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Power outage in Carlyle neighborhood (image via Dominion Energy)

A power outage in Alexandria has impacted around 2,000 residents

A Dominion Energy outage map indicated that 1,998 customers are currently affected by the outage.

Scanner chatter indicated that intersection lights were out and there were people stuck in elevators, but there was no ongoing fire. A Dominion Energy crewis searching for the cause.

According to the Dominion website estimated time of restoration is between 6-9 p.m., though those tend to be conservative estimates.

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A 44-year-old Fairfax County man was arrested on June 22 and faces multiple charges for a February 22 crash on Duke Street that resulted in the death of a driver and injuries to other drivers.

Carlos Kami Adar McKethan was arrested subsequent to a direct Grand Jury indictment charging him with aggravated vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of Phencyclidine (PCP), according to the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.

“It is alleged the defendant was the driver of a vehicle which struck another vehicle,” Porter’s office said in a release. “As a result of the collision, the driver of the struck vehicle was killed.”

McKethan is being held without bail in the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center awaiting trial. No trial date has been set.

Five vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred at around at around 11:50 p.m. in the 3200 block of Duke Street. Three people were trapped in two different vehicles after the crash.

“The crash resulted in one fatality, one critical injury, one serious injury, and two minor injuries,” Alexandria Police said in a release. “Preliminary investigation suggests speed may have been a contributing factor in this incident.”

Vehicular manslaughter is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in jail, and driving under the influence of PCP is punishable by up to a year in jail.

Map via Google Maps

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I-395 between Duke Street and Edsall Road (image via Google Maps)

After road work on I-395 was rescheduled from this weekend, the highway will see closures starting tonight.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said several lanes of I-395 between Edsall Road and Duke Street are rescheduled to close between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. tonight through Thursday night.

Tonight and tomorrow night, it’s two northbound lanes and three southbound lanes.

“The two right northbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Edsall Road and Duke Street and the three left southbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night,” VDOT said in a release, “with full stoppages of up to 20 minutes each in both directions occurring between midnight and 4 a.m. each night.”

On Wednesday it will be three lanes on alternating sides of the northbound side of the road, then the same for the southbound side on Thursday.

“The work is part of the project to rehabilitate the Duke Street bridge over I-395,” VDOT said in the release. “The improvements will extend the overall life of the bridge and improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, and include replacing the concrete bridge deck and beams, upgrading the westbound sidewalk to a shared-use path, and widening the eastbound sidewalk. The project is scheduled for completion in winter 2023/24.”

Image via Google Maps

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Duke Street bridge of I-395, photo via VDOT

Drivers along Duke Street in the West End should expect lane closures starting tonight and continuing intermittently through Friday, June 24.

The closures are connected to work on the Duke Street bridge over I-395 near Lincolnia. Planned improvements for the bridge include replacing the concrete bridge deck and beams, upgrading the westbound sidewalk to a shared-use path and widening the eastbound sidewalk.

The project is expected to be completed in Winter 2023 or early 2024.

According to VDOT, there will be closures on:

  • Friday night, June 10: Two lanes of the southbound 395 Express Lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., with two full stoppages of up to 20 minutes each occurring between midnight and 2 a.m. Backup dates are Saturday night, June 11 and Sunday night, June 12 in case inclement weather occurs.
  • Sunday night, June 12 and Monday night, June 13: The two left southbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
  • Tuesday night, June 14 through Thursday night, June 16: The three left southbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
  • Friday night, June 17: The three left southbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Sunday night, June 19 through Wednesday night, June 22: The three left southbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Thursday night, June 23 and Friday night, June 24: The two right southbound I-395 general purpose lanes between Seminary Road and Duke Street will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

VDOT warned that drivers should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.

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Updated 10:45 p.m. — The question should read “increased car travel time” rather than reduced.

Alexandria is in the process of planning an overhaul to Duke Street, and while part of the project goal is improved transit

The Duke Street Transitway is an idea to provide enhanced bus service along Duke Street, specifically looking at the possibility of bus rapid transit (BRT) like the current route in Potomac Yard. BRT routes emphasize quick, reliable bus service with the buses either mixed in with traffic or with dedicated lanes, as in Potomac Yard. Duke Street is one of a handful of BRT routes under consideration across the city.

Through improvements to the overall transportation system, but specifically to bus rapid transit (BRT) infrastructure and operations, choosing to ride the bus becomes a desirable option for Duke Street travelers, maintaining and enhancing Duke Street’s role as a vibrant community connector for residents and businesses,” the draft vision statement said. “Improvements to the bus system and multimodal infrastructure will support greater connectivity and efficiency for other travel modes along the corridor.”

One of the objectives for the plan is “limited or no negative travel time impacts to non-transit vehicles,” but at a meeting of the Duke Street Transitway Advisory Group there was some discussion of whether that was a realistic goal.

One resident representative on the group said they were concerned about dismissing the impact of the project on non-transit vehicles as an acceptable cost to better transit. The resident said this concern is particularly relevant given that the vast majority of Duke Street users are drivers rather than transit riders.

“This is a transit-driven project,” said Mindy Lyle, the Planning Commission representative to the group. “As we move forward and as the BRT comes into play, as we add the connections and the additional bus lines to both Van Dorn and Duke Street and get more emphasis on biking and walking, driving becomes less of the majority. I use my car 60% less than I did three years ago, and I would like to use it 60% less next year than I do now.”

Lyle said as the group looks at developing transit options, the priority should be on getting people on buses.

“As our population gets younger we are going to see more emphasis on biking, walking and on the bus,” Lyle said. “As buses become more efficient it’s going to increase, and that’s this project. It’s not about driving up and down Duke Street.”

One group member, who was not identified in the video, car travel time is part of the trade-off for greater pedestrian safety measures as well.

