Tysons, VA

A meeting tomorrow night is set to give locals an update and a chance to comment on proposed changes to Magarity Road.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is gearing up to make walkway improvements to Magarity Road, which creates the border of where East Side neighborhood of Tysons stops and the Falls Church area of Fairfax County begins.

The project is set to provide a  continuous curb and gutter and an 8-foot-wide asphalt walkway along the south side of Magarity Road and in front of Westgate Elementary School, along with new crosswalks across the road at  Tremayne Place, Cherri Drive and Ware Road, according to county documents.

The project also plans to make the drop-off and pick-up turning movements at the school safer and relocate several bus stops.

More from Fairfax County about the project:

Residents of Pimmit Hills, the neighborhood south of Magarity Road, and the Westgate Elementary School requested a walkway on the south side of the street to allow more children to walk and bike to school safely.

The project will provide connectivity to the school, with other area planned trail projects, and to the McLean Metrorail Station.

The meeting is set to take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 13) at the cafeteria at Westgate Elementary School (7500 Magarity Road) in Falls Church.

At the meeting, FCDOT staff will give an update on the scoping and design changes since the June 2018 meeting.

People have until Nov. 27 to provide feedback and can submit comments online or in writing to FCDOT.

Map via Google Maps

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Plans to regulate motorized scooters are zooming ahead in Fairfax County ahead of the end of the year deadline for creating regulations.

Staff from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) and the Department of Cable and Consumer Services presented the proposed ordinance during the Transportation Committee on Tuesday (Oct. 29).

The county has until Jan. 1, 2020 to implement regulations on motorized scooters, skateboards and bicycles. After that date, the scooter companies can zoom around however they please.

Scooters are an increasingly popular alternative transportation option and are already in use in the county. (The City of Falls Church and the Town of Vienna are also in the process of creating their own pilot programs.)

The proposed ordinance would create a new chapter in the code that would exclude Capital Bikeshare. The ordinance would allow for an initial fleet size of 300 shared mobility devices — and up to a maximum of 600 after the company’s meet certain requirements, according to the presentation.

Scooters would be allowed on highways and sidewalks — unless signs say otherwise, according to the presentation.

Rebecca Makely, from the Department of Cable and Consumer Services, said that county staff knocked down the proposed speed limit from 15 to 10 miles per hour.

“We do believe that this is a conservative approach,” Makely said, adding that the county is considering pedestrian safety along with the proposal.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, who has expressed concern about a 15 mph speed limit, said that Tysons Partnership wants to see higher speed limits and larger numbers of vehicles allowed.

Next Tuesday (Oct. 29), the Board of Supervisors is set to vote on whether or not to authorize a public hearing about the proposal on Nov. 19.

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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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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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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

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More bus routes may come to Tysons in the future.

Fairfax County is currently conducting a study on bus rapid transit options along Route 7 in Tysons.

Sean Schweitzer and Nanditha Paradkar from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation gave the Board of Supervisors an update on the proposal at the Transportation Committee meeting today (Tuesday).

FCDOT Director Tom Biesiadny said that this project is a subset of a larger Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s Envision Route 7 project. Fairfax County took over the part in Tysons because it overlaps with other projects in the area, Biesiadny said.

Schweitzer said that a study about the bus alternatives was initiated last October. Now, FCDOT has the proposed bus system divided into three segments:

  • segment 1: Spring Hill Metro station to International Drive
  • segment 2: International Drive to I-495
  • segment 3: I-495 to I-66

So far, FCDOT is considering several alternatives for each of those segments. Fairfax County has the funding to complete the study, Biesiadny said.

Schweitzer said that the alternatives will be put through simulations this fall before seeking feedback from civic associations.

Image via Fairfax County

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Construction recently started on a new trail in Tysons East that will connect Westgate Elementary School to the McLean Metro Station.

Scott’s Run Trail will provide a half-mile, 8-foot wide trail spanning Magarity Road to Colshire Meadow Drive near the McLean Metro station.

Robin Geiger, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter that construction on the trail started July 8.

