NEW Beulah Bridge
Dedication Ceremony 6/11/13
Previously a perilous journey by foot, the new sidewalk has made the bridge
a popular route between communities.
Under a brilliant late spring sun, about a dozen folks gathered
this morning to mark a welcome moment in area transportation: The
Beulah Road bridge reconstruction is done.
This bridge has been a trouble spot ever since it was originally
opened in 1963. The spans were too low, and were hit on numerous occasions
by trucks carrying high loads.
From the Top.
The bridge spans twelve lanes and the Metro Silver Line. Tracks are rusty
brown at the moment, but they will turn silver this winter. Promise.
None were serious until November 18, 2010. On that date, a
flatbed truck hauling a backhoe caused enough damage to require a rebuild
of the west span. It was a long and delicate process, minimizing traffic impacts
as much as possible. For many months the bridge passed only one lane of traffic,
controlled by lights at each end.
Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins turned the repair
project into an opportunity to provide pedestrian and bicycle safety. She
lobbied for, and found some extra Virginia state funds to widen as well as
elevate the span. The result is continuation of a key Fairfax County trail,
and wider access to Meadowlark Gardens from surrounding communities north
of the bridge.
Before the dedication ceremony,
Supervisor Hudgins confers with Vice Chair of the Fairfax County Transportation
Advistory Commision, Jenifer Joy Madden.
NEW An Evening with
Well Attended, Interesting, Informative
Fairfax Board Chairman Sharon Bulova welcomes attendees of
"Transforming Tysons" update at Westbriar Elementary School last
|I need some help!
As a participant on the Town's Enhancement Commission, I've been asked to
find neighbors who have done something "Green". We'd like to add some Green
ideas to the list of sites on the Town's Home and Garden tour.
Your commitment is only to be home for 3 hours (1-4pm) September 15th and
answer questions that someone may have about your project.
Like ...."Wow, how did you manage to do it?", "Does it really work?", "Why
this and not that?" GREEN can mean a lot of things. Here are a few to get
On-demand Hot Water
Energy Saving Landscaping
So, do you have a green project that you would like to show off? I'd like
to hear about it. Please contact me.
Beth Corrigan, Treasurer Westbriar Civic Association
703-938-0296 (H) 703-732-4576 (c) email
NEW Bus Routes:
The Final 4 (Revised) 6/8/13
Public Comments to the Fairfax
Connector are now closed. Funding has been approved for the Route 432. The next
step: Connector will make its option recommendation to the the Fairfax Board
of Supervisors in mid-July.
Click on maps to enlarge.
Of most interest to Westbriar is Option 1, since it puts all homes surrounding
the golf course within two easy blocks of the bus access to the Silver Line
and eventually all of Tysons. Plus, it provides the greatest potential ridership,
because it would serve, besides us and Beulah, the 700 residents of Creek Crossing,
Cardinal Hill, and Greater Tysons Green Civic Association which lies between
Tysons and Old Courthouse Road.
The key to ridership is a short walk to the bus.
The green shows the homes
within 2000 feet of the bus,
an easy walk of about 2.5 to 3 blocks.
provides the best overall ridership potential
No other Option even comes close to the ridership potential of Option 1.
Aside from Beulah Road, which appears certain to get bus service, Option
1 brings the bus to twice the number of commuters.
Any passengers picked up on 123 would be at the expense of the Metro 2T which
already serves that street, so there would be no net gain in ridership. Only
Option 1 avoids this wasteful duplication.
Bus ridership is low, compared to driving a car, in every city in the country.
That should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen a road. It is estimated
that the Connector will only draw about 7 to 10% of commuters in the first few
Last month, two activists set out to prove that bus ridership is low. It is
low along Maple, it is low along Beulah. It is low along Creek Crossing, it
is low along Old Courthouse, it is low on Nutley. It is low everywhere, compared
to a car. They were successful. They proved what every bus company, man, woman,
child, and goldfish in America already knew.
The activists have very good data: They went out with clipboards to every house
along the Option 1 routes and side streets, rang the doorbell, asked, and mapped
the responses. But an interesting thing emerged: The map uncovered a 77% greater
potential for bus ridership than was expected. This shows that some people are
beginning to understand the implications of No Parking at the Silver Line, and
are looking to the future with an open mind. That is also very good data.
