someone, too.
“Just a few minutes earlier, VSP chased and stopped someone on I-395 N near Washington Blvd,” Statter wrote. “VSP was still working that one when the FCPD chase went by. They had a little warning from the dispatcher and a couple of troopers joined in.”
(2) The @FairfaxCountyPD chase passed by the scene of a @VSPPIO chase that ended 10-minutes earlier when troopers boxed in a vehicle on I-395N at Route 27 & made an arrest. Some of those troopers joined in the second chase as Fairfax officers passed by.
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 18, 2022
Other VSP chases through Arlington happened on Saturday and in the early hours this morning. In the early Wednesday morning chase, VSP was following a car in connection to catalytic converter thefts in Fairfax County. On Saturday, VSP was chasing a possibly stolen car.
Recent chases involving or started by VSP that went through Arlington — including those this month — concluded with the cars escaping across the Potomac River and into D.C. Often, state police abandons pursuit once the person being chased reaches the jurisdictional line.
While you slept: Two videos showing a 12:30 a.m. chase of a car #police were looking for following catalytic converter thefts in Fairfax County. It escaped across the Potomac. @ARLnowDOTcom @HCBright10 #police #traffic #vatraffic #395cam #statcam https://t.co/EolA0LR48a pic.twitter.com/cGiypFX0Cu
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 26, 2022
The reason for this is that VSP has relatively loose restrictions for starting a chase, but they tighten when troopers reach state lines.
“Sworn employees may initiate a pursuit when a driver fails to stop after the sworn employee has given a lawful order to stop by activating emergency lights and/or siren,” according to Virginia State Police policy.
Anyone under pursuit for a possible misdemeanor or traffic violation is almost always in the clear if they can cross the 14th Street Bridge.
Meanwhile, Fairfax’s back-to-back chases come 13 months after the police department rolled out new, more restrictive guidance for when officers can chase suspects.
Effective September 2021, Fairfax County eliminated pursuits for misdemeanors, traffic violations and nonviolent felonies. Now, police conduct chases within Fairfax County and within Virginia for violent felonies, serious crimes with the threat or use of a firearm or explosive device, and at the authorization of a commander.
Fairfax officers join chases when they meet the department’s criteria, and officers can only pursue a car into D.C. or Maryland if the driver or passenger has attempted or is wanted for a felony crime.
Prior to the decision, Fairfax had one of the most liberal chase policies in the D.C. area, according to a police presentation from spring 2021. At the time, officials said the updated guidelines would bring the county in line with chase policies throughout the region.
“FCPD updated several pertinent policies in 2021 to further align the department with national best practices; improve officer and community safety and ensure our commitment to transparency,” according to the department’s annual crime summary for 2021. “The most significant revision included a modification to the traffic pursuit policy, which now focuses on apprehending offenders who pose the greatest risk to our community and doing so with an eye on safety.”
Arlington has similar police chase policies: those wanted for relatively minor crimes are usually allowed to flee an attempted traffic stop without a chase, while violent criminals may be pursued, as happened earlier this month after an armed suspect firing shots at police was chased from Arlington to Fairfax County. Arlington’s policy follows a lawsuit nearly 40 years ago by a man who lost his legs when struck in D.C. by bank robbery suspects being chased at high speed by an ACPD officer.
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A handful of main roads in Arlington may be getting speed limit reductions.
At its meeting this Saturday, the Arlington County Board is slated to vote to advertise a potential reduction in the speed limit on four arterial streets, per a staff report.
The reductions would target road segments with high volumes of pedestrians walking to and from transit stations, schools, apartment buildings and commercial areas, the county says. Among them:
- Washington Blvd from Arlington Blvd (Route 50) to N. Pershing Drive (35 to 30 mph)
- S. Joyce Street from Columbia Pike to Army Navy Drive (35 to 30 mph)
- Columbia Pike from S. Dinwiddie Street to the Fairfax County line (35 to 30 mph)
- Lorcom Lane from Cherry Hill Road to Military Road (30 to 25 mph)
The segments also have more serious and fatal crashes than other roads, the report said.
The selected segment of Washington Blvd, south of Clarendon, sees lots of foot traffic due to the public transit stops on both sides of the road connected by controlled and uncontrolled marked crosswalks, according to the county.
