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Developers are asking for public help to redevelop the Huntington Club condominium community, but officials worry the condo owners are unclear of the risk involved.

At an economic initiatives committee meeting on Dec. 13, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors got an update on phase one of the redevelopment and what’s needed financially to get it underway.

Currently, the Huntington Club is a 364-unit condo complex between N. Kings Highway and Huntington Avenue, adjacent to the Huntington Metro station. A three-phase plan to redevelop the 19.5-acre property to be denser was approved in December 2021, promising 2,000 multifamily units, 200 townhomes, and multi-use space for retail, senior living, and possibly a hotel.

The redevelopment would be a major complement to a development plan for the Metro station area, which is also in motion, developers argue.

However, the land owners don’t have enough upfront cash to start the townhomes and multifamily units envisioned for phase 1 of the project.

“The [land owners] are insufficient cash-wise to cover infrastructure costs for phase 1,” Fairfax County Debt Coordinator Joe LaHait told the supervisors at the meeting.

Because they don’t have the funds needed to cover infrastructure, if the county doesn’t step in, the redevelopment won’t be able to move forward, LaHait reiterated. Hence, developers are asking for help in the form of $45 million worth of publicly issued bonds.

The county has started down the path toward fulfilling the request, but it’s proposing to take a somewhat unique approach.

The county would establish a community development authority (CDA) to borrow the money. A CDA is a public entity governed by a board with the power to issue bonds. This mechanism was used to help get the Mosaic District built over a decade ago.

The CDA would pay back the $45 million in bonds through tax increment financing (TIF), which is the difference between taxes generated before and after redevelopment. Once the bonds are paid back, the county can keep the extra money.

Right now, the Huntington Club pays the county about $800,000 in tax revenue, per the Washington Business Journal. The redeveloped property could generate upwards of $10 million annually.

Projected TIF revenues for Huntington Club (via Fairfax County)

While the county board needs to approve the CDA’s creation and the issuing of the bonds, what’s enticing is that significant extra money and the fact that the county wouldn’t be on the hook if values don’t rise as quickly as hoped.

The condo owners are the ones who would assume the risk. Read More

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The proposed location of a new Capital Bikeshare station on Fort Drive in Huntington (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Fairfax County is adding seven Capital Bikeshare electric bicycle stations in the Franconia District, splitting them between the Franconia/Springfield Metro station and the Huntington transit station area.

Last week, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) held a public meeting where it laid out its plan for the expansion of the Capital Bikeshare program in the Franconia District.

The goal is to add seven stations in the Franconia District and one at the Huntington Metro south entrance that would technically be in the Mount Vernon District. The stations are scheduled to be installed starting next year and into 2024.

“When you need to get from Point A to Point B with more than two feet but less than four wheels, borrowing a bicycle in might be your answer,” the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said on its website.

All the stations would have e-bikes, as opposed to classic bicycles, due to demand. While currently only 6% of its Capital Bikeshare fleet are e-bikes, they make up 15% of total trips, according to FCDOT. E-bikes can also be locked to any public bicycle rack.

The proposed locations of the stations include four near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and three in and around the Jefferson Manor neighborhood.

The suggested station locations are:

  • Fairhaven Avenue & Monticello Road
  • N Kings Highway & Fort Drive
  • Poag Street & S Kings Highway
  • Franconia/Springfield Metrorail North
  • Seatrend Way & Andrew Matthew Terrace
  • Charles Arrington Drive & Manchester Lakes Drive
  • Metro Park Drive & Walker Lane

These exact locations are not set in stone, however.

“All locations are subject to input from the community and our elected officials and could change as a result,” FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger told FFXnow.

Each station is slated to cost about $55,000. That includes the station itself, installation, and six e-bikes. The county plans to acquire its own e-bikes to ensure “future e-bike service after contractor-provided e-bikes begin phasing out in August 2023,” according to staff.

E-bikes are significantly more expensive than classic bikes, but rider fees and grants will cover operating costs.

A Northern Virginia Transportation Commission grant will pay for the four stations at the Metro, while a federal grant for underserved communities will finance the other three stations.

Fairfax Country currently has more than 50 Capital Bikeshare stations but is working on doubling that. Beyond the seven coming to the Franconia District, 21 additional locations are being added in the Providence District as well.

Over the past year, Reston has also gotten an additional 19 stations.

Residents can weigh in with input and comments about the Capital Bikeshare plan and proposed locations in the Franconia District through Dec. 16.

