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by Kalina Newman — July 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm 15 Comments

According to a quarterly update provided Wednesday to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, construction of the Phase 2 of the Silver Line extension to Loudoun County has passed 60 percent completion.

Capital Rail Constructors reports that after nearly 4.4 million manhours of work, 61.12 percent of construction is done. They say the design process is 99.97 percent done.

The facility construction of the Reston Town Center station has continued with steel erection that started in May and will continue through August. Mechanical work projected to happen until fall 2018.

The Herndon Station will wrap up its metal decking by the end of August and start work on the roofing and skylights. The facility work of the station is estimated to be completed by this fall.

The MWAA is overseeing construction of the 11.4-mile project, which began in July 2013 and consists of six stations from the Reston Town Center station to the Ashburn station.

Despite the station construction steadily moving forward, the Silver Line extension will not be done for another three years. Construction on the cable trough is only 44 percent complete, and there are other track adjustments to make before everything is finalized.

WTOP reported earlier this week that the series of delays that pushed the opening back to 2020 will cost $95 million. The delays are being caused by a series of design changes, including safety-related work.

by Dave Emke — July 12, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

A power problem at the Rosslyn Metro station gummed up morning commuter transit on the Silver Line.

Metro’s official information feed reported the issue on Twitter just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Silver Line trains from Wiehle-Reston East were stopped at Ballston, and riders were asked to transfer to Orange Line trains to continue their commute. The problem was reported fixed within 20 minutes; however, riders continued to report delays and other issues at the Ballston, Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom stations through about 9:30 a.m.

The issue appeared to be cleared up by about 9:45 a.m.

by Dave Emke — July 10, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Metro Naming Rights To Be Sold? –The Metro Board’s Customer Service, Operations and Security Committee is expected to vote this week on whether to move forward with the idea of selling naming or branding rights to stations or even entire bus routes or Metro lines. Some board members believe selling naming rights could be one of the best ways to prevent another round of fare increases next year. [WTOP]

Reston Resident on Litter Board — Nicholas J. Surace of Reston has been named to the state’s Litter Control and Recycling Fund Advisory Board. The appointment is part of the governor’s work focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will build a new Virginia economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

First Non-Stop Flight from India to Dulles — Met with celebratory water cannons, the sold-out plane touched down at 7 a.m. Friday at Dulles. The inaugural Air India flight from Delhi was in the air for 15 hours and 20 minutes. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]

by Dave Emke — July 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Vendors Sought for Multicultural Festival — Reston Community Center is seeking arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and civic organizations of all cultures for the 17th annual Reston Multicultural Festival. The festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 23 at Lake Anne Plaza. Applications are being accepted through July 28. [Reston Community Center]

Covered Bridge Renovated — In its latest “Reston Today” video dispatch, Reston Association shows off the work that has been done on the covered bridge on the RA trail system near Lake Anne. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Metro Work This Weekend — The Silver Line will only run to Ballston this weekend. In addition, new Metro hours go into effect tonight. The system will close at 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, but is only open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. [WTOP]

Toll Road Work Rescheduled — Due to poor weather, the detour diverting traffic heading to the Fairfax County Parkway from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road exit ramp through the Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride north parking lot was canceled last night. It has been rescheduled for Sunday night, July 16. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

by Kalina Newman — June 29, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Jazz Music Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a performance by contemporary Brazilian jazz band Origem. [Lake Anne Plaza]

Metro Employees to Thank Riders Today — Nearly 700 Metro administrative employees will be at Metrorail stations during the afternoon commute today to “personally thank” customers for “their support and continued ridership” during SafeTrack. [WMATA]

Connolly Goes After Nikki Haley — The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations had to defend herself Wednesday when Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) targeted her actions at the U.N. [Washington Free Beacon]

Single Tracking to Cause Long Metro Waits — Starting Saturday until closing time Sunday, Silver Line Metro trains will operate just every 26 minutes. Fare hikes are also in effect, with $2.25 the minimum to ride the Metro. There will be no track work on the Fourth of July. [DCist]

MOM’s Organic Market to Celebrate 30th Anniversary Sunday — All MOM’s Organic Market locations will celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary with tastings and family activities. Locally, there is a store at 424 Elden St., Herndon. [PR Newswire]

Fairfax Police Inform About Snake Safety — With warm weather, snakes become more active around the area, so it’s beneficial to know which snakes are venomous and which are harmless. [Fairfax County Police Department]