The corridor had 39 crashes in a 5-year period, and is one of the roads in Arlington’s Vision Zero High Injury Network, which accounts for 78% of all serious or fatal crashes. North of Arlington Blvd, the speed limit on Washington Blvd is already 30 mph.
S. Joyce Street, in the Pentagon City area, also has “steady” pedestrian activity due to a transit stop. The county says more people will walk, cycle and scoot along the road — which passes near the Air Force Memorial — once Columbia Pike is realigned to expand Arlington National Cemetery.
Lower speeds here “are essential” for lowering the risk of severe collisions, since the lane widths are limited and have no shoulders, per the report. To improve walkability on this stretch of S. Joyce, the county widened sidewalks and installed new lighting in 2013.
The Dept. of Environmental Services also recommends lowering speeds on the segment of Columbia Pike from S. Dinwiddie Street to the Fairfax County line to account for increased walking and transit use associated with new transit stations. Columbia Pike, with 85 crashes in a five-year period, of which six involved pedestrians, is also part of what has been designated the “High Injury Network.”
Continuing east on Columbia Pike, the speed limit is currently 30 mph.
Meanwhile, a high volume of people walk and cycle across Lorcom Lane to go to and from Dorothy Hamm Middle School, per the report. The school also has foot traffic outside school hours and on weekends, for events such as the Cherrydale Farmers Market, which started last year, despite complaints from some neighbors.
This road saw 18 crashes in six years, and of those, speeding contributed to three crashes.
The county considered, but decided not to lower speeds on segments of S. Walter Reed Drive, S. Four Mile Run Drive and Wilson Blvd from N. Glebe Road to the Fairfax County line — where the limit is currently 30 mph.
- Fairfax Drive from Arlington Boulevard to N. Barton Street (30 mph to 25 mph)
- 5th Road S. from S. Carlin Springs Road to the Fairfax County line (35 mph to 25 mph)
New cameras enforcing speeding could be coming to Arlington school and work zones by the end of this year.
The County Board voted on Saturday to have speed cameras installed throughout the county near schools and on public roads where construction work is ongoing.
Board members heralded the cameras as a tool for protecting children, lowering severe and fatal crashes — an initiative known as Vision Zero — as well as reducing race- and ethnicity-based disparities in traffic enforcement and providing relief to overworked Arlington County Police Department officers.
“The idea that we can keep our community safer, address this behavior and then reduce demand on the police and reduce interactions with police is just a really heartening step for us to take,” said Board Chair Katie Cristol.
The vote follows the passage of state law in 2020 allowing municipalities to install speed cameras.
It also coincides with an anecdotal increase in speeding around schools, according to Board member Libby Garvey (although speed-related crashes in school zones have remained relatively constant at 10 per year, per county data).
“Maybe there hasn’t been a huge increase in crashes, but there has been an increase in bad behavior, and that’s pretty worrisome,” she said. “This is about children and safety.”
Last fall, Arlington County took steps to make school zones safer by lowering speed limits to 20 mph around 13 schools.
County staff are reviewing best practices, crash data, equity concerns and other local factors to determine where to place the cameras, Vision Zero project manager Christine Baker told the County Board. School zones encompass a 600-foot radius of a school crosswalk or school access point.
“We plan to be strategic and intentional about where we place speed cameras to ensure they’re effective in reducing speeds and promoting fairness and equity as well,” Baker said.
Board members said this should reassure motorists who also travel in D.C. and feel that camera locations are chosen to “trap” them and generate revenue rather than correct behavior.
Here’s what drivers need to know.
When will the program start?
Locations could be selected by this fall and the program could start as soon as cameras and warning signs are installed, either this winter or in early 2023.
Who will get citations?
Anyone going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Every citation will be issued after a sworn ACPD officer reviews the footage.
How much will citations cost? What are the other penalties?
Citations for the first 30 days of the program will be warnings that carry no fines. After that, they are $50 a fine, the same as red light-camera violations. The fines will go into the general fund.
Violations will be civil, not criminal, meaning they won’t add points to a person’s driver’s license or be considered for insurance purposes. Drivers can contest the violations.
How much will the program cost?
The program will cost $600,000 a year, and for now, ACPD anticipates the fines will offset the program’s costs, Capt. Albert Kim told the County Board. The costs include the purchase of 10 cameras, which can be moved, camera installation, program operations, ticketing and the salary of the full-time police employee reviewing the footage.
