News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wiehle Metro Infrastructure Improvements: Three Out of 19 Ain't Bad


In case you're not "down," as the kids no longer say, with all the exciting infrastructure improvements planned for the area surrounding the Wiehle Avenue Metro station, please to be enjoying this exciting map showing all the new pedestrian and cyclist-friendly hawtness in store for us. Even if most of the improvements just involve adding crosswalks at "legs" of different intersections, this carefully concerted effort is totally going to ensure that our shining gem of a Metro station remains as easy to slip in and out of as, say, a parking space at Tall Oaks.

The only problem? As our BFFs at Reston2020 point out, few of them are close to being finished:
Virginia has completed the two projects for which it was responsible--bike lanes on either side of Soapstone Drive. Out of the remaining 19 improvements Fairfax County is planning to improve access to the Wiehle Metrorail station:
None are complete.

Only three will be completed before Metrorail opens--two sidewalks (#15 & #16) and a walkway (#30).

Six have completion dates in July 2017.

Ten do not yet have an identified completion date. They are "To be determined."

We simply do not understand how our elected leaders can fail to plan, budget, and implement in a timely fashion essential auto, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements in the Wiehle station area when given a five-year lead time to do so. In particular, the County did not budget any money for these essential transportation improvements until last year and RA has still not budgeted funding for improving pathways near Wiehle station.

Metrorail users will have trouble driving to the WIehle station area, especially during peak periods, and pedestrians and bicyclists will face delays, greater hardships, and greater risk of injury as a result of the delayed action on road, transit, pedestrian, and bicycling improvements in this station area.
None of this even includes the long-discussed Soapstone bridge across the Toll Road -- though it is nice to know that a "grade separation" (i.e. bridge or tunnel or maybe a massive, bike-sized slingshot) is planned for the W&OD Trail's intersection with Wiehle, which would have been a good idea around 1976. But all you naysayers, calm down! In a RESTONIAN WORLD EXCLUSIVE, we're happy to offer photographic evidence of the massive infrastructure improvements already in place along the Wiehle corridor:

Wiehle sign.JPG
As an added bonus, this bit of infrastructure investment will come in extra handy the next time there's an alien invasion or a pet dragon escapes, the end.


  1. Love the gridlocked traffic and the half-assed "temporary" fix. A perfect glimpse of what's to come.

  2. When the silver line opens, it is time for South Reston to secede. Rename it the Confederate Village Centers of Reston. North Reston cannot invade CVCR to preserve the union. Troops will be caught in eternal gridlock trying to cross.

  3. Somewhere deep in our hearts, we all suspect the truth -- resistance is truly futile. You can stick a fork in Reston.

  4. The really disheartening part is that, beyond the magic 3, NONE are now scheduled to be completed four FOUR MORE YEARS!

  5. Hey, that's my car! I'm internet famous!

  6. I, for one, welcome our new Metro overlords.

  7. Can't they just double the toll road rates a couple more times to pay for it all?

  8. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonApril 26, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Hey kids, not to worry -- brand new traffic lights were installed two days ago at the intersection of Soapstone and Sunrise Valley.

    And in the spirit of a Mickey Rooney film from the 1930s, "Hey kids, let's go grab some paint and brushes and do the planned crosswalks ourselves!"

  9. Hey Peasant, seeing what VDOT/County did to crosswalks at Franklin Farms and Fairfax County Parkway, and seeing that it took them at least three tries to get the crosswalk on Soapstone near the 7-11 correct, we might as well paint it ourselves. We can't possibly do any worse!

    1. I have to report that the Franklin Farms / Ffx Cty Pkwy intersection has been fixed. Squeaky wheel and all that.

  10. Oh the supreme irony -- new traffic lights like Peasant said. Not one single road improvement on the intersection of Sunrise Valley and Hunter Mill. So, I propose that we just have a camping tent ready the night before that glorious inaugural day where we'll be sitting in traffic at rush hour waiting to make a left or right turn depending on what direction you're coming from to make a 55 minute commute to DC.

  11. Anon -- I did see surveyors at that intersection about a month maybe in 2017?

  12. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 2, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Hey kids, more exciting news! Now they're putting up large overhead street signs today at the intersection of Soapstone and Sunrise Valley. Wiehle Avenue Metro congestion solved!

    On a serious note, maybe somebody can explain this to me. If and when the Soapstone extension across the Toll Road is ever built (although as God might reply if asked about the completion date, "Not in my lifetime"), it will connect up with the exisiting portion of Soapstone between Sunrise Valley and Lawyers that was road-dieted in 2011 from two lanes to one lane in each direction. Yet several years before that, VDOT thought it important enough to widen another major north-south roadway -- Ox Road from Lawyers to Rt. 50 -- from one lane to two lanes.

    Am I missing something?


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).