The questions now are, do the Transportation Department and Board of Supervisors
believe in their own people-moving plan of how the Tysons Metro is to operate?
Or will greater Northeast Vienna be an isolated car-only enclave, cut off from
full participation in their tax-funded muli-billion dollar commuting system
arriving at year's end? Will a small minority, who are only trying to make a
rational commuting choice, be encouraged? Or will they be forced to share their
neighbors' penchant for white-knuckling that plastic wheel and clogging the
region's byways with yesterday's concept?
Read more about the Bus Issue HERE and HERE.
Heat Maps and Democracy: What
we have learned in 233 years.
Proving water flows
downhill and other important research.
Teddy's Chocolate Chip Cookies: How you can get the recipe.
Why a blind person can take a dog on an airliner. And you
432 FINAL MEETING OUTCOME 6/5/13
Fourth and Final Round of the
Car vs Bus championship played out
last night at the Patrick Henry Library,
the only clear winner was .....
Of course, we already knew that. America is not about to give
up its affair with the car. Not now, not soon.
But last night's meeting also made clear that bus riders are
a marginalized species out here in Greater Northeast Vienna. So marginalized
that those insisting on Car as the only acceptable means of transportation in
their neighborhoods are not only willing to forego the use of the Silver Line
Metro stations, but actually deny that use to others: their own neighbors.
Approximately 130 residents who would be affected by at least
one of the remaining four options formed a standing room only audience at the
Patrick Henry Library meeting room. It was close quarters, but the airconditioning
The protocol was changed from the previous meetings, where often
the anti-bus folks would shout down anyone who spoke for the buses. Attendees
who wished to speak signed up and were heard in order. After 2 minutes, the
speaker had to relinquish the floor. All went well under the new rules.
The texture and content of the audience comments did not change,
however. Those speaking for the bus were there alone, innocently thinking that
everyone was in pretty much the same boat. They spoke of the convenience, the
lack of Tysons parking, the desire to get to Tysons safely, a positive step
to bring down road congestion, and a vision toward the future.
The anti-bus folks, by contrast, were organized and came to
play. The home run was hit early in the program by activist Beverly Jurenko,
whose petition put one Vienna street officially
on ice. "All those who live on Creek Crossing or on side roads that feed
into Creek Crossing, raise your hand," she commanded. About 30 people from
this barely half mile of road dutifully responded. "Now, all of you with
your hands raised, keep them up if you want the bus." All but two dropped
their hand. It was like a military drill. People were wondering: Are these people
typical of the Cardinal Hill area, or could this display be a tribute to the
charisma and effort of a truly amazing young leader?
As speaker after speaker took the floor to express which route
he was for or against, it became apparent that there was not much agreement.
"Well, I am against Routes 2 and 4, but not sure of 3." Or "I
want 3 because I live on 3." Or, "I don't want 4, because I live on
4." Aside from the organized groups, it was pretty much of a mishmash.
All four routes had boosters and detractors.
One very often heard phrase from an anti-bus speaker was "I
am not against public transportation, but ....." which was quickly followed
by, "just not on my street." Pro-bus speakers said "Put the bus
stop right on my front yard."
The overwhelmingly popular buzz word by Antis was safety safety
safety safety safety. The word was used so many times, it began to lose its
meaning. Indeed, it seemed at times a contest to see who could portray the speed
and density of car traffic in the most dire terms and the consequence of being
hit by a car as unique to their particular street. Many reported cars "whizzing"
past, making it dangerous to cross. The Antis invariably offered fear and frustration
with automobile traffic as the reason for their opposition to buses,
but none offered any logical connection between the two.
Speaker Jeff Anderson, who is a bus proponent, said that buses
are like a rolling speed bump, which moves at the speed limit, and keeps traffic
calm. But the next bus opponent didn't want to be trapped behind a slow moving
bus. Presumably he wanted to be free to "whiz".
To the Antis, the 29 passenger Connector bus is unsafe due to
its size. Yet the far larger 52 passenger school buses that run on the very
same roads are just fine. Go figure.
