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by Dave Emke October 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Herndon PD Plays Soccer with Students — In what has become an annual tradition, on Monday the Herndon Police Department took on eighth-grade students from Herndon Middle School in a soccer match. HMS led 2-0 at halftime and was able to stave off an HPD comeback effort to win, 3-2. [Herndon Police Department/Facebook]

Changes Possible for Section 8 Program — The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development will host a listening session tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) to discuss how current and future federal budget reductions are expected to have a significant impact on the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. [Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority]

‘CarFit’ Helps Seniors in Vehicles — A Fairfax County Police Department program provides a checklist to help older drivers be more comfortable and safe as they drive. In an 8-minute video, the program is explained and demonstrated. [Fairfax County Police Department/Facebook]

RSVP Seeks New Volunteers — The region’s largest volunteer network for people 55 and older will hold an orientation event for prospective volunteers on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 1:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). [RSVP Northern Virginia]

Buses Will Be on Holiday Schedule Monday — If you plan to ride the Fairfax Connector on Columbus Day, make sure you’re aware of any route changes that may be in effect. [Fairfax Connector]

Image courtesy Herndon Police Department on Facebook

by Dave Emke September 14, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Lake Anne Concert Series Ends Tonight — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will wrap up tonight with a show from Texas Chainsaw Horns, an R&B group, from 7-9 p.m. [Lake Anne Plaza]

Reston Association Budget Meeting Tonight — Sridhar Ganesan, treasurer and RA Board at-large director, will facilitate a budget-development community meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). According to information provided by Reston Association, members “are invited to share their thoughts and comments on issues related to next year’s budget.” [Reston Now]

Meeting on Fairfax County Parkway Trail Crossing Tonight — The County Department of Transportation has slated a community meeting to discuss options for improving safety at a trail crossing of a Dulles Toll Road ramp. The meeting is tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. in the cafeteria of Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive). [Reston Now]

Changes Coming to South Lakes Bus Route — To address crowding associated with South Lakes High School ridership, Fairfax Connector will shorten headways on some afternoon trips on Route 551 beginning Sept. 30. [Fairfax Connector]

2017 Virginia Tax Amnesty Program Begins — Until Nov. 14, delinquent individual and business taxpayers can pay back taxes with no penalties and half the interest. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

No More ‘Wiley’-Reston East? — In a tweet responding to a rider’s question, Metrorail says it is “exploring ways” to fix automated voice announcements that mispronounce the name of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. [Metrorail Info/Twitter]

File photo courtesy Karen Raffel

by Dave Emke July 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

RA Board Meets Tonight — The Reston Association Board of Directors will hold its monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The meeting will also be streamed live on RA’s YouTube channel. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Free Concert Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a performance by rockabilly group Four Star Combo. [Lake Anne Plaza]

Herndon Man Killed in Maryland Crash — Hui Xu, 34, was struck head-on by a wrong-way driver at about 2 a.m. Wednesday on Route 50 near Annapolis. [NBC Washington]

Swim League Marks 35 Years — In an event Saturday, the Herndon Swim League celebrated the anniversary with a championship competition, an all-star swim, an alumni swim and the handing out of scholarships. [Connection Newspapers]

Connector Seeks Feedback on Possible Changes — Two meetings will be held in August to discuss proposed changes to Fairfax Connector routes and to gather community responses. One of the routes up for discussion is Route 551 (South Lakes Drive). [Fairfax Connector]

by Dave Emke July 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Hassanen Murder Suspect Court Date Set — A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday, Oct. 13, for the prosecution of Darwin Martinez Torres. Torres is accused of attacking, abducting and killing Nabra Hassanen in the early morning hours of June 18. [Connection Newspapers]

Libertarian Leaders Speaking in Reston — The Young Americans for Liberty conference, taking place today through Saturday at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, will feature more than 40 speakers sharing Libertarian values. Among them will be Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Judge Andrew Napolitano. [Young Americans for Liberty]

Changes Made to WMATA Board — The Trump Administration is replacing a pair of safety specialists, who were appointed by President Obama’s transportation secretary, with a pair of finance and budget bureaucrats who worked in the Bush Administration. [WAMU]

Work Being Done on Reston Station Staircase — The stairs from Reston Station Boulevard to the Wiehle-Reston East plaza are closed for repairs, which include new tiles on the landings and improvements to the drainage system. [Fairfax Connector]

Nearly $60M in County’s Carryover Budget — The county executive recommends the funds be used in part to fund reserves and infrastructure needs, along with other projects including the demolition of the Massey Building. [Fairfax County]

Supreme Court Ruling Leads to Changes in Sign Zoning — After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “content-based” regulations on signs do not meet the strict scrutiny test required by the First Amendment to protect free speech, the County must re-examine its zoning rules regarding messages on signs. [Fairfax County]

by Kalina Newman June 28, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Torres Linked to Previous Attack, Gang — A week before Darwin Martinez Torres was arrested and charged with murdering Nabra Hassanen, a woman reported he had punched, choked and sexually assaulted her. She also claims he is a member of the MS-13 street gang. [Washington Post] (Editor’s Note: The Fairfax County Police Department later said there is “no credible information” to support gang ties.)

