It might sound counterintuitive, but the health of the Potomac River might be improving thanks to large-scale development in places like Tysons Corner and Rockville.
[PDF] Decades in the making, Phase 1 of the Silver Line has arrived in Fairfax County and new buildings are appearing at the Wiehle-Reston East and Tysons Metro stations. We have a rare opportunity to witness a new phase of the county and the region as old suburbs are retrofitted and new walkable, urban, and sustainable destinations emerge.
With the opening of the Silver Line last week, advocates for car-free commuting are calling attention to remaining bicycle and pedestrian safety challenges around the new stations.
The opening of the Silver Line has highlighted challenges for pedestrians and bicyclists in Tysons and to a lesser extent, in Reston.
Virginia officials have known for years that Metro was coming to Tysons. Yet when the four stations opened, commuters found dreadful and dangerous walking and biking conditions. Why?
“That transformation will be most prominent in Tysons where a traffic-choked, suburban office park with two large malls is planned to become a walkable, urban center with 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs, but it will also be seen in Reston, Herndon and Loudoun,” said Executive Director Stewart Schwartz.
The opening of Metro’s Silver Line will transform land use in Northern Virginia, according to the Coalition for Smarter Growth.
First let me note that transit-oriented development can generate significant tax benefits for Fairfax as demonstrated by the Arlington experience. Arlington’s two Metro corridors occupy just 11 percent of their land and generate something like 50% of their property tax base, generating revenues that have supported improvements in neighborhoods across Arlington — recreation centers, traffic calming, parks and schools.