The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved a proposed name change of the McLean Metro station to the McLean-Capital One Hall Metro station, but it isn’t the end of the line for the name change yet.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the change, though several supervisors made sure to clarify the name change was to draw people towards the upcoming performance center and not as advertising for the banking giant whose headquarters the facility is part of.
“This is a very particular situation in which we do have an agreement between the county and Capital One Hall to provide a minimum of 100 days of use,” said Supervisor Dalia Palchik, representing the Providence District. “It’s going to be our very own Strathmore. It’s a very specific request to have this name put on the Metro station so people know we have this asset here in Fairfax County.”
Palchik admitted that at first, seeing the corporate name attached to the Metro station gave her some pause, but concluded: “this is not a slippery slope, this is a very unique situation.”
Supervisor John Foust, representing Dranesville, was similarly supportive of the name and pushed back on the idea that the county had sold the naming rights.
“I’m supportive of the name change, but I don’t support every proposed name change,” Foust said. “This is not selling a naming right to a single corporate entity. It’s not being done for the exclusive benefit of a single land owner. Capital One Hall is a state of the art performing arts center. It will play a significant role in implementing the comprehensive plan for Tysons. It is absolutely in the public interest that we draw attention to this center and by this name change I think we will do this.”
Supervisor Jeff McKay clarified that Capital One would pay for changing the Metro signs and would not be publicly funded.
Though the name was approved by the Board of Supervisors, the proposed renaming will still have to be approved by WMATA, which has its own guidelines for changing a station name.
Funding Metro Project — “A project submitted by the Fairfax County government remains in contention for Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) funding, even as a number of other regional projects have been delayed for consideration due to sharp dropoffs in available funding.” [Inside NoVa]
Acquisition Takes Flight — “McLean-based communications satellite services provider Intelsat Corp. announced Monday it will acquire in-flight broadband connectivity provider Gogo Inc.’s commercial aviation business for $400 million.” [Virginia Business]
New Space for Shows — “The Creative Cauldron, a home-grown theater with some of the more successful performance and educational programs in the Little City’s history, has been promised 5,000 square feet for an expanded venue as a part of the Broad and Washington project.” [Falls Church News-Press]
New Auto Care Shop Rolls Into McLean — “McLean Automotive Service Center, a family-run business for nearly 70 years, has been turned into another locally-owned business.” [Patch]
Photo by Michelle Goldchain
The Vienna and Dunn Loring stations will reopen to riders right after Labor Day, Metro announced yesterday (Monday).
The two stations are set to reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The stations temporarily closed a few months ago for platform reconstruction.
“Rail service has returned to near pre-pandemic levels, and Metrobus service will increase dramatically beginning Sunday, August 23,” Metro said in the announcement.
Meanwhile, the East Falls Church station, which was originally set to open around Labor Day, is now expected to reopen two weeks ahead of schedule on Sunday, Aug. 23. Metro said that riders will be able to use a new free Bike & Ride facility at the East Falls Church station.
On Sunday (Aug. 16), five Silver Line stations, which temporarily closed for Silver Line Phase 2 work, and the West Falls Church station returned to service.
More buses and trains and expanded hours of service are set to begin this Sunday (Aug. 16), restoring most service to pre-COVID-19 levels. The McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro and Spring Hill Metro stations are set to reopen on Sunday, along with the West Falls Church stop.
The Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church Metro stations are expected to reopen around Labor Day (Sept. 7), according to the announcement.
Metrorail plans to add 15 more hours of service per week. Opening times will also return to normal, with the system closing two hours later each night in anticipation of ridership increases after Labor Day.
The system is expected to restore roughly 75 percent of its pre-pandemic service beginning Aug. 23. Buses would operate until midnight and weekday service would return with 174 routes.
The reopening of six Fairfax County stations on the Silver Line is also on track for this Sunday.
Here’s more from Metro on the planned service changes:
Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. on Sundays and close daily at 11 p.m.
