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Planners Want Your Feedback on Some Major Rehab Work on the GW Parkway

Some major renovations are on the way for the GW Parkway as it runs from Rosslyn to I-495, and transportation planners want to hear from you about how the highway can improve.

The National Park Service, which maintains the road, is accepting public comments on the project from now through July 14. The effort is a long way from kicking off — the NPS has yet to even find funding for the construction — but officials are dubbing it a “major rehabilitation” of that section of the highway as it nears “the end of its design lifespan.”

According to a press release, the construction work will start at the parkway’s Spout Run Parkway exit and include:

  • Making drives smoother by replacing the asphalt pavement
  • Repairing stormwater management systems to keep excess water from damaging the road
  • Improving safety by strengthening roadside barriers and constructing new concrete curbs
  • Rehabilitating parts of two historic, scenic overlooks
  • Lengthening entrance and exit lanes at some interchanges

The park service’s current plans also call for the replacement of the stormwater drainage grates that line the parkway, which have long made for a bumpy ride for drivers. The construction would also include improvements at the parkway’s interchange with Chain Bridge Road in McLean, such as adding a new traffic signal to the area.

Anyone looking to comment on the project can do so on the NPS website, or attend a June 27 open house from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Turkey Run Park in McLean.

NPS is tentatively planning on kicking off construction sometime in 2020.

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Attempted Armed Robbery of Starbucks Foiled By Audacious Customer

A Starbucks customer foiled a would-be armed robber — twice — over the weekend.

According to an Arlington County Police crime report, a man walked into a business on the 3100 block of Lee Highway just after 5 a.m. Sunday morning, brandished a firearm and ordered everyone to the back of the store. A customer with a venti-sized dose of audacity then intervened.

“A patron physically challenged the suspect causing the suspect to exit the business,” said the crime report. “The suspect immediately re-entered the business brandishing the firearm. Once confronted again by the patron, the suspect fled the scene on foot.”

“Arriving officers canvased the area and a K9 track yielded negative results,” the crime report continued. “No injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a black male, 20-30 years old, approximately 6’0, wearing a black winter jacket with a fur hood. The investigation is ongoing.”

Though police did not specify a business, a tipster said the robbery took place at the Starbucks in the Lyon Village Shopping Center, along Spout Run Parkway.

Asked about a possible surveillance image of the suspect, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the department has “nothing for release at this time.”

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Car Flips On Spout Run Parkway, Slides Into Woods

A car flipped on Spout Run Parkway this morning, rolling down a steep slope into the woods nearby.

Officers from the U.S. Park Police responded to the southbound side of the parkway just after its intersection with Lorcom Lane around 10:45 a.m. today (Wednesday).

The driver appeared to lose control of the car before careering off the road and into the woods. There were no injuries reported.

Park Police were on scene, and by 11 a.m. a tow truck was on scene to remove the wrecked car. A police car occupied the right-hand lane nearby. There were no significant traffic impacts.

At least four other incidents of vehicles flipping or running into the woods along Spout Run Parkway have been reported over the past six years, including one incident last year of a motorcycle chase ending on the parkway.

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BREAKING: Wild Motorcycle Chase Ends on Spout Run Parkway

A wild police chase that started on I-66 has ended in Arlington.

Virginia State Police were chasing two motorcyclists who refused to stop after one was reportedly involved in a crash on the highway, according to scanner traffic.

The pursuit continued into Arlington and the motorcyclists took the Glebe Road exit into Ballston. With a Fairfax County Police helicopter overhead tracking their movement, the bikers briefly stopped in Ballston and then made their way north, past the area of Washington-Lee High School and onto Lee Highway, according to police radio traffic.

One of the suspects was reportedly taken into custody after he damaged his motorcycle and tried to flee on foot into the woods at the intersection of Spout Run Parkway and Lorcom Lane.

