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Silver Line: Glimpsing the Future at Wiehle-Reston East Open House

by Karen Goff — July 19, 2014 at 12:55 pm 1,564 14 Comments

Reston’s future as a transit-oriented community officially gets started next week, when the first Silver Line Metro train departs from the Wiehle-Reston East station.

But for Restonians and other nearby residents, accessing the station is nearly important as the riding the trains. Visitors got a look on Saturday at where the bikes will go, where the buses will drop off and depart, and other logistics at a Fairfax County open house.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who was one of many local dignitaries who worked for many years to get rail to Reston, says the seven-level, 3,300-space garage and Comstock’s mixed-use development above it is a great example of a public-private partnership that will benefit the entire community.

The county and Comstock teamed to build the $90 million parking structure, which will feature a bicycle repair room, parking for 200 bikes and 10 bus bays. It is the only station on the five-stop, 11-mile Silver Line Phase 1 that features parking. Wiehle-Reston East will be the end of the Silver Line for at least five years, when Phase 2 will take passengers to Reston Parkway, Herndon, Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.

Hudgins says she hopes residents will look at the many ways to access the Metro station.

“Yes, we are celebrating the garage,” she said prior to a ceremonial ribbon cutting. “But we want our neighbors to get out of their cars and get on Metro. “A lot of folks can ride their bikes here if they chose. We’ve improved bus services.”

Representatives from Fairfax Connector, Fairfax Advocates for Better Biking, Metro, Washington Flyer and other transportation-related groups were on hand to answer questions from potential Metro users. On the plaza above the garage, visitors could check out the construction of Comstock’s BLVD apartments.

Some of the open house visitors were making plans on how Metro will fit into their lives on a daily basis. Others said they plan to take it occasionally to get into D.C.

Bob Whiteman of Oak Hill said he moved to Reston in 1980, and even then his Realtor told him “a train to Dulles would be here in five years.”

“I believed [rail] would never happen,” he said. But now that he is two years from retirement, the federal employee said he will most likely stick to his usual commute.

“It is actually cheaper to carpool downtown and pay for parking,” he said.”But I will take Metro at some point, like during a snowstorm.”

Denver Lovett, a retiree who has lived in Reston since 1974, said he is looking forward to the convenience on a lot of levels.

“I won’t have to drive to the Vienna Metro at Nutley,” he said. “When my daughter comes to visit from New York, she can just ride Metro here from downtown. It is going to make the trip so much better. Hopefully traffic around the station won’t be too bad.”

The garage officially opens on Saturday, July 26, the same day as Silver Line trains start running. Parking at Wiehle-Reston East will be $4.85 a day; $65 a month for reserved parking. Spaces in the bike room will be $65 annually (with a $10 charge for the key fob). For more details, read this previous Reston Now story.

  • Stevefehr

    Stick the number of vehicle parking spaces in here somewhere.

  • Kelly D.

    Found it on the first article. I wonder how much fewer when the offices are leased. “3,300 public parking spaces (eventually there will be fewer when office space at Reston Station is leased), 45 “Kiss and Ride” spaces, A secure locker room for over 200 bicycles.”

    • Karen Goff

      2,300 of the spaces are public spaces so those will not change. The other 1,000 are owned by Comstock. For now, they are available but will go away when there are leaseholders in the buildings (ie, workers in the office building when it is built).

  • Geez alarm

    Glimpse the future looking at a group of old people.

    • Blech

      Not so bad that they’re old. It is the corruption, evil, and incompetence that is written in every seam and wrinkle of their foul visages.

    • Frogger

      Not just old, but pathetic, lame, incompetent, political hacks–every last one of them.

      Remember these faces when you go through the toll road fare gates.

  • Seth

    I think the bike room is actually $60 annually with a one-time $15 fee for the key fob.

  • Sue

    I actually got lost in the garage….horrible signage…the traffic flow is not designated. Not enough exit signs except for the ones for stairways (one small one for stairs was pointing to a brick wall!) Couldn’t even find the kiss and ride part coming in off Wiehle. Not well planned

    • Sue

      But let me add….very excited that we have metro here finally!

  • Alice

    you don’t point out that that $65 for reserved parking is in addition to the 4.85 a day. I’ve heard different answers for whether the lot at Whiele and Sunset Hills will be a paid lot now, do you know? of course, it already fills up before 0700, so if it’s the closest free lot it will fill up even earlier.

    • Karen Goff

      The lot at Wiehle and Sunset Hills is closing July 25. So don’t plan on parking there.

      • cosmo

        The lot at Wiehle and Sunset Hills is a VDOT commuter lot and it’s not going away. The “Sunset Hills Park and Ride” County lot by Town Center is the one closing this wekeend – that was the temporary lot opened up when Reston East closed for the construction of the garage.

        • Karen Goff

          Noted. I was incorrect earlier. That lot will close eventually though.

  • Lisa

    Awwww…….paying tolls is a problem for you? You probably also don’t want to pay taxes for infrastructure improvements and maintenance either. Can’t have it both ways. As for a glimpse of the future looking at these “old” people as you call them, it’s called having a progressive vision for the future. Stop whining….Metro is here and its’ not going away……as for the parking…..catch a bus.

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