Where can I learn more about speed cameras?
Information in multiple languages will be available on the county website. The county will increase communication about the program through community email lists and the communication channels of APS and ACPD as the start date draws closer.
How will my data be protected?
State law requires Arlington police and the third-party vendor to delete footage and shred physical documents with personally identifiable information within a certain time frame: 60 days of reviewing the footage and determining the driver wasn’t speeding, or within 60 days of a driver paying a fine, Kim said.
Arlington County could start cracking down on speeding near schools and highway work zones with newly-allowed speed cameras.
This weekend, the Arlington County Board is scheduled to set a public hearing for its Jan. 22 meeting on the question of whether to install speed cameras.
Currently, Arlington County only has cameras that capture red-light violations, but in 2020 the Virginia General Assembly allowed localities to install radar-based speed detectors around school crossing zones and highway work zones. Now, the county is poised to consider adding 10 movable cameras to these zones.
“Automated speed enforcement will significantly advance Arlington County’s transportation safety and equity initiatives as stated through the Vision Zero Action Plan and Police Practices Group Recommendations and leads to considerable reductions in speeding, crashes resulting in injuries, and total crashes — thereby making roadways safer for all users,” the report said.
“Automated speed enforcement also reduces unnecessary interactions between residents and police and further advances confidence in equitable outcomes by reducing or eliminating the possibility of race-and ethnicity-based disparities in traffic enforcement,” the report continues.
State code requires that localities post signs informing drivers of speed cameras and sets the threshold for enforcement at more than 10 mph over the speed limit. Fines cannot exceed $100, and speeding violations do not add points on a driver’s license nor are they considered for insurance purposes, per the state code.
Arlington is proposing a $50 fine for violations. It would match the current $50 fine for red-light violations captured by red-light cameras and fulfill a recommendation from the county’s Police Practices Group, according to the county report.
The group initially recommended calculating fines based on the speeding driver’s income and fixed expenses, the county report said. Since state law doesn’t currently allow such a sliding scale, the group suggested a lower fine and 30-day grace period after cameras are installed.
Before installing the cameras, Arlington County will focus conduct “a robust educational plan,” per the report.
“This plan will include significant outreach across the County to ensure a broad range of residents with different experiences and backgrounds receive information on placement and implementation,” it said.
An unscientific ARLnow poll this summer found that respondents are divided on traffic enforcement: about one-third of respondents wanted to see more speed cameras, while 45% wanted more red light cameras and just over half did not want more enforcement from either type of camera..
Arlington will hire transportation safety consultants to develop guidelines for placing cameras in school zones, using a $60,000 grant from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Camera placement can change in response to data on speeding, citations, crashes and transportation volumes.
The police department estimates installing and maintaining 10 cameras, and hiring a full-time employee to manage the speed camera program, will cost about $600,000 a year, the report said. Arlington County expects fines to offset the ongoing costs of the program.
Last year, the County Board asked the state to expand the use of speed cameras beyond school and highway work zones.
It’s been a common occurrence lately, documented by public safety watchdog Dave Statter: Virginia State Police engage in high-speed chases on I-395 but abandon them at the D.C. line.
That’s because VSP’s loose restrictions for initiating a chase tighten when troopers reach state lines.
“Sworn employees may initiate a pursuit when a driver fails to stop after the sworn employee has given a lawful order to stop by activating emergency lights and/or siren,” according to state police chase policy. But anyone being chased for a possible misdemeanor or traffic violation, who manages to reach D.C., is in the clear.
“Unless the violator’s offense is a felony, sworn employees will discontinue pursuit at the state line,” the policy says. “If the violator is being pursued in connection with a felony offense (in addition to felony eluding police), the pursuit may continue into the District of Columbia or any adjoining state except Kentucky with the approval of a supervisor.”
It almost is a nightly event — @VSPPIO giving a driver a high speed escort into DC via I-395N. This pursuit was at 1 am and, as usual, was cut off at the 14th Street Bridge. @WTOPtraffic @WTOP @ARLnowDOTcom @CordellTraffic #police #traffic #vatraffic #dctraffic #395cam #STATcam pic.twitter.com/UjFFaWbMLh
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 15, 2021
Another high speed escort into DC. @VSPPIO chased a stolen vehicle from I-495, north on I-395 and across the 14th Street Bridge. This one was so fast & so far ahead it was hard to follow. @WTOPtraffic @ARLnowDOTcom @CordellTraffic #police #pursuit #traffic #vatraffic #395cam pic.twitter.com/sGULmDpUbz
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 20, 2021
Asked about which types of incidents typically lead to troopers calling things off at the 14th Street Bridge, and which lead to chases continuing into the District, VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller said “there’s no one-size-fits-all answer that I can provide.”
