Metro avoids expensive turnaround costs, extends Silver Line to Largo
Hank Silverberg, WTOP
Max Smith, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - The first five new stations on Metro's Silver Line are taking shape, with rail service to Reston set to start in about a year.
Only one of the stations will have parking. Wiehle-Reston East will have a park-and-ride, including a parking garage similar to others across the Metro system. There will also be an underground bus bay on the north side of the station similar to the one at Bethesda Station. The station will also have a bicycle locker room.
Wiehle-Reston East Station is in the middle of the Dulles Toll Road, just west of Wiehle Avenue. There are entrances from either side of the road, similar to the current Orange Line stations in the middle of I-66.
There will be no parking at the four other Silver Line stations that are set to open in Tysons, but there will be kiss-and-rides at the McLean and Spring Hill stations.
Spring Hill Station is on Route 7 at Spring Hill Road on the west side of Tysons. The station will be accessed by pedestrian bridges on either side.
Greensboro Station is on Route 7 just north of Route 123. It is also accessed from either side of Route 7.
Tysons Corner Station is the closest to the malls, located just off the Beltway on Route 123 at Tysons Boulevard. Access will be via pedestrian bridges from either side of 123.
McLean Station is the farthest east of the new stations, located at Route 123 and Scotts Crossing Road, just inside of the Beltway.
"We're looking at a balanced approach at all the stations," says Nick Perfili, Dulles Rail planner for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. "Each station will have bicycle facilities. Every station will be served by a bus route, be it Connector (or) WMATA. Prince William County will run their PRTC OmniRide service to the Tysons Corner Station. Loudoun County will be serving the stations."
Many current bus routes will change when the Silver Line opens. This is intended to bring commuters that currently catch Metro trains at West Falls Church to a Silver Line station closer to the start or end of their trip. There will also be new shuttles and Circulator service within the Tysons Corner and McLean areas.
"If you're an employee who works at SAIC, for example, you're adjacent to the Greensboro station," Perfili explains. "If you're in an office building along Jones Branch Drive - Freddie Mac, for example - you'll probably want to look at one of the shuttle options."
There is ongoing work to improve pedestrian and bike infrastructure in the area to make the Tysons stations more easily accessible.
Construction on the first phase of the Dulles Rail Project is more than 80 percent complete, with a contract for the second phase set to be awarded next year. The second phase is scheduled to open to passengers in 2018.
When the Silver Line first starts operating in about a year, it is expected to run from Wiehle - Reston East Station to Largo, following the Orange Line tracks between East Falls Church and Rosslyn, then following the Blue Line's route to Largo.
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