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by Dave Emke — April 19, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Reston Network Analysis Community Meeting Planned — Following the creation of the Reston Transportation Service District, a community meeting on the project status, the results of the mid-buildout analysis, and roadway classifications for the grid of streets has been scheduled for Monday at the North County Governmental Center. [Fairfax County DOT]

Legendary DJ to Meet Fans, Sign Book — Cerphe Colwell will be at Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. to promote his new book, “Cerphe’s Up: A Musical Life with Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, CSNY, and Many More.” [Press Release]

Herndon to Celebrate Most Beautiful Yards — In June and July, the Town of Herndon will honor residents who contribute to community beauty through creatively landscaped and well-maintained yards. The program is part of the town’s Cultivating Community Initiative. Nominations are now open. [Town of Herndon]

by Dave Emke — April 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm 77 Comments

An April 27 meeting on safety improvements on Glade Drive will regard proposed bike lanes and sharrows along a nearly 2-mile stretch of the road.

Information released Friday morning by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation regarding the meeting says it will be to discuss proposals for Glade Drive between Glade Bank Way and Twin Branches Road. That’s the 1.93-mile portion of the road scheduled for repaving this year by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

“The purpose of the meeting will be to gather input on various proposals to improve traffic safety, bicycling and the pedestrian environment. There will be an open house at 6:30 p.m., and then representatives from FCDOT and VDOT will present plans for the project, which includes sharrows/shared lane markings, bike lanes, crosswalks and pedestrian improvements, starting at 7 p.m.”

FCDOT said recently that there are plans for 10 additional Capital Bikeshare stations in Reston, and information provided regarding the Glade Drive meeting shows three in that part of the community:

  • at South Lakes High School
  • near the intersection of South Lakes Drive and Soapstone Drive
  • near the intersection of Soapstone Drive and Glade Drive

Bike lanes already exist along Soapstone Drive.

A meeting last month regarding the potential addition of bike lanes and sharrows on Twin Branches Road, Colts Neck Road and North Shore Drive drew spirited debate among the community. FCDOT and bicyclists say the work would increase safety for all users of the road, while other residents are concerned about potential loss of parking spaces, increased congestion and possible safety hazards for drivers.

The FCDOT presentation from that meeting is available through the county website.

The Glade Drive meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road).

Project map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Transportation

by Dave Emke — April 13, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Fine Arts Center Coming to Herndon? — A McLean-based investor group is proposing a $40 million afterschool fine arts facility at Centreville and West Ox roads, near Frying Pan Farm Park. The site could have up to 40,000 square feet of by-right commercial development in its future instead, the group’s land-use attorney said, which would not fit the “historic fabric of the property.” [Washington Business Journal]

Easter Event Schedule — Easter is this weekend, and no matter how you mark the holiday there are plenty of opportunities to do so around the area. [Connection Newspapers]

Registration for Reston Kids Triathlon Now Open — Signups for the event, scheduled for Aug. 6, began last night. Cost is $35.  [Reston Kids Triathlon]

County DOT Seeking Data Gatherers — Volunteers are sought to help count non-motorized road and trail users as part of a national data-gathering project, to be conducted in September. Among the locations where counts are to be done are Town Center Parkway, New Dominion Parkway, Fairfax County Parkway and the W&OD Trail in Reston. [Connection Newspapers]

Parkway Advisory Committee Needs Members — The objectives of the Town of Herndon’s committee are to identify current and future transportation impacts in the three jurisdictions; develop a proposed policy for council consideration for the use of the Herndon Parkway; and coordinate a list of concerns and proposed solutions for representatives of each jurisdiction to take to their respective government bodies. [Town of Herndon]

by Dave Emke — April 7, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved the installation of a speed hump on Colts Brook Drive in the westernmost part of Reston.

According to information provided within the board’s April 4 meeting package, the hump will be located adjacent to 2320 Colts Brook Drive. A Reston Association pathway between the Colts Brook Recreation Area and the Tournament Recreation Area crosses Colts Brook Drive just south of where the hump will be installed.

