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Friday Morning Notes

The historic designation debate — In this opinion piece, the writer explores two historic designation issues in Herndon and Reston. [Greater Greater Washington]

Trout fishing season is here — You heard that right. The Fairfax County Park Authority invites you to fish for trout at Lake Fairfax Park. Season passes are available. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Tishman Speyer sheds some land — The Pinkard Group paid $3.15M to acquire the 3.3-acre parcel at the corner of the Dulles Toll Road and Monroe Street in Herndon, part of the Woodland Park East development, from Tishman Speyer. [Bisnow]

Climate change in schools — Well, not in schools. The Fairfax County School Board passed a resolution last night calling on state and federal action on climate change. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

In the time machine — Flavors of Fall brought beer, wine, food and fun to Reston Town Center last weekend. Mercia Hobson offers a recap here.  [The Connection]

Photo by Lindi Mallison

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Cleanup Underway After Trash Truck Fire on Dulles Toll Road

A stinky situation on the Dulles Toll Road has resulted in a lane closure and a significant cleanup effort.

A garbage truck’s load of trash caught fire this afternoon, shortly after 4 p.m., prompting the truck driver to dump the burning refuse on the side of the westbound Dulles Toll Road near Wiehle Avenue.

The fire was extinguished and the effort to remove the charred garbage is now underway. According to WTOP, the ramp from Wiehle Avenue to the westbound lanes of the toll road are currently blocked.

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This Weekend: Construction Prompts Full Overnight Closure of Eastbound Dulles Access Highway

A segment of the eastbound Dulles Access Highway will be closed on Saturday (September 22) from around 10 p.m. through Sunday (September 23) at 6 p.m.

Crews are scheduled to complete utility work on an overhead pedestrian bridge along the highway, which will be closed from the start of Innovation Center Station at the mile marker 1.7 to mile marker 2.7.

Traffic from the eastbound landers will be diverted to the left lane of the eastbound Dulles Toll Road. Drivers will not pass through any toll booths on the toll road during the planned detours.

Traffic will return to normal patterns just east of the Centreville Road overpass.

Drivers are encouraged to exercise caution and pay attention to all signs and barricades. Large vehicles may enter and exit the highway at various times. All work is dependent on the weather.

Photos via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Overnight Closure of Eastbound Dulles Access Highway Planned This Weekend

The eastbound Dulles Access Highway (DIAAH) will be closed between Centreville Road and Fairfax County Parkway from Friday (August 3) at 10 p.m. through Monday (August 6) at 5 a.m.

Traffic from the eastbound lanes will be diverted to the left lane of the eastbound Dulles Toll Road and will then be returned to the DIAAH once past the construction area. The closure is necessary to allow Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project crews to complete storm drain work in the area.

DIAAH drivers will not have to pass through any toll both on the toll road during the detours. Eastbound toll road traffic will be restricted to two lanes. All drivers are strongly encouraged to exercise caution and pay attention to all signs and barricades.

Map via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Commuter Alert: Road and Lane Closures Planned This Week

Several lane, shoulder and road closures will be in effect along the Dulles Toll Road, Herndon Parkway, Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road this week.

Drivers are encouraged to pay attention to all signs, barricades and speed limits. Slow vehicles may be entering and exiting highways and surrounding roads.

A complete breakdown of closures, provided by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, is below:

Dulles Toll Road East

When:   Monday, July 23 – Friday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

What:    Alternating right and left lane closures of varying lengths

Where:  From mile marker 1.3 to 5.2 (from just west of the Route 28 overpass to the Reston Parkway overpass)

Why:     Civil work

Dulles Toll Road West

When:   Monday, July 23 – Friday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday

What:    Alternating right and left lane closures of varying lengths

Where:  From mile marker 5.7 to 1.5 (between the Route 28 and Reston Parkway overpasses)

Why:     Civil work

Dulles Toll Road West

When:   Thursday, July 26, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

What:    Two right lanes closed

Where:  From mile marker 4.5 to 3.5 (from 3/10 mile before the Fairfax County Parkway overpass to the Monroe Street/Van Buren Street overpass)

Why:     Pedestrian bridge construction

Dulles Toll Road West

When:   Friday, July 27 – Saturday, July 28, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

