The next community meeting for the Reston Transportation Funding Plan will be Thursday at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Coates Elementary School (2480 River Birch Road, Herndon). The Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust will host the meeting.
“It will be a great opportunity for residents who have not been able to attend a previous meeting to learn more about the funding plan,” said Jenny Kaplan, a staff aide in Foust’s office.
The presentation will focus only on the funding plan, Kaplan said. The agenda will not include discussion of the network analysis.
According to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors:
“The proposed Reston Transportation Funding Plan addresses the $2.27 billion (in 2016 dollars) need for infrastructure improvements to support the recommendations in the Reston Phase I Comprehensive Plan Amendment. The proposed plan allocates roughly $1.2 billion of the improvements over 40 years from public funds — federal, state, local, and regional funds that are anticipated for countywide transportation projects. Approximately $1.07 billion of the improvement costs will be raised from private funds — sources of revenue that are generated within the Reston TSAs and used exclusively for transportation projects in the Reston TSAs; this will require creation of a service district fund and County road fund project for management of revenues. It is anticipated that a fund for the service district will be created in FY 2018, and a new project will be created in Fund 30040 (Contributed Roadway Improvements) for the management of these Reston road fund contributions.”
The transit areas are expected to see the greatest level of development — and will need the most street grid upgrades, lane additions and traffic signals, among other improvements — as Reston grows over the coming decades.
The cost of the improvements is expected to be a public/private split, roughly 50/50. In this framework, Reston roadway projects would be paid for with public revenue, while intersections and the grid would be covered by private funding. A significant portion of the private funding is expected to be paid for through in-kind contributions to the grid from developers as redevelopment occurs, the Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group says.
Reston Association CEO Cate Fulkerson is encouraging RA members to be “educated and engaged” regarding the plan, according to information provided in the RA Board of Directors’ agenda packet for their own meeting Thursday. However, because it is a county tax and revenue matter, the board is not being recommended to take a position.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors plans to hold a public hearing on the plan Feb. 28.
Map of Reston Transportation Service Area and chart showing cost breakdown via Fairfax County
(Updated 2:15 p.m. after the victim in Route 28 crash was identified by authorities.)
Crash Leaves Woman Dead on Route 28 — A fatal single-car collision at about 2 a.m. in the northbound lanes near the Dulles Toll Road interchange left the road closed for several hours. Gabrielle Perry, a 22-year-old from Leesburg who was a passenger in the vehicle, was killed. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said the driver, 26-year-old Andre Glenn of Sterling, is facing a DUI charge. [Washington Post]
SLHS Swimmers Break Records at States — Gianmichel D’Allesandro, Michael George and Anna Redican (pictured) all set individual Seahawks records last week at the state championships. The boys’ 200-yard medley relay team, consisting of Hunter Ellis and Tyler Ellis along with D’Allesandro and George, also set a record. The event also marked the end of coach Scott Brown’s 23rd and final season with the team. [South Lakes High School]
‘Sisterhood’ Event Promotes Togetherness Among Cultures — The Reston Chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom recently co-hosted a unity vigil for Muslim and Jewish women. The event took place in McLean last week. [McLean Connection]
Photo of sunrise this morning at Reston National Golf Course via Twitter user @JonnyMacGolf
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.
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
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will discuss a proposed February public hearing on the funding plan for Reston transportation projects.
County Executive Edward Long has recommended the board hold a public hearing on the plan Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 4:30 p.m.; the board will vote at its meeting next week (Tuesday, Jan. 24) whether to do so.
According to information provided in the agenda for the Jan. 24 meeting:
The Board of Supervisors (“the Board”) authorized the Reston Master Plan Special Study on May 18, 2009, and directed staff to initiate Phase I of the study, which is a review of Comprehensive Plan recommendations pertaining to the areas around the three planned Reston Metrorail stations: Reston Town Center Station, Wiehle-Reston East Station and the Herndon Station (Reston Transit Station Areas).