“In accordance with Virginia State Police policy, each pursuit is assessed on a case-by-case basis,” she said. “The trooper and supervisor will assess the pursuit based on the variety of factors that are known and unknown at every stage of the pursuit, which will then determine if/when it is in the best of the interest of the public to terminate a pursuit.”
Sometimes, of course, police are able to stop fleeing drivers before they enter the District. Statter posted video of state police stopping a vehicle and making an arrest with guns drawn on I-395 near the Pentagon this past weekend.
.@VSPPIO with guns drawn on a traffic stop on I-395N across from the Pentagon. No delays, but be careful, only left lane gets by. @WTOPtraffic @ARLnowDOTcom #police #traffic #vatraffic pic.twitter.com/h7hu708aGf
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) October 23, 2021
If VSP chases a suspect in Arlington County, local police can and have helped nab suspects, but Arlington County Police Department policy specifies officers can only give chase when there’s a serious crime involved. While both have jurisdiction on state highways in Arlington, VSP predominantly handles enforcement there, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage says.
Arlington officers can only give chase if there is probable cause that a driver or occupant has committed a violent felony or an offense involving the use or threatened use of a firearm, or has warrants on file for either reason. Additionally, ACPD officers can give chase if the pursuit could “abate a danger of a substantial likelihood of death or serious bodily injury,” the policy reads.
When they reach county lines, officers don’t have to stop, but they should consider their “level of familiarity” with the area, per the policy.
While Arlington police will maintain a lookout for a vehicle that flees from them on traffic or minor charges — searching the area without giving chase — the only other recourse in the moment is to notify state police and other local and federal law enforcement agencies.
As for joining other pursuits, the ACPD policy says “officers shall not join in a pursuit initiated by another jurisdiction that enters Arlington County unless the driver or occupant is wanted for any of the above-listed offenses.”
(Updated at 9:35 p.m.) Arlington County is looking to lower speed limits near schools as part of its ambitious Vision Zero initiative to eliminate serious traffic-related injuries and deaths by 2030.
This Saturday, the County Board is set to decide whether to authorize a public hearing next month to discuss and potentially approve creating “slow zones” on residential streets near 13 schools.
The proposed 58 zones, with a speed limit of 20 mph, will be near 11 Arlington public schools and well as Bishop O’Connell High School and St. Thomas More Cathedral School.
“Attempts to reduce or eliminate fatal and critical crashes can be achieved by regulating unsafe speeds on our streets with measures such as signage and pavement markings,” a county report said. “Lowering the speed limit can be a basic and powerful tool for reducing vehicle speeds.”
Traditionally, Arlington has installed flashing beacons to encourage drivers to adhere to reduced speed limits near schools. The report said these signs are inconsistently installed and are costly to maintain, while “static signage” and pavement markings, reminding drivers the speed limit is always 20 mph, are cheaper and easier to install.
The signage and markings will be tested out at these 13 sites before they’re installed across Arlington.
“Slower speeds around schools is a no-brainer, and are beneficial for everyone,” Vision Zero program manager Christine Sherman Baker told the Transportation Commission earlier this month. “We want to prioritize safety in school zones because children are still learning how to travel safely: how to cross the street, how to ride a bike. They’re some of our most vulnerable users.”
And they’re learning these skills in risky areas: according to the report, 10 or more speeding-related crashes annually happen within 600 feet of a school in Arlington.
Some schools were chosen because they’re new or have existing infrastructure in need of upgrades, she said. Hoffman-Boston Elementary, Drew Elementary and Gunston Middle schools were chosen because they’re near high-injury networks — and including them would help meet Vision Zero’s equity component.
This fall, Arlington County Police Department has been collecting speeding data that will be compared with new data collected next spring to see if these zones are effective, she said.
The community can provide feedback in March and April of next year, ahead of the county-wide roll out, she added.
The proposal was met with enthusiasm from Transportation Commission members and some members of the public.
“Bravo,” Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt said. “I think it’s fantastic.”