What:    Full closure

Where:  From mile marker 6.2 to 2.4 (Single lane closures begin prior to the Wiehle Avenue overpass. Full closure from the Fairfax County Parkway to Centreville Road; follow detour along the southbound Fairfax County Parkway, westbound Sunrise Valley Drive, and northbound Centreville Road where traffic will re-enter the westbound Dulles Toll Road)

Why:     Pedestrian bridge construction 

Dulles Toll Road West

When:   Saturday, July 28, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

What:    Three left lanes close with 20-minute stoppages on right through lane

Where:  From mile marker 6.6 to 4.2 (between the Wiehle Aveue overpass and the Fairfax County Parkway overpass)

Why:     Striping

Sunrise Valley Drive East

When:   Monday, July 23 – Thursday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon

What:    Right lane closed

Where:  From Edmund Halley Drive to Colts Neck Road

Why:     Clearing and civil work

Sunset Hills Road East 

When:   Monday, July 23 – Thursday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon

What:    Alternating right and left lane closures

Where:  From 500 feet west to 500 feet east of 12011 Sunset Hills Road

Why:     Civil work

Sunset Hills Road West 

When:   Monday, July 23 – Thursday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Friday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon

What:    Two left lanes closed

Where:  From the entrance to 12011 Sunset Hills Road to 500 feet west of the entrance

Why:     Civil work

Herndon Parkway East

When:   Monday, July 23 – Thursday, July 26, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday, July 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon

What:    Right lane closed

Where: From 1000 feet east of Van Buren Street to 800 feet west of Exchange Place

Why:     Equipment mobilization

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20-Minute Stoppages on Dulles Toll Road Planned Overnight

Beginning tomorrow (July 12) and on Friday night (July 13), triple lane closures on planned on the Dulles Toll Road after 10 p.m.

Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project crews will continue to install equipment under the pedestrians bridges at the Reston Town Center and Herndon Metrorail Stations that cross over the eastbound and Westbound lanes of the Dulles Toll Road.

Three lanes will be closed, resulting in 20-minute traffic halts after midnight each night.

Beginning Thursday at 10 p.m., three left lanes of the eastbound Dulles Toll Road will be closed to traffic between the Monroe/Van Buren Street and Reston Parkway overpasses. One right lane will be open to traffic and 20-minute stoppages will occur in the right lane of the eastbound lanes after midnight. Lanes will reopen on Friday at 5 p.m.

On Friday at 10 p.m., the three left lanes of the westbound Dulles Toll Road will be closed to traffic between the Wiehle Avenue and the Monroe Street/Van Buren Street overpasses. One right lane will be open to traffic and 20-minute stoppages are planned after midnight on the right westbound lane and on the ramp from Fairfax County Parkway to the westbound Dulles Toll Road lanes.

Normal operations will resume on Saturday (July 14) at 6 a.m. Utility work is expected to continue through July.

Maps via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Daytime Lane Closures Planned on Centreville Road This Week

Crews will continue to perform utility work on Centreville Road near the Dulles Toll Road overpass in Herndon through Friday (July 13).

Alternating left and right lane closures on northbound and southbound Centreville Road and along the ramp from the westbound Dulles Toll Road lane to northbound Centreville Road and Elden Street will also take place.

Work is scheduled to take from today through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Access to businesses and ramps will remain open while maintenance work continues. Drivers are encouraged to exercise caution and pay attention to all signs and barricades.

Large, slow vehicles will exit and enter roads in the area throughout the day.

Map via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Tuesday Morning Notes

For Dulles Toll Road users — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is seeking public comments about proposed rate increases on the road. The online commenting period is now open and ends on August 3. [MWAA]

Local teen wraps up Nickelodeon show — Sissy Sheridan, a 14-year-old Restonian, wrapped up the first season of the “DIY With Me” web series for Nickelodeon. In the show, Sheridan teaches viewers how to make crafts. Next year, she’ll be attending a performing arts school in Virginia to work on her acting career. [The Washington Post]

Plotting a garden — Want to grow your own veggies, flowers and fruit? Reston Association’s community garden plots have spaces available in two of their five locations. [RA]

A quiet ascent — LeaseAccelerator, a Reston-based accounting software firm, is deepening its own pocketbook. The company expects to quadruple its revenue this year. [DC Inno]

Photo via Twitter user @MrErrett

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Feedback Sought on Proposed Toll Increases at Dulles Toll Road in 2019

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will hold a public hearing in Reston on July 17 to hear feedback on proposed rate increases along the Dulles Toll Road.

