Tysons Corner, VA

Fairfax County is looking to scrutinize Fairfax Connector routes for riders around the Tysons area starting next year.

The county plans to start looking at five-year route optimization next year for riders in the Vienna and Merrifield areas next year, FCDOT officials told the Board of Supervisors during the Transportation Committee meeting today (Tuesday).

Then, the county would turn to Tysons, McLean and Falls Church areas in 2021.

Currently, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is seeking the public’s input on proposed service changes to routes in Herndon and Reston.

FCDOT is looking at Fairfax Connector routes because overall ridership is below targetted levels, according to the presentation. Additionally, shifting demographics and job opportunities have changed travel patterns.

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Restoration recently finished on a stream in McLean as part of Fairfax County’s larger efforts to improve water quality and reduce flooding.

Restoration started at Bull Neck Run, a stream just north of Tysons, in 2018 and included improving the ecological function of the stream and extracting nitrogen and phosphorous from the soil.

Before the project, the banks of the stream were eroding and the stream bed was identified as instable.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust celebrated the project’s completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday (Oct. 21).

“Projects like this will help ensure the health of our watersheds for generations to come and I look forward to continue working with the community on these improvements,” Foust said in a press release.

The project cost $1.6 million and was funded through the county’s stormwater service district.

Lewinsville Coalition, a local advocacy group, provided input during the project’s design and construction, along with pushing for trails to stay open while work was underway, according to a press release from Foust.

“The work involved restoration of approximately 2,000 linear feet of Bull Neck Run and several tributaries and will remove 800 pounds of nitrogen and 71,000 pounds of suspended solids per
year,” according to the press release.

Work to restore the native trees along with other landscaping is expected to wrap up next month.

The project is the latest stormwater project completed.

Upcoming projects include the restoration of Dead Run toward Georgetown Pike and work on Tucker Avenue in Falls Church.

Photo courtesy John Foust 

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Fairfax County officials are set to consider changes to the intersection of Swinks Mill and Lewinsville Roads in McLean later this fall.

The Virginia Department of Transportation is currently studying the intersection.

The study “included survey, operational analysis, intersection concepts and collaboration with Fairfax County,” Jenni McCord, a VDOT spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

A traffic signal, a traffic signal with intersection modifications and a roundabout are under consideration, she said.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said that the intersection would need more than a traffic signal to improve congestion and safety.

“Given the layout of the current intersection, installing a traffic signal is not straightforward,” Foust said. “Even though the intersection meets the VDOT warrants for a traffic signal, VDOT is required to evaluate other measures to make the intersection safer.”

Foust said that he plans to meet with VDOT and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation in late fall to discuss the options and funding.

“The final report is being drafted and should be completed later this fall, and will include high-level cost estimates for all three concepts being analyzed,” McCord said.

Map via Google Maps

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Commuters and residents want to see more bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements along Route 50 in the Falls Church area.

At a meeting hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) last night, VDOT officials and residents discussed different ideas for improving the route, which has up to 51,000 vehicles travel daily, according to VDOT.

The meeting coincidentally happened a day after a 40-year-old man was struck and killed at the intersection of Route 50 and Graham Road. On a map of reported crashes since 2013, that intersection had two reports of fatal crashes, along with dozens of other crashes ranging in severity from property damage to serious injuries.

A study is underway to evaluate potential safety and operational changes for three miles of Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd.

VDOT officials said that the study is looking at data showing crash hotspots, speed and traffic count from January 2013 to the spring of 2019 and projections out to 2030.

“We don’t go into a study with the solutions already in hand,” Allison Richter, the liaison for Fairfax and Arlington counties, said.

The possible improvements VDOT is looking at include:

  • traffic signal timing/operations
  • turn lane
  • turn restrictions
  • access management
  • pedestrian enhancements
  • innovative intersections

Richter said that bike and pedestrian safety improvements are under consideration.

About 50 people showed up for the meeting, including Fairfax County police, Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, School Board Member Dalia Palchik and Tom Biesiadny, the director of Fairfax County’s transportation department.

Many of the people who lined up to provide feedback to VDOT pointed out specific problem areas — urging for time-restricted turn lanes, signal timing changes — and more focus on bicyclists, pedestrians and people using mass public transit.

“This area is becoming more urban over time,” one attendee told VDOT officials, adding that VDOT should focus on safety over speed for drivers.

Added safety measures could include two-way bike lanes on one-way service roads and more lighting, attendees said.

Sonya Breehey, a bike safety advocate, suggested traffic calming on the frontage roads.

“Arlington Blvd scares me,” Breehey said.

A handful of people called for VDOT to lower the speed limit from 45 miles per hour, with one person suggesting a new speed limit of 35 miles per hour.

One man who provided feedback urged VDOT to not forget about drivers, who might face slower speeds and longer travel times.

“Better late to dinner than dead,” someone from the audience shouted after the man finished commenting.

