Enhanced crosswalks and curb extensions are coming to S. Walter Reed Drive, just south of Columbia Pike, in an effort to calm traffic and improve intersections for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Storm sewer upgrades and raised medians will also be added to the stretch of S. Walter Reed Drive between 11th Street S. and 13th Street S. The current “bike boulevard” will move from 12th Street S. to 11th Street S. between S. Highland Street and S. Cleveland Street.
County Manager Mark Schwartz has recommended awarding the project to Fort Myer Construction, headquartered in Washington. The County Board is scheduled to consider the contract at its Saturday meeting. The contract cost is $444,575.11, with a change order contingency allocation of $88,915.02.
Photo via Google Maps
A just-opened beer garden on Columbia Pike is applying to keep its patio in part of the sidewalk on S. Walter Reed Drive.
BrickHaus (2900 Columbia Pike) opened in September after months of delays. It is applying to keep its outdoor patio, which encroaches on the public right-of-way on S. Walter Reed Drive, near the intersection with Columbia Pike. The sidewalk is still approximately six feet wide in the area.
If the Arlington County Board approves the plan at its meeting Saturday (January 27), the encroachment would be permitted to continue “until the structures encroaching into the right-of-way are destroyed, removed, no longer in use, or not continuously and promptly maintained by the Applicant,” per a staff report.
The restaurant agreed to pay $429.54 to the county as compensation for the encroachment, and will be required to maintain its patio.
BrickHaus could also be forced to remove its fire pit from the same area. Under the terms of its Use Permit from the county, it must remove the fire pit and either remove or abandon the attached gas line before receiving a Certificate of Occupancy for safety reasons.
Staff recommended the Board allow the patio encroachment.
The county is set to formalize an agreement with the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority to make improvements to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.
As part of a wider project near Shirlington between S. Arlington Mill Drive and S. Four Mile Run Drive, the county plans to install new sidewalks, lighting and signals where the trail meets S. Walter Reed Drive.
But to do that, it required permission from NVRPA, which controls the 45-mile trail between Shirlington and Purcellville.
Under the terms of the agreement between the county and NVRPA, as outlined in a letter by NVRPA land manager Michael DePue, the county must conform with various conditions.
These include keeping the trail “open, safe and unobstructed at all times during construction,” plus ensuring the new sidewalk has a smooth transition to the existing asphalt, the improvements do not cause drainage issues, that construction zones be safe and that the county’s Department of Environmental Services maintain the improvements once completed, not NVRPA.
The County Board will also vote on a consent agreement with Dominion Virginia Power, which would allow the improvements to encroach on a Dominion-owned easement in the park.
The Board will vote on the agreements at its meeting Saturday (December 16) as part of its consent agenda. County staff recommended approval.
Construction on the wider project is scheduled to begin in the spring. It is hoped the project will improve bicycle and pedestrian access to Shirlington.
All lanes of S. Walter Reed Drive are closed in the area of Four Mile Run Drive due to a major crash.
The wreck happened just before 3:45 p.m. Monday on the steep hill leading down to Four Mile Run Drive. Initial reports suggest that at least three vehicles were involved and at least two people were hurt and are being transported to the hospital.
At least one of the vehicles overturned as a result of the crash, which knocked down utility poles and wires.
A number of people witnessed the crash. Witnesses reportedly told police that one of the drivers crossed into oncoming traffic at a high rate of speed.
TRAFFIC ALERT ⚠️: Walter Reed Drive is closed between S. Quincy Street and Four Mile Run Drive for crash investigation. Seek alt route.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) September 25, 2017
2 patients transported. No entrapment. E109M remaining on scene for power company to take care of down poles and for vehicle removal. pic.twitter.com/M7kyZ3uBBA
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) September 25, 2017
Photos from the accident on S. Walter Reed Dr. pic.twitter.com/juC4lqk3Sc
— LincolnACFD (@LincolnACFD) September 25, 2017
Map (top) via Google Maps
An annual multicultural street festival this Saturday (September 23) will bring together members of various immigrant populations that live throughout Arlington County.
Local nonprofit Prio Bangla will host its sixth annual free street festival from 1-7:30 p.m. at 880 S. Walter Reed Drive, near Columbia Pike. Its motto this year, according to organizers, is “Let’s Celebrate the Cultural Diversity.” They expect between 5,000 and 8,000 attendees.
The event includes vendors of traditional foods, handcrafts, arts, jewelry and art as well as local businesses. Other highlights will be a parade and live music and dancing at the county’s mobile stage.