Colts Brook Drive runs between Fox Mill Road and Sunrise Valley Drive, with the hump to be installed south of the intersection with Thunder Chase Drive. The posted speed limit on the road is 25 mph.

Information provided to the Board of Supervisors indicates that there is community support for the traffic-calming measure. The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has been instructed to do the work “as soon as possible,” with a budget of $7,000.

The project is part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program. Also through the program, the board in 2015 approved additional speeding fines on Thunder Chase Drive in the same neighborhood. On the other side of Fairfax County Parkway, they did the same on Rosedown Drive in 2016.

Map via Reston Association

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 18 Comments

At its meeting Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to officially establish the Reston Transportation Service District, part of the 40-year, $2.27 billion plan to upgrade roadways in Reston’s Transit Station Area.

Supervisors in February approved the project’s funding plan, which includes a proposed 2.1 cent/$100 of assessed value tax assessed to properties in the Transit Station Area. That rate will be discussed and finalized when the county budget is approved in May.

The overall project includes road widening and upgrades to intersections and interchanges, in addition to construction of new Dulles Toll Road crossings, including at Town Center Parkway and Soapstone Drive. Roadway projects would be paid for with public revenue, while work on intersections and the street grid would be covered by private funding.

Under the agreed-upon plan, current homeowners in the TSA will be responsible for up to $44.6 million of the estimated cost. The remainder of the tax funds (totaling $350 million) will be collected from commercial/industrial properties and from residential properties built in the future. The rest of private funds, about $716 million, is expected to be collected through in-kind contributions to the grid by developers.

In addition, the board voted Tuesday to create a 13-member advisory group for the service district. The group will consist of the following members:

  • One member from the Dranesville District
  • Two members from the Hunter Mill District
  • Three members to represent residential owners and homeowner/civic associations
  • One member to represent apartment or rental owner associations
  • One member to represent residents of Reston Town Center
  • Three members to represent commercial or retail ownership interests, including the Reston Town Center Association
  • One member from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce to represent lessees of non-residential space
  • One member from Reston Association

Among the group’s responsibilities, county Department of Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny said, would be to “work with staff to ensure that estimated funding levels are coordinated with construction of transportation projects, that the timing of the construction is coordinated with development, and that the funding is being spent in an appropriate and efficient manner.”

Supervisors Linda Smyth (Providence District) and Pat Herrity (Springfield District) both abstained from the votes, as they have throughout the process. Herrity once again stated that the cost of the project, which he called “gold-plated,” is too high.

We’re taxing our residents out of the county and I think we’re going to see some of them fleeing Reston,” Herrity said.

A pair of TSA residents who spoke during a public hearing Tuesday, Robert Perry and Hank Schonzeit, both expressed feelings that taxing a small group of residents for work that benefits the entire community — as well as developers — is unfair.

If you’re going to have a situation where you’re going to try to flog us the most you can get away with, in the smallest possible area for the fewest taxpayers, I say that’s not fair,” Perry said. “The developers who probably live in a different state who are getting rich from this [are] the ones that should bear the payment, not us.”

Developers will be responsible for 96 percent of the private share of the project, Biesiadny said, and 53 percent (about $1.2 billion) of the project is to be paid out of the county coffers. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) said that while developers will be benefiting from the major road improvements, she believes residents will see the benefits of the work as well.

“We’re hoping it will not be considered onerous, but I think anytime we ask the citizens to [be taxed], they may assume it’s going to be an onerous assessment,” Hudgins said. “But I think they’ll see the return.”

by Dave Emke — April 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm 168 Comments

Proposed safety improvements for Glade Drive will be the topic of discussion at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation community meeting later this month.

The meeting on bicycle, pedestrian and traffic safety improvements is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road). The discussion will revolve around “proposed changes and addition of multi-modal features to the street design of Glade Drive,” according to information provided by Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office.