Two anti-bus speakers went into detail about how difficult it
was to get out of their driveway in the morning. "Sometimes, it takes me
over ten minutes," complained one. When he finally got in the traffic stream,
presumably he became part of the problem for other driveway backers downstream.
Why this made him anti-bus, however, he did not explain.
Many speakers wanted the bus to stay on 123, where it "belongs",
away from residential neighborhoods. But they didn't seem to realize that there
are limits to how far riders will walk. Studies have shown beyond 0.3 miles,
ridership falls to negligible levels. This is the whole reason why the routes
are chosen to penetrate into the residential areas: to bring the bus option
to the rider.
"The people already have an option," countered
anti-bus activist Cris Janoski. "They can jog to the Metro." Janoski,
a trim athletic young woman and jogging enthusiast, pointed out that the Cardinal
Hill people could jog the 1.5 miles to Spring Hill Metro Station in under 30
minutes. "This is less time than waiting for the bus," she claimed.
"Not when you are 81 years old," quipped Don Baird,
breaking the speaking protocol, but getting a huge chuckle from mature members
of the audience. While Janoski may be correct in her calculations, the concept
of jogging a mile or two in business attire, with perhaps a briefcase or computer,
in all weather conditions, .... ummm ......
Beulah Road is a winner
Beulah Road residents invariably spoke in favor of the bus,
which led people to reflect on the vast difference between Beulah and Creek
Crossing. The homes were built about the same time, have comparable prices and
amenities, and the residents seem to have the same basic lifestyles. Could it
be, just maybe, that the difference is that no activist has emerged on Beulah
Road to stir up opposition? Whatever the reason, Beulah is certain to get a
bus to Tysons, and perhaps to Wolftrap Filene Center, no matter how this turns
Old Courthouse Road Gets a Boost for Bus Service
The new President of Greater Tyson Green Civic Association,
Anna Lueje, indicated that she polled her subdivision and found strong support
for bus service. Some of this area, which lies between Old Courthouse and the
woods bordering Tysons is close enough to consider walking to Tysons. A system
of trails through the woods is being planned, but will not be completed for
a few years.
is highly trained, the step from the curb is low, the seats are comfortable,
you can read a book, catch up on your email, work with your laptop, or chat
with your neighbors. $1.80
A Good Way
Weekly History - See Data Table
This chart shows
the weekly hits for the last 52 weeks.
Hits for this week are counted since midnight on Sunday morning.
Unique Hits Only 6/5/13
The Crier's Hit counter (top of right column, currently at
7213) advances one click for every new reader. Repeat visitors do not advance
The activity in the last 7 weeks has been remarkable, and
is approaching the all time high of exactly one year ago, when the top
stories concerned the proposed forest ramp.
What is causing the interest? It might be the story on Mother
Goose and her brood.
From the Mailbag:
"Crier: Bus routes should be determined for maximum ridership.
Thanks to programmer Leon Jensen for an outstanding job of putting the Crier
together. I have done that in the past, and know how difficult it is."
John Freudiger, Kramer Drive
"Westbriar: You are doing a great job with the Crier.
I enjoy reading it, and feel more informed about local happenings."
Maureen M, Niblick Drive
"I just Googled "civic association newsletter"
Guess what? The Crier is the top newletter in the world. Hats off to Leon
Paul Tazmini, Old Courthouse Road
"Westbriar Crier: I don't understand opposition to bus.
It is the most convenient way we can make use of the Tysons infrastrucure that
we paid for with our taxes. Why would anyone be in favor of forcing people to
use only cars? Why not let people have the choice?"
Louis T. Westwood Drive
Way to go, John. I just saw the video for the wing suits.
Awesome, indeed. Thanks for posting that.
Pat M, Mashie Drive
at Last! 6/1/13
The three year Decible Disaster
appears to be over in Westbriar Zones A and B. Relief is finally here from the
steady, metallic-sounding droning of the air conditioner cooling units on the
roof of a Follin Lane building near the Navy Federal Credit Union. The task
of cooling the building has been switched over from 230 small high speed fans
to a newly-installed cooling tower.
