Tysons Corner, VA

Bicyclists and drivers can expect new lane markings on Greensboro Drive by The Boro development early next month.

Last week, a self-identified cyclist questioned on Twitter when the road would get new striping.

“The new asphalt is nice, but total chaos,” the May 14 tweet said. “[The] eastbound bike lane, second travel lane, and center turn lane [are] all obliterated. And it’s been a few weeks.”

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 gave this update on Greensboro Drive via the VDOT spokeswoman:

VDOT approved a temporary striping plan to allow bicycle traffic to share the southbound lane of Greensboro Drive between Westpark and Solutions until improvements to Greensboro, Westpark and Solutions have been completed. Currently, there are bicycle “sharrows” between Westpark and Silver Hill. Prior to Greensboro being milled and overlaid between Silver Hill and Solutions, a sharrow was installed and a remaining sharrow will be reinstalled.

In addition to the shared lane marking, the signal at the intersection of Westpark and Greensboro drives will be modified and new signals will be installed at Greensboro’s intersection with Spring Hill Road and Solutions Drive, the spokeswoman said.

“The contractor plans to mill and overlay Greensboro and Westpark the weeks of May 28 and June 3; then pavement markings will be placed relative to the bike lane from Westpark to Solutions,” McCord wrote in an email.

Drivers and bicyclists can expect temporary markings until the signal construction is complete. Once the work on the signals finishes, Greensboro Drive will then welcome new permanent markings, McCord said.

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Bike to Work Day tomorrow (Friday) wants locals in the D.C. area to hop on a bike for their commute — even if it’s just for one day.

People interested in the free event can register online to access 115 pit stops throughout the region — seven are in the Tysons area — and link up to commuter convoys.

Participants can expect a warm and overcast Friday with the chance of stray rain or thunderstorms.

So what do you think? Is this something you would want to do or not?

Photo via Facebook and map via Bike to Work Day

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The Capital Bikeshare network soon could reach out to even more spots in the Tysons area.

At a Fairfax County Board Transportation Committee meeting today (Tuesday), staff went through plans to add new bike share stations throughout Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield, with potential to add them to McLean.

Currently, 30 Capital Bikeshare stations are located in Fairfax County, with 16 in Reston, 13 in Tysons, and one at the West Falls Church Metro station. The most recent Capital Bikeshare station in Tysons was installed in December at the McLean Metro station. On Friday (May 17) a new station is scheduled to activate at Hilton Headquarters (7930 Jones Branch Drive) on the other side of the Jones Branch Connector.

There are 17 proposed locations for new Capital Bikeshare docks in the Tysons area to be launched next year — including docks along the Route 7 corridor between Tysons and Falls Church and the Gallows Road corridor between Tysons and Merrifield.

In Merrifield, three new stations are planned to activate on May 22 at:

  • Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station (2700 Gallows Road)
  • Halstead Square Dunn Loring Metro Apartments (2729 Merrilee Drive)
  • The Mosaic District (Merrifield Cinema Drive)

Six new stations are planned to launch in the area next spring.

A collaborative study for bike share expansion in Vienna was completed in March, and staff said the study recommended expanding the system throughout Vienna and considering a dockless bike share feature sometime in the future.

Along that route, Fairfax County recommends additional stations at:

  • Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station (2700 Gallows Road)
  • Vienna Metro station (9550 Saintsbury Drive)
  • Gallows Road corridor
  • Nottoway Park (9537 Courthouse Road)
  • Circle Towers (9335 Lee Highway)

The Capital Bikeshare expansion in the study area is planned to be funded from the I-66 Commuter Choice program.

In the Town of Vienna, new bike share locations are proposed at:

  • Town Green (144 Maple Avenue E.)
  • Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street S.E.)
  • Maple Avenue Shopping Center (180 Maple Avenue W.)
  • Navy Federal Credit Union (820 Follins Lane)
  • 444 Maple Avenue W. (currently a redevelopment project)

Yesterday (Monday), Capital Bikeshare also expanded into Falls Church with 11 stations.

There are few details, but the staff report indicates that future expansion could add the Capital Bikeshare to other areas like McLean.

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(Updated 11:20 p.m.) Tomorrow (Wednesday), Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is planning the 8th annual “Bike to School Day” to help foster healthy habits in local students.

The activity is part of a series of events throughout the area focused around promoting bicycling.

Students are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work, with parents encouraged to accompany their children to school and organize bike trains or walking groups.

