Tysons Corner, VA

(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Fairfax County police have identified the man who was fatally struck by a police cruiser along Route 50 in the Falls Church area yesterday.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday (Oct. 20), a police cruiser struck and killed 40-year-old Carlos Romeo Montoya near Arlington Blvd (Route 50) and Graham Road, police said.

“We do not have a current address at this time,” police said in a press release today. “Next of kin have been notified.”

More from FCPD:

A patrol officer who has more than four years of law enforcement experience and who is assigned to the Mason District Station was driving in a marked police cruiser in the area of Arlington Boulevard and Graham Road. The officer was responding to a call for service for disorderly subjects.

The marked police cruiser was proceeding through a green light eastbound on Arlington Boulevard approaching the intersection of Graham Road.

This intersection has a pedestrian crosswalk with a pedestrian signal for the crosswalk. The posted speed limit for Arlington Boulevard in that area is 45 miles per hour.

As the police cruiser proceeded through the intersection, an adult male was struck in the left travel lane of Arlington Boulevard by the cruiser. The location of impact was within the crosswalk as determined by the police cruiser in-car video.

The officer immediately stopped to render first aid and called for the Fire and Rescue Department. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital by rescue personnel and was pronounced deceased.

“The best information we have right now is that the officer did have a green list, was proceeding through the intersection and that the pedestrian was, unfortunately, crossing against the ‘Don’t walk’ sign,” Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said during a press conference yesterday.

Montoya’s death marks the 14th pedestrian fatality in the county this year, according to police.

“This is an intersection that has a historical issue with pedestrian safety,” Roessler said at the press conference.

Cyclist and pedestrian advocates are urging people to attend a meeting tonight (Monday) about changes to Route 50.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is looking to get community feedback about a Route 50 study currently underway to identify potential safety and operational changes for Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd.

The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) took to social media to urge people to attend the meeting.

Bruce Wright, a board member of FABB, said that the Graham Road and Route 50 intersection was identified in 2004 “as a big problem” for pedestrian safety and is “still very dangerous.”

Wright said that service roads along Route 50, the dense residential area nearby and high speed limit contribute to the safety factors at the intersection. Wright said he wants VDOT and the county to consider redesigning the intersection and lowering the speed limit.

“It is such an important corridor and yet it’s optimized for motorists,” Wright said.

FABB is working with local police to identify where bicycle crashes are happening, Wright said, adding that the group wants to work with VDOT as well.

The crash is currently under investigation and is working to determine the cruiser’s speed, the lighting conditions at the intersection and the condition of the pedestrian walk sign, along with a forensic medical examination, police said.

“The results of the investigation by the Crash Reconstruction Unit will be presented to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County,” the press release said.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives at 703-280-0543.

“The involved officer was reassigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of our investigations by the Crash Reconstruction Unit and the Internal Affairs Bureau,” police said.

Map via Google Maps

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Swinks Mill Road Reopens in McLean — Severely damaged by flooding in July, the road at Scotts Run reopened Friday (Oct. 18). [VDOT/Twitter]

McLean Resident Retires From NVTC — “Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) president and CEO Bobbie Kilberg is set to retire on June 30 after 22 years leading the organization.” [Technical.ly]

Pedestrian Killed Along Route 50 in Falls Church — “A police cruiser struck and killed a man who was crossing an intersection in West Falls Church, Virginia, early Sunday morning, police say.” [NBC4]

Home Catches Fire in Dunn Loring — Firefighters responded to a house fire in the 8100 block of Timber Valley Court in Dunn Loring area on Saturday. The fire is now out. “No reported injuries at this time.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

How Walkable is Tysons? — Find out what it’s like to stroll around Tysons with a walkability researcher, who measured the noise levels and air quality. [Greater Greater Washington]

New Leader at McLean Private School — “BASIS Independent McLean, a preK to grade 12 private school in McLean, Va., recently named Paul Geise as its head of school. As a veteran educator with more than 40 years of experience, Geise excels in leadership of schools in the United States and United Kingdom, specializing in strategic plans and fostering student and community development in schools.” [Patch]

