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Location of new CarPlug of Alexandria (image via Google Maps)

A used car dealership off Duke Street is getting new ownership and a rebranding.

Total Package Auto, a dealership at 3131 Colvin Street, filed an application with the city for a change in ownership as the store becomes CarPlug of Alexandria.

The applicant requests to operate an auto sales business in the 1,000-square-foot office and showroom space at 3131 Colvin Street. The dealership is located on a little stretch of businesses including Dogtopia and the slaughterhouse that was allegedly selling rabbits (never letting that go).

Most along the street might not notice much change as the application says the store plans to do most of its business online, with the Alexandria location being where customers can come to get their car.

“We work as an online dealer so we do not plan to have any advertising banners or signs,” the application said.

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Old car parked on a brick road (photo via Vitali Adutskevich/Unsplash)

A local show celebrating classic cars is making a comeback in Alexandria next month.

The Classic Car Show is back on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street) in Old Town. The focus of the show is cars that are no longer manufactured.

“Join us in the parking lot of the Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum for a classic car show featuring a variety of ‘orphan’ vehicles,” a release from the Office of Historic Alexandria said. “This show will bring together cars that are no longer manufactured – hence the term ‘orphans’ – and is scheduled to include cars made by Packard, Hudson, MG, Nash, Pontiac, and more.”

Note: this is different than the Old Town Festival of Speed & Style, another classic car festival in Old Town held in summer. That one comes back May 19.

The Classic Car Show is free and sponsored by Packards Virginia and the Alexandria History Museum.

Photo via Vitali Adutskevich/Unsplash

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Police car lights (file photo)

An Arlington man faces multiple charges after allegedly selling a stolen car to a man on Facebook Marketplace.

The 21-year-old suspect was arrested May 17 at Alexandria Police Department Headquarters (3600 Wheeler Avenue), where he agreed to meet the victim to discuss the sale of a stolen 2006 Honda Civic for $2,800, according to a recently released search warrant affidavit.

The victim met with the suspect at police headquarters to get his money back, according to the search warrant affidavit. The victim told police that he bought the Honda on April 22 from the suspect, but found out a week later at the DMV that the vehicle was stolen.

The suspect allegedly told police that he merely arranged the sale with the car’s registered owner, and police later determined that he gave the victim forged documents to make it look like the sale was legitimate.

Police found that the suspect allegedly bought the stolen Honda in March from a man he met on Facebook Marketplace, and bought it from the seller in-person in the Lincolnia area of Fairfax County.

The suspect allegedly tried to register the car with the DMV, found out it was stolen and then unsuccessfully attempted to meet with the original seller, police determined by looking at the suspect’s phone, according to the search warrant affidavit.

The suspect was charged with filing a false release report, obtaining money by false pretenses and receiving stolen goods. He posted a $5,000 bond on the day he was arrested and goes to court on Aug. 7.

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A man was carjacked in the 4300 block of King Street on the early morning of July 6, 2023 (via Google Maps)

Alexandria Police are investigating an armed carjacking that occurred early this morning in the West End.

The male victim was robbed at gunpoint of his black 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG at around 4:30 a.m. outside the 24-hour gym X-Sport Fitness at 4300 King Street. The area is near the intersection with Park Center Drive.

No injuries were reported and no arrests were made.

The victim told police that he was carjacked by three men in a silver two-door Infiniti. After the incident, the victim tracked the vehicle with GPS to the Navy Yard area in D.C. and then to Prince George’s County in Maryland, according to APD scanner traffic.

Anyone with information on this incident can call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Image via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police arrested four juveniles after a brief chase in the 1400 block of N. Beauregard Street (via Google Maps)

Four male juveniles were arrested after a brief chase from a stolen car in the West End on Tuesday afternoon, prompting four schools to go on lockdown, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

The incident occurred at around noon near the 1400 block of N. Beauregard Street. Police recovered a handgun from one of the suspects, according to dispatch reports.

“While conducting the traffic stop, all individuals from the vehicle fled,” APD said in a release. “Additional Officers were dispatched to the area to locate the suspects. During the search, APD Officers found four juvenile male suspects and took them into custody. APD recovered one weapon.”

The charges against the minors include drug possession with intent to sale, a concealed weapons charge, illegal weapons possession, and other weapon offenses, according to APD.

