It so happens that at the very moment that the first Silver Line train chugged out of the Wiehle-Reston East Station this afternoon, we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95, returning from one of our rare
But in many ways, that's not exactly true. More dense, atypical suburban living has been part of the Reston plan from the very beginning. Even though discussions about what ultimately became the Silver Line began the same year Reston was founded, there were already high-rises, the nation's first townhouses not actually in towns, and lots of planning talk about "sinews" and "blobs".
Bob Simon, now a century old, was present at today's opening ceremonies. He got to witness a significant part of his original dream a half-century ago come true.
So in a way, the Silver Line is actually a promise kept, a reminder of what seems like a long-ago notion that long-term investments in our communities are what a healthy and prosperous culture can and should do.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx put it nicely:
“What I’m reminded of is that the work of transportation is really the work of generations,” Foxx said. “And if we’re not putting those cornerstones in place as a nation, we’re not building for the generations to come afterward. So this is a time to celebrate the voices of ‘yes’ sounding louder than the voices of ‘no.’ ”Barely warmed leftovers from the Great Society era? Okay, fine. But that era spawned Reston, and we've seen the alternative -- unsustainable exurban sprawl -- and that alternative almost ate the Silver Line whole.
There have been--and almost certainly will continue to be--poor planning decisions, questionable levels of preparation, and some breathtakingly big bumps in the road to come. We will need to protect our existing neighborhoods from inappropriate development. We will need to hold county officials' feet to the fire to make sure the infrastructure needed to support this $2.6 billion chunk of infrastructure actually gets built. And we'll need to make sure that Wiehle Avenue doesn't get as clogged as I-95 on weekends, and maintain some skepticism about how all of this will be paid for (spoiler alert: lots of quarters). But this is a big deal, as much as a moment to celebrate as Reston's 50th anniversary. And it's bringing Reston a bit closer to the promise it's always had.
But of course, there was this:
Come on, WMATA, don't let us down!
Also, has our house doubled in value yet?