News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Metro Silver Line: Thanks to Very Special Tax District, There May Be A Reston Parkway Station After All

PH2007101501531.jpgA big victory over the weekend for fans of track fires and the occasional derailing: A group trying to create a fancy "special tax district" to pay for the second phase of the Metro Silver Line extension to Dulles Airport and the particleboard wonderlands beyond got enough signatures to make it happen. Thank Reston Hospital, which was one of the self-taxing companies that helped push the signature count over the top. So, yay, there will be a Reston Parkway station after all, and hopefully it'll have the same rad '80s art planned for the Wiehle Avenue stop.

The Western Alliance for Rail to Dulles, a nonprofit group made up of Fairfax landowners, has recruited a majority of affected landowners to create the tax district, which would pay for $330 million in capital funding for the project. Fairfax would pitch in $90 million. Thirty-five landowners, about 57 percent of those affected, signed the group's petition.

"This is a time-consuming process to get these signatures," said Jeffrey J. Fairfield, vice president of the alliance and a lawyer representing Launders Charitable Trust, which owns 15 acres in the area. "I think in the final analysis, many of these landowners came to the conclusion that while times are hard now, it would have been unthinkable without rail."

The petition needs to be approved by the Herndon Town Council and the Fairfax Board of Supervisors. Bulova, who has made rail to Dulles a priority, said she expects the tax district to be in place by the end of the year, which would allow cash reserves to be built up to pay down bonds once they are issued. Tax rates would start at 5 cents per $100 of assessed value next year and increase to 20 cents in 2013.

U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), former chairman of the Fairfax board, said the announcement was critical in ensuring that Metro extends service through Fairfax and into Loudoun County.

Connolly said that although the economic climate might have delayed creation of the tax district, an announcement last month by Science Applications International Corp. that it would move its headquarters to Tysons Corner is a sign of the region's financial health.

"The case had to be made to the business community that this was a decision that was out of self-interest for the future," he said. "You do not want to be stranded without rail service, like Georgetown."
Suck on that, Georgetown! Now that Reston Town Center will soon have a Metro stop, a Barnes & Noble and a Macaroni Grill, soon the only people who will be visiting your neck of the woods will be futon shoppers and the fake ID crowd. Come to think of it, though, that's really no different than now, is it?


  1. An RTC stop, where is the Metro stop going to be placed, at the RTC or on the Toll Road?

    I am assuming the Metro is going to be above ground and can't picture the Metro bringing rail in front of the Hyatt :)...

    Does anyone have any news about this?

    I think this is good news...

  2. It's actually going to be at Reston Parkway and the Toll Road... but that's within walking distance.

    Maybe they can put in some of those Jetsons moving walkways.

  3. Ok...Interesting so just like the Wiehle Stop...

    I am wondering what studies have been conducted about the 1/2 mile + walk from RTC to the Metro Stop...

  4. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)October 14, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    What's so bad about a 1/2-mile walk? I live in Charter Oak and plan to walk to the RTC Metrorail station to take the train to my office in Tyson's Corner (where I'll once again be walking from the station). It's a bit uncomfortable to walk around some of the North Shore Drive area after dark due to the lack of lighting (especially after seeing that gang activity may be on the increase near Lake Anne, but hopefully they'll make pedestrian improvements as well when the new station is built. I can't wait!

  5. The Convict in the GulagOctober 14, 2009 at 5:20 PM

    Jeez, Bloke. Have you never seen the contortions some people go through for a close spot at the grocery store? If they can't stand the walk from the back of the parking to the store, a half-mile from Metro to RTC is going to be an almost insurmountable obstacle.

    I'm betting in the end that RTC sets up a regular shuttle servce in order to accommodate the bipedally challenged.

  6. Can anyone explain who would use the white elephant to access the RTC? The denizens of New Carrollton? It will only take 3-6 hours to get to RTC from PG. Will WMATA supply pillows and blankets for the excursion. Food isn't allowed on Metro so they better have a hearty meal before climbing aboard.

    The Silver Line: poorly conceived, badly designed, atrociously executed.

    Thanks, Gerry & Tom!

  7. Does anyone know if they are going to build an eyesore of a parking garage for the RTC Stop?

  8. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)October 15, 2009 at 12:17 PM

    Anonymous @ 2:53 AM: I, for one, plan to use that station, and I'm sure many others who work in our more urbanized areas to the east will do the same. Now if you want to go to a Nationals Game or a concert or simply to browse the capital or do some shopping in Tyson's you need only let the rails take you there. Something NEEDS to be done to ease congestion in Reston. I'm supposing you've never experienced the pleasure of driving Route 7 Eastbound at 7 AM or Route 7100 southbound at 5 PM? Just widening these roads is NOT a good long-term solution.

  9. Anon 10:21 am

    There are no plans for a Reston Parkway garage at the Metro station. On top of the 2,300 car parking garage at Wiehle there will be five high-rises and a million square feet of hotel, commercial, residential and retail space. Enough space for 5,000 new employees on site. Will they all arrive to their jobs on foot or by train? A few. There will be 20,000 new residences built in the Dulles Corridor. This will miraculously ease congestion in Reston? Obviously someone played with a different set of Legos as a child than the rest of us.


    They are stealing Reston's slogan.....


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