Reston, VA

The installation of a “Watch for Children” sign is planned at Pinoak Lane in Reston in order to help calm residential traffic in the area.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the mitigation technique at a board meeting on Nov. 17, according to draft meeting materials.

The project is expected to cost $400 as is part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program (RTAP). The program allows the county to install similar signs at the primary entrances of residential neighborhoods or in areas where there are areas where more children may congregate, including playgrounds, community centers, and daycares. 

In a memo, county staff noted that the community wants the sign to be installed. Each request is reviewed by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, which verifies that proposed signs will not conflict with any other traffic control devices.

Once the sign is approved by the board, installation is expected by the end of the year.

Image via Google Maps

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Beginning July 28, lane shifts and traffic patterns will be changing between Utterback Store Road and Reston Avenue.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be adding a third lane and shared-use paths in each direction, running about seven miles along Route 7. 

The department is also adding a pedestrian underpass to access Colvin Run Mill Park, replacing and raising the bridge over Difficult Run and making more bicycle, pedestrian and intersection improvements, according to a statement from the department. 

Work shifts will take place during daytime and overnight hours, according to the statement. 

Starting on or around August 3, cleaning crews will begin work clearing during the daytime hours. All residences, businesses, and public facilities will still be accessible. 

The speed limit on Route 7 will be reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. 

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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A local homeowners association has installed yard signs to encourage drivers to slow down following aSouth Lakes High School teenager was killed in a hit-and-run last year.

Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano, 16, was struck by a vehicle while returning home from work at Reston’s Cafesano. Local police have not disclosed any leads on the case.

Serrano was crossing South Lakes Drive toward Castle Rock Square near the Bristol House Condos when he was hit by a car.

According to a report by NBC 4, which first reported the installation of the signs, the local homeowners association installed signs in late November to encourage residents to slow down.

Residents are also considering implementing a fine if two or more neighbors spot someone driving at a speed of more than 10 mph.

Photo via GoFundMe

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Monday Morning Notes

Traffic Changes on Dulles Toll Road and Sunset Hill Road This Week — Lane closures are scheduled beginning today (Monday) through Friday, Nov. 22, along the eastbound and northbound Dulles Toll Road and eastbound Sunset Hills Road near the future Reston Town Center Metro Station. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Owner of Public Interest Registry to Sell Organization — The owner of Reston-based Public Internet Registry, which oversees customers in the .org domain, is set to sell the organization to a private equity company. [Washington Business Journal]

Free Locking Devices Available for Medications, Firearms — The county is offering free cable and trigger locks ad locking medication boxes. Individuals interested in the items can email [email protected] for more information. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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One of the region’s worst bottlenecks is expected to get some relief after state Gov. Ralph Northam announced a plan to expand the American Legion Bridge.

Virginia and Maryland, which will take the lead on the project, which Northam said was a “once-in-a-generation achievement for the capital region.” The interstate compact has been named the “Capital Beltway Accord”

Once completed, existing lanes in each direction across the Potomac River will be replaced and two new Express Lanes will be added in each direction for roughly three miles between George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia to River Road in Maryland. Trails on both sides of the Potomac River are planned to improve bicycle and pedestrian access.

“This is once-in-a-generation project that will improve accessibility throughout the region,” said Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “This is a milestone in regional cooperation. We in Virginia look forward to working hand-in-hand with Maryland to deliver this transformative transportation solution.”

Officials expect the changes to reduce congestion in regular lanes by 25 percent, providing 40 percent more lane capacity over the old bridge.

While Maryland would rebuild the Legion Bridge, Virginia would pay nearly half of the cost.

No homes or businesses are expected to require relocation as a result of the project, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Daily traffic on the American Legion Bridge has grown by 390 percent since the bridge opened in 1962.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Annual Jigsaw Puzzle Sale Kicks Off Tomorrow  The Friends of Reston Regional Library will hold an annual jigsaw sale tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. [Reston Regional Library]

Delays on Leesburg Pike at Drainesville Road — Expect delays on Leesburg Pike at Drainesville Road this morning due to a crash. No left turns are allowed at the intersection and police encourage drivers to use caution. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Reston Association Website Back Online — The association’s website, which went down yesterday due to technical issues, is back online. The board is expected to meet tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss the budget and other issues. [Reston Association]

Photo via Flickr/Dario iparo

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Update on Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m.: The road was reopened early Friday morning.

Commuters passing through Georgetown Pike at Seneca Road should plan to take a detour today (Thursday).

The Fairfax County Police Department indicated that the road is shutdown due to emergency repairs.

It is unclear how long the road will remain shutdown.

No other information was immediately available.

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New speed humps are expected to be installed within the next several weeks along Rosedown Drive.

Four humps will be added to the road the request of the local homeowners association. The initiative is part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program, which allows roads to be review for traffic calming procedures if requested by a board member.

Other speed humps could be added to Beverly Drive in Ashburn.

The total cost of both projects is $56,000. Funds are already appropriated in the county’s general fund.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on the projects at a meeting on Tuesday, July 16. If approved, construction would begin as soon as possible.

Map via Google Maps

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Monday Morning Notes

Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors to Hold Annual Public Hearing Tonight — Attendees will learn more about RCC’s plans for the future, including a status report on the renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center and the center’s annual report and strategic plan. The hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods. [Reston Community Center]

Flash Flood Watch In Effect Today — A flash flood watch is in effect from 2 p.m. through this evening. Widespread thunderstorms and showers are expected. [National Weather Service]

Route 7 Widening Project to Provide Traffic Relief Soon — “The $313.9 million project is designed to ease congestion on a section of Route 7 that links northern and western Fairfax County and includes the busy Tysons area, which is undergoing a massive transformation of its own. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority provided $10 million in funding. Other money for the project comes from Fairfax County and the state.” [The Washington Post]

Overnight Closures of Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Airport Access Road Ramps Planned This Week — “The ramps from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road and the eastbound Dulles Airport Access Road to the southbound I-495 (Capital Beltway) general purpose lanes will be closed nightly Monday night, June 17 through Friday night, June 21 for bridge work as part of the Jones Branch Connector project, ” [Virginia Department of Transportation]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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The Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors greenlighted cut-through restrictions on Thomas Avenue today (June 4).

