News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Silver Line Metro Proposal Not Nearly as Crazy as the Reason Reston is Losing Most of Its Bus Service

RestonRail1.JPG.jpeg
Here, courtesy of the Googles Maps and this site, is a modest proposal: rerouting the Metro Silver Line from the median of the Toll Road to the old W&OD line, which would run the Metro through the actual existing urban cores of Reston and Herndon -- our beloved Fake Downtown, Herndon's slightly less fake downtown, and the Clocktower shopping center, which has a variety of international eateries under a faux Swiss chalet roof. A perfect spot for a Metro station!

Of course, this would never work, given the land-rights issues and the irate runners and cyclists who would find it hard to ride or run on their favorite trail without hitting the 900-volt third rail, plus the fact that we can't even afford to put a tunnel through Tysons Corner, an area with much higher present -- and planned -- density. But it's still a heck of a lot less crazy than this: the reason why Reston is likely to lose a good chunk of its bus service. Apparently the airport authority wants to use the money instead to build a "mini-Beltway" through the fertile particleboard McMansions of Loudoun County to create a loop around the airport! No, really:
Late last year, the county discovered, from materials that the Airports Authority provided to the public to solicit comments on proposed toll increases, that the agency planned to spend toll revenues instead on improvements to Route 606 in Loudoun County, according to a sharp-toned letter the Board of Supervisors sent to MWAA on Sept. 14 of last year.

Route 606, the Loudoun portion of which is called Old Ox Road, along with routes 50 and 28, is under consideration for creating a mini-beltway, or "Dulles Loop," around the airport. Routes 606 and 50 are considered inadequate in this capacity, although some state funding has been approved for the Route 50 segment.

The Board of Supervisors pointed out in its Sept. 14 letter that it had contributed $50,000 to planning for the Dulles Loop in 2007 on the condition that Dulles Toll Road revenue not be used to fund the project, and the board also argued that Route 606 was outside the Dulles Corridor, where toll revenue is to be spent.

In an Oct. 19 letter, however, the Airports Authority contended that its permit and operating agreement with the state defined the Dulles Corridor as extending to Ryan Road, west of the Loudoun County Parkway, which would authorize the agency to spend toll road revenue farther west than the last stop on the planned Silver Line.

The Connector bus grant has helped to pay for routes 552, 553, 554 and 557, which collect riders from Reston neighborhoods and take them to the West Falls Church Metro Station, as well as routes 929, 951 and 952, which are "reverse-commuter" routes, serving people who work in Reston and live elsewhere.
Yeah, that makes sense.

19 comments:

  1. From the Uplands of RestonMarch 25, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    Yet again tax revenue is diverted from Restonian's wallets to other places.
    The appellation "suckers" seems apropos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The W&OD re-conversion proposal has been out there for some time.

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  3. That's so crazy, it just might work! Then we'd just relocate all the bikers and joggers to the toll road, where construction would just have to create a pedestrian road in the middle where the train tracks are currently are being built. That or the metro tracks could be raised up like a faux-monorail (or Pho Monorail?). This would serve the dual purpose of keeping the path clear for joggers and bikers (except for the huge cement pillars every 100 feet - a good way to add some challenge to the ride/jog), and adding something visually interesting to Reston's currently boring tree canopy.

    Then again, maybe this is all wrong and instead of extending the metro to Dulles, we could have the first amphibious metro in the world. Basically what I'm proposing is that the trains get retrofitted so they can travel in the water similar to those DC Ducks (http://www.dcducks.com/about.htm). Then we could have canals built instead of new train tracks, and with the canals that Rod will be steering the RA to build between Reston Lakes, we could all benefit by some local routes to the new metro stations without having to deal with traffic. Not only that, but the canals could be metro canals could be used by everyone, not just the metro - much more egalitarian than train tracks!

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  4. who cares where they put the stations? it's going to be ten bucks each way to DC whether you board from the Toll Road Median or directly from the Macaroni Grill, which means it will still be cheaper to drive downtown and park

    WMATA has no ability to control costs, and this thing will be empty with the fares they're going to expect people to pay.

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  5. The alignment horse is so far out of the barn we can't even see any hoof marks from here.

    Move on and get us back our connector bus routes!

