U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 01-16-2008, 10:41 AM
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,789,718 times
Reputation: 18989


By the way, many people do not know about the many trails that go through Lansdowne.

http://www.potomactrail.org/newsletters/PHTA_200501.pdf (broken link) has a great map that will show you how to access them.

There are also several nice walking trails surrounding the National Conference Center, which is at the end of Belmont Ridge Road.
Quick reply to this message

Old 01-16-2008, 11:24 AM
69 posts, read 236,653 times
Reputation: 20
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Well, I guess different opinions are what make the world go 'round. I live near there, too. I'm a 62-year-old lady who has diabetes and walks with a cane. I just got back from walking over there, so I can give you a fresh perspective. I walked from a single family home somewhat near the hospital to the AAA in the Lansdown Center to get some maps. I took the sidewalk the entire way, and particularly enjoyed the stone bridge that crosses over goose creek.

Maybe to you "walkability" means a pathway along a slow road without traffic that you can lazily jaywalk across whenever you please. If that's the case, you're right, you won't find it here.

FWIW, however, I did not have a hard time negotiating the traffic. I also like having 4-lane roads. IMO they keep traffic moving and are a major factor to a thriving area. They are why I prefer Loudoun to areas like Vienna, where the traffic backs up. But, everyone has different preferences.
The sidewalk along Riverside Parkway is certainly a nice stroll.

As for walkability, I simply mean pedestrians aren't intermixed with auto traffic enough to make the area truly walkable like downtown Leesburg or Wilson Blvd in Arlington, for instance, where traffic is well aware of people and yield when necessary.

You're right, that particular area isn't prone to backups which is why I take it as part of my commute. However that is due to it's unique location rather than the road structure. There are plenty of winding 4-lane parkways in Loudoun that are complete nightmares.

Anyway, back to the topic. I do believe NoVA has gone downhill, but as others have mentioned, the phenomenon is not unique to our area. However NoVA could have done a much better job of planning transportation in areas along the Dulles Corridor. Tysons in particular is a case study in how NOT to plan an urban environment.
Quick reply to this message
Old 01-16-2008, 12:15 PM
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,789,718 times
Reputation: 18989
Well, to be fair I really like walking... it's my major exercise until it gets warm enough to start kayaking again. And I'm retired so I have plenty of time to enjoy a nice stroll on a pretty day like this. Younger people would probably be happier in a denser area like Ballston, where everything is less than 10 minutes away.
Quick reply to this message
Old 01-16-2008, 07:31 PM
10 posts, read 20,561 times
Reputation: 31
Default Northern Virginia has gone down hill.

Originally Posted by gingeone View Post
Hi I just had to put my 2 cents in. I have lived in the Northern va area all of my life.Sixty-yrs. I was raised in South Arlington, right off of Columbia pike.
Those days were were unbelivable. Everybody knew everybody. It was small town USA! .The air was fresh, the sky was blue, and you didn't lock your doors at night!. On sundays the stores were closed and all the traffic lights flashed yellow. If you ever saw a Christmas Story that was Arlington,Va.
I saw it starting to change in 1969, really. By the mid seventies it grew to never be the same. I don't know anyone here anymore. My neighbors are great, but they just wave and shut the door and live thier own lives.
It was great knowing I saw and lived here when it was a time hometown picnics and everybody knew what you did and told your big brother what you did, and then he would tell your mom and then no-more teen club, or going to peoples, or Tops Drive In, where they actually had car-hops!
I could go on and on. Just thought you'd like to know how it use to be.
Hi I've been reading some of your posts about my comments about how Northern Virginia use to be.
Yes, maybe you think I'm too old to enjoy the wonderful pollution and traffic jams, and kids don't know how to play in the anymore. No freedom.
The have to be tracked with cellphones and GPS systems because the area has become so dangerous.
I use to feel sorry for my children, they never got to enjoy the Simple Life.
They use to be bored, and wonder what to do..So they played with their video games and went to the Mall!! and I drove them everywhere,to scouts and school events. Because they might get ran over, or some pervert might kidnap them!
Kids today have not a clue how to have fun..I've been a Nanny and seen it over and over.
All you posters don't can't even imagine what it was like.
I just wish I could give my children and grandchildren one day back in the fifties! It would be the best life experience they would ever have.

