Tysons Corner, VA

The unofficial end of summer is approaching with Labor Day coming up this weekend.

Drivers can expect moderate to heavy congestion between noon-6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, and Monday, Sept. 2, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

On Monday, HOV restrictions will be lifted on I-66 and I-395 and rush hour tolls on the 66 Express Lanes Inside the Beltway.

“With nearly 100 million Americans embarking on getaways with family this summer, and with 33% of Americans indicating they would go on at least one additional road trip, if gas prices remained low, which is occurring, odds are millions are packing up their cars for their final summertime excursion this Labor Day,” according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration expects 263 million passengers and crew to pass through security checkpoints nationwide from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Whether you’re hopping on a plane, speeding away in a train, hitting the roads or staying local, Tysons Reporter wants to know your Labor Day weekend travel plans.

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(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) The Town of Vienna is mulling over three preliminary designs concepts for Patrick Henry Library’s upcoming renovation.

Opened in 1971, Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Avenue) is set to be rebuilt as part of a $91 million bond referendum to upgrade Fairfax County’s aging libraries. The town looking to partner with the county so that the town can have public parking spots at the new library site.

Grimm and Parker presented three design concepts that incorporate public parking to the councilmembers last Monday (Aug. 19)

The first design concept (Option A) would build a stand-alone, two-story building and have surface parking for 90 cars. The design has a modern design, according to the presentation:

The building orientation allows for a large expanse of glass to the north along Maple Avenue. This northern glass will provide ample natural light for the library users and provide views into the library from Maple Avenue. The rest of the building is clad in a variegated grey metal panel. The glass and metal cladding create a modern identity and gives the library a strong presence on the corner.

The last two concepts share the same idea of having a single-level library with an integrated parking garage, both with 125 spots for the library.

Option B1 would have 84 spaces for the town, while Option B2 would have 188 spaces for the town and require a height variance for the extra level of parking.

The last two options have a storefront-esque design. According to Grimm and Parker:

In this option the Maple Avenue facade is designed to resemble a traditional urban main street with glass display windows and canopies… The varied facade expressions help to reduce the scale of the building. A variegated metal cladding is used on the stair and elevator towers to distinguish them from the brick of the library and to draw attention to the public access to the parking garage. Canopies along Maple Avenue create an identity for the library and provide a human scale to the building.

The designs concepts are not set in stone and could change between now and when the county makes the final decision about the library design, a spokesperson for the town told Tysons Reporter.

Tysons Reporter wants to know what you about the design concepts.

Images via Town of Vienna

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Did you know Tysons is divided into eight districts?

The 2010 comprehensive plan for Tysons outlined that “the transformed Tysons will be organized around eight districts, each with a mix of land uses.” Four are transit-oriented, while the remaining four are not.

Here’s where the districts are:

  • West Side is a residential area hugging Vienna between Route 123 and  the Dulles Toll Road.
  • Old Courthouse, in the southwestern part of Tysons, is below Route 123 and to the west of Leesburg Pike.
  • North Central is the portion sandwiched below the Dulles Airport Access Road and above Tysons Galleria.
  • East Side connects Tysons to Pimmit Hills with a residential area.
  • Tysons West covers the area around the Spring Hill Metro station.
  • Tysons Central 7 surrounds the Greensboro Metro.
  • Tysons Central 123 encompasses Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.
  • Tysons East surrounds the McLean Metro station

Tysons Reporter wants to know if these eight districts have the “neighborhood feel” planned for or if they seem more like arbitrary partitions.

What about the names? Do you like them?

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A little more than a week ago, severe flash flooding swept the Tysons area causing widespread damage.

Tysons Reporter reported on a variety of the storm’s impacts from multiple road closures to swift water rescues, from to flooded yards, basements and fields to missing chickens in McLean.

While the recent hot weather dried out the Tysons area, we want to know how much the flooding impacted you.

Let us know in the poll and comment below to tell Tysons Reporter more about your experience.

First photo via @SteveML9022/Twitter

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The first day of summer is here.

With a budding nightlife scene in Tysons and nearby attractions in D.C., there is plenty to do around the area.

Now that the days are slowly getting shorter as the temperatures start to rise, let us know what your summer plans are.

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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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At 6 p.m. last night, Fairfax County Public Schools announced that schools would open on a two hour delay today, due to expected snow.

As of this morning, however, roads and sidewalks around the county were mostly wet, with some slick spots, while grassy areas had a coating of snow. Yesterday’s forecasts called for anything from no snow to 2 inches.

Given what was known last night, do you think FCPS made the right call?

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For all of the new stuff coming to Tysons, there is still a sense that those who live and work here want more.

With the Biergarten and the new Palladium, there’s more nightlife than before. Yet only 6 percent of respondents to a recent poll described Tysons as a fun place to go out at night.

Likewise, there are plenty of restaurants in Tysons proper, but via social media we hear grumblings about there being too many chains and not enough interesting, independent eateries.

So what do you think? Of the following list, what is the biggest need for Tysons?

Have a specific type of cuisine you’re hungry for more of in Tysons? Let us know in the comments.

Photo via Facebook

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The day is here — the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest car travel days of the year.

More on just how bad traffic will be from AAA Mid-Atlantic:

Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. is virtually “Zero Hour” if you are traveling clockwise on the Capital Beltway when traffic speeds will be down to about 7 miles per hour (mph), as you crawl toward your Thanksgiving destination, according to projections by INRIX, in collaboration with AAA. Tuesday, the eve of Thanksgiving Eve, is also the absolute worst time to be caught on the Outer Loop of the Capital Beltway, especially during the evening rush hour at 6:15 p.m. Here, travel delays will increase nearly 100 percent and travel speeds will drop to 23 miles per hour, as holiday travelers and commuters co-mingle and converge at one of the biggest bottlenecks in the Washington metro area.

Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday November 21, is the worst day and time to travel for holiday travelers taking Interstate 95 North, Interstate 270 North, and U.S. 50 East, according to data from INRIX. There are 15 freeway segments to eschew. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Then there are the hotspots to circumvent and circumnavigate during the getaway period. […]

“With 1.2 million Washington area residents hitting the highways for the holiday, travel delays will become a contagion on area freeways and highways on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Eve, as virtually everyone experiences a significant increase in travel times and traffic congestion,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “Holiday traffic, and any poor soul caught up in it, will creep, crawl and slither along. Given this, holiday travelers will be forced to add ‘extra buffer time’ to their trips to reach their Thanksgiving destinations on time.”

That brings us to our poll question: we’re wondering if Tysons Reporter readers will be heading out of town for holiday, despite the big traffic rush, or staying here. Also, while we’re at it, what about Christmas travel?

Regardless of whether you’re driving, flying or otherwise, let us know if you’re heading out of town for the holidays.

Table via AAA Mid-Atlantic

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It’s Columbus Day, which means that Fairfax County government offices are closed, along with local schools, and state and federal offices.

Should the county close for the holiday, though?

Anecdotal evidence — traffic levels and otherwise — suggests it is the least observed federal holiday. Next door, Arlington County offices remain open on Columbus Day. And Columbus’s legacy remains controversial.

For some companies, including ours, Columbus Day is a work day and, in exchange, our employees get the Friday after Thanksgiving off by default.

So what do you think? Should Fairfax County keep the status quo or consider keeping its offices open on Columbus Day?

Photo via Wikipedia

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