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by Tim Regan — January 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Board is considering giving its blessing to several easements needed for a long-awaited plan to revamp a tricky intersection in Clarendon.

The Board is scheduled to vote this weekend on easements needed to improve the “Clarendon Circle” intersection at Washington, Wilson and Clarendon boulevards.

If approved, the county will pay the Catholic Diocese of Arlington nearly $25,000 for permanent and temporary easements on a portion of church property along Washington Blvd, to be used for sidewalk, curb, gutter, utilities and drainage purposes.

The overall plan calls for improvements to “access and safety for those who walk, bike and drive.” The project’s goals include upgrades such as improved traffic signals and streetlights, wider center medians, shorter pedestrian crossings, bike lanes and curb extensions.

“Current travel across the intersection can be difficult due to its extreme width and the skewed alignment of its roadways,” according to a County webpage. “North Irving Street also enters the circle area in two offset locations, further complicating the traffic pattern.”

This wasn’t the only idea that Arlington County considered. Roundabouts, one-way street couplets and other alternative designs all were analyzed, but the County found those elements “would have negative impacts on all modes of transportation, especially for pedestrians.”

If all goes according to plan, the engineering design will be completed this spring, clearing the way for construction to begin next summer. Project completion is pegged for the summer of 2019.

by ARLnow.com — January 11, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

"Trump's Cessna Citation X corporate jet at Reagan Airport on 1/10/2017" (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Coffee With a Cop Today — The Arlington County Police Department’s district teams are holding “Coffee With a Cop” events today. The event “has no agenda or speeches” and “is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers and neighbors in your district.” [Arlington County]

Washington Blvd Closure Tonight — Expect lane closures and a 30-minute full closure of Washington Blvd (Route 27) over Route 110 overnight tonight. VDOT is replacing an aging bridge over Route 110; the project is expected to wrap up in 2018. [Twitter]

Boulevard Woodgrill Staff to Marble and RyeMarble and Rye on Columbia Pike has hired “the entire executive staff” from the former Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon, a restaurant rep says. The hires include longtime Boulevard executive chef Paul Murad and longtime general manager Kent Lawson. The hires, we’re told, “will provide a significant upgrade in service and menu options” and will help Marble and Rye “compete with other popular destinations in Clarendon, Ballston and Shirlington.”

Neighborhood College Applications Being Accepted — “Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County’s free Neighborhood College program, which will meet on eight consecutive Thursday evenings beginning March 16, 2017.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — December 27, 2016 at 11:10 am 0

The driver of a car ran up onto an embankment in the Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood this morning.

The crash happened around 9:15 a.m. at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Evergreen Street, just west of Ballston. No significant injuries were reported.

Shortly after the crash, a nearby resident emailed ARLnow.com to argue that Arlington County should be doing more to make the intersection safer.

“Residents at the northeast corner of N.Evergreen Street have yet again had a car land in their yard,” wrote Sharon Dorsey. “This is an incredibly dangerous area [with] daily horns blaring when drivers play chicken in the merge lane.”

“Neighbors in and around this area have engaged with a number of agencies within Arlington County over the years to make this safer,” she continued. “Currently, a Neighborhood Conservation project to narrow the mouth Evergreen Street and connect sidewalks is on the books but will not be completed for a number of years… The issue will not be resolved until Arlington County and VDOT work together to restructure the entire intersection, add in turn lanes north and south and remove (or restrict to buses) the eastbound merge lane on Washington Blvd.”

Separately, a crash involving a car and an elderly pedestrian was reported this morning at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Quincy Street. The pedestrian’s injuries were not reported to be life-threatening.

Photos by Samantha Moore

by ARLnow.com — December 9, 2016 at 10:20 am 0

(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) A 17-year-old girl was struck by an SUV on Washington Blvd in front of Washington-Lee High School this morning.

The incident was first reported to 911 around 9:30 a.m. as a pedestrian lying in the middle of the street, mid-block, near the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Stafford Street. It was soon learned that the girl had been struck by a vehicle while crossing the street.