The other continued to flee down residential streets, allegedly driving onto front lawns and zooming past pedestrians. By apparent coincidence, the motorcyclist rode right by where the first suspect was arrested, and was himself then stopped and taken into custody on Spout Run Parkway

Police temporarily closed portions of the parkway to traffic during the incident.

Virginia State Police pursued the suspects through the county; per Arlington County Police policy against chasing suspects for minor crimes, ACPD units were instructed not to pursue.

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Photos: Car Runs Down Embankment Along Spout Run Parkway

A car ran down an embankment and into a ravine along the Spout Run Parkway this afternoon.

The crash happened around 12:30 p.m., near a turnaround halfway between Lee Highway and the GW Parkway.

Witnesses told ARLnow.com that the driver tried to take the turnaround at a high rate of speed; her car careened across the eastbound lanes of the parkway and into the woods, taking down at least one tree and winding up near the stream.

The driver was able to get out of the car on her own and is expected to be okay. As of 1 p.m. towing crews and U.S. Park Police were still in the process of removing the car from the woods. The car was barely visible from the road due to thick foliage.

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Morning Notes

August wildflowers (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

Woman Takes Stage to Find Bathroom — An apparently intoxicated woman climbed on stage during a recent Signature Theatre production in Shirlington, made her way backstage and asked a cast member for directions to the bathroom. [Playbill]

Spout Run Closure — The eastbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway will be completely closed from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today for road paving. No detours will be in place and “alternative routes should be used,” according to the National Park Service.

Arlington Murder to Be Featured on TV Show — This coming Sunday, at 10 p.m., the show “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery will feature the 2012 homicide of Mack L. Woods Sr. in Arlington. [Patch]

Charleys Now Open in Pentagon City — A Charleys Philly Steaks restaurant is now open in the food court of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall food court. “Charleys brings a unique experience to the food court with its grilled-fresh-in-front-of-you flavor,” the company said in a press release.

Food Truck Stops Taking Cash — The Lemongrass food truck, which frequents Arlington, has decided to stop accepting cash. The truck now only takes credit and debit cards. [Washington Post]

Why Arlington Went to Paper Ballots — Arlington reintroduced paper ballots this year after dumping its electronic voting machines. Why did it get rid of the more modern tech? The WINVote system was found to be grossly insecure and the touchscreen devices were dubbed the “worst voting machines” in America. [Wired]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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Road Work, Lane Closures Coming to Spout Run Parkway

Spout Run Parkway (photo via Google Maps)The National Park Service this week is beginning a project to repave Spout Run Parkway.

The two-month project will result in lane closures and rush hour delays between the GW Parkway and Lorcom Lane.

From an NPS press release:

George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) will begin a roadway project on July 27, 2015, which is expected to last through late September, along Spout Run Parkway in both directions between GWMP and Lorcom Lane. The project will also include work on the southbound GWMP ramp to Key Bridge, and Rosslyn Circle Ramp onto northbound GWMP.

Throughout the 50-day project, motorists should expect single lane closures for a period of up to 10 days per lane in order to mill and overlay the road and replace the guard-rails. No detours will be in place, so please plan accordingly for delays, especially during rush hour. Every effort is being made to complete the work in a timely manner and minimize traffic delays.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

"Walking Mann" (Flickr pool photo by Christaki)

County Relies on Tips for Snow Violations — All recent snow-removal ordinance violation notices sent out by Arlington County were sent as the result of tips from residents, not a proactive enforcement effort. [Sun Gazette]

Sewage Spill in Spout Run — Arlington residents and their pets are advised to avoid Spout Run south of Lee Highway for the next day or so due to a “minor sewage spill.” [Arlington Alert]

Yorktown Senior Is Top B-Ball Prospect — Yorktown High School senior Mikayla Venson is one of the top-ranked girls’ basketball players in Virginia. However, due to injuries she hasn’t played for the Patriots since 2011. She will be attending the University of Virginia in the fall. [Yahoo! Sports]