Anyone with information about this incident can call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

The incident prompted four nearby schools to go into “secure the building” mode. Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School (1701 N. Beauregard Street), William Ramsay Elementary School (5700 Sanger Avenue), John Adams Elementary School (5651 Rayburn Avenue) and the Early Childhood Center (5651 Rayburn Avenue) went into “secure the building” from 12:15 to 12:35 p.m.

On Monday afternoon, three juveniles were arrested after an estimated 40 shots were fired. The shots were fired in an alleyway in the 1200 block of Madison Street, a block away from the Braddock Road Metro station, and no one was injured. Also that day, shots were fired at a Bradlee Shopping Center bus stop, which is near Alexandria City High School.

Image via Google Maps

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Traffic backup heading eastbound along Duke Street near Eisenhower Ave (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Alexandria transportation officials say that a pilot program to ease evening congestion on and around Duke Street is working and they want to make the changes permanent.

City staff announced last night (Wednesday) that the first and second phases of the Duke Street Traffic Mitigation pilot have improved evening peak traffic and reduced cut-through traffic near the busy roadway. The project launched last summer with extended green traffic lights on Quaker Lane and Duke Street from 4 to 6 p.m., while green lights were shortened on West Taylor Run Parkway, Cambridge Road, Yale Drive and Fort Williams Parkway.

“We did have very positive results on cut-through traffic for most roads,” said Dan Scalese, a senior transportation manager with the city. “This has been a benefit. We’ve seen reductions in cut-through [traffic] and that Duke Street is moving.”

Traffic volumes decreased on Cambridge Road by 48%; on West Taylor Run Parkway by 54%; on Yale Drive by 76% and on Fort Williams Parkway by 47%. Cut-through traffic did increase, however, on Quaker Lane by 39%.

“We obviously saw more Quaker Lane backup,” Scalese said. “Our next step is to essentially going to a maintenance-type mode, (where) this is now considered a permanent infrastructure feature. We will be monitoring the networks, not just one area, and tweaking as necessary.”

City staff will discuss the mitigation phases in a meeting at Bishop Ireton High School on Monday, April 17. The proposal then goes to the Traffic and Parking Board at 7 p.m. at City Hall on Monday, April 24.

In the meantime, city planners are also working on ways to improve bus transit — as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilities — along Duke Street from Landmark Mall to the King Street Metro Station.

Dubbed Duke Street in Motion, the project proposes a series of congestion-relieving changes such as dedicated bus lanes along the center of the road or the curb and bus-rapid transit stations every half-mile.

City Council is expected to approve a preferred alternative for the project in July.

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This car window was shot out by a BB or pellet gun on Monday, March 6, 2023 (via Nextdoor)

No arrests have been made after car windows were shot out by a BB gun in Del Ray this week, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

Two incidents occurred in the early morning of Monday (March 6)– one at the corner of E. Bellefonte Avenue and Leslie Avenue, and the other in front of an apartment building in the the 3000 block of Mount Vernon Avenue.

Nothing was reported stolen from the vehicles and no one was reportedly injured. One of the victims posted their experience on Nextdoor.

“The officer said he thought it was a pellet or BB gun, or something similar, fired from a passing vehicle,” the car owner wrote. “It left a center or target hole, with radiating waves of broken, finely fragmented glass. The entire window dropped out of the frame within two hours, and large amounts of glass shards were blown into the interior of the vehicle.”

Anyone with information on these incidents can call the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

via Nextdoor

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Alexandria’s balmy winter has made a few of its parking lots prime locations for car meetups.

Car enthusiasts, car owners, their friends and children hung out for nearly four hours on Thursday night in the parking lot at 251 W. Glebe Road — near the intersection with Mount Vernon Avenue.

From 7-11 p.m., more than 100 cars were parked in the lot, which is home to El Cuscatleco Restaurant, a Dollar Plus store and a Sherwin-Williams Paint Store.

Last night’s meetup was the second consecutive Thursday meetup in the parking lot. Attendees played loud music on speakers, and there was a strong smell of marijuana in the air, as well as a few open containers of alcohol.

Most of the drivers were from out of town, with crews including the Brothers Car Club, Stay Humble Car Club and Real Street 47 Crew.

The groups pop up  not just in Alexandria, but throughout northern Virginia and in Maryland.

“The cops don’t mess with us,” said Omar M., who lives in Maryland and attends the meetups with friends every Thursday. “We’re peaceful.”

