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Talks on fix for dangerous Wiehle Avenue pedestrian crossing to begin again

The existing Wiehle Avenue intersection at the Dulles Toll Road ramps in Reston (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) Fairfax County is beginning talks for a pedestrian crossing at a dangerous intersection of Wiehle Avenue at the Dulles Toll Road ramps in Reston.

As part of its plan to redevelop the Campus Commons office complex, developer TF Cornerstones has agreed to give the county $1.65 million to build an alternative crossing for the area after a study group failed to reach consensus on a preferred alternative for the site in 2021.

But before an alternative option is chosen, the county will kick off a Wiehle Avenue corridor study that will evaluate Wiehle Avenue between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

An in-person meeting on the study is slated for Monday, Nov. 13 from 5:30-9 p.m. in the Langston Hughes Middle School cafeteria (11401 Ridge Heights Road).

Resounding community concerns about safety at the proposed at-grade crossing prompted the formation of a study group in 2020 that evaluated three proposed options for the site.

But virtually all members voted against the three options proposed by TF Cornerstones. Instead, 71% supported a crossing with an underpass — which comes with a hefty price tag — and 59% supported an enhanced at-grade pedestrian crosswalk with more multimodal improvements.

So far, the Board of Supervisors has emphasized the need for a high-visibility, at-grade crossing in the area — and one that is considered “aesthetically pleasing,” said Freddy Serrano, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT).

A timeline for the implementation of the Campus Commons crossing has not yet been determined. Under its development conditions, TF Cornerstones doesn’t need to give the money to the county until it receives its first occupancy permit for Building C, a 27-story multi-family residential building, according to FCDOT.

“There has been no movement on this project so that timeline is unknown,” Serrano said.

Ultimately, the outcome will depend on the Wiehle Avenue corridor study.

With the study, county transportation officials will incorporate ideas from the public and work with consultant Fehr & Peers to develop three concepts to test in 2030 for the overall corridor. The models will help determine how potential changes will affect traffic operations, accessibility and pedestrian safety.

“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,” Serrano said.

TF Cornerstone plans to build two buildings with 655 apartments, more than 520,000 square feet of office space and a little over 28,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. A 24-story tower and two small towers are proposed.

Image via Google Maps

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