In Fall 2009, a community Task Force of 41 members (25 primary and 16 alternate) was appointed for the Phase I effort by the Board of Supervisors (Reston Master Plan Special Study (Phase I)), which included representatives of Reston resident groups, owners of commercial property in the study area and other interested members of the community. Working with staff, the Task Force was charged with evaluating existing Comprehensive Plan recommendations and identifying changes to guide future transit-oriented development (TOD) in the vicinity of the three Reston stations.
The Task Force and several sub-committees met regularly from 2010 through 2013 to consider approaches to further TOD development at the stations. Subsequently, the Task Force worked with staff to finalize their recommendations which were finalized at their meeting on October 29, 2013.
On February 11, 2014, the Board of Supervisors adopted an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan for Reston, based on the results of the Reston Master Plan Special Study (Phase I). When the Board adopted the Comprehensive Plan amendment for Phase I of Reston, it also adopted a follow-on motion to address funding of associated transportation projects. The funding follow-on motion requested that staff and the Planning Commission develop an inclusive process to prepare a funding plan for the transportation improvements recommended in the Reston Master Plan and return to the Board with its recommendations at an appropriate time.
Staff not only recognizes the significance of the Reston Transit Station Areas (Reston TSAs), but also recognizes that improvements in the Reston TSAs must be balanced with needs in other areas of the County. Staff has taken this need for balance into consideration in staff’s recommendations to the Board.
The project is expected to cost in excess of $2.2 billion.
A community meeting to discuss the plan was held Thursday evening.
The recommendations to fund the project include the following:
a) Allocate public funds through future board actions such as endorsing a funding plan, a future transportation priorities plans, or other actions of the board.
b) Create a Reston Transportation Road Fund over the Reston TSAs with the following rates that is intended to collect approximately $211 million (as adjusted for inflation).
a. Residential per Dwelling Unit Rate: $2,090
b. Commercial per Square Foot Rate: $9.56
c) Establish a Transportation Service District over the Reston TSAs that is intended to collect approximately $139 million (as adjusted for inflation).
a. Service District Rate per $100 of assessed value: $0.021
d) Adjust the Reston Transportation Road Fund rates and Transportation Service District rates in a manner that is consistent with the Code of Virginia, the County’s budget cycle requirements, and cash flow need.
e) Prioritize projects periodically; and,
f) Evaluate the Reston Transportation Funding Plan on a periodic basis to ensure that the funding contribution levels are sufficient, the funding available is being allocated effectively, and projects are proceeding on schedule.
g) Establish a Reston Transportation Service District Advisory Board to provide input on the annual tax rate for the proposed Service District, the transportation project priorities for those projects funded all or in part by the tax district, and project implementation schedules. In addition, the Reston Transportation Service District Advisory Board may also provide input on the annual adjustment of Road Fund rates related to the Grid Network and Intersection Improvements.
h) The Service District and Road Fund will both have sunset provisions to ensure that once the projects identified in the Reston Phase I Comprehensive Plan Amendment are completed, any debt has been paid in full, and any other obligations incurred by the Service District or Road Fund have been satisfied, the Service District and the Road Fund will terminate. Staff will establish the sunset provisions accordingly for each fund and as allowed by state code.
Specific public revenue source and associated revenues may vary over the life of the plan, according to information provided by the board, but public revenues from existing sources are projected to be available to fund the total amount of improvements.
Private revenue sources are expected to include $716 million in in-kind contributions, $211 million from the Reston TSA Road Fund and $138 million in service district contributions.
According to the board agenda item:
The proposed Reston Transportation Funding Plan addresses the $2.27 billion (in 2016 dollars) need for infrastructure improvements to support the recommendations in the Reston Phase I Comprehensive Plan Amendment. The proposed plan allocates roughly $1.2 billion of the improvements over 40 years from public funds – federal, state, local, and regional funds that are anticipated for countywide transportation projects. Approximately $1.07 billion of the improvement costs will be raised from private funds – sources of revenue that are generated within the Reston TSAs and used exclusively for transportation projects in the Reston TSAs; this will require creation of a service district fund and County road fund project for management of revenues. It is anticipated that a fund for the service district will be created in FY 2018, and a new project will be created in Fund 30040 (Contributed Roadway Improvements) for the management of these Reston road fund contributions.
