Arlington calls for aid, and Alexandria will answer.
Alexandria’s City Council is scheduled to vote at a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to support neighboring Arlington’s funding application for an expanded Shirlington Transit Center.
Arlington County is applying for funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to expand the transit center in Shirlington, a major hub for bus traffic.
“Arlington County has requested $11.6 million to fund the Shirlington Bus Station Expansion,” Director of Transportation and Environmental Services Adriana Castaneda wrote in a memo. “This station is the principal transfer point for Arlington Transit (ART) bus service, Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrobus service, and bus service (Routes 36A and 36B) in South Arlington.”
While the project is outside of Alexandria, Castaneda said Alexandria would benefit from the project as some of those added bus bays would serve the West End Transitway, which will stop at the Shirlington Bus Station.
“This capital project focuses on adding bus bays at the Shirlington Bus Station to meet future demand, including the space needed for future West End Transitway buses and any service improvements from Alexandria’s Transit Vision Plan, as well as expansion plans of Arlington Transit and WMATA,” Castaneda wrote.
The West End Transitway is a project that will connect transit facilities along the West End, from the Van Dorn Metro station up to Shirlington, passing through the redeveloped Landmark Mall site. The project is in the design phase, with construction scheduled for 2025-2026, opening sometime in late 2026.
Image via Google Maps
Alexandria and Arlington officials celebrated the ribbon cutting for the renovated West Glebe Road bridge today.
“For nearly 70 years, this bridge has played a critical role linking people to jobs, to resources, to emergency services and their loved ones that exist across boundaries in this Arlandria region of the National Capital Area,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said.
Dorsey continued, “And now with these improvements, we can look forward to another seven decades of this bridge, serving as both a metaphorical and an actual connecting of our two communities. And they will do so in a way that is much safer, much more accommodating of all modes.”
Mayor Justin Wilson said that the jurisdictions will need to come together to finish another connecting bridge between Alexandria and Arlington over the course of the next year — the Arlington Ridge Road/Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge.
“We look forward to coming back in a little while and celebrating the next one (bridge),” Wilson said. “I live close to both of these bridges, so I feel the pain that everyone is feeling. But we look forward to celebrating both of the bridges when they’re both done and in this great partnership between the two jurisdictions.”
Artist Vicki Scuri designed the arc and bubble patterns on the bridge.
“Enjoy the crossing, enjoy the moment and celebrate your communities,” Scuri said.
Leaders from both the Arlington County Board and the Alexandria City Council are scheduled to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Arlandria Pizza Hut (1049 W Glebe Road) to celebrate the West Glebe Road Bridge ribbon cutting.
The ribbon cutting is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m.
The West Glebe Road Bridge started undergoing repairs on the superstructure in May 2022. The bridge partially reopened to vehicle traffic earlier this year and all lanes reopened in July with work continuing on the bridge’s underside.
It’s been a scorching week in Alexandria, punctuated by two major crime events.
Someone was shot multiple times in an alley several blocks east of the Braddock Metro station last Saturday, followed on Monday afternoon by the city’s fifth homicide this year — the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man on W. Glebe Road in Arlandria.
It is not believed that the incidents are connected.
The Alexandria Police Department is now looking for a silver Nissan Rogue allegedly linked to Monday’s shooting.
No arrests have been announced from either incident, and this week Mayor Justin Wilson, City Manager Jim Parajon and Police Chief Don Hayes asked for the community’s help in identifying the suspects.
Top stories this week:
- Alexandria ditching ‘pay and display’ parking meters citywide (32618 views)
- Notes: Many federal employees who report to work Alexandria are still mostly remote (7448 views)
- Del Ray Gateway project construction to start before end of year, city says (6510 views)
- Construction suspended for Holiday Inn Express at former Towne Motel site in Old Town North (5346 views)
- ACPS ignores Gov. Youngkin’s recommended policies on treatment of transgender students (4829 views)
- DEVELOPING: Man transported to hospital in critical condition after shooting in Arlandria (4747 views)
- Pupatella Neapolitan Pizza opening before end of year in Old Town North, owner says (3857 views)
- Duke Street affordable apartment complex ‘Witter Place’ could be ready by late 2025, developer says (3598 views)
- Arlington man busted for allegedly selling stolen car to Alexandria man on Facebook Marketplace (2509 views)
Have a safe weekend!
Alexandria is safe after a dumping incident in Four Mile Run in Arlington.
