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Group is Laying Out Future of Reston Transportation

by Karen Goff — February 1, 2016 at 10:30 am 10 Comments

Traffic on Wiehle Avenue/Credit: Reston 2020Reston is becoming a transit-oriented community, so the streets surrounding transit centers should be laid out urban style.

Without connecting streets the provide better pedestrian, car and bike access, Reston traffic jams could be a much worse problem in the future.

That’s what will be discussed tonight at a meting of the Reston Network Analysis Group. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Lake Anne Elementary School, 11510 North Shore Dr.

The Reston Master Plan calls for an urban-style layout of streets near Silver Line stations at Wiehle-Reston East and Reston Town Center (which will open in 2020). County officials have organized the Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group to get feedback from citizens about about the plans for the street grid.

The new street layout is one of a number of transportation improvements planned for Reston. Among the others: a Soapstone extension to carry cars across the Dulles Toll Road and alleviate traffic on main roads such as Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive; and a Capital Bikeshare network slated to open in about a year.

Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has appointed an advisory group made up of citizens and development reps to study the new street grid layout.

The group has been looking at existing conditions, and is especially concerned with mitigating congestions on Reston Parkway; Sunrise Valley at the Fairfax County Parkway; Spring Street at Fairfax County Parkway; and Rock Hill Bridge (Herndon).

The analysis group has been studying what traffic will be like in Reston in 2050 if congestion is unmitigated. The group is using a figure of 100,000,000 square feet of development, more than three times what it is today.

The group determined that 42 key intersections in Reston will be at an “F” grade for traffic movement.

Take a look at the existing conditions report here:

  • TheRealODB

    #WWTMD? (What would Terry Maynard Do)

    • Terry Maynard

      That’s it, ODB, put me on the spot.

      I would start with the planning principles the Reston 20/20 Transportation Committee laid out SIX years ago. (One member of that committee is serving on the current network analysis committee, and is very knowledgeable and constructive.) They still look good from this vantage point:

      Planning Principles for Reston’s 21st Century Transportation Needs

      We envision a future Reston in which everyone—residents, workers, businesses, visitors, and others—have rich multi-modal options for access to all places in Reston without undue delay. Our goal is to achieve an overall Level of Service grade of “C” for Reston, including its TOD areas during peak periods. (NOTE: The County finds an LOS of “E” “acceptable” for the current study.)

      –We must provide a rich mix of transportation options to and within Reston Town Center (RTC) to make it more accessible and usable by Restonians and others.
      o Provide a robust internal north-south circulator bus service to assure easy movement throughout Town Center and to Metrorail.
      o Provide robust transit service and pedestrian/bicycling access to Town Center from all of Reston.

      –We must expand the connectivity between north and south Reston across the Dulles Toll Road corridor to preserve our community and better serve Reston Town Center and the TOD areas.
      o Provide vehicular connectivity from south to north at Edmund Halley,Soapstone, and South Lakes drives.

      o Provide pedestrian and bicycle connectivity across the toll road about mid-way between Wiehle and Reston Parkway stations.

      –We must provide robust transportation alternatives for people in
      Reston’s Village Centers and neighborhoods to reduce personal vehicle use.
      o Expand neighborhood transit service to and between Village Centers.
      o Construct walks/pathways on both sides of every TOD area through street with provisions for safe and prompt crossing at intersections.

      –We must discourage driving in and around TOD areas and set a 35-45% reduction in PM peak hour traffic there as our goal.
      o Provide frequent, extensive transit service within and beyond Reston,especially north and south, supplemented by satellite parking garages.
      o Limit and control parking in TOD areas for employees and residents,and incentivize their use of public transit, walking, and biking.
      o Protect surrounding neighborhoods by implementing special parking districts and traffic calming programs.
      o Improve road infrastructure sufficiently to meet the needs of those who must drive to, from, or through TOD areas.

      In short, it calls for making the station areas true “transit-oriented development” (reduce driving and add lots of walking and biking friendly accommodations) while improving the road access of the rest of the community to and through those TSAs.

      You will find that a lot of it expands on the 2009 RMAG access study–which this committee report & the Board of Supervisors endorsed. If you really want to get into it, you can read the complete paper (all 53 pages, prepared for the Reston Task Force) here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/32716465/Reston-Transportation-Meeting-the-Needs-of-a-21st-Century-Planned-Community-Transportation-Work-Group-RCA-Reston-2020-Committee-June-1-2010

      We’ll test you when you’re done!

      • Terry Maynard

        I forgot to add that I was chairman of that RCA committee.

    • Wings!!

      I’d open a Hooters in Plaza America, and people could just wait and have a beer and plate of wings until rush hour is over.

      #HootersForReston

  • WheresWaldo

    That picture claims to show traffic on Wiehle Ave, but Bluemont Way does not cross Wiehle, I suspect that is Reston Parkway.

    • Karen Goff

      You are correct. It was mislabeled. Fixing that now.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    In the end, it’s not a matter of avoiding gridlock; it’s only a matter of how many hours of the day that area is gridlocked.

  • vdiv

    Just ban all vehicular transport in Reston, that would solve both the congestion and the population density explosion 😉

  • Ryan

    I know you’re joking but I kind of like this idea

  • Modest Metro

    It should be noted that all of Simon’s original designs for Town Center segregated all vehicle traffic to protect usable pedestrian spaces and communal areas.

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