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A Capital Bikeshare station outside Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax County might soon expand its Capital Bikeshare network beyond the Silver Line corridor.

The county’s transportation department has proposed adding 28 new stations, including seven in the Franconia District and 21 additional locations in the Providence District.

This will be the rental bicycle-sharing system’s first foray into the Franconia District, where the Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to install four stations near the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and three near the Huntington Metro station.

FCDOT will discuss its proposal in a virtual meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The county hopes to fund the Franconia station sites with a Commuter Choice grant that it’s requesting from the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, while the Huntington sites will be covered by federal money secured by Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.

“The opportunity to install stations near the Huntington Metrorail Station is due to the County working with our Congressional delegation to secure federal support to expand Capital Bikeshare to underserved populations in the County,” FCDOT said in a news release. “…Residents who qualify for certain state or federal assistance programs may be eligible for CaBi’s Capital Bikeshare for All equity program, which offers unlimited 60-minute rides with an annual membership of just $5.”

The department will also hold a virtual meeting this coming Monday (Dec. 5) to share an update on its plans to expand Bikeshare in the Tysons area, including to the Vienna area and West Falls Church.

There are currently 30 Bikeshare stations in Tysons and Merrifield after the recent addition of a location at Hartland Road and Harte Place.

According to FCDOT’s Bikeshare webpage, proposed new locations in Providence include:

  • Circle Woods Drive and Lee Highway
  • Gatehouse Road and Telestar Court
  • Hilltop Road & Willowmere Drive
  • Kingsbridge Drive and Draper Drive
  • Mission Square Drive
  • Mosaic District garage
  • Prosperity Flats
  • Providence Community Center
  • Vienna Metro South Entrance

“Since Fairfax County launched Capital Bikeshare in Tysons in 2016, recently completed residential and commercial developments have provided new opportunities to better serve residents and visitors by moving some existing Capital Bikeshare stations to be closer to those types of properties,” FCDOT said.

The Providence District expansion is being funded by a combination of county money and outside grants.

In addition to answering questions at the meetings, county staff will accept comments on the proposed expansions by email (bikefairfax@fairfaxcounty.gov), phone (703-877-5600) and mail (FCDOT, Capital Bikeshare Program, 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033) until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16.

The county also has Bikeshare stations in Reston, where a new one was installed at North Shore and Wainwright drives this fall. Two additional stations are expected at the now-open Reston Town Center Metro station.

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A conceptual rendering of the southern portion of the redeveloped Huntington Metro station (via Fairfax County)

The Huntington Metro area is one step closer to redevelopment with last week’s approval of a comprehensive plan, albeit with a few “modifications.”

The Fairfax County Planning Commission quickly and unanimously approved the comprehensive plan amendment for the Huntington Transit Station Area (TSA) on Nov. 16, following a lengthy public hearing in October and a site visit by the commissioners on Nov. 10.

The plan calls for a mixed-use development on the site including 382,00 square feet of office, retail, and community-use space, a civic plaza, more urban park space, a network of bike and pedestrian paths, a possible hotel, and 15,000 residential units with a minimum of 15% of those being affordable.

It was put together by county staff with input from commissioners, the Mount Vernon Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) Task Force, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and the public.

However, “minor differences” did crop up, particularly at the public hearing, which focused on building heights and preserving wooded areas.

“At the public hearing, there were several substantive concerns raised about the proposed building heights, environmental issues, and placemaking, as well as a few clarification questions,” the approved motion said.

After nearby residents worried about a loss of privacy for their smaller homes, the plan is lowering the maximum building height from 200 feet to 85 feet in the area between the middle parking garage and the homes on Biscayne Drive. This provides a more “appropriate transition,” the motion says.

Another tweak addressed concerns that a southern path connecting to the Metro might negatively affect wooded areas. While the plan now notes that “the design of this connection would minimize disturbance,” the actual design will be more specifically determined when the development goes through the rezoning process.

The stormwater measures were also revised to be “substantially more extensive” than the minimum requirements, per the motion.

The other modifications address flexibility around who might be responsible for maintenance at the proposed civic plaza, the importance of public places, and the potential for increased light pollution. They also clarify that 15% of the residential units built should be affordable, in line with countywide rates.

Notably, the plan continues to preserve a tract of trees near the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Biscayne Drive. WMATA proposed selling the land to a developer to build more townhomes, but homeowners wanted to keep the trees as a buffer from the developed station and help with stormwater runoff.

