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Monday, June 29, 2015

Study explores transit options for Route 7

Route 7, looking northwest toward the Columbia Pike intersection, on a weekday afternoon.
A study underway by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), known as Envision Route 7, is exploring options for transit that could relieve traffic congestion through the Seven Corners and Bailey’s Crossroads areas.

The study has so far narrowed the transit options to just three: light rail transit (LRT), bus rapid transit (BRT), and standard buses. Four possible routes include:
  • LRT from Tysons to the Van Dorn Street Metro station via the East Falls Church Metro station.
  • BRT from Tysons to the Van Dorn Street Metro station via the East Falls Church Metro station.
  • BRT from Tysons to the Van Dorn Street Metro station without a detour to East Falls Church.
  • BRT from Tysons to the King Street Metro station via the East Falls Church Metro station.
The study is looking at operating and capital costs per passenger mile for the various options, projected population growth along the corridor, ridership estimates, and potential funding sources, said Kate Mattis, director of transit programs and policy at NVTC. Recommendations are expected to be announced next spring. Several options considered in the first phase of the study, which started in 2013, have been eliminated.

According to the NVTC, transit is needed to relieve congestion, connect business to workers, reduce commuting times, and improve travel-time reliability.

The population along the Route 7 corridor is expected to increase by 42 percent by 2040, the NVTC states. The number of jobs will grow by 50 percent, and there will be a need for 54,490 new residential units and 16.3 million square feet of new and replacement office space, as older commercial buildings become obsolete.

Members of the public can submit comments to NVTC related to a particular location along Route 7 on a crowdsource map.


  1. call me when there's actual money on the table...

  2. STOP trying to turn Mason District into high density Arlington.
    We LOVE our inside the beltway residential neighborhoods.
    If I wanted to own a house in Clarendon or Crystal City, I would move.
    PARKLAWN, Lake Bancroft, Barcroft Woods, Belvedere, sleepy Hollow, SH woods, et. al. ... these neighborhoods are the American dream.

    1. Well if you want to keep those neighborhoods alive and well, it will take an infusion of new middle class professionals to stimulate our local economy and not more section 8 residents.

      As I said before, but my comment was deleted; if it was up to Fairfax, because of its lack luster economy our alternate method of transportation would be by mule, camel or human drawn carriages. That is about the extent of their encouraging transit initiatives, unless of course you live in Tysons, Falls Church, Reston and Merrifield where they pay attention to the middle class.

    2. Tysons, Falls Church, Reston and Merrifield have progressive district supervisors who get things done. Unfortunately for Mason District, Supervisor Gross is more interested in greater Fairfax County than her constituents.

      No progress with roads or business and housing developments in Mason District. In 2007 it was a 30-40 year plan for Bailey's with 9000 apartments to be built. Now 7 Corners is getting a 30-40 year plan with 6000 apartments to be built. For Penny everything is 30-40 years out and she's already had 20 years to get something done. What have we got? Nothing but overcrowded schools and increasing traffic congestion with no relief in sight.

      How is it that Bailey's didn't get a Metro stop anyway? This area is a mess with no immediate relief in the planning.

      Roads in other districts are getting attention and 7 Corners has by far the worst intersection in the county and nothing gets done. Leadership is the difference between getting things done and stagnating. Mason District obviously lacks leadership.

    3. I'd argue the lower middle class spends more of their $$ in Mason than the upper middle class professionals you believe are the second coming of Jesus.

    4. The poor depend on transit to live. For the rich, it's a nice thing to have, but not vital.

    5. First off, those low density SFH neighborhoods will still be there. The higher prices near Clarendon for SFHs suggests that being near transit and urban villages is quite in demand. In addition there are people who want to live in those new apartments and condos, and who will pay a premium to be near transit. Third, there is the need to shift more movement from cars to transit.

      But thanks for clarifying the opposition to redeveloping Seven Corners. Some say they object because transit is not coming before density. Clearly some will object to the density even with transit.

    6. I am generally in support of increased density in 7 Corners (and I am a SFH homeowner). That said, the notion of "transit before density" versus "density before transit" is a false binary. There are varying degrees of "before transit." Right now, we don't even have an agreed-upon route or mode of transit. Once we have plans on the books and funded, then it's time to build up the density. Otherwise you end up with Skyline: density based on planned transit, but the transit planning was in such a nascent stage that it ended up falling through.

  3. The most important issue this "study" needs to address is how any project that involves the approval of another jurisdiction other than Fairfax County (Arlington County or the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church) will have the necessary public support and political will to weather the to be expected criticism and political opposition and be seen through to completion.

    Arlington County's abrupt rejection of the Columbia Pike street car after much time and resources were invested into planning and preparation for the street car acutely demonstrates that Fairfax County and Mason District cannot rely on others to see these type of transit projects through to completion.

    The opponents of Penny Gross can moan and whine on end, but I know that Tom Davis, even though he has a street named after him in Annandale, did diddly squat in terms of bringing mass transit to Mason District.

    Penny tried and failed because of reliance on Arlington County. This mistake, which was not made in the case of the Metro Silver Line, should not be made again in plans to bring mass transit to Mason District.

    And for those belly-aching about why wasn't the Metro built out to Bailey's Crossroads as originally planned? Well that was before Penny's time though that obviously will not stop you from blaming her.

    1. Penny Gross has had 20 (TWENTY) years in her position. Can we do better?

  4. To Adam Goldberg, 7:14 a.m.
    Lower Middle Class will always spend more of their income .... but since they make less, they still have less disposable income.
    Middle class/professionals that make more spend an equal PERCENTAGE OF their income. (25% of your income for housing is a big difference when you make 100K a year vice 25K. Millenials are comeing back inside the beltway, because when you start a family you don't want to spend most of your workday in the car!