Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Reminder -- Wiehle Garage open house tomorrow"--A Different Take!

A Restonian (but not THE Restonian) and a regular transit commuter offered up this alternative public service announcement on tomorrow's ribbon cutting ceremony at Metrorail's Wiehle Station for the opening of Phase 1 of the Silver Line.  Read it--and wonder . . . .
Reminder -- Wiehle Garage open house tomorrow.   Ribbon cutting at 10:00, loitering until 3:00.  Come for the SLHS marching band, speeches and self-guided tours.  Preview the commuting experience.  Get information about the Master Plan review, Phase 2 (“There Goes the Neighborhood”).  Maybe review your retirement planning.
 
I suggest parking in the original Reston North outdoor park-and-ride lot (corner of Sunset Hills and Wiehle).  Cross busy Sunset Hills Road and Reston Station Boulevard.  Time the traffic lights and dodge turning cars. Ignore the enormous sidewalk scaffolding, construction crane and workmen overhead if you use Metro Center Drive.  Pretend you are in Bob Simon’s Manhattan.
 
Or park in the new Wiehle Garage.  Visualize yourself racing 3,300 other drivers down the three inbound traffic lanes (two if you're coming south on Wiehle) towards the station, hoping to find a spot before the garages fill on weekday mornings.  (As the Reston Station signs say, don’t get shut out!)  Practice dodging the 30+ Fairfax Connector buses per hour that will serve the underground bus bays during peak periods.
 
If you currently park at the Interim Lot (Sunset and Town Center Parkway), with nearly unlimited free parking (only hassle is the geese), try to envision yourself parking in the new multilevel garage (cost $4.85/day) .  Watch out for those pesky structural columns .  Count the exit lanes/gates, stop lights and difficult left turns as you leave.  Morning arrivals will be staggered, but how long will it take to pay and exit in the evening, even with that awesome Smartcard technology?
 
If you currently transfer from commuter bus to rail at West Falls Church, with covered walkways from bus stops to the platform, compare the Wiehle experience: the exposed plaza and long open-air bridges over the 12-lane highway (no windows, you’re kidding).  Imagine waiting in the Wiehle-Reston East platform wind tunnel during bad weather.  What are the odds you’ll have to stand on the train for 40-minutes? 
 
Finally, look for the commercial spaces, including the food services, promised for station opening last December.  Oh and where did they put the taxi cab line?   Remember, no hitchhiking!
 
Hope you enjoy the open house and new station.  See you on the Silver Line.  To paraphrase WMATA’s slogan, Get on board, you don’t have a choice!

2 comments:

  1. The negativity you express in this "satire" is disheartening. I encourage you to boycott the station. Neither is everything as bad as you say nor as positive as WMATA says. But tearing down what others have done for the sake of sounding clever is not criticism, it's cynicism.

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    Replies
    1. You assume the author just wants to sound clever, but the negativity in the satire is what a lot of people from Reston, Vienna, McLean and Great Falls feel. The Metro project was designed to make developers richer while being paid for through a tax on our toll road use. The route through Tysons was specifically designed to increase land value for specific locations, instead of following the sane, simple, quick and inexpensive route of running the line straight down the access/toll road, with buses circulating throughout Tysons and McLean from stations at Route 7, Spring Hill and 123, all having large parking garages. Like the existing West Falls Church station, with its missing access road ramps, it was definitely not designed with western county commuters in mind.

      For the next four years (assuming Metro sticks to its schedule), everyone from western Fairfax, Loundon and Clarke counties who wants to ride the Metro and doesn't have a bus line (or isn't willing to tolerate an additional wait) will be getting off the toll road at Wiehle or driving along Sunrise Valley, Sunset Hills or Wiehle. Your response attacks the writer and ignores his valid criticisms of the project, which is how many saw the entire planning process. People will use the Metro and it will look like a success, but as the only Fairfax community that pays extra tolls and taxes to drive to work or use a community center, we deserved better.

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