ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Potomac Yard is quickly becoming an up-and-coming Alexandria hub with a shopping center, restaurants and condominiums.
In the next few years, the area may get a new Metro station.
The Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group has been exploring three options to build a stop that would be on the Blue and Yellow lines between Reagan National Airport and Braddock Road.
All three options would be located between the Potomac Yard Shopping Center and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, south of the Four Mile Run Trail.
"With the number of people who live and work in the area, they need transportation accessibility so that they're not using their cars and adding more congestion to our already congested streets and roadways," says Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille, a Democrat.
Foster Henderson, who lives near Potomac Greens Drive, says he doesn't currently take Metro because he has to walk nearly a mile to get to a station.
"But I work in D.C. If they put the Metro here, I will take it. I will stop driving," says Henderson, although he's worried about an option that would place the station in his neighborhood and bring along heavy construction equipment and noise.
Euille also believes the new station would encourage development on unused land, which would complement the nearby shopping center.
"It will create a retail mecca in the metropolitan area for folks to come and shop, spend their money in Alexandria, which will benefit us," Euille says.
But resident Katie Kennedy, who lives in the Rosemont section of Alexandria, doesn't like all the talk of development.
"If they build out like they want to, it's at very best a wash on traffic, and probably it will be worse," Kennedy says.
Tim McGhee, who lives near Slaters Lane on the southern end of where the station could be built, says he's concerned about the project's affordability.
"I don't think it's necessary," he says. "I think there's something to be said for better planning.
"Alexandria has the most underutilized stations in the system. So for somebody who lives next to the Metro station, it's great. But is it going to be great for the city at large? No."
Another issue of concern is the proximity to the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
Alexandria contracted a firm that conducted tests showing the station would have a minimal visual impact upon drivers on the parkway. But resident Poul Hertel provided pictures from the National Park Service contradicting those claims.
"The old and historic district was created to protect the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The idea of preserving the heritage, not stepping on it, is inculcated in everything Alexandria has stood for since the 1930s. This would be a significant breach of that," Hertel says.
Public hearings on the Potomac Yard station could begin this summer. If approved, the station could open in late 2016 or early 2017.
View a report on the possible station below:
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