Jul 26, 2014

RCA Report Offers Fixes For Wiehle Congestion

Advocacy group predicts congestion ahead, despite - or maybe because of - Metro's Wiehle-Reston East station opening in December 2013.

The Reston Citizens Association is offering some solutions to what it predicts will be a huge traffic problem when Metrorail's Silver Line opens in December 2013.

In a new report titled Wiehle Metro Station Access: Congestion Ahead, the citizens advocacy group says Fairfax County has not made Wiehle station readily accessible to all who might want to get there.

"Some important improvements are being made around the station, in part in conjunction with the Comstock (parking garage) project," the report says. "However, several important projects have not been built and are unlikely to be completed during the period the Wiehle station is the end of the line."

In 2008, a dedicated group of Reston residents and County officials completed the Wiehle Avenue/Reston Parkway Station Access ManagementPlans Final Report (RMAG). RMAG made several recommendations to improve accessibility, but many have not been adopted by the county so far, RCA says.

Wiehle is the final stop for Phase 1 of the Silver Line. It will be the end of the line for the Silver Line until Phase 2 — which will extend the rail from Wiehle to Dulles International Airport and into Asburn — is completed about five years later.

RCA says the county should consider extending Soapstone Drive across the Dulles Toll Road, as well as adding a grid of streets around the station and an exclusive bus lane.

The report also criticizes the lack of access for residents south of the Dulles Toll Road. The group points out the escalators that are near the parking lots of an office complex - that does not offer parking for Metro riders. One of RCA's recommendations is that Metro have discussions with Vornado, the office buildings' owners, about parking or at least kiss-and-ride or bus access there.

Among other recommendations: That Fairfax County establish a program to encourage alternatives to single occupant vehicle trips to the Wiehle Station  and that RA and RCA form a joint subcommittee to review and comment on the details of the proposed bus service.

Meanwhile, the Texas Transportation Institute says DC area traffic is the worst. Will it get better with the opening of the Silver Line? To see the entire RCA report, see the PDF attached to this story.

Read RCA president Colin Mills' thoughts on the report here.

To see all Reston Patch Silver Line stories, click here.



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