Monday, April 22, 2013
As Arlington warms up, so does progress on cycling infrastructure.
Winter not only takes a lot of people off their bikes, it also put a lot of the improvements to cycling infrastructure on pause. Striping is harder to apply, new construction is harder to manage in the cold, and labor is often scarce. But spring brings back the work, and Arlington’s got a number of bike-related projects on tap. Last month, Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) finally expanded to Columbia Pike. This long-awaited expansion will help extend the range of Arlington’s existing CaBi network, providing something of a middle ground between its well-established locations in Crystal City and the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Two of the new stations are along Columbia Pike, and one is near the Gunston Community Center. As the year progresses, the …
Sunday, April 14, 2013
The incident was reported Sunday morning.
A man was hit by a train Sunday morning at the Rosslyn Metro Station, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA. The incident took place at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday, according to WMATA's website. An adult man intentionally stood in the path of an oncoming Blue Line train, according to Metro's official Twitter feed. The train operator saw the man come off the platform and applied emergency breaks, WMATA posted on Twitter. As a result, the man sustained "less severe" injuries that were described as non-life threatening. The Blue and Orange lines resumed normal service around noon.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Metro will triple the number of surveillance cameras in rail cars as part of a new security system.
Metro plans to triple the number of surveillance cameras throughout the Metrorail system — increasing the number of cameras to about 6,000 — and will install them inside Metro rail cars for the first time ever, according to the Associated Press. The expansion could cost an estimated $6.5 million, only some of which would come from federal grants, according to The Washington Examiner. "We have no greater responsibility than protecting the safety of our customers, visitors and employees," Metro spokesman Philip Stewart told the Examiner. "To that end, we are in the process of deploying a comprehensive next-generation security system for Metro." The cameras will allow Metro control center employees to observe both security and crowding issues…
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Traffic information for Northern Virginia commuters, including traffic jams, delays, Metro, ART, DASH, Fairfax Connector and more. Click on the grey tabs below for more information.
Problems on your commute today? Tell other readers about it in the comment section below. Updated traffic information: Delayed Metro trains, buses and cars sitting in endless traffic on I-66 and the Beltway—even a 10-minute commute in the DC metro area can be extreme some days. In fact, a March 2013 report from the Census Bureau shows people in the DC metro area have the second-worst commute in the country. That report came on the heels of a Texas Transportation Institute report in February that DC area commuters face the worst traffic in the country. Patch is here to help! Click on any of the grey tabs above to expand it and get more information about congestion, delays or other traffic alerts. On the Metro rail map, click on any …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The first so-called Super Stop opened this week at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike.
The $1 million price tag on the first so-called Super Stop along the Columbia Pike corridor gave Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey an opening Tuesday to voice opposition to the planned streetcar. The Super Stop, which opened this month at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike, is designed to hold 10 to 15 passengers and allow two buses to stop in front of it at a time. Real-time ART and Metrobus information is available and the county hopes to install an exit fare machine in the future. Garvey wasn't impressed. "It is pretty, but I was struck by the fact that if it's pouring rain, I'm going to get wet," she said. "It's not much of a shelter." County officials on Tuesday emphasized the various factors that fed into that price and pledged …
Monday, March 18, 2013
Metro ridership dropped, but a fare increase boosted revenues.
Although revenues increased for the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority in the last half of 2012, ridership dipped by 6 percent to below 100 million, according to transit authority statistics reported in the Washington Examiner. A revenue increase of about $15 million to $412.4 million, from July to December 2012, was attributed to a July 1, 2012 fare increase. While the uptick in revenue sounds good on the surface, Metro spokeswoman Caroline Lucas told the Examiner that “Metrorail revenue is still $20.2 million below budgeted expectations.” During the same July-to-December time span—the first half of fiscal year 2013—Metro experienced another financial difficulty described in a report released on March 14 by the transit authority …
Friday, March 15, 2013
Bus purchases, station improvements and plans to replace Metro's farecard system likely to be delayed as agency receives $8 million reduction in federal funding.
Sequestration will affect Metro’s long-term projects, likely delaying bus purchases, station improvements and possibly deferring the agency’s plan to replace its farecard system with one allowing credit cards, according to the Washington Post. The agency will receive $8 million less in federal funds because of the sequester. Metro had expected to lose as much as $12 million. It receives $150 million annually from the federal government, a number that is matched by local participating jurisdictions, including Arlington. [More: Sequestration to Affect Metro Maintenance, Long-Term Upgrades] Metro is currently accepting bids from tech firms to develop a new system that would allow customers tap their credit card or mobile phone to pay fares, …
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Silver Line is scheduled to begin operating later this year.
Metro will host one of three open houses on the new Silver Line next week in Arlington. The Arlington open house will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway. The others will be in Capitol Heights, Md., and Reston. Residents will be able to view exhibits, ask questions and learn about changes to rail and bus service, according to a news release. The first phase of the Silver Line project is an 11-mile, five-station line that is currently under construction. When finished, the line will connect downtown Washington to Tysons and Reston. The first part of the Silver Line is slated to begin operating in December. When completed in 2016, it will run into Loudoun County.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Current escalator upgrades and maintenance, and future expansion plans for Metrorail could both be scaled back with sequestration.
If Congress doesn’t stop sequestration by Friday, Metrorail users could be walking up and down more broken escalators. Sequestration — $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to start Friday — will hit the greater Washington area hard, with thousands of federal and government contract employees bracing for furloughs as their respective agencies and companies look for ways to cut spending. Federal employees account for 40 percent of Metro’s ridership, according to WTOP, and passenger fares make up about 58 percent of Metro’s funding. Last week, James C. Dinegar, president and chief executive of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and Karen Young, chairwoman of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments board of directors, …
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
WMATA released the security report Monday.
The Ballston, Pentagon City, East Falls Church and Rosslyn Metro stations made the top 10 list of stations with the most crime in Virginia, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's 2012 security report. Most of the crime increase on the Metro systemwide is attributable to a 30 percent increase in snatches of small electronic devices and pickpockets, according to WMATA. There were 671 pick-pocketing incidents and electronic snatchings on the Metro system overall in 2012, up from 520 incidents in 2011. Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn will discuss the report Thursday during his security report to the Metro Board Safety and Security Committee. The report was released to the public Monday. The full list of the…