News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reston Development: Choose Your Poison

Lovely renderings of proposed developments adjoining the future Vaguely Near Reston Town Center Metro station on both sides of the Toll Road provide a glimpse of our hellish dystopian post-urban future what transit-oriented development is starting to look like in our beloved earth-toned community. As the kids may have liked to say back in the 1940s, choose your poison:

Super-dense high rises or undistinguished midrise residential with the (possible) much-delayed Reston debut of the beloved "Texas donut", without nary an interesting parallelogram in sight. Great choices!

To be fair, the RTC Gateway rendering at top, which recently resurfaced in the media, is actually at least a few years old. No doubt developer Boston Properties has since been feverishly fine-tuning the plans to be as responsive to community concerns about cramming a whopping 3.94 million square feet of mixed-use awesomeness into the current gaps between RTC and the Toll Road as it has been about paid parking and.... sorry, we thought we could get through this sentence without laughing, but then we remembered the collective breath-holding until the county approves its fun new proposed zoning ordinance amendment to allow essentially no caps on density in some parts of Reston and the laughter stopped.

If the county wants to know why Reston groups are getting so riled up, including the recent Reclaim Reston proposal to issue a moratorium on all unsubmitted development projects, maybe they should look at these renderings. Or maybe approach Reston's much-needed infrastructure improvements with the same urgency as they implemented the taxes to pay for them.

We actually think Metro-oriented development is a good thing; we'd rather live in a community that's thriving and growing than one that's not. Besides, Reston really needed another Starbucks and some sweeeet pop-up retail, and we can't wait to woonerf our way to McTacoHut. But the county really needs to step up and be more responsive to Restonians' concerns, and maybe make sure what they're approving makes sense and is supported by infrastructure the day it's completed, not some vague point in the future after the Sleestaks emerge from level G7 of the Wiehle Metro garage to rule the earth.

And lest we think that it's totally normal for it to take a pedestrian bridge nearly a decade to be built, please to be checking out this exciting You Tubes video of the second-largest ball of twine on the Eastern seaboard one of only 24 covered bridges in Virginia, lovingly (and much more quickly) restored by the Reston Association:


If you like lengthy discussions of corroded I-beams, whatever those are, this video is your "jam," as the kids probably no longer say, the end.

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