“Work is just starting now with the placement of erosion control items prior to grading activities,” Geiger said.

Located within Scott’s Run Stream Valley Park and Westgate Park, the trail will be lighted and include two bridges — a 90-foot bridge over Scotts Run Stream and a 50-foot bridge over a tributary.

The $3.3 million project is being funded by the Federal Regional Surface Transportation Program and Fairfax County.

Geiger said that construction plans to wrap up in next September.

Photo via Fairfax County Department of Transportation

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Construction on improvements to Kirby Road south of Chesterbrook Elementary School is slated to start in September.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation gave residents an update yesterday (Wednesday) on the sidewalks project spanning from Birch Road to Corliss Court along Kirby Road.

Latesa Turner, an FCDOT engineer, gave a presentation to a small group of people at Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road) last night shortly after 7 p.m.

The project would add the following new elements to Kirby Road:

  • a 5-6-foot wide concrete sidewalk and ADA-accessible curb ramps
  • concrete curb and gutter
  • drainage inlets and pipes
  • driveway entrances
  • pedestrian crossing and median refuge at Powhatan Street
  • re-alignment of Chesterfield Avenue intersection
  • water main reconstruction and upgrades
  • road pavement and striping

The first phase of the project, which will last between three to four months, will involve closing the westbound lane of Kirby Road to construct the water line relocation, according to the presentation. Drivers can expect traffic maintained in both directions during the lane closure.

Then, the second phase will involve closing the westbound lane of Kirby Road for drainage and utility work, along with work on the curb ramps, driveway entrances, sidewalk and gutter. The second phase is expected to last five to six months, according to the presentation.

The contractor will come out within the next week for clearing and tree removal. Then, construction will start in September. The first phase is slated to be done around December and most of the work will be completed by February. All of the work is slated to be finished by April 2020.

Once finished, Turner said that the Virginia Department of Transportation will maintain the sidewalks.

When asked why it took two years for the project to start construction, Turner said that many steps had to take place after the idea was approved including finalizing the plans, receiving VDOT approval, permitting and bidding for the project after the land acquisition in late 2017.

Despite some grumblings among attendees about waiting for the improvements, many expressed support for the upcoming work.

“I’m really glad you’re doing this,” one attendee told Turner toward the end of the meeting.

Image 4 via Fairfax County

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An upcoming meeting will provide the latest information on new sidewalks slated for a portion of Kirby Road in McLean.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation are scheduled to hold a public meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening about the project, which stretches from Birch Road to Corliss Court along Kirby Road.

The project includes new 6-foot-wide sidewalk, curb, gutter, storm sewer and water utility infrastructure on the north side of Kirby Road. The improvements are funded by County Commercial and Industrial Property Tax funds, according to the county.

The meeting will take place in the cafeteria of Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road) at 7 p.m.

Image via Fairfax County 

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Bus riders in the Tysons area can expect to see blue and white Fastran buses on some Fairfax Connector routes starting today (June 3).

The buses are meant to help riders impacted by the summer shutdown of several Metro stations during the summer.

The Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services and Fairfax County Department of Transportation teamed up to bring Fastran buses to a few Fairfax Connector routes, as the Fairfax Connector offers more service on two express routes from the Springfield area to the Pentagon.

The Fastran buses will cover these Fairfax Connector routes:

“Fastran buses do not have route numbers and destinations listed outside of the buses,” according to Fairfax County. “The Fastran buses will stop at each bus stop on affected routes to make sure passengers know to board. When boarding, please look for a sign inside the bus to verify your route.”

Riders won’t be able to check real-time arrival information for the Fastran buses, since the buses do not have the technology. Fairfax County urges riders to get to their bus stop at least 5 minutes before the bus’ scheduled arrival time, which can be found via the static schedule information on BusTracker and by texting 41-411.

Metro recently closed several stations on the Blue and Yellow lines south of Ronald Reagan National Airport for platform reconstruction that will last until September.

Fairfax County is deploying the Fastran buses through September.

Let us know below if the Metro shutdown will affect you during the summer.

Photo via UCM of Alexandria/Facebook

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