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Old 06-13-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
25,848 posts, read 44,078,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
It's not just for the reasons you stated above.

If you were around 30-40 years ago, you would know that the Metro subway system was never intended to be turned into a "train" system that services the outer suburbs. For many years, Tyson's/Reston/Springfield, etc were just that. Way outside the attention of "the city". Then you get into the fights of why does Tyson's "get" the Metro or Reston for that matter, when Woodbridge could have used the Metro long ago (and is the same distance out as Reston), or Southern Maryland and Charles County that have NO HOV and don't have room to make a lane, and so on and so on.

So it then comes down to affluency again and who has more money. So Tyson's gets it. But the original intent of Metro was to be a subway system for the CITY.
Well obviously the Metro DC of 1965 is far different than the Metro DC of 2009. Long-range plans need to be strict, transparent, and able to be revised as necessary based upon changing trends and after taking into careful consideration public input. It's true that in 1965 Reston was probably a one-horse town and now the 2010 Census will likely peg its population around 65,000, if not higher. It's true that in 1975 Leesburg was just a quaint little town that has now blossomed into a congested exurb. I'm well aware that the area just "took off" seemingly out of nowhere with massive growth, but had developers, at the time, been forced by the Fairfax County planning commission to build strictly within the parameters of regularly-updated plans, then a lot of the "mistakes" I currently see here in NoVA in terms of planning wouldn't have been permitted to occur.

I'll use Reston once again as an example. Its original concept of a "downtown" was Lake Anne Plaza, which, at the time, was probably a great place but is now an archaic and sagging outdated and ugly area. Instead of reinvigorating that area when it needed it the most Reston Town Center was built, and now Lake Anne Plaza is on life support (and in visible need of renovations). Now Fairfax County in all of its infinite wisdom has identified Tyson's Corners as the PRIMARY downtown for ALL of Fairfax County, which means even Reston Town Center, which originally put the nail in the coffin for Lake Anne Plaza, could be jeopardized in the long-term. I mean, why WAS the Spectrum Center ever built near the Reston Town Center if it was only going to be inevitably razed shortly after being built to make way for a denser project? Perhaps if Reston had a CURRENT plan, and perhaps if Fairfax County had a SOLID planning commission that adhered in accordance to that plan mistakes like those wouldn't be permitted to occur? Think of all of the asphalt, drywall, lighting, and other resources that all went to waste to build something that lasted a decade, if that.

I read the "Straw Man" report on "Transforming Tyson's," and I generally liked what I saw. While still being rather vague it was going to be the type of place where owning a car would be OPTIONAL instead of required, as it now is. It would be pedestrian-oriented instead of its current automobile orientation. Developers would build with the upcoming Metro stations foremost in their minds instead of as being an afterthought. Except for a few hiccups I took issue with I was generally pleased to see artists' renderings and to read all about the new neighborhoods envisioned for Tyson's. That's great. However, is Fairfax County putting all of its eggs into one basket while letting planning go awry elsewhere, such as here in Reston?
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,402 posts, read 16,981,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I'm well aware that the area just "took off" seemingly out of nowhere with massive growth, but had developers, at the time, been forced by the Fairfax County planning commission to build strictly within the parameters of regularly-updated plans, then a lot of the "mistakes" I currently see here in NoVA in terms of planning wouldn't have been permitted to occur.
This brings us back to the sore point that has been discussed numerous times. Problems with consistency happen because we are a transitional area.

People move here, think they know everything, and demand all sorts of planning changes to suit their individual tastes before they've even been here a year. They often insist on major changes designed to make NOVA resemble the town they just moved from, and vote for people who say they'll make those changes. It'd be fine by me--if those people just stuck around. But usually, before construction is even completed, they move away. And the next people who move in next want completely different changes.

BTW, Lake Anne does have a comprehensive plan: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/pro...08lakeanne.pdf Reality is, having plans doesn't mean that's what's going to happen.