Noise from the old cooling
system has been loud enough to deprive residents of sleep on nearby Alma and
Orrin Streets, and Mashie Drive. Particularly on high humidity days, the sound
could be easily heard for a radius of seven blocks.
Twenty-three cooling units,
each the size of a minivan contain ten fans that have very high rotation speed.
The original units will stay
on the roof as an emergency back up in case there are ever problems with the
The new cooling tower is
the large grey structure in the center behind the security fence. The pipes
transporting the cooling liquid are contained in the structure up the side of
the building. Sound barriers and trim panels will be added soon.
Related: Tom Jackman, Washington Post
Who to thank for a good night's sleep?
Nobody worked harder than Ken Foley, 511 Mashie Drive SE. Ken
originally brought the situation to the attention of the Vienna Town Council.
Since then he worked with the town in researching the cause, getting acoustical
data, checking ordinances, and coordinating meetings with the building's owner,
tenant, government officials and interested Vienna residents.
One of the problems in dealing
with the noise issue was that the building's tenant does important security
work, and the activities are required around the clock. Therefore, the equipment
switchover had to be performed in a way that kept all building functions intact.
Anyway, it is now looking
good, and only the birds can be heard in the surrounding neighborhoods. Thanks
to all who helped make it happen.
Westbriar Elementary School has received the
2013 Virginia Index of Performance Board of Education Excellence Award. A school
receives this distinguished award for meeting or exceeding all applicable state
and federal accountability requirements for at least two consecutive years,
and for making significant progress toward educational goals established by
the Board of Education and the governor.
Congratulations to Westbriar Elementary students
and staff! Earlier this year, the School Board approved Westbriar Elementary
School to be an advanced academic center for the 2013 - 2014 school year. Advanced
academic center services will begin for 3rd grade students in 2013 - 2014 and
will increase a grade level each year until full 3 - 6 implementation in 2016
- 2017. As an advanced academic center, Westbriar will be the center option
for students from Westbriar, Freedom Hill and Stenwood elementary schools who
are found eligible to receive Level 4 services
HOUR TRAFFIC HALTED 5/17/13
Mother Goose and brood took
a long walk yesterday, looking for water. Amazingly, they hiked all the way
from the Navy Federal Credit Union, down Follin Lane and Echols Street. I shadowed
them as Mama tried to find a route through the back yards, but the gates were
closed. They camped overnight behind 1006 Echols, and I opened the gate for
them to cross Wolftrap and said "nite".
The neat thing was that
all the drivers carefully slowed down, and even stopped for them when needed.
Although, some good luck
certainly didn't hurt.
Canada Geese are usually
migratory, known for their awesome V formations and loud honking as they go
over. But we seem to have a population that prefers our climate the year around.
the six fuzzy chicks are now safely on the golf course getting swimming lessons
and learning all the other goosy skills.
Closer to home, we snapped this pic of a two day old nest of robins
outside the window while Mama went off to get lunch.
Is Public Transportation a Plus or Minus in Real Estate Market?
to the Connector Bus in greater northeast Vienna cite property value reduction
as the outcome of allowing the Route 432 to serve the area.
opinion does not square with those of local real estate agents contacted this
The Crier interviewed
Doug Francis, a Real Estate broker, and 23 year resident of Vienna.
Crier: What do you see in Vienna's
future relative to the Tysons Project?
Francis: The reality is that Vienna is well within reach
of two major transit corridors (Silver and Orange), and the Northeast Vienna
432 rush-hour bus proposal will allow over 900 hundred households to have walking
distance access by bus to utilize those fully functioning MetroRail stations.
Crier: What do buyers look for these days besides granite
Francis: Prospective home buyers in this area have always
asked me about the proximity to MetroRail stations and if there is bus service
to access it. The demand is there and, now that the infrastructure has been
completed, it is essential to utilize that community investment in public transportation
especially at rush hour in Vienna.
Crier: What is the long term outlook in the region?
Francis: According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at
the National Association of Realtors, "Transportation plays an important role
in real estate and housing decisions, and the data suggests that residential
real estate near public transit will remain attractive to buyers going forward."