The next Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 9:30 a.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax).
Graphic and tables courtesy Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
The next community meeting for the Reston Transportation Funding Plan is scheduled to be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).
The Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group consists of locals who seek feedback from people who are the most affected by local development and changes to the transportation system. Through the Reston Network Analysis, the county seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of pedestrian-friendly streets and paths around the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stops.
The committee’s most recent meeting on planned projects, estimated to cost more than $2 billion over the next 40 years, was held Dec. 19. Projects being discussed include:
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 coming decades.
The cost of the improvements is expected to be a public/private split, roughly 50/50. In this framework, Reston roadway projects would be paid for with public revenue, while intersections and the grid would be covered by private funding. A significant portion of the private funding “is expected to be paid for through in-kind contributions to the grid from developers as redevelopment occurs,” the committee says.
The advisory group works with the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation to come up with ways to secure funding for Reston’s network and maintaining local roadways. Last fall, RNAG expressed strong opposition to creating a special tax district, in which residents who live near the Metro stations would be taxed to help with road improvements.
Online Survey for FCPS Superintendent Available — Former Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza left last month, and the district is hosting a series of community forums to find out what residents want to see in her successor. Now, it has launched an online survey to gather information from community members as well. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Major Intersection to Be Shut Down Thursday — Fairfax County Police are asking drivers to find alternate routes on Thursday, as the entire Seven Corners intersection will be closed all day for work on traffic signals. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
SLHS Runner Sets New School Record — Olivia Beckner, a South Lakes High School junior, ran 1,000 meters in 2 minutes, 54.06 seconds at an indoor track meet in New York this weekend. That breaks her own school record, set last year, by over four seconds. [South Lakes High School]
Photo via Douglas H. Errett (@MrErrett), Twitter
Work will soon begin on Sunrise Valley Drive to widen westbound lanes, as part of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.
The construction effort was scheduled to begin Monday. But Marcia McAllister, spokesperson for the project, said Mother Nature had other plans.
“It’s just too cold” for work to start as planned, McAllister said. She said they envision getting workers on the ground later this week.
Roadway improvements near the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride will require the closing of Sunrise Valley Drive westbound lanes between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day; as well as the closure of the sidewalk on the north side of the street, between the Arboretum and Thunder Chase Drive.
“We don’t yet have specific dates for all the lane closures and sidewalk closures, because it’s an unfolding process,” McAllister said. “We’ll be sending out frequent alerts to tell people in the neighborhood and the general public.”
Once it gets underway, the work will include the clearing of trees along the street, the installation of erosion and sediment controls, utility relocations, and the construction of a new entrance road to the existing parking garage. Work on this project is expected to continue through the end of 2018.
“There will be times when the work is more intense and other times when it’s not,” McAllister said. “We wanted to give the public a general idea of how much work is going to be done there.”
Ground was broken in November on a new parking garage for the Herndon Metro Station. That project is under the guidance of Fairfax County.
“With what we’re going to be adding in that area… it’s necessary that we do some improvements to Sunrise Valley, to improve the access to the station,” McAllister said.
The future Herndon Metro Silver Line Station will serve riders at ground level in the median on the Dulles Toll Road and will serve the existing Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, with access from both sides of the road. Phase 1 of construction on the Metro station is already underway, and Phase 2 is expected to wind up at some point in the next five years, according to Metro officials.
Image courtesy Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
It’s January, and it appears the inevitable is about to arrive. Snow is finally ready to hamper our commutes.
Rush-hour drives this evening and Friday morning are likely to get a little dicey thanks to winter weather. The Virginia Department of Transportation says anti-icing action began Wednesday, and the telltale lines are evident on streets and highways throughout the area.
VDOT says more than 1,100 pieces of equipment were being stages on area roadways this afternoon in preparation for the snow’s onset. Crews are expected to treat roads with salt and sand once the snow starts to fall. Workers are scheduled to remain on duty throughout the course of the storm, plowing in areas that see 2 inches of snow or more.
