Tysons Corner, VA

If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your life, DC Shiba Inu Rescue (SIR) is planning a nature hike in McLean with some adoptable dogs.

DC SIR is planning a nature hike at Turkey Run Park in McLean from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. At least four adoptable shibas are planning to attend.

The adoption event is public with no paperwork required.

According to Nathalie Abutaha, president and founder of DC SIR, the group holds monthly adoption events at local boutique pet stores, but the group wanted to try something new for the more shy dogs:

These small spaces can be overwhelming to our shy and fearful dogs. Typically, our more fearful dogs would forgo the busy and crowded monthly events, and they would only have one or two meets with final applicants at their foster home. However, we thought this would be an excellent way for the public to meet some of our rescues who are typically too fearful or stressed to attend the monthly events. Nature walks are beneficial to dogs and people, plus we can create a positive experience and have fun with our dogs while meeting new people. Our Organization regularly does monthly adventures for our alumni (kayaking, hiking, camping, etc.,) but we thought we could try a public hike for our potential adopters.

Photo via DC SIR/Facebook

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Amid a roar of traffic, a dozen Fairfax County officials gathered to break ground on an extensive Leesburg Pike (Route 7) widening project.

The ceremony was today (Thursday) at Capital Church on the border of the Hunter Mill and Dranesville districts, with their respective Board of Supervisors representatives Cathy Hudgins and John Foust present.

The project will involve adding a third lane to Leesburg Pike in each direction from Reston to Tysons. At the groundbreaking, officials highlighted the new shared-use paths and other improvements planned along the corridor to increase capacity, improve safety and traffic flow, and make life a little easier for cyclists and pedestrians.

“This project will enhance nobility…” said Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board, then laughed and corrected herself, “mobility, but [nobility] too, for cycling and pedestrians.”

The shared-use paths are planned to run along both sides of the road, with bridges and underpasses planned along the way and several other intersection improvements.

“It’s an important milestone many years in the making,” said Bill Cutler, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s district construction engineer. “It’s a 7-mile corridor and an important multimodal project, with 14 miles of multipurpose trail and access to the Spring Hill Metro station.”

During construction, off-peak lane closures are expected as the project works in segments. Final completion of the project is expected for summer 2024.

“If you’re sitting here wondering why we’re doing this, traffic seems to be going pretty well… it’s too late now,” said Foust. “In 2010, it was said that if Tysons was going to work, we needed to ensure that vehicles could get out of Tysons… This improvement will, I hope, make it much more attractive for drivers to stay on Route 7. Right now, we have a lot of cut-through traffic taking Georgetown Pike or Lewinsville Road trying to avoid traffic on Route 7. I think this will go a long way to addressing challenges with cut-through traffic.”

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A few months after Open Art Studio moved across town and rebranded as New York School of Arts, the school is holding a ribbon-cutting celebration.

The school programs range from art programs for children to portfolio reviews for students applying to arts programs. Founded 10 years ago, the studio was previously located at 225 Mill Street NE.

The event is scheduled for tonight (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at 320 E. Maple Avenue.

Vienna Mayor Laurie DiRocco is set to attend, and the event will be followed by the program’s first “artist talk” event with Katherine Mann, a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Hors d’oeuvres and wine are on tonight’s menu.

Photo via OpenArt Studio/Facebook

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According to county permits, a new Men’s Wearhouse could be coming to a squat, castle-looking building at 1929 Old Gallows Road off Leesburg Pike.

The building formerly had been a Petco, but has been vacant for at least a year. Construction at the building seems to include not just the former Petco, but the closed Mattress Firm that also shared the building.

Men’s Wearhouse also has locations in Reston and near Centreville and there had been one near the Greensboro Metro station.

Permits were filed in March for internal alterations to the building, and from the look of the building, any interior renovations are still in the earliest stages. Tailored Brands, the company that owns both Men’s Wearhouse and Joseph A. Bank, could not be reached for comment, so the estimated time for completion is not currently known.

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The Vienna Town Council is entering the first stages of a process to bring electric scooters and dockless bicycles to town.