Next, the comprehensive plan amendment for the Huntington TSA will head to the Board of Supervisors for a vote currently scheduled for Dec. 6.

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Metro map of service changes starting Nov. 6 (via WMATA)

The six Metro stations south of Reagan National Airport are reopening this weekend with Blue Line service replacing the Yellow Line service.

Braddock Rd, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, Van Dorn St, and Franconia-Springfield stations will all reopen on Sunday (Nov. 6) after being closed for nearly two months. The stations were initially scheduled to reopen two weeks ago, on Oct. 23.

The closures were needed to connect the new Potomac Yard station to the main rail system, though that station’s opening was also pushed back to next year.

When service restarts this weekend, the two Yellow Line-only stations will see some changes to their normal operations.

With rehab and construction still ongoing on the Yellow Line bridge and tunnel, all trains coming and going from Huntington and Eisenhower will run with Blue Line service and be routed through Rosslyn. Trains will run every 15 minutes along the whole line, per Metro.

This is scheduled to continue until at least May 2023, when it’s expected the rehabilitation will be completed.

Most shuttle service at those stations will also stop starting Sunday, but Metro will continue to provide limited-stop shuttles that cross the Potomac during weekday rush hours. In addition, parking will no longer be free at the Van Dorn Street, Huntington, and Franconia stations.

The end of the station closures continue a week of good news for Metro.

On Halloween, the transit service announced that the long-awaited Silver Line Phase II is finally set to start service on Nov. 15. Then, Metro said that train service will increase over the next two months with the long-sidelined 7000-series trains getting back on the tracks.

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A conceptual rendering of redevelopment set to take place at the Huntington Metro station (image via Fairfax County)

Trees, steep hills, pedestrian paths, building heights, and townhomes were the most talked-about elements during last week’s discussion about the redevelopment of the Huntington Transit Station Area.

At the Oct. 19 Planning Commission meeting, commissioners and the public weighed in with their thoughts and concerns on the proposed revamp of the Huntington Transit Station Area (TSA).

The staff’s comprehensive plan amendment calls for mixed-use development including 382,000 square feet of office, retail, and community-use space, the possibility of a hotel with conference facilities, and 1,500 residential units. 15% of those units at “minimum” should be affordable, the report notes.

A bus rapid transit station is also being called for with a “large, publicly accessible civic plaza” above the station. Plus, more urban park space and “a network of high-quality pedestrian and bicycle paths” connecting to the transit stations and other amenities are also being recommended.

To make room for the redevelopment, it’s being asked that the northern parking garage be torn down.

While a decision was delayed until Nov. 16 on if to approve the comprehensive plan, a lengthy discussion ensued at last week’s meeting. The conversation included the commissioners, county staff, the Mount Vernon Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) Task Force, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and the public.

The discussion focused prominently on the site’s challenging topography, the possible addition of townhomes on the northeastern side of the project, preserving a tree buffer, the potentially costly addition of one particular pedestrian path, and building heights.

There are a number of engineering challenges associated with the project mostly due to the Huntington Metro station being located on a steep hill.

“The most significant and defining feature of this site is the grade, from north to south. The highest point of the site is in the southern end on N. Kings Highway and it’s approximately 160 above sea level,” said Graham Owen from the county’s Dept. of Planning and Development. “In contrast, the lowest point of the site is on the northern portion along Huntington Ave and that’s at approximately 30 feet above sea level. So, there are about 130 feet of grade change along the site.”

This extra layer requires adaptation, both in terms of engineering and user experience, particularly when it comes to the building of roads, pedestrian pathways, and buildings.

“That is a hill like you’ve never seen…if you want to work out, run up and down North Kings Highway,” Franconia District Commissioner Dan Lagana noted with a laugh in midst of a discussion about how best to build paths for pedestrians.

A conceptual rendering of the southern portion of the redeveloped Huntington Metro station (via Fairfax County)

This challenge also relates to building height. If buildings on the southern end of the site are allowed to go up to the maximum allowable height of 200 feet, they could look a lot taller to those seeing the buildings from the north. This was a point of concern for several residents that spoke during the public hearing portion.

“I’d like them to really think about the height of a [200-foot] building. We can already see the parking garage over the tops of the trees,” said one resident. “If they are going to put something that’s two or three times taller than what’s already there, we will have a loss of complete privacy. I’m not opposed to development, but I don’t think that’s great development for people who have bought homes [there].”

