News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Metro Ribbon Cutting Marks Beginning of Brave New Bollardy World for Reston

IMG 4811
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.

IMG 4820Unfortunately, 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.

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.

IMG 4782Or 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?

IMG 4789Finally, 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!
Our BFFs at Reston Now have more, including this telling quote:
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.”

“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.
Hope he enjoys the extra tolls.

6 comments:

  1. Thomas Paine in the AssJuly 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    Can't wait to see how traffic will be next Monday morning by Wiehle and Sunset Hills. The Mother of All Flusterclucks, I imagine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait until school is back in session and the other half of the Metro commuters who are now on vacation show up.

      Delete
  2. It's funny how the Blue Line commuters will now have to wait up to 12 minutes to get a train... Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The caption for the first group photo should be: Wanted, elected or not, for dereliction of duty, fraud, theft, and just plain talking too much and doing too little.
    Hang the picture on the Post Office wall.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Regarding the changes in the commuter bus routes to the station, the Fairfax Connector 553 bus route now goes to the new Wiehle station, but it would make more sense to have it go to the West Falls Church station, as it has been going for years.
    Bus riders along Sunrise Valley Drive between South Lakes Drive and Hunter Mill Road will no longer have good service. More of them will probably drive their cars instead of using bus and rail. It doesn't make sense to force them to go west to the new station when they're trying to go east to get to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this is where a Wolf Trap station that can use the existing parking facilities there may have made some sense.

      Sense? What's that?!

      Why can't we yell NIMBY?

      Delete

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