McLean neighbors living both east and west of Tysons Corner came to the McLean High School cafeteria Tuesday night to ask county transportation officials a simple question --- can we get to the shopping mall and the new Metro stations from our homes. The answer: Not yet.
The meeting attended by about 100 people was the first of four that county officials are holding with Vienna and McLean residents to figure out how to get residents to the four new subway stations now under construction in Tysons Corner for the Silver Line. None of the stations has parking.
One of the frustrations of McLean residents: With all the planning for the subway and the millions of dollars spent, there are still no plans to insure that residents can walk, bike or bus to either the mall or a subway station.
"You have to get people from the neighborhoods to the Metro and that's what they forgot," said Jody Winter, of Vienna.
Instead of a plan, county planners came equipped with four hard-to-read maps that show existing and planned bus routes, location of sidewalks, missing crosswalk segments and planned trails.
“There is certainly nothing we can promise," Kris Morley-Nikfar, a county transportation planner, told the audience. "This is the first step in finding out what you want and what you all need.” But he quickly added that they county has only $4 million to spend on these "infrastructure" improvements.
"I like that we could look at maps and see the details," said Nancy McGuire of McLean, but "the proof is in the pudding. We're commenting on how there are no bike paths and no pedestrian (sidewalks). Will they do anything with this information? Cars tend to take precedence."
The county consultants said repeatedly they want citizens to establish priorities for what they wanted then the county would be back with a plan. So most of the two-hour meeting was spent with the audience divided into six groups taking about who wanted what.
"I want a community bus from the McLean business district to the closest subway station, a shuttle bus," to get people from downtown McLean to the Metro, said Maya Huber, a member of the McLean Planning Committee.
The neighbors from the west side of Tysons talked about the difficulty of getting across the entrance ramp to the Dulles Toll Road to the new subway stations along Route 7 in Tysons Corner. Neighbors on the east side of Tysons talked about navigating Dolley Madison Boulevard, the location of the two other subway stations.
"Initially I thought it might be a waste of time but then it became evident that the planners seemed open to citizen input," said Winter after the meeting.
Elizabeth Yu, of McLean, said "I think it was helpful because it brings people into the process."
Next Step:Morley-Nikfar, the county planner urged residents to take an online survey to express the priority or their wants.
The county will be back in July with a plan and hopefully the answer to: Can we get there from here?
- Wednesday March 23, 2011 – George C. Marshall High School Cafeteria
7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Thursday March 24, 2011 – Westbriar Elementary School Cafeteria
1741 Pine Valley Drive, Vienna, VA 22182
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Thursday March 24, 2011 - Teqcorner Building
1616 Anderson Road
McLean VA 22102
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Correction: We have corrected an earlier version of this story said neighbors on the west side of Tysons Corner would have trouble crossing Route 7. The problem is in crossing the Dulles Toll Road entrance ramp.
Correction: We misidentified the county speaker in an earlier version of this story. The story now has the correct name. We deeply apologize to our readers.