The Bus Archive

The following articles appeared in the Crier relating to the Tysons Metro and Connector Bus Services.

 

BUS ROUTES TO BE DISCUSSED 2/1/13

Fairfax County Department of Transportation is holding a series of public meeting designed to gather public input regarding a proposed Dulles Rail-Bus service plan. Please plan to attend at least one of the six scheduled meetings. The next meeting is Monday, Feb. 4, 6:30 PM at the Westbriar Elementary School on Pine Valley Drive. This meeting will concentrate on proposed Vienna services. More information can be found here.

Your opinion does matter. Westbriar Elementary, as you recall, was where a plan for a Dulles Access ramp was introduced last May. Public opinion was central to the eventual outcome.


Westbriar Supports Connector Bus Proposal 5/7/13

Westbriar Civic Association has, as a community, come out in this week 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 work."

The county's response to our endorsement can be seen HERE.

 


9 Good Reasons to have Bus as an option 4/25/13

1. You'll save money. Private parking near Metro will cost at least $4.75 a day and probably much more. Add to that 54 cents a mile in wear and tear on your car every day. It will cost $1.80 each way to use a bus to Silver Line Metro, for $3.60 ($3.20 with a SmarTrip card).

2. The property value of your house will increase. Home values are generally higher when they are located in communities supported by sidewalks, bus stops, rail system and other elements of a healthy transportation system.

3. It's safer. Riding public transportation is statistically safer than driving a car. Fewer cars on the road keep kids safer when they are walking and biking to school.

4. Better use of your time. Connector 432 will get you to Metro faster than it takes to drive there and park. Plus - you get to read and do things on the bus that you can't do when you're driving.

5. You'll be healthier. Walking and biking to bus stops automatically builds more physical activity into your day. Research shows people who take transit regularly weigh less on average than car commuters.

6. It's good for business and jobs. Public transportation ensures that people who can't afford or don't want a car can still get to work. In fact, routes are specifically tailored to fit typical job schedules.

7. It will help you breathe easier. Tail pipe emissions from cars lead to dirtier air and therefore increased respiratory problems. Since each bus takes dozens of cars off the road, it leads to cleaner air. Each person who takes the bus avoids adding 4,800 pounds of carbon to the atmosphere yearly.

8. People want bus as an option. In the spring of 2011, almost two thousand people living around Tysons from 415 different HOAs took the TMSAMS survey which showed 1 out of 2 respondents would use a neighborhood bus if it were available.

9. You always have your car. Taking the bus is an alternative. It gives you another option to get yourself around. If you own a car, it will always be there when you want to use it.


Connector In Trouble 5/11/13

If one Googles "Bus Opposition", not many themes can be found. There are old stories from the 70s about bussing children under Civil Rights mandates. There are the almost daily accounts of bus bomb carnage committed by the opposition in Pakistan and other mid-East locales. There is a story about opposition to a school bus barn in a place called Riverside.

But Vienna Virginia seems to be the only place in the world where there is opposition to inaugurating a new bus service. And the story is even more unique in that the bus service is a key element in a state-of-art commuting system designed to help alleviate traffic congestion for the entire region, something one would assume would be popular with the local population.

Both the Metrobus and the Fairfax Connector bus services are being revamped for the December opening of the new Silver Line Phase I with its four stations in Tysons and one in Reston. Some routes are being added. Some are being eliminated. Some are being altered. Ridership is being encouraged by making the buses more accessible in major residential areas. Things were progressing smoothly across the region ... until now, here in Vienna's northeast side.

The planning for one of the key routes has been put on ice, and at the moment, things look bleak. About twelve hundred potential bus riders north of 123 and the W&OD trail will be able to hear the Metro in the distance, but will have no way to take advantage of what they have funded through their taxes. They will have to get to work the same old way: drive to their jobs in Tysons, drive in to the District, drive to Vienna or Dunn Loring Metro parking garages, drive, drive, drive.

Tysons stations will have no parking and only one Kiss & Ride. A commuter can probably devise his own private K & R system, for example by doing a detour through a nearby mall. But the trip will still take two people, and keep Tysons traffic congestion nice and high.

What is the Hold Up?

First, nobody denies the right of any US citizen to petition their government. This is fundamental, and is what distinguishes us from many parts of the world. There are countries where the ruling regime contends that all laws come from a higher diety, and therefore citizen input is neither warranted nor desired. It could even be dangerous. The USA is not one of these countries.

A sort of class warfare is being played out in petition drives and in the talkbacks of Fairfax news articles about the Silver Line and Connector service.