Last edited by normie; 06-14-2009 at 05:41 AM..
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:07 AM
 
6,872 posts, read 8,392,073 times
Reputation: 2422
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I can GUARANTEE I have a better idea of PROPER long-range urban planning than some of the suburbia-loving folks on this sub-forum who boo and hiss whenever someone points out, correctly, that most of our current issues with traffic congestion and "you can't get there from here" complaints are a direct result of the sprawl.
Okay, if you say so. However, why does Long Range Planning only apply to Mass Transit? That's what you seem to be thinking.

Quote:
If there ARE long-range plans in effect, then why have they obviously been so blatantly disavowed? Take a drive out to Loudoun County and more specifically South Riding, Broadlands, Loudoun Valley Estates, Brambleton, Ashburn, etc. at some point. Is THAT the result of proper long-range urban planning---sprawling low-density cookie-cutter homes located far away from conveniences? NoVA needs to start thinking UP instead of "out." If you want to preserve the natural pastoral beauty we all enjoy out beyond Leesburg, then we need to act NOW! I took a drive out to Harper's Ferry today (expect a photo tour on the WV forum later, but that's for a different topic), and on the way out I was shaking my head in disgust to see McMansions sprouting in former agricultural lands as far out as Hamilton and Purcellville. Do you really want all of NW Loudoun County to look like Ashburn someday?
Supposedly Reston has had a plan in effect since the 1960s, but one look at our own community today indicates that it has been repeatedly ignored (hence why I'm going to a meeting at Lake Anne Elementary on Tuesday night to air my concerns as we hastily draft up a NEW plan). What I want to know is whose bright idea it was to build the low-density big-box-laden Spectrum Center adjacent to Reston Town Center, which may just be one of the densest parts of Fairfax County outside of Tyson's? I say this as I now learn that the Spectrum Center will likely be razed in the next several years to make way for a denser project when that denser project should have been located here in the first place! For that matter, who approved all of those low-density car dealers along Route 7 in Tyson's, as they are all inevitably going to be razed to make way for mixed-use development in the coming years? I just can't understand this unabashed resource-squandering. Instead of sitting down and drawing up STRICT long-range plans beforehand, all of these projects are being approved by Fairfax County only to be torn down not long after they've been built. Why?

I think the reason why is that local jurisdictions like to do whatever they want to. They don't like to bow to someone's master plan for them. Also, it's kind of hard to turn down the money, and other "candy", the developers were offering them, just to follow someone elses plans. In the USA we don't really have a central committee deciding everything for everyone.



Quote:
I'm well aware of NIMBYism. Perhaps if some of the likely upper-middle-class Caucasians who were fighting against the Silver Line for "importing the city element" would realize that property values near to Metro stations generally SKYROCKET then they'd be singing a different tune. I'd personally be willing to pay a PREMIUM for a home/apartment near a Metro station, as would many others. Ideally the Silver Line needs to be extended all the way out to Leesburg, and then non-Metrorail-oriented light rail service should link the Leesburg Metro station to Purcellville, Winchester, Charles Town, and Front Royal via different spurs. Europe embraces mass transit. NoVAns fear it. Why? That's the future, folks. If we have hundreds of thousands MORE people coming into NoVA in the coming decades, then we can either grimace as hour-long commutes turn into 90-minute commutes or we ctan stop with the suburban mentality of "city = icky" and start to EMBRACE mass transit, mixed-use developments, and smart growth.
NIMBYISM also applies to roads. I agree Metro needs expansion, but not to Leesburg. VRE should be built from Winchester through Leesburg to Tysons and from there to DC. If Tysons needs Metro then extend the Orange line around and back to Tysons. The Silver line is a bad idea unless they build a new tunnel or bridge from Arlington to DC and route the Silver Line on its own tracks rather than use the Orange line tracks. Why are you thinking only of your local area and forgetting the rest of the region? Kind of sounds like you have the same problem as the local jurisdictions have.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:14 AM
 