“During this event, our goal is not only to promote any specific culture and heritage, but also to participate in a cultural exchange by giving opportunity to other communities living and growing here with our rich cultural beauty and performances,” organizers wrote.
The nonprofit received a Space & Service Grant from the county in July for FY 2018, which provides it with performance and rehearsal space as well as technical services.
Arlington County Police will close 9th Street S. from S. Walter Reed Drive to S. Highland Street from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. to accommodate the event. Street parking will be restricted, and drivers should look out for temporary “No Parking” signs.
Photo via Prio Bangla.
A gym that opened last year along Columbia Pike closed late last month.
True Health and Wholeness replaced the former World Gym at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, but itself closed two weeks ago, on May 30.
True focused on holistic approaches and family-friendliness, and looked to be a “one stop shop” for all health and fitness needs. In an email to the community, co-founders Nina and Christian Elliot blamed “some unexpected and blindsiding events the last couple weeks” for the closure.
“The hardest part is the sour stomach of realizing how many people we’ve let down, and the relationships we’ve come to cherish that are now at best, interrupted,” the pair wrote. “There are no words to convey how sorry we are to make this announcement.”
A reader alleged in an email that the pair cancelled all its classes without explanation and that members would not receive any refunds. The reader added that members with pre-paid memberships were told to ask their credit card companies for a chargeback.
Nina Elliot did not respond to requests for comment. The gym’s website is still operational.
Despite the closure of their business, the Elliots promised to return to the wellness business.
Business owners, and in particular Elliots, are a resilient breed. We are weary and wounded right now, often unable to finish sentences without crying, but we didn’t suddenly forget everything we know about health and changing people’s lives. We have not lost our love of this work. We have learned so many lessons from the school of hard knocks the last 12 years and we promise not let those lessons go to waste. We believe we have a sacred duty to help as many people as we can.
Construction is set to begin this winter on improvements to S. Walter Reed Drive between S. Arlington Mill Drive and S. Four Mile Run Drive near Shirlington, a plan in the works since 2014.
S. Arlington Mill Drive will get new left and right turn lanes to make crossing easier for pedestrians and bicyclists. The realignment will be installed temporarily to allow residents to test out the proposed changes, and will remain in place until the work begins.
During the test period, staff will monitor the intersection’s usage to determine signal timings and markings prior to construction.
In addition, the project will include new crosswalks and curb ramps, ADA-compliant bus stops, upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals and new street lighting, among other improvements. S. Walter Reed Drive’s lanes will be restriped and widened slightly.
It is hoped the project will improve bicycle and pedestrian access to Shirlington. The intersection serves as an access point to the neighborhood’s commercial area, while county vehicles are also based at nearby facilities.
The funding for this project is provided through a slew of county sources as well as the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Revenue Sharing Program.
A new gym with a focus on a family-friendly, holistic approach to health and fitness is opening up a new location on Walter Reed Drive.
True Health and Wholeness is looking to open a new location, dubbed “Studio D,” at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive in March or April, barring any construction delays, said gym representative Kimberly Hartke. The new location is replacing World Gym, which closed last year, and is located across from the new Columbia Place development.
The new gym will take a family-friendly approach, offering childcare programs that help kids lead active and health lifestyles while their parents work out or take classes.
“True Health & Wholeness is building a team of individuals experienced in children’s movement and fitness programming, kids nutrition education and workshop design to come use their skills to help us develop what we believe to be a major differentiator for our business when it comes to family fitness,” the gym said on its website.
Gym members will be able to take classes on nutrition and healthy lifestyles, participate in group exercises and receive massages.
“Let the days of a doctor, pill and boutique for every body part and situation slowly become the exception. We believe it’s time to move away from the niche model for health (where the focus is on stand-alone services), and move toward a holistic, customer-centric, relationship-centric, lifestyle-adaptable, results-oriented model for health. You don’t need to fit into our programs, we need to fit into your lifestyle,” the gym said.
The Walter Reed Drive location will be the fitness company’s fourth space in Arlington. The company owns three other properties — Studios A, B and C — near the Glebe Road exit of I-395 in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.
“[Co-owner Christian Elliot] said that they have always planned to expand in Arlington (though they did look once at a Skyline/Baileys location.) But they have been in business for 10 years in Arlington, which is also their home,” Hartke said in an email.
Elliot and co-owner Nina Elliot will be holding a fundraiser to help offset the costs of opening “Studio D” on Nov. 14, Hartke said. During the event, gym instructors will lead two group exercises, followed by dinner and a dance party. The gym is also accepting donations online.