One of the authors of an Anti-bus Petition has gone so far as to equate bus riders with trash, posting a video on YouTube of a garbage truck. "What Silver Line Bus 432 will look like going down East Street ," the caption reads.

The basis behind this campaign is not particularly resonant with most middle class folks, so the issue is being framed in prosaic terms to appeal to more populist concerns: Buses kill children, they emit cancerous fumes, the roads can't handle them. This all sounds scary, but the arguments don't stand up to scrutiny. For example, one petition claims Creek Crossing Road has " ... severe blind spots, hills, sharp turns ... lack of sidewalks..."

Anyone familiar with Creek Crossing knows better, of course, but this fanciful description plays well to the thousands of people around the world that are signing the on-line petitions.

Never underestimate the power of the web. Not long ago, someone put a petition on Change.org that racked up over 17,000 votes in three weeks to support the rights of head lice. "Lice are sentient beings also."

Greater Northeast Vienna has only three arterial roads that go anywhere. The rest are just side streets leading off into residential enclaves. The three are Beulah, Creek Crossing, and Old Courthouse Roads. Creek Crossing is on ice because of one petition, and Old Courthouse is on ice because of another.

The Bus opponents know that with two out of the three arteries blocked, they don't even have to do anything about Beulah, since the 432 would be financially unfeasible and probably scrubbed.

Bus opponents propose keeping the bus on 123 only, and let the riders walk to it. But since Beulah is two miles long, and bus statistics show ridership falls to near zero after 0.3 miles, that is not a helpful suggestion. Also, it would not increase ridership, since 123 is already served by the 2T.


The Tyranny of the Majority 5/12/13

Democracy is a sometimes tangled web. We teach our kids a bit about it early. Perhaps at kindergarten it might be, "What is your favorite color?" A poll is taken. Red wins. So, Red is the favorite color of the class. But how far should that go? One little girl proposes, "Tomorrow, everyone has to wear a red shirt". They take a poll. Yep.

A boy shows up the next day in a green shirt. His mom didn't have the time, or maybe the money to buy a new shirt the previous night. Now what? What is the use of a group decision without means of enforcement? What is appropriate? Should the group embarrass the green-shirted boy by taunting, or ripping his shirt off, or cutting off his hair as punishment?

Maybe not shirt color, but these were exactly the kinds of questions that ran through the minds of our country's Founding Fathers as they were hammering out the Constitution of their newly-won territory. They knew they didn't want a monarchy, but they saw problems in the alternatives.

John Adams is credited with coining the phrase, "Tyranny of the Majority", in which he foresaw decisions made by a majority place its interests so far above those of an individual or minority group as to constitute active oppression. This very concern was one of the key elements leading to the adoption of a Federal system, rather than just a group of states.

James Madison also weighed in on this issue: "It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Justice is the end of government."

The concerns of striking a balance between majority rule and minority rights actually cuts across wide varieties of political thinking, and is a perennial topic of refinement as our society evolves. For example the Objectivist theory of Ayn Rand in the 20th Century contends that individual rights are not subject to a public vote, and that the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities and that the smallest minority on earth is the individual. An excellent contemporary overview can be found HERE.

History teaches, in short, that the concept of Democracy is much more difficult than counting signatures on a hastily drawn petition. The proper application of justice requires a nuanced and thoughtful examination of both the goals and the implications, and diligently finding the moral center of the issue.

Originally, Connector held the public meetings to get input from citizens to determine the most cost effective bus routing to maximize ridership. They never dreamed it would become the catalyst for a few activists to derail the public transit system. Yet, that is exactly what seems to be happening.

The bus riders concede, right from the beginning, they are a small group, perhaps less than 10% at first. But that is the very reason why they should be protected and encouraged. We should value their intelligent choice, rather than deny it by tyrannical process.

6 Myths About the Connector Bus 5/17/13

MYTH 1

Busses are the number one killers of pedestrians, especially children.

FACT: According to safety statistics, buses are among the safest means of transportation.

Bus accidents make national news because they are rare. Automobile accident fatalities (33,000 per year), unless involving multiple deaths or other unusual circumstances, rarely get reported outside the county where they occured.

MYTH 2

The roads in northeast Vienna are not properly engineered for buses. There are steep hills, blind spots, sharp curves, manhole covers, storm drains. There are no sidewalks, and the roads are not properly maintained.

FACT: Nonsense.

There is nothing unusual or different about Creek Crossing Road. East Street. Beulah Road, or Old Courthouse Road, from any other road in Fairfax County. Except for the fact that they actually go somewhere, rather than dead end into residential clusters.