Area forecasters seem to be in agreement that the biggest impact of this weather event will be felt to the north and west of Fairfax County.
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) January 5, 2017
— Lauryn Ricketts (@laurynricketts) January 5, 2017
Stay wx aware today, as the 1st accum. snow this season is expected.Remember even light amts of snow can cause hazardous driving conditions! pic.twitter.com/PlaH8jJrPi
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 5, 2017
As warned by the National Weather Service in the above tweet, even a small amount of snow can cause a major disruption to driving conditions. VDOT urges drivers to adjust their commutes to account for additional travel time and avoid driving during the storm. In addition, drivers are being asked to:
- Not overdrive conditions
- Reduce speeds and use headlights
- Take it slow on bridges, ramps, overpasses and other potential trouble spots
- Ensure cars are filled with gas and windshield wiper fluid
- Take time to update their cars’ emergency kits
Fairfax County Schools are also closely monitoring the situation, and Thursday evening activities have been canceled.
FCPS Evening Activities Canceled due to forecast freezing road conditions facilities and school grounds will be closed starting at 6:15 p.m
— Fairfax Schools (@fcpsnews) January 5, 2017
The school district offers apps and text alerts to keep parents informed about school announcements, including weather-related delays and closings.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials will hold a public meeting Thursday to show its place for a proposed design for the widening of Elden Street between Monroe Street and the Fairfax County Parkway in Herndon.
Officials hope the project will reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and enhance access to and from the busy Fairfax County Parkway.
Planned improvements include widening East Elden Street (Route 606) from four lanes to six between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway, as well as improving access management from Van Buren Street to Herndon Parkway.
Other planned improvements include a new raised median with streetscaping between Van Buren Street and Herndon Parkway, moving utilities between Monroe Street and Fairfax County Parkway underground, and replacing the culvert over Sugarland Run with a new bridge.
The proposed design also features accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians, including enhanced facilities like on-street bike lanes between Monroe Street and Herndon Parkway, and off-street bike lanes from east of Herndon Parkway to Fairfax County Parkway.
VDOT officials say they hope to have plans approved by the spring, though it could take a few years to receive authorization for right-of-way funding, and to advertise to potential construction companies for the job. All in all, construction could begin in the spring of 2022.
The total costs of the project, including preliminary engineering, right-of-way and construction, add up to just under $35 million.
Thursday’s meeting will take place at the Herndon Senior Center, located at 873 Grace St. The public is invited to drop by to view the plans and talk with officials anytime between 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Comments can also be sent to VDOT directly anytime before Nov. 28. by e-mailing [email protected] or by sending mail to Mr. Hamid Misaghian, P.E., Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030.
View the East Elden Street Widening project page online for more information.
Image: VDOT/Google Maps
Fairfax County Police said the crash occurred southbound on Reston Parkway near Fox Mill Road about 3:30 p.m.
As of 4:30 p.m., police were still clearing the scene and traffic remained jammed.
Meanwhile, many side roads in the Reston-Herndon-Dulles area are already seeing heavy traffic because parts of the Toll Road are inaccessible because of 1,500 motorcycles rolling through here on the 9/11 Ride.
Sit tight or make alternate plans if you are planning to take these roads home this afternoon.
Traffic backups on Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road may find future fixes in a series of roundabouts.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) has been studying what to do about backups on the two-lane Hunter Mill Road for years. After several community meetings in 2014 and 2015, it put the study on hold about a year ago when new software and measuring methods became available that could better gauge the impact of roundabouts.
At a community meeting Wednesday in Reston, Hunter Mill Road Study Project Manager Kristin Calkins said the new analysis shows a 10-12 percent increase in roundabout capacity.
“The new model prioritizes movements with higher volumes, resulting in an improved level of service,” during heavier traffic, she said.
Right now, what the county is looking at are estimates and models. The project would be years into the future. It needs citizen feedback, design, approval from the county planning commission and board of supervisors. It also needs money, and county transportation projects are planned through 2020.
