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Old 06-13-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,617 posts, read 77,614,858 times
Reputation: 19102

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Hello forum!

I have made a small cluster of friends who reside in South Riding, and since they are all out in Loudoun County with me being the only one in Fairfax County we've pretty much come to a consensus that it would be much more feasible for me to drive out to them most of the time to make things easier.

So far my GPS has been pretty much useless, as I don't have a way to disable toll roads, and it keeps on wanting me to take the Dulles GREEDway ($8 round-trip?!) from Reston to Brambleton. From satellite imagery it appears as if that part of Loudoun County is pretty poorly-planned and very difficult to access without taking the 267.

Here was my vague idea, but notice I'll hit a "snag."

-Take Route 606 West from Reston (Baron Cameron Avenue) on into Herndon (Elden Street).

-Just past the Herndon Historic District (all two blocks of it) I would bear right onto Sterling Road.

-Past Rock Hill Road Route 606 is now called Old Ox Road as you leave Fairfax County and enter Loudoun County.

Here comes the snag

-I'll continue on Route 606 until I come to the 267 interchange of Exit 8. The most direct route would be to hop onto 267 West for ONE EXIT to Exit 7, where I'd hop onto Route 607 (Loudoun County Parkway) west and then bear right onto Ryan Road to Brambleton.

Does anyone know how much the toll would be to drive on 267 West for LESS THAN ONE MILE from Exit 8 to Exit 7? If it's reasonably-priced, then this is what I'll do. If it's $3.90, as is the relatively short ride from Exit 12 near my home in Reston to Exit 8 (Route 607) then forget it! It's ludicrous to charge someone $8 round-trip between Reston and Brambleton!

Does Virginia realize that some of us only earn $40,000 annually and can't afford to spend $8 all the time to visit friends? What other routes do I have available from my home near Reston Parkway to Brambleton WITHOUT 267? HELP!!!

P.S. This is further complicated because I now have a potential romantic interest amongst that group out in South Riding as well, and if all goes well I may wish to drive from Reston out to visit him several times per week. At $8 a pop I could very easily be spending $100 a MONTH on tolls (not even to mention the times when I want to head EAST from Reston into DC!) Why are the tolls so damn expensive? Not everyone in Reston drives European vehicles and earns $100,000+ per year, state of Virginia!
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:35 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,785,532 times
Reputation: 821
Wow...I can't help you but I can only empathize!
The most I've ever paid for a toll was 70cents (as I don't live in NOVA)!
I would be so upset if I had to shell out $3.90/trip!
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,617 posts, read 77,614,858 times
Reputation: 19102
Quote:
Originally Posted by 540_804 View Post
Wow...I can't help you but I can only empathize!
The most I've ever paid for a toll was 70cents (as I don't live in NOVA)!
I would be so upset if I had to shell out $3.90/trip!
Yep. That's nearly $8 round-trip for using the Dulles GreedWay all of what---a few miles? Infrastructural planning is terrible in Northern Virginia. If you live north and west of Vienna, the furthest out community with Metrorail access, then your only options are generally the Route 7 Conga Line or the Dulles GreedWay, which lower-middle-class people like myself really can't afford. Wasn't the entire purpose of the 267 to REDUCE congestion on the 7 Conga Line? It's deserted whenever I'm on it, as the sky-high tolls are counter-productive. If they lowered the tolls by half, then the people using the 267 might double, creating heavy (but not congested) traffic while alleviating the congestion somewhat on the Route 7 Conga Line. You could charge $4 each way for 20,000 vehicles per day or $2 each way for 40,000 vehicles per day. Doesn't it all balance out in the end anyways this way?
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 5,311,488 times
Reputation: 1303
ScranBarre, welcome to my hell. The Greedway toll is flat-rate no matter how many exits you go. Trust me, I know this sucks, because my exit is 7 - Loudoun County Parkway.

The problem, of course, is that giant freakin' Dulles Airport is in the way. If I were you, I would take the Dulles Toll Road to Route 28 south, then get on 50 west to South Riding. That's a toll of $.50, I think. Otherwise, if you want to go completely toll-free, you can take 606 all the way to South Riding. It's long, but the speed limit is 55 for the most part. You'll pass lots of industrial buildings, the National Weather Service property, and the only Arby's in the area. At some point, the name changes from Old Ox Road to Loudoun County Parkway just north of Route 50 (don't ask why LCP is here and also elsewhere - it's ridiculous - Toll Brothers is on the hook to complete the missing part of LCP but it won't be done until at least two or three years from now, and even that's optimistic.) You'll know you've arrived at Route 50 when you hit a major intersection - the shopping center south of 50 has a Home Depot and a Giant, among other things. That's South Riding!

BTW, South Riding and the area around it will likely annoy your urban-planning sensibilities.
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,617 posts, read 77,614,858 times
Reputation: 19102
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
ScranBarre, welcome to my hell. The Greedway toll is flat-rate no matter how many exits you go. Trust me, I know this sucks, because my exit is 7 - Loudoun County Parkway.

The problem, of course, is that giant freakin' Dulles Airport is in the way. If I were you, I would take the Dulles Toll Road to Route 28 south, then get on 50 west to South Riding. That's a toll of $.50, I think. Otherwise, if you want to go completely toll-free, you can take 606 all the way to South Riding. It's long, but the speed limit is 55 for the most part. You'll pass lots of industrial buildings, the National Weather Service property, and the only Arby's in the area. At some point, the name changes from Old Ox Road to Loudoun County Parkway just north of Route 50 (don't ask why LCP is here and also elsewhere - it's ridiculous - Toll Brothers is on the hook to complete the missing part of LCP but it won't be done until at least two or three years from now, and even that's optimistic.) You'll know you've arrived at Route 50 when you hit a major intersection - the shopping center south of 50 has a Home Depot and a Giant, among other things. That's South Riding!

