News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tuesday Rush Hour Not Exactly The Best Omen for Reston's Transit-Oriented Future

Endless traffic
So this was Wiehle Avenue around 5:45 last night, as we got our first real taste of what all those Loudoun cut-through commuters look like as they pour forth from Level G7 of the Wiehle Metro parking garage, homeward Wegman's bound. And yes, it might have been raining somewhere at this point in time, but we're getting the sense that if a butterfly flaps its wings in Sterling, from now on that means a 30-minute drive to the McTacoHut.

We've long said that the worst-case scenario would be only Phase 1 of the Silver Line being built, leaving Reston holding the bag with the only parking garage from Leesburg to Falls Church. Fortunately, it looks like Loudoun has finally, if reluctantly, embraced mixed-use nirvana, complete with their own vowel-free apartments, so it will only be 5-7 years before we can leave the house during rush hour again, the end.

19 comments:

  1. ...it's almost as if we knew this exact thing was going to happen

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  2. There was an accident near Wiehle and Baron Cameron and the police had shut down the road or were directing traffic. Should not be a usual scenario.

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  3. Accident or not, it's a reality. Our "leadership" (aka Hunter Mill Supervisor and other politicians) has failed to deliver to Reston. It's the same pattern over and over again. Meetings, committees, task forces... you name it... and then the usual. Nothing changes.

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  4. It might not be that bad every day, but I'm willing to bet that it'll be that bad a lot more often now.

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  5. Hey! I've got an idea! Let's make Wiehle a toll road! ;)

    Don't shoot, don't shoot! It just reminded me of something the Metro was supposed to "fix"...

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    1. Not quite that. Charge drivers entering the garage based on their county of residence. I would charge $2 for Reston residence, $3 for Herndon, $4 for all other Fairfax county residences. And for everybody else, $10. That should encourage the LoCo's to park at the Herndon Monroe Park and Ride and take a shuttle bus to Wiehle.

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    2. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonSeptember 4, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Not a bad idea at all, Convict, although God only knows how it could actually be done. As an added bonus, just think of the legion of unemployed parking lot attendants from the Vienna Metro and the Udvar-Hazy, all fired for stealing the parking fees, who could be gainfully employed to once more dip into the public coffers.

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    3. You could issue stickers, which would greatly speed up the process.

      They could automate the process, by tying the SmartPass card to a fee schedule.

      Doesn't LoCo require county stickers? If that's he case, you catch them on the way through.

      And even if they don't do any of that, they could base it on the license plate. Anyone with an out of state plate, pays a significantly higher rate. That would at least get the folks with Md plates but living in Va to register their cars with DMV, just like they're supposed to.

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    4. "God only knows how it could actually be done"

      Fairfax County Parks do it by the innovative method they call, "looking at your driver's license".

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    5. Just Another Ethiopian Parking Lot AttendantSeptember 14, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Hey Heh:

      And just how long would that take for each of several hundred to a couple of thousand drivers to fumble around to find and show their license and then pay? Traffic trying to enter the garage would be backed up to Herndon.

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  6. Finally! So this photo shows that people can actualy drive less than twice the posted speed limit near the school xing (20 mph)

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  7. It was also the first day of school in Fairfax -- back to school days always have the worst traffic.

    So for that reason and the accident at Barron Cameron -- I'm giving our benevolent overlords a pass on this one.

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  8. Take a good long look at this people. This is what PROGRESS looks like.

    No Growth is Smart Growth.

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  9. I ride by bicycle to and from Silverline. It takes me about 12 minutes to get from the bike room at the station to my living room. Lord Simon's far-sighted path making, and the W&OD make Reston a perfect bicycle town. Now I'm just waiting for North Shore to go on a road diet / bike lane.

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  10. I don't see how "no growth is smart growth" is a tenable position.

    1. Population grows.
    2. People need jobs.
    2a. Jobs need to grow, too.
    3. Jobs need to grow in your region for your region to remain competitive (Houston, South Dakota, Silicon Valley vs. Rust Belt cities)
    3a. Your region needs to grow.

    Right?

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    Replies
    1. Smart Growth Means NothingSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      How many NoVa residents are reserving moving vans to move to South Dakota, of all places? This is chamber of commerce blather. And you fool no one but yourself. Unless you want to try fracking in your own driveway.

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    2. Nice work not responding to the substance of my question/idea. North (excuse me) Dakota is flush with fracking jobs and the population is growing because people are going there to take those jobs (http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/06/news/economy/north-dakota-economy/).

      The reason Northern Virginia residents aren't flocking there is that they don't need fracking jobs...they have federal government or govt contractor jobs...

      What is your actual disagreement with my line of thinking? I would like to hear.

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    3. The "boom" of the oil patch is always attractive to legitimate business, speculators and fast-buck artists alike. There are already "bust" scenarios there, too. Not certain whether such unplanned, unregulated "growth" is what we need here in NoVa. Nor are we in direct competition with those folks, either. Houston has seen both boom and bust, been there and done that, too. Houston remains one of the most unattractive city-suburb- sprawling messes imaginable. We don't need any more of that, either, thank you. Silicon Valley is in a class of its own, with runaway inflation of housing prices (one million dollar "starter" homes) and traffic that will choke a horse. A livable community is more than just adding up dollar signs. Growth has stalled a bit here thanks to the recession and sequester, but it will pick up again very soon. So we do not have to accept chamber of commerce-type blather to get to that point.

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    4. I wouldn't rely upon Money Magazine to make any point at all, remember that the oil patch goes boom and bust, and there are bust scenarios already in the Dakotas. Not everyone prospers there, regardless of what the stats say.
      Anyway, it isn't a model for NoVa, nor should the unholy sprawling mess of Houston and its suburbs be anything worth emulating, though sometimes we seem to come close, especially in the traffic department. Smart growth is whatever ppl want to call it, sort of like the Big Lie of "sustainable community", which has a myriad of meanings depending upon the speaker. Reston has its own version of that gem.

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