No Consensus on How "Walkable" Tysons Will Be

Metro doesn't necessarily mean pedestrian-friendly

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Metrorail at Tysons Corner will mean more options for people who don't want to drive. But not everybody agrees on just how "walkable" the area will be.

    Danny Oliver works at a computer repair shop in Tysons Corner. He doesn't believe Route 7 can ever truly become pedestrian-friendly. "No," Oliver says. Why not? "There's too much traffic."

    Construction crews already dot both sides of Route 7 near Tysons, moving utility lines underground in preparation for the new Metrorail that'll run down the middle of the road. The plan also calls for two pedestrian bridges here -- and Marcia McAllister says the bridges won't just be for those looking to catch a train. "You're going to be able to use them just to get across Route 7 -- which you can't really do today in a safe manner," McAllister says.

    Stewart Schwartz, with the Coalition for Smarter Growth, says bridges are great... but if there aren't enough of them, they'll do little to encourage walking. And the redevelopment plan also calls for adding a lane of traffic in each direction, which he says might make the road even tougher to cross than it is now. "You'll essentially create two separate communities -- one on either side of the station," Schwartz says.

    Fairfax County's planning commission will discuss the Tysons plan on Jan. 20. Jonathan Wilson reports...

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