According to staff at a Town Council work session on Monday, June 10, a potentially shared mobility pilot would include both electric bicycles and scooters as “self-propelled vehicles,” but more still needs to be determined.

For starters, where will people ride electric scooters in Vienna? Council members expressed concerns about having them either on Maple Avenue or the adjoining sidewalks, which are typically only 5 feet wide and include planter boxes that narrow the sidewalks considerably. But elected officials seemed equally concerned about the prospect of having electric scooters complicating the already notoriously dangerous and congested Maple Avenue.

The discussion of a potential pilot program comes after a feasibility study for a regional bike-share network — commissioned by the City of Fairfax — was completed last fall. The Vienna process follows in the footsteps of the City of Fairfax, which Vienna staff said has launched a pilot program running from this June to next year.

Both staff and officials expressed some misgivings and frustrations with the prospect of bringing in electric scooters. Staff said that a story had come out this year that Lime Scooters would be coming to Fairfax City and Vienna, prompting a tense series of phone calls from Fairfax and Vienna staff advising Lime that they had not gone through the proper approval process.

Planning Commissioner Mary McCullough also referenced a Washington Post story that only 7 percent of regional residents reported using e-scooters as their preference for getting from one place to another.

The next step for the scooter approval process is a work session planned for sometime in the fall, which the Town Council said will likely include meeting with the Transportation Commission.

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It is far from the biggest problem facing Metro, but the lack of cell coverage in the Greensboro Metro tunnel is still a minor annoyance for locals that could be fixed earlier than planned.

Since May, Metro’s claims that Virginia’s tunnels had complete cellular coverage came with an “except for Tysons” corollary. But while Tysons was originally scheduled to get covered by 2020 with the rest of the tunnels, plans for Tysons have shifted to an expected completion by the end of the year.

“Wireless voice and data service is now available in more than 60 percent of Metro’s tunnel segments,” Sherri Ly, the media relations manager for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said. “Metro is on schedule to have the Greensboro tunnel on the Silver Line complete by the end of this year and expects to have cellular coverage across the entire system by June 2020.”

The lack of cell service is more than a convenience issue. Experts have called it a glaring safety problem for the system — particularly in the wake of a death in a smoke-clogged tunnel in 2015.

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With just a few hours left in polling, Tysons-area polls have shown a slow but steady increase in voting throughout the day, particularly in Hunter Mill.

Competitive primaries are underway for the Democratic endorsement for the Providence District, Hunter Mill District, and chairman seats on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The voter turnout so far in the Providence District is 6.29 percent. The Hunter Mill District, which includes Vienna, is 7.3 percent and is the highest of any district in Fairfax. The Fairfax County average turnout is 5.36 percent.

This year’s primary, particularly the race for the chariman’s seat, has been particularly divisive. One candidate faced an ethics complaint filed by a rival while the Washington Post endorsement raised concerns about sexism.

It’s also been an expensive primary. Every candidate for the Democratic nomination to the chair position has raised over $100,000, with developer Tim Chapman raising $952,109 — mostly through funds Chapman gave to his own campaign. In Hunter Mill, candidate Maggie Parker sits at $258,225 fundraised, in large part with support from Comstock Companies. Two Providence candidates — Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner and Dalia Palchik — neared the $100,000 fundraising mark

The Democratic candidates for the Board of Supervisors are:

Board of Supervisors chair:

Providence District:

Hunter Mill District:

Tysons-area voters will also determine the Democratic nominees for two Virginia Senate seats and the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Any registered voter can participate in the primaries. Polls are open until 7 p.m.

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The large affordable housing project near the Spring Hill Metro station is on hold, according to the developer.

The Clemente Development Company is currently busy with The View, a 3 million-square-foot redevelopment project planning on being a new residential, retail and arts hub for Tysons. The project includes The Iconic, a 600-foot tall tower that has the potential to shape the Tysons skyline.

The Evolution, a residential development planned just south of The View, popped up again yesterday (Monday) in Fairfax County permitting, but Antonio Calabrese, a lawyer representing Clemente, said there have been no new plans submitted for the project since it was initially proposed in 2017.

The eventual plan is to include 1,400 multi-family units in a high-rise building that would replace the existing commercial building. All units would be workforce dwelling units.