FCDOT held a similar community meeting last month to discuss adding bike lanes, crosswalks and road diets on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road. That meeting saw a great deal of reaction, positive and negative, from community members. The FCDOT presentation from that meeting is available through the county website.

The work is being proposed on roadways that are scheduled for repaving this year by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Project manager Adam Lind, FCDOT’s Bicycle Program manager, said at last month’s meeting that the work would improve safety for all users of the roads not just by adding crosswalks and bike lanes, but by cutting down on speeding. Lind said the work would be done at no additional cost as part of the normal re-striping process.

by Dave Emke — March 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Usage of Capital Bikeshare in Reston has reportedly been strong, and the program will likely be expanding even further in Reston.

Adam Lind, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s bicycle program coordinator, says FCDOT is working toward using a previously received federal TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) grant to add 10 additional stations to Reston. Those will be on top of the 12 already installed and the three more that have been previously scheduled for implementation.

“We are happy with the ridership we have seen so far [in Reston], especially since we haven’t fully built out the network with the first 15 stations and as we’ve only been open through the fall and winter,” Lind said. “We anticipate seeing an increase in members and ridership as we transition to the spring and summer, when bicycling in general picks up.”

Nine stations opened in Reston in October, while three more have opened so far this year. FCDOT is funding the operations in Reston and Tysons, as approved by the Board of Supervisors last year.

Data released earlier this week by Mobility Lab, an Arlington-based transportation-demand analyzer, showed strong usage of Bikeshare in Reston in the last quarter of 2016. Mobility Lab’s analysis of the numbers suggested, among other findings, that riders are taking “longer, more recreational” rides in the Town Center area as well as using Bikeshare to travel from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station to commercial and residential centers.

Lind said it was expected that the stations at Reston Town Center and the Metro station would have the most ridership, but other numbers have also been encouraging.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised that the station at Sunset Hills and Old Reston Avenue (near the W&OD) has seen such high usage (third-most trips),” he said. “We’ve also seen good usage out of the new stations near Lake Anne, which we expected as well.”

Lind said adding more bike lanes, a topic discussed at a recent community meeting, would “greatly assist the continued growth and expansion of Capital Bikeshare in Reston both north and south of the Toll Road.” There are currently no Bikeshare stations in the southern part of Reston.

Residents interested in having a Bikeshare station installed in their neighborhood can email their request to [email protected] or use the interactive map at www.cabistations.com. Lind said public outreach will also take place in the coming months to discuss suggestions about where the future stations will be placed.

by Dave Emke — March 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 110 Comments

Several dozen community members filled the cafeteria at Dogwood Elementary School on Thursday to learn more — and express their opinions — about proposed changes to street designs in Reston.

The proposal from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to alter lanes on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road drew a large amount of reaction, positive and negative, from community members who would be affected. FCDOT officials say the changes would increase safety for all users of the roads — drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians — by allowing for the addition of crosswalks, creating bike lanes and limiting speeding.

“All of this is happening because [the Virginia Department of Transportation] is repaving the roadways, so we have a chance to re-stripe,” said project manager Adam Lind, Fairfax County’s Bicycle Program manager. “The county has a Bike Master Plan that they adopted in October 2014, so we are here simply trying to implement those recommendations.”

The meeting was a followup from a November meeting at which community feedback on priorities for the three roads was gathered.

FCDOT street design community meetingResidents raised concerns at Thursday’s meeting about the potential loss of parking in certain areas, including near Hunters Woods and Lake Anne elementary schools and the Lake Audubon Pool. In addition, worries were brought up by residents including increased congestion on Colts Neck Road and the potential danger of having one center turn lane in areas with left-hand turns on both sides.

“We’re definitely getting feedback from both sides,” Lind said. “A lot of it is people who have their concerns about their specific neighborhoods, and we think we’ve done a decent job trying to address a lot of those concerns, but the point of these meetings is to get this local feedback so we can continue to make upgrades and updates to the design.”

Bruce Wright, of Reston, is a Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling board member. He said making Reston a more bike-friendly community is important. In addition, he said, pedestrian safety on Colts Neck Road is a particular concern.

