News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reston Parkway Metro: Fancypants Architecture Critic States the Obvious

Targetville Metro.jpg

During a talk sponsored by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force That Decided to Make Their Name Even Longer and More Impossible to Turn Into an Acronym (RMPSSTFTDMTNELMITIA) and the Reston Community Center, fancypants New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger stated the obvious about the upcoming Targetville Reston Parkway Metro station -- namely, that it's not really near Reston Parkway, much less Reston Town Center.
Goldberger said the development of the Reston Parkway Metro station, which will be at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Reston Parkway, is the critical issue facing the Task Force.

Calling it an awkward distance from the Reston Town Center, he cautioned the audience that there could be a successful connection or it would be seen as leftover, hanging out there, something that doesn't work.

"The most urgent need and the greatest priority are making a viable connection between the station and Reston Town Center," Goldberger said.
Cough cough monorail!

Aside from addressing one of the many Metro elephants in the room, Goldberger trashed the existing village center model -- "a commercial strip is not a village," he said. He also made some excellent points about the higher density coming to Reston -- at least assuming that it's done right, which remains an open question at this point.
Moving forward, he said, Reston has the potential to be the new model, particularly around Reston Town Center. The challenge is to integrate the reality of the automobile with the qualities that make a downtown viable, as well as integrating nature and open spaces.

Goldberger agreed with Simon about how New Dominion Parkway was distressing, acting as a giant wall cutting Reston Town Center in half.

Goldberger noted several times during his question-and-answer period that what puts Reston so far ahead is the plethora of open space. He stressed the importance of building the urban core and that density was important to success.

"The denser the core the more protected is the land," he said. "What hurts land is the sprawl. Cities protect the land; sprawl is what damages it."

When an audience member expressed concern about the overall growth bringing more cars and terrible traffic, Goldberger cautioned that one look not at the number of cars but the number of car trips and usages. When it's dense at the core, the car use drops he said.
Goldberger also said that he thinks Grand Central Station is the greatest American building of all time, at least until the Wiehle Avenue Metro station opens, dazzling even the most jaded commuters with its rad '80s art. Actually, he didn't say that last part, but he probably meant to.


  1. We need to rename Targetville. The hapless retailer has not earned such an invidious sobriquiet.

    I propose Hudginsville.

  2. scubadiverslum is more alliterative

  3. "Calling it an awkward distance from the Reston Town Center"

    But not as awkward as calling the part of RTC near the Starbucks "Midtown", or when it was under construction. "south of Market". But I'm going along with it. I'm calling the area between the Panera and the ice rink The Upper East Side.

  4. Building higher density in order to preserve open spaces is like necking more passionately in order to preserve chastity: the means is completely incongruous with the ends.

    No growth is smart growth.

  5. another south reston peasantOctober 7, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    New Dominion Parkway?

    The Toll Road "is distressing, acting as a giant wall cutting Reston Town Center in half."

    Let's hope the pedestrian metro bridges help with that. Then we can worry about the north side again.

    Another sou


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