Representing local advocacy group Arlington Families for Safe Streets, Gillian Burgess voiced her support for the program during the meeting.
“Slower speeds around schools are not only great for the safety of vulnerable road users, but it also encourages activity, which addresses both child health and health equity,” she said. “It improves air quality and noise pollution around schools… and it promotes mental health and social inclusion.”
ACPD should also “commit publicly” to enforcing speeding near schools, preferably via speed cameras and not just for speeds 10 mph or more above the limit, while the county should consider closing streets in front of schools to cars, Burgess added.
Arlington County will be soon implementing an additional $200 fine for speeding on eight mostly residential streets.
The additional fine was approved by the County Board last January, but it has taken a year to fully implement due to the need for collecting speed data, as well as pandemic-related installation delays.
It’s part of the county’s Vision Zero program, first adopted in July 2019, designed to take a holistic approach in eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries.
Signage is expected to go up over the next couple of months for the first four street segments, discussed at last night’s County Board meeting:
- 28th Street S. from S. Meade Street to Army Navy Drive
- N. Ohio Street from 14th Street N. to Wilson Blvd
- 23rd Street S. from Army Navy Drive to Fern Street
- John Marshall Drive from Little Falls Road to Lee Hwy
Then, come the spring, four more streets will receive signage and enforcement, according to the county Transportation Engineering and Operations Bureau Chief Hui Wang. They include:
- N. Harrison Street from Lee Hwy to 37th Street N.
- Patrick Henry Drive from N. George Mason Drive to Wilson Blvd
- S. George Mason Drive from S. Dinwiddie Street to S. Four Mile Run Drive
- 7th Road S. from Columbia Pike to S. Carlin Springs Road
All of these streets have a 25 mph speed limit, except for S. George Mason Drive from S. Dinwiddie Street to S. Four Mile Run Drive (which is 30 mph).
The eight new streets are in addition to those that were instituted early last year:
- S. Carlin Springs Road from Columbia Pike to S. George Mason Drive
- Military Road from Old Glebe Road to Nelly Custis Drive
- Lorcom Lane from Military Road to Spout Run Parkway
The installation of these signs began in February 2020 and was completed in April, in the midst of the pandemic.
The $200 fine is in addition to the standard $6 for every mile per hour above the speed limit and the $66 in court fees. So, for example, if a motorist is given a ticket for being 10 mph over the speed limit in one of these corridors, the fine would be $326.
Wang explained the corridors were chosen based on five years worth of data that showed a “documented speeding issue.” Those are mostly near residential, school, park, and other pedestrian-heavy areas.
She also said that this a relatively cheap method to deal with speeding.
“This is a low cost measure to address speeding,” Wang said. “It’s just additional signage.”
There’s also potential for other coordiors to be chosen for this increased fine, but further data collection and analysis is ongoing.
Spurred by a question from County Board member Libby Garvey, Wang said that placards or warning flags are being considered for the new speed signs to ensure they are catching the attention of motorists. Those will be taken down after residents get used to the new fines and signs.
“Yeah, which may take a few fines,” said Garvey.
A 33-year-old man has been arrested and charged with dragging an Arlington County police officer with his car after being pulled over for speeding on I-66.
The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on eastbound I-66, near Spout Run Parkway, and drew a large police response.
A motorcycle officer pulled over a driver for traveling 88 mph in a 55 mph zone. Then, after smelling marijuana, the officer requested the driver get out of the vehicle and sign the speeding ticket, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
“The driver initially complied but became uncooperative and attempted to enter the vehicle after commanded not to do so,” the department said. “A brief struggle ensued, during which the officer advised he would deploy [pepper spray] if the suspect continued not to comply.”
“The officer deployed their OC Spray in an attempt to gain control of the driver, however he was still able to re-enter the vehicle,” the report continues. “As the suspect fled the scene in the vehicle, he dragged the officer for a short distance. The officer suffered minor injuries and was treated on scene by medics.”
A lookout for the vehicle was broadcast, but police were unable to find it. Then, after using “various investigative tools,” police were able to get in touch with a family member of the suspect, who subsequently turned himself in last night.
“Ahmad Rahim, 33, of Chantilly, Va., was arrested and charged with Malicious/Unlawful Wounding of Law Enforcement, Eluding, Reckless Driving, and Obstruction of Justice,” police said. “He was held on no bond.”