The girl suffered leg and facial injuries that were considered serious but not life-threatening, according to scanner traffic. She was covered in a thermal bag to keep her warm before she was loaded into an ambulance and transported to a local hospital.

Washington Blvd was blocked in both directions between N. Stafford and Randolph streets as a result of the emergency response.

No word yet on the exact circumstances of the crash nor whether any charges will be filed against the driver.

The stretch of Washington Blvd between N. Quincy Street and Glebe Road in Ballston has been a focus of pedestrian safety enforcement by Arlington County Police this year after a serious pedestrian collision involving a teen and a driver in April. Some pedestrians have said cars often do not stop for them along the four-lane road, even in crosswalks.

by ARLnow.com — December 7, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Demolition has started on a century-old home along Washington Blvd in the Ballston area.

Known as the “flag house,” for the giant American flag that was often draped across it, the home was said to be in disrepair and was reportedly lacking in historic significance, following multiple additions and exterior changes.

“It is literally just an old house,” Arlington county Preservation Planner Rebeccah Ballo told us last year. “Nothing particularly noteworthy about it.”

The redevelopment plan, which was first proposed in 2013, calls for the house to be replaced by a fancy, four-story duplex. Homebuilder Wormald Homes says the new residences, at 4210 and 4214 Washington Blvd, will feature:

  • Four bedrooms, four full baths and one powder room
  • About 2,860 finished square feet of space
  • Two car garage with two additional parking spaces
  • Rear deck
  • Covered front entry
  • “Loft level terrace with sweeping views”
  • “Classic urban design”

No word yet on when demolition is expected to wrap up or when the new building is expected to be built.

by ARLnow.com — September 14, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) This is at least the second morning in a row that people have called Arlington County Police to report gridlock at the intersection of Lynn Street and Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

The intersection is usually problematic but has been even more so recently due to construction on the Central Place project, which has blocked 1-2 left lanes of Lynn Street for the past two years.

Officers did not respond to the intersection today, saying that little could be done to ease the traffic. A traffic detail that was assigned to the intersection last year was discontinued, the department said, because it did not receive funding for it.

ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said that officers will be dispatched to the intersection as needed, but will not be assigned there on a regular basis.

Arlington offers were posted at a different intersection today — Washington Blvd and N. Utah Street, in the Ballston area — for high-visibility pedestrian and traffic enforcement. Despite a painted crosswalk, the intersection has been deemed a particularly dangerous one due to past crashes as well as fast-moving traffic and a high volume of pedestrians crossing the street.

by ARLnow.com — June 22, 2016 at 4:05 pm 0

Police car lightsUpdate at 8 p.m. — All lanes are back open.

Update at 6 p.m. — The southbound lanes of Washington Blvd have reopened, but the northbound lanes remain closed due to the police investigation.

Earlier: All lanes of Washington Blvd remains closed near Fort Myer due to a self-inflicted shooting.

The shooting happened just after 3:30 p.m., when an Arlington County Police officer approached a stopped vehicle on the side of Washington Blvd. As the officer was walking up, the man inside the vehicle pulled out a handgun and fired several shots, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Numerous police officers responded to the scene following the shooting, but they took a cautious stance out of safety concerns. The county bomb squad was dispatched to the scene, to investigate the vehicle. At 4:20 p.m., paramedics pronounced the man dead.

The officer who first approached the car is being evaluated by paramedics but is believed to be uninjured. Significant traffic impacts are being reported due to the now-rush hour closure of Washington Blvd between Columbia Pike and Route 50.

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is a phone call away. Call CrisisLink at 703-527-4077.

by ARLnow.com — April 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm 0

Scene of an industrial accident on 4/20/16 (photo via Google Maps)A man was seriously injured after falling out of a window in Lyon Park this morning.

The incident happened just before 11:30 a.m., in a low-slung commercial building on the 2700 block of Washington Blvd.

Police say a maintenance worker accidentally tumbled out of a second-floor window and landed on his head. He was transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious injuries.