FCPS also has a list of safe routes to and from each school in the county.

Tysons area schools with Bike to School Day activities include:

  • Churchhill Road Elementary
  • Colvin Run Elementary
  • Cunningham Park Elementary
  • Fairhill Elementary
  • Graham Road Elementary
  • Haycock Elementary
  • Kilmer Middle
  • Lemon Road Elementary
  • Marshall Road Elementary
  • Spring Hill Elementary
  • Timber Lane Elementary
  • Vienna Elementary
  • Westbriar Elementary
  • Wolf Trap Elementary

For those without kids in the schools, Bike to Work Day is May 17. Locals are encouraged to bike to work, even if it’s just for one day, to try out the healthy commute.

Participants in Bike to Work Day can register online to access 115 pit stops throughout the region and link up to commuter convoys.

Photo via Facebook

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The regionwide Capital Bikeshare is scheduled to open in Falls Church on Wednesday (May 8).

There are 11 new stations in total, with six located either on Broad Street or within one block of it, according to Falls Church Communications Director Susan Finarelli. Other new stations include one at the West Falls Church Metro and one near a bicycle trail near Tripps Run Creek.

The stations are planned to activate this week for a “soft opening” with an official ribbon-cutting planned Monday (May 13), according to Finarelli.

The stations offer bicycles to rent through a membership and can be ridden to any other Capital Bikeshare station.

“We’re excited to be connecting to the regional network,” said Finarelli.

Finarelli said the opening is planned for 6:30 p.m. at the Capital Bikeshare station between Clare & Don’s Beach Shack and The State Theater on N. Washington Street.

Map via City of Falls Church

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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 (May 2)

  • 4th Anniversary Beer Dinner7:30-10 p.m. at Caboose Tavern (520 Mill Street NE) — In celebration of the company’s fourth anniversary, the Caboose Brewing Company is hosting a five-course evening meal and beer pairings. Tickets are $75 and limited, so they must be reserved in advance. Meals include deviled egg, tuna tartare and “deconstructed s’mores.”
  • Harry Potter Trivia Night5-6 p.m. at Bards Alley (110 Church Street NW) — Vienna’s Bards Alley book shop is hosting a Harry Potter trivia contest. Complimentary non-alcoholic butterbeer will be on tap and Harry Potter-inspired attire is encouraged.

Friday (May 3)

  • Intro to Djembe Drumming 7-8:30 p.m. at Alden Theatre (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — The Alden in the McLean Community Center is hosting a drum circle class run by artist Kofi Dennis to teach local families about djembe drumming. The class is designed for families and children under 14 must have an adult.

Saturday (May 4)

  • Bike Rodeo9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (400 Center Street S) — Veteran cyclists will be on hand to help children learn some real-life handling skills, like road rules and how to handle obstacles. Children must wear a helmet to participate.
  • May the Fourth Be With You Party10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — The Tysons library is hosting a Star Wars themed party, including crafts, snacks and children’s activities. A costume contest will be held at 11:30 a.m. The event is for all ages with adult supervision. A screening of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” will be held after the party at 2 p.m. The movie is rated PG-13, so all ages under 13 require an adult.
  • The Organic Butcher’s Spring Block Party — 12-4 p.m. at The Organic Butcher (6712 Old Dominion Drive) — The Organic Butcher in McLean is hosting its annual block party, with live music, food, wine, beer and cider tastings. Artisans and farmers are set to attend. A sausage-making demonstration is planned for 2 p.m.
  • May the 4th Be With You and Your Margarita — 8 p.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Pl.) — Inca Social, a new bar in Merrifield, is hosting a special Star Wars themed evening with margarita and gosarita specials all evening. The DJ starts at 9 p.m., and table reservations can be made online.

Sunday (May 5)

  • Cinco de Mayo and Official Patio Launch Party — 10 a.m.-11 p.m. at Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 W Broad Street) — The Falls Church bar is hosting a Cinco de Mayo party and opening up the bar’s patio with a selection of drinking and food specials, including discounts on Tequila flights.

Image via Facebook

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After a weather-related delay in February, the new half-mile Vesper Trail connecting Vienna and the Spring Hill Metro station is now open.

The new trail runs through the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Stream Valley Park, sometimes called “Tysons’ Last Forest.”

The trail is part of a series of necessary transportation improvements identified in the Tysons Metrorail Station Access Management Study. The trail is federally funded.