Which is the reason why they are being targeted by the anti-public transportation activists.

MYTH 3

Busses are public transportation, which brings in the wrong kind of people.

FACT: It is a circulator route.

The riders would be your neighbors.

MYTH 4

Buses are diesel, which emit huge gagging and blinding clouds of poisonous and carcinogenic gasses.

FACT: True, if you put a bag over your head and inhaled the exhaust of any internal combustion engine, you wouldn't last 5 minutes.

A study conducted a decade ago on the Fairfax school buses, which were at the time up to 15 years old, showed no problem.

Diesel engines have come a long way since then. Knowledgeable car buyers are especially attracted to the clean burning and efficient diesel engines of the luxurious Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz.

MYTH 5

The roads are busy enough during rush hour. Why add to the problems with buses?

FACT: When you stand at the side of the road, you notice that almost all rush hour cars have only the driver.

For every passenger on the bus, simple arithmetic says there are fewer cars on the road.

A fully loaded 432 bus seats 29. That is 29 cars off the road.

MYTH 6

The buses would keep us up all night with incessant noise, and cause insomnia.

FACT: The 432 would operate at 40 minute intervals in each rush hour. The schedule could be adjusted as demand is assessed.

There is no night service.

 

What is a Luddite? 5/16/13

Two hundred years ago, the expression, "The clothes make the man" was a lot more literal than it is today. Fine fabrics, embroidery, and accessories were all hand-made by well-paid skilled artisans, and were very expensive. Out of reach to the commoner. The well-to-do displayed their means with their wardrobe.

Then, the Industrial Revolution hit the scene. Clever machines were developed to tat lace, knit stockings, and many other tasks not before possible. The artisans were hurting.

They struck back.

A band of them, led by Ned Ludd, broke into textile factories at night with sledge hammers and destroyed the machines. Their victories were of limited success, but at least their actions were understandable.

Since that time, the expression "Luddite" has come to mean, more generally, a person that resists modernization if he deems it is in his personal interest to do so. It is not necessarily a negative term, it depends upon the context.

 

Life is not perfect, and accidents happen.
But in a collision between a bus and a car,
where would you rather be?

On the bus, or in the car?

 

People see things differently (thanks to Bently) 5/20/13

How some see

Creek Crossing Road

How most people

see Creek Crossing Road


With No Bus Or Parking,
How Could You Use The Silver Line?
5/29/13

 

Please come to a Connector meeting to show support for our community's
transportation needs. Silver Line's Tysons stations
will have no parking and only one Kiss & Ride.

Tuesday, June 4: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Patrick Henry Library
101 Maple Avenue E.

The Fairfax Connector recognized that access to the Metro will be difficult for the Westbriar Civic Association and other communities north of Maple Ave, and planned for a Connector bus along the major thoughfares to ease that difficulty (proposed Route 432). The route was planned for 30-foot 29-seat buses (smaller than typical school buses), and the plans were for four runs in the morning between 6 and 8:30 AM, and four or five runs in the afternoon between 4:30 and 7 PM.

Currently, there is a hold up on implementing this Connector Route because of two petitions objecting to the Connector. The first petition is being circulated by two residents of nearby neighborhoods who object to buses passing by their homes on the regional access routes of Creek Crossing and East street. In the April 28, 2013 Talkback section of the Vienna Patch, one of these petition originators urges that the bus be rerouted down the residential street of Westwood Drive instead. The petition states that ridership will be low, that there are dangerous curves and hills on Creek Crossing, and that the route will affect children walking to school, Westwood Country Club and Cardinal Hill.

However, proponents of this bus route counter:

There has been no evidence presented to support the assertion that ridership will be low.

The gentle curve and hills on Creek Crossing Drive are not severe enough to have required any related traffic warnings or restrictions. In addition, the Connector bus stops would not necessarily need to be placed near either of these features.

The proposed Connector buses are significantly smaller than a typical school bus, and the Creek Crossing/East Street route under objection is the same route that large school buses already travel without problems.

Students already cross Creek Crossing to catch their bus. While elementary-aged children have safety patrols to help with this, the older students do not. One of the school bus stops for older children is at the lone corner with no sidewalks.

The last Connector bus in the morning would run well before the time for elementary student to catch their school bus, and the first Connector bus in the evening will not run until after school bus hours. Activities that would attract children to either Cardinal Hill or the Westwood Country Club typically do not take place until after the morning bus run stops at 8:30 AM

The second petition is being circulated by a resident on Old Courthouse Road who opposes buses on that street because of "safety hazards, additional traffic volume, noise, health, environmental impacts, low ridership and economics".

