Halmar International Moving from Tysons to Baltimore — “Several of the current employees from Tysons Corner are expected to move into the positions in Baltimore.” [Baltimore Business Journal]
W&OD Trail Section in Falls Church Closed — “As of today, the section of trail from Little Falls St to Great Falls St is closed for work related to the dual trails project.” [Twitter]
Local Suicide Prevention Program Launched Fall Fundraiser Tonight — “Spring into fall with PRS by virtually joining us for our rescheduled annual signature benefit, Springtopia – A Season of Hope” [PRSinc.org]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Work is officially underway to revamp the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Falls Church by adding parallel pedestrian and bicycle trails.
The City of Falls Church, NOVA Parks and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) celebrated the start of the project with a groundbreaking earlier today.
The W&OD Trail Enhancements Project aims to separate slow- and fast-moving users by creating an 11-foot-wide bicycle trail and an 8-foot-wide path for pedestrians. A 2-foot-wide textured surface will separate the two paths.
The “Dual Trails” portion will include most of the 1.5 miles of the trail in the city, while a separate portion is set to get designed for parts of the W&OD in Arlington, according to a press release.
“The W&OD Trail Enhancements Project is a significant step to encourage non-motorized transportation, increase capacity and reduce congestion for cyclists and pedestrians utilizing the busy pathway,” Erica Hawksworth, an NVTA spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.
Additionally, the project also will promote carbon-free travel and more biodiversity, according to a NOVA Parks sign at the groundbreaking. The press release about the groundbreaking noted that the project will improve stormwater management along the trail.
During a review of the project proposal in December, Falls Church planners said that it fits the city’s vision for separate walking and biking trails.
Hawksworth noted that the project is especially noteworthy because trails have been busier than usual during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Upon completion of the W&OD Trail Enhancements project, trail users will notice reduced congestion, safer conditions and enhanced bike and pedestrian access to the two Metrorail stations within the I-66 corridor,” Hawksworth said.
NVTA provided $3.24 million of regional funding for the project, which is being built by NOVA Parks and the city. Construction is expected to last until June 2021.
“It is fitting that the new Dual Trail enhancements start in the City of Falls Church, as the first section of the trail began here in 1974,” Mayor David Tarter said. “The city is pleased to once again be at the forefront of better and healthier ways to move people.”
— Northern Virginia's Transportation Authority (@NVTAuthority) August 26, 2020
It is so good to be out and about – socially distanced, of course! Today we are celebrating the groundbreaking on the W&OD Trail Enhancements in @FallsChurchGov in partnership w/ the City & @NOVA_Parks! #cyclinglife #northernva pic.twitter.com/dpmsqYSYOt
— Northern Virginia's Transportation Authority (@NVTAuthority) August 26, 2020
Photo courtesy NVTA, map via City of Falls Church
(Updated 2:40 p.m.) Vienna police received a couple of reports last week about assaults along the W&OD Trail.
All of the incidents happened Monday (June 29) on the bike trail. Around 1:40 p.m. near the Vienna Community Center, a woman said a man on a bicycle hit her butt with his hand as he rode by before doing the same thing to a girl riding a bike, according to the police recap.
Police were not able to find the man after searching the area, according to the recap.
Then at 8 p.m., a similar incident happened near the 800 block of Follin Lane SE. “On June 30, a resident reported that the previous night she was walking on the bike trail when an unknown man approached her on a bicycle and struck her on her buttock with his hand,” the police recap said.
Juan Vazquez, the spokesperson for the police department, said it’s too soon to tell if the incidents involved the same man or not. Vazquez declined to offer suspect descriptions from the incidents.
The Town of Vienna celebrated its 100th birthday in 1990 with the ringing of bells and a giant birthday cake — and now its 130th birthday this year, residents are challenged to participate in a virtual race.
Titled “Distance Matters,” the race is inviting all Vienna citizens to walk, run, bike or hike a 130K throughout the month of July. People who complete the 80.8 miles will receive a medal at the end of the month.
People who are interested in participating will receive a log to track their miles over the course of the month. Miles can be achieved by running on a treadmill, cycling around the town or walking down the trail — participants’ choice. Whatever mode of exercise residents choose, the race is an easy way to maintain a feeling of community despite social distancing restrictions.
The town was originally planning a large community event called “Bluez and Brewz” on Saturday, June 20, to commemorate Vienna’s 130th birthday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the idea was changed to something that people could safely participate in — at a distance.
The celebration had included live blues bands, barbecue trucks and more, according to Natalie Duncan, the town’s teen center program coordinator.
“Upon the realization that we had to cancel Bluez and Brewz, we came up with the idea for the 130K,” said Duncan.
The organizers noticed other jurisdictions holding virtual races and decided it would be a fun way to keep the community participating. “The month of July is Parks and Recreation Month… the 130K is a way of keeping residents engaged and involved.”
Local sports and bike merchants, as well as coffee shops, are promoting the event. While running and biking have always been a staple of Vienna with the Washington and Old Dominion Trail running through town, the pandemic has fueled resident interest in the outdoors, according to Duncan.
“Now with the coronavirus, people are more open to using the trail and running around their neighborhoods,” she said.
In the past, Vienna has drawn major crowds for town events including birthday celebrations, Civil War reenactments and celebrating the new millenium, according to the Vienna Recreation Program Manager Amy-Jo Hendrix.
“Vienna is such a close-knit town,” said Hendrix. “Everyone comes together and enjoys whatever activities we have going. It’s a lot of fun to put these on and see the success that we have and how it brings all the neighbors together.”
Register by June 29 at https://t.co/4fyEAuMvFd for $10. Receive s log to track your progress and a medal at completion.