Marshall HS Students Visit Capital One HQ — “Members of Marshall High’s Latinos United Club took a field trip to Capital One’s headquarters in McLean to meet with their mentors. Students learned about the vast career opportunities in technology at Capital One and participated in various activities with the mentors including job shadowing, panel discussions, and a tour.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

USA Today May Phase Out Print Edition — “After a nearly 40-year run, USA Today and its digital sites are about to undergo a major restructuring that will include building up digital marketing while phasing out the print edition.” [Poynter]

Falls Church Receives High Bond Ratings — “For the second consecutive year, the city has earned the highest credit rating from all three major bond rating agencies.” [City of Falls Church]

Falls Church Polling Place Moved — “Due to delays in a renovation of the Falls Green apartments (formerly Oakwood), the City of Falls Church’s Ward 2 polling place has to be moved for the upcoming Nov. 5 election.” [Falls Church News-Press]

New Natural Health Center in Vienna — “The Health Improvement Center, a natural health care center, has moved to a new location in Vienna. The move to a larger space happened in August, while a ribbon-cutting is set for Nov. 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The new location is 407 Church Street NE Suite C.” [Patch]

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Next week, people can give their input on ways to improve Route 50 in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is holding a meeting on Monday (Oct. 21) to get community feedback about a Route 50 study that started in June and is currently underway.

The study is looking at potential safety and operational changes for three miles of Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd. Up to 51,000 vehicles travel daily in the area of Route 50, according to VDOT.

Possible improvements include:

  • traffic signal timing/operations
  • turn lane
  • turn restrictions
  • access management
  • pedestrian enhancements
  • innovative intersections

The meeting is set to take place in the cafeteria at Falls Church High School (7521 Jaguar Trail) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. A short presentation will start at 7 p.m., followed by time for questions with VDOT staff.

People can take an online survey and submit comments at the meeting or by Thursday, Oct. 31, to Bobby Mangalath, at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030.

VDOT plans to hold another information meeting when the study wraps up in the spring.

Photo via VDOT

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As the windy day continues, two power outages are affecting about 50 Dominion Energy customers between Route 50 and Route 29 in the West Falls Church area.

One power outage is affecting 37 customers by Stuart Drive, while a second one is affecting 26 customers by Thomas Jefferson Library, according to Dominion.

Power is expected to be restored this evening before 10 p.m., according to Dominion.

The causes of the outages are pending investigations.

Map via Dominion Energy

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Falls Church may soon have a new watering hole before the end of the year.

The Casual Pint is a self-proclaimed beer market that plans to open a new location at 6410 Arlington Blvd.

The national chain offers customers a place to hang out while sampling a variety of alcoholic beverages and allow guests to take home six-packs, growlers or kegs, according to its website.

There are currently 15 other locations throughout the country, including one in Virginia Beach. Each location offers a variety of beer, wine and food.

Currently, the Falls Church location is awaiting approval from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage and Control Authority.

The location hopes to open around Dec. 1, Darren McClure, the location’s owner, told Tysons Reporter.

“We will have a ribbon-cutting and give away growlers to the first 50 people plus other prizes all night,” he said.

Photo via Facebook

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Wednesday  (Oct. 16)

  • Panel Discussion on Human Trafficking — 7 to 9 p.m. at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, Second Floor (400 Center Street S.) —  This panel will discuss human trafficking in local neighborhoods and how to end it.
  • Boro Fall Festival — noon to 2 p.m. at Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) — This free event offers attendees a chance to try fall foods, participate in crafts, enjoy live music and enter into a raffle.