“Please be respectful,” the man responded.

People can take an online survey — which allows respondents to mark problem spots on a map and rank the six possible improvements — and submit comments to Bobby Mangalath, at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, Va. 22030 by next Thursday, Oct. 31.

VDOT plans to hold another information meeting when the study wraps up in the spring.

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EcoPlay, a new children’s playspace, is now open along Leesburg Pike in Tysons.

The children’s center held grand opening events over the weekend (Oct. 19-20). The indoor play area replaced the Performance Bicycle Shop’s space in Pike 7 Plaza.

EcoPlay originally planned to open in the summer, but experienced “minor construction delays,” according to a Facebook post.

According to the company’s Facebook:

EcoPlay provides children with an environment that sparks creativity and promotes learning through play. When designing the play space, we researched (and researched) to ensure that every toy, every surface and play area is non-toxic, BPA and PVC free, and made of plant-based materials.

Open playtime supervised by a parent or other responsible adult costs $20 per child, while supervised playtime with a drop-off option is $30.

Parents can also book the facility for private or semi-private party spaces for up to 25 children.

Photo via EcoPlay/Facebook

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Tonight, locals can find out more information about the status of the project to bring new sidewalks to Chesterbrook Road in McLean.

The work plans to stretch along the road from Chesterford Way to Maddux Lane.

“The project will include a new 5-foot wide sidewalk, curb and gutter along the south side of Chesterbrook Road, with storm sewer and water utility infrastructure improvements,” according to Fairfax County.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold the meeting tonight at Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road) at 7 p.m.

The project is the latest of nearby sidewalk improvements in McLean.

Map via Google Maps

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(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) Fairfax County police have identified the man who was fatally struck by a police cruiser along Route 50 in the Falls Church area yesterday.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday (Oct. 20), a police cruiser struck and killed 40-year-old Carlos Romeo Montoya near Arlington Blvd (Route 50) and Graham Road, police said.

“We do not have a current address at this time,” police said in a press release today. “Next of kin have been notified.”

More from FCPD:

A patrol officer who has more than four years of law enforcement experience and who is assigned to the Mason District Station was driving in a marked police cruiser in the area of Arlington Boulevard and Graham Road. The officer was responding to a call for service for disorderly subjects.

The marked police cruiser was proceeding through a green light eastbound on Arlington Boulevard approaching the intersection of Graham Road.

This intersection has a pedestrian crosswalk with a pedestrian signal for the crosswalk. The posted speed limit for Arlington Boulevard in that area is 45 miles per hour.

As the police cruiser proceeded through the intersection, an adult male was struck in the left travel lane of Arlington Boulevard by the cruiser. The location of impact was within the crosswalk as determined by the police cruiser in-car video.

The officer immediately stopped to render first aid and called for the Fire and Rescue Department. The pedestrian was transported to the hospital by rescue personnel and was pronounced deceased.

“The best information we have right now is that the officer did have a green list, was proceeding through the intersection and that the pedestrian was, unfortunately, crossing against the ‘Don’t walk’ sign,” Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said during a press conference yesterday.

Montoya’s death marks the 14th pedestrian fatality in the county this year, according to police.

“This is an intersection that has a historical issue with pedestrian safety,” Roessler said at the press conference.

Cyclist and pedestrian advocates are urging people to attend a meeting tonight (Monday) about changes to Route 50.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is looking to get community feedback about a Route 50 study currently underway to identify potential safety and operational changes for Route 50 between Jaguar Trail and Wilson Blvd.

The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling (FABB) took to social media to urge people to attend the meeting.

Bruce Wright, a board member of FABB, said that the Graham Road and Route 50 intersection was identified in 2004 “as a big problem” for pedestrian safety and is “still very dangerous.”

Wright said that service roads along Route 50, the dense residential area nearby and high speed limit contribute to the safety factors at the intersection. Wright said he wants VDOT and the county to consider redesigning the intersection and lowering the speed limit.

“It is such an important corridor and yet it’s optimized for motorists,” Wright said.

FABB is working with local police to identify where bicycle crashes are happening, Wright said, adding that the group wants to work with VDOT as well.

The crash is currently under investigation and is working to determine the cruiser’s speed, the lighting conditions at the intersection and the condition of the pedestrian walk sign, along with a forensic medical examination, police said.

“The results of the investigation by the Crash Reconstruction Unit will be presented to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County,” the press release said.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives at 703-280-0543.

“The involved officer was reassigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of our investigations by the Crash Reconstruction Unit and the Internal Affairs Bureau,” police said.

