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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Coffee Beanery, a coffee chain with locations across the northeast, is coming to Virginia Square sometime over the next few months.

“The store in Arlington is currently scheduled to open in either late July or mid-August,” a representative of the company said on Facebook.

Coffee Beanery will replace Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar, which closed in November.

Coffee Beanery “originals” include caramel, fudge, and mocha-flavored coffees. The chain offers a variety of coffees and teas, as well as sandwiches, wraps and salads. Locals missing the fruit smoothie joint may be happy to hear the chain offers assorted fruit smoothie flavors.

The representative said the store will be open from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 5:30 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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A suspect is in custody after a man was stabbed in the Virginia Square area Monday morning.

The incident happened near the intersection of Fairfax Drive and N. Pollard Street, a block from Arlington Central Library. Initial reports suggest a man was stabbed in the arm, suffering a non-life-threatening injury.

The victim was transported to a local hospital via ambulance. A suspect could be seen in police custody near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Pollard Street, as officers nearby examined what appeared to be a pocket knife.

Pollard Street was closed to traffic as police conducted an investigation.

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Morning Notes

Police Nab Sex Assault Suspect — “Following a tip from a member of the public, the suspect has been identified as Wondimagegn Azemach, 19, of Riverdale, Maryland. He has been charged with Abduction with Intent to Defile and Sexual Battery.” [Arlington County]

Fire at Ambar in Clarendon — A small fire temporarily closed Ambar restaurant in Clarendon during prime brunching time on Saturday. [Twitter, Twitter]

Board Approves Va. Square Development — “The Arlington County Board today approved a plan to replace aging commercial buildings on the northwest corner of Washington Boulevard and Kirkwood Road, in the Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood, with a seven-story apartment building that will include 16 affordable units and achieve LEED Silver energy efficiency.” [Arlington County]

GW Parkway Sinkhole Work Continues — “The repairs to a crumbling section of the George Washington Parkway between Turkey Run Park and the Capital Beltway are now expected to continue through most of the summer. The long-term repairs to a failed drainage inlet will keep at least one right lane on the parkway closed for 10 weeks once the contractor is ready for work, the National Park Service said Friday. Engineers have determined that a 60 year old brick drainage structure buried deep under the parkway needs to be replaced.” [WTOP, Press Release]

Fire Victim Identified — The person killed in an apartment fire in the Ashton Heights neighborhood last week “has been identified as Brian Green, 50, of Arlington. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.” [Arlington County]

Football Team Joins Arlington Chamber — “Welcome new member @Redskins! We are thrilled to have you as part of our membership at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.” [Twitter]

County Kicks Off Census Effort — Arlington County and its Complete Count Committee (CCC) are gearing up for the 2020 Census – working toward the goal of counting every Arlingtonian… It’s not too early to get acquainted with the Census and what to expect next year.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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A new arts space, paid for in-part by Arlington County and run by George Mason University, is coming to Virginia Square.

The Latitude Arts Space is an art installation planned for the southeast corner of Latitude Apartments (3601-2625 N. Fairfax Drive). The site will be operated by the GMU College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The County Board is scheduled to vote this weekend on a $150,000 grant to partially fund interior construction at the project as part of the consent agenda. A county staff report said the goal of this and similar projects is to provide active, publicly accessible spaces that can be flexible in their programming with limited financial commitments from Arlington County.

When the site plan for Latitude Apartments was approved by the Arlington County Board in 2013, it included a provision for an arts space. The goal of the provision was to fulfill goals in the Virginia Square Sector Plan. The Latitude Apartments project was completed in 2016, after which Arlington Economic Development staff worked to help find a new tenant.

“The proposed grant is critical to realizing the opportunity to occupy the Latitude Arts Space with an active and appropriate use that Mason will be able to deliver,” the staff report said. “The grant funds from Arlington County to Mason will be used to offset costs of interior construction of the space and are essential in removing a hurdle for Mason to absorb this previously unbudgeted expense.”

The grant funding only accounts for 25-30 percent of the total interior construction costs, the rest of which will be covered by the property owner and the university.

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Development may be surging around the Ball Family Burial Grounds on N. Kirkwood Street, but the fate of the historic site remains uncertain.

The gravesite of the family who is the namesake for Ballston is located in the middle of Virginia Square’s newest development hub, which includes plans to rebuild the YMCA and repurpose American Legion Post 139 as mixed residential buildings.

The Arlington County Board is also set to vote Saturday to approve a third project in the area: a long-standing application by Eleventh Street Development LLC to redevelop the 1.726 acre site located at 1122 N. Kirkwood Road at Washington Boulevard, currently a mix of one-story retail and office uses, into a new 255-unit multifamily residential building.

But when it comes to the plan for the cemetery — which is adjacent to the new development —  the county is at an impasse, according to Richard Woodruff, chairman of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB). The county can’t legally access the land to maintain it or take actions to preserve it because it was deeded to the heirs of John Ball who founded it in the 1700s.

The problem? No one knows who those heirs are.

During a Thursday visit to the grounds, Woodruff pointed out how wild strawberries have overgrown the gravesites’ grass and a secret Samaritan has been mowing the plot.

