Reston, VA

For the next month, drivers can expect changes to their weekday commutes along Route 7 in Reston.

Beginning around Jan. 27 until the end of February, drivers can expect shoulder and single-lane closures from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m Monday-Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.on Fridays, according to a press release from the Virginia Department of Transportation.

During this time, crews will be working between Baron Cameron Avenue and Colvin Forest Drive to clear shrubbery and foliage from the east-bound right of way, the press release said.

The work will prepare for an implementation of a shared-use path, more lanes and intersection improvements along Route 7, according to VDOT.

The speed in the area will be temporarily reduced to 45 miles per hour between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive until the work on the roadway is finished.

Image courtesy VDOT

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In an attempt to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation plan to install new flashing crosswalk signs in Herndon and Reston.

Five new Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons will be installed at various crosswalks throughout Hunter Mill District, according to a press release.

“When applied in the right context, rectangular rapid flashing beacons are an excellent tool to draw attention to people crossing the street and encourage drivers to yield,” Chris Wells, a Fairfax County spokesperson, said.

The beacons will be funded by VDOT and the Federal Highway Authority’s Highway Safety Improvement Program, through a roughly $1,263,000 grant to improve safety, the press release added.

Though the project focuses on the Hunter Mill District, is also encompasses the Mount Vernon, Sully and Providence districts within Fairfax County.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County/VDOT

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Users of the bicycle and pedestrian lane on Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Reston Parkway will have to find another route.

The section of the sidewalk will be closed for repairs, which are expected to begin today (Monday, Nov. 18).

The repairs are expected to last until April 2020 and will maintain utility lines and “earthworks,” according to the Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT).

VDOT asks that people temporarily avoid the path and follow directions from roadwork signs.

The construction will only affect the “right of way” land owned by Fairfax County and not residents unless permission is granted from property owners.

Image via VDOT

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Monday Morning Notes

Updates on Route 7 Widening — “In September, crews continued installing storm sewer between Amanda Drive and Baron Cameron Avenue. Work also continued in the median to construct temporary eastbound lanes between Reston Avenue and Amanda Drive/Markell Court.[Virginia Department of Transportation]

Herndon Town Council Community Round Table This Wednesday — The council is hosting a roundtable to give citizens a chance to engage with council members informally on Wednesday (Oct. 23) from 7-9 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church (651 Dranesville Road). [Herndon Town Council]

A New HVAC System for a Local Family — “One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Ashburn, joined Lennox’s Nationwide “Feel the Love” social responsibility campaign for the 2nd year in a row to assist a family in need. Installers from One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning volunteered their time to help the community as part of this program.” [Fairfax County Times]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Bikeshare in Reston is set to get a boost by early 2020.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to install 21 new stations in Reston. The stations, which are currently in the design phase, will connect denser residential neighborhoods with transit and aim to improve access to retail, community resources, and recreational opportunities, according to the county.

The program is funded by a $1 million federal grant. All stations are expected to be installed by the end of next year.

  • Green Range Drive & Glade Drive
  • Charterhouse Circle & Glade Drive 
  • Olde Crafts Drive & Cartwright Place 
  • Ridge Heights Road & Seahawks Drive 
  • Baron Cameron Avenue & North Hampton Avenue 
  • Wainwright Drive & North Shore Drive  
  • Fairway Drive & Hook Road
  • South Gate Community Center 
  • Links Drive & Wedge Drive
  • North Village Drive & Park Garden Lane
  • Great Owl Drive & Great Owl Circle
  • Lake Newport Rd & Autumn Ridge Circle
  • Reston Parkway & Bennington Woods Road
  • Vantage Hill Road & Wainwright Drive
  • Inlet Court & Wiehle Drive
  • Ring Road & North Shore Drive
  • South Lakes Dr & Reston Parkway
  • Golf Course Square & Golf Course Drive
  • Soapstone Drive Convenience Center
  • Ridge Heights & Owls Cove Lane
  • Becontree Lane & Goldenrain Court

County transportation officials are also looking into the possibility of adding a bike share station at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods.

As of last year, the stations at Wiehe-Reston Metro East and the Reston Town Center Transit Station were the most popular. Although ridership saw a dip earlier this year, the opening of phase two of the Silver Line is expected to boost ridership.