Map via Google Maps

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Swinks Mill Road Reopens in McLean — Severely damaged by flooding in July, the road at Scotts Run reopened Friday (Oct. 18). [VDOT/Twitter]

McLean Resident Retires From NVTC — “Northern Virginia Technology Council’s (NVTC) president and CEO Bobbie Kilberg is set to retire on June 30 after 22 years leading the organization.” [Technical.ly]

Pedestrian Killed Along Route 50 in Falls Church — “A police cruiser struck and killed a man who was crossing an intersection in West Falls Church, Virginia, early Sunday morning, police say.” [NBC4]

Home Catches Fire in Dunn Loring — Firefighters responded to a house fire in the 8100 block of Timber Valley Court in Dunn Loring area on Saturday. The fire is now out. “No reported injuries at this time.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

How Walkable is Tysons? — Find out what it’s like to stroll around Tysons with a walkability researcher, who measured the noise levels and air quality. [Greater Greater Washington]

New Leader at McLean Private School — “BASIS Independent McLean, a preK to grade 12 private school in McLean, Va., recently named Paul Geise as its head of school. As a veteran educator with more than 40 years of experience, Geise excels in leadership of schools in the United States and United Kingdom, specializing in strategic plans and fostering student and community development in schools.” [Patch]

Marshall HS Students Visit Capital One HQ — “Members of Marshall High’s Latinos United Club took a field trip to Capital One’s headquarters in McLean to meet with their mentors. Students learned about the vast career opportunities in technology at Capital One and participated in various activities with the mentors including job shadowing, panel discussions, and a tour.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

USA Today May Phase Out Print Edition — “After a nearly 40-year run, USA Today and its digital sites are about to undergo a major restructuring that will include building up digital marketing while phasing out the print edition.” [Poynter]

Falls Church Receives High Bond Ratings — “For the second consecutive year, the city has earned the highest credit rating from all three major bond rating agencies.” [City of Falls Church]

Falls Church Polling Place Moved — “Due to delays in a renovation of the Falls Green apartments (formerly Oakwood), the City of Falls Church’s Ward 2 polling place has to be moved for the upcoming Nov. 5 election.” [Falls Church News-Press]

New Natural Health Center in Vienna — “The Health Improvement Center, a natural health care center, has moved to a new location in Vienna. The move to a larger space happened in August, while a ribbon-cutting is set for Nov. 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The new location is 407 Church Street NE Suite C.” [Patch]

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(Updated 10/21/19) Firefighters extinguished a blaze that broke out in a McLean home this afternoon (Friday, Oct. 18) near the Charles Wesley United Methodist Church.

Firefighters from Fairfax and Arlington counties were dispatched to the fire in the 1700 block of Maxwell Court shortly after 4 p.m. today (Friday).

“Crews checking for extension,” according to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweet. “One person being transported [to the hospital] with minor injuries.”

The one person who was home at the time of the fire sustained minor burns while trying to extinguish the fire, according to the fire department.

“The occupant was cooking on the stove when the oil ignited in the pan,” the fire department said in a press release. “The cause of the fire was the auto-ignition of cooking oil that spread to nearby combustibles.”

The fire department said that the person was displaced because of the accidental fire, which totaled roughly $123,750 worth of damages.

Map via Google Maps

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Tysons may not have the liveliest nightlife at the moment, but that could soon change as more late-night restaurants and places to hang out open. “Tysons After Dark” will highlight a different spot every week.

Now that the Washington Nationals won the National League Championship Series, the D.C. baseball teams to the World Series next week.

The Nats will face the winner of the American League Championship Series — between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees — in their first World Series since 1933.

Tysons Reporter found some places around the Tysons area offering specials for the World Series Games.

Taco Bamba spots in Falls Church (2190 Pimmit Drive) and Vienna (164 W. Maple Avenue) will feature the “Baby Shark Taco” for $4.50, according to a press release. The taco will include Venezuelan spiced fish “cazón” style with guacamole, green goddess-dressed cilantro and cabbage.

Meanwhile, pizza chain Matchbox will give diners wearing Nats gear on game days food and drinks at happy hour prices. Matchbox has a local spot in the Mosaic District at 2911 District Avenue, Suite 120.

As for watch parties, people can head to The Plaza outside Tysons Corner Center to view the first game of the World Series on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) plans to have watch parties for all of the World Series Games with the Nats.

Here are some watering holes in Tysons where locals can bring their Natitude to watch the games:

  • City Works Eatery and Pour House (1640 Capital One Drive North): The self-described “beer geek” restaurant has 24 flat-screen TVs and 90 craft beers on tap.
  • Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge (2070 Chain Bridge Road): The restaurant has three unique spaces, including a sports bars.
  • XTreme Wings and Sports Bar (8119 Watson Street): The bar serves up wings and pastas for diners to enjoy with the games.
  • Tysons Social Tavern (1960 Chain Bridge Road): The sports bar with patio is located in the DoubleTree Tysons.
  • BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (8027 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100): The restaurant will have its regular happy hour specials during the games next week.
  • Gordon Biersch (7861 Tysons Corner Center): Located in Tysons Corner Center, the restaurant has seven plasma televisions.

Photo via Taco Bamba/Facebook

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