Herndon Town Council members remain concerned by cut-through traffic and spillover from development in neighboring jurisdictions following a recently released traffic study.
At a town council meeting on Feb. 13, consultant Gorove Slade reported that cut-through traffic declined overall from 2019 to 2022, but several key intersections are operating beyond their capacity loads.
The study kicked off in 2022 after former council member Sean Regan asked the town to specifically study how the Dulles Toll Road affects cut-through traffic in Herndon. The scope of the study was later expanded to the entire town, Herndon Community Development Director Lisa Gilleran said.
Still, Councilmember Donielle Scherff cautioned that more study is needed to guide meaningful policy decisions.
“It toggles the pandemic, which is just this blip we can’t all explain…I hate to say it but it almost feels like we need to continue this for two more years,” she said, noting concerns about traffic along Spring Street, Van Buren Street and some parts of Herndon Parkway.
She argued the study offers a snapshot in time and should be extended to provide more comprehensive information, particularly as more people return to work and the new Silver Line stations are used more frequently.
Overall, the study found that cut-through traffic exiting and entering the town accounted for 34% of overall traffic in 2019, dipping to 26% in 2022. The most common origin was the intersection of Sterling Road and Old Ox Road, and the most common destinations were Elden Street and Sunset Hills Road.
Overall, cut-through traffic to and from the toll road only accounted for around 8% of all cut-through traffic in 2019 and 6% in 2022.
Gorove Slade also studied capacity between April 25 and May 2 at key intersections. The consultant found that four intersections are operating beyond their set levels of service or queue lengths:
- Dranesville Road and Herndon Parkway (in the a.m., p.m. and midday)
- Herndon Parkway and Spring Street (a.m. and p.m.)
- Van Buren Street and Herndon Parkway (p.m., midday)
- Sterling Road and Crestview Drive (p.m.)
Burgeoning development at Rivana at Innovation Station in Loudoun County — which is planned for 3,700 residential units and 3.5 million square feet of office space — is expected to increase traffic. Councilmember Keven LeBlanc said the development is concerning since it’s “right on our border.”
Gilleran noted that the town expects to see traffic “increase significantly” on the Old Ox Road portal into town as a result of development.
Town Manager Bill Ashton II noted that the town is well aware of the potential impacts of neighboring development on town roads.
Ashton II said state transportation officials are not analyzing the issue from a holistic persepective and instead taking an approach that foucses mostly on Loudoun County. The town is analyzing ways to improve congestion on Sterling Road, he said.
The challenge is that the town is unable to add lanes as easily as Loudoun County — where development is newer and less dense — due to the presence of established neighborhoods, Gilleran said.
“When you come to the town line, of course, we have established neighborhoods, and so, the prospect of adding lanes is not something that the town has ever considered to be a desirable solution,” she said.
A man who claimed he was stabbed by two masked strangers outside Dulles Town Center in November now faces charges of filing a false report and embezzlement from the mall’s Sports Nation store where he worked.
On Nov. 10, Fawad Fafa, 44, filed a report with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office claiming to have been a victim of a stabbing in the parking lot of the Dulles Town Center Mall in Sterling.
“Fafa reported that he left the mall and as he got into his vehicle, two males wearing masks approached his vehicle and stabbed him before fleeing in a dark-colored four-door sedan,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Detectives determined the report was fabricated and that Fafa had injured himself, the sheriff’s office said.
On Nov. 8, an employee of the Sports Nation store where Fafa worked reported that during the overnight hours the store had been entered and money was taken. Detectives soon determined that Fafa had taken the money, according to the release.
Fafa was arrested Dec. 15 and charged with two counts of filing a false police report and embezzlement, the release said.
He was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center the next day on a $1,500 bond.
On Dec. 19, at approximately 9:15 p.m., detectives allege Fafa again entered the Sports Nation store and forcibly removed money from the cash register, the release said.
Additional charges were obtained for burglary and embezzlement, and Fafa was arrested by the Fairfax County Police Department. He is being held at the Fairfax County jail.
