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by RestonNow.com — April 21, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Work to rehabilitate bridges and close joints on Reston Parkway will affect drivers this weekend and next.

The bridges over the Dulles Toll Road will have the work done Friday night through Monday morning each weekend, causing delays and detours in the area. In total, the closure schedule is:

  • 10 p.m. tonight through 9 a.m. Sunday: Southbound two right lanes closed
  • 8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Monday: Northbound two right lanes closed
  • 10 p.m. Friday, April 28 through 9 a.m. Sunday, April 30: Southbound two left lanes closed
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, April 29 through 3 a.m. Monday, May 1: Northbound two left lanes closed

While the northbound work is being done this weekend (8 p.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Monday), traffic traveling in that direction will not be able to make the left turn onto the westbound Dulles Toll Road. Those cars will be detoured via Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue.

The work will include bridge deck resurfacing, repair of deteriorated concrete on abutments and piers, repaving of the roadway leading up to the bridges, and joint closures. In addition, the southbound bridge will receive repairs to the concrete barrier that separates the road from a shared-use path.

All work is weather-permitting, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.

According to VDOT, the northbound bridge was built in 1959, and the southbound bridge was constructed in 1976. Both were widened in 1989, with the northbound bridge’s deck also replaced at that time.

As part of the overall project, the Monroe Street/Van Buren Street bridges and the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride ramp bridge are also scheduled to have work done at a later date. All work is expected to be completed by summer, VDOT says.

by Dave Emke — April 21, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Giving Back to Emergency Responders — Firefighters from Station 25 presented a certificate to a Reston woman who adopted a fire hydrant in her neighborhood. The woman was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in 1994 and credits emergency crews including fire units with saving her life, and she has loved and supported them ever since. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Guinea Pigs on Twitter Thanks to Local Students — At Ideaventions Academy, a specialized STEM school in Reston, students have built a computer and are using censors to get classroom pets to tweet out randomized messages. You can follow along @PepperNCaramel. [WUSA]

County Map Shows Youth Crash Locations — A map released Thursday by Fairfax County plots the locations of all 1,840 vehicle crashes involving youth drivers (ages 15-20) in 2016. In Reston, locations including Sunrise Valley Drive, the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road, and the intersection of Reston Parkway and Route 7 had the most incidents. [Fairfax County]

Another Capital BikeShare Station Opens — An 11-dock Capital BikeShare location has opened on Town Center Parkway near Sunset Hills Road, at the RTC West complex. [Capital BikeShare/Twitter]

Map courtesy Fairfax County

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 RestonNow.com — April 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

The Fairfax County Police Department reports that Georgetown Pike (Route 193) is closed just west of Great Falls due to an overturned dump truck.

NBC Washington reports the collision involved the dump truck and a car, but the drivers of each suffered only minor injuries.

The closure is expected to last into the mid-afternoon.

Map via Google

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm 3 Comments

A number of trees are reported down in Reston after a nasty storm passed through Thursday afternoon.

At the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive, a large tree has fallen and crashed onto the traffic lights on eastbound Sunrise Valley. The intersection is not shut down; however, eastbound traffic on Sunrise Valley Drive is proceeding gingerly as the through-lane is blocked by debris, including a fallen signal.

A Fairfax County police officer on scene said it is one of several reported incidents across Reston. Trees are also reported down on Glade Drive, Hunter Mill Road, North Shore Drive, Baron Cameron Avenue and Leesburg Pike.

The officer said cleanup will be contingent upon when the Virginia Department of Transportation, Dominion Power, and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue will be able to respond. There are many such reported incidents across the county, the officer said.

The storm that came through Thursday afternoon was accompanied by a tornado warning from the National Weather Service.

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 31, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

(Updated at 2:30 p.m. after Lawyers Road was reported to be reopened.)

Lawyers Road between Hunter Mill Road and Galloping Way was blocked off for several hours Friday as steady rain pounded the area.

According to an alert from Fairfax County, that area was being monitored by county crews as water levels continued to increase. The road was closed from about 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the Hunter Mill Road/Lawyers Road intersection, barriers were placed blocking eastbound turns onto Lawyers Road.

In addition, Fox Mill Road was closed in Herndon at Thoroughbred Road because of high water.

A flood warning is in effect for the central portion of Fairfax County, including the City of Fairfax, until 5:15 p.m. Friday.

by Dave Emke — March 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm 1 Comment

Traffic detour on Fox Mill Road

Traffic on Fox Mill Road was detoured this afternoon after a truck hit a pole, taking down wires in the process.

The incident took place around 5 p.m. near the intersection with Pinecrest Road, between Reston Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway.

Fox Mill Road was closed between John Milton Drive and Fox View Way, and traffic was diverted through the neighborhood.

The road reopened by 7 p.m., according to an alert from Fairfax County.

