<b>Police Seek

Robbery Suspect</b>

Police released an artist’s sketch of a suspect wanted in connection with an armed robbery last month.

At about 10:20 p.m. on Sept. 18, a woman was loading groceries into her car parked in the 2400 block of Columbia Pike when a man grabbed her from behind, threatened her with a box cutter and demanded her money. The woman gave him her money and he ran away.

The suspect is described as a black male, 6 feet tall, between 30 and 40 years old, with a muscular build and a mustache. He was last seen wearing a black skull cap, black t-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact Detective John Norwood of the police department’s Robbery/Homicide Division at 703-228-4194, or call Arlington Crime Solvers at 703-522-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the man’s arrest.

<b>Designers Set For

Potomac Yard Transit</b>

At their Sept. 28 meeting, Arlington County Board members approved a contract with Herndon-based designers Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglass Inc., paying up to $300,000 for designs for the Potomac Yard Transit Way and the first of three planned stations along that transit line.

Two years ago, the county approved a phased development plan for the 35-acre Potomac Yard. That plan included provisions for a 26-foot-wide transit corridor beginning at 26th Street South and running south to South Glebe Road, on the east side of Crystal Drive and Jeff Davis Highway. At Glebe, the transit way would turn east, intersecting with a proposed Potomac Drive, to be constructed by developers. From there, the transit line would run south to the Alexandria city line.

Construction funds for the project will be approved after the design is completed.

<b>County Installs Smart Pedestrian System</b>

Pedestrians crossing Wilson Boulevard between North Randolph and North Stuart streets Monday morning would have found themselves automatically escorted across the street by strobe lights embedded in the pavement, lights that also warned drivers they needed to yield the right of way.

The "intelligent" pedestrian crosswalk was installed over the weekend by the County’s Department of Public Works. It is the first in the region, County Board Chair Chris Zimmerman said, but won’t be the last.

Infrared sensors embedded in the pavement activate the system whenever a pedestrian steps into the crosswalk. For 30 seconds, the strobe lights operate, allowing most people enough time to cross the street. The yellow strobes were chosen to make the system visible to motorists approaching the crosswalk, in a high foot traffic area of Wilson, both day and night.

Arlington is evaluating the new system, which costs $9,800 to install, for other locations around the county. No other specific sites have been identified for the system. The smart crosswalk is cheaper than standard crossing signals, which can cost up to $70,000 to install.