“There have been two pedestrians killed crossing Colts Neck, and I think by going from four lanes to two lanes, it’s going to be safer for everybody,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great if the county goes through with that plan.”

(more…)

by Dave Emke — March 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm 7 Comments

Reston Transit Area/Fairfax County

After the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed the Reston Transportation Funding Plan last month, the next step will be the official creation of the Reston Transportation Service District.

Community meetings on the subject are slated for Tuesday, March 21 from 7-9 p.m. at Coates Elementary School (2480 River Birch Road, Herndon) and Wednesday, March 29 from 7-9 p.m. at Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road, Reston).

The $2.27 billion, 40-year funding plan, which includes a 2.1-cent/$100 of assessed value tax assessed to properties in the Reston Transit Station Area, was approved Feb. 28 by the Board. Under the agreed-upon plan, current homeowners in the TSA will be responsible for up to $44.6 million of the estimated cost. The remainder of the tax funds (totaling $350 million) will be collected from commercial/industrial properties and from residential properties built in the future, according to information provided at the Feb. 28 meeting. The list of parcels included in the TSA is available on the Fairfax County website.

A public hearing on the creation of the Reston Transportation Service District is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at the Fairfax County Government Center. (12000 Government Circle Parkway, Fairfax). Individuals interested in speaking at the public hearing before the Board of Supervisors are asked to register in advance with the Office of the Clerk to the Board.

More information on the Reston Network Analysis is available on the Fairfax County Department of Transportation website.

by RestonNow.com — March 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm 11 Comments

FCDOT Safety Improvements Public Meeting

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has scheduled a community meeting later this month to discuss proposed safety improvements.

According to FCDOT, “road diets” — converting an existing four-lane undivided roadway segment to a three-lane segment consisting of two through-lanes and a center two-way left-turn lane — are being proposed near Tall Oaks Village Center and on Colts Neck Road between Glade Drive and Sunrise Valley Drive.

In addition, bicycle infrastructure improvements are proposed for North Shore Drive, from Ring Road to Wiehle Avenue. Two options are under review:

  • Keep existing parking but narrow travel lanes to add bike lanes or shared-lane markings
  • Restrict on-street parking to one-side of the street from Ivy Oak Square to Wiehle Avenue, add bike lanes in both directions for this segment; keep existing parking from Ivy Oak Square to Ring Road, and narrow travel lanes to add bike lanes and shared-lane markings.

The narrowing of travel lanes, in the effort to reduce speeding and add bike lanes, is also being proposed on Twin Branches Road between Lawyers Road and South Lakes Drive, as well as on Colts Neck Road between Reston Parkway and Glade Drive. The addition of crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety on Colts Neck Road is also in the proposal.

According to FCDOT, the proposed improvements are limited to changes that can be made with roadway striping as part of the repaving process.

The meeting will be held Thursday, March 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive).

by RestonNow.com — February 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm 7 Comments

StoneTurn Community Forum - Terry MaynardThis is an op/ed submitted by Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 committee. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins led off her newsletter this month with a two-page article on “misinformation” concerning the proposed Reston Tax Service District (TSD) for homeowners and businesses along the Dulles Corridor, the so-called Reston transit station areas. So far as we know, no one has provided misinformation on the road tax, including Reston 20/20.

What Reston 20/20 has done — and will continue to do — is highlight the vast quantity of vital information about the proposed Reston road tax that neither Supervisor Hudgins nor FCDOT have been willing to acknowledge because, of course, it undermines the validity of having such a tax. Let’s take a quick look.

First, the foundation argument for a Reston road tax is that there is a $350 million gap over the 40-year period of planned station area expansion — less than $9 million per year — in road funding that can absolutely only be filled by another singular tax on Restonians. Supervisor Hudgins doesn’t even mention the “funding gap” in her missive, almost certainly because she knows there isn’t one. The “funding gap” was created by FCDOT to justify creating an added County tax revenue stream (at the Board of Supervisors’ direction) solely on Restonians.

