Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Map and Status of Wiehle Metrorail Station Access Improvement Projects

Below is a map copied from the Fairfax County DOT website showing the 32 improvements in roads, sidewalks, and paths that are planned to make access to the Wiehle Metrorail station easier, largely fewer traffic delays and better pedestrian and bicyclist access on both sides of the station.  The small green and orange circles identify the location of each planned improvement and are linked to a listing on the website of what will be done at those locations.  For the most part, these improvements were recommended to the County Board of Supervisors by the Reston Metrorail Station Access Group (RMAG) in April 2008--and the Board accepted the recommendations.

The orange circles mark all the improvements Comstock Partners must complete before the Wiehle Metrorail station is open in accordance with its "Record of Decision" with Virginia DOT to mitigate traffic in the area.  The good news is that most of the improvements have been completed and all of them will be completed before the end of year when Metrorail service is scheduled to begin.

The green circles mark the improvements that are planned and implemented by the Virginia and Fairfax County DOTs.   They include a mix of improvements largely for better pedestrian and bicyclist access to Wiehle station. Virginia has completed the two projects for which it was responsible--bike lanes on either side of Soapstone Drive. Out of the remaining 19 improvements Fairfax County is planning to improve access to the Wiehle Metrorail station:
  • None are complete.
  • Only three will be completed before Metrorail opens--two sidewalks (#15 & #16) and a walkway (#30).
  • Six have completion dates in July 2017.
  • Ten do not yet have an identified completion date.  They are "To be determined."
The map and accompanying project list and status on the website do not reflect two important improvements recommendations in the RMAG report.
  • The Soapstone Connector:  Identified in the RMAG report as the improvement with "the greatest effect in the  increase of throughput in the AM peak period" near Wiehle station, the feasibility study for this link from Soapstone Drive across the Dulles Corridor to Sunset Hills somewhere near the Wiehle Station began this year.  It is unlikely that the bridge will be built before Metrorail is completed to Loudoun County in 2018, meaning area drivers will face huge congestion crossing the corridor on the Wiehle Avenue bridge.
  • Other pathway extensions and upgrades:  These are the responsibility of the County, VDOT, and  Reston Association.  As part of its participation in the RMAG effort, RA's Pedestrian and Bicycling  Advisory Committee (PBAC) generated a thorough report on the improvements that needed to be completed in conjunction with the opening of Wiehle Station.  (See "Reston on Foot" on the RA website.) Some of these may be incorporated in the list of projects laid out by the county (including the 3 walkways mentioned above that will be completed by December). 
We simply do not understand how our elected leaders can fail to plan, budget, and implement in a timely fashion essential auto, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements in the Wiehle station area when given a five-year lead time to do so.  In particular, the County did not budget any money for these essential transportation improvements until last year and RA has still not budgeted funding for improving pathways near Wiehle station. 

While an argument has been made that some of these improvements may be accomplished through proffers (such as access to the south side of the Metrorail station on Vornado's property), we are aware of only one recent meeting with Vornado that has taken place.  RMAG recommended direct access across this property both for a bus stop and a walkway/bikeway.  The RMAG proposal for direct bus access to the Metro station across Vornado's property is not even on the list of planned access improvements--along with a number of other RMAG recommendations.  Completion of the walkway/bikeway is "to be determined."

Metrorail users will have trouble driving to the WIehle station area, especially during peak periods, and pedestrians and bicyclists will face delays, greater hardships, and greater  risk of injury as a result of the delayed action on road, transit, pedestrian, and bicycling improvements in this station area.
Reston Area Metrorail Station Access Improvements Projects Map


  1. And you honestly expected better?

  2. Wiehle is the only direct way to get from my sons daycare to my house. Yesterday it took me 15 minutes to go .5 miles from Sunrise Valley to the Exxon on Wiehle. I can’t imagine how long it will take when the metro opens.

  3. What do you expect when our elected officials are funded by developers?
    Comstock never should have been allowed until ALL the improvements were finished, even the DOT ones

    Hudgins, Howell, andPlum's punishment should be having to drive all of Weihle during rush hour for next 18 months!!

  4. And yet we keep electing them. Why is that?


Your comments are welcome and encouraged as long as they are relevant, constructive, and decent.