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by Fatimah Waseem November 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm 6 Comments

Entrepreneurs, technology companies and students are invited to tackle one of the county’s most pressing challenges on November: historically gridlocked transportation.

The county and the Virginia Department of Transportation are partnering to present the Transportation and Mobility Hackathon on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Refraction in Reston. Registration ends on Monday at 5 p.m. Space is limited and the event begins at 10:30.

Participants will have the opportunity to pitch projects for future collaborations with public and private partners. Cash prizes for ideas range between $1,500 and $3,000. The hackathon is designed to open doors for creative, new technologies that will relieve congestion, boost safety and improve mobility especially for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

In a statement, the county indicated the event is intended to “spur the development of innovative new technologies and grow and diversify our economy.”

The event is sponsored by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, George Mason University, 1776, Virginia Tech and Refraction.

Email Eta Davis for more information.

 

by Dave Emke October 18, 2017 at 11:30 am 44 Comments

Users of the Dulles Toll Road can expect to pay more in 2019, according to a 2018 draft budget presented to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board today.

No increase from the $3.50 toll ($2.50 at the plaza and $1 at the ramp) is planned in 2018; however, it is expected to jump to $4.75 the following year. Numbers presented by the Board’s Finance Committee show that is only the beginning of the hikes.

In 2023, the toll is projected to go up to $6. Additional jumps of $1.25 or more are projected every five years for the following two decades, resulting in an $11.25 toll in 2043.

The toll last increased in 2014, when it went up from $2.75 to the current rate. It steadily increased each year from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, the toll was $1.25 (75 cents at the plaza and 50 cents at the ramp).

Tolls are used in part by MWAA to help fund the expansion of Metro’s Silver Line. Nearly half the cost of the construction, about $2.8 billion, is being paid by Toll Road fees.

by Fatimah Waseem October 4, 2017 at 10:15 am 10 Comments

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:

(more…)

by Dave Emke September 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm 7 Comments

This week has been Try Transit Week in Virginia, and officials across the DC Metro area are hoping residents will take it one-step farther Friday.

Car-Free Day, according to its website, is an annual event when commuters are “encouraged to get around without driving alone in cars and instead ride a train, bus, bicycle, carpool, vanpool, subway or walk. For those that have the ability to work from home, telework also counts.”

All residents who are participating can fill out a pledge form and receive a buy-one-get-one promotional offer from Chipotle. They will be entered in a drawing to win other prizes for participation as well.

Participants from Fairfax County are eligible for specific prizes courtesy of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, including SmarTrip cards.

“With the benefits of potential commuting cost savings, increased physical exercise, fewer cars on the road and a cleaner environment, everyone is invited to try a new way to get to work,” reads an announcement from FCDOT. “By reducing the number of single-occupant vehicles on the road — or getting more people in fewer vehicles — commuters can enjoy less traffic while improving air quality and saving money on fuel, maintenance and parking expenses.”

by Dave Emke August 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm 11 Comments

Following paving on North Shore Drive, the appearance of stop lines at the intersection with Temporary Road had residents believing a three-way stop was coming soon.

It turns out, however, that is not the case.

Jennifer McCord, media relations specialist for the Virginia Department of Transportation, tells Reston Now the lines were painted on the road “erroneously” and will soon be removed.

“There is no stop sign going in with the repaving,” McCord said. “[The lines] are scheduled to be removed next week.”

More than once this year on Reston Now, readers have commented about their desire to see something done about what they feel is a dangerous intersection.

by Dave Emke August 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm 2 Comments

Elden Street will be closed between Monroe and Center for the next several hours, likely through evening rush hour. We will update as information becomes available. 8/4/17 12:04

Posted by Herndon Police Department on Friday, August 4, 2017

For the second time this week, one of Herndon’s main thoroughfares is being affected by a natural gas leak.

Elden Street will be closed between Center Street and Monroe Street through the evening rush hour, according to the Herndon Police Department. The natural gas leak was first reported on HPD’s Twitter account just after 11 a.m.

On Wednesday night, a natural gas leak on Herndon Parkway between Van Buren Street and Palmer Drive required repair. The work at that site continued through Thursday.