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 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

1900 Reston Metro Plaza/James Schaeffer Jr.

Reminder: Community Meeting on Street Designs Tonight — Bike lanes, crosswalks and center turning lanes will be among the topics of conversation at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation community meeting tonight at Dogwood Elementary School. Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road are being considered for the changes. [Reston Now]

Local Students Named to Honors Choir — A total of 77 Fairfax County middle-school students have been named to the 2017 All-Virginia Middle School Honors Choir, which will perform April 27-29 in Blacksburg. Among the honorees are Chelsea Camacho, Hannah Carter, Violet Sather and Thalia Tran from Langston Hughes Middle School; and Johnny Park, Hannah Townsend and Mackenzie Trimble from Herndon Middle School. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Christy Zeitz/Fellowship Square FoundationFellowship Square Foundation Names New Director — Christy Zeitz (pictured), formerly the executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia, is the new executive director of the Fellowship Square Foundation. Zeitz was also the former director of development for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance of Reston. The Reston-based Fellowship Square Foundation provides affordable housing and supportive services to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. It operates four properties, including Lake Anne Fellowship House and Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston. [Fellowship Square Foundation]

Home Listings Down in County, Sales Up — The number of active home listings in Fairfax County in January was 1,977. That number is down 17.4 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, 794 homes were sold in the month, up 6.9 percent from January 2016. The average sale price was $545,772, up 8.1 percent. [Fairfax County]

Photo of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza courtesy James Schaeffer Jr. on Facebook; photo of Christy Zeitz courtesy Fellowship Square Foundation

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 Dave Emke — March 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm 18 Comments

Roads scheduled for 2017 paving/VDOTA number of Reston paving projects have been scheduled by the Virginia Department of Transportation for this year.

According to VDOT’s website, more than 1,300 miles of roads will be repaved in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and Arlington counties during the 2017 paving season. Among the scheduled projects are the following locations in Reston:

  • the entire length of North Shore Drive (3.53 miles)
  • the entire length of Colts Neck Road (1.82 miles), excluding the intersection with Glade Drive
  • 1.93 miles of Glade Drive, from Glade Bank Way to Twin Branches Road
  • 2.21 miles of Stuart Mill Road, from Fox Mill Road to Birdfoot Lane
  • 1.07 miles of North Village Road, from Baron Cameron Avenue to Hollow Timber Way
  • the entire length of Twin Branches Road (.85 miles)
  • the entire length of Triple Crown Road (.43 miles)
  • .13 miles of Wiehle Avenue, from Reston Parkway to Reston Avenue

In addition, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has plans to make alterations to lane patterns and bike lanes on North Shore Drive, Colts Neck Road and Twin Branches Road as part of the repaving process. A community meeting on this issue is scheduled for March 16.

VDOT’s website shows the only repaving work completed in Reston in 2016 was along a stretch of Baron Cameron Avenue, from Leesburg Pike (Route 7) to near Browns Chapel Road.

Other roads in the area on the 2017 schedule include portions of Centreville Road, Frying Pan Road and McLearen Road in Herndon; and Lee Jackson Memorial Highway (U.S. Route 50) at the Fairfax County Parkway interchange.

VDOT says repaving work is “usually limited to outside of rush hours,” with work in residential areas typically scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

Check VDOT’s interactive map for more.

Map via VDOT

by Dave Emke — February 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm 14 Comments

Reston Transit Area/Fairfax County

At their meeting last week, the Reston Association Board of Directors officially took a position against a residential tax related to the $2.27 billion Reston Transportation Funding Plan.

Saying that RA has historically not taken a stance on county tax issues, the original recommendation to the board from land-use attorney John McBride was to not do so. Director Sherri Hebert (Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District), though, said she believes there should be no special tax and that it would behoove the board to go on record with that stance.

“Are we going to let this happen? There are so many things that come along with this tax for the residential units within the [Transit Station Area],” she said. “We hope that every cluster that starts to pop up in the TSA we’re going to bring into RA, so I would think that we would want to make a stance that this needs to be paid for by the developers.”

Director Julie Bitzer (South Lakes District) agreed with Hebert’s assessment.

“As we seek to make in-roads into what’s becoming more residential within that corridor, it’s important that we not be short-sighted in our anticipation of addressing those concerns,” she said.

The tax would be on all types of real estate, not just residential, McBride clarified.

The motion passed by RA directors Thursday states that while they recognize the improvements are needed to keep pace with development, they do not want the proposed service district tax applied to residential properties within the TSA.

“I think we need to have a longer-term strategy… that takes these issues into account,” Michael Sanio, RA Board vice president, said. “We should not be silent, we should not just have these events happen and us not have a voice in them.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the plan today at 4:30 p.m.

Map of Reston Transit Station Area via Fairfax County

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