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County Mulls Longterm Improvements to Fairfax County Parkway

Fairfax County’s Department of Transportation is exploring ways to improve Fairfax County Parkway. In concert with the state transportation officials, the county plans to begin a multi-corridor study for Fairfax County Parkway from Route 7 to Route 1, covering a span of 31 miles with 83 intersections and 17 interchanges.

The study will offer longterm recommendations for 2040 and review whether or not changes to the county’s current transportation plan are warranted. According to the county, the study will offer “intensive analysis” to spot major problem areas and deficiencies.

Once completed, the study will explore the possibility of tolling and HOV lanes on the parkways, bicyclist and pedestrian mobility, the integration of transit, and if current intersections should be converted into interchanges, overpasses, and underpasses.

The county will lead a public meeting about the study in Reston on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in Armstrong Elementary School (11900 Lake Newport Road). A presentation by the county will be followed by an opportunity for public input at 8 p.m.

After initiating a public engagement period, the county will pitch possible ideas to the public by the winter of next year and kickstart another round of public outreach. Officials plan to solidify recommendations by the summer of next year, review study recommendations with the public in the fall and explore any comprehensive plan amendments that might be necessary by the spring of 2020.

A short term study on transportation issues and recommendations for improvements along Fairfax County Parkway and Franconia-Springfield Parkway was completed in 2016. The 113-page report included a mix of recommendations, including improvements to trail crossings on the northbound ramp from Fairfax County Parkway to Sunset Hills Road.

Other meetings on the longterm study are set for today at Navy Elementary School (3500 West Ox Road in Fairfax) and on Thursday at Sangster Elementary School (7420 Reservation Drive in Springfield).

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Friday Morning Notes

Weekend road closures canceled — Closures scheduled for the eastbound Dulles Access Highway between Centreville Road and Fairfax County Parkway this weekend have been postponed to next weekend. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Tickets for Professional Touring Artists series now available — Anyone can purchase tickets for Reston Community Center’s professional touring artists series. Presenters include activist DeRay Mckesson and opera diva Elizabeth Bishop. [Reston Community Center]

If it floats your boat — Don’t forget: The cardboard boat regatta at Lake Anne Plaza is on Saturday. Teams will make their own life-size cardboard boats, which will then take to the water for an eventful race. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

Summerbration concert tonight — Enjoy modern country rock as part of the weekly “Summerbration” concert series. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tonight’s event also includes free dancing instruction. [Reston Community Center]

 

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Developing: Two People Killed in Car Crash Near Walnut Branch Road

Two people were killed and two others were injured in a car accident that happened around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The crash happened at Fairfax County Parkway near Walnut Branch Road. Northbound Fairfax County Parkway at Baron Cameron Avenue was closed for roughly three hours.

A crash reconstruction unit is investigating the incident. Two people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

This story will be updated.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

 

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Funding Approved for Improvements at Fairfax County Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved $500,000 to cover preliminary engineering for interim improvements at the intersection of Fairfax County Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive.

Planned upgrades include lane reconfiguration, signal optimization and improvements to pedestrian and bike facilities.

Depending on the option selected by individuals, the project is expected to cost between $2.2 million and $4.3 million. The board approved intersection improvements as part of Reston’s transportation funding plan in late February last year.

The timeline of the project was not immediately available.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Fairfax County Officials Seek Input on Prioritizing Unfunded Transportation Projects

Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding.

Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session.

Residents can also take an online survey by Nov. 9 to indicate preferred projects, or mail a printed copy of the survey to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (4050 Legato Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22033).

Feedback will allow the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to prioritize unfunded transportation projects in line for funding through fiscal year 2023, according to the county’s website.

