News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Modest Proposal: Reston 2020 Suggests Staggered Opening of Silver Line Phase 2 Stations

New Wiehele Station pic.jpg

As Phase 1 of the Silver Line continues slouching towards Reston, it's becoming increasingly clear that there will not be a lot of immediate solutions to the additional traffic that will immediately be drawn to the fancy 2,300 space parking garage/parallelogram magnet at the Wiehle Avenue Metro station. That, of course, was one of our biggest worries about the fact that for a while it looked like Phase 2 of the Silver Line, extending from Wiehle to the airport and the particleboard valhallas of eastern Loudoun beyond it, might not get built.

But with the Wiehle station opening late this year and the Reston Town Center station less than a mile down the Toll Road not opening until 2018 at the earliest, it seems likely that we'll get to enjoy at least five years of being the butt end terminus of the Silver Line. While that's worked wonders for the aesthetics and quality of life in, say, Dunn Loring, it's not exactly ideal.

With that in mind, Reston 2020 Co-Chair Tammi Petrine has a modest proposal. She's asking the county's Reston Master Planning Task Force With an Unprononcable Acronym (∞) to ask the airports authority to ask the contractors to, you know, open the Phase 2 stations as work on each one is completed, instead of waiting until the entire project is finished up. She writes:
If the building of Phase 2 could begin at Wiehle and proceed to west of the Herndon-Monroe station, the next two stations, Reston Town Center and Herndon/Monroe could be built and opened earlier than now forecast. RTC is the town nexus and has the ability to easily provide kiss ‘n ride drop offs as well as bus, bike and pedestrian traffic for the central parts of Reston. Herndon/Monroe has a completed parking garage as well as kiss ‘n ride and multi-model access from both western Reston and Herndon, north and south.

Spreading the entire load of commuters who would be forced to use only the desperately compromised Wiehle station to three stations sooner would spread the traffic burden. In addition, this plan offers developers the opportunity to begin earlier development of all three areas, not just Wiehle alone.
That's so crazy, it just might work.

5 comments:

  1. The end of direct bus service to the Pentagon and Crystal City is going to create a huge burden on the already stressed Metro system as well, as commuters from further afield (including Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, etc) come to Reston to ride in. Until WMATA figures out a better solution on all fronts, we're really still screwed. We need all the public transit we can get, not as little as possible.

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  2. Anon & others: I'd strongly recommend that you attend the ongoing public meetings re new bus service linked to the Wiehle station opening to make your point.

    The County's draft bus transit plan is available here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/connector/routes/dullesrail/ . From this reader's perspective, it appears to reduce bus transit service. Also, the links from Wiehle to RTC are really weak (no circulator here, just the one in Tysons).

    ...but make your own judgment and let the County know!

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  3. I found some additional information while looking at the county website. If you are not able to attend the public meetings on the Silver Line, you can submit questions for a web chat this Tuesday. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/askfairfax/

    Also, I found a letter from Sharon Bulova to the airport authority on the Toll Road. The letter asks MWAA to consider other funding sources, mostly charges at the airport. This should be a no brainer. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/dullesmetro/

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  4. An idea man and a yes manFebruary 4, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    The Airport Authority should be funding this by a ticket surcharge.

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  5. I'm going to tonight's bus route meeting at the Hunter Woods community center. Hopefully, the people from the county will listen and expand their current plans for bus service.

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