At the grand opening this morning (Tuesday), Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova and Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins spoke at the grand opening and emphasized the new trail’s crucial role in connecting Vienna residents to Tysons transit and retail.

Photo via Twitter

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After a pilot phase last fall, battery-powered e-bikes are now a permanent fixture of the Capital Bikeshare fleet in Tysons.

As of 12:30 p.m., there were two e-bikes in Tysons: one at Westpark and Jones Branch Drive, east of Tysons Galleria, and one at Greensboro and Pinnacle Drive east of the Galleria, near The Boro development.

The e-bikes can be tracked on the Capital Bikeshare’s map, with lightning bolt icons showing the presence of an e-bike.

The new bikes can go up to 18 mph and are designed to help with hills. The e-bikes are typically an additional $1 to ride, but the extra fare is being waived for all riders until April 15.

Tysons is now up to 13 stations, with new stations added just north of Tysons Galleria and at the McLean Metro station in the last few months.

Image via Capital Bikeshare

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The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is looking for some public input on new trail names for the bicycle and pedestrian path along I-66.

No Traily McTrailface, please — FCDOT is seeking a more pleasant, non-gimmicky monicker for the trail, which is currently in planning but set for construction later this year.

“The concern was that I-66 has a negative connotation because everyone hates I-66,” Chris Wells, bicycle and pedestrian program manager for FCDOT, said at an earlier meeting. “But everyone knows where I-66 is and where it’s located. We’re going to be doing sample names and present those at a future meeting.”

The trail — will run from Gallows Road in Vienna to Centreville — has more problems than just the name. Discussion of the I-66 trail at that meeting turned contentious as bicycle advocates prodded Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) staff over issues like separation of the trail from the road and snow removal.

For most of the length of the trail, the bicycle path will be at a separate elevation from the highway or running parallel on side streets.

For a few miles, particularly near Vienna, however, the trail will be running directly alongside the highway. VDOT officials at the meeting noted that it was “not ideal for a pleasant bike-riding experience,” but placing the trail on the other side of the sound barrier would have cut into the back yards of homes along the road.

Upcoming meetings are planned to review the proposed trail and offer an overview of the upcoming construction timeline. The two meetings are scheduled for:

  • Vienna: Tuesday, April 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Marshall Road Elementary School  (730 Marshall Rd SW)
  • Centreville: Saturday, April 27, from 1-11:30 a.m. at Centreville Elementary School (14330 Green Trails Blvd)

According to a Department of Transportation post for the meetings:

The meeting will also include an interactive exercise with attendees to explore possible names for the new trail.  Attendees will be asked to submit names and weigh in on a sampling of names that have been suggested. FCDOT will than narrow the list of names and host an online survey to vote on the trail names to be presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board for consideration and approval.

Image via VDOT

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Cyclebar, a premium indoor cycling studio, is planning to come to Tysons Galleria later this year as part of a series of transformations for the north end of the mall.

Macy’s, one of the mall’s anchor tenants, is mid-closure and Tysons Galleria is already in plans to replace the store with a selection of smaller venues like an Apple Store and iPic theater.

Don Brazelton, the owner of the Tysons franchise location, said the location is part of a stretch of wellness-oriented outlets planned inside the former Legal Sea Foods that closed in September. Brazelton said other fitness locations, like a yoga studio, could join the cycling studio.

“We’ve been trying to get one in the Tysons area for a while,” Brazelton said. “We were talking to the Boro and a couple of other places, but the economics given to us at the Galleria made it impossible to turn down. When you take into consideration some of the short term and long term plans — that mall is going to be entirely different. It’s going to have a different energy. We wanted to be a part of that, and they wanted us to be a part of that.”

The chain already has locations in Falls Church and on Arlington’s Columbia Pike. Brazelton said the “premium aspect” of Cyclebar fits well with the Galleria, which is noted for its higher-end, luxury retailers.

Among the amenities, Brazelton noted that the location will have heated tile floors and top-rated cycles.

Despite this, Brazelton said he’s committed to keeping the studio affordable.

“Typically, prices at cycling studios range from $110-130 per month depending on who it is,” Brazelton said. “I’m going to let people in my studio for $89 a month for unlimited rides.”

It’s hard to say where this fits in with other cycling studio subscriptions, as prices at cycling studios can vary significantly.

Brazelton said the Tysons location is targeting an August 2019 opening.

Photo courtesy Don Brazelton

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