News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toll Road Hikes: The True Value of a Trip to Tysons

qbert_quarters.jpegSurprising absolutely no one, the airports authority has formally approved increased Dulles Toll Road fees for next year and 2014, though they compassionately held off on formalizing rate hikes in 2015 on the off chance a giant pot of money falls from the sky more federal or state money materializes to pay for Metro Silver Line construction, which would help mitigate future toll increases.

So starting January 1, it will cost $5.50 to make a round-trip from Reston to the wonders of Tysons Corner. In 2014, that will go up to $7. But those are just numbers. In the spirit of News You Can Use, we did a little research (googling) to see just what $5.50 can get you at the epitome of the increasingly urbane and sophisticated nexus of commerce and business known as "Fairfax County's downtown:" the Tysons food court.


Wow. Even the most expensive hand-rolled fatty tuna rolls at Wasabi, the fancy conveyor belt sushi place in the middle of the mall, cost 50 cents less than the round trip to get there. Just take Rt. 7 instead, and the world is your oyster! (We're not sure they serve oyster there.)

Five Guys.jpg
Pony up an additional 9 cents, big spender, and you can get a burger at Five Guys, with unlimited toppings! Of course, you could save the $5.50 in tolls by going to one of the Reston locations instead, but then you'd miss the sophistication and cosmopolitan flair of Tysons whilst enjoying your charred animal flesh broiled in peanut oil.

Okay, we finally managed to find something more expensive -- and just slightly longer and more tedious -- than a trip down the Toll Road to Tysons. At least for the next two years, anyway.


  1. In the context of a "true value of a trip to Tysons," may I suggest that the businesses in Tysons should pay us--and much more than the new tolls--to visit that maze of jammed roads, over-sized (& empty) office buildings, and crass commercialization. All only to get worse as the building there doubles in the next two decades.

    1. Hate to be the one to tell you, but your description of Tysons is fairly accurate for the not-to-distant future of Reston. Get out while you can.

  2. The toll road, and for that matter the Silver Line, does not go anywhere that I need to go on a daily basis. I have stopped taking the toll road for about two years now for virtually all destinations east of Reston,and I can tell that many other motorists and residents have done the same.

  3. Wouldn't it be great if they had to issue refunds to our ez passes if the speed drops below a certain point on the toll road? Seriously, if they could guarantee movement, it might be worth the $$, but to pay that and sit in bumper to bumper ... ick.

    I will point out that riding my bicycle is free and uses no petrol either.

  4. A Rose By Another NameNovember 18, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    Area realtors disagree on the "premium" that Reston residents will be able to ask for when selling their current Reston properties to newcomers enthralled by the new Silver Line and itching to move into our mauve-tinted Oz. If enough sellers decide to bail at once, there may be no premium at all as a glut of new resale homes comes onto the market. Not to mention all the proposed new housing units that builders want to cram in, all in the name of smart growth. Then again, interest rates and other factors in the larger market may be more determinative in pricing than any ole metro line.

    On another unrelated note, I see that Chipotle has been finally building out its carb feeding station at South Lakes Center after a long delay. Nothing says happy holidays quite like an overstuffed, overpriced, 1400-calorie burrito. But where the heck do I park my lard-filled butt in that already-crowded parking lot so I can get my fix?

    1. Why, Rose, in the same "illegal" parking spaces as all of the Fourbucks Coffee customers: in the SunTrust parking lot.

    2. I agree with Rose -- South Lakes Center parking lot is a nightmare and there's no place to expand it. On the other hand, there's plenty of space at Hunters Woods for people wanting Buffalo Wings, Donuts and Whoppers. Of course, there's no high school within walking distance, so the kids would have to drive when cutting class...


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