Confidential Restonian Operative "Joel" captured the very instant the ribbon was cut at Saturday's grand opening ceremonies at the Wiehle Avenue Metro station and parkatorium, its fraying yellow strands, one of which is suspended in mid-air forever in this photograph, symbolizing the very moment Reston was transformed from a sleepy nudist colony turned planned community to a bustling socket in the region's transit network. It'll have to stay suspended in mid-air until next Saturday, though, because that's when the first train leaves the station.
Unfortunately, our busy candystriping schedule kept us from attending the grand opening. But we have this CONTINUING TEAM COVERAGE, courtesy of yet another Confidential Restonian Operative:
Ribbon cutting at 10:00, loitering until 3:00. Come for the SLHS marching band, speeches and self-guided tours. Preview the commuting experience. Get information about the Master Plan review, Phase 2 (“There Goes the Neighborhood”). Maybe review your retirement planning.Our BFFs at Reston Now have more, including this telling quote:
I suggest parking in the original Reston North outdoor park-and-ride lot (corner of Sunset Hills and Wiehle). Cross busy Sunset Hills Road and Reston Station Boulevard. Time the traffic lights and dodge turning cars. Ignore the enormous sidewalk scaffolding, construction crane and workmen overhead if you use Metro Center Drive. Pretend you are in Bob Simon’s Manhattan.
Or park in the new Wiehle Garage. Visualize yourself racing 3,300 other drivers down the three inbound traffic lanes towards the station, hoping to find a spot before the garages fill on weekday mornings. (As the Reston Station signs say, don’t get shut out!) Practice dodging the 30+ Fairfax Connector buses per hour that will serve the underground bus bays during peak periods.
If you currently park at the Interim Lot (Sunset and Town Center Parkway), with nearly unlimited free parking (only hassle is the geese), try to envision yourself parking in the new multilevel garage. Watch out for those pesky structural columns (cost $4.85/day). Count the exit lanes/gates, stop lights and difficult left turns as you leave. Morning arrivals will be staggered, but how long will it take to pay and exit in the evening, even with that awesome smartcard technology?
If you currently transfer from commuter bus to rail at West Falls Church, with covered walkways from bus stops to the platform, compare the Wiehle experience: the exposed plaza and long open-air bridges over the 12-lane highway (no windows, you’re kidding). Imagine waiting in the Wiehle-Reston East platform wind tunnel during bad weather. What are the odds you’ll have to stand on the train for 40-minutes?
Finally, look for the commercial spaces, including the food services, promised for station opening last December. Oh and where did they put the taxi cab line? Remember, no hitchhiking!
Hope you enjoy the open house and new station. See you on the Silver Line. To paraphrase WMATA’s slogan, Get on board, you don’t have a choice!
Bob Whiteman of Oak Hill said he moved to Reston in 1980, and even then his Realtor told him “a train to Dulles would be here in five years.”Hope he enjoys the extra tolls.
“I believed [rail] would never happen,” he said. But now that he is two years from retirement, the federal employee said he will most likely stick to his usual commute.