Cornerstones, a Reston-based nonprofit organization, has expanded into Sterling.
The nonprofit organization — which has offered food and other supports for individuals and families in need since it was founded in 1970 — opened the Free from Hunger Center last week.
The 10,000-square-foot center is a food distribution hub intended to keep food pantries throughout the Dulles corridor area stocked up and ready for demand.
Cornerstones CEO Kerri Wilson said the hub addresses an organizational issue, not a supply problem. Many organizations that offer hunger relief suffer from an unconventional challenge: inadequate storage space.
“This is not about interrupting existing supply rescue chains; it’s about figuring out how to be smarter,” Wilson said.
The center will also house soon-to-expire food from grocery stores and offer storage for local food pantries, while providing services for the community.
Larry Schwartz, who chairs Cornerstones’ food hub task force, said the hub will have space for offices, training, and events. Thousands of tons of food that may otherwise have gone to waste will be collected, sorted and repackaged.
“This opportunity to scale our food programs in ways we couldn’t before, this opportunity to reduce food waste, food insecurity and carbon emissions all at the same time — opportunities like this, to effect systemic change, don’t arise often and they don’t occur without hard work, without your generosity,” Schwartz said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 27.
The center was made possible by the support of several community partners including Bob and Lisa Van Hoecke, HomeAid Northern Virginia, Floris United Methodist Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Creative Strategies, and Gary and Kate Buschelman.
Bob Van Hoecke, a principal and CEO of a Reston-based oil industry consulting firm, compared the hub to an Amazon warehouse.
“What we are talking about here, in my mind, is transformative,” he said. “We have the ability to evolve how we’re going to deal with this problem. Every day, tons of food is destroyed, but yet people are going home and going to sleep at night hungry.”
A Leesburg man faces multiple criminal charges from two different Northern Virginia counties in connection to a police pursuit that started in Ashburn and ended just outside the Town of Vienna.
On Monday (Oct. 30) afternoon, the Fairfax County Police Department arrested 44-year-old Joseph Daniel at the intersection of Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) and Flint Hill Road in Oakton after he allegedly attempted to carjack two vehicles.
Helicopter video shared by the FCPD shows a man trying the driver’s doors of a gray minivan and a red sedan while running away from officers, who ultimately tackle him to the ground.
The FCPD has now charged Daniel with carjacking, disregarding police commands to stop, a felony hit-and-run, driving without a license and reckless driving, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office announced yesterday (Tuesday).
The Loudoun sheriff’s office is expected to file charges of its own related to the pursuit, which began shortly before 2 p.m. after someone called 911 to report an “abduction in progress” at a Wells Fargo bank (43650 Yukon Drive) in Ashburn.
“The LCSO continues to investigate the initial abduction call and multiple charges are pending related to the pursuit,” the office said in a news release, adding that information on the charges will be released “once they are placed.”
According to the LCSO, the vehicle Daniel was driving during the chase — a 2005 Hummer H2 — had been reported stolen in Chantilly on March 16, noting that SUV “had been repainted from its original green color to black.”
The FCPD said on Monday that, after taking Daniel into custody, its officers found a woman inside the Hummer “a short distance away.” She was treated “for minor injuries related to the abduction.”
The sheriff’s office says it already had several “open” warrants for Daniel charging him with two counts of possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, fleeing and eluding, driving without a license, and three counts of violating probation.
Daniel is currently in custody without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
The pursuit and arrest occurred in the same afternoon that the FCPD dealt with a carjacking in Tysons. That incident began at 4:32 p.m. when police responded to a reported commercial theft at Tysons Corner Center and concluded shortly thereafter when the suspect crashed the stolen vehicle into a nearby Shell gas station.
A police pursuit of a man who reportedly attempted to abduct a woman crossed county lines before ending just outside the Town of Vienna this afternoon.
Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) is currently closed at the Flint Hill Road intersection in Oakton in the wake of the arrest, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. The Town of Vienna said on Twitter at 4:30 p.m. that one southbound lane between Flint Hill and Nutley Street had opened.