— Town of Vienna, VA (@TownofViennaVA) June 3, 2020
Northern Virginia is rolling back COVID-19 restrictions on businesses as residents are under a “safer at home” recommendation. As the weather continues to warm up and more people head outside, people are finding limited transportation options.
In late May, staff photographer Jay Westcott captured what transportation looks like now in Tysons: cyclists and pedestrians along the W&OD Trail in Vienna and closure signs at the Tysons Corner Metro station.
Westcott spotted a dog named Cora watching her owner Chad exercise in the parking garage at Tysons Corner Center. He photographed Leesburg Pike, almost empty of cars, by the malls and empty parking garages around Tysons.
Let us know how you’ve been getting around Tysons and if the pandemic has impacted your transportation choices by commenting below.
Managing the Money — “Fairfax County is taking prudent steps, from budget cutbacks to carefully spending federal stimulus funds, to help the county weather the COVID-19 pandemic, Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay suggested to the McLean Citizen Association (MCA) during the group’s May 21 ‘virtual’ membership meeting.” [Inside NoVa]
NoVa May Reopen Soon — “Elected officials from 10 Northern Virginia jurisdictions sent a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday saying they’re making preparations to transition the region into phase one of the state’s reopening plan beginning Friday. The officials also asked the governor that Northern Virginia move into the second phase of reopening with the rest of the state.” [Washington Business Journal]
Furloughs at Tysons Software Company — “Cvent Inc. is laying off or furloughing 10% of its global workforce, citing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business with the meetings and hospitality industries… A company spokesman said the move involves about 7% of the company’s staff in Greater Washington.” [Washington Business Journal]
Governor Goes Maskless — “On Friday, Gov. Ralph Northam confirmed he planned to announce a statewide mask policy after the Memorial Day holiday. On Saturday, he was filmed in Virginia Beach, maskless and surrounded by people.” [Inside NoVa]
W&OD Trail Serves as Popular Outdoor Pick — “City officials, park administrators and trail users appear to be balancing the safety needs of the trail’s pedestrian and vehicle users with opportunities to enjoy outdoor exercise and a break from being pent up during the Covid-19 pandemic… With residents longing for outdoor exercise, however, numbers have risen.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Vienna police say that a pedestrian was taken to the hospital after being hit by a vehicle on the W&OD Trail in a crosswalk earlier this month.
A man driving eastbound on Church Street hit the pedestrian, who was on heading south on the W&OD Trail, in the crosswalk, according to the town’s crime recap. The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 7.
“[The pedestrian] was transported to an area hospital by rescue personnel with non-life-threatening injuries,” police said.
Police issued a summons charging the driver with Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian.
Photo via Facebook
Police Make Arrest in Assault Along W&OD Trail — Falls Church police arrested a 23-year-old man from Stafford for allegedly pursuing a woman along the W&OD Trail on Saturday, May 9. [City of Falls Church]
Metro May Limit Operations Until 2021 — “As states start to reopen their economies, Metro has crafted its plan to slowly ramp service back up — but don’t expect pre-pandemic levels of service until sometime in early 2021.” [DCist]
FCEDA Head Tapped for COVID-19 Group — “Victor Hoskins, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), is one of 45 experts tapped to serve on the Washington, D.C.-area’s COVID-19 Strategic Renewal Task Force. Hoskins is the only member on the task force representing one of the region’s economic development organizations.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Stuff the Bus is Back — “On Saturday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fastran buses will be parked at locations throughout Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax to collect food donations. However, unlike past years, the buses will not be parked in grocery store parking lots.” [Fairfax County]
U.S. Census Response in Fairfax County — “As of Friday (May 9), Fairfax County’s self-response rate is 72.7% — well above Virginia’s overall rate of 63.5%, according to census data.” [Reston Now]
How’s the Local Hospital Doing? — “Several hospitals in Virginia and Washington, D.C., received top grades for safety, while others didn’t quite measure up, according to new spring 2020 ratings released by the Leapfrog Group recently.” The Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church received an “A” grade. [Patch]
Police Investigating Suspicious W&OD Trail Incidents — “Falls Church Police are seeking information after receiving a report of a man following a woman in a suspicious manner on the W&OD trail this past Monday… Police say they are investigating two other incidents similar to Monday’s, that happened on April 18 at about 1 p.m. and April 21 at about 1 p.m.” [Falls Church News-Press]
MCA Says OK to New Office Building Plan — “McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board members on May 6 unanimously backed a resolution supporting Capital One’s proposal to convert an unbuilt hotel into a new office building.” [Inside NoVa]
Vienna Man Promoted in U.S. Army — “The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s (USASMCDC) deputy commander for operations – Vienna native David Stewart – was promoted to brigadier general in a ceremony at the command’s Peterson Air Force Base headquarters on May 4.” [Inside NoVa]
Earlier this week officers from the McLean District Station held a birthday parade for Max, who just turned 4. He loved seeing the cruisers and was excited to play with his new police coloring book. Happy birthday, Max! 🎉🎂🎈 #FCPD pic.twitter.com/sJL9FyzOuJ
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) May 9, 2020
Work at the Vienna Market project at Maple & Pleasant is about to get a little loud. Steel beams for the commercial building will be driven into the ground over the next few weeks. pic.twitter.com/Tfa2LGWhY4
— Town of Vienna, VA (@TownofViennaVA) May 11, 2020
Photo courtesy Tejal Patel
The Town of Vienna’s newest public art piece is a familiar message to Virginians.
A “LOVE” sign is now greeting people at the entrance along the W&OD Trail to Northside Park, the town tweeted on Tuesday.
The metal tube letters were donated by a “kind local couple,” the tweet said, adding a shout out to the Vienna Public Art Commission’s Mark Stahl for the installation.
Image via Town of Vienna/Twitter