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Silver Line Opens This Week But Infrastructure Still Missing In Tysons

July 23, 2014
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By now everyone has had their fill of stories about the opening of the Silver Line this week… by the way have you heard the Silver Line is opening this weekend? And as a shout out to the best transportation reporter in our area (Martin DiCaro) #heydidyouhereyoucannotparkattheSilverLinestationsinTysons. Less than a week to go before the Silver Line, and therefore the Silver Line Fairfax Connector bus services, begin and there are still no bus stops installed on the circulator routes in Tysons.

BusNWestpark01Two weeks ago we informed Fairfax Connector planners that they had a major oversight on their brand new 423 Tysons Circulator route. The route mimics much of the routes that came before it like the 425 and the 427, but there is one big oversight. The former routes used to run on the south side of Westpark Drive, meaning all of the stops were on that side of the road. Now the 423 will run on the north side of Westpark Drive… where there aren’t any signs, any shelters, any anything.

Staff told us that they are installing these stops… but there’s only a few more days left and there still isn’t a single sign installed (terrible for marketing and public information by the way). The real question is, on Saturday when the Silver Line opens and the 423 is running… where am I supposed to stand to get it? I’ve ridden plenty of circulators and buses in my life, and I have found that jumping out in front of a bus to get it to pick you up is a terrible way to run a system.

This is just a single example of much overdue infrastructure. We noted the lack of a crosswalk at the Tysons Boulevard/Park Run intersection, a potentially lethal situation that could be solved over night if someone would take on some leadership. During our 1st ever Tysons Online Town Hall we heard from other residents on several other locations still lacking pedestrian safety and access improvements.

The following map is a small depiction of where small, but important, changes can be implemented immediately. They represent only the missing infrastructure noted in our Online Town Hall, which we are sure is not all inclusive.

Tysons Missing Pedestrian Infrastructure

Edit: We can confirm that the bus signs for stops along Westpark are now installed. There appear to be 4 total between International Drive and Jones Branch along the North Side of Westpark.

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13 Responses to Silver Line Opens This Week But Infrastructure Still Missing In Tysons

  1. RedFood737 on July 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I saw some work done at McLean station to properly label the bus bays there this morning.

  2. RedFood737 on July 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Oh I am livid!!!!!

    I am calling Fairfax Connector first thing in the morning. Do you know why we never saw any bus stops go up??!? IT’S BECAUSE THE 423 WON’T SERVE THE DENSE RESIDENTIAL CORRIDOR OF AVALON, OVATION, AND PARK CREST. Yeah that’s right, the bus drives RIGHT PAST the communities and does not stop. I confirmed this on a ride tonight and the bus driver was just as confuzzled as I was about it. There are no stops what-so-ever on the route between Westbranch on WESTPARK and Westbrnach ON TYSONS BLVD. That’s a ONE MILE STRETCH OF NO STOPS (And not even the most direct routing!). The one bus line that runs late night, and on weekends WON’T SERVE THE COMMUNITY OF RESIDENTS!

    HOW the heck was this overlooked? I can’t believe Nick looked at us with a straight face and refused to tell us all those times that we shouldn’t be expecting service.

    • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 29, 2014 at 8:33 am

      If you need anything from us, assistance in maps, graphics, or a place to amplify your dismay let us know. Certainly we want to know how the discussion went. I think at this point I have annoyed FFX Connector and FCDOT to the point where if Im the only one contacting them, they ignore. So I am very hopeful other residents will take your lead.

      We need to be organized and get others voicing concerns also, its hard because theres not many free hours in the day for most people’s lives, but this kind of stuff makes real differences.

      • districtRich on July 29, 2014 at 8:53 am

        I tweeted at them yesterday and no response. I asked about the 422 and if it stops at Tysons Corner Center Mall. It appears from the GTFS feed (transit data listing all the stops and routes) that once it leaves Greensboro station on route 7 and turns right on Westpark and right on Greensboro drive, it services the existing stops until International Drive. After that, it drives right past Tysons Corner Metro, the mall, and over the Kidwell Road overpass over route 7 without stopping before its next stop at Gallows & Madrillon which is 1.75 miles between stops!