Also, in the northeastern portion of the site, there’s currently a tract of trees that has become the subject of perhaps the most significant disagreement about the comprehensive plan.

The tract of trees near the intersection of Huntington Ave and Biscayne Drive acts as essentially a buffer between the townhomes along Biscayne Drive and the Metro station. It’s also where WMATA has proposed selling the land to a developer to build more townhomes.

Steven Segerlin, WMATA’s director of real estate and station area planning, noted that the major barriers to this project – at least from WMATA’s perspective – are financial.

“Based on initial estimates, construction costs… will be significantly greater than the revenue generated by the private developers that could possibly help pay for them,” he said.

Because of this, WMATA wants to sell the land where the trees are to developers for the building of townhomes. Both the staff report and the Mount Vernon SSPA Task Force proposed keeping the trees.

“Giving the high cost for public infrastructure needed to address the area’s lack of connectivity, the Huntington Metro site needs to generate as much revenue as possible to help pay for them,” said Segerlin. “The loss of the townhome development potential significantly reduces that revenue potential and will increase the gap funding request to the county, state, and federal government.”

He further noted that not only does Metro not have the funds to make up this gap, but the agency’s “policy does not allow it.”

Ellen Young of the Mount Vernon SSPA Task Force expressed surprise at this WMATA request. She noted, along with several residents and staff, how the trees are an important buffer between the homes already there and the Metro station. In addition, they are needed to help ease stormwater concerns in a part of the county that does have flooding.

“We had all agreed to the fact that the trees were going to stay there. And that agreement included WMATA,” said Young. “So, I think we were all caught a little off guard tonight.”

Also, a subject of concern from WMATA was a certain pedestrian path that would lead from the condo community Huntington Club to the southern portion of the development. The agency asked it not to be a “requirement” for the entire plan to move forward.

Between dealing with the steep hill and the need to potentially also build also through a grove of trees, the expense could end up being great noted Segerlin. Both staff and the task force appeared to agree that the one path was likely to be more difficult to develop and seemed open to moving forward without it.

Overall, there was considerable agreement on the goals of the comprehensive plan, which is to redevelop the area near the Huntington Metro station to make it denser, more accessible, safer, more inviting, and full of amenities available to the entire Huntington community.

“Development in this area will enhance the character of the community, increase patronage for existing local businesses and lead to reinvestment in the surrounding neighborhoods,” reads the staff report. “The area will become a place where county residents can live, work and shop without excessive dependence upon the automobile, thus realizing some of the county’s key policy objectives.”

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Jefferson Manor neighborhood in Groveton (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

One of the oldest neighborhoods in southeastern Fairfax County is holding its birthday party this weekend, despite the likelihood of rain.

Jefferson Manor near Groveton is celebrating its 75th birthday tomorrow (Saturday) with a block party that will include food trucks, music, beer, a kids’ zone area, and a magician. Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk and Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay are both expected to attend.

Held on Monticello Road between Fairhaven Road and Edgehill Drive from 4-7 p.m., the block party is expected to draw about 300 attendees, even with the potential for dicey weather, Jefferson Manor Citizens Association President Derek Cole told FFXnow.

“We started the block party in 2017 just to celebrate how tight-knit our community was,” he said. “The turnout that we get speaks volumes to the community participation that we have.”

Consisting of about 550 semi-detached duplex homes, Jefferson Manor was built in 1947, as thousands of veterans returned home from World War II for jobs in the military and government.

Then covered in dairy farms, Fairfax County was a perfect place to build a home and settle with a family near enough to the urban core. Between 1940 and 1960, its population sextupled, growing from about 41,000 to nearly 249,000 people in just two decades. Those new residents needed homes fast.

A D.C. developer named Clarence W. Gosnell began buying up land across the county, including about 80 acres near Old Town Alexandria from S. Cooper Dawson, the co-owner of the well-known Penn-Daw Hotel.

Gosnell immediately went to work on the land, naming the neighborhood and the surrounding streets after president Thomas Jefferson.

Gosnell was one of the developers who was able to put up housing quickly and affordably,” Tammy Mannarino, a local historian who recently presented at a Jefferson Manor Civic Association meeting. “And he did that by having them be partially prefabricated.”

Gosnell’s company built and installed 12 to 16 homes a month in the neighborhood, a rate only exceeded by how quickly the homes were being sold, The Washington Post reported in 1947.