When consumers choose a home, they also choose a lifestyle. Shorter commutes
and more walkable neighborhoods matter to a growing number of people, especially
those living in congested metro areas. You and I know that Vienna is a congested
metro area at rush-hour.
Crier: Will this trend continue?
Francis: The National Association
released a timely report in March 2013 called The New Real Estate Mantra - Location
Near Public Transportation. The rush-hour bus service will be a very big concept
for local Realtors to cite when they are marketing homes in Vienna. And, although
the current market is red hot, knowing that a home is within walking distance
of a bus to the Metro Station could turn Vienna into the hottest market in the
region. I live in the Town of Vienna up Beulah Road on MacArthur Avenue, and
my home will be positively impacted by this new bus service.
Supports Connector Bus Proposal
Westbriar Civic Association
has, as a community, come out in support of Connector Routes 432 and 460 as
being a good match for our potential bus ridership when the Silver Line opens
at year end. See full text Here. The two routes,
together, put 100% of our Association within a few blocks of the bus. In addition,
the proposed 432 Route places many hundreds of homes in greater northeast Vienna
(Fairfax County) also within easy walking distance
The decision, filed April
5 with Fairfax County authorities, came after overwhelming support was received
back from the April 24 opinion broadcast
to all Westbriar residents.
"This is new territory.
We don't have the Silver Line yet, and we don't have the bus," said John
Shreffler. "We don't know our precise ridership, but it is certain to grow
as we see new possibilities in our commute. We need to accept the future on
its own terms, adapt our routines, and help to make this work. I know it will
The response to the May
5 letter can be found HERE.
Several of you wrote in about that video we
posted of the wingsuit stunt, flying through a small hole in a cliff face.
Here is a better one. Set the view to full
Wolftrap Stream Improvements By Beth Corrigan
4/10/13 updated 6/1/13
Before: Pumps divert the water around the work site as the back
hoe resculptures the stream bed. Note the leaning tree in the background of
After: The stream cascades from one pool to the next. Grass has
been planted to stabilize the soil, but native species will soon replace it.
What is going on at our local streambed? I asked myself this question recently
on my walk along Follin Lane near the Navy Federal Credit Union. I found answers
through the town website and with Cathy Salgado and Leon Evans with the Town's
Dept. of Parks and Rec.
Apparently, this has been in the works as far back as 2009 with letters going
out to residents in the immediate area. When you drive down Follin you will
see large machinery, orange plastic fencing, and a new mulch path detour. Be
careful as you pass because it is eye-catching. Our "stream restoration" project
is funded by our Fairfax County Storm Water tax dollars.
This is one of many projects selected to amend the negative impact development
has to the natural environment. The primary objective is to prevent the further
erosion of the Wolftrap Creek's banks and expand the aquatic and natural habitat.
The plans are detailed and professional. The project is fully underway and should
be largely completed by Labor Day with the possible exception of fall re-plantings.
I walked Reston's restored Glade stream and Snakeden stream valleys to get a
feel for our streambed's future. I liked the results. I'm looking forward to
getting our area "cleaned up". The noticeable deterioration had caught many
of my neighbors' attention as well as mine.
Please don't panic when many of the debris/trees come out, and when man tries
to re-create the natural. We'll likely be better off. I'm still walking and
watching with interest.
Hunter Mill District
Click Logo to see previous
Bus Stories that have
appeared in the Crier.
|Save the Forest
at a glance
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Ready for really fine dining?
...more than coffee
Every Sunday,Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
evenings from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm throughout the Wolf Trap season we will offering
a 3 Course Prix Fixe Dinner Special for just $35. Enjoy a delicious dinner prior
to attending a performance at Wolf Trap Filene Center.
Our next 5 Course Wine Dinner is Monday, June
10th at 6:30 PM. Meet vineyard owner Claude Koeberle from Soliste Winery and
enjoy a 5 Course dinner prepared by Chef Patrick Bazin. Seating is limited and
reservations are required. The cost is $100 per person excluding tax and gratuity.
First Sunday Jazz Brunches are in full swing
the First Sunday of every month from 11AM to 2PM. Our next one is Sunday, June
Click Logo to make reservations
... for that special occasion