In any case, FCDOT is looking at what roundabouts would do at Sunrise Valley Drive and Hunter Mill Road, on Dulles Toll Road eastbound and westbound exit ramps at Hunter Mill, and at Sunset Hills Road and Crowell Drive, which would also be realigned to connect and further smooth traffic on Hunter Mill. (more…)
Fairfax County Public Safety officials said Elden is shut down between Van Buren and Lynn Streets.
If you have to go to downtown Herndon, plan a different route.
Reston Now will keep you updated on this story.
If you are traveling for the Memorial Day weekend, you may want to stay put Thursday afternoon.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says nearly 966,000 D.C.-area residents will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday. And the heaviest congestion on area roads is predicted to occur Thursday afternoon between 5-6 p.m.
This is the highest travel estimate in the last 11 years, representing a nearly 2 percent increase over the 951,000 residents who traveled at this time last year, according to AAA.
“The great American road trip is back due to cheaper gas prices. We’re seeing this play out for Memorial Day, with a projected 869,600 people in the Washington metro planning to drive to their Memorial Day destinations,” AAA’s John Townsend said in a press release.
Gas prices this year are noticeably lower compared to previous years, with the national average at $2.29 a gallon, 45 cents cheaper than a year ago. Prices in the D.C. area are also down, averaging $2.28 a gallon, 41 cents cheaper.
Along with the roads, air travel is also expected to increase with a predicted number of 69,100 people expected to fly, a 1.7 percent increase from last year’s numbers.
Overall, AAA says more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. It’s about 700,000 more people than last year’s numbers.
AAA estimates that Americans have saved $18 billion on gas so far this year compared to the same period in 2015, and prices are at the lowest levels in 11 years.
Photo: Traffic on I-66/ARLnow.com file photo
The Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road intersection is being targeted for pedestrian improvements by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. The public is invited to hear more at a public hearing Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.
That location, never a smooth one for motorists and pedestrians, has become more crowded — and sometimes dangerous — since the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station opened just south of it in 2014.
It’s the confluence of two major roads, increasing development, a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station, a popular fast food area, and the W&OD pedestrian and bike trail.
The county is planning a new pedestrian bridge to improve vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station as noted in Reston Metrorail Access Group’s (RMAG) plan.
Says the county:
The bridge will be located on the W&OD Trail and extend over Wiehle Avenue replacing the existing at-grade crossing. The new bridge will accommodate both the gravel path and asphalt W&OD Trail at this location.
Minor roadway, sidewalk and median modifications will be made to Wiehle Avenue at this location to accommodate the bridge.
Several utility relocations will be required for the project site along with the installation of drainage and stormwater management features.
The bridge is expected to cost $10 million, said project manager Scott Riffner.
The project is part of the Third Four-Year Transportation Program that was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2012.
FCDOT is seeking public feedback about the bridge’s potential design elements. Find out how to give your feedback.
Here is a tentative project schedule:
- Public Hearing, Winter 2016
- Document Completion, Winter 2016
- Public Hearing Design Approval, Spring 2016
- Land Acquisition Completion, Spring 2018
- Final Design Approval, Winter 2018
- Utility Relocation Completion, Summer 2019
- Construction Completion, Winter 2021
See graphics below to get an idea of what the footbridge may look like.
Renderings of foot bridge/Courtesy FCDOT
Update, 5:30 p.m. – Fairfax County Police have re-opened Reston Parkway and Fox Mill Roads in all directions. However, traffic will likely be impacted throughout rush hour.
Update, 4 p.m. — The roads are still closed heading into rush hour. If you are planning to head that way, use Fairfax County Parkway or other routes as an alternative.
Reston Parkway is blocked in both directions from Glade Drive to Fox Mill Road as of 1:15 p.m. Thursday due to emergency repair of a gas line.
Fairfax County Police said construction crews hit a four-inch gas line on Fox Mill near Reston Parkway just before 1 p.m. Crews are working to repair the leak, but it may take more than an hour.
Westbound Fox Mill also closed until the leak is repaired, police said.