Police and occupational safety authorities are investigating the accident.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — April 4, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Herselle Milliken Park in Ashton Heights

Big Tree Down on Washington Blvd — A large tree fell across power lines on Washington Blvd just south of Virginia Hospital Center during Saturday night and Sunday morning’s windstorm. Washington Blvd was closed between George Mason Drive and N. Harrison Street for much of the day Sunday while Dominion crews repaired the lines. [Twitter, Twitter]

Photos: DCA Airport Strike — DCist has photos from last week’s 24 hour strike of contract service workers at Reagan National Airport. [DCist]

Arlington Signs on to Amicus Brief — Arlington was among more than 50 counties and cities that signed on to an amicus brief in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan for reducing carbon emissions from power plants. [Columbia Law School, Twitter]

Capital Improvement Plan Survey — Through April 22, Arlington County is conducting an online survey of residents that will help guide decision-making during the upcoming Capital Improvement Plan process. The CIP helps to plan “major investments in parks, libraries, transportation, community centers, facilities, technology, water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure — along with other areas that support the community.” [Arlington County]

‘The Burbs Are Back’ in Office Leasing — Arlington and other suburban D.C. jurisdictions are showing a bit of strength in the office leasing market. “The suburbs accounted for 69.5 percent of Washington region’s leasing activity in the first quarter, up substantially from a 52.9 percent share in 2015, according to JLL’s quarterly market reports.” [Virginia Business]

TSA Move Delayed Until 2020 — The Transportation Security Administration will be staying put at its Pentagon City headquarters until at least 2020. The TSA had planned to move to Alexandria by 2018, but legal wrangling has delayed the move and forced the TSA to redo its leasing process. [Washington Business Journal]

PSA: Don’t Do This — Spotted in Clarendon: a young woman urinating while sitting on a bench along a busy street, at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday. [Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Duck goes fishing in a pond (Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick)

Washington Blvd Trail Design Approved — The Penrose Neighborhood Association voted to endorse a new design for Phase II of the county’s Washington Blvd Trail project. The trail was originally supposed to be built a few years ago, but residents objected to the loss of trees the trail’s path would have necessitated. [Greater Greater Washington]

Anti-Gun Store Car Towed — Opponents of the planned Lyon Park gun store say the store’s landlord ordered a car towed from the parking lot because it was covered in anti-gun store literature. Despite being covered in the articles, which were held in place by colorful magnets, the car actually belonged to one of the building’s tenants and wasn’t parked illegally, says the group Act4LyonPark. [Facebook]

Female Firefighters in Arlington — In 1974, Judith Livers became the first paid, full-time municipal firefighter in the United States when she took a job with the Arlington County Fire Department. On Friday, a graduation ceremony was held for the county’s latest firefighting recruit class. Continuing Livers’ legacy, four of the 14-member class are female. Nationally, only about 4 percent of firefighters are women, while 9 percent of Arlington’s firefighters are female. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com — February 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm 0

Police car lightsThree men were arrested Saturday night after allegedly attacking an Uber driver with a beer bottle.

The incident happened just before 11 p.m. on Washington Blvd near Columbia Pike. It started, police say, after the driver picked up six passengers, then later noticed that they were drinking alcohol from open containers inside the vehicle.

“The driver could smell alcohol,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

The driver asked the passengers to stop drinking; when they refused, the driver pulled over to the side of the road near an I-395 on-ramp and “terminated the fare,” forcing all six to get out, according to Savage.

A verbal confrontation ensued. At one point, three of the passengers — all 20-something men from Woodbridge, Va. — approached the vehicle again to retrieve property they had left inside, Savage said. At that point, one of the men punched and shattered a passenger-side window, and another man struck the driver in the face with a beer bottle, police allege.

The men also allegedly tried to take the keys out of the vehicle ignition, breaking them in the process.

The three men then split with the other three passengers and walked away, Savage said. Police, working with the driver and witnesses, obtained a description of the men. A short time later, police officer on scene noticed three men in an approaching taxicab. The officer pulled over the cab, identified the men and took them into custody.

“Justin Allen Norconk, 26, of Woodbridge VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding and assault by mob,” according to an ACPD crime report.” Lance Daniel Ingram, 25, of Woodbridge VA, was arrested and charged with assault by mob. Jeffery Eugene Rowe Jr., 26, of Woodbridge VA, was arrested and charged with destruction of property. All three suspects are being held without bond.”