Thursday (Oct. 17)

  • Avenir Pumpkin Festival — 5 to 8 p.m. at Modera Avenir Place Apartments (2677 Avenir Place) — This event is free to attend and features a Biergarten, music and pumpkin decorating.
  • Local Candidate Forum — 7 p.m. at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike) — This public forum will allow community members to gather and hear from local candidates running for office on Nov. 5.
  • Wild Game Beer Dinner — 7 to 10 p.m. at Caboose Commons (520 Mill Street NE) — This event will feature a five-course meal from chief David Rabin. Tickets are $90 and will include meat such as antelope, bison and goat.
  • Meet Author Bill Lewers — 7:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Avenue) — This author will discuss his upcoming fiction book “Gatekeepers of Democracy,” which discusses those who serve on election day. Copies will be available for purchase during the book signing.

Friday (Oct. 18)

  • One Man, Two Guvnors” — 8 to 10:30 p.m. at Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — This play explores the life of someone who ends up employed by gangsters in England around 1963. Tickets start at $15.

Saturday (Oct. 19)

  • Vienna Halloween on the Green — 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the Vienna Town Green (144 E. Maple Avenue) — Kids ages two to 10 are welcome to join in some seasonal fun including trick-or-treating, crafts, games, pumpkin decorating and age-appropriate activities. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Recycling Extravaganza– 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Recycling Center (217 Gordon Road) — People are encouraged to bring things they may not be able to get rid of at the curb including toxic chemicals, shredded documents, and electronics. A list of accepted items can be found online and people wishing to drop things off must prove residency.
  • Party for a Cause — 9 p.m. t0 2 a.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) — This free event will raise money for breast cancer awareness and support for families.

Sunday (Oct. 20)

  • McLean Pet Fest — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) —  This event gives pet owners the chance to learn about opportunities that will enhance the lives of their furry friends while watching a pet-parade. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Ito’s Taste of Colombia — all night at Blend 11 (111 Church Street NW, Suite 101) — Chef Andrés Julian will prepare a five-course meal for guests that includes traditional Colombian dishes. The price is $55 with an optional $21 wine pairing.

Photo via McLean Community Center/Facebook

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Columbus Day — also known as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in some areas — is coming up on Monday (Oct. 14).

For people staying in the Tysons area, some government facilities will be closed and public transit options will be operating on modified schedules.

Tysons Reporter has rounded up a list of public services that will be affected by the upcoming holiday on Monday.

County-wide

  • All county offices, schools and libraries will be closed.
  • The Circuit and General District Courts will be closed.
  • The Fairfax Connector will operate on a Holiday Weekday Service where certain routes will run every 12-15 minutes.
  • United States Postal Service offices will be closed.

Vienna

  • The Vienna Community Center will have reduced hours from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m.
  • The Town of Vienna’s government offices will be closed.

McLean

Falls Church

The City of Falls Church and the Town of Vienna recognize Oct. 14, 2019 as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

“Celebrating the two holidays on the same day is a way to inform our understanding of each group’s contributions to our national fabric without demeaning the significance of either,” according to a Falls Church press release.

Speaking of closures, Tysons Reporter will be taking a break as well on Monday.

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Columbia Baptist Church is ironing out parking and height issues linked to its expansion plans in the City of Falls Church.

The church wants to add a one-story, 33,000 square-foot building addition, along with a new sanctuary space with 1,192 seats, expanded paved surface parking and relocation of the parking lot and driveway along N. Maple Avenue.

The church (103 W. Columbia Street) is also seeking a variance that would allow the steeple to go 55 feet above the maximum height of 70 height to help bolster’s the church’s presence as a gateway to the city. The church argued that other churches have steeples above the maximum 70 feet.

Most of the discussion at the city’s Planning Commission meeting last night (Tuesday) focused on concerns that the church would have problems updating one of its ramps to make it ADA-compliant.

“On W. Columbia, both curb ramps at the midblock crosswalk need to be replaced,” according to the staff report.
“Since there are offsite parking agreements, all infrastructure that is being utilized in the right of way is required to be brought into current ADA standards.”

Facing the possibility of the proposal getting deferred because of the ramp, the team behind the church’s expansion said that they will figure out a way to meet the requirements for ADA-accessible ramps.