Under the proposal, commuters would pay fifty cents more at ramp plazas and seventy-five cents more at the mainline plaza beginning in 2019. According to the MWAA, rate increases are necessary to fund the Silver Line extension project and improvements on the Dulles Toll Road.

The public hearing is scheduled for July 17 from 5-8 p.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Two other hearings will be held at Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean and Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.

Attendees are encouraged to comment on how the planned toll increase of $1.25 for a typical Dulles Toll Road trip should be allocated between ramp and mainline plazas. The MWAA is also seeking comments on whether toll plaza lanes that allow customers to pay with cash should be converted to “E-ZPass only” tolling.

Comments on other operational improvements, including whether or not credit cards should be accepted at toll plaza lanes, are also encouraged.

MWAA representatives will be on site to discuss the proposal. Translators will also be available at each public hearing. The public engagement period will run from July 2 through August 3. Comments can be submitted to [email protected].

The MWAA’s board is expected to vote on planned toll increase later this year.

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Board to Consider Dulles Toll Road Rate Increase for 2019

Commuters on the Dulles Toll Road could pay 75 cents more at the main toll plaza and 50 cents more at each ramp. The proposal will be presented to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s Board of Directors on Wednesday (June 20).

If approved by the board, tolls would increase from $3.50 to $4.75 for most one-way trips beginning in January. Rates would be higher for larger vehicles.

In 2019, tolls are expected to generate $198.7 million in revenue, nearly 30 percent more than the currently generated revenue. Despite projected increases in revenue, the number of toll transactions is expected to decrease by 6.4 percent next year due to declines in road usage during weekends and off-peak hours.

A nearly 1.5 percent increase is expected until 2023 when the next planned toll increase is scheduled to take effect.

Public hearings on the proposal are set for July 11 in McLean, July 17 in Reston and July 19 in Ashburn. During the meetings, attendees can discuss their thoughts with authority officials, as well as whether or not the board should switch to electronic-only tolling.

The board is expected to vote on the final proposal in October. Plans to increase tolls have been in the works since 2009. Revenue generated from toll transactions would cover debt tied to the Silver Line.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Tuesday Morning Notes

How about a taste of the that — Taste of Reston was recently voted the 2018 Best Outdoor Food Festival of Northern Virginia by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event is set for June 15 and 16. [Cision]

Rising rates — Tolls on the Dulles Toll Road are set to rise next year. Public hearings are planned for July, but increases may happen anyway. Officials say their financial projections and legal obligations depend on toll increases. [WTOP]

The results are in — The Reston Masters Swim Team recently published the results of the 2018 Jim McDonnell Lake Swim, which was overshadowed by the apparent drowning of one participant. [Reston Masters Swim Team]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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For the First Time in Four Years, Dulles Toll Road Rates May Increase Next Year

For the first time since 2014, Dulles Toll Road rates could increase by about one-third next year.

Motorists have paid $2.50 at the mainline plaza and $1 at exit ramps, totaling $3.50 for the last four years.

Under the plan, tolls would rise to $3.25 at the main plaza and $1.50 at exit ramps, totaling $4.75 overall. Increases would continue in the years ahead, with a $6 toll from 2023 through 2027, $7.25 from 2028 through 2032, $8.75 from 2033 through 2037, and $10 from 2038 through 2042.

Public hearings on the proposal are set for the summer, most likely in July and August. A vote authorizing the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to proceed with the process for proposed rate adjustments is set for June 20. Board action on final increases would occur in mid-October.