Brew House To Host Beer Rally Tonight — Teams of three will run three laps around Lake Anne. Each lap is a mile and a half, and contestants can either run one lap each or all three laps together. There will be prizes raffled and a chance for free drinks. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]

Reston Hospital Center Gives Out Scholarships  Last week, the medical staff of Reston Hospital Center awarded $15,000 worth of scholarships to 15 Fairfax and Loudoun County high school seniors. Hasmah Hussain, from  South Lakes High School, was one of the recipients. [Reston Hospital Center]

Modified Bus Schedule for July 4  Fairfax Connector buses will run on a Saturday schedule on July 4. [Fairfax County Goverment]

E. Ethelbert Miller at Greater Reston Arts Center  Writer and literary activist will come to the Greater Reston Arts Center at 6 p.m. Thursday. Miller has been the editor of poetry magazine Poet Lore for 10 years, and he is the author of several collections of poetry and two memoirs.  [Greater Reston Arts Center]

by RestonNow.com June 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Starting next week, be prepared to spend a little more for a ride on the Fairfax Connector.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved fare increases for the service that will go into effect Sunday. The fares are going up in connection with increases to Metro fares, which also go into effect Sunday.

Riders of the Fairfax Connector will need to know these numbers:

  • Regular base fare will increase from $1.75 to $2.
  • Senior and disabled base fare will increase from 85 cents to $1.
  • Bus-to-bus transfer fare will increase from $1.75 to $2 for those paying cash.
  • Metrorail-to-bus transfer fare will increase from $1.25 to $1.50 for those paying by SmarTrip card, and from $1.75 to $2 for those paying cash.
  • Senior and disabled Metrorail-to-bus transfer fare will increase from 35 cents to 50 cents for those paying by SmarTrip card, and to $1 for those paying cash.

Fares for express routes are going up as well.

For more information on fares, visit the Fairfax Connector website.

by Dave Emke April 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Runners Marathon of Reston is Sunday — Some volunteers are still needed for the Runners Marathon of Reston, which will be held Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in South Reston. There are still a few slots available for runners as well. Drivers are reminded to be on the lookout for runners on roads including South Lakes Drive, Soapstone Drive, Lawyers Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. [Reston Now]

Brew House, Kiln & Co. Collaborating for Event — Kiln & Co. will officially open its pottery and custard shop at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday during Founder’s Day. Tonight, however, it will be part of a special event at Lake Anne Brew House. Special beer and custard combinations will be served. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]

Nats’ Opening Week Celebration at Reston Town Center — Fans are invited to get a picture with one of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents today from 3-6 p.m., and special Happy Hour deals will be available at American Tap Room when the game starts at 3. [Reston Town Center/Facebook]

Open House Set for Preschool — Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center (11400 Commerce Park Drive) will host an open house event April 17-20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Parents are invited to learn about what the school has to offer their children. [Bright Horizons]

Proposed Changes to South Lakes Fairfax Connector Schedule — The public is invited to give its feedback on a series of proposed changes to the Fairfax Connector schedule and routes in the county. One of the proposals is listed as “minor schedule adjustments to address crowding issues associated with ridership to and from South Lakes High School” on Route 551. [Fairfax County]

by Dave Emke March 13, 2017 at 10:15 am 7 Comments

Snow plows/VDOT

After a snowless winter, it looks like Reston will finally be hit.

Forecasters are predicting several inches of snow for the area, with an outside chance of a foot or more, beginning tonight and continuing into Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has placed an area including Reston under a winter storm warning that is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday and last through 2 p.m. Tuesday. According to the alert, their official predictions include the following:

* PRECIPITATION TYPE…Snow…possibly mixed with sleet at times
Monday night.

* ACCUMULATIONS…Snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches.

* TIMING…Snow will overspread the area Monday evening and
persist through Tuesday morning.

* IMPACTS…The heavy snow will create difficult travel
conditions and may produce scattered power outages.

* WINDS…Northeast 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.

* TEMPERATURES…In the lower 30s.

In preparation for the storm, the Virginia Department of Transportation began pre-treating roads Sunday. The department is encouraging drivers to adjust their schedules to be off roads before the evening rush hour Monday and overnight.

“This will help avoid being stuck on the roads when the storm begins, and to allow crews room to work more safely and efficiently,” VDOT said in a release.

In addition, VDOT asks that vehicles be parked in driveways, or that communities coordinate to all park on the same side of the road, to allow a larger path when plows begin to focus on neighborhood streets.