To address previous concerns about parking, the applicant added an extra 10 feet between the planned area for the parking spaces and nearby homes. The parking lot at the church was also redesigned to move the landscaping buffer between the parking lot and historic structures.

The Planning Commission approved the site plans and variance recommended.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will take up the church plans — decide if the church’s claims for the higher steeple will be allowed — at their meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17.

“Overall, I think it’s improved,” Andrew Rankin, the vice-chair of the city’s Planning Commission, said.

Image via Google Maps

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Thursday (Oct. 10)

  • Design Lab: Drawing Treehouses — noon-1:30 p.m. at the Apple Store (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — This event will teach attendees how to design a treehouse on an iPad while keeping sustainability and the environment in mind. This is event is free and open to the public; iPads will be provided.
  • Stars & Stripes Benefit for the Troops — 7-11 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton (1700 Tysons Blvd) — This prohibition themed networking gala will benefit the troops. Tickets start at $95 and include food, drink, raffles and activities. Attendees are encouraged to dress in 1920s attire.
  • Power of Pink Tysons — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Equinox (8065 Leesburg Pike) — Join Equinox for a lunch and workout fundraiser to benefit the Arlington Free Clinic and Breast Care for Washington DC, which helps local women fight breast cancer. This event is donation-based, and all of the proceeds will go towards the cause.

Saturday (Oct. 12)

  • Farm Day — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Avenue) — The Cherry Hill Farmhouse will host the community and have activities including horse-drawn hayrides, a petting farm, pony rides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow making, live music, tours of the farmhouse and barn, blacksmith demonstrations and food. Admission is free but there may be fees for specific activities.
  • Halloween Window Painting Festival — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mr. Brown’s Park (223 Little Falls Street) —  The community is invited to pitch ideas for window painting. The event is free but those wishing to participate must email Marty Behr at [email protected] with a design idea for approval.
  • NAACP Candidates Forum — 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard Street NW) — This event allows the public to hear from Commonwealth’s Attorney and School Board At-Large candidates representing the NAACP. There will also be voter registration opportunities.

Sunday (Oct. 13)

  • Free Koren Language Lesson — 3:30-5:30 p.m. at Shilla Bakery (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — Anyone who speaks Korean or is interested in learning can join this free event to practice their language skills and get to know others curious about Korean language and culture.

Photo via Cherry Hill Historic Farm

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Car Tax Due Today — Fairfax County “mailed more than 800,000 annual bills to vehicle owners, and because Oct. 5 falls on a Saturday, this year’s deadline to pay [the] bill is Monday, Oct. 7.” [Fairfax County]

Expect Metro Delays Today — The Orange, Silver and Blue lines will be impacted today due to an overnight rear-end train collision outside Farragut West. [WMATA]

CaliBurger Coming to The Boro — “Locally, the West Coast-styled company’s fries and burgers are served out of a teal-toned NoMa food truck at Wunder Garten. Under a newly inked deal, Caliburger will open next spring in the splashy Boro Development coming together in the heart of Tysons.” [Eater DC]

Art Around Tysons Metro Stations — “Public art not only adds beauty to a place, it can also help people orient themselves and find their way around. Tysons is no exception… Let’s take a look at four public art pieces at Metro stations in Tysons.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Mystery Set at Tysons Mall — “Like [Ellen] Butler’s first two Karina Cardinal mysteries, the setting of the book is local, starting with a mystery criminal absconding with diamonds from a Tysons Corner jewelry store.” [Patch]

The Grass is Greener — “New artificial turf has been installed at Larry Graves Park, replacing the natural grass field where bad weather contributed to game delays and cancellations. City officials hope the revamped surface will be more durable to the climate as well as to its users, but the installation wasn’t well received by all.” [Falls Church News-Press]

County Chair on Explosive Growth — “Sharon Bulova first won political office in Fairfax County 31 years ago on a slow-growth platform. She’ll leave the stage in January having presided over perhaps the most explosive period of growth in the county’s history. It’s a contradiction that Bulova fully acknowledges, and embraces.” [Washington Business Journal]

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