Tysons, VA

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.

0 Comments

Capital Bikeshare use has been steadily rising in Tysons over the last three years.

Between January and August, riders this year took 7,523 rides — 575 rides more than last year’s total. So far, ridership this year has gone up 8% compared to 2018.

Ridership jumped up last year as well. Capital Bikeshare experienced a 16% increase in Tysons ridership from 2017 to 2018.

The data is from the latest status report by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT), which is slated to be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (Oct. 15).

The increasing ridership is likely to continue as more stations come to the Tysons area next year.

“FCDOT received a Commuter Choice grant for 10 new stations in the Merrifield and Vienna Metrorail area and is actively working on finalizing station locations for the Providence District Transportation Alternatives Program grant that will add up to 18 new stations to the Fairfax County system in 2020,” according to FCDOT.

The county finished a feasibility study of the Route 123 corridor between Route 7 and Burke Lake Park in partnership, according to FCDOT.

Currently, there are 14 stations in Tysons. Earlier this year, Capital Bikeshare expanded into Merrifield and Falls Church.

So far in Falls Church, riders have taken 322 trips, while riders in Merrifield have taken 2,181 trips this year, according to FCDOT.

Image via Fairfax County

0 Comments

The Vienna Police Department is investigating two recent reports of stolen bicycles.

The first incident occurred between Thursday night and Friday morning (Sep.t 19-20). A Park Street SE resident reported that someone stole his bicycle from his front porch, police said.

Then on Sunday (Sept. 22) shortly before 6:30 p.m., a man parked his bicycle outside of the Exxon as 395 E. Maple Avenue while he ran in to make a purchase, police said. His bicycle was gone when he returned.

Aside from the stolen bicycles, Vienna police also responded to a report of a suspicious package that employees at Navy Federal Credit Union (820 Follin Lane SE) received in the mail on Monday (Sept. 23).

“The package was placed in a safe area, and the Fairfax County Police Bomb Squad responded to examine the package,” police said.

The bomb squad determined the package, which contained bank statements, was not a threat.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is set to move forward two projects aiming to make Tysons and Vienna more walkable and bikeable.

At Tuesday’s meeting (Sept. 24), the board is slated to approve an extra $3 million for a project that will add a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-495, connecting the east side of Tysons to Tysons One Place.

“The project will provide for the design and construction of a 10-foot shared-use path along Old Meadow Road beginning at the intersection of Route 123 and Provincial Drive, and terminating at Tysons One Place near the intersection with Fashion Boulevard,” according to county documents.

Construction is slated to start on the project in spring 2021 and finish in spring 2022, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

“The project area has a mix of retail, business, and residential communities with no bicycle and pedestrian access across I-495,” the document says.

Previously, the project was fully funded, but changing right-of-way estimates and construction costs increased the costs, according to the county.

The board is also set to authorize the director of the county’s transportation department to work with VDOT on improving bike access to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.

The project includes:

  • construction of a new shared-use path along the south side of Virginia Center Blvd
  • removing the existing sidewalk on the west side of Sutton Road
  • construction of a two-way cycle track and sidewalk along the south side of Country Creek Road
  • adding bike wayfinding signage and shared lane markings

The work on the trails is part of the I-66 project, according to county documents.

Map via VDOT

0 Comments

How do you bike from Tysons to Reston? One person took to Twitter to ask that very question on Friday (Sept. 20).

While most of the tweets said the Washington and Old Dominion Trail is the way to go to, several people shared different routes for getting to the trail.

One person recommended that cyclists head from Leesburg Pike (Route 7) to Gallows Road down to the W&OD Trail. The trail follows Piney Branch Stream from Vienna to Difficult Run River, before heading north to Plaza America and Reston Town Center in Reston.

For cyclists who don’t want to head that far south, another person recommended a route behind Walmart (1500 B Cornerside Blvd) by the Spring Hill Metro station that connects to the W&OD Trail.

Another person suggested the new Vesper Trail, which runs through the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley Park as another way to get to the W&OD Trail.

Tysons has some changes underway aiming to make the area more bikeable and walkable.

The Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project plans to add paths between Reston and Tysons. Meanwhile in Tysons, the Jones Branch Connector is slated to open this fall, connecting the Tysons East and North Central neighborhoods.

For cyclists looking to rent bikes, Capital Bikeshare has brought more than a dozen bike-share docks to Tysons.

0 Comments

The anticipation is almost over for bicyclists and drivers who have been waiting for permanent lane markings along Greensboro Drive by The Boro development.

Jennifer McCord, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter that the roadwork is being completed by a developer under permit.

“The developer plans to install the pavement markings for the bicycle lane on Greensboro Drive between Westpark Drive and Solutions Drive on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, weather permitting,” McCord said. “The other markings should be in place by Aug. 21.”

“I’m not sure how a bike commuter, pedestrian, scooter (or an [Single Occupant Vehicle] even) is supposed to safely navigate this area,” a self-identified cyclist tweeted Aug. 1.

0 Comments

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!