File photo courtesy Carole Burnett

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

Reston 20/20 Slams Fairfax County — In a detailed report examining Fairfax County’s proposal to allow a substantial increase in population density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) zoning area, the Reston 20/20 Committee critiques the County’s motivation for the accelerated passage of the amendment. [Reston 20/20]

FCPS Free Lunch Program Underway — The Food for Every Child to Eat During Summer (FEEDS) program provides picnic-style summer lunches each day from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all. Locally, they are available at Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive). [Fairfax County Public Schools]

91 Metro Stations, 91 Songs — An Alexandria man has worked for over six years to compile a series of songs about the stops on the Metro. His completed work, which includes a song about Wiehle-Reston East, spans eight albums. [Washington Post]

by Dave Emke — June 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Last Day of School — Today is the final day of the 2016-17 Fairfax County Public Schools year. Congratulations to all the students and enjoy your time off!

Fourth of July Schedule in Herndon — It’s only a couple weeks away. Get ready for the July 4 celebration in Herndon, which will take place at the Herndon Community Center and will culminate with fireworks choreographed to music. [Town of Herndon]

SLHS Students Get Arduino Kits — STEM Engineering students at the school recently received Arduino kits. An Arduino consists of a physical programmable circuit board and a piece of software that is used to write and upload computer code. The kits were funded by a $4,000 grant from AIS Inc. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

‘Field Guide’ to Ticks — Fairfax County has provided a list of need-to-know information about ticks, which have been out with great force this season. [Fairfax County]

Metro Work in Evening Hours — After 10 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday, the Silver Line will only run from Wiehle-Reston East to Ballston. This is due to work on the Orange and Silver lines. [WTOP]

by Kalina Newman — June 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Urban Planner: Reston ‘Not Like Its Plan’ — A Harvard University Graduate School of Design urban planning professor comparing the planned community of Columbia, Maryland, to Reston: “Columbia’s development stuck more closely to its original plan than did that of Reston,” which is “not like its plan in a lot of ways.” [Baltimore Sun]

Metro Continues To Be Understaffed  Commuting to work and hear the dreaded “train will be moving momentarily?” WMATA says it’s due to overwhelmed Rail Operations Control Center workers, and it needs to hire 33 more people in order to get things sorted out. [WTOP]

Temperatures Will Roast Us  Buckle up and stay cool. Weather forecasts starting Sunday predict scorching heat through Wednesday. Triple-digit heat indexes are predicted along with potential record-breaking temperatures. [Washington Post]

County Police Warning of Fake Gold — A Fairfax County man is out $9,000 after con artists targeted him in an elaborate scam. Mandarin-speaking scammers seem to be preying on the Chinese community by selling them fake gold. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Volunteers Sought for All-Night Grad Party — South Lakes High School’s graduating seniors will attend a post-graduation party from 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. — unless they don’t get enough volunteer chaperones. Anyone interested in helping out will need to participate in a training session next week. [South Lakes PTSA/Signup Genius]

Photo courtesy Reston Association

by Kalina Newman — June 8, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Fairfax County School Board Makes Referendum Requests — The Fairfax County School Board is requesting a school bond referendum for $315 million be placed on the ballot for the November general election. The money in the referendum would go toward a plan for a new elementary school in the Herndon area as well as construction, renovations and other work at numerous other schools. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Metro to Retire All 1000 and 4000 Series Railcars by July 1 — Months ahead of schedule, WMATA announced that they will retire their oldest and most unreliable metro railcars by July 1. This is to make room for the influx of newer, chicer 7000-series railcars. [WMATA]

McAuliffe Coming to Lake Anne — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to be at Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) at about 4:45 p.m. Friday. The governor will be honoring the brew house for its three medals in the recent Virginia Craft Beer Cup. [Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook]

Meteor Was Visible Across DC Area — A fireball that briefly lit up the sky at about 10 p.m. Tuesday was seen across the region, including in Reston. [Capital Weather Gang]

Fairfax County Government Warns Against Gas Station Scammers — Fairfax County officials say there have been 21 cases at 15 gas stations where account information has been stolen via Bluetooth and money has been robbed. The scam is new and high-tech, and there are no warning signs. [Fairfax County Government]

File photo courtesy Ryan Goff

by Kalina Newman — May 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Fairfax Closures for Memorial Day Weekend  Fairfax County government offices will be closed this weekend through Monday, as will libraries, schools and animal shelters. Public transit, trash pickup, recycling centers and recreation centers will all operate on a normal schedule. [Fairfax County]

