News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

As Metro Opening Nears(ish), Portents Abound

Wiehle Metro Bus.jpg
It won't be long before we start seeing these guys stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on Wiehle Avenue. And that's not the only sign that the Silver Line is getting closer to (maybe) opening early next year, though no one's willing to say exactly when.

Our BFFs at the Toll Road are getting ready, preparing for an exciting "upgrade" of its tolling facilities. They're still going to take cash at the manned booths, but those fun plastic baskets that have tempted us to do over-the-shoulder quarter layups will soon be history:
The Dulles Toll Road was built in 1984, prior to the advent of electronic toll tags, and has always been a cash-centric system by design. While some E-ZPass-only lanes have been added in recent years, the exits and main toll plaza feature manned tollbooths and exact change lanes at which drivers toss coins into a basket.

With more than 80 percent of toll road users making the switch to the electronic toll tags and tolls reaching the level that a driver now needs seven quarters to use the exact change lanes, it is time for the airports authority to consider updating the system, said Chris Browne, vice president and manager of Washington Dulles International Airport.

“A lot of what we are spending is keeping these old baskets and coin machines going,” he said.
Of course, the real reason for the changes?
With a modern collection system, the board can consider options like distance-based toll pricing or having different toll rates at different times of day.
Can't wait.

Meanwhile, Metro has launched a fancy website dedicated to our favorite subway line. Will you enjoy riding 60 feet above the storied architectural beauty of Tysons Corner? Appropriately Diverse Stock Photo People say yes!

Metro People.jpg
Sadly, when you click on the map for the Reston/Wiehle East "neighborhood," none of the exciting retail and/or dining experiences are within walking distance (yet). Some of the options are actually in Herndon, and they inexplicably included Kmart and not its much-touted retail neighbor.

Metro map.jpg
Guess we'll need to borrow Stock Photo Business Guy's bicycle and messenger bag, the end.


  1. Saw a "training" bus on Reston Parkway yesterday--complete with the yellow-vested driver--but didn't see any training wheels on the bus. Apparently the buses will stay upright--and that's a good thing.

  2. "Appropriately Diverse Stock Photo People say yes!"

    I can't stop cracking up! When eventually I do, I won't be able to stop crying...

  3. Hmmmm...The Macaroni Grill is the only restaurant listed on the neighborhood map. Coincidence?

  4. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonOctober 3, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    But when you zoom in on this exciting Metro map of Reston, you can discover all sorts of previously unknown treasures. For example, who knew "Alabaster's Antique British Limousines" could be found on Glade Drive near Timberhead? Or that there is a perfectly oxymoronic/Orwellian entity called "Intelligent Office of Reston" by Campus Commons?

    And never fear that The Macaroni Grill is the only option for a five-star gourment meal for Silver Line commuters; Soapstone's own versions of L'Auberge Chez Francois -- the House of Mandarin and Domino's Pizza -- are listed as well.

  5. Isn't McTacoHut a block from the Reston station?

  6. Weirdly, it's not on the Metro website. Who knew they were food snobs?

  7. My commuting started with the weird Reston bus that had volunteer busmeisters. About half way to DC those seated stood up and the standees could finally sit down. It was great! No special privileges either as we creeped down Rt 7 and the GW Parkway on buses that were surplus from San Jose or someplace and often stalled out on any upgrade. Oh well, if you left early you might make it down to your government job where most bosses understood that commuting into DC was at best a crap game. The "SILVER LINE" does not sound like it will be much fun. I suppose most passengers will be reading their digital newspapers on their iPhones and never enjoy a cool one on the way home in July. Too sad to think about.


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