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County to begin studying transformation of Wiehle Avenue into urban street

Reston Station from the Wiehle Avenue bridge (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Updated at 8:40 p.m. on 11/8/2023 — The community workshop has been relocated to the cafeteria of Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road).

Earlier: Fairfax County is formally launching a new study on how to shift Wiehle Avenue from a car-dominated, suburban road to a multimodal, urban street.

The Wiehle Avenue study kicks off with an in-person community workshop on Nov. 13.

After diving into the background and purpose of the study, the county will open the floor for attendees to brainstorm ideas on how to improve the road between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Reston.

The ideas proposed by the community will later be refined into three concepts “to test in future (year 2030) scenarios” by the Fairfax County Department of Transporation and its consultant, Fehr & Peers, FCDOT spokesperson Freddy Serrano says.

“[The scenarios] will give us an overview of how potential changes may affect traffic operations and accessibility and comfort for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users,” Serrano told FFXnow. “We will take these concepts and the resulting future analysis back to the public early next year and will solicit their feedback to arrive at a preferred concept for Wiehle Avenue.”

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors initiated the Wiehle Avenue study as a follow-on motion after approving TF Cornerstone’s Campus Commons redevelopment plan in 2019.

The project prompted vigorous debate on the safety of a proposed pedestrian crossing at the intersection Dulles Toll Road ramps and Wiehle Avenue. An alternative is being explored after the developer offered $1.65 million instead of developing a solution.

The county previously convened a study group to evaluate options for that crossing, but the group didn’t support any of the developer’s proposals.

FCDOT says this new study will take a broader look at the corridor and how it may have been affected by the opening of Metro’s Silver Line extension last year.

“This effort is expected to identify new and improved bicycle/pedestrian facilities and intersection treatments, as well as evaluate the potential reconfiguration of vehicular lanes and/or widths for current and future land use scenarios,” the department said in a news release.

The community meeting takes place from 5:30-9 p.m. in the second floor conference room of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza. A light dinner will be provided. RSVPs are encouraged through an online feedback form.