The Uber driver was treated on scene for cuts to his face.

Update at 6:05 p.m. — Uber says the two riders who split the fare for the ride have been deactivated from the platform pending an investigation. “We’ve been in touch with the driver-partner and stand ready to assist the authorities with their investigation,” said a spokeswoman.

“We are deeply committed to the safety of drivers on the Uber platform,” the company said. “Drivers benefit from many of the same transparency and accountability features that riders do, such as providing feedback and ratings for every trip, which deter bad behavior from passengers.”

by Buzz McClain — January 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

It’s hardly camping weather, but Lisa Peregory, owner of the new Second Ascent Consignment shop at 2757 Washington Boulevard, says business has been as brisk as the temperatures in the two months since the store opened.

The store specializes in casual clothing, outerwear and footwear for men, women and children, as well as specialized gear for camping, hiking, paddling and climbing, sold on a consignment basis. Customers bringing in clothing receive 45 percent of the sale price when the item sells. For items over $150 the split is 50-50.

Customers can peruse popular brands such as North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, Arc’teryx and REI in the store.

The idea for reselling adventure gear came to Peregory last summer while volunteering for the Turtle Island Preserve girls’ primitive camp in North Carolina. The lifelong Arlington resident decided then to abandon a 34-year career in intellectual property and open the shop.

So far, the adventure in adventure gear is paying off in sales and consignments.

“We’ve been really well received by the neighborhood,” Peregory said. “People come by to see how we’re doing and tell us we’re a wonderful addition to the neighborhood. And some come by with their dogs for a dog treat.”

by ARLnow.com — December 28, 2015 at 11:15 am 0

ATV and dirt bike riders in D.C. (screen shot via PoPville)A large group of ATV and dirt bike riders rode through parts of D.C. and Arlington Sunday night.

PoPville posted a video of the riders in the District’s NoMa neighborhood around 5 p.m. yesterday. It’s illegal to ride ATVs and dirt bikes on public streets in D.C. Adding to the lawlessness, the riders travel in large groups, producing a deafening roar of engines, and sometimes intentionally run red lights and block traffic.

In the PoPville comments, readers said they saw similar groups of riders crossing the Key Bridge and riding past Pentagon Row, in Pentagon City, last night.

An ARLnow reader said he saw 5-10 ATV and motorcycle riders in the area of Key Blvd and N. Nash Street, near the Rosslyn Gold’s Gym.

“Most of them appeared to be ATVs; several were driving without any lights,” said David Mitchell. “I observed them driving in circles in the streets, in and out of nearby apartment parking lots, and on and off the sidewalks.”

“At one point, the motorcyclists moved in and out of cars driving south on N. Nash and interfered with traffic to the point that motorists had to stop and wait for their departure,” Mitchell continued. “Frankly, it felt like a scene from the ‘The Wild One’ with Marlon Brando. I called 911 to report this activity and was told they had already received multiple calls and that officers had been dispatched. The motorcyclist left the area not too long after I made my call to 911.”

“It it did not feel good to know that these motorcyclists might be allowed to escape unpunished,” Mitchell said.

Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed that the department received reports of ATVs and dirt bikes in the Rosslyn and Key Bridge areas last night. No traffic stops or arrests were made by Arlington officers.

In addition, ACPD received a report of a dirt bike rider who skidded into a light pole and utility box on the 2100 block of Washington Blvd, near Route 50. A Fort Myer firefighter who witnessed the crash told police that an ATV rider picked up the injured dirt bike rider and together they fled the scene.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, Sternbeck said.