So please don't knock the good old days unless you've been there.
Quick reply to this message
Old 01-16-2008, 08:02 PM
4,711 posts, read 10,869,313 times
Reputation: 3773
You ain't kidding, gingeone! While my family moved to Annandale in 1960, my earliest recollections are of South Arlington...S Buchanan St, right off the Pike....across from the Food Fair (remember that?)

I still remember the day in '57 or '58 that our new TV was delivered! It was a huge wooden black&white job that received 4 channels if you got the rabbit ears just right. Imagine kids today getting excited over a TV! LOL

We had a Tops Drive-In in Annandale too!
Quick reply to this message
Old 01-17-2008, 07:15 AM
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,789,718 times
Reputation: 18989
For anyone interested, this is Riverside Parkway and the bridge that goes over Goose Creek. I didn't take this photo, but tomorrow when the weather is better I'll try to get a shot that shows the walking path that goes alongside it. It's pretty, and will be even nicer in about 10 years when those newly-planted trees grow in.

If you're driving along Riverside Parkway around 8:30-10 a.m. look for a bunch of older ladies walking together. That's us! We didn't go walking today because of the snow and ice headed our way, but I did show everyone this forum and it's given us something fun the talk about.

Rita is the one who actually lives in Lansdowne, so I asked her opinion. She says there are some things she misses. Twenty years ago, the area was mostly large fields with barbed wire and "no trespassing" signs. Rita didn't actually live here then (nobody did, there was hardly anything between Reston and Leesburg in the 1980s except for an occasional vegetable stand or a gas station).

The things she misses: The area around the National Conference Center was wooded and populated with deer. She misses the drive through the woods when you made the turn from Rt 7 onto Belmont Ridge Road.

Also, there were no traffic lights on Rt. 7! Traffic was much lighter, since even Reston was considered "out in the boonies." Of course, Rita didn't drive out to the Lansdowne area much back then--there was no reason to. There was nothing here, the only reason would have been to go to Leesburg. Back then, Leesburg was a somewhat rundown "hick" town that wasn't worth driving to. (In her opinion.)

In Rita's opinion, the quality of life around Lansdowne has definitely improved--she wouldn't have moved to this area if it was still like it was in the 1980's!

Recent improvements in the last few years include:

- The new hospital. It's very nice not to have to drive to Reston for emergency care!
- The new schools are some of the best in Loudoun County. Belmont Ridge Middle School just won a big award.
- There were no stores in the area in the 1980's. Now every store or restaurant you could want is within a 5-minute drive. Whether you shop at Costco or Wegmans, everything is here.
- There are a number of free concerts during the summer. Three years ago, they began holding the summer concert series at the Belmont Club (nationally-known bands for $10 every weekend, not a bad deal). Plans for the future art/cultural center are underway.
- As you noted, Riverside Parkway has made traffic much more bearable. The picture above shows that it is attractive, too, even if some people don't like having a four-lane parkway in the neighborhood.
- Business parks, office buildings, and research centers are opening all over the area. People can now live, work, and play without leaving Lansdowne. The Janelia Research Center has a beautiful campus open to the public, and they offer free lectures from top scientists 4 times a year.
- Sports facilities, river access and walking trails have been built. The heritage trail was connected, so that it is now possible to hike from Great Falls National Park to Pennsylvania. This trail mostly goes along the river but also swings down into Broadlands, through Janelia, and around the NCC. Several parks were dedicated in the last 20 years, to preserve wooded areas as well as a small Civil War cemetary.

Everyone is different, but in Rita's opinion these changes have improved her quality of life. The open fields were nice for a Sunday drive, but having a hospital down the street makes her life much more pleasant.

Last edited by normie; 01-17-2008 at 07:23 AM.. Reason: photo was too big, I resized it.
Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2008, 12:23 PM
1 posts, read 3,304 times
Reputation: 11
Default people always complaining

im sitting here reading these post's about no trees and too many people living in this area go live in southern california and you will never see any trees and for too many people living here that is true but the job market in this area is one of the best in the countries so unless you want the companies to leave and jobs to vanish we will all have to put up with it and stop complaining about it
Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2008, 02:23 PM
Location: Washington, DC
402 posts, read 759,074 times
Reputation: 231
Default unbelievable

I have lived in fairfax county the last 17 years, and I can tell you that it is so much better now than it was back then. There is just so much to do now it is unbelievable. There are so many more restaurants and shops. Look at the Fairfax corner/Fair oaks area. Ethnic diversity has brought so many good restaurants to the area. The area is so clean and bright. Plus, DC is so much better than it was back then. Crime is waaay down and the new stadiums are great. Arlington county has transformed from used car dealerships and pawn shops to upscale residential/commercial.

