Microsoft Closing Physical Stores — “Microsoft Corp. is closing its physical retail stores around the world… Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) lists a total of 72 stores in the United States, with three mall locations in Greater Washington: Westfield Montgomery in Bethesda, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City and Tysons Corner Center.” [Washington Business Journal]
Latest on COVID-19 Cases — “As the world topped 10 million coronavirus cases, the spread of the virus in Northern Virginia continues to stabilize, according to Sunday’s report from the Virginia Department of Health.” [Inside NoVa]
“Get It to Zero!” Campaign — “The Northern Virginia Regional Commission, which is working with local governments to coordinate the region’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, has released a new video encouraging area residents to help bring the number of positive tests to zero.” [Inside NoVa]
Battle the Beetle — “It has not yet been detected in Fairfax County, but the county government is asking local residents to be on the lookout for the Asian longhorned beetle, which has been found in other areas of the country and is very destructive to hardwood trees.” [Inside NoVa]
Metro’s Plans for Fourth of July — “Metro will run more frequent trains and extend service beyond 9 p.m. at designated stations closest to the National Mall.” [WMATA]
Silver Line Shutdown’s Impact on Tysons — “When Metrorail’s Silver Line opened in 2014, officials had high hopes for its ridership numbers. Though it ultimately did not meet those expectations, it fared better than other lines that have lost ridership since the Silver Line’s launch.” [Greater Greater Washington]
After construction-related closures, commuters can expect several Silver Line stations to reopen ahead of schedule, according to a press release from the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.
On Aug. 16, WMATA plans to reopen the McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East stations along with the West Falls Church station.
“Assuming the platform work continues at its current pace, the remaining three west-of-Ballston stations (Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls Church) are expected to reopen around Labor Day,” the press release added.
The timely completion of the projects can partially be contributed to the drop in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the press release said, adding that ridership is down 90% from this time last year.
“Metro has been working to efficiently use track access time during a period of historically low ridership,” the press release said. “Earlier this year, the transit agency combined Orange Line platform reconstruction and Silver Line signal integration into a multi-month summer shutdown of the nine rail stations west of Ballston”
Free shuttle busses will replace trains until the stations reopen, the press release said. “However, Vienna and Dunn Loring customers will be able to connect to Metrorail at West Falls Church, rather than Ballston.”
COVID-19 Challenges — “The Town of Vienna Economic Development Office released results from its COVID-19 Business Survey highlighting how the Town’s businesses have been impacted by the pandemic.” [Town of Vienna]
Businesses Worried About Metro Shutdown — “Sol Glasner, CEO of the Tysons Partnership, says Metro has now all but assured that the comeback will be delayed in Tysons. He said he was disappointed and frustrated with how Metro handled the Silver Line shutdown.” [WAMU]
County Officials Speak Out on Silver Line Closure — Dalia Palchik, Jeff Mckay and Sol Glasner wrote this opinion piece: “The pivotal importance of Metro to Tysons makes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s abrupt announcement of the summer closure of the Silver Line especially problematic.” [Washington Post]
New Governor Candidate — “Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy formally announced Wednesday that she is running for governor of Virginia in 2021.” [Inside NoVa]
Hope ♥️ pic.twitter.com/TkxXHAKHAs
— Falls Church Views (@falls_views) May 16, 2020
Photo courtesy James B. Crusan III
When Metro kicks off its summer work tomorrow (Saturday), drivers can find free parking at three Orange Line stations in the Tysons area.
The free parking will be available at the West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna stations during the shutdown. The West Falls Church station’s parking will be cut in half, but the other two stations won’t have capacity limits, according to the project’s website.
People who have reserved parking spots will still be billed for their spots, the website said.
The East Falls Church station will be closed for the summer work and won’t offer any parking, although the Kiss & Ride will allow pick-ups and drop-offs.
For cyclists, bike racks and lockers will still be offered at the stations during the summer work, except for at the East Falls Church station where some racks have been moved.
All Orange and Silver line stations west of the Ballston station will be closed starting tomorrow. The work, which is expected to last through the fall, includes platform reconstruction on the Orange Line and the connection of the upcoming stations to the Silver Line.
Image via Google Maps
(Updated 5/20/2020) Before Orange and Silver line stations temporarily close this Saturday (May 23), Fairfax County officials for the Tysons and Vienna areas want to know more about the closures’ impact.
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn plan to hold a virtual town hall on Thursday (May 21), according to staff from Palchik’s office.