Screen shot via PoPville

by ARLnow.com — December 21, 2015 at 10:20 am 0

US Airways planes on the tarmac at Reagan National Airport

Shortest Day of the Year — Today is the shortest day of the year. The sun will be up just 9 hours and 26 minutes today, so enjoy the daylight while it lasts. Tonight is the winter solstice. [Capital Weather Gang]

Two Big Crystal City Projects on Hold — Two projects to replace aging office buildings in Crystal City are on hold due to high office vacancy in the region. Vornado was planning to replace 1851 S. Bell Street with what would have been the tallest building in Crystal City and the largest private office building in Arlington. The company was also planning to replace 223 23rd Street S. with an office and a residential tower. Those have both reportedly been shelved due to market conditions. [Washington Business Journal]

Police Play Cornhole With Bar Crawlers — Nearly 2,000 people flocked to Clarendon on Saturday for the inaugural Candy Cane Crawl, a holiday-themed bar crawl. Arlington County Police used the occasion to educate bar-goers about the dangers of drunk driving, by having people try to play cornhole while wearing “drunk goggles.” [WUSA 9]

Mary Slye Obituary — Mary Patricia Slye, who managed Robert Slye Electronics on Washington Blvd in Virginia Square, died last month of a heart attack at the age of 65. Slye was an Arlington resident and began working at the audio visual installation business in the mid-1980s. [Washington Post]

Vehicle Topples Light Pole on Washington Blvd — A vehicle struck a light pole near the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Pershing Drive on Saturday, sending it toppling across the street. Luckily, no one was hurt. Eastbound traffic on Washington Blvd was blocked for about 15 minutes. [Twitter]

GMU Grad Hopes to Run for Arlington School Board — A newly-minted George Mason University grad has a specific and somewhat uncommon career goal for someone her age: Marlayna Bush says she wants to run for the Arlington School Board in 2018. She just received her BA in conflict analysis and resolution. [George Mason University]

by Jennifer Currier — November 19, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The crew behind the new Texas Jack’s Barbecue plans to start serving diners near Clarendon on Dec. 7, giving them a comfortable place to eat while going beyond expected barbecue standards.

The restaurant occupies the former home of Tallula and EatBar at 2761 Washington Blvd in Lyon Park.

The space now is unrecognizable, combining both locations to create a dining room and bar, partially separated by a wall with two doorways and three large, open windows. Both rooms are filled with reclaimed wood and other locally-sourced materials that make up the chairs, tables, bar and wall panels.

“We wanted to just make sure no matter when people come into the space, they feel comfortable being here and really enjoy themselves,” co-owner Steve Roberts said. “We also obviously wanted to focus on outstanding barbecue, making creative choices with top-quality meats.”

This choice meat comes from throughout the United States, including locally. Roberts said it’s all hormone- and antibiotic-free and spends three to four hours in one of two massive smokers.

The man in charge of that meat is Executive Chef Matt Lang, winner of Food Network’s Best in Smoke in 2011. He said much of his inspiration for Texas Jack’s menu is from Mexican influence.

“It’s what I’ve always been interested in cooking, and that’s what I mainly do,” he said. “My idea is to elevate the dishes you typically see at barbecue restaurants and give people what they aren’t expecting.”

While the meats — including brisket, pulled pork, sausage and pork and beef ribs — will be fairly straightforward, Lang is putting his own twist on Mexican-American fare to create separate dining room and bar menus, though guests can order from either in both areas.

He also had advice for how diners should approach the menu.

“I’d like to encourage guests to share and have them understand the best way to do this is get a plate of barbecue with whatever sides you want and share,” he said.

Platters and meals with barbecue meats cost between $12 and $20. The menu, though it’s not finalized, will also have appetizers and sandwiches, prices ranging from $8 to $16.

Other restaurant amenities include an open kitchen, ADA-friendly tables, accommodations for large parties or communal dining, a room that can be rented for private events, valet parking during peak hours, a bar equipped with outlets and USB ports, and both beer and wine on tap.

The space is also environmentally-friendly, reducing waste by installing all LED lighting fixtures and serving food on traditional enamelware, unlike many barbecue places that serve on paper plates and in cardboard boats.

“Many times, you’ll go into a barbecue place and there’s a lot of waste,” Roberts said. “There’s nothing throwaway about anything we have here, and we’re trying to be as sensitive as we can as far as sustainability and what we’re doing to the environment.”

Texas Jack’s plans to be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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