Weekdays Red Line trains will operate every 5 minutes during peak periods and 12 minutes off-peak; all others lines every 8 minutes during peak periods and 15 minutes off-peak.
On weekends Red Line trains will operate every 12 minutes; all other lines every 15 minutes.
Six stations west of Ballston re-open — McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill, Wiehle-Reston East and West Falls Church.
Arlington Cemetery Station remains closed as Arlington National Cemetery is currently closed to the general public.
Face masks or covering are required to travel on Metro, including at stations, trains, buses and MetroAccess vehicles.
Metro also warns that social distancing may be impossible due to projected ridership increases. Customers can consider traveling during off-peak hours.
— Supervisor Walter Alcorn (@WalterAlcornFFX) August 13, 2020
Photo by Michelle Goldchain
Two Metro stations in Tysons will receive shuttle bus service as part of Metro’s plans to reopen more than a dozen stations this Sunday (June 28).
Metro announced yesterday (Monday) that the Greensboro and McLean stations in Tysons, along with the East Falls Church station are the three stations that will soon have shuttle buses but still won’t offer rail service.
A dozen other stations, including Clarendon, Smithsonian and College Park, will reopen this Sunday with rail service. “Beginning Monday, June 29, buses will be added to the system’s 14 busiest bus lines to provide more capacity and more frequent service as the region reopens,” according to Metro.
Metro closed 15 stations earlier this year due to limited cleaning supplies and decreased ridership. Once the stations reopen this Sunday, Arlington Cemetery will be the only station left without regular service, Metro said.
In addition to the reopened stations, Metro riders can expect bus service realignment starting Monday, June 29.
More from Metro:
Metrobus customers on the region’s busiest routes will notice more frequent buses, less crowding, and more regular service beginning Monday, June 29. An additional 136 trips are being added across 14 routes: 54, 70, 92, 30N, 30S, A4, A6, A8, P6, V4, W4, F4, P12, and T18.
To make these improvements possible, Metro will temporarily suspend bus service on four routes that currently have extremely low ridership — NH2, C14, G2 and M6. Customers along these routes are asked to use other Metrobus routes nearby.
Starting Monday, weekday service will be improved with additional buses on the 54, 70, 92, 30N, 30S, A4, A6, A8, P6, V4, W4, F4, P12, and T18.
Service will be temporarily suspended on the NH2, C14, G2 and M6. Use alternate bus service nearby.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors wants to refresh the Tysons Corner Metro station name and move forward the rebranding of Tysons without the “Corner.”
The name debate over Tysons — including #dropthecorner on social media — has been around for several years. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to the name “Tysons” for the 22102 and 22182 zip codes in 2011, and the U.S. Census Bureau changed the designation of Tysons Corner to Tysons in 2015.
As high-rise developments sprout in the urbanizing area, Tysons is still grappling with its identity tied to suburbia and the Tysons Corner Center mall.
“Renaming the Metrorail station to Tysons would also help with local rebranding efforts,” county staff wrote.
The board is set to vote tomorrow (Tuesday) on recommending name changes for the West Falls Church and Tysons Corner stations to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA).
The West Falls Church-VT/UVA station would have “UVA” dropped because the University of Virginia (UVA) alerted the Department of Transportation staff this spring that it plans to relocate its campus, which is currently near the Metro station, according to county documents.
The Board of Supervisors wants the changes adopted in time for new signage timed with the opening of the second phase of the Silver Line, according to county documents.
Combining these two changes with the upcoming changes for adding Silver Line phase II stations reduces the estimated net cost to Fairfax County to approximately $670,000,” county staff said. “Funding held in trust at the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for Fairfax County will be used to fund these name changes.”
People can provide feedback on Fairfax Connector’s proposed service changes for this fall, which include expanded service from the McLean Metro stop.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is asking people to submit input via an online survey, email ([email protected]), phone (703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608) or mail, according to the county’s website.