Such a significant snowfall would also have an impact on public transportation.

Metro will suspend its MetroAccess paratransit services at 4 p.m. today, and they will remain out of service through Tuesday. In addition, Metrobus service changes are possible and will be announced based on weather conditions and forecast.

Fairfax Connector is reminding users that service may be reduced, modified or suspended, on a route-by-route basis or systemwide. Riders are encouraged to monitor schedules online or call customer service (703-339-7200) for updates.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation on Twitter (@VaDOTNOVA)

by Dave Emke February 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

Member Assessment is Due March 1 — In case you’ve forgotten, there is only a week and a half left to pay member assessments. Reston Association’s Member Services office will be open additional hours (Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m.-noon; and Wednesday, March 1, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) if you need to take advantage of them. Fees can also be paid online. [Reston Association]

South Lakes High Track & Field Stars Advance to States — Olivia Beckner, Sean Casey, Ronak Cuthill, Mary Gregory, Sophie Halkett, Devyn Jones, Alex Loukili, Timiebi Ogobri, Aly Rayle, Peter Sepulveda, Jack Watkins and Dont’a Whitley will all represent the Seahawks at the state Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend in Hampton. [Reston Patch]

Metro Call Center Hours Reduced Starting Next Month — Citing a five-year decline in call volume, Metro’s Customer Information Call Center will cut its hours of availability beginning March 1. Metro says fewer customers are using the call center as they rely more on sources of information including mobile apps and social media. [WMATA]

Washington’s Day Holiday Will Alter Public Transportation — Both Metro and Fairfax Connector schedules will be different Monday because of the federal holiday. [WMATA/Fairfax Connector]

by Karen Goff April 4, 2016 at 10:00 am 3 Comments

Bus relocatiion 1

Due to station improvement work at the Reston Town Center Transit Station, bus stops will be temporarily relocated to Bluemont Way.

During Phase 1 (Monday, April 4 – Wednesday, April 27), Route 605, 950, RIBS 1, and RIBS 4 will be relocated.

During Phase 2 (Thursday, April 28 – Friday, May 20), Route 505, RIBS 2, RIBS 3, and RIBS 5 will be relocated.

The Connector Store will remain open during construction.

 

Visit Fairfax County Connector online to see more information about the Reston Transit Center and bus routes.

by Karen Goff September 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments

South Lakes High School is one of five Fairfax County Public High Schools that is taking part in a pilot program that allows students to ride Fairfax Connector buses for free as an option for getting to and from school and from school to afterschool jobs.

Students can get a special pass from the school system if their parent or guardian signs an agreement/permission form.

The ID cards will allow students to ride the Fairfax Connector (not Metro) buses for free from 6 a.m . to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The buses can accommodate bicycles.

by Karen Goff January 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

Fairfax Connector Fairfax Connector is proposing changes to Reston Internal Bus System (RIBS) service, routes 928 and 937 in Herndon, and Tysons circulator and Express Lanes routes.

The changes are in response to changing travel patterns and ridership since the start of Silver Line Metrorail service last summer, county officials said.

The proposed changes, to take place in Spring 2015, “aim to improve on-time performance, enhance connectivity, and provide more direct service for the majority of passengers.”

Fairfax Connector will host a public meeting Wednesday, Jan. 28 in Reston to explain the proposed changes and gather feedback from the public. The meeting is at Reston Community Center Lake Anne from 6 to 8 p.m., with the formal presentation at 7 p.m.

Highlights of the proposed changes include:

  • Schedule adjustments to RIBS 1 and RIBS 3 service to improve on-time performance;
  • Route and schedule adjustments to RIBS 2, RIBS 4, RIBS 5, and routes 928 and 937 to provide new and more direct connections in Herndon and Reston;
  • Route and schedule adjustments to Tysons Circulator routes 422, 423, and 424 to provide more direct connections and bi-directional service to the majority of passengers connecting with the Silver Line Metrorail; and
  • Combining routes 493 and 494, with service proposed to operate between Lorton, Saratoga, Springfield, and Tysons via the 95 and 495 Express Lanes.

Routes affected by the proposed changes are 422, 423, 424, 493, 494, 495, 551, 928, 937, RIBS 1, RIBS 2, RIBS 3, RIBS 4, and RIBS 5.

View details by route on the Connector website.

by Karen Goff December 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm 1,012 4 Comments

Fairfax Connector The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved changes to 31 Fairfax Connector routes, many of them that serve Reston-area riders who are now using the buses to get to and from Metro’s Wiehle-Reston East station.

“Fairfax County overhauled its Connector service last year in anticipation of the Silver Line and in response to changing needs of our commuters,” said Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova.

“Demand for on time, reliable bus service is rising in Fairfax County. This shift will help meet that demand and we will continue to monitor service and reach out to our residents in order to provide them a safe and reliable trip to Metro, work and home.”