The groups will have to find a new lot to call home, though, once construction begins on a massive affordable housing complex at the W. Glebe Road location.

Alexandria Police did not comment on the meetups, but police cruisers surveil the events and occasionally drive through to move cars blocking access. There was also a meetup this month in the Target parking lot (3101 Richmond Highway) in Potomac Yard.

Many of the meetups are listed on the Instagram page DMV_meetups.

One of the biggest meets of the year will take place next Saturday, March 4. The DMV Mega Meet 2023 will be held at Custom T’s Motor Sports Park in Colonial Beach, Virginia, and the event promises to include drag racing, a burnout pit, food and music.

A flier for a meetup in the parking lot of 251 W. Glebe Road (via DMV_meetups/Instagram)

Flier via Instagram

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A driver was seriously injured in a crash in Old Town that shut down N. Washington Street between Montgomery and First Streets. (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Daniel Pearson from the Philadelphia Inquirer recently took his city to task for high traffic fatalities despite a Vision Zero pledge — a commitment by localities to get their pedestrian deaths down to zero. But Philadelphia isn’t alone: many cities vocally promoting Vision Zero plans, many of those cities are faced with continually increasing traffic fatalities.

So, with 2022 in the rearview mirror: how do Alexandria’s crash statistics measure up against the “vision zero” goals?

The good news is that data from the city’s Vision Zero Crash Dashboard shows crashes have mostly been trending downward over the last decade.

There are a few important notes to weigh down that optimistic reading of the data, however.

Crash data from the Alexandria Police department: the black bar represents property-only damage, the yellow bar represents non-severe injuries, the orange represents serious injuries, and red represents fatalities (image via City of Alexandria)

For one: in the two years after the city adopted a Vision Zero action plan in 2017, the total number of accidents was higher than they were in 2017. What’s more: crashes had already been trending downward in the years prior to 2017.

The number of total traffic crashes only dropped dramatically in 2020, which leads to the second major footnote: Covid had a significant impact on traffic patterns.

According to a staff report from last March:

This reporting period includes the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. No formal study has been conducted regarding the Alexandria-specific travel impacts of COVID-19. However, regional studies have shown that travel patterns changed drastically due to public health lockdown measures in 2020 which resulted in lower overall traffic volumes and public transit ridership, and higher rates of walking and biking. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (lockdowns, work from home mandates etc.) should be considered when evaluating crash trends and insights associated with 2020.

The Vision Zero dashboard data also does not include numbers from December so far, so the overall figures for 2022 are likely to be higher than those in the graph above.

While overall crashes have declined, the data also shows that the number of deaths and serious injuries has remained fairly consistent. In 2017 — the year Alexandria adopted its Vision Zero plan — there were 27 serious injuries from crashes and four fatalities. In 2021, there were 24 serious injuries from crashes and four fatalities.

While the 2022 data still does not include December, the numbers for last year are still promising overall. Between January and November of last year, there were seven serious injuries from crashes and two fatalities.

The dashboard also shows that, from the last ten years of crash data, around 60% of crashes took place at intersections. To that end, the city has been working on redesigning some crash-prone intersections and eliminating right turns on red lights at a few Patrick and Henry street intersections.

The city’s goal is ultimately to reach zero deaths and serious injuries by 2028.

“Alexandrians should be able to use our streets safely,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said in a newsletter in December. “We will have to take ourselves out of our comfort zone to make that happen. Ultimately, these efforts will not only provide mobility options for our residents, help achieve climate initiatives, but also save lives.”

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There was a robbery in the 1200 block of N. Henry Street on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. (via Google Maps)

A 23-year-old man was robbed of his rental car key by two people in the 1200 block of N. Henry Street on Friday, Dec. 9.

The Alexandria Police Department said that the victim, who is not a city resident, was sitting in his rental car at around 4 a.m. when approached by a man and a woman. The pair implied that they had a weapon and demanded that the victim hand over his personal items.

“They demanded more stuff, but all they ended up with was a rental car key before running off,” Alexandria Police public information officer Marcel Bassett said. “It was reported that the suspects motioned as though they had a weapon, but no weapon was confirmed or seen.”

The victim was not injured and no arrests have been made.

The incident occurred near The Grayson apartment complex (1200 N. Henry Street), and across the street from the Powhatan Park Tennis Court (1010 Douglas Street).

Anyone with information can contact the APD non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Via Google Maps

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