Residents can rest easy: ‘Tysons last forest and stream’ is saved.
At a Tuesday meeting, Fairfax County officials killed a controversial option for a ramp from the Dulles Toll Road into Tysons that would have paved right through the Old Courthouse Spring Branch Park.
For months, area residents have been in uproar over the ramp proposal, part of the county Department of Transportation’s efforts to identify future access points to a newly redeveloped Tysons, would have connected the Toll Road to an extended Boone Boulevard.
But more than 600 community members signed a petition opposing the option, demanding that the county preserve the green space in what will be the county’s walkable, urban downtown. The Board of Supervisors also formally opposed the option in October.
During a Tuesday meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Transportation Committee, officials told supervisors the ramp option – one of four on the table – could be nixed because it would be too expensive and the environmental costs too great.
“[This ramp option] has the most impact and is the most costly to the county, and you see that we can at this time eliminate [it] from further study,” Seyed Nabavi, a representative from the department of transportation, said.
The proposed ramp through the park was projected to cost $44 million. The remaining options – proposed to go behind the Sheraton Hotel – range in cost from $22 million to $39 million and have lower impacts on the environment, Nabavi said.
After the meeting, Pam Kondé, president of the Save Tysons Last Forest coalition, said she and the neighbors who mobilized to save the area are excited their efforts have worked.
“We’re pretty psyched,” she said. “Now we’ll be able to continue to protect, restore and preserve a fantastic local resource in Tysons Corner.”
Kondé also commended supervisors for doing the right thing, including Board Chairman Sharon Bulova.
“She has been an outstanding leader,” Kondé said. “She has understood what the county’s vision was in implementing a ‘green’ Tysons.”
Randy Atkins, a member of the coalition, was pleased the issue was finally resolved.
“It shouldn't have taken this much convincing but, in the end, thanks to a coalition of civic-minded neighbors and good local representatives, the right thing was done,” he said in e-mail after the meeting. “Now we have to make sure we protect this parkland area into the future.”
Fairfax Board Opposes Dulles Toll Road Ramp Option
Exploring the New Frontier ... in Tysons Corner
Residents Gain Momentum Against Tysons Ramp
Residents 'Disgusted' Over Tysons Ramp Proposal
Supervisors Could Save Tysons Last Forest Tuesday