Since the launch of Metro’s Silver Line service in July, Fairfax Connector has been monitoring traffic conditions, schedule adherence, and ridership on routes serving the Dulles Corridor, said Bulova.

The county says that over the past two months, ridership has increased approximately 2 percent on weekdays and 7  percent on weekends. One of the strongest areas of growth are routes connecting Wiehle-Reston East with Reston Town Center, as well as with Dulles International Airport, and the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.

Here are changes that affect Reston-area riders:

Route 505 – Reston Town Center

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • Departures on routes 505, 981, and 983 will be timed to provide an even spacing of buses between Reston Town Center and the Wiehle Metro station.

 Routes 551,557,559 – Reston South

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • An additional morning rush hour trip will be added on Route 557 departing Reston South Park and Ride at approximately 5:40 a.m.

 Routes 552,554,558 – Reston North

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • An additional morning rush hour trip will be added on Routes 552 and 554.
  • The schedule will be revised to improve connections with Route 599.

Route 574 – Reston-Tysons

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • Buses will serve the Tysons Westpark transit station via Spring Hill Road providing connections to Route 401/402, making a trip between Springfield, Tysons, Merrifield, Annandale, and Reston possible by bus.

 Route 585 – Franklin Farm-Reston South

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.

Route 605 – Fair Oaks-Reston

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • The time between buses will change from every 60 minutes to every 45 minutes on weekdays and from every 60 minutes to every 70 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Buses will travel to and from Fair Oaks Mall via West Ox Road, Post Forest Drive, Government Center Parkway, the Fairfax County Government Center, and Monument Drive.
  • Buses will serve Fair Lakes Promenade and Pender Creek via bus stops on Monument Drive at Fair Lakes Parkway.

 Route 950 – Herndon-Reston

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions and to improve Silver Line connections.
  • Departures on routes 950 and 980 will be timed to provide an even spacing of buses between Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride and the Wiehle Metro station.
  • An additional evening trip will be added in both directions to improve connectivity between Herndon and Reston.

 Routes 951,952 – Sunrise Valley Drive-Sunset Hills Road

  • A new schedule will reflect travel times adjusted for current traffic conditions.
  • Route 951 buses will serve the US Geological Survey campus on all morning rush hour, midday, and afternoon rush hour trips via Sunrise Valley Drive.

To see exact schedule changes, visit the Fairfax Connector website.

Photo: Fairfax Connector bus/file photo

by Karen Goff September 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Bus bay at Wiehle-Reston EastThe Fairfax County Department of Transportation is working on a new Comprehensive Transit Plan (CTP), a 10-year aspirational plan for Fairfax Connector and Metrobus service within the County. The CTP builds on the County’s 2009 Transit Development Plan (TDP) and will extend its 10-year plan’s horizon year from 2020 to 2025.

The county hopes to have the next draft organized in 2015, but is reaching out to the community now to get input on bus service.

From the county:

This plan will be supported by information collected through an extensive outreach effort, Connections 2015. We want you to help us develop the next 10-year plan through participation in Connections 2015. Your ideas and suggestions will help us develop bus service recommendations and an implementation plan.

We will be collecting feedback from County residents, workers, and visitors from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14. We will use your input to help us develop draft recommendations that will be released to the public for comment in the spring of 2015. Your input is an important element in crafting the recommendations for improving bus service so that the plan can better reflect your needs.

Take the Connections 2015 Survey

There will also be a community workshop in Reston on Monday, Sept. 22. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Southgate Community Center, 2125 Pinecrest Rd.

For more info on the Connections 2015 project:

by Karen Goff August 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm 2 Comments

Bus bay at Wiehle-Reston EastFairfax Connector says a few changes will go into effect beginning Monday in order to better serve bus passengers heading to the Weihle-Reston East Silver Line station.

From Fairfax Connector:

Routes 553 and 557

• Morning northbound buses will drop-off passengers on the NORTH side of Wiehle-Reston East Station. Afternoon southbound buses will continue to board passengers at Bus Bay Q on the SOUTH side of the station (no change to the afternoon boarding location).

Routes 951

• Buses will serve U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) campus via Sunrise Valley Drive both eastbound and westbound due to the conclusion of construction on the USGS entrance road.
• Buses will serve stops along Sunrise Valley Drive between Reston Parkway and USGS on all trips.

Route 980

• Morning eastbound buses will drop-off passengers on the SOUTH side of Wiehle-Reston East Station.
• Afternoon westbound buses will continue to board passengers at Bus Bay G on the NORTH side of the station (no change to the afternoon boarding location).
• The 5 a.m. departure from Herndon-Monroe will drop passengers at Wiehle north side due to a connection with Route 952 service. This bus continues westbound as Route 952 after arriving at Wiehle.

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