We disagree with this portion of this petition because these same streets are apparently safe enough for our children's buses now, and will have similar noise, health and environmental impacts as the existing school buses. In addition, the buses will serve to take cars off the road, not add to the traffic. As before, no evidence has been presented to justify concerns about low ridership.

However, a portion of the petition makes sense, which is a statement that our community would benefit from a network of safe crosswalks, sidewalks, paths and trails. Without a bus, all of our residents in Zones E, F, G and a portion of D will need to cross Old Courthouse Road, before the school crossing guard is on duty, to walk or bicycle to any of the Metro stations. While we cannot support the petition to deny our residents access to bus service, we do support safety upgrades for pedestrian crossings of Old Courthouse Road.

Related:  

 

Is Public Transportation a Plus or Minus in Real Estate Market? 5/17/13

Opponents to the Connector Bus in greater northeast Vienna cite property value reduction as the outcome of allowing the Route 432 to serve the area.

But this opinion does not square with those of local real estate agents contacted this month.

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 countertops?

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.

 

Connector 432 FINAL MEETING OUTCOME 6/5/13

In the Fourth and Final Round of the
Car vs Bus championship played out
last night at the Patrick Henry Library,
the only clear winner was .....


The

Car!

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 kept pace.

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 out.

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.

Welcome Aboard!

Your driver 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 to Go.

Related: WTOP

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.

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4

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?

 

432 Bus Route Selected 7/30/13

The opening day of the Silver Line Metro is still a bit fuzzy, late February is now the best estimate. However, the Connector bus route serving the Tysons station is no longer in doubt. The Board of Supervisors today approved the route recommended by the Department of Transportation: Option 1.


The green area indicates ridership within easy walking distance.

Related Article  

Option 1 will provide service to potentially 1400 residents along Beulah Road, Westbriar Civic Association, Greater Tysons Green Civic Association, and the Cardinal Hill area along Creek Crossing Road.

While a petition drive was conducted to urge consideration of certain safety issues, most residents are automobile commuters, for whom the bus issue is moot. Few were willing to actively deny the bus option to their own neighbors for commuting to the Silver Line or get to Tysons for shopping.

The Board's approval of Option 1 was unanimous.

 

Improvements to Creek Crossing, Old Courthouse Road Outlined 1/9/14

Approximately ninety residents of Westbriar, Greater Tysons Green, and the Cardinal Hill area attended a meeting last night at James Madison High School to learn of infrastructure improvements slated to begin soon along Old Courthouse and Creek Crossing Roads. The improvements were identified in a walk through conducted in October along the Route of the 432 Connector Bus. The improvements are designed to enhance traffic operations, pedestrian access, and safety, and were largely shaped by citizen input from those living along this route.

A total of 101 improvements have been listed, and will be addressed as funding and priorities have been established.

The meeting was conducted by Fairfax County Department of Transportation Tom Biesiadny, who described the final details of the route, its shelter locations, and schedule. "We don't know precisely the first day of operations," he said. "But it will be on the first day of the Silver Line operation." The 432 will use the smallest of the Connector fleet, a 30 foot vehicle which seats 29. It will operate in a clockwise pattern, with five rush hour trips, and serve the Spring Hill Metro Stop. The full description of the route is available on the Fairfax County web site.
Sidewalks and trails along Creek Crossing Road are among the proposed upgrades. The asphalt path that runs from Country Club Drive to OCHR has areas which need attention. The west side, immediately south of Ridge Drive, is currently a ditch filled by rip rap to control erosion. This will be enclosed in a pipe under a side walk. There are some other minor areas of missing sidewalk on the west side which will be filled in.
FCDOT has recommended a Creek Crossing Task Force to establish parking lanes. Also, that four speed humps be installed. Speeding on Creek Crossing has been the source of many complaints over the years. Likewise, on OCHR, the asphalt trail which runs down the north side between Freedom Hill Park and Westbriar Court will be resurfaced and widened. It was noted that FCDOT is still waiting for our response on a speed hump program that was being pursued in 2011.

After the presentation, the microphone was open to comments and questions from the attendees. Several residents criticized the transportation concept that left the Tysons Metro stations without parking facilities.

Some residents along Creek Crossing expressed no interest in using the bus, and felt that they should have been able to prevent the route from using that street. One resident indicated that a crew trimming broken branches during a recent storm simply left the branches at the side of the road, and asked that they be picked up soon.


In all, it was an informative and lively discussion. and we look forward to the improvements along these two important arterial routes.