Unfunded projects in Reston include those listed below:

  • Installation of roundabout at the intersection of Sunset Hills and Hunter Mill Road ($73.1 million)
  • The extension and addition of the grid of streets in the Reston Transit Station area ($500,000)
  • Construction of turn lanes and installation of a traffic signal in the area of Fox Mill Road and Pinecrest Road. ($1.7 million)
  • Extension of southbound left turn lane on Reston Parkway at Temporary Road ($280,000)
  • Addition of left turn lane and traffic signal on Lawyers Road at Twin Branches Road ($1.7 million)
  • Construction of a bike and pedestrian trail on Baron Cameron Drive from Cameron Heath Drive to Gatesmeadow Way. ($1.5 million)
  • Addition of walkway on Center Harbor Road from Heritage Oak Way to North Village ($1.4 million)
  • Addition of bike lanes or trail on Lawyers Road from existing bike lanes to Twin Branches Road ($5 million)
  • Addition of bike lanes or trail on Lawyers Road from Twin Branches Road to Hunter Mill Road ($7.5 million)
  • Expansion of Reston Capital Bikeshare ($500,000)
  • Construction of sidewalk on Ridge Heights Road from Lakewinds Drive to South Lakes Drive ($600,000)
  • Construction of walkway on the south side of South Lakes Drive from Pine Cone Court to Tanbark Drive. ($1.5 million)
  • Installation of bike lanes on South Lakes Drive from Reston Parkway to Sunrise Valley Drive ($5 million)
  • Addition of walkway on the east side of South Lakes Drive from Thoreau Place to Sunrise Valley Drive ($550,000)
  • Addition of shared use pathway or bike lanes on Wiehle Avenue from Baron Cameron Avenue to Reston Station Boulevard ($12 million)

Other projects of local interest include:

  • Construct sidewalk on north side of Fox Mill Road (Herndon) from Monroe Street to Greg Roy Lane ($600,000)
  • Roadway widening from West Ox Road to Fairfax County Parkway (To be determined)
  • Addition of pedestrian refuge islands on Beulah Road from the entrance of Wolf Trap Elementary School to Talisman Drive (To be determined)

Countywide projects include:

  • Improvements on two existing bus routes in the Herndon and Centreville Road areas ($1.3 million)
  • Addition of five new recommended bus routes that provide north-south and east-west connections ($55.6 million)
  • Expansion of the Tysons Capital Bikeshare ($500,000)
  • Completion of identified bike roadway spots. ($1.1 million)

All project costs are based on estimates.

For more information, call 703-877-5600 or email [email protected].

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Thursday Morning Notes

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

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Public Safety Forum Set for Tonight — The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station will hold a community public safety forum tonight from 7-9 p.m. at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive, Herndon). Police leaders will discuss the “State of Reston,” pedestrian safety initiatives and crime prevention, and they will introduce the community to valuable resources. [Supervisor Cathy Hudgins]

Morning Crash Causes Traffic Delays — At about 6:15 a.m. today, FCPD reported a crash on Sunrise Valley Drive in the area of Fairfax County Parkway that caused “significant traffic delays.” All lanes were reported open again before 7 a.m. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Supervisors Approve Budget Carryover — At its meeting Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors approved $59.6 million in FY2017 carryover funding, to be used in part to fund reserves and infrastructure needs, along with other projects including the demolition of the Massey Building. [Fairfax County]

Review: ‘Disgraced’ Challenges and Chafes Audiences — The play about Muslim assimilation and identity in America, now being performed at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) left a reviewer “examining [his] own life experiences and [his] own long-time, deeply-held progressive values and beliefs.” [DC Metro Theater Arts]

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Crosswalks or Bridge Considered for Pedestrians, Bikes Over Eastbound Toll Road Ramp

Looking to improve conditions it sees as hazardous for pedestrians and bicyclists, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation is considering options for altering a crossing of the Fairfax County Parkway Trail in the area of the Dulles Toll Road.

At the location in question, the trail crosses the eastbound on-ramp for the Dulles Toll Road. FCDOT, as part of its Reston Metrorail Access Group (RMAG) II improvements project, says that is a problem spot. In its analysis, FCDOT has presented two options for making the crossing safer: making at-grade improvements including a signalized crosswalk, or constructing a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the ramp.

The options have a huge difference in cost. The at-grade improvements would cost about $633,000 to implement, according to FCDOT, while the cost of the bridge would near $7 million.

“Cost estimates consider construction mobilization, clearing and grubbing, earthwork, pavement, incidentals, drainage, erosion [and] sediment control, maintenance of traffic, and bridge construction,” the FCDOT report reads. “Engineering design cost and construction engineering inspection cost are also included in each cost estimate.”

A community meeting to discuss the options has been slated for Thursday, Sept. 14, from 6:30-8 p.m. in the cafeteria of Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive).