Tuesday (July 16)

Wednesday (July 17)

  • Pizza for Pets11 a.m.-10 p.m. at Ledo Pizza (141 Park Street SE) — All day in Vienna, 10 percent of the proceeds from any purchase at Ledo Pizza will go to supporting the nonprofit Frankie’s Friends and Hope Advanced Veterinary Center.
  • Mars and Whisky — 6-9 p.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) — The recently opened Inca Social in Merrifield is hosting a book talk with Ancient Aliens guest George Haas, who is the co-author of The Cydonia Codex: Reflections From Mars. The book talk will be followed by a Catoctin Creek Rye whiskey tasting and raffle.
  • Princess Mononoke” 7 p.m. at Angelika Film Center (2911 District Avenue) — Angelika in the Mosaic District is hosting a screening of the 1997 Studio Ghibli classic “Princess Mononoke.” Tickets are $14.50. The Wednesday show is in Japanese with English subtitles, while the Thursday screening is the English dub.

Thursday (July 18)

  • Virginia Tire and Auto Grand Opening — 5-7 p.m. at Virginia Tire and Auto (141 W. Maple Avenue) — The recently opened Virginia Tire and Auto is hosting a celebration featuring autographs from Washington Redskins player Ryan Kerrigan. Free food, drinks and activities will also be provided.
  • Sheryl Crow at Wolf Trap8-11 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road) — “Soak Up the Sun” country-rock artist Sheryl Crow is performing at Wolf Trap. Tickets are $45 and the only ones left are on the lawn, so attendees are encouraged to get them quickly.

Friday (July 19)

  • Silhouette Artist at Mosaic District — by appointment at Wee Chic (2905 District Avenue, Suite 120) — Childrens’ clothing boutique Wee Chic will have silhouette artist Keith Donaldson at the store to create hand-cut artwork. Appointments are required and kids of all ages are welcome. Two matted copies are $40 and additional copies of the same child are $10.

Sunday (July 21)

  • Woman’s Flat Tire Repair Class — 9-11 a.m. at REI (8209 Watson Street) — REI is hosting a flat tire repair class specifically for female cyclists. The class is aimed at teaching women everything they need to know to change a tire and reduce the chances of a repeat flat. Attendees are invited to bring their own busted tire or work on one provided by REI.

Image via Amazon

0 Comments

The regionwide Capital Bikeshare is now open in Merrifield.

On Friday, June 21, Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth kicked off the launch of Capital Bikeshare at the Dunn Loring Metro station.

The new stations are located at the Dunn Loring Metro station, the Mosaic District and Merrifield Town Center.

“These will be part of a network in Fairfax County including other stations in Tysons, Reston and West Falls Church,” said Smyth.

The expansion is part of a broader Capital Bikeshare expansion throughout Fairfax, with new locations planned along Route 123 in Vienna, City of Fairfax and George Mason University.

For a monthly $8 membership, bicycles can be used for any ride under 30 minutes for free. Trips under 30 minutes are available for $2 systemwide for non-Bikeshare members.

The Capital Bikeshare expansion is part of an ongoing effort by Fairfax County to close the gap between the Dunn Loring Metro station and the Mosaic District, including a recent proposal to add in an autonomous shuttle running back and forth between the two locations.

Photo via Fairfax County

0 Comments

Police Investigating “Apparent Drowning” in McLean — “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are responding to assume the investigation of an apparent drowning in the 1100 block of Pine Hill Rd in McLean.” [Fairfax County Police/Twitter]

Fire in Vienna Restaurant Saturday — Firefighters responded to a kitchen fire in a restaurant in the 200 block of E. Maple Avenue Saturday night with  “smoke showing upon arrival in [the] middle unit of [the] strip shopping center.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

Tegna Acquires Broadcast Companies — “For $535 million in cash, the Tysons-based media company will gain control of NBC Indianapolis affiliate WTHR-TV and CBS Columbus affiliate WBNS-TV… Tegna will also acquire WBNS-FM, a popular sports station in Central Ohio.” [Washington Business Journal]

New Trails Coming to Tysons — “As a major road is widened in Northern Virginia, cyclists say their efforts to get transportation improvements are also being heard. Fourteen miles of new trails are coming along with new lanes along busy Route 7 in the Tysons area.” [Adam Tuss/Twitter]

Police Investigating Falls Church Man’s Drowning — “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are investigating after the body of 55-year-old Lee Bowersett, of Falls Church, was recovered from Lake Barcroft [Wednesday] morning… Preliminarily, there are no signs of foul play.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

Man Pleads Guilty to Fitting Rooms Filmings — “Of the charges to which 39-year-old Mumtaz Rauf pleaded guilty, one was a felony and three were misdemeanors… Rauf was arrested last December after a teenage girl at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax told store employees that she saw a camera in a Forever 21 changing room.” [WTOP]

School’s Out, But Free Meals Are Still Around — From June 17 to Aug, 23, the Free Summer Meals for Kids Program provides meals to kids ages 5 to 18 during the summer. [Fairfax County]

0 Comments

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

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list