The so-called “funding gap” is the result of a series of FCDOT assumptions about transportation funding that are a fantasy, plain and simple. [This was addressed in an earlier op/ed.]

That’s all not mentioned, much less explained, in Supervisor Hudgins’ letter. And some things mentioned there are less than “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Some example, her letter states, “To accommodate traffic pattern changes, reduce congestion, move traffic efficiently, and provide convenient connections to transit stations, multi-modal transportation improvements were proposed.” That statement alone is loaded with fallacies.

  • Well, yes, multi-modal improvements were proposed in the revised Reston master plan, but the ongoing County transportation proposal addresses only street improvements. Nary a word about more buses, better bike access, improved pedestrian movements, etc. In fact, to the contrary, FCDOT Chief Biesiadny has stated on multiple occasions that no added bus service is required, just a re-jiggering of current routes. Yet, the plan calls for 76,000 new residents and 41,000 new jobs; a total potential of 211,000 people living and working in Reston’s station areas. But no new bus service is needed? Preposterous! And you know that the proposed Reston station area tax will be increased to finance that obviously needed new bus service.
  • And, no, the planned street improvements will neither “reduce congestion” nor “move traffic efficiently.” To the contrary, by County policy intent, the goal is to increase congestion by lowering the acceptable level of service for traffic under the County’s new “urban standard.” Yes, you can expect to wait at least an extra half-minute or more at every already gridlocked intersection in Reston’s station areas as this “urban standard” is implemented.

In fact, proceeds from the County’s Reston road tax proposal will be primarily used (87 percent) to finance the construction of the so-called “grid of streets.” This grid is not being built to “reduce congestion” or “move traffic efficiently”; it being built to improve the profitability of the development of the adjoining properties. In fact, the specific grid streets to be financed by Restonians road tax are primarily those streets at the east and west periphery of the station areas, areas that could not be profitably developed without a public tax subsidy. From your pocket to developer profits.

Moreover, the fact that these streets will be built and the areas developed will mean more, not less congestion, in the station areas. For what it’s worth, not even the developers in Tysons are having the “grid of streets” subsidized by taxes on residents; they will be building all of them there out of their own pockets. Yet somehow Supervisor Hudgins and FCDOT don’t mention any of this. No need to fully inform Restonians, they must think.

And two bits of seeming relative good news in Supervisor Hudgins’ commentary are less than they appear.

  • First, there is the seemingly low impact of the $.021/$100 valuation impact of the proposed TSD tax on station area homeowners’ tax bill, for example, $105 per year on a half-million dollar property. Sounds OK, but it fails to acknowledge: The tax is based on 2016 dollars and will triple over 40 years at three percent inflation, totally ignores any property appreciation above inflation, fails to mention that the Board can raise the tax rate at any time — as it has already done on a similar tax in Tysons, and assumes construction costs will not exceed inflation. So, no, it will cost much more than Supervisor Hudgins’ letter says.
  • Second, Supervisor Hudgins states that there is a new “sunset” provision in the proposed tax without specifying the details. The implication is that the road tax would be used only for construction, not the indefinite maintenance of the streets and intersections. That’s a positive change, but — like the tax rate and adding needed bus service — can be undone by the Board with a simple vote anytime in the future.

So “cui bono?” Who benefits?  By our estimate based on an analysis of Boston Properties’ annual report, developers in Reston’s station areas stand to earn $45 billion over the next four decades in 2016 dollars, roughly double that in future dollars, from fulfilling the Reston master plan. And, as stated above, the County stands to receive $11 billion in property tax revenues at current tax rates in 2016 dollars over the same period.

And station area residents? They get a larger property tax bill every year and increased congestion.

What could be wrong with that?