Every time they released a section of Jefferson Manor, it sold out,” Mannarino said. “They almost couldn’t build them fast enough.”

Homes were directly marketed to veterans, with Gosnell often advertising the starting price of $8,750 — about $114,000 today — as something “you can afford.”

Amenities soon sprang up to serve the budding neighborhood. Mount Eagle Elementary School (then called Penn Daw School) was built in 1949 to accommodate the new families.

However, as was the case in many county neighborhoods, there were restrictions on who could buy the homes.

The original contracts to purchase a Jefferson Manor home all contained a discriminatory covenant precluding anyone “not of the Caucasian Race” from occupying, using, selling, renting, or being given the home. The only exception was for “domestic servants.” Read More

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A new county-supported study is recommending pedestrian and bike-friendly improvements in the Huntington Metro corridor, including more crosswalks, wider sidewalks, additional lighting, and increasing shared-use paths.

At a virtual meeting tomorrow (Sept. 14) night, a Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) study – “Huntington Metrorail Active Transportation Study” – will be presented to the public that looked into the pedestrian and biking conditions within the Huntington Transit Station Area (TSA).

The Huntington TSA covers an area bordered by North Kings Highway to the south, Huntington Avenue to the north, Telegraph Road and Jefferson Manor Park to the west, and Richmond Highway to the east.

As the study points out, the area is continuing to grow in density.

“The Huntington TSA has been transitioning from low density to mid density for decades and will continue to become denser,” it reads while providing a list of new developments and projects that will contribute to the growing population in the years to come.

Along with that, the Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit is expected to create a “greater need” for pedestrian access and safety in the corridor when the system opens within the next decade.

While considering all future conditions and projects up to 2045, the study concluded generally that the corridor is “uncomfortable” for pedestrians and bicyclists. That’s due to a prevalence of narrow sidewalks, lack of bike lanes, high speed of traffic, and the far distance pedestrians have to go to cross major roads.

“Almost all of the analyzed roads were deemed highly uncomfortable for pedestrians… due to narrow sidewalks, large crossing distances, and high speeds,” reads the study. “It is also worth noting that areas around community resources such as Mt. Eagle Elementary School and the Huntington Community Center are also highly uncomfortable due to sidewalk quality and a lack of pedestrian scaled lighting.”

Three intersections are particularly worrisome due to the crossing length exceeding 400 feet.

These include Huntington Avenue between Biscayne Drive and Foley Street, North Kings Highway between Telegraph Road and Jefferson Drive, and North Kings Highway between Fort Drive and Fairhaven Avenue.

There are also no official bike lanes in the Huntington TSA.

To rectify these issues, the study recommends a number of fixes and solutions.

At the intersections with long crossing lengths, it’s suggested that “high visibility” crosswalks be added with crossing warning signs and pedestrian refuge islands.

Where pedestrian crossings currently exist in the Huntington Transit Station Area (via Fairfax County)

There are also suggestions for implementing for a number of roads the concept of “Slow Streets,” where traffic speeds are lowered and entry points are closed to traffic to create a safer space for pedestrians.

In terms of costs, the study notes that “improving sidewalk quality” is a lower-cost option than adding new or widening sidewalks. The highest cost options are changing road diets, adding new bike and pedestrian facilities, like shared use paths, or subtracting traffic lanes.

Overall, the study recommends potential options for individual streets with a focus on lower and medium-cost options.

For example, on Monticello Road in the Jefferson Manor neighborhood, the recommendation is to fix the “cracked and failing” sidewalk and widen it to 8 feet in some places plus adding more lighting. On North Kings Highway, the recommendations include new traffic signs telling traffic to stop for pedestrians, restricting truck traffic with signs, a new crossing location at Fairhaven Avenue, and a high-cost option of removing traffic lanes on Jefferson Drive.

Besides this study, a number of other planned infrastructure improvements are found in other county-supported plans, including a 10-foot wide path along N. Kings Highway and Huntington Avenue, narrowing travel lanes on N. Kings Highway to allow for wider sidewalks, installing more barriers, lights, and crosswalks, and installing a beacon crossing signal in front of Mount Eagle Elementry School.

Throughout the county – and region – car crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists have continued to be a major and tragic problem. In July, a woman was killed by the driver of a car who hit her while she was crossing an eight-lane section of Richmond Highway included in this study.

There have been 10 fatal crashes involving pedestrians on Richmond Highway since 2017.