Comments on the project can also be made online, by writing the FCDOT Bicycle Program at 4050 Legato Road, Suite 4050, Fairfax, VA 22033; or by calling 703-877-5600. Comments will be collected through Friday, Sept. 29.

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Launch Trampoline Park to Set Up Shop at Former Sears Location

An indoor trampoline park plans to open in Franklin Farm Village Center later this year.

In a press release, Rhode Island-based Launch Trampoline Park says it plans to begin work on the facility in the summer. The park will “provide kids of all ages with endless fun, whether it is bouncing on trampolines, playing dodgeball in mid-air or falling into a massive foam pit,” the release states.

According to a permit issued by Fairfax County, the facility will be located at 13348 Franklin Farm Road, off Fairfax County Parkway. That’s the former location of Sears, which closed last year.

A website for the local park doesn’t provide a lot of information yet, but it does say it will be a 35,000-square foot indoor facility with 16,000 square feet of connected trampolines. Information provided by Franklin Farm Village Center owner Rappaport shows the former Sears building at 24,420 square feet.

Launch Trampoline Park was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Robert Arnold and former New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law.

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Woman Apparently Intentionally Struck and Killed by Car in Fair Oaks; Police Searching for Suspect

The Fairfax County Police Department is seeking suspects after they say a woman was intentionally run down by a vehicle.

The incident happened at about 10:16 a.m. in the area of Route 50 and Rugby Road. An adult female was struck twice by the car, police say.

“The woman was crossing Rugby Road,” said Tawny Wright, Fairfax County Police Department public information officer, in a Facebook Live video. “It looks like the car struck her, turned around and then struck her again.”

Police are looking for a black or blue Chevrolet or Mercedes-Benz sedan. The car was last seen traveling northbound on Rugby Road.

The driver is described as being a “younger” white male with sandy blonde hair. The car has blue and yellow license plates, police say, and it may have front-end damage.

Route 50 was closed in both directions in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Eastbound lanes have since been reopened, but may later be closed again during the investigation. Westbound lanes remain closed at Fairfax County Parkway.

“Traffic will be impacted significantly, probably for several hours,” Wright said in the original media briefing.

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VDOT Wants Your Thoughts on Fairfax County Parkway

Fairfax County Parkway/Courtesy VDOTThe Virginia Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Fairfax County, is holding three public information meetings this month on a multimodal study of the 31-mile Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286) corridor from Route 7 to Route 1.

The study is assessing existing transportation issues and developing short-term multimodal improvements that can be implemented within the next 1 to 10 years.

This project began in 2014 and is expected to be completed by early 2017. It Includes the following activities:

• Traffic/Safety Data Analysis – Spring 2015
• Identify Issues – Spring 2015
• Analysis of Existing Conditions – Fall 2015/Winter 2015-2016
• Identify & Evaluate Improvements – Winter 2015-2016/Spring 2016
• Public Information Meetings – June 2016
• Finalize Evaluations/Final Project Documentation – Winter 2016/2017

The public is invited to stop by to learn more about the study, view displays and discuss questions with VDOT and Fairfax County staff at one three meetings.

The closest meeting to Reston is on Thursday, June 9 at Oak Hill Elementary School, 3210 Kinross Circle, Herndon.

Other meetings will be held

Wednesday, June 8 at Hayfield Secondary School, 7630 Telegraph Road, Alexandria and Monday, June 13 at Sangster Elementary School, 7420 Reservation Drive, Springfield,

All meeting times are 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., with a presentation at 7 p.m.

Comments maysent to VDOT by July 5.

Visit the VDOT project page for more details.

Photo: Fairfax County Parkway/VDOT

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Friday Morning Crash Shuts Down Fairfax County Parkway

Fairfax County Police

A four-car crash closed the southbound lanes of the Fairfax County Parkway at Sunrise Valley Drive for more than 60 minutes during Friday rush hour.

Police said they did not yet know whether weather was a factor in the crash. Roads around Reston were slippery Friday morning after several inches of snow fell in the area Thursday night.

Officers were on the scene from about 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., when all lanes were reopened.

Two people were reportedly taken to the hospital, but the injuries appeared non life threatening, police said.

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