Free RECenter Admission for Veterans on Memorial Day  Fairfax County Park Authority will honor former veterans and those in active duty Monday with free access to RECenters and lakefront parks. [Fairfax County]

Appian Now Open for Stock Trade  Trading on NASDAQ has begun for Appian, a Reston-based group that provides cloud-based business process management software solutions. Managed by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs & Co., stock is available for $12 a share and the trade will be open until May 31. Appain has approximately 280 customers and will use the money raised to pay off loans and expansion expenses. [Washington Business Journal]

Scrawl Books Morning Story Time  Scrawl Books in Reston Town Center will have its weekly story time at 10:30 a.m. today. [Reston Town Center]

Metro’s Silver Line Will Get 7000 Series Railcars  Starting around June 25, the Silver Line will have two new 7000 Series trains added on weekdays to provide additional capacity. All previous trains have been the older versions that only feature six railcars, while the 7000 Series has eight. The cars are funded by the Metro Washington Airports Authority. [NBC Washington]

by Dave Emke — May 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

Metro’s Art in Transit Program is recommending the vision of a Colorado-based artist to become the motif of the future Reston Town Center Metro station.

Last week, the program unveiled the proposal of Joshua Wiener as its pick for the public art installation at the station’s walkways over the Dulles Toll Road. Wiener’s designs, which are shown on his personal website, consist of powder-coated aluminum sculptures of a bassist, a horn player and a drummer, as well as flowing red and teal ribbon designs down the corridors.

Wiener’s proposal was chosen over two other finalists. The program received 45 total submissions for the project. The Art Review Panel included the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, the Arts Council of Fairfax County, Public Art Reston and other Virginia-based visual art professionals.

According to the Art in Transit Program, the public art initiative benefits Metro as a whole by:

  • Creating attractive transit facilities
  • Building livable communities by creating public spaces that reflect the artistic, cultural and historic environment
  • Creating economic opportunities for artists, engineers, fabricators and other professionals

WMATA’s Customer Service Operations and Security Committee approved the proposal at its Thursday meeting. The full WMATA board will vote on it this summer. Upon board approval, WMATA will enter into contract with Wiener to develop, fabricate and install the artwork.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing construction of Phase II of the Silver Line, is funding the public art effort. The project’s funding is capped at $250,000.

by Dave Emke — May 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 6 Comments

(Updated at 12:10 p.m. after Reston Association’s annual Community Yard Sale was postponed.)

Another SafeTrack Surge Starts Next Week — Metro’s latest round of work will have five stations on the east end of the Orange Line closed, which will also affect Silver Line traffic. Tuesday through June 15, trains will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Stadium-Armory only every 12 minutes. This means more than 50 percent fewer trains during morning peak hours. Fairfax County is suggesting alternatives for commuters, including car pooling and buses. [WMATA]

League of American Cyclists Honors County — Fairfax County has been recognized with Bronze-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community. It is one of 416 communities nationwide that have been honored. [Fairfax County]

Community Yard Sale Postponed to Sunday — With rain in the forecast, Reston Association’s annual Community Yard Sale has been postponed from Saturday. It will now be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at 1900 Campus Commons Drive, at the corner of Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue. Those planning to attend are still encouraged to call 703-435-6577 after 4:30 a.m. Sunday to check the event’s status. [Reston Association]

County Embracing Driverless Future — Fairfax County is the testing ground for self-driving cars and connected infrastructure in Virginia. Officials recently brought in autonomous-vehicle experts, policymakers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to share their research. [Fairfax County]

Reston Couple Share Love Story — Roger and Anita Lowen are approaching 50 years of marriage. It all started, they remember, with a prank call. [Washington Post]

by RestonNow.com — May 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Reston Family Yard Sale Taking Place Saturday — At least 90 families are signed up to sell their use treasures this Saturday, May 13 for the massive Reston Family Yard Sale at 1900 Campus Commons Dr., at the corner of Sunrise Valley and Wiehle Avenue. The shopping frenzy is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. when the gates open. If the weather looks questionable Saturday morning, call 703-435-6577 for a recorded message. Rain date is May 14. All vendor spaces are sold out. [Reston Now Events]

Congress Ponies Up $150 Million Again For Metro — According to a statement from Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-10th), Congress late last week reaffirmed its yearly promise for 2017 to give the D.C. Metro system $150 million, matching the sum of the $50-million contributions each made by Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The matching grant agreement dates back to 2008, when Congress voted to create the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) by which Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia each contribute $50 million annually for Metro’s capital needs, which is then matched by $150 million in federal funds. Each year since, Congress has followed through and presented its share of the funds. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]