Update on 12/17/20 — The officer who was dragged is Officer Adam Stone, a well-liked veteran of ACPD’s Motor Unit. Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage declined to provide additional details about the incident, “to ensure the integrity of the investigation and prosecution.”
A little video from the @ArlingtonVaPD activity on I-66E before Spout Run. Early info is a vehicle sped off from a motor officer during a stop. @ARLnowDOTcom https://t.co/ogqsle6kTA pic.twitter.com/YwqMC2BbZp
— Dave Statter (@STATter911) December 15, 2020
Arlington wants to deploys speed cameras and to lower speed limits in residential and business districts below 25 miles per hour.
Those are among a list of state legislative priorities the Arlington County Board unanimously approved on Saturday before the upcoming session of the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond.
Board member Christian Dorsey said at Saturday’s meeting that speed cameras allow for equitable law enforcement while reducing public interaction with the police.
“We want to reduce the amount of times that potential conflicts can turn into something that’s unintended,” Dorsey said.
“Automated ticket enforcement has the potential to improve safety… and further advance equitable outcomes by reducing or eliminating race-based disparities in speed enforcement,” the county said its legislative priority list.
Board Chair Libby Garvey said Arlington also needs discretion on reducing the speed limit in residential and business areas.
“There’s just so much in this state that we find we have responsibility for things and we don’t have the authority to actually do what we need to do sometimes, so this is just a never-ending stream of things that we’re trying to correct and get control over that we ought to have control over,” Garvey said.
Pat Carroll, Arlington’s liaison to Richmond, told the Board that recent leadership changes within the legislature “noticeably helped the fate of Arlington’s legislative priorities.”
Other approved priorities include:
- “More state funding for localities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic”
- “Seeking full funding for K-12 education, including ensuring state funding for Arlington Public Schools reflects pre-pandemic levels”
- “Protecting existing Northern Virginia Transportation authority revenues”
- “Allowing individual retail customers to buy 100 percent renewable electricity from any licensed competitive supplier of electric energy”
- “Supporting legislation to provide greater incentives for tree canopy preservation and planting”
- “Enacting authority for a local option to develop incentives or regulations to decrease or regulate the distribution and sale of polystyrene food-service containers”
- “Permit localities and public bodies to set their own rules regarding ‘virtual’ [meeting] participation“
Arlington’s full list of legislative priorities is below the jump.
Two incidents on I-395 in Arlington last week illustrate the need for less speed.
First, state police say speeding was the main factor in a crash involving a 23-year-old driver last Wednesday. Despite a photo that shows the car heavily damaged — after striking a construction trailer sign, a crash impact attenuator, and an SUV — police say the driver only suffered minor injuries.
#Speeding was the main cause of this crash in I395 #WorkZone @ArlingtonVA 12:29 AM. Hyundai going north when 23 YO driver lost control, struck constrx trailer sign, crash impact attenuator, slid across the lanes, t-boned an SUV. Minor injuries. Lesson: #SlowYourSpeed @VaDOTNOVA pic.twitter.com/i92MXldicP
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) May 6, 2020
Over the weekend, VSP posted a photo of a speeding ticket issued to a driver accused of going 115 mph along I-395, where the speed limit it 55 mph. A trooper issued the ticket Saturday morning.
“Would this make your mother proud?” state police asked, ahead of the Mother’s Day holiday.
If you’ve got a lead foot, you should probably slow down, especially — soon — on three particular Arlington streets.
At the County Board meeting on Tuesday, County Manager Mark Schwartz announced the first three streets that would be subject to the new fine.
- Carlin Springs Road from Columbia Pike to George Mason Drive — through the Glencarlyn and Arlington Forest neighborhoods
- Military Road from Old Glebe Road to Nelly Custis Drive — through the Bellevue Forest and Donaldson Run neighborhoods
- Lorcom Lane from Military Road to Spout Run Parkway — through the Maywood and Woodmont neighborhoods
The $200 fine would be in addition to standard $6 for every mile per hour above the speed limit and the $66 in court fees.
Schwartz said the meeting was the first announcement of which streets would have the new fines, but emphasized that there would be more public notification before the change goes into effect. Schwartz did not specify when the new fines would be implemented.
“We will put more out there,” Schwartz said. “People should not think today, all of a sudden, we flipped the switch.”
Staff photo by Jay Westcott