File photo

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Reston commuters may experience delays as a new construction project begins Monday (Oct. 7).

Construction will take place between Jarrett Valley Drive and Delta Glen Court on Route 7. Drivers should expect delays and possible lane closures during the night and off-hours, according to the Virginia Department of Transporation.

There will also be work between Delta Glen Court and Reston Avenue beginning later in the fall, according to a VDOT press release. The work is apart of VDOT’s “Connect Route 7” project.

Community members who use the routes at night can expect delays from Sunday-Thursday from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., Fridays from 1o p.m. until 9 a.m. and Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m.

Drivers should note a reduced speed limit will be in effect between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court, which has been lowered to 45 miles per hour due to construction crews in the area.

Map courtesy VDOT

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The first of several planned improvements to the Route 7 Corridor is officially complete.

A third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to Baron Cameron Avenue opened to traffic on Monday (August 19) — the first of several traffic flow improvements planned between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

The project includes other improvements like a third lane in each direction, shared-use paths on both sides, the replacement of a bridge over Difficult Run and a pedestrian underpass to access Colvin Run Mill Park.

The complete list of planned improvements is below:

Widening the road from four lanes to six lanes

Building continuous shared-use paths along eastbound and westbound Route 7

Raising the Difficult Run bridge above flood elevation

Shared-use trail under the Difficult Run bridge with minimum height clearance of twelve feet

Adding a pedestrian underpass at Colvin Run Mill Park for enhanced park access

Shifting Route 7 lanes away from Colvin Run Mill; enlarging culvert under Carpers Farm Way

Adding noise walls with architectural treatment (where reasonable/feasible per final analysis)

Adding stormwater ponds

Replacing/relocating the existing Lewinsville Road intersection with McLean Bible Church’s eastern entrance with a new displaced-left with two coordinated signals

At Towlston Road, shifting Route 7 away from Andrey Chapel Cemetery; adding right- and left-turn lanes on southbound Towlston Road

Widening Forestville Road to add southbound left- and right-turn lanes

Adding a third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue, as well as a free-flow ramp from northbound Baron Cameron Avenue to eastbound Route 7

Improving the approach angle from Utterback Store Road to Route 7

Lengthening left- and right-turn lanes from Route 7 to many side streets along the corridor; eliminating some median crossings for safety

Building new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps 

Officials estimate the project will be complete by 2024.

Until then, the speed limit along Route 7 has been reduced to 45 miles per house in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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A new third left-turn lane is set to open next week from westbound Route 7 to westbound Baron Cameron Avenue.

The addition of the lane is the first of several major improvements planned for the Route 7 Corridor to improve the flow of traffic.

Construction between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive is ongoing. The project will widen the ride from four to six lanes, add shared-use paths and upgrade several intersections between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

The speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court.

Eastbound Route 7 traffic turning right onto westbound Baron Cameron Avenue must yield to oncoming traffic before merging into the through lane.

The new lane will be open to traffic on Monday (August 19).

Map via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Town of Herndon officials are seeking state funds to complete sidewalk improvements between Center Street and School Street.

The $1.8 million Elden Street project would improve a critical pedestrian area to improve accessibility and walkability, especially as Comstock kicks off the redevelopment of downtown Herndon later this year.

Planned improvements include wider sidewalks, landscaping, new curb ramps, new crosswalks and new accessible pedestrian signals at the intersection with Grace Street.

The town is seeking federal funds administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Projects are approved by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The town’s Planning Commission is set to consider a resolution for the project today (Monday). A public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

Currently, this particular area along Elden Street has limited pedestrian connections. Pedestrians must walk along a narrow sidewalk. here are little to no crosswalks.

“It is an uncomfortable and unsafe environment for any pedestrian, and is unusable for someone with a stroller or someone in a wheelchair,” according to a staff report.

Here’s more from the report:

The improvements will include reconstruction of the existing sidewalk to a continuous 5′ wide sidewalk with brick pavers, construction of a grass strip between the sidewalk and curb, and the addition of ADA-compliant curb ramps., High visibility crosswalks and accessible pedestrian signalization will be provided at all intersection approaches at Grace Street . The grass strip is expected to add a minimum 3′ wide separation between the sidewalk and the curb and travel lane. This buffer may be increased to 4′ or 5′ and include trees, dependent on final engineering and design.