Arlington advised residents to stay out of stream runs along popular parks like Bluemont Park, Barcroft Park and the Shirlington dog park after a roll-off dumpster fell into a storm drain near N. Ohio Street, according to ARLnow.
“According to Arlington the discharge was from a roll-off dumpster at a single home construction site,” City spokesperson Camila Olivares said. “In the process of moving the dumpster, white liquid drained out into the right of way and nearby storm drain. They believe the product is likely paint.”
Olivares added, “Given the distance from the outfall to the County / City line, the plume will not be seen in Four Mile Run in Alexandria.”
Avoid Four Mile Run Stream downstream of N Ohio St for the next 48 to 72 hours. An advisory is issued following a dumping incident near I-66. Learn more about stream safety: https://t.co/6RVLSZI9kT. pic.twitter.com/PawpsSEhN3
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) July 27, 2023
Good Friday morning, Alexandria!
☀️ Today’s weather: On Friday, expect a mostly sunny and hot day with temperatures reaching near 100°F and heat index values as high as 107°F. There is a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm, accompanied by a light west wind of 5-8 mph. In the evening, chances of precipitation will drop to 30%, with showers and thunderstorms mainly occurring before 8pm. The night will be partly cloudy with a low of around 76°F and a south wind around 7 mph.
🚨 You need to know
Two women were injured by bullet fragments and debris when the suspect allegedly fired into the floor of the Lion’s Den Lounge at 5820 Seminary Road at around 4 a.m. on July 16.
The Fairfax County Police Department announced that the suspect, 25-year-old Arlington resident Abdulkerim Halid, was arrested Wednesday in Alexandria without incident.
“Two adult females were injured from bullet fragments and debris,” FCPD said. “They were taken to a nearby hospital for injuries not considered to be life-threatening. Halid was identified as the shooter, but he left the scene prior to police arrival.”
Halid was charged with reckless handling of a firearm and is currently in custody without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
📈 Thursday’s most read
The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Jul 27, 2023.
- Arlington man busted for allegedly selling stolen car to Alexandria man on Facebook Marketplace (1755 views)
- Pupatella Neapolitan Pizza opening before end of year in Old Town North, owner says (1506 views)
- Most and least expensive townhouses sold in Alexandria (June 2023) (558 views)
- New report suggests low rents and amenities give Alexandria’s office market an edge over neighbors | ALXnow (355 views)
📅 Upcoming events
Here is what’s going on today and this weekend in Alexandria, from our event calendar.
- 11:00 am Saturday: Beats, Bites and Brews in Old Town Alexandria
The price of riding on the Metro might go up and so could your tax bill.
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said that the region will experience collective pain by bailing out the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority from its projected $750 million budget deficit.
Wilson said there are no solutions that the city can afford to take off the table.
“We will have to determine ways to reduce the cost structure, the stakeholders will have to chip in and riders will likely bear some of the cost,” Wilson told ALXnow. “It’s going to involve some pain all around.”
WMATA gets billions annually from Alexandria, D.C., Maryland, other Northern Virginia jurisdictions and the federal government. Alexandria’s commitment this year is $56.6 million in operating dollars and $16.6 million in capital contributions.
“Following the exhaustion of federal relief funding in FY2024, Metro expects an operating deficit of $750 million in FY2025,” Metro announced in a budget presentation. “This is more than a one-year challenge. The deficit is projected to continue its growth through FY2035 even with continued ridership recovery.”
Metro Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg, a former member of the Alexandria City Council, said that the region needs a reliable transit system.
“Customers would see longer waits, constant gridlock, higher fares and reduced operating hours and the region’s economy could stagnate,” Smedberg said.
Without a funding increase from Alexandria and its neighbors, WMATA reported “unprecedented operating deficits” will force it to make drastic cuts to rail, bus, and paratransit services across the region.
“Balancing the budget with service cuts would require eliminating two-thirds of Metro’s existing service, with no service after 9:30 p.m.,” WMATA announced last month. “All but 37 of 135 bus lines would no longer operate, customers would wait 20-30 minutes for trains on all lines, and MetroAccess would serve a much smaller area with less hours.”
In his monthly newsletter, Wilson said a “reckoning is afoot” for the transit system now that federal subsidies have dried up and ridership is inching toward pre-pandemic levels.
As of May, Metrorail and Metrobus ridership was 50% and 88% of pre-pandemic levels, respectively, according to WMATA.