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  6. As the budget proposal shows, Fairfax County's commitment to TRANSIT-oriented development for Reston runs only as deep as MWAA's pockets.

    Apparently those pockets have been picked by Loudoun County.

    ...Best to buy a car, a bike, or get in condition to walk a looonnnggg way.

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  7. For anyone interested in stopping the bus madness there is a Facebook group "Save Our Buses-Dulles Corridor"

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  8. Speaking of those bicyclists -- remember all the angst over restriping Lawyers Road so that there are now bike lines? In the end, I was in favor of it, thinking this would be a good compromise for everyone concerned.

    But . . . I was behind the Tuesday evening pack this past week and guess what -- they DO.NOT.USE.THE.BIKE.LANE! Yes -- instead of using the bike lane so thoughtfully provided by the "government who knows better for us than we do", they used the traffic lane. When they used the traffic lane in the old days (understandably since they didn't HAVE a bike lane), there was still one more lane to use. Now . . . they slowed traffic to a crawl.

    Hey bicyclists, this is a really inconsiderate thing to do and you may just endanger your group by people who are less patient than I was . . .

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  9. Four Words, Anon 5:57: "Honk loud and long."

    Or you can pass them using the "chicken" lane.

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  10. The bikers' excuse would probably be that there is sand in the bike lanes, left over from what VDOT spread on the roadways during the winter storms.

    I've seen this Tuesday afternoon group of Lance Armstrong wanna-be's many times. They disregard stop signs, hold up traffic behind them on roads such as Glade that are only one lane each way, and in general dislay a breathtaking "we own the road" arrogance.

    Next time they block the car lanes on Lawyers Road where there are dedicated bike lanes, I'd like to see the Fairfax County police ticket their asses en masse. But that probably would be too much to expect.

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  11. One word: Ziplines.

    Put a 34-story skyscraper in each village center and Metro station. Commuters can take the ziplines to and from the Metro. We can save money on buses and widening the roads.

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  12. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO): Soon-to-Be "Check Out My Goods in Colvin Woods"March 26, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    The cyclists in Reston really piss me off. They also ZOOM by on the W&OD Trail mere inches from pedestrians without warning that they are passing. I was almost hit the other day on a run by a cyclist who made an abrupt U-turn in front of me! Since Reston doesn't have enough sidewalks, and since the cyclists think they own the trails, where the hell are we supposed to RUN? The treadmill?

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  13. David said...
    who cares where they put the stations? it's going to be ten bucks each way to DC whether you board from the Toll Road Median or directly from the Macaroni Grill, which means it will still be cheaper to drive downtown and park

    _____________

    This is one effective way to cut down on the parking

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  14. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO): Soon-to-Be "Check Out My Goods in Colvin Woods" said...
    The cyclists in Reston really piss me off. They also ZOOM by on the W&OD Trail mere inches from pedestrians without warning that they are passing. I was almost hit the other day on a run by a cyclist who made an abrupt U-turn in front of me! Since Reston doesn't have enough sidewalks, and since the cyclists think they own the trails, where the hell are we supposed to RUN? The treadmill?
    ______

    The cyclists can be dangerous and a contentious lot

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  15. I understand that the cyclists have a "need for speed" but they should also realize that the pedestrians on the W&OD have the right-of-way. The crazies that irritate me the most are the ones that "thread the needle" down the center line just as two sets of pedestrians are passing in opposite directions. When I take the kids for a hike, we walk two abreast with the kids on the outside and me on the inside. I can't tell you how many times I've been brushed by these bespandexed idiots.

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  16. Solution:

    Return the W&OD to the more functional and socially useful purpose of a commuter light rail system that will go from Alexandria to Winchester.

    Then have the walkers and bikers share the horse trail. Don't pave the horse trail so the road bikes cannot go 45mph.

    Road bikers, ride in the road.

    HCKD

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  17. The Washington Post has an article on the bus route cuts:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/28/AR2010032802649_2.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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  18. Thanks again, Cathy Hudgins. Nice to know you're hard at work letting our money drive down the road to Loudoun County. At least we know our Section 8 housing is safe.

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  19. You best be careful about what you say, 4:32, or a certain troll might think you're a bigot.

    ReplyDelete

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