Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Parks: "Mayors Get It," but the Board of Supervisors Doesn't

We have noted repeatedly for several years that Reston's transit station areas will be vastly underserved with parks as development moves forward under the new Reston Master Plan.   In fact, the Master Plan does not even come remotely close to meeting the County's own Urban Parks Framework in any of the station areas.  (Click on the "Parks" link in the index for this blog for access to our numerous posts and papers.)  
 Yet, there are places where mayors "get it" as this article in Next City points out:

Mayors Get It: Parks Are Problem-Solvers

Ask Fort Worth Mayor Betsey Price about parks, and she’ll tell it to you straight: “Great cities all have strong parks. If you look at some of our European model cities, it you look at some of our Asian cities, they all have strong parks,” she says. “In the end, for cities to be very vibrant and very strong, citizens have to be engaged. They have to know each other. They have to know a little bit about their city. They have to know their elected officials. There’s no better place to do that than get people out in a green space, on a trail, along the river, wherever it might be.” . . .
“As we compete to keep our cities and our country competitive in the rapidly changing global economy, we must make our cities more livable to support diverse populations and highly skilled workforces,” Hancock says. “Creating and maintaining a strong system of parks and open recreational spaces is key to standing out above the rest.” . . . .
Click here for the rest of this article.

Meanwhile, back in Fairfax County, the Parks Authority is planning to provide a small fraction of the park space and facilities its policies calls for.  In looking at ballfields alone, here is the requirement for fields in 2030 using County data submitted to MWCOG in Round 8.2 of the area-wide forecast:

At this time, FCPA has only 12 ballfields in Reston--11 at Baron Cameron Park & one at South Lakes Park--and RA has 17 ballfields, a total of 29.   The Reston Master Plan calls for only three ballfields in the transit station areas despite a standard calling for more than 10 times that number.

It appears that the Board of Supervisors definitely does not "get it" and, worse, apparently doesn't care in its drive for more and more density no matter the quality. 

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