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Huntington Metro station (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Shuttles, increased capacity, and an extension of the Blue Line are among the changes Metro will make to help riders when the Yellow Line shuts down this weekend, a closure that will last eight months.

Starting this Saturday (Sept. 10), the Yellow Line bridge and tunnels will close until May 2023 for long-overdue repair work. Construction will also be done to connect the new Potomac Yard station to the main rail system so that station can open this fall.

Both projects will result in a months-long shutdown of the Yellow Line, which runs through Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County. Parts of the Blue Line will also be closed through Oct. 22.

While this will undoubtedly inconvenience many local riders, Metro hopes to mitigate the impact of the construction and shutdown, which will happen in two phases.

During the first phase, which begins Saturday (Sept. 10) and lasts through Oct. 22, all six Blue and Yellow Line stations south of Reagan National Airport will be closed, as the Potomac Yard construction is completed. Those stations include Braddock Road, King Street, Van Dorn Street, Franconia-Springfield, Eisenhower Avenue, and Huntington.

Metro will offer seven free shuttles will be offered during this time. Options include local, express, and limited-stop shuttles that cross the Potomac River.

The local shuttles will stop at all Metro stations and be available during all Metrorail operating hours.

  • Blue Line Local: Between Franconia, Van Dorn Street, King Street, Braddock Road, and National Airport stations every 10-20 minutes
  • Yellow Line Local: Between Huntington, Eisenhower Avenue, King Street, Braddock Road, and Crystal City stations every 10-15 minutes.

Express shuttles, which will stop at the Pentagon and at the end of each line, will be available from 4:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

  • Blue Line Express: Franconia-Pentagon Express service between Franconia and Pentagon stations every six minutes.
  • Yellow Line Express: Huntington-Pentagon Express service between Huntington and Pentagon stations every six minutes.

Limited shuttles, which will take riders into D.C., will be available during weekday rush hours only.

  • VA-DC Shuttle 1: Between Crystal City, Pentagon City, Smithsonian, and L’Enfant Plaza stations every 12 minutes
  • VA-DC Shuttle 2: Between Pentagon, Smithsonian, and Archives stations every 12 minutes.
  • VA-DC Shuttle 3 (former 11Y route): Between Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and Potomac Park stations every 20 minutes. Peak direction service only.

Metro will increase capacity on the other lines by shortening wait times and increasing the length of railcars. Read More

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Updated at 3:15 p.m. on 8/18/2022 — Paul Malone, 52, of Alexandria was arrested and charged with yesterday’s shooting in Huntington. Police currently don’t believe he knew the victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified yet. A handgun was found near the scene, police say.

Earlier: A 33-year-old man was shot just before 2 p.m. today (Wednesday) near Richmond Highway in Huntington, Fairfax County police say.

Officers were called to the 2000 block of Huntington Avenue and found a man with gunshot wounds to the upper body, Fairfax County Police Department Second Lt. James Curry said at a media briefing. The victim remains hospitalized with injuries considered life-threatening.

According to Curry, officers were told that a potential suspect described as a Black man wearing a yellow hat, black shirt and gray pants was seen walking away from the scene. Told that the man was possibly headed to a nearby motel, police began a search of the area that included K9 units and helicopters.

Police said at 2:43 p.m. that they had a suspect in custody. Curry confirmed that the suspect is the man who was described, and he was taken into custody without incident.

“We do not believe that there is any apparent further danger to the community, and we are continuing our investigation,” Curry said. “We hope in the coming hours we’ll have a better idea of what exactly occurred.”

Witnesses at the Huntington Gateway development told FFXnow that they saw a man and woman with a baby fighting. When they became aggressive towards each other, multiple people attempted to intervene, including employees from the shopping center’s Planet Fitness and nearby office buildings.

The man repeatedly told people to back off until the couple was approached by a person at a bus stop on Huntington Avenue, who shot the man, according to witnesses.

Curry said police have preliminarily determined that the two men “got into some sort of dispute” in the roadway, but it’s not clear yet if they knew each other and, if so, what their relationship was.

The FCPD is still advising the public to avoid the area. Huntington Avenue is closed between Richmond Highway and Blaine Drive. The closure is expected to last for “several hours,” according to a public information officer.

Noting that there were “a lot of witnesses” in the populated area, some of whom may have left before police arrived, Curry said anyone with information about the incident can contact FCPD detectives at 703-691-2131.

Matt Blitz contributed to this report.

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