“FCDOT normally conducts several community input meetings on proposed changes to Fairfax Connector service, but as a result of current public gathering restrictions due to COVID-19, transit staff recorded a presentation which is available online for viewing instead,” the website said.
The proposed service changes include several routes — the existing 334, 340/341 and 721 routes and the new 722, 350 and 351 routes.
More about the proposed changes to the Tysons-area routes:
Route 721: Chain Bridge Road – McLean Metrorail Station – Includes expanded weekday midday service every 30-minutes from the McLean Metrorail Station to the George Bush Center for Intelligence (GBCI) facility in Langley, Virginia. The buses will operate with 30-minute headways.
Route 722: McLean Metrorail Station – GBCI – Includes new weekday express service every 15 minutes during morning and afternoon peak hours between the McLean Metrorail Station and the GBCI facility in Langley.
FCDOT plans to present the final proposed changes to the county’s Board of Supervisors in July and, if the board approves them, the changes will go into effect by or before Oct. 31, the email said.
Tysons Company Gets Millions to Scale Up — “Qrvey, the next-generation analytics platform built to change the way companies interact with their data, today announced the close of a $7.5 million Series A investment round to scale up its revenue operations.” [PR Newswire]
Fundraising for Firefighters — “The Woman’s Club of McLean on May 4 donated $5,000 to the McLean Volunteer Fire Department, representing some of the proceeds from the club’s 2019 Holiday Homes Tour.” [Inside NoVa]
Uncertain Reopening Date for Nine Metro Stations — “Metro will only say that it will end in the fall, but is no longer promising it will end the day after Labor Day as originally expected… Metro says the closed Silver Line stations will not reopen until the Orange Line stations are able to reopen also.” [WJLA]
Local News Outlet Honors High School Seniors — Virginia Patch is celebrating graduates by publishing mini-profiles of them from forms that families can fill out. [Patch]
The McLean District Station recently received a kind surprise from a neighborhood in their district – Residents lined up in their yards & driveways, with posters & signs, to thank the first responders for their service. We are grateful to serve in such a great community! #FCPD pic.twitter.com/woyS6rgjkJ
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) May 6, 2020
Work on a new ramp linking eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro station is expected to start today (Monday).
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said in a press release that the work, which is a part of the I-66 Eastbound Widening Project, will connect two existing ramps.
“This direct access will save time for motorists on I-66 East who are headed to the West Falls Church Metrorail station and reduce traffic on Route 7,” Mark Gibney, VDOT’s design-build project manager, said in the press release.
More from VDOT:
When the project is complete, drivers will exit I-66 East for Route 7, stay left to connect to the ramp from Route 7 East to I-66 East, then stay right to reach Falls Church Drive and the West Falls Church Metrorail station.
All improvements will be performed within existing VDOT right-of-way.
Construction activities will begin with shoulder strengthening on the left side of I-66 East approaching the Route 7 interchange and along the left side of the Route 7 East ramp to I-66 East so traffic can be shifted to the left.
The two existing ramps will remain open during construction, although traffic shifts and occasional overnight traffic stoppages will be required. Construction will occur during daytime and nighttime hours.
VDOT expects the new ramp to open later this year.
Map via Google Maps
Metro is gearing up for work this summer that will close all of the Orange and Silver line stations west of Ballston.
Last week, Metro announced it is expanding its work from just platform reconstruction at several Orange Line stations to include connection of the upcoming Silver Line Phase II stations, which run from Reston to Ashburn.
Low Metro ridership and severely reduced highway traffic due to Virginia’s stay-at-home order prompted the additional work, Metro officials said.
Starting Saturday, May 23, nine stations will be closed through the fall. Free express and local shuttle buses, along with Fairfax Connector routes, will help connect riders traveling around Northern Virginia.
Let Tysons Reporter know if the expanded summer work will impact you.