News

Falls Church News Briefs

Metro Seeks Public Input on Ideas for E. Falls Church Station

Metro has announced that it is seeking public input on the proposed bus loop expansion and pedestrian improvements at East Falls Church rail station.

The station currently has four bus bays that are operating at maximum capacity. In coordination with Metro, Arlington County seeks to expand the footprint of the existing bus loop, upgrade the existing bus shelters, and add three bus bays with shelters at the station.

The project also aims to improve sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, and landscaping within and around the station, including improving the crosswalks between the station entrance and the existing bus loop on North Sycamore Street.

Bus capacity and pedestrian access improvements are necessary to accommodate projected transit ridership growth at the station. East Falls Church Station is the first eastbound station that connects the Silver Line with the Orange Line, making it an important transfer point for rail and bus riders. Feedback from the public on these proposed changes is essential as this project moves forward.

Custody Alternatives Now Being Mulled by State Group

A workgroup to study options to increase the use of alternative custody arrangements for individuals who are subject to an emergency custody order (ECO) or a temporary detention order (TDO) held its first meeting on June 16. The workgroup, which is led by the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, was convened at the direction of legislation passed during the 2022 General Assembly session in response to the continuing stresses on law enforcement agencies posed by delayed admissions to inpatient psychiatric care.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel pointed to the pressures on law enforcement in the ECO and TDO process as a symptom of larger problems in the behavioral health system overall, citing the need for better capacity, coordination, and communication.

Travel Options During Metro Construction Mulled

Members of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission will review a diverse number of alternative travel options available during major Metro construction that will close Blue and Yellow Line stations in Northern Virginia and hear the findings of an NVTC-led analysis of transit ridership trends throughout the Covid-19 pandemic at their monthly meeting tonight in Arlington.

NVTC staff have been working with Metro and Northern Virginia’s transportation providers to call attention to the many alternative routes available to riders while Metro completes two major construction projects that will impact stations in Northern Virginia. DASH, Fairfax Connector and OmniRide have existing service to transport riders from the areas impacted by the shutdown to the Pentagon, into downtown Washington or both. Additionally, Virginia Railway Express (VRE) provides access from Franconia-Springfield and Alexandria Town stations to L’Enfant Plaza and Union Station.

At the Commission meeting, staff from Metro will provide details on upcoming construction work that will close Blue and Yellow Line stations in Northern Virginia starting this fall.

Metro will begin rehabilitation of the Yellow Line bridge and tunnel over the Potomac River on September 10. Simultaneously, Metro will begin work to tie-in the new Potomac Yard station between Ronald Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road. The Potomac Yard work will close both the Blue and Yellow Lines south of the airport for six weeks. Once that work is complete, all stations will reopen but there will be no Yellow Line service. The Blue Line will serve all stations south of the airport until the Yellow Line bridge/tunnel work is completed in spring 2023. Metro will provide shuttle bus service during both phases of construction.

Sen. Warner Wants Tik-Tok Parent Investigated

Virginia Senator and Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark R. Warner joined with Vice Chairman Marco Rubio to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to formally investigate TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance.

The call comes in response to recent reports that the social media platform has permitted TikTok engineers and executives in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to repeatedly access private data of US users despite repeated claims to lawmakers and users that this data was protected.

This includes instances where staff based in the United States had to consult with their China-based colleagues for information about U.S. user data as they did not have access to the data on their own. These revelations undermine longstanding claims by TikTok’s management that the company’s operations were firewalled from demands of the Chinese Communist Party.

The report also highlights TikTok’s misrepresentation of the company’s relationship to ByteDance and its subsidiaries, including Beijing-based ByteDance Technology, which is partially owned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).