New, transit-oriented Reston might not be as convenient as you think.
I hope you all got a chance to read [Hunter Mill Supervisor] Cathy Hudgins' article in the recent Reston magazine (Metrorail in Reston: Our Next Step to Car Free). My impression is that the next steps to a "car-free Reston" are already planned. Documents from Reston Association Transportation Advisory Committee speak of a plan to eliminate street parking along North Shore Drive and replace it with bike lanes on both sides of the street. The plan to create a road diet along Soapstone is in progress, and Lawyers Road has been dieted. There are suggestions for a road diet along Wiehle with the removal of two lanes of traffic, the addition of a center turn lane, and two bike lanes.
When it was brought to her attention that the Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan Amendment provided inadequate parking for Lake Anne Village Center, Cathy Hudgins responded at the Board of Supervisors hearing that, yes, she knew, but in the future people in Reston would be using mass transit and they would get to Lake Anne on their bicycles.
Knowing that the Lake Anne CPA is the template for the redevelopment of the other village centers, one could project that there will be inadequate parking there, too, and shoppers will be expected to ride their bicycles to do their grocery shopping.
The New Urbanist mechanism used to control the use of the personal automobile is to restrict parking. In Gerry Connolly's carbon-neutral New Tysons, residents will eventually be restricted to how many miles they can drive their cars every week.
Keep a list of all the trips you take for a couple of weeks and imagine how much time you will need to set aside for walking to your bus stop, taking the bus to Town Center, getting a transfer to a second bus to get over to, say, the Post Office, the grocery store, Target, the library, to visit friends. Also, plan for extra trips to the grocery store when you cannot get a week’s worth of shopping on to the bus.
When given the opportunity to use efficient and inexpensive mass transit, people usually choose to use it to get to work. But to do the grocery shopping? To go to the doctor? To run your kids to school? I am sure there are plenty of folks who would welcome a completely car-free Reston. That's what Hudgins wants. How do you feel about it?
Here is a link where you can follow feedback on Kathy's letter in RestonPatch.
UPDATE (2/9): Kathy's letter has now also been posted in the Reston Connection.