The restrictions would end Thomas Avenue serving as a conduit to get to Route 7 and the resulting traffic jams during rush hour along the narrow residential road.

Back in January, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) presented potential solutions and gathered feedback from locals concerning ways to limit cut-through traffic at the congested street that lies north of Herndon.

Now, VDOT can install a “No Right Turn” sign from southbound Algonkian Parkway onto westbound Thomas Avenue between 7-10 a.m.

This change has been in the works for almost three years, starting in 2016 with the county board endorsing a resolution to VDOT requesting that the avenue get considered for measures that reduce its volume of cut-through traffic.

Photo via Google Maps

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State and local transportation officials have been working for more than a year on clearing the Soapstone Connector through the environmental approval phase — one of the latest hurdles for the roughly $170 million project.

The connector — which extends Soapstone Drive from Sunrise Valley Drive over the Dulles Toll Road to Sunset Hills Road — provides a new north-south alternative to tackle increasing traffic congestion on Wiehle Avenue. By the time the project breaks ground, hundreds of additional residential units are expected to come on the market in Reston.

County transportation officials are working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to determine the next steps for the project after the state determined a group of buildings on Association Drive the project could cut through are considered historic. The Fairfax County Department of Transportation must conduct an alternatives analysis to find possible ways to reduce the impact on the buildings.

Discussions have been ongoing for more than year. The county’s Architectural Review Board first determined the collection of buildings could be historically significant in early 2018. Since then, county staff have been trying to chart the best path forward to minimize the impact on the buildings  — which are considered historic as a collection, but not on an individual basis.

More hurdles are expected as the project goes through design and planning. Construction isn’t expected to begin until the mid to late 2020s.

“Anytime you’re building a new major project in a built environment, it’s more challenging than if we’re working out in a cornfield,” Tom Biesiadny, FCDOT’s director, told Reston Now. “None of them are insurmountable.”

Although funding for the project has not been secured yet, Biesiadny says the county has enough dollars to finish project design, which will move forward once the county receives necessary environmental approvals. The county plans to then tackle right-of-way and land acquisition between 2022 and 2024. Utility relocation is also complicated by the fact that area businesses rely on fiber optic cables along Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road.

“At the moment, money is not holding anything up,” Biesiadny said. “It’s several years out before we need the construction dollars.”

So far, the project has $24 million secured from federal, regional and local funds. A $45.4 million grand application for Smart Scale funding has been submitted. The county plans to continue to aggressively apply for grant funding.

The connector has been on the county’s planning books for years. A hybrid design for the project received county approval in 2014.

Map via Fairfax County Government

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Update (11:22 p.m.): Delays have cleared, according to the Herndon Police Department. No information about the crash was released.

Earlier:

If you’re headed down the southbound lanes of Elden Street, be on the alert.

The Herndon Police Department said to expect significant delays on the 1200 block of the street due to an accident.

No other information was immediately available.

This story has been updated.

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Updated at 3:25 p.m. — Herndon police tweeted at 3:18 p.m. that all of the lanes are now open.

Earlier: Plan on giving yourself more time if you’re going to drive on Elden Street by the Town Hall today.

The Herndon Police Department tweeted at 9:41 a.m. that utility work in the downtown area has traffic alternating one lane on Elden Street between Spring and Center streets.

The utility work will continue until around 3 p.m., police say.

Drivers should expect delays.

Image via Google Maps

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Updated at 9 a.m. — All lanes are now open.

Earlier: Herndon Parkway is closed near Summerfield Drive due to an accident.

Herndon Police tweeted about the closure at 8:21 a.m. today (Jan. 30).

Drivers and pedestrians should follow police direction, according to the tweet.

Image via Google Maps

This story has been updated

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Update at 8:25 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Wednesday.

Earlier: Traffic is already starting to back up as commuters head home early to beat expected icy roads from today’s rain and snow.

Traffic is heavy heading westbound on the Dulles Toll Road, according to Google Maps, and drivers should also expect scattered heavy traffic on the Reston Parkway and other primary roads around the area.

A Winter Weather Advisory is currently in effect. Forecasters are warning commuters to be aware of potential travel disruptions and allow for extra time getting back in the evening. Additional problems on the roads are possible Wednesday morning.

From the National Weather Service:

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT…

* WHAT…Snow, mixed with rain before 5 PM, will turn to all snow by 5 PM this afternoon, and continue through the evening rush before ending between 7 and 9 PM this evening. Total snowfall accumulation around one inch is expected.

* WHERE…Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, the District of Columbia and its southern and eastern suburbs.

* WHEN…Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until midnight EST tonight.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Temperatures will fall below freezing during the evening rush, causing the potential for wet or slushy surfaces to freeze.

Classes and activities at the Reston Community Center are canceled after 3 p.m. today, and RCC facilities are set to close by 5 p.m. The Reston Association offices also closed at 3 p.m.

Fairfax County public schools closed two hours early today.

Flakes started in the Reston area earlier this afternoon. As of 4 p.m., some local roads were becoming snow-covered.

 

While drivers may not be enjoying the weather right now, at least one furry local is.

Images via Google Maps and Virginia Department of Transportation

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