BTW, South Riding and the area around it will likely annoy your urban-planning sensibilities.
Thanks for the feedback and the suggestions! In theory I have absolutely no problem paying a toll for my benefit of using a roadway, but $8 for a short round-trip drive is very out-of-line, in my humble opinion, especially since I think I used to pay about that much for a round-trip drive from Scranton, PA to Philadelphia, PA (2.5 hours!) It may be easiest then for me to drive to South Riding to where they live, pick them up, and then head to Brambleton. I've already been to the movie theater there twice and really do love it, but if the commute out that way starts to be tiresome I'll just have to see if the others out in South Riding would be willing to come to Reston more often for us to hit up the town center instead.

As far as the urban planning issue is concerned I'm learning to keep my commentary to myself about that. A lot of people on this forum think places like Broadlands, South Riding, Loudoun Valley Estates, etc. with their low density sprawling nature are the "wave of the future," so perhaps if you can't beat them, join them, right? What I DO like about Brambleton is that at full build-out there will be a movie theater, grocery store, restaurants, shops, conveniences, green space, and a small concert venue all within an easy walk of many townhomes and apartments, creating a TRUE mixed-use neighborhood. I envision it to be a low-height version of Reston Town Center. Even though Reston in and of itself is the poster child for suburbia, the town center has really created a "focal point" for people even from surrounding towns to come in and enjoy. The problem I foresee, though, is that with the "Transforming Tyson's" project Fairfax County has already designated Tyson's Corners as the entire county's "downtown." That will only add further competition between Reston Town Center and all of these other faux-downtowns cropping up as they battle for recognition against Tyson's, which the county is using as its "baby" of sorts. We already saw what happened when one town---Reston---tried to have two competing downtown focal point areas: the modern-era town center won and the "historic" Lake Anne Plaza has now fallen into near-disrepair. Will Reston Town Center also become a giant slum in 2020 when the county ignores it in favor of Tyson's, as it apparently plans to?!

Do people in this county think BEFORE they build, or do they build and then question it later? I say this as I learn that a Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Office Depot, etc. near my home are likely going to be razed for new skyscrapers even though these buildings were all built within the past decade. What a waste of resources!
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 5,311,488 times
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I'm glad you like Brambleton. We've been here almost six years and we've never regretted our decision to buy here instead of Herndon or Broadlands (the other areas we considered).
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,617 posts, read 77,614,858 times
Reputation: 19102
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
I'm glad you like Brambleton. We've been here almost six years and we've never regretted our decision to buy here instead of Herndon or Broadlands (the other areas we considered).
I do like Brambleton. I like how the developers are trying to build a community where people can walk a half-mile from their front door to the movie theater and bump into the neighbor two doors down the street whom you haven't spoken to in a week. I don't like many of the surrounding subdivisions (including South Riding as a prime example) where there's just home after home after home with nothing nearby to service them without hopping into the car for a good haul. It's THAT sort of development that I do NOT want to see take over all of Loudoun County (and sadly the Brambleton-style developments seem to be very few and far between).
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly NoVA and Phila
9,779 posts, read 15,790,796 times
Reputation: 10886
Why not go into MapQuest, put in your address and then the destination's address and check "no tolls" on the right side. That should give you a route to where you need to go.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,402 posts, read 28,948,929 times
Reputation: 19090
Sorry, don't have any helpful suggestions for you (I'm not that familiar with South Riding). Just wanted to say how great it is that you've made a strong group of friends already, and maybe even a romantic interest. You've only been here two weeks! That's excellent.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,617 posts, read 77,614,858 times
Reputation: 19102
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Sorry, don't have any helpful suggestions for you (I'm not that familiar with South Riding). Just wanted to say how great it is that you've made a strong group of friends already, and maybe even a romantic interest. You've only been here two weeks! That's excellent.
Thank you! I know I'm pretty "opinionated" (that's putting it lightly I suppose), but even though I open my big Italian mouth and get into hot water sometimes on this forum I'm a very kind, energetic, and humorous person in real life. I suppose I'm the rare extraverted auditor! I have three different networks of friends right now---co-workers, a gay couple whom I met through Facebook, and my budding significant other (who is flying back to NoVA tonight from the West Coast) and several of his drinking buddies and their better halves---male and female alike. I also just had another young guy that just moved here from suburban Cleveland send me a private message on Facebook introducing himself and his situation and extending a hand in friendship to me. If and when I decide to join Reston Runners I'm sure I'll make even more new friends. I don't miss Scranton very much at all (well I miss my old favorite pizza joints!)

I'll never win myself any friends complaining about the urban sprawl/urban planning issues (I'm apparently one of a select few who's concerned about the NoVA of 2030 because now I'm seriously vested into wanting to see this area thrive and prosper long-term), but otherwise I can't say enough about how HAPPY I am to have moved here! The tolls/traffic are trying at times, but thankfully I am now working a 6 AM-2:30 PM schedule Monday-Friday, so I can avoid much of the hassle---I love my five-minute commute! I then drive home, change, and go for a 5-6-mile run on the W&OD Trail (I've found that running from Reston to Herndon is much nicer from the parking lot along Old Reston Avenue than heading in the "shady" other direction). Then I head back and have plenty of time to do some household chores/errands, cook dinner (Lean Cuisines mostly), watch the local news (which, sadly, is mostly NATIONAL news!), and socialize with friends either on the phone, going out, on Facebook, etc.

NoVA is great! I'd give it a B+! If they could figure out a good east/west artery through Reston besides the Route 7 Conga Line or the Dulles GreedWay I'd be ever so thrilled!
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