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

Gas Line Break on Herndon Parkway — Emergency gas line repair work between Van Buren Street and Palmer Drive will keep one westbound lane closed throughout the day. [Herndon Police Department]

Still No Stop-Arm Cameras on School Buses — County supervisors have directed staff to work with Fairfax County Public Schools leadership to determine the status of the camera-installation program, and obtain a detailed timeline regarding when the equipment would be installed. Video-monitoring cameras capture images of vehicles being illegally driven past school buses that have their flashing red lights and stop-arms activated. [Inside NoVa]

Herndon Working With Comstock on Downtown Development — A comprehensive agreement on the downtown development is the town’s top priority, its new town manager says, and they hope to get it done this year. [Herndon Patch]

County Police Demonstrate ‘Pit’ Maneuver — The maneuver involves an officer using the police car’s front fender to touch the rear bumper of a suspect’s car, causing the other car to turn before coming to a complete stop. [WJLA]

by Dave Emke July 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Need for More Athletic Fields Broken Down — In Reston Association’s latest “Reston Today” video dispatch, land-use attorney John McBride talks about the requirement for athletic fields in Reston’s Transit Station Areas. The video shows five potential sites where they could be considered. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Transportation Authority Info Session — The public is encouraged to attend an informational meeting tonight with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, to learn about its Draft TransAction Plan and provide comments. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). [Northern Virginia Transportation Authority]

Another Potomac River Bridge? — The idea to ease traffic in the region has been debated since the 1950s, and the North Capital Region Transportation Planning Board will consider listing the bridge project at its July 19 meeting. [WTOP]

Cancellation of FBI Replacement Decried — Fairfax County was one of three finalists for a new FBI headquarters before plans were scrapped. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay, among others, say the decision to abort the project was driven by President Trump’s conflicts of interest. [Washington Post]

by Kalina Newman June 30, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Weather Report for Holiday Weekend  This Saturday, expect a high near 90 degrees, but a chance of afternoon thunderstorms might impact projected fireworks shows in the area. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will also have highs in the low 90s, but there’s a chance of rain on the Fourth. [The Weather Channel]

Heavy Congestion Projected on Holiday Weekend  According to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s interactive traffic trends map, expect major traffic jams along Interstate 95 on Sunday as people travel for the holiday. [VDOT]

Residents Reminded to Be Safe With Fireworks  Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them, never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse, never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned, and never point or throw fireworks at another person. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

New Laws Take Effect Tomorrow — Take a look at some of the new legislation that will go into effect July 1, including changes to rules about absentee voting, concealed carry permits and more. [Fairfax County]

Toll Road Ramp Work Starts After Holiday  Make sure to reevaluate the morning commute starting next next Friday. The ramp from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road to the Fairfax County Parkway will be diverted through the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride parking lot, starting next Thursday night and lasting “through 2017.” [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Local Artist Wins Tröegs Contest — Marni Manning’s “Renaissance of Beer” painting was the big winner in the Pennsylvania craft beer company’s recent art contest. [Tröegs]

Herndon Man Admits to Bank Robberies — Bruce Wayne Higgins robbed four banks in Maryland and New Jersey last December. [WTOP]

by Dave Emke June 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Colts Neck Tennis Courts Closed — Drainage work and resurfacing at the courts will have them closed for about a month. [Reston Association/Twitter]

More Work on Toll Road This Weekend — Overnight work is planned tonight through Monday between Fairfax County Parkway and Reston Parkway, as crews continue construction of the Reston Town Center Metrorail station in the median of the Dulles Access Highway. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Free Smoothie for National Flip Flop Day — Tropical Smoothie Café (11684 Plaza America Drive) is giving a free Sunshine Smoothie to anyone who comes in wearing flip flops between 2 and 7 p.m. today. Blaire from “The Jack Diamond Morning Show” will be there as well. [Mix 107.3/Twitter]

Teen Star Talks About Growing Up in RestonJacob Sartorius says he faced a lot of bullying in school. The 14-year-old is becoming a sensation, though, with 14 million followers on the app Musical.ly, 7 million followers on Instagram and more than 2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. [Asbury Park Press]

by Dave Emke June 15, 2017 at 8:45 am 8 Comments

(This article was updated at 9:15 a.m. after additional information was received from Fairfax Water; and at 2 p.m. after repairs were completed.)

Fountain Drive was closed this morning between Baron Cameron Avenue and Bowman Towne Drive because of an overnight water main break.

Susan Miller, public affairs officer for Fairfax Water, says the break took place in the area of 1763 Fountain Drive. That’s near The Spectrum shopping center.

“It was a broken valve that caused the break there,” Miller said.

Miller said businesses in the building that includes HSBC bank, Verizon, Doubletake Salon and The Red Door Salon & Spa are without water as utility crews are working on the situation.

“We hope it doesn’t take all day, we’re booked.” said Chai Bui from Doubletake Salon, which sits in front of where the repairs are taking place. The staff at The Red Door Salon & Spa said they had already rescheduled most of their appointments.