Bottom line is if you want more rural open areas, than move further out. but dont say NoVa isnt nice. it is much nicer than you make it seem.
Quick reply to this message
Old 07-17-2008, 03:32 PM
9 posts, read 35,592 times
Reputation: 15
I'm with you nva79. With the talk about how "real Americans" are proud of their confederate flags, I have to say I'm glad those people aren't around here anymore.
Quick reply to this message
Old 02-02-2010, 12:24 PM
1 posts, read 2,363 times
Reputation: 13
Originally Posted by car54 View Post
I remember Potomac Yards well. It was owned by the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad which also owned the tracks between DC and Richmond. They used to call RF&P the "richest little railroad in the world" because all eastern seaboard trains had to pay them everytime they came through. I used to hang out at Steve's Restaurant on Rt 1 across from the yards...a real dive but great, cheap food and drink...a lot of train crews hung out there too. The W&OD crossed Columbia Pike too, near Four Mile Run Dr, where we lived in the 50's...it's a wonder we never derailed a train with all the stuff we put on the tracks!

I didn't know anything about Gerald Ford back in the day...he was just a Congressman. All presidents that came from Congress had area residences...but my parents had friends that lived next door to Nixon in the ParkFairfax apartments near Shirlington....before he became Ike's veep.
I read that Ford's house near Mt Vernon was on the market lately...but like so many others these days, it didn't move.

Never heard of Jim Morrison at the time...just that Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine went to GW. I did attend a Doors concert at the Alexandria Roller Rink in '67 or '68. I played football at Annandale HS and there weren't enough high schools in Fairfax County to play....so we regularly played GW and Hammond Highs...both middle schools nowadays.

I remember the old Ford plant from going by it in a boat....a tan brick building built on piles out over the River. It had been abandoned for years by then. It was really small for a factory and it's hard to believe they ever built cars there....car components maybe, but I don't know. There are some super high dollar townhouses on the site now.

I was pretty young in '61 when they built the Wilson Bridge...but the Beltway was built at the same time and my brother and I played in the construction dirt at Exit 52 (Rt 236). When it was finished pop had to drive around it...I remember that...it was only 2 lanes in each direction and you could go for miles without seeing another car. The Dulles Access Road was deserted into the 70's as well and a great place for a kid to wind a car out. Legend had it that there was only one FAA police officer patrolling it at any given time.

I'll never forget the Skyline collapse! I was in the Roy Rogers about half a mile away when it happened. All us patrons heard it and ran out to look....we thought it was an explosion...a huge cloud of dust rose and obscured the entire building. When it settled, you could see a missing section in the middle. Eventually they determined that the forms were removed before the concrete had cured properly. They set up a temporary morgue at the church across the street. My father worked worked for the insurance company that insured Miller & Long (the GC) and a few of the subs. We didn't see pop for about a week afterwards.

Bailey's was a happening place when I was a kid...the Hot Shoppe drive-in with car hops and stuff was cool....pony rides and small amusement rides. And the Sunset Drive-In theatre was across Rt 7 where the Home Depot is now....had a lot of fun there hehe!

Don't remember the weather sign near 7 Corners....

Was only in the 1320 Club a few times. We preferred the DC strip clubs...drinking age was 18 for beer back then. How about Hillbilly Heaven? It was way down Rt 1, below Belvoir...owned by Donna Dixon's (of Bosom Buddies fame) father...what a joint that was!

There was other neat stuff for kids around here back then....like Old Virginia City...a replica of an Old West town complete with actors shooting it up and dancing girls in the saloon, man that palce was fun! And the Enchanted Forest...another small theme park....both were out Rt 29 past Fairfax
Interesting to read that you saw the Doors at the Alexandria Roller Rink. My father's band, December's Children, reportedly opened up for them at that show. Unfortunately, I don't have a flyer from that show, but do have some others.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top