Calabrese said The Evolution is a separate project from The View and is not part of a proffer related to that project.

Meanwhile, Calabrese said Clemente is moving forward with plans to resubmit The View to Fairfax County staff on Friday (June 14) with hopes to have final approval in the fall.

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently made a $51 million investment in Tysons-area roads, but improvements to a troubled McLean road didn’t make the cut.

Balls Hill Road runs parallel to the Beltway through much of McLean up to Georgetown Pike, turning the two-lane residential street into a preferred get-around for Beltway traffic on navigation apps.

During rush hour, the intersection of Balls Hill Road and Georgetown Pike (Route 193) is frequently a backed up, apocalyptic free-for-all. Solutions to alleviate the congestion — including a controversial plan to close Georgetown Pike off from the Beltway entirely — have been proposed.

One plan involving intersection improvements was considered at meetings last fall, but the proposed improvement was not included in the Board of Supervisors’ budget.

“The Balls Hill and 193 improvements were not included in the Board’s $51 million [budget],” said Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

Potential intersection improvements included short-term solutions like widening shoulders to allow for increased traffic enforcement and painted boxes to stop drivers from stopping in the intersection and blocking traffic.

Longer term solutions focused on coordinated efforts to improve the American Legion Bridge and the nearby Beltway to reduce backups onto Georgetown Pike.

Meanwhile, another project to improve another troublesome intersection on Balls Hill Road is moving forward. The Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive intersection is notoriously crash-prone with 29 crashes in a five-year span, due in part to poor sight-line conditions.

Geiger said in December, the Board of Supervisors approved the T-intersection proposal for the site and the project is currently in a preliminary engineering design phase. Funding for that project is approximately $21.5 million with construction scheduled to start in spring 2023.

Image via Google Maps

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Thursday (June 13)

  • Teacher End of School Year Happy Hour Party3-7 p.m. at Blackfinn Ameripub-Merrifield (2750 Gallows Road) — Blackfinn is hosting a celebration of teachers at the end of the school year with complimentary appetizers for teachers, prizes and giveaways, and drink specials. The event is free, but seating is limited.

Friday (June 14)

  • DevFest DC 20199 a.m.-6 p.m. at Capital One Center (1680 Capital One Drive) — The 8th annual DevFest DC — a meeting of developers throughout the region — returns this Friday. Industry expert speakers from technology companies and various coding sessions are planned throughout the day. Tickets are $70 for a regular pass if purchased before Thursday, or $100 if purchased on the day of the event.
  • National Flip Flop Day 2019 2-7 p.m. at Tropical Smoothie Cafe (2672 Avenir Place) — As part of “National Flip Flop Day,” anyone stopping in at the Tysons Tropical Smoothie can get a free 16 ounce Sunshine Smoothie.

Saturday (June 15)

  • Family Father’s Day Stroller Strides Class8:45-10:30 a.m. at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) — The FIT4MOM group usually hosts exercise programs for mothers with babies, but the group is holding a special fathers-focused class. Tickets are available online.
  • Summer Concerts on the Green: Nowhere Men6:30-8 p.m. at Vienna Town Green (144 E. Maple Avenue) — Vienna’s free summer concert lineup starts with an acoustic Beatles tribute band, Nowhere Men. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, but to leave their pets at home.

Sunday (June 16)

  • Bike Chains and Derailleurs Workshop9-11 a.m. at REI (8209 Watson Street) — A workshop at REI will help cyclists learn how to tune their bikes to avoid grinding gears, rubbing derailleurs and squeaky chains. Attendees can bring their own bike or practice on one at the store. Tickets are $40 for members or $60 for non-members.
  • Father’s Day Brunch and Dinner11 a.m.-9 p.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) — Fathers get their first beer for $1 for a brunch and dinner special at INCA Social. Kids 6 and younger eat for free.
  • Dad Jokes on Father’s Day5-7 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — The Tysons Biergarten is hosting a comedy night specifically for the best — or worst — original dad jokes from several local comedians. Tickets to the comedy show are free.

Photo via Town of Vienna/Facebook

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