Officials said the toll increase is necessary to prevent toll revenue from falling below the minimum required to cover debt service costs. Tolls are expected to fund about $2.8 billion of the $5.7 billion cost of the Silver Line project.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem; graphic by MWAA

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Board of Directors meeting today — The board will vote on a move to build in stricter financial controls following a third-party review of RA’s controversial purchase of the Tetra property. The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube. [Reston Now]

Tolls could take a toll – Be prepared for hiccups in your commute. Upgrades to the tolling system on Dulles Toll Road could lead to detours and delays over the next six months. [WTOP]

Congrats to South Lakes High School athletes — Several local students are considered the D.C. area’s best winter sports athletes. Make Reston proud. [The Washington Post]

Metro resumes normal service today — Regular weekday service will resume today. County schools are closed and county government offices are open, with the option of unscheduled leave.  [WMATA]

Reston Community Center programs are cancelled — All RCC programs and co-sponsored programs are cancelled today, although RCC facilities will open today. [RCC]

It’s cleanup time — Volunteers are needed for the annual Potomac River Watershed cleanup on April 14. Make an impact today. [Reston Association]

Photo by Twitter user @jgs3584

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Plans to Calm Traffic on Hunter Mill Road Move Forward

Relief could be on the way soon for drivers who frequent Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

Last night, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved long awaited plans to tackle traffic backups by realigning Sunset Hills Road to Crowell Road.

The plan also includes adding a roundabout as an intersection control. Hunter Mill Road would become a four-lane road between the intersection of Crowell Road and Sunset Hills Road to the Dulles Toll Road’s westbound ramps.

John Carter, the Hunter Mill District’s planning commissioner, compared the new plan to George Washington Parkway. Conceding the comparison was imperfect, he said the changes feature sweeping curves, major setbacks of 400 feet from houses to the road and a commitment to preserve a pond and a forested resource protection area.

The plan passed by the commission includes several amendments to address concerns raised by the Hunter Mill Defense League and the Hunting Crest Homeowners Association. Changes include:

  • Beginning realignment to the east of the Edlin School and extending no farther than Crowell Road
  • Maximizing the distance between the realigned road and the Hunting Crest community
  • The inclusion of a roundabout as a preferred alternative
  • Modifying transportation maps to include a cul-de-sac on Hunter Mill Road

The county’s Board of Supervisors will hear public comment on the plan on March 6 at around 4 p.m.

Since 2014, the county held several community meetings to lay out traffic management alternatives. The latest plan is a mix of several options, but departs from previously discussed plans, which the county indicated no longer work.

Carter said the county’s studies clearly indicate the current plan is the “better method to calm traffic in this area.”

Photo via handout

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Major Mixed-Used Development Proposed Next to RTC Metro Station

Tishman Speyer, a New York-based real estate company, hopes to transform more than 14 acres of land in the southwest quadrant of the Dulles Toll Road and Reston Parkway into a vibrant, mixed-used development driven by the power of the adjacent Reston Town Center Metro Station.

Reston Crossing, the name of the transit-oriented development, would bring six new buildings organized around a central park and other public amenities to the land, which is currently home to two office buildings.

The proposal, filed with the county early this month, requires rezoning the land from medium industrial use to planned development commercial to allow for up to nearly two million square feet of development.

Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner with Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, a northern Virginia law firm that specializes in commercial real estate development, said the transit-oriented project is set apart from nearby buildings that are more suburban-style, traditional office buildings built in the 1980s and 1990s.

“With the coming of the Silver Line and the plan that was adopted by the county… we’re just trying to implement that vision,” Baker said.

The plan calls six buildings includes one on the west with up to 30,000 square feet of retail, pedestrian access to the Metro Station South Pavilion, a U-shaped residential building with up to 380 multi-family residential units that overlook the central park, a building on the southeast with between 180 and 230 residential units, and a building on the south with up to 250 residential units.

“With a variety of park experiences, some landscaped, others hardscaped, and a well-developed system of paths, passive, and active recreation facilities areas, the Central Park is a major community amenity. Office, residential and retail uses front onto the Central Park, allowing it to be a gathering space for workers, residents, shoppers, and visitors alike,” according to the Dec. 8 proposal.

Of the overall development, office development would range from 38 percent to 58 percent, residential development would range from 36 to 59 percent, and retail uses would range from three to six percent. The plan is intentionally flexible due to changing market conditions.

Renderings via handout

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