“This will come into conflict when you get talking about safety,” the group member said. “If you want to make it safer for pedestrians to cross the street somebody is going to have to give up time for that to happen, and if you give up time it’s going to impact travel time. There are only 60 seconds in a minute.”

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Alexandria Police are still investigating a February 22 crash on Duke Street that resulted in the death of a driver and multiple injuries. No one has been arrested in connection to the crash, even though one of the drivers involved was found to be in possession of cocaine and  number of other suspected drugs.

“The crash resulted in one fatality, one critical injury, one serious injury, and two minor injuries,” APD said in a release. “Preliminary investigation suggests speed may have been a contributing factor in this incident.”

Five vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred at around at around 11:50 p.m. One of the vehicles was a silver Toyota Rav4 with Florida plates, and under the driver’s seat police found a bag containing 92 grams of “white powder and white rock-like substances” which tested positive for cocaine, according to a search warrant.

Police also found “3.4 grams of a tan powder believed to be heroin, suspected PCP, three unknown pills and 0.7 grams of suspected marijuana,” according to the warrant.

Field tests for the suspected heroin and PCP were inconclusive and all of the substances have been sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, according to the warrant.

“Currently no one has been charged with any crimes in connection to this incident,” APD Public Information Officer Marcel Bassett told ALXnow. “This investigation is still ongoing and will be thorough to ensure all parties involved are given their due process.”

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Officer Wesley Vitale at 703-746-6178, email [email protected] or call APD’s non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Tips can be anonymous.

Map via Google Maps

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A Fairfax County man was charged was charged with driving under the influence and assault and battery after allegedly abandoning his car in the middle of the 3500 block of Duke Street and running away on foot.

The 32-year-old suspect was arrested for allegedly assaulting a person after he ran east on Duke Street at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. Police were initially called because his vehicle was sitting in the road and blocking the driveway of the McDonald’s at Duke Street and Wheeler Avenue, which is next door to Alexandria Police Headquarters at 3600 Wheeler Avenue.

When police found him by a gas station near Alexandria Police Department headquarters at Duke Street and Wheeler Avenue, he allegedly repeatedly shouted for them to kill him, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police searched the suspect, and also found bags of suspected marijuana and cocaine, although he was not charged with drug offenses.

The suspect was released the next day on a $2,000 unsecured bond and goes to court for the offenses on April 26.

Map via Google Maps

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A new group is being tasked with heading up the city’s plans to overhaul Duke Street.

The Duke Street In Motion Advisory Group is tasked with guiding the new eponymous Duke Street In Motion project — which aims to make adjust the arterial road to emphasize public transit, make improvements to bicycle/pedestrian safety and other changes.

The Duke Street In Motion advisory group was formed at the March 8 City Council meeting and applications are open now through March 27.

“If you are interested in applying to be one of four at-large, or one small-business owner, positions on the committee, or would like additional information about the purpose and responsibilities of the committee, please click on the following links,” the city said in a release. “The deadline for Advisory Group applications is March 27, 2022, at 9 p.m.”

The goal is, in part, to create bus rapid transit lines along Duke Street similar to the Potomac Yard transitway and the planned West End transitway. The city’s website noted that buses aren’t a “competitive” option compared to cars for getting along Duke Street, which Duke Street In Motion aims to change. Whether that entails dedicated bus lanes remains to be seen.

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After more than 10 years in development, the high-capacity Duke Street Transitway is getting the show on the road.

The Alexandria City Council, at its meeting March 8, will vote on authorizing the city manager to appoint an Ad Hoc Duke Street Transitway Advisory Group. The nine-person body will spend the next year providing recommendations for corridor design alternatives, and will endorse a preferred alternative by spring 2023.

The new advisory group will be tasked with adopting or amending the 2012 Transit Corridors Feasibility Plan, which outlines the project below:

  • It would create dedicated transit lanes in existing six-lane sections of Duke Street between Landmark Mall and Jordan Street and between Roth Street and Diagonal Road
  • In the remaining section of Duke Street between Jordan Street and Roth Street, transit would operate in mixed flow
  • A parallel off-corridor bicycle facility should be examined to accommodate bicyclists along Duke Street and improved pedestrian facilities would be provided at intersections and near transit stations
  • Preliminary implementation should prioritize enhanced pedestrian safety and improvements at Taylor Run Parkway

The advisory group will be made up of nine members:

  • Transportation commissioner
  • Planning Commissioner
  • Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities member or designee
  • DASH Bus Riders Group member or designee
  • Three at-large community representatives
  • Representative of the development community
  • Federation of Civic Associations member or designee

The city manager will designate a chair of the advisory group, and choose the three at-large members.

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Planned Duke Street lane closure, image via Google Maps

Drivers headed east on Duke Street in the West End tomorrow (Wednesday) be warned: lane closures could slow traffic on the major arterial road.

The right lane of eastbound Duke Street will be closed, followed by the left lane, to install temporary striping for a planned traffic shift to accommodate the Duke Street bridge rehabilitation project. The closures will run from Oasis Drive in Lincolnia to South Walker Street outside of the development-formerly-known-as-Landmark.

If all goes according to plan, the lane closures should be sandwiched between the day’s rush hours. Lane closures are expected to start at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m., when traffic is shifted along the bridge over I-395 until work is completed this fall.

“The work is part of the project to rehabilitate the Duke Street bridge over I-395,” the Virginia Department of Transportation said in a release. “The improvements will extend the overall life of the bridge and improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians, and include replacing the concrete bridge deck and beams, upgrading the westbound sidewalk to a shared-use path, and widening the eastbound sidewalk.”

The project is expected to be completed late this year or in early 2024.

Photo via Google Maps

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