Tysons, VA

The Falls Church Anglican built a new church along Route 50 in the Falls Church area after losing its former sanctuary space.

The new location (6565 Arlington Blvd) is nearly complete and began holding services in September, Zach Kincaid, the church’s spokesperson, said. Now they are looking to finish certain cosmetic projects around the church, including landscaping and interior design. 

The Anglican Church built a new space because they lost their original sanctuary (115 E. Fairfax Street) in a legal battle when they split from the Episcopal Church due to political and religious differences. The Episcopal Church declined to comment.

The new church cost around $16 million, which came from contributions by the congregation and parishioners, Kincaid said.

Before deciding on the Falls Church spot along Route 50, they considered following other parishes that built churches in Loudoun County, where real estate is less expensive, Kincaid. 

“The glue that stuck us to something around here was to be part of this neighborhood still,” he said. “It was a fleeting thought.” 

In total, the new space consists of 16,000 square feet of space divided between two stories, Kincaid said. About 6,000 square feet will be used for a gathering space for children and family, while the remainder will be worship space.

The church has around 900 chairs but typically seats around 1,200 worshipers each Sunday, Kincaid said.

“Lots of people tend to turn their attention to church as Advent comes up,” he said, explaining that membership and attendance tend to increase around Christmas time. 

To engage with the surrounding community, the church invited surrounding neighborhoods to stop by for open houses.

The church shares an office space next door with other professions, such as doctors.

Renovations should be completed soon, Kincaid said, but they currently do not have an exact date. The church is finishing up the permit process with Fairfax County.

Photo courtesy Craig Thoburn

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Commuters and residents want to see more bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements along Route 50 in the Falls Church area.

At a meeting hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) last night, VDOT officials and residents discussed different ideas for improving the route, which has up to 51,000 vehicles travel daily, according to VDOT.

The meeting coincidentally happened a day after a 40-year-old man was struck and killed at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road. On a map of reported crashes since 2013, that intersection had two reports of fatal crashes, along with dozens of other crashes ranging in severity from property damage to serious injuries.

A study is underway to evaluate potential safety and operational changes for three miles of Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd.

VDOT officials said that the study is looking at data showing crash hotspots, speed and traffic count from January 2013 to the spring of 2019 and projections out to 2030.

“We don’t go into a study with the solutions already in hand,” Allison Richter, the liaison for Fairfax and Arlington counties, said.

The possible improvements VDOT is looking at include:

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

Richter said that bike and pedestrian safety improvements are under consideration.

About 50 people showed up for the meeting, including Fairfax County police, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, School Board Member Dalia Palchik and Tom Biesiadny, the director of Fairfax County’s transportation department.

Many of the people who lined up to provide feedback to VDOT pointed out specific problem areas — urging for time-restricted turn lanes, signal timing changes — and more focus on bicyclists, pedestrians and people using mass public transit.

“This area is becoming more urban over time,” one attendee told VDOT officials, adding that VDOT should focus on safety over speed for drivers.

Added safety measures could include two-way bike lanes on one-way service roads and more lighting, attendees said.

Sonya Breehey, a bike safety advocate, suggested traffic calming on the frontage roads.

“Arlington Blvd scares me,” Breehey said.

A handful of people called for VDOT to lower the speed limit from 45 miles per hour, with one person suggesting a new speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

One man who provided feedback urged VDOT to not forget about drivers, who might face slower speeds and longer travel times.

“Better late to dinner than dead,” someone from the audience shouted after the man finished commenting.

“Please be respectful,” the man responded.

People can take an online survey — which allows respondents to mark problem spots on a map and rank the six possible improvements — and submit comments to Bobby Mangalath, at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, Va. 22030 by next Thursday, Oct. 31.

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

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(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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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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Updated at 9 a.m. on 7/9/19 — Updates FCPD list of road closures below. Only Kirby Road is still closed.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. — Fairfax County police said that the 1300 block of Kirby Road will be closed “for significant time” while the damage is assessed.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. — In Falls Church, S. Oak Street remains closed because the bridge’s surface was damaged by the rain and Hillwood Avenue did not have a sinkhole, but the road buckled from the rain. A temporary fix is in place for the avenue, and a permanent fix will be made this week.

Flooding has apparently closed Westmoreland Street (exit 68) by I-66 in Falls Church.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. — Updated FCPD list of road closures below.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. — Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust tweeted at 2:30 p.m. that a part of 1300 block of Kirby Road has been washed out and that “several agencies are on scene to find a solution to make sure residents can get to their homes.”

