News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Metro Silver Line: The Big Dig, Reston Style?

As Metro's Silver Line appears to possibly maybe be nearing possible approval for actual construction (keep clapping!), backers of a shiny tunnel through the urban wonderland of Tysons Corner are now suggesting the same should be done in Reston, thereby depriving Silver Line riders of a fleeting glimpse of our exciting skyscape of generic, mid-rise buildings through the smoke from the track fires.

Scott Monett, president of — a coalition of businesses and citizens committed to raising the tunnel option as a consideration — criticized the plan to build the rail stations in the median of the [Dulles Toll] road. "Does it make sense to put the most valuable thing, which is the station, in the middle of 16 lanes," he said as he discussed the cost of building the extension and its vital components. "Highways are not friendly to transit-oriented developments. No one wants to live by them," said Monett.
Of course, Reston is a New Town(tm), and as a result, we have, as they say in the movies, a New Plan! Instead of burying the Silver Line, why not bury the entire Toll Road and build a whole pile of new crap mixed-use development on top of it?
Mike Corrigan, an RCA director,suggested another idea for burying a transportation project, one that had been expressed in previous years and months by Reston residents to include Richard Newlon, the Reston Design Review Board chairman, and architect Guy Rando, Lake Anne resident. "What we would really like is to bury that Toll Road," said Corrigan. He said the community could use the "121 acres or so" of land in the middle of Reston.

Monett cited examples of cities that have done similar projects, including Boston, but said there is a common theme for such a project and a tunnel for the rail extension. "Land use is the issue," said Monett, adding that now is a pivotal time for Reston to determine how to use its land.
Right on -- when we think Reston, we definitely think "the southern Boston." And we all know how successful their Big Dig was!

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