“It’s sort of now a mystery as to who maintains it,” he said.

However, other site maintenance issues are piling up. Broken branches rest on the dozen mossy grave stones piled in the far corner of the burial ground where the grass grows higher and trash accumulates.

HALRB and the Arlington Planning Commission have asked the county to hire a genealogist to locate the Ball family heirs. They added that the county should also create a fund to maintain the land and study what could be buried in the cemetery because people have moved the graves over time.

These recommendations are not included in the list of actions for the Board members to review this weekend.

A staff report to the Board notes that one of the project’s goals is to “preserve, respect and enhance the historic integrity” of the gravesite. But aside from asking developers to follow protocols if they find artifacts or human remains during construction, the document is short on specifics.

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A store in the Virginia Square area was robbed by a man with a gun early Wednesday morning.

Police say a masked man walked into a business on the 3500 block of Wilson Blvd, brandished a firearm and demanded cash from the register, before fleeing “with an undisclosed amount of cash.” The only business on that block that would have been open at the time was a 7-Eleven store.

Responding officers were unable to locate the suspect. More from Arlington County Police:

ROBBERY, 2019-05150009, 3500 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:05 a.m. on May 15, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 12:56 a.m., an unknown suspect entered a business, approached an employee at the counter and brandished a firearm. He then went behind the counter and demanded the employee provide cash from the cash register. The suspect fled the business prior to police arrival with an undisclosed amount of cash. Arriving officers canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as a black male, wearing a blue hoodie, black pants, wearing gray and white shoes and a black mask. The investigation is ongoing.

Photo via Google Maps

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An Arlington man has been arrested and charged with three counts of Attempted Malicious Wounding after police say he tried to hit several people with a hammer.

Police say they were dispatched to an apartment on the 3800 block of Washington Blvd, in the Virginia Square neighborhood, around 3:45 p.m. this past Saturday after a man became irate over a missing item. The encounter then escalated to attempted physical violence, according to police.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ATTEMPTED MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-05110181, 3800 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 3:45 p.m. on May 11, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 3:30 p.m., the known suspect approached the victims inside of a residence and became verbally irate over a missing item. The encounter escalated and the suspect and one of the victims became involved in a physical altercation. The suspect then produced a hammer and began swinging it at the victims. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. None of the victims were injured during the incident. Arriving officers located the suspect walking in the area. Kemoh Sesay, 27, of Arlington, Va., was arrested and charged with Attempted Malicious Wounding (x3). He was held on no bond.

Below are the rest of the highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported.

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Kirkwood Road is closed between Washington Blvd and 14th Street N. due to a significant water main break.

Crews have been working on the break since last night and “scores of customers could be affected,” said Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services. Among those reported to be affected by the water outage is George Mason University’s Arlington campus.

Video posted of the scene shows a large hole in the roadway filled with roiling, cloudy water.

More via Twitter:

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Morning Notes

County Officials Defend Amazon FOIA Deal — “The Arlington government’s top attorney says there’s nothing improper about part of the county’s incentive deal with Amazon that gives the company notice of Virginia Freedom of Information Act filings related to the agreement.” [InsideNova]

Pedestrian Struck in Virginia Square — Police, firefighters responded to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Wilson Blvd at N. Oakland Street Tuesday morning. The vehicle was turning and struck the pedestrian, who suffered minor injuries, we’re told. In Arlington, pedestrian-involved crashes like this are common, occurring almost every day, though most — like this incident — result in non-life-threatening injuries to the victim. [Twitter]

Smoke Fills Lee Highway Building — Firefighters responded to an under-construction commercial building on the 5800 block of Lee Highway yesterday afternoon to investigate smoke in the building. It was determined that the smoke came from a malfunctioning HVAC unit. [Twitter]

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This week Arlington is hosting conference dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington area.

The We Thrive Women Entrepreneurs’ Conference will be held on Thursday at Founders Hall at George Mason University’s Arlington campus (3351 Fairfax Drive) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and aims to provide business growth and social media training and opportunities to network for female entrepreneurs.

Keynote speakers include Melinda F. Emerson of the Pennsylvania-based marking consulting firm Quintessence Group who will share lessons from her 20 years growing and advising small businesses. Other keynote speakers include attorney Nicole Cober and Jen Pilcher of MilSpouseFest.

The all-day event includes break out sessions on topics like raising your capital, federal contracts, marketing tips, and pitching.

Arlington Strategy CEO Jennifer Mulchandani will moderate a workshop on marketing tips. The workshop will also include panelists Romona Foster, a social media consultant, Evelyn Powers who co-founded website design company Design Powers, Inc., and Maritza Lizama of brand developer LiMon, LLC

Tickets sell for $150 and those interested in attending can register here.

Also happening Thursday in Arlington is East Coast VentureCON 2019, which is billed as a conference for “VCs, angels, and entrepreneurs on the East Coast” looking to network, attend events, and check out the an “innovation showcase” with speed pitches from startup companies.

The conference is being held at Marymount University in Ballston (1000 N. Glebe Road) and ticket prices range from $159 to $3,000.

Photo via Flickr user Marco Verch

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