952 posts, read 856,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
That's great. However, is Fairfax County putting all of its eggs into one basket while letting planning go awry elsewhere, such as here in Reston?
I have no fear of Reston or the rest of Fairfax County going downhill. If businesses still come, people will also which will drive the property value tremendously. With good transportation and economy (as long as there is a US government) the metro area will thrive. I personally think that Tysons Corner will become a little sister city to DC (think Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale) and the areas around it will become suburbs of that.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:14 AM
 
5,626 posts, read 5,184,415 times
Reputation: 2198
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post


NIMBYISM also applies to roads. I agree Metro needs expansion, but not to Leesburg. VRE should be built from Winchester through Leesburg to Tysons and from there to DC. If Tysons needs Metro then extend the Orange line around and back to Tysons. The Silver line is a bad idea unless they build a new tunnel or bridge from Arlington to DC and route the Silver Line on its own tracks rather than use the Orange line tracks. Why are you thinking only of your local area and forgetting the rest of the region? Kind of sounds like you have the same problem as the local jurisdictions have.
This is my thought too.

I guess because I'm such a DC Metro "old-timer" I feel like Metro shouldn't be going out to far flung areas. I agree that these suburbs need to work on getting the VRE to get them closer in. I'm sorry if the Tyson's/Reston area people feel like they should have all the perks of city living and demand that Metro come to them--it's really not the most graceful option.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,402 posts, read 16,981,428 times
Reputation: 18787
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
I'm well aware of NIMBYism. Perhaps if some of the likely upper-middle-class Caucasians who were fighting against the Silver Line for "importing the city element" would realize that property values near to Metro stations generally SKYROCKET then they'd be singing a different tune.
Is NIMBYism really the problem here? Seems to me it's the opposite problem--people fighting about whose backyard deserves it more than the other.

If you really want to see NIMBYism take a look at the various ideas for putting a bridge across the Potomac.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:20 AM
 
952 posts, read 856,190 times
Reputation: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
NIMBYISM also applies to roads. I agree Metro needs expansion, but not to Leesburg. VRE should be built from Winchester through Leesburg to Tysons and from there to DC. If Tysons needs Metro then extend the Orange line around and back to Tysons. The Silver line is a bad idea unless they build a new tunnel or bridge from Arlington to DC and route the Silver Line on its own tracks rather than use the Orange line tracks. Why are you thinking only of your local area and forgetting the rest of the region? Kind of sounds like you have the same problem as the local jurisdictions have.
The silver line will be okay with the same tunnel. They just need to run it like NYC (minus the trash), Express Trains! If it works in a city with way more public transporters why not here in NoVA?
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:50 AM
 
2,520 posts, read 4,826,159 times
Reputation: 798
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
This brings us back to the sore point that has been discussed numerous times. Problems with consistency happen because we are a transitional area.

People move here, think they know everything, and demand all sorts of planning changes to suit their individual tastes before they've even been here a year. They often insist on major changes designed to make NOVA resemble the town they just moved from, and vote for people who say they'll make those changes. It'd be fine by me--if those people just stuck around. But usually, before construction is even completed, they move away. And the next people who move in next want completely different changes.
That's very well said.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Maine
1,294 posts, read 1,477,831 times
Reputation: 1228
New people moving here do not dictate the development plans for Fairfax or Loudoun Counties. These messes are made by the politicians and developers making agreements with each other in private meetings.

Claiming newcomers have that much power in the development plans and blaming them is ridiculous. Most of these planning problems have been in place for several years.

We know someone who works in the planning department of Fairfax County. Orders come from the developer and the county.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:06 PM
 
6,872 posts, read 8,392,073 times
Reputation: 2422
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeman804 View Post
The silver line will be okay with the same tunnel. They just need to run it like NYC (minus the trash), Express Trains! If it works in a city with way more public transporters why not here in NoVA?
The tunnel can barely handle the current Orange and Blue lines. How youo going to fit the Silver line in there? They're going to cut service on the Orange line to do it. The Orange line, home of the "Orange Crush", should not be having train frequencies reduced. That's what's going to happen though. You can't do express trains without a third track to bypass trains in front of it. NYC has the third tracks, but Metro doesn't.
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