Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: We are being told that we’re moving to D.C., but Arlington is in Virginia. What’s the geographic orientation of the area?
A: If you’re initially confused about where you’ll be heading, you’re not alone. Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital, is situated smack in between the States of Maryland and Virginia. While D.C. is small, it’s a self-governing city. That leads to a lot of confusion. D.C. is the center of a metropolitan area that includes Maryland, Virginia and even parts of West Virginia. Because of this, many from outside the region refer to the “D.C. area” as the metropolitan area that incorporates Northern Virginia, the Maryland suburbs, and the eastern portion of the West Virginia panhandle. Arlington is the closest point in Virginia to D.C., and back in the 19th century was the southern portion of the diamond that made up the nation’s capital. In 1846, the land across the Potomac River was granted back to the Commonwealth of Virginia. So yes, this move is to the D.C. metropolitan area, and your new office will be steps from D.C., despite being in Virginia. Because of its proximity to the nation’s capital, Arlington is home to many research organizations, federal agencies and the Pentagon.
Q: What does the DMV stand for?
A: You may hear reference to the DMV over the coming weeks and months. No, this is likely not about the Department of Motor Vehicles, although we have those too. This reference to DMV is a relatively new term coined to represent the D.C. region by outsiders, and didn’t take hold locally until the last decade. It stands for D.C., Maryland and Virginia, representing the three distinct states/governing regions in the metropolitan area.
Q: Is Arlington a city or a county?
A: Arlington is a county, although it’s easy to be mistaken as a city. With just 26 square miles of land, Arlington is the smallest geographic county in the United States. The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, along with Crystal City and Pentagon City are part of an urban core built around the Metrorail system, but these urban centers are also surrounded by suburban, post World-War II era tree-lined neighborhoods. So, while the urban centers and proximity to Washington, D.C. give Arlington an urban feel, much of the county is suburban, with plenty of housing options. In fact, Arlington has over 40 million square feet of office space (more than downtown L.A., Denver and Atlanta) which is located on just 20% of the County’s land.
Q: Do people really take the Metro to work?
A: Per a 2012 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) ridership survey, approximately 92% of over 243,000 peak morning trips were for work/business purposes.
Means of transportation to an Arlington workplace -- 23% use some form of public transportation (excluding taxicab); 57% drive alone; 10% carpool; 4% walk; 2% taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle or other; and 4% work at home. Source: 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), 5-Year Estimates.
Q: Where do people live, who work in Arlington?
A: Based on the 2013 5-Year ACS Commuting Flows, the top ten jurisdictions commuting to Arlington: Fairfax County - 29%; Arlington County - 26%; Prince George's County (MD) - 9%; District of Columbia - 8%; Alexandria - 8%; Prince William County - 8%; Montgomery County (MD) - 6%; Loudoun County - 3%; Charles County (MD) - 2%; Stafford County - 2%. This information can also be found in the Transportation section.
Q: Where are the closest beaches to the D.C. area?
A: Located about 100 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, residents of the area tend to getaway to the beaches of the Mid-Atlantic Coast. Just over 3 hours due-east, you’ll find Ocean City, Maryland, and the other beaches of the DelMarVa Peninsula (short for Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, all who share portions of the peninsula). Other DelMarVa beaches include Dewey and Rehoboth Beaches in Delaware. If you head just under 4 hours down I-95 South, you’ll find Virginia Beach. Just a little further, about 4.5 to 7 hours (depending on where on the island you are going), you’ll find the renowned beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, which include Corolla, Duck, Hatteras, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, among others. Of course, there’s the beaches of the New Jersey Shore (4 hours) and the various Chesapeake Bay beaches and resorts as well.
Q: Does it snow?
A: Yes. Washington, D.C. is a true 4-season city. While there haven’t been any measurable storms this winter, the city was slammed with 1-2 feet of snow last January in the historic Nor’easter that impacted the entire eastern seaboard (dubbed “Snowzilla”). On average, the D.C. area gets between 14” (D.C.) and 22” (Dulles) of snow, depending on proximity to the city. January and February are typically the snowiest months, with 9 of the 10 largest snowstorms in the city’s history occurring during those two months. The lone exception was the December 2009 “Snowpocalypse” storm that dropped 16” in Washington, D.C. and up to 2-feet in the western suburbs.