“Transit is essential to our region’s economy and our quality of life, but the financial model that has supported its existence for a generation is upside down,” Wilson wrote. “The work ahead requires defining a new model to sustain transit for another generation.”
Metro laid out these drivers for the $750 million deficit:
- Jurisdiction Subsidy Credit: At the onset of the pandemic, Metro provided support to jurisdictions in the form of a subsidy reduction and forgone three percent increases. Had Metro not provided this support, the jurisdictional subsidy would be $196 million higher in FY2025.
- Decreased revenue since the pandemic: Overall ridership is forecasted to be approximately 25 percent below pre-pandemic levels in FY2025. In addition, shorter distance and weekend trips, which result in less revenue than long distance weekday trips, have seen the fastest recovery. These changes and related impacts to parking and advertising revenues are expected to continue to keep revenue below pre-pandemic levels in the short and medium term. FY2025 total revenue is expected be approximately $288 million below pre-pandemic levels.
- Inflation and collective bargaining agreements: Historic inflation caused by the pandemic and related supply chain impacts made everything more expensive, raising Metro’s personnel and non-personnel costs. The vast majority of Metro’s workforce which operates and maintains the system participates in collective bargaining. Metro must comply with mandated annual increases under the terms of the respective collective bargaining agreements, which indexes compensation levels to inflation. This cost growth is responsible for $266 million.
Alexandria and Arlington police are searching along Four Mile Run for a grand larceny suspect who fled from officers near the West Glebe Road bridge.
Alexandria Police spokesman Marcel Bassett said the department requested assistance from Arlington police to search along both sides of Four Mile Run.
Bassett said the suspect fled from officers. Scanner traffic indicated the suspect is wanted for grand larceny and, at one point, went into the creek under one of the bridges to cross into Arlington.
Police are searching along underpasses and through homeless encampments along Four Mile Run, per scanner traffic. K-9 units were called in to search through vegetation.
An 18-year-old Alexandria man suspected of robbing a juvenile of his Nike Air Jordan sneakers and bicycle at gunpoint was tracked down by the victim on social media, according to police.
The victim was robbed on April 10, in the 4500 block of 31st Street South, per a recently released search warrant affidavit. He told police that he was walking his Mongoose BMX bike up a hill when two suspects approached him.
One suspect asked the victim “why he was looking at him so seriously,” police said in the search warrant affidavit. “The same male got closer to the victim, opened his jacket and showed him the handle of a handgun that was concealed in an interior jacket pocket.”
The suspect then allegedly asked the victim his shoe size, to which the juvenile replied he is a size 9.
“This suspect then demanded the victim’s tennis shoes while threatening to physically assault him,” the affidavit says. “The victim complied. The suspects then took the victim’s bicycle and fled down the hill out of the area.”
A week and a half later, on April 21, the victim texted police that he identified the man who allegedly took his shoes and bike on Instagram.
Police found that the robbery suspect bore a close resemblance to Jose Santos Giron-Munoz, who was already in jail for a separate crime committed around the same time. He was arrested on April 17 for carrying a concealed handgun and possession with intent to distribute narcotics. He is being held without bond.
A booking deputy at the Alexandria jail told police that Giron-Munoz wore black and blue Nike Air Jordan 5s on the day of his arrest. Police said that the shoes were “identical to the shoes stolen from the victim,” according to the affidavit.
Giron-Munoz is being held without bond and goes to court on May 31 for a hearing on drugs and weapon charges.
Just after midnight this morning, the Arlington Police Department arrested a wanted suspect with some help from Alexandria and Fairfax police.
The suspect was located in the area of King Street and S. Wakefield Street. Scanner traffic indicated the incident may have been related to an armed carjacking around three days before.
POLICE ACTIVITY: A police helicopter was used to assist with locating a wanted suspect in the area of King Street and S. Wakefield St. The suspect was located and taken into custody. Police remain in the area investigating. pic.twitter.com/jewTsb4BOR
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 3, 2023
Alexandria Police Department spokesman Marcel Bassett said Ky-Jai Banks-Ross, 18, of Alexandria was arrested — though a tweet from the Alexandria Police Department last night noted “all suspects have been located and apprehended” and scanner traffic indicated three suspects fled from a car.
A Fairfax County helicopter was also involved in the search.
Notification:: In response to assisting an outside agency locate suspects of a crime, there is a helicopter and moderate police presence near and around the 3500 block of King Street. pic.twitter.com/6Il3Q84bq3
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) May 3, 2023
— Alan Henney (@alanhenney) May 3, 2023