January 31, 2007

There Goes The Neighborhood!

The proposed Tyson's West Station at the corner of Spring Hill and Route 7.

The Tyson's Tunnel project is now completely dead.

Those of you around Dee Cee will know of what I speak, but for everybody else, this ties in with the planned extension of the Metro out to Dulles airport. The route goes right through Tyson's Corner and Reston, two very heavily populated NoVa hubs.

As originally planned, the Tyson's part of the track was to be elevated. But nobody in the area (self included) wanted this, owing both to the horrendous strain construction will place on an already overloaded traffic coridor, to say nothing of the effect the thing will have on the efforts to turn Tyson's into a new, pedestrian-friendly downtown. Enough flak was generated that the state agreed to look at the tunnel alternative. Its investigative panel came back and agreed that the tunnel plan would work. Nonetheless, this idea was shot down by Gov. Spineless Kaine under pressure from the Feds on the grounds that it was too expensive.

Recently, a grassroots organization called TysonsTunnel made a last ditch effort to change Richmond's mind, delivering a monster feasibility study that purported to demonstrate that the tunnel option would be cost effective and retouting the obvious traffic flow and aesthetic arguments as well.

All to no avail, apparently.

Jaysus, what a mess this is going to be. The tracks will come right up Chain Bridge Road, cut straight through the heart of Tyson's and then head west on Route 7. (Here's a PDF map, if you're interested.) I have to use these roads all the time (Orgle Manor being quite nearby) and already loathe them. Construction is going to make the Springfield Mixing Bowl look like a walk in the park by comparison.

Posted by Robert at January 31, 2007 11:23 AM | TrackBack

Madness. The tunnel makes so much more sense and this taxpayer would be willing to fork over a little more dough to make that happen.

Makes me ever grateful that I don't live/work in the Tysons area.

Posted by: jen at January 31, 2007 12:18 PM

I have no horse in this race... oh wait, yes I do. As a taxpayer in NoVa I say go with the cheaper option.

Now if we could just import those nifty exploding manhole covers from DC...

Posted by: Ted at January 31, 2007 12:23 PM

Glad I got out of the area in '97.

Posted by: rbj at January 31, 2007 12:42 PM

Good grief - are we trying to make NoVa into an unnavigable morass of stopped cars?

And as for the Springfield "Fund your local construction company without doing anything to fix traffic" Mixing Bowl silliness...well, I guess you can see where I (who truck dilligently through the spaghetti daily) fall on the worth of that.

Posted by: beth at January 31, 2007 12:59 PM

You want pedestrian friendly, move to Leesburg or Purcellville. But then you'll have to contend with some of my, shall we say, less sophisticated relatives.

Posted by: John at January 31, 2007 02:25 PM

I live between the Springfield Interchange and Wilson Bridge. I feel your pain. Its still a mess around here.

Posted by: Stillers at February 2, 2007 06:07 AM

I used to try to walk in the Tysons area when I worked at SAIC 20 years ago. I don't remember a sidewalk or pedestrian crossing anywhere. It's amazing I wasn't run over, and it can only be worse now. I don't know how it can be made pedestrian-friendly without being even more traffic-snarly.

I hadn't been in NoVa since Christmas 05, so the Springfield wiggly-waggly got me good this summer when I stayed left to continue up Shirley Highway (named for my great-uncle, former head of VA DOT, whose idea it was when no one else wanted it because no one lived there) and ended up taking that really scary-high overpass onto the beltway. At least I got to go over the old Wilson bridge one last time, what a thrill. They blew it up 3 days later.

Posted by: Ralph L. at February 4, 2007 07:56 AM