TYSONS, Va. — A small stretch of new sidewalk along one of Northern Virginia’s busiest roads officially opened Thursday, completing a connection from Alexandria to the Dulles Toll Road.
The work is one more step in urbanizing Tysons, making it safer for pedestrians and hopefully reducing some vehicle traffic.
“Bit by bit, Tysons is becoming a walkable place, and that’s our goal,” Fairfax County Supervisor Linda Smyth said.
The new sidewalks on either side of Virginia Route 7 under Virginia Route 123 provide a safer place to walk or bike, besides eight lanes of traffic, in a place people had previously worn a tightrope-width path on a grassy area.
It connects a number of businesses to the Greensboro Metro, and means there is some type of sidewalk or path along Route 7 all the way to Alexandria, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said.
“What looks like a little project … is a big deal because it is a missing link that will now allow someone to be able to walk or to bike all the way from the Toll Road all the way into Alexandria,” Bulova said.
She described the situation of people walking along this part of Route 7 in the past just to get a few hundred feet to the Metro as “taking your life in your hands.”
The sometimes-narrow sidewalks are not a perfect solution to car-free travel in the area, however. Cycling could mean a tight squeeze for both pedestrians and bike riders.
As part of the broader plans to continue turning Tysons into more of a citylike environment, Fairfax County plans to add 30 more Capital Bikeshare stations around Tysons, Dunn Loring and Merrifield this year.