        They did a bad job of adding these new shuttle routes without adding new bus stops.

        • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 29, 2014 at 9:20 am

          Its why we were complaining. Up until 2 days before operation they had 0, count them 0 bus stops in place for the 423. Its just insane that it could be overlooked considering this is supposedly their premiere location for new transit. We are paying extra taxes for transit and pedestrian access, and this is what we get?

          Its a serious problem, and no one is listening it seems. They just dismiss us in interviews with WAMU without actually meeting with us and hearing that 1) We know what we are talking about in terms of transportation infrastructure 2) There are better solutions that actually address residential needs, yes its true there are actually people who live in Tysons (I still think many at the County don’t even understand that there are residents in Tysons).

      • RedFood737 on July 29, 2014 at 9:30 am

        Navid,

        I think we need to be very vocal. I sent a direct email to Nick this morning (no response as of yet). I don’t know how else we get the point across. This isn’t what they promised at the community outreach meetings at all. I’m hearing grumblings on the Reston routes on their twitter feed and facebook page too. I mean the routings look good, but if they don’t actually plan the stops effectively – what’s the point? Is there an official forum in the county to discuss the mess this is? @DistrictRick below – I haven’t even looked at the 422 – but what’s the point of running busses past places where people want to stop? I don’t understand this at all.

        • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

          I’ve gotten very local today. We just need more voices to tell them.

          @FairfaxCounty
          @VaDOTNOVA
          chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov
          huntermill@fairfaxcounty.gov
          Supervisor Smyth

          • RedFood737 on July 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

            Thank you. Nobody seems to be responding.

          • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 29, 2014 at 11:47 am

            Persistence is the most important thing. I appreciate you doing your part to help the community. I’ll try to get more people doing the same, and hopefully someone will finally pay attention to the needs of our fairly sizable community in North Tysons.

          • RedFood737 on July 29, 2014 at 4:55 pm

            It’s the end of the business day and I heard absolutely nothing back from anyone. Social media from FFX Connector has been especially quiet today.

  3. redfood737 on July 30, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Last night I received the following response around 11:15pm from Nick Perfili:

    I was out along Westpark Dr this evening and will discuss adding bus stops, even if they are temporary installs until the permanent poles and stop flags can be installed, with the operations team. The Park Run stops are indeed still missing and you have my apology for this. It will be corrected.

    I did not get an opportunity to check on Tysons Blvd near Park Run but will do so tomorrow. Since returning to FCDOT back in May, I still cannot track why the Westpark Dr bus stops were missed.

    • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

      I am happy that they are admitting the oversight. It shows that it takes active citizens to help officials find these kinds of issues. I hope they understand we aren’t trying to attack them, but when we tell them “these are important things that are missing” and they remain missing past a hard date when it matters, then it becomes more urgent and more frustrating.

      Thank you for getting this done.

      • RedFood737 on August 4, 2014 at 10:56 am

        I was wrapped up with leading a LEGO Fan Convention in Chantilly from Wednesday of last week until yesterday, so I didn’t get to check out the changes… I assume they’re in place as I’ve had follow on contacts with the county say they are there. I’ll check to see them tonight. I’ll try to generate some trips to Arlington and/or downtown this week for dinner.

        Sadly (and embarrassingly), none of the infrastructure is very convenient for me to use for my regular commute from Avalon to that contractor I suspect by now you figure I work for just a short distance away. A 10 minute door-to-door drive would be replaced by a far longer commute. When the Jones Branch/Scotts Run connector opens it will open up some new and exciting options though!!!

        I will say, I am on the lookout for pedestrians, and am one of the far more patient and generous drivers who try to protect them and stop for them at the constant risk of being rear-ended (again!).

        That said, I witnessed a reporter literally RUN IN FRONT OF TRAFFIC against a green light at the Galleria Dr/Tysons Blvd southern edge just to make his point about missing crosswalks. I had to slam my brakes to avoid him because I had a green light and he literally ran into the road without looking first or any warning during his “live” report. I’ll nominate him for a Darwin award.

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