Fairfax Water’s website reported repairs were completed by early Thursday afternoon.

Fountain Drive is expected to be closed for the rest of the day, Miller said.

Photos by Brooke Giles, who also contributed to reporting; map via Google

by Dave Emke June 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm 35 Comments

At its meeting Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave its seal of approval to plans to widen Leesburg Pike (Route 7) from Reston to Tysons.

The Virginia Department of Transportation project will involve nearly seven miles of Route 7, between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive, which is just before the Dulles Toll Road interchange. Supervisors approved the plan, with two minor amendments, as it was presented at a public hearing in November. (View information shared and discussed at that meeting here.)

“[This has been] a long-awaited case,” Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said at the meeting prior to the vote.

This is the latest stage of VDOT’s work to add two lanes to the heavily traveled highway, bringing it to six overall. They also plan to add facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, and make “substantial intersection and other improvements” along the corridor. Those improvements, according to VDOT, will include constructing a partial interchange at Baron Cameron Avenue to reduce congestion.

A rendering provided by VDOT shows the Baron Cameron interchange will have the eastbound lanes of Route 7 traveling under the road, connected via ramps. Westbound lanes will continue to face a stoplight at the intersection.

According to 2011 traffic counts provided by VDOT, the stretch of Route 7 carries between 46,000 and 54,000 vehicles per day. That number is expected to increase to 73,000 to 86,000 by 2040, VDOT says.

Anticipated cost of the project is $234 million. VDOT is expected to put out its request for proposals on the project later this year. Work is planned to start in late 2020 and last until 2025.

Rendering and map courtesy Virginia Department of Transportation

by Dave Emke May 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm 5 Comments

Drivers who use the northern end of Wiehle Avenue will want to set aside another couple of minutes starting the day after Memorial Day.

Virginia Department of Transportation signage on the road indicates scheduled milling and re-paving will begin Tuesday morning. It is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays after that.

The good news for drivers? The work shouldn’t take long. Only a small amount of the road will be re-paved: about 500 feet on the east side of the intersection with Fairfax County Parkway and about 700 feet between Reston Parkway and Reston Avenue.

Bigger re-paving projects are planned for Reston later this season, including on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive, Twin Branches Road, Glade Drive and North Village Road.

by Dave Emke May 24, 2017 at 11:30 am 16 Comments

A meeting is slated for June 1 to discuss the effects of widening of Route 7 from Reston to Tysons.

Michael J. Coughlin is the eminent domain, land use and zoning, and real estate lawyer for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley and Walsh PC. He will host the meeting on the project Thursday, June 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Sheraton Tysons (8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons).

The proposed Virginia Department of Transportation project will involve nearly seven miles of Route 7, between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive, which is just before the Dulles Toll Road interchange. Coughlin is inviting residents to the meeting to “learn about the project, potential impacts to properties, what to do to prepare for the project, the eminent domain process in Virginia, and the legal rights of owners and businesses affected by the project.”

This is the latest stage of VDOT’s work to add two lanes to the heavily traveled highway, bringing it to six overall. They also plan to add facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, and make “substantial intersection and other improvements” along the corridor.

Those improvements, according to VDOT, would include:

  • Constructing a partial interchange at Baron Cameron Avenue to reduce congestion
  • Relocating Lewinsville Road and creating a displaced left-turn intersection
  • Replacing and raising the Difficult Run bridge to reduce flooding

The last public hearing on the project was held in November. View information shared and discussed at that meeting here.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is slated to vote on the project design next month. Upon approval, VDOT is expected to put out its request for proposals on the project later this year. Work is planned to start in late 2020 and last until 2025. Anticipated cost of the project is $234 million.

Photo: Intersection of Route 7 and Baron Cameron Avenue. Map via Virginia Department of Transportation.

by Dave Emke May 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

SLHS Students Help at ‘Senior’ Prom — Members of Interact (pictured) recently volunteered at the Senior Senior prom, an annual dance and lunch for senior citizens, and a favorite club activity. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Water Main Break Still Affecting Herndon Parkway — A water main break Monday afternoon on Herndon Parkway between Spring and Grove streets is still being patched this morning. The inner loop is open to one-way traffic; the outer loop remains closed. Water service restoration is underway and is expected to be completed later this morning. Drivers are advised to use alternate routes. [Town of Herndon/Facebook]

Lake Fairfax Picnic Areas Closed Weekdays — Several picnic areas at Lake Fairfax Park will not be available on weekdays through June 30 because of the ongoing stream restoration project at the park, which has been delayed by weather. Rental areas will remain available on weekends. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Public Schools

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