Reston’s Production of ‘Private Lives’ Gets Positive Review — Reston Community Players’ CenterStage production of Noel Coward’s iconic “Private Lives” opened this past weekend and is already racking up positive reviews. The D.C. Metro Theater Arts blog gave it a lengthy and complimentary review, calling it one of the group’s “classiest acts,” and praising both set designer Maggie Modig’s creations as well as William Chrapcynski’s sound design, proclaiming them “flawless.” “Private Lives” has several more show dates through May 20, including a Mother’s Day matinee. [D.C. Metro Theatre Arts]

Alexandria Schools Delayed, Locked Down Due to Armed Robbery — Fairfax County police reported Tuesday morning that several schools in the Alexandria area were on delayed start and/or were locked down after an armed robbery took place nearby in the 5900 block of Edgehill Drive, including Mt. Eagle and Cameron Run elementary schools. Air support and K9 dog units were assisting police in searching for a suspect, described as a white male in his 20s to 30s, about 6’1″ tall, wearing white shoes, dark shorts and a blue-gray jacket. [Fairfax County Police/Twitter]

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by RestonNow.com — May 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm 6 Comments

Many were shocked when WMATA announced late Friday that the next phase of SafeTrack work will mean the closing of several stations and shutdown of line segments, rather than the original plan of continuous single-tracking on certain Metro lines.

As WMATA announced on Friday, the final two SafeTrack surges set to begin this month will mostly affect the Orange and Red Lines, but as usual, the work on those lines will cause a ripple affect on other lines as well, including Reston’s Silver Line trains.

Commuters who regularly take the Orange and Red Lines may want to look into alternate modes of transportation, particularly since what was originally planned to be single-tracking of some segments will now be “line-segment shutdowns,” officials said Friday. In addition, several stations will be closed.

“In order to minimize the customer impact elsewhere on the system and to maximize productivity, the surges, which were originally planned as continuous single tracking, will instead be ‘line segment shutdowns,’ where buses will replace trains at selected stations,” officials said on WMATA’s website.

Restonians should be aware that all of this means there will be roughly half as many Silver Line trains operating during peak rush-hour than usual during this next SafeTrack surge, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16 to Thursday, June 15.

(more…)

by Dave Emke — April 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

If you are planning to attend the People’s Climate Movement on Saturday in DC, traveling there by Metro may prove more difficult than expected.

Planned track work on the transit system this weekend will have the line between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle closed down, with work being done to replace ceiling tiles at Farragut West, McPherson Square and the lower level of Metro Center. Silver Line trains from Wiehle-Reston East will only be traveling as far as Ballston, leaving every 20 minutes.

Anyone traveling to downtown DC from Reston will need to transfer to an Orange Line train at Ballston, a Blue Line train at Rosslyn and then a Yellow Line train at the Pentagon. Stephen Cerny of Reston, a former member of Metro’s Riders’ Advisory Council who plans to attend the Climate Movement, is concerned that will cause major issues for those traveling in for the event from the area.

“Given that the march will draw hundreds of thousands, Metro is facing a public relations disaster given the disruptions it will cause and a loss of all the goodwill it earned for its excellent service during the Jan. 21 Women’s March,” Cerny said. “It’s very likely that the platforms will be severely overcrowded and will likely lead to service disruptions.”

Richard Jordan, a spokesperson for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said it is not anticipated that there will be any problems Saturday associated with the Climate Movement.

“Yes, just as there was track work during the Science March last weekend,” Jordan said when asked if Metro was aware of the maintenance work’s timing in relation to Saturday’s event. “We believe that planned service will be more than adequate to accommodate ridership demand.”

About 15,000 people attended the March for Science on April 22 at the National Mall. Cerny and other activists are hoping for a much larger turnout for the Climate Movement protest Saturday. Attendance for the Women’s March on Washington in January was estimated at over 400,000.

Helene Shore, co-founder of locally based environmental group 350 Fairfax, will be traveling to Saturday’s event on a bus along with other Reston-area activists. She said there has been “some talk” about concerns related to Metro service, but she remains confident there will be a large turnout from Fairfax County and beyond.

“They are expecting lots of people coming,” Shore said. “Buses are coming from all over the country.”

Silver Line trains from Reston will only travel as far as Ballston beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, through the close of service Sunday.

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