Arlington, VA

A portion of N. Quincy Street is slated for a makeover this summer with new pavement and a bike lane.

Officials aim to repave the stretch of N. Quincy Street between the I-66 overpass and Fairfax Drive, near Washington-Liberty High School, and potentially approve one of three designs for a new bike lane that could eliminate parking spaces.

Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services polled residents about the three bike lane designs in a recent survey. The department will host an open house about the project on Tuesday, July 9, from 6-7:30 p.m., at Washington-Liberty (1301 N. Stafford Street).

The three bike lane configurations the department is considering are:

  • Concept A: A buffered bike lane along both sides of N. Quincy Street in the northern section close to I-66. Adding the lane would eliminate 22 parking spaces along Quincy near the Buck site entrance where several single family homes sit.
  • Concept B: A buffered bike lane that runs in the middle of N. Quincy Street, which removes only 10 parking spaces in the northern section close to I-66.
  • Concept C: A buffered bike lane along the entire street, which would remove 42 parking spaces on the northern section of the street and 31 spaces on the south section.

“It’s almost like a mix and match,” DES Project Planner Christine Sherman told ARLnow. “Concept A shows parking on a block [of N. Quincy Street], concept B shows parking on a different block. Concept C shows the highest level of bike protection.”

All three concepts also add a crosswalk at the intersection of Quincy and 11th Street N. and at the entrance of the Buck property.

Sherman said DES will weigh the survey responses against engineering recommendations about safety and hopes to start the paving work later this summer.

DES tweeted about the (now closed) project survey last week, along with a reference to presidential candidate and meme-machine Marianne Williamson.

The  recently-updated bike element portion of the county’s master transportation plan proposes N. Quincy Street become part of a north-south bike corridor.

The bike element proposes several miles of bike lanes “wherever feasible” on N. Quincy Street to provide safer passage through Ballston and Virginia Square, and to connect the Arlington Forest and Chain Bridge areas.

“We have buffered and expanded bike lanes to the north of this segment and have protected bike lanes to the south,” said Sherman. “It’s an opportunity we see to create the north-south connection in the county.”

The work is also part of a larger streetscape project along Quincy Street, with repaving already completed in the sections between the I-66 overpass and Lee Highway, and between George Mason Drive and Fairfax Drive.

In August, the county finished a new bike lane on N. Quincy Street connecting the Quincy corridor to the Custis Trail. Two months before that, the county also converted parking on 5th Road N. between Quincy and N. Pollard Street to back-in, angle style parking.

Image 1, 3-5 via Arlington County, image 2 via Google Maps

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Brick crosswalks in Arlington are a thing of the past — as the county works to make crossings easier to maintain and to see.

The county said today, via press release, that it plans to start replacing any crosswalks featuring brick or “street print,” an asphalt pavement designed to look like brick, as it kicks off a new paving effort over the coming weeks.

Workers will now install reflective, “high-visibility white thermoplastic markings” instead at crosswalks. The county found that the cost of maintaining brick crosswalks was “prohibitive,” particularly considering that they weren’t especially effective.

“Paver and street-print markings — often in dark, clay-like hues — also failed to generate significant reductions in traffic speeds and demonstrated poor visibility in low light and during precipitation,” the county wrote in the release. “They also often lost their quaint appearance when street and underground repairs were necessary.”

A full map of county paving projects getting underway this year is available on the county’s website.

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Aging speed bumps throughout the county are set to be replaced or repaired under a new contract.

The County Board is expected to approve a $246,275 contract for the maintenance work, which will focus on traffic calming fixtures from the 1990s and early 2000s that are badly deteriorated “due to weather and vehicular traffic.”

Speed humps and speed cushions are two of the ways by which the county calms traffic, and typically they are repaired when the street is repaved. However, according to county staff, “some devices’ conditions require substantial repair or replacement outside of the normal timeframe of the street repaving.”

The contract will go to Alexandria’s Kathmar Construction, Inc., which bid less than half that of the only other bidder for the project.

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The bumpy and pothole-ridden stretch of Columbia Pike between George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run will be getting some much-needed repairs this fall, according to Arlington County officials.

“The excessive heat and rain this summer, combined with construction and regular bus traffic, have taken a toll on the Pike,” admitted county spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel.

“Road repairs will happen over the next few weeks as crews assess trouble spots, patch the road and make needed improvements,” she said. “There will not be full paving between George Mason Drive and Four Mile Run, however signficant patch work will be done in that area to the sub-grade level.”

Whalen McDaniel encouraged residents to report potholes or bad sections of road on the county website or via phone at 703-228-6570.

The repairs can’t come soon enough for some drivers, who have complained about the possibility of damage to their cars from the bumps and holes.

“Potholes, bumps, ridges, and giant mounds of destroyed asphalt along the sides of the road are far too common on the stretch of road,” said one tipster. “The conditions are daunting for most sedans to traverse. Perhaps the county should consider licensing the road to Land Rover as a test track for offroad performance testing.”

Further east on the Pike, meanwhile, more utility work is underway, between S. Quinn Street and S. Courthouse Road. One westbound lane has been blocked during the day as a result of the construction.

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Chain Bridge will close for repairs on three different weekends over the next month.

The bridge will close on 8:00 p.m. on Friday and will reopen at 5:00 a.m. on Monday, starting this weekend, according to DDOT.

The three weekends when closures are planned are Aug. 19-21, Sept. 9-11 and Sept. 16-18.

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A new video from Arlington County explains the entire life cycle of a pothole in less than 2 minutes.

In the video, county engineer Dave Hundelt talks about how potholes form, how residents can report them online (hint: use this form) and how road crews can patch a pothole in 20 minutes flat.

Expect the pothole crews to be out in force later this week, when temperatures are expected to rise well north of the 50 degree mark needed for more permanent repairs.

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Drivers and cyclists in the Courthouse/Clarendon area should expect a bumpy ride on Wilson Boulevard over the next couple of days. Wilson has been milled between North Barton Street and North Fillmore Street ahead of a scheduled repaving.

The repaving is expected to begin on Thursday, depending on weather conditions and logistical issues.

Later this week, another stretch of Wilson Boulevard — from North Highland Street to Washington Boulevard, near the Clarendon Metro Station — is scheduled to be milled, with repaving to follow. Next week the same work will take place on Washington Boulevard from Pershing Drive to North Highland Street, according to Department of Environmental Services spokesperson Karen Acar.

Drivers should expect parking restriction in the area during the construction.

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It would swallow up a truck tire — maybe even a small motorcycle — if given a chance. This monster pothole, near Ballston Common Mall, is more than two feet deep, perhaps big enough to be classified as a sinkhole.

The pothole, which apparently extends into some sort of sewer line, is located in the turning lane of N. Carlin Springs Rd at the intersection with N. Glebe Rd.

An Arlington public works truck was on the scene earlier this afternoon, apparently waiting for some heavier machinery to arrive.

There are plenty of other potholes around Arlington, but this is probably the biggest. If there’s a suspension-twisting, tire-flattening pothole that you want to see patched, fill out this form on the county’s web site, or call 703-228-6570.

A county spokesperson says their crews are trying to take care of potholes within 72 hours but, due to the large number of potholes this year, meeting the 72 hour goal may be difficult.

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