The end result is expected to offer a safer, more comfortable facility for pedestrians that is separated from vehicle traffic and accessible for all users. This project is not expected to require right-of-way acquisition since the curb will be moved north into the existing eastbound travel lane. To accommodate this, the existing roadway, which consists of a travel lane in each direction, separated by a stamped concrete median and dedicated turn lane, would be reduced in overall width. The travel lanes would be 11.5′ wide and the median/turn lane would be 12′ wide. With those lane widths, there is no expectation of impacts to vehicle mobility.

The segment of Elden street is within walking distance of shops, restaurants and civic facilities. It also connects directly to downtown Herndon and is a short block from Herndon Middle School and St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

In order to receive funding from VDOT’s set-aside program, the town must request funding by passing a resolution.

Photos via Town of Herndon/handout

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A major project to widen Elden Street from four to six lanes between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway will likely break ground in early 2023.

The project is expected to cost roughly $51 million, including $6 million for preliminary engineering, $20 million for right of way acquisition and utility relocation, and nearly $25 million for construction.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation said that the state is currently in the process of right of way acquisition. Construction could begin sooner if additional funding becomes available.

The project area — which is around one mile — would bring bike lanes from Monroe Street to Herndon Parkway. It also includes cycle tracks from Herndon Parkway to Fairfax County Parkway — which combine the infrastructure of a separated path and on-street infrastructure with a conventional bike lane.

Culverts over Sugarland Run will be replaced, along with a new bridge to improve stream flow and reduce potential flooding. So far, the project is on track.

Map via VDOT/website

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State crews are working on several road construction projects along the Route 7 Corridor this summer.

The speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in the project’s active work zones.

Construction of a third left turn lane from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

Crews are also continuing work to widen the shoulders on westbound Route 7 between the Colvin Run Mill area and Reston Avenue. Once work is completed, the westbound lanes will shift to the right to give crews space to construction temporary eastbound lanes.

The Virginia Department of Transportation cautions drivers to watch out for signs indicating changes to traffic patterns in the area.

Other minor work including pipe installation, median excavation, utility and temporary signal work is ongoing in the median of Route 7 between the Colvin Run Mill area and Reston Avenue.

Photo via VDOT

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Floodwaters at the Reston North Park and Ride have receded, leaving little damage at the site where water pooled up to the windshields’ of cars yesterday (July 8).

A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Transportation told Reston Now that there appears to be no damage to the pavement or drains, which were simply overwhelmed with the “massive amount of water.”

“We’re focusing on other areas,” Ellen Kamilakis said. “There are other heavily devastated areas in the county.”

Crews are currently on-site throughout the county to assess damages.

In early September 2011, floodwaters caused major damage at the Reston Park and Ride. Several vehicles were damaged during that storm.

The lot is located at the corner of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue.

Photo via AlphaPupObie/Twitter

 

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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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Unwieldy grass along medians and roads maintained by VDOT could become more of an eyesore until mid-June.

A spokeswoman for VDOT told Reston Now that the department delayed awarding a mowing contract after a potential bidder asked for clarification on a section of the call for bids.

“When this happens, state regulations require at least 10 days before closing so the bid was extended,” said VDOT spokeswoman Jenni McCord.

Bids are expected to close on June 11, after which VDOT will make a decision on the contract.

In the meantime, McCord said VDOT is working to schedule crews to mow areas in Reston.

Historically, VDOT has contracted with RA to mow medians. Without a contract with VDOT, RA cannot mow areas maintained by VDOT.

It’s unclear if the association will get the contract this year.

Hank Lynch, RA’s CEO, said he shares members’ concerns about the lack of maintenance on the roadways.

Routine mowing of the medians not only provides better aesthetics, but it also makes traveling along roadways safer. We will continue to work with VDOT and are poised to perform the mowing quickly and to RA standards if and when the state legally permits us to do so,” Lynch wrote in a statement.

Others pointed to longterm maintenance issues with VDOT’s repaving of roads in Reston.

A resident of the Polo Fields neighborhood near the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride said roads have not been paved and potholes have not been filled for years.

A community representative has been in touch with VDOT about the issue for at least two years.

The neighborhood hasn’t heard back about maintenance concerns.

Photos via K. Malaika Walton

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