As the late radio commentator Paul Harvey (for those of you old enough to recall) would say, “And now you know the rest of the story.” So you can accept Supervisor Hudgins’ Tetra-esque one-sided sales promotion or you can consider the proposed Reston road tax in the context of this more complete picture. If you believe, as we do, that the TSD road tax is little more than a fraud, please do any or all of the following:

  • Join the more than 200 others who have signed Reston 20/20’s petition to stop the Reston TSD tax which we will submit to Chairman Bulova and the Board of Supervisors before the upcoming public hearing on the Reston road tax proposal.
  • Share with Supervisor Hudgins your concerns about the proposed Reston road tax by any means you choose — email, telephone, letter, social media, whatever.
  • Take the time to attend and even testify at the public hearing at the Government Center on Feb. 28.

There is no good reason that Reston station area homeowners, current or future, should subsidize developer profits or bolster County coffers for basic public infrastructure requirements. Next they will be taxed for schools, parks and more. Tell Supervisor Hudgins and the Board of Supervisors you oppose this misguided and ill-conceived Reston TSD road tax proposal.

Terry Maynard, Co-Chair

Reston 20/20 Committee

by Dave Emke — January 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 9 Comments

Supervisor Cathy Hudgins/Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

A Fairfax County Board of Supervisors public hearing on Reston transportation projects set for Feb. 28 will address the projects’ funding plan. Questions asked about the project Tuesday prior to the board’s vote to approve the hearing, however, concerned design issues.

Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield District) raised a number of questions for Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, regarding concerns he has with the plan itself.

“If you take some of the costs out of the project, the impact on both the citizens and the new businesses would be less,” Herrity said.

The overall project — which includes road widening and upgrades to intersections and interchanges, in addition to construction of new Dulles Toll Road crossings — is estimated to cost in excess of $2.2 billion.

Reston Transportation Funding Plan

Herrity asked Biesiadny about a proposed Town Center Parkway underpass of the Toll Road, projected to cost $170 million. Herrity inquired why an underpass was determined to be more cost-effective than an overpass.

“Because of the topography, the Toll Road actually sits above the intersection of Town Center Parkway and Sunset Hills,” Biesiadny explained. “You would be starting below the Toll Road and having to go up and over it, as opposed to tunneling under it.”

Herrity also had a number of concerns about the proposed Soapstone Drive overpass of the Toll Road, among them the structure of the lanes in the proposal. The plan calls for two driving lanes on each side of the bridge with a two-lane left-turn area, becoming four lanes of traffic across the overpass.

The idea is that we would only want to go over the Toll Road once, so you would provide some additional capacity should you ever need it in the future,” Biesiadny said.

The four lanes over the Toll Road would be a total of 36 feet wide. The plan calls for 33 1/2 feet of space for pedestrians and bicyclists, another figure that Herrity questioned.

“So we’re going to have as much room on that bridge for bikes and pedestrians as we are for car traffic,” he said, asking for data to back up the need.

Biesiadny said projections have shown there will be a large amount of foot and pedal traffic across the connector.

Given its location adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, we do think there is going to be a significant number of people using bikes and pedestrians to access the station, as well as the development that will be occurring around there,” he said.

Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) said the community has decided that increased walkability and access for bicyclists is important to the future of transportation.

“What you will see in this project, and I think what the community has been stressing, is the compactness of the transportation infrastructure. That is, you see fewer turn lanes because, guess what, pedestrians require attention from those on the road in order to safely traverse those areas and make the connectivity. I think the most important part about it is… the value that this returns to the overall community in the way that we build the transportation infrastructure and land owners can actually construct the development. If we make a mistake there, it becomes not well used and thus not a return in value to the community and those who own the land.”

The public hearing on project funding was approved by the board and scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Screen capture of Supervisor Cathy Hudgins speaking at Jan. 24 meeting, via Fairfax County website

by Jennifer van der Kleut — November 14, 2016 at 11:00 am 45 Comments

2017 VDOT repaving proposed street design improvements (Image via Fairfax County)

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is looking for locals to share their thoughts about proposed Reston bicycle lanes tonight.

