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Skyline Plaza in Bailey’s Crossroads (via Google Maps)

One person is dead, and two others have been taken to a hospital in the wake of a two-vehicle crash this morning (Tuesday) in Bailey’s Crossroads.

The crash involved Honda Accord going northbound on South George Mason Drive that hit a Volkswagen Jetta turning into Skyline Plaza, the Fairfax County Police Department said at 6:28 a.m.

According to police, a passenger in the Volkswagen died at the scene. The drivers of both cars were transported to the hospital.

South George Mason’s northbound lanes and one southbound lane were closed for about two hours while first responders cleaned up the scene. The crash remains under investigation by detectives with the FCPD’s Crash Reconstruction Unit.

This is the fourth non-pedestrian fatality from a vehicle crash in Fairfax County this year, following a death in Franconia on May 12, according to FCPD records.

Photo via Google Maps

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Skyline buildings four and five in Bailey’s Crossroads by Target (via Google Maps)

More empty offices at the Skyline complex in Bailey’s Crossroads could be converted for housing.

A development application submitted to Fairfax County on May 3 proposes turning two office buildings into up to 510 “live/work” units ranging from 600 to 1,300 square feet.

The changes would be at Skyline buildings four and five (5113 and 5111 Leesburg Pike), located south of Target and across from Skyline House condos on South George Mason Drive.

Built in the 1980s, the buildings have largely been vacant following a post-2011 exodus of governmental tenants — notably, the Department of Defense — to other offices to save money, according to the application.

“The buildings have been largely vacant and in decline ever since,” McGuireWoods attorney Mike Van Atta wrote in an April 20 statement of justification for the project.

The buildings, which essentially act as a single structure, currently contain nine office floors and a penthouse level above a three-story parking garage.

The connected building six at 5109 Leesburg Pike would remain a commercial space, according to the proposal.

Plaza levels would be made available to restaurants, food markets, residential units, fitness areas and more.

The shift comes after Skyline buildings one through three received county approval in July and September 2020 for a similar repurposing of office space to up to 720 “live/work” units.

Arlington-based Highland Square Holdings acted as the agent for that project, forming a partnership with real estate firm Madison Marquette in April to pursue the Skyline buildings four and five project.

Photo via Google Maps

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Families, including young children, called for changes yesterday (Tuesday) to make the Route 7 corridor in Bailey’s Crossroads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

At a rally organized by the immigrant advocacy organization CASA and the transit nonprofit Coalition for Smarter Growth at the corner of Route 7 and Glen Carlyn Drive, mother Viviana Valverde, who is pregnant with her third child, said through a translator that the area has become more dangerous due to a lack of signage.

“We are here to win badly needed safety improvements,” Coalition for Smarter Growth Northern Virginia advocacy manager Sonya Breehey said.

Cards distributed by CASA attribute fatal crashes on Route 7, also known as Leesburg Pike, to a lack of signage, pedestrian crosswalks, adequate lighting, and heavy, high-speed traffic.

Route 7 there has a 40 mph speed limit, but based on Virginia Department of Transportation data from September 2016 to September 2021, the community group Fairfax Families for Safe Streets has called it one of the deadliest roads in the county.

Most recently, 68-year-old Falls Church resident Nguyet Ly died on Dec. 13 after a 2018 Subaru Impreza hit her as she was walking near the shoulder in a section of Leesburg Pike with no sidewalk.

VDOT is looking at possible improvements to the corridor between Glen Carlyn Drive and Glen Forest Drive, such as adding missing sidewalks. The department hopes to share concepts and feasibility analysis by mid-June, VDOT administrator Claudia Llana wrote in a Feb. 28 email.

Group presses VDOT for faster timeline, temporary upgrades

Emphasizing the urgency of the situation, Fairfax Families for Safe Streets asked VDOT to make interim upgrades by this summer, including temporarily lowering the speed limit and creating a pedestrian path on the road using jersey barriers.

VDOT said on Monday (March 12) that it’s gathering speed and crash data to prepare for a full speed study, which is required under Virginia law for evaluating potential speed changes.

“The study could take several months and will incorporate input from Fairfax County police, Department of Transportation staff, among others,” Llana wrote. “Due to the potential for change in posted speed limit, installing a speed feedback sign is not recommended at this time, that would reinforce a speed limit that may change.”