S. Walter Reed Drive is now home to 14 condominiums and eight townhouses.
Construction has finished on a five-story building at the corner of S. Walter Reed Drive and 11th Street S. The new development, Columbia Place, has 14 two-bed, two-bathroom condominiums and eight townhouses.
“Just a few miles to D.C. and just steps from fabulous dining and shopping locations, Columbia Place offers everything a downtown buyer wants without the downtown pricing. With condos starting in the $500s, Columbia is well-suited for a variety of lifestyles,” developer Evergreene Homes said in a press release.
The 14 condos sit on 3,000 square feet of retail space, which will house two “shopping opportunities,” Evergreene said on its website.
The developer will hold an open house this weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, which will include a guided walkthrough of the new building. Refreshments will be provided.
“When you live at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed [Drive], you live in the center of Arlington. And that means saying goodbye to long commutes and embracing a life where work, shopping, dining and entertainment are all just moments away,” Evergreene said. “For those looking to own in Arlington there is no better-located community than Columbia Place.”
Disclosure: Evergreene Homes is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The southbound lanes of S. Walter Reed Drive are expected to remain closed throughout Wednesday’s evening rush hour as crews work to repair a large water main break.
The 16-inch water main burst this morning on Walter Reed Drive near Pollard Street, causing a messy and slippery commute for some drivers as the water runoff turned to ice. Crews thought they had isolated the leak around 11:00 a.m., but we’re told that the leak reopened this afternoon, meaning the repairs will take longer than first hoped.
Police are on scene helping to control traffic. A detour has been set up for those heading southbound on Walter Reed Drive between S. Glebe Road and Four Mile Run Drive. One northbound lane of Walter Reed Drive remains open.
“At this point, lane closures and detours are expected to stay through rush hour,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher.
The driver of an Arlington Transit bus has been cited for a crash involving an ambulance this morning.
The accident happened near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Four Mile Run Drive. The ambulance, Arlington medic unit No. 101, was en route to a call at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall around 7:45 a.m., when the ART bus pulled out in front of it, causing a crash, according to Arlington County Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Fitch.
The ambulance, which had its lights and sirens on, slammed into the bus, causing the bus to roll into a small ditch adjacent to the W&OD bike trail.
One of the firefighters in the ambulance was transported to the hospital for observation, Fitch said. No other injuries were reported.
The driver of the bus, who was the only person on the bus at the time of the crash, was cited for failure to yield.
The first of 24 planned enhanced transit stops along Columbia Pike is less than a month away from opening.
On Sept. 19, a canopy was installed at the prototype “Super Stop” near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive, in front of the Rite Aid pharmacy. When the stop is finished — it’s currently slated to open in late October — the stop will feature lighting, maps, screens with real time bus arrival information, heating and shelter for 10-15 passengers.
The Walter Reed Drive stop is one of four Super Stop locations selected for a pilot program. Other Columbia Pike Super Stops that are part of the pilot program are: Columbus Street, Dinwiddie Street and Barton Street. Together, the four stops serve more than 2,000 passengers per day, according to Arlington County.
Other future Super Stop locations include the former Navy Annex, Courthouse Road, Glebe Road, Monroe Street, George Mason Drive, Taylor Street, Buchanan Street and Greenbrier Street.
The video above, produced by Arlington County, shows the installation of the new canopy at the Walter Reed Drive stop.
Walter Reed Drive has been shut down between S. 13th and 14th Streets due to police and fire department activity.
A grenade might have been found in a storage unit in the area, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl.
The road has been closed as a precaution while authorities wait for the bomb squad to examine the object.
El Manantial III, a Guatemalan/Mexican restaurant apparently associated with the El Manantial restaurant in Lyon Park (2618 N. Pershing Drive), is expected to open in the Las Delicias space soon.
County inspectors were spotted parked outside the restaurant earlier today. It’s unclear when exactly the restaurant is going to open, though. A woman who answered the phone at the Lyon Park El Manantial restaurant referred us to a phone number that went straight to voicemail.
Las Delicias closed not too long after a brawl in January. We haven’t heard of any major fights breaking out at El Manantial, but a man did recently bite off part of his friend’s finger in the parking lot outside El Manantial and several other businesses.
Hat tip to Don H.
A tipster first noticed that the Latin/Mexican restaurant was closed and its sign had been painted over two weeks ago. As of Thursday afternoon, there was still no activity inside the eatery.
Hat tip to Tony B.