Historic Fraber House’s New Owners — Last year, a large oak tree fell on the Fraber House in Cherrydale, just days before the county-owned home was set to receive a local historic designation. Nonetheless, the county was able to fix up the 1913 home and sell it to a local couple. The pair, Charu and Colin McDermott, work in the building trades and are thus well-suited to help maintain the historic home. [Preservation Arlington]

Lawmakers Honor Arlington Notables — The Virginia General Assembly has passed resolutions honoring a number of notable Arlington residents and institutions. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Christaki

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NB Spout Run Pkwy Blocked By Fallen Tree

Northbound lanes of the Spout Run Parkway are closed due to a fallen tree.

Traffic heading from Lee Highway toward the GW Parkway is being diverted from Spout Run onto Lorcom Lane.

U.S. Park Police officers are directing traffic while crews work to clear the fallen tree.

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Overturned Vehicle on Spout Run Parkway

gw-pkwy-wreck-stormpins(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) A crash involving an overturned vehicle on the Spout Run Parkway is causing rush hour traffic impacts.

The accident happened near Lorcom Lane, possibly at the turn-around between Lorcom Lane and the GW Parkway.

Two vehicles were reportedly involved in the wreck and one vehicle flipped on its roof. An individual was stuck in the overturned vehicle but seemed to to be okay, according to scanner traffic.

Drivers should expect significant traffic impacts in the area. It’s currently unclear whether the Parkway is blocked or if there are only lane closures in place.

Photo courtesy @StormPins

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Morning Notes

Eaglets Hatched?Flickr pool photographer Philliefan99 says the eagles in the photo above are exhibiting behavior that suggests they have eaglets in their nest. The nest is located near Spout Run. [Flickr]

No Streetcar Stalemate, Arlington Says — There is no discord between Arlington and Alexandria when it comes to plans to build a streetcar line along the future Route 1 transit corridor, according to a joint statement issued by Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan and Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young. The statement was in response to an article that suggested diverging transit plans were causing tensions between the two jurisdictions. [City of Alexandria]

New Data on Remodeling Expenses in Arlington — Households in Arlington spend an average of $5,801 per year on remodeling expenses, well above the national average of $1,907 per year, according to new data from the National Association of Home Builders. Falls Church households, meanwhile, spend the most on remodeling of any southern jurisdiction: $6,099 per year. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99

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Jeep Skids Off Road, Into Spout Run

A Jeep skidded off the eastbound Spout Run Parkway this morning, careening down a small ravine and into Spout Run itself.

The driver of the Jeep was taken to the hospital with what were reported to be minor injuries. U.S. Park Police are on the scene while tow trucks attempt to get the vehicle out of the creek. One lane of eastbound Spout Run is blocked as a result.

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Accident Involving Metrobus on Lee Highway

Police and firefighters are responding to an accident involving a car and a Metrobus on Lee Highway.

The accident occurred near the intersection of Lee Highway and Spout Run. Initial reports suggest that there were four occupants on the bus at the time.

Drivers should expect some minor traffic issues in the area.

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Morning Notes

HOT Lanes Lawsuit Bill Reaches $2 Million — The county emerged victorious in February when VDOT abandoned its plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395. But the legal battle has proven costly. The lawsuit Arlington filed against the project has cost county taxpayers nearly $2 million. [Sun Gazette]

East Falls Church Dissent Goes Both Ways — Sometimes it can be hard to please everybody in Arlington. Charlie Clark reports that there were three different camps at Saturday’s County Board meeting with respect to the board’s vote on the East Falls Church development plan. One group wanted more development than was called for, another vocal group wanted less development, and the people who drafted the plan thought it struck a good balance. [Falls Church News-Press]

Spout Run Bald Eagle Killed –Remember the nesting bald eagles we reported on two months ago? Some jerk shot and ultimately killed the mother eagle with an arrow, according to Patch. (Scroll to the end of the article)

Editor’s Note: Patch has retracted part of the above article. (See comments)

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