County officials are scheduled to hold a community meeting to gauge the public’s thoughts about bike lanes in four locations around the community before several local roadways are repaved. Locals can share other ideas about ways to improve safety for traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians, too, according to the county.

The streets that are under review for potential new bike lanes are:

  • Glade Drive, from Glade Bank Way to Twin Branches Road.
  • Twin Branches Road, from Lawyers Road to South Lakes Drive.
  • Colts Neck Road, from Reston Parkway to Sunrise Valley Drive.
  • North Shore Drive, from Ring Road to Oak Spring Way.

Many Reston residents already have spoken out with their thoughts on the proposal, on Reston Now.

Several said adding bike lanes to Glade Drive would be a bad idea, as the road is already too narrow with on-street parking on both sides of the road.

Similar feelings were expressed about North Shore Drive, where many residents said plentiful parking was more crucial than bike lanes. The commenters said they feel the street is too narrow to accommodate both.

The meeting is set to take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m in the cafeteria at Terreset Elementary (11411 Ridge Heights Road).

Read more about the proposed paving and bike lanes on the Fairfax County website.

Image via Fairfax County

by Jennifer van der Kleut — November 2, 2016 at 11:00 am 58 Comments

2017 VDOT repaving proposed street design improvements (Image via Fairfax County)

Local officials are looking to hear from the public about proposed bicycle lanes for Reston’s Hunter Mill District as the Fairfax County Department of Transportation gets ready repave streets in the area.

Members of the public are invited to a community meeting in the Terraset Elementary (11411 Ridge Heights Road) cafeteria on Monday, Nov. 14, to discuss the possible bike lanes, as well as other ideas to enhance safety for traffic, bicyclists and pedestrians in Reston.

The streets that are under review for potential new bike lanes are:

  • Glade Drive, from Glade Bank Way to Twin Branches Road.
  • Twin Branches Road, from Lawyers Road to South Lakes Drive.
  • Colts Neck Road, from Reston Parkway to Sunrise Valley Drive.
  • North Shore Drive, from Ring Road to Oak Spring Way.

County officials note that any alterations to the streets are limited to striping changes made during repaving.

The community meeting will last from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

For more information, including a feedback form, visit the Hunter Mill Bike Lanes project page on the county’s website.

Image via Fairfax County

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by Karen Goff — October 4, 2016 at 11:30 am 20 Comments

Traffic LightThe Reston advisory group looking at ways to raise $2.6 billion to fund Reston road improvements over the next 40 years says it is strongly opposed to a special tax district for new development in Reston’s transit station areas.

The Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group (RNAG) last month approved a document containing high level feedback on the funding plan. It will provide an update to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

RNAG says:

Public revenues should be responsible for the roadway improvements and private revenues would be responsible for intersection and grid improvements.

Tax Districts should be removed from further discussion — there is unanimity from the group that a tax district is unrealistic and should be taken off the table.

The transit areas are expected to see the greatest level of development — and will need the most street grid, lane additions and traffic signals, among other improvements — as Reston grows over the next three decades.

FCDOT’s Janet Nguyen has said $1.34 billion in transportation projects will likely come from shared public and private contributions. That money would go for road widening, intersection improvements, the Soapstone overpass, and an Dulles Toll Road underpass near Reston Town Center, among other projects.

The $1.28 billion grid network in the transit station areas — which the RNAG is currently studying — would mostly be funded by developers (and a possible service district, not a special tax district. A service district is imposed by the Board of Supervisors on a geographic area.). An urban grid is important to improve walkability and slow traffic, transportation officials say.

The county and RNAG have been looking at a variety of scenarios to fund the projects. Among the suggestions has been creating a tax district similar to the Metro special tax district or a service district, similar to Tysons (rate is .05 cents per $100 of tax assessment).

A service district is established by the Board of Supervisors and does not need to be approved by residents.

The Board of Supervisors hopes to approve a funding plan by late 2016 or early 2017.

See the Tuesday presentation prepared by FCDOT on the Fairfax County website.

See a list of expected big-ticket Reston road projects below.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-10-26-32-pm

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