The department suggested it’s working with the county on the effort, but Fairfax Families for Safe Streets board member Phil Kemelor called the response disappointing and frustrating.

“People are getting hit out here,” he said. “We’re hoping we can collaborate more and have a seat at the table.”

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Morning Notes

Fair Oaks Mall on a March Sunday (staff photo by David Taube)

Trucker Convoy Leaves Capital Beltway — “After a week of ineffectual laps around the Beltway, the ‘People’s Convoy’ is now jamming up part of I-395 in Arlington. The convoy…is intended to protest the Covid-related government mandates. It received considerable media attention last week but didn’t do much to disrupt traffic.” [ARLnow]

School Board Appeals TJ Admissions Ruling — “The Fairfax County School Board is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that invalidated the recently revised admissions system for the prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology magnet school…Legal experts were divided over how the 4th Circuit is likely to rule.” [The Washington Post]

Mac & Cheese Restaurant Chain Eyes Tysons — “I Heart Mac & Cheese, a fast casual concept, tentatively plans to open in Tysons in October 2022. The Tysons location will be the first in Virginia and owned by franchisee Md Billal Hossain. A spokesperson could not share the location’s address yet, as the lease is still being finalized.” [Patch]

Pedestrian Improvements Finished in Bailey’s Crossroads — The Virginia Department of Transportation has completed work on pedestrian and traffic safety measures at the Columbia Pike (Route 244) and Lacy Boulevard intersection. Changes include a new traffic signal, four new high-visibility crosswalks, ADA curb ramp upgrades, and flashing yellow arrows for left turns from Columbia Pike. [VDOT]

More Details on Reston Invasive Plant Pilot Program — “Reston National Golf Course plans to spend $140,000 on a three-year project targeting invasive plant species affecting an area that includes the Hunters Green Cluster in Reston. This proposal is different from the one introduced by the Reston National Neighborhood Study Group in February.” [Patch]

Route 7 Construction to Require Great Falls Road Closure — “Starting the week of March 28 and continuing through June, drivers on Colvin Run Road will proceed to the east end of Colvin Run Road to access Route 7 eastbound and westbound as crews perform utility work and other construction activities at the west end of Colvin Run Road.” [VDOT]

Board of Zoning Appeals Has Vacant Seat — “The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals has an opening for one member. Interested candidates must apply by Monday, April 11, to the Fairfax Circuit Court, which appoints the board’s seven members.” [Fairfax County Government]

It’s Tuesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 64 and low of 40. Sunrise at 7:21 a.m. and sunset at 7:17 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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Hogge Park (via Google Maps)

A community park that Fairfax County has owned since 2006 will finally be getting amenities to serve residents.

Construction is expected to begin soon on the Boyd A. and Charlotte M. Hogge Park in Glencarlyn, the Fairfax County Park Authority announced yesterday (Thursday).

“FCPA is excited for this new community park in the system and plan to schedule a ribbon cutting next spring,” Park Authority spokesperson Judy Pedersen wrote in an email.

Funded by park bonds, the project will bring $2 million in upgrades to add pickleball courts, a half basketball court, a play area, a pavilion, and more to the undeveloped park (3139 Glen Carlyn Road).

“The contractor, Bright Construction Group, will be mobilizing on site shortly with active construction activities towards the end of March,” county staff also said in the announcement.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has noted for over a decade that the area lacks recreational amenities for residents, and a 2011 master plan projected the issue to worsen.

The county purchased the property from Charlotte Hogge, who lived at a home there for nearly 50 years. She died in 2007.

After evaluating the home’s structure and noting concerns of asbestos, lead-based paints and other issues, the county demolished the home in 2009 to make way for a broader user of park facilities.

“We believe these amenities reflect community wishes while keeping in mind the budget limitations we always face,” Pederson wrote.

The 6-acre park is slated to be completed in early 2023.

Photo via Google Maps

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Police say a man who was armed with a gun shot another man inside a Bailey’s Crossroads grocery store Saturday evening claiming he did it in self defense.

It happened at the Food Star at 5521 Leesburg Pike around 6:43 p.m., says 2nd Lt. James Curry, Fairfax County police spokesman. He said the man who was shot suffered life-threatening injuries.

Lt. Curry would not speculate as to the circumstances that led to the shooting or if the gunman is licensed to carry the gun. But the shooter had called police and he is with investigators, Curry said.

Police later said via social media that the shooter told officers that he fired the shots “in self defense.”

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