The discussion will include representatives from WMATA and the county’s transportation department.
All Orange and Silver line stations west of the Ballston station will be closed through the fall for platform reconstruction at the four Orange Line stations and work to connect the Silver Line with the upcoming stations running from Reston to Ashburn.
The town hall is set to start at 6:30 p.m. People can register online.
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.
Now, all Orange and Silver line stations west of Ballston will be closed starting Saturday, May 23. The nine stations are expected to be closed through the fall.
“This is about two things: working smarter and working safer,” Metro General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld said, adding that the changes will “limit the exposure of our frontline staff and contractors, mitigate delays to our capital program, and minimize inconvenience to the public.”
Metro said that the decision was prompted by “historically low ridership and traffic-free highways” — likely due to Virginia’s stay-at-home order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to rebuilding four Orange Line station platforms, crews will also work to connect the upcoming Silver Line Phase II stations, which run from Reston to Ashburn.
Riders who normally use the stations will be able to use free express and local shuttle buses.
Metro bus options will include:
- Orange Line Local between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and Ballston
- Orange Line Express directly between Vienna and Ballston
- Silver Line Local between Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner and Ballston
While the Fairfax Connector has currently reduced its service, the county bus system said it will offer several routes for riders traveling to the Dunn Loring, Vienna, Tysons Corner and Wiehle Reston-East stations.
Drivers can find free parking at the Vienna and Dunn Loring stations, but won’t be able to park at the East Falls Church station, Metro said.
Due to ridership plummeting and a need to conserve cleaning supplies during the coronavirus pandemic, Metro plans to temporarily close two Tysons stations.
Metro announced last night (Tuesday) that the Greensboro and McLean stations are a part of the 17 stations that will close tomorrow (Thursday).
“While Metro increased its on-hand warehouse inventory of essential supplies,… other items used by Metro’s frontline employees, suppliers are experiencing delivery delays,” the announcement said. “Metro is taking action to make its current 2-3 week warehouse supply stretch until massive orders placed in late January are received.”
Metro has been urging people recently to only use the public transit system for essential trips. Last week, Metro closed the Smithsonian and Arlington Cemetery stations to discourage people from visiting the cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin.
“The 19 stations will remain closed until further notice and trains will pass through without stopping,” Metro said.
Map via WMATA/Twitter
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:
New Grab-and-Go Food Sites for Students — “We are expanding the grab and go food distribution sites to a total of 29 locations. The food distribution is set up outside the schools. Breakfast will be served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Cafe Closes in Tysons — “Cafe Deluxe restaurants in Tysons, Virginia, and Bethesda, Maryland, have closed, early victims of the COVID-19 outbreak. Both leases were set to expire in April, with no plans to renew.” [WTOP]
Coronavirus Prompts Metro to Shifts Hours — “Starting March 16, trains on all lines will operate every 12 minutes on weekdays. That’s comparable to train frequencies on Saturdays, which will stay at that frequency. Sunday schedules will also remain unchanged, with trains every 15 minutes.” [WAMU]
Falls Church Eateries Alter Service — “Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken and Taco Bamba, both in Pimmit Hills, and Liberty Barbecue in the City all announced Monday they will shift to delivery and takeout service only. Spacebar, Northside Social and Dominion Wine and Beer have gone takeout only and Starbucks, with three City locations, said Sunday it was instituting a to-go model for all of its stores nationwide.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Falls Church Shelter Shuts Down for Two Weeks — “The Falls Church Homeless Shelter announced its decision to close the hypothermia shelter on March 16 in response to the growing spread of the coronavirus.” [Falls Church News-Press]
People impacted by the Orange Line closures this summer will have the option to use free shuttle buses.
Beginning May 27, the Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations will be closed through Sept. 7 (Reminder: On March 15, some or all of the parking options will be closed at the Metro stations in the Falls Church and Vienna area.)
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced today (Friday) the routes for the free buses that will replace trains at the affected stations.
Riders can use an online tool to find recommended travel alternatives.
While the Silver Line won’t be closed, WMATA officials have said that the stations from McLean to Wiehle-Reston East will also be affected.
The summer work will include updating slip-resistant tiles, LED lighting, adding new large digital displays and building new shelters on the platforms.
“West Falls Church Station will remain open and serve as the western terminus of the Orange Line,” according to Metro. “Trains will continue to pass through East Falls Church Station while it is closed to minimize service impacts outside the construction area.”
Map via WMATA