Updated at 2:15 p.m. — Updates FCPD list of road closures below.

Updated at 1 p.m. — The Fairfax County Police Department tweeted that Prosperity Avenue between Arlington Blvd (Route 50) and Little River Turnpike (Route 236) is buckled and could take up to seven hours for the water to recede. “Due to there being a lot of serious damage to the pavement, the road will not reopen this quickly,” FCPD tweeted.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. — A multi-vehicle accident on I-66 by N. West Street in Falls Church has closed the left shoulder and left lane heading eastbound, according to the Virginia Department of Transporation. 

Updated at 11:50 a.m. — Kirby Road is reportedly closed near Route 123 as Pimmit Run swells.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. — Maple Avenue is now open again, the Town of Vienna tweeted.

Earlier: Parts of Maple Avenue in the Town of Vienna and several roads around the Tysons area are closed this morning as flooding continues around Fairfax County.

The Town of Vienna tweeted shortly after 10 a.m. that Maple Avenue is closed between East Street and Beulah Road due to flooding.

Westbound Arlington Blvd (Route 50) just past Prosperity Avenue is closed due to flooding. Police told Tysons Reporter that they don’t have enough police to block the other side of the street, which also appears flooded.

Around 10:35 p.m., police said that all of the units in the county were currently deployed.

Fairfax County Police Department released a list of road closures. The ones closed due to flooding in the McLean Police District are:

1300 block of Kirby Road — damaged from flooding and will have a long-term closure

Shreve Road between Wieland Place and Buckelew Drive

Hilltop Road between Willomere and Old Lee Hwy

Meadowlark Road/Brookside Lane

Demsey Street/Old Chesterbrook Road

Old Courthouse and Besley roads

Georgetown Pike and Potomac River Road — one lane closed

6500 block of Old Dominion Drive

North Albemarle Street/Chesterbrook Road — flooding and debris

Westbound Arlington Blvd/Prosperity Avenue — one lane open

Jones Branch Road/Park Run Drive

Lewinsville Road/Lewinsville Mews Court

Beulah and Browns Mill roads

Oberon Way/Capulet Court

A fallen tree closed the 1400 block of Waggaman Circle, according to FCPD, but the road has since reopened.

People tweeted videos and photos of severe flooding along Georgetown Pike.

The City of Falls Church tweeted about several road closures and sinkholes in the city this morning.

Catherine Moran and Vernon Miles worked on this story.

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The younger brother of a local firefighter has gone missing in the Merrifield area, and as temperatures start to drop his family and friends are seeking public assistance to find him.

According to a Facebook post:

My younger brother (Harry) went missing this evening. He was last seen in Merrifield, Virginia around 1700 February 18th 2019, headed west on Route 50. The police are aware but we are increasingly concerned due to the low temperatures and his cell phone being turned off. If anyone has seen him or he has contacted you please reach out to me or someone in the family so that we can bring him home.

His name is Christopher Davis but he goes by “Harry.” 5’11” and 130lbs. He was wearing a white/cream bobble hat, grey/brown tweed pea coat, with a scarf, black trousers, and a pair of vans.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Fairfax County Police Department’s non-emergency number at 703-691-2131.

Photo via Facebook

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Morning Notes

Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Route 50 — “Officers responded to the report of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian on Arlington Boulevard near Summerfield Road, at approximately six [Friday] night. The pedestrian was crossing Arlington Boulevard, not in a crosswalk, and was hit by a dark colored mid to full-size pickup truck with an open bed. The truck did not stop and drove away from the scene. The pedestrian, 93-year-old Pericles Apostolou, from Falls Church, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.” [FCPD]

Road Closed Due to Downed Trees — Amid high winds and power outages, Spring Hill Road in McLean was closed for an extended period of time Sunday due to downed trees and wires. [Twitter]

Tegna Auctioning Office Fixtures — Broadcast conglomerate Tegna is moving from its current Tysons home to the Boro development. As part of the move, it’s auctioning off furniture, TVs and other items of value from around the office. Bids close Thursday. [Washington Business Journal, Rasmus Auctions]

Local Hackers Gather in McLean — “All day Monday, the NoVa Hackers held their SchmooCon Epilogue in McLean… Over 150 members attended topical lectures, competed in MetaCTF challenges, and participated in discussions about cyber and information security between insider groups.” [WDVM]

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