“Our officers assisted @Loudounsheriff after a man abducted a woman and fled from deputies,” the FCPD said in a tweet. “The pursuit entered Fairfax County and man was arrested with the help of @VSPPIO.”
Suspect in custody. Our officers assisted @Loudounsheriff after a man abducted a woman and fled from deputies. The pursuit entered Fairfax County and man was arrested with the help of @VSPPIO. Chain Bridge Road is closed at Flint Hill Road. #FCPDhttps://t.co/R0jG09KRip pic.twitter.com/AwEfocO6Tp
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) October 30, 2023
Traffic Update: One southbound lane of Maple Avenue (Rt. 123) between Nutley Street and Flint Hill Road is now open. The other lane will remain closed for a Fairfax County Police Department investigation. Both northbound lanes of Maple Avenue (Rt. 123) are open. pic.twitter.com/TUMjXB46GB
— Town of Vienna, VA (@TownofViennaVA) October 30, 2023
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says it got a call around 1:52 p.m. from someone who reported “an abduction in progress” in Ashburn.
Per scanner traffic on Open MHz, the “suspicious activity” occurred at a Wells Fargo bank (43650 Yukon Drive) in the Ryan Park Center, a shopping center, and was suspected to be “possible trafficking.”
“As deputies arrived on the scene, the suspect, driving a black Hummer, drove away northbound on the Loudoun County Parkway,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “The deputies activated their emergency equipment and attempted to pull the vehicle over. The driver disregarded the deputies’ attempts and continued into Fairfax County.”
A sheriff’s deputy told a dispatcher at 2:13 p.m. that the driver ran three red lights and wasn’t pulling over for him. Police also said the driver “may have struck a vehicle.”
The FCPD got involved in the pursuit at approximately 2:20 p.m. when it entered Fairfax County via the Dulles Access Road (Route 267), according to the department and scanner traffic. Patrol officers, K9 units and the Fairfax 1 helicopter assisted.
The chase continued onto I-495 North, passing Tysons Blvd and entering Vienna. Upon reaching the Chain Bridge and Flint Hill intersection at 2:45 p.m., the driver stopped and “attempted to steal two other vehicles,” the FCPD says.
“Our officers arrived on scene to stop the potential carjacking and arrest the man,” Fairfax County police said. “An adult female was discovered inside the vehicle a short distance away. She is being treated for minor injuries related to the abduction that occurred in Loudoun County.”
The driver “struck several community members’ vehicles” during the pursuit, resulting in some reported injuries that were determined to be non-life-threatening, the FCPD said.
The man’s identity and any charges being filed haven’t been shared yet, but both agencies say more details will become available as the investigation continues. Virginia State Police also provided assistance.
“The LCSO is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our community,” the Loudoun sheriff’s office said. “We want to thank the officers and troopers with the Fairfax County Police Department and the Virginia State Police for their assistance in bringing this pursuit to a safe conclusion.”
The Office of the Virginia Attorney General is opposing a private toll road owner’s request for a rate increase.
In July, Toll Road Investors Partnership II, the owner and operator of the 14-mile Dulles Greenway that runs between Leesburg and Washington Dulles International Airport, filed a request with the State Corporation Commission to increase tolls by at least 21%.
[On Sept. 29], Attorney General Jason Miyares said he objected to the request. [link added]
“Traffic in Northern Virginia is a daily challenge, and rising inflation only adds to the costs of commuting to work,” said Miyares in a statement. “My office stands alongside Virginia commuters who feel this struggle daily, advocating for fairness and resisting toll increases. Virginians deserve every hard-earned penny, and we’re here to protect Virginians from unreasonable financial burdens.”
TRIP II bases its pricing on the number of axles a driver’s vehicle has, with tolls for two-axle vehicles traveling from one end of the road to the other costing $5.25 during regular hours and $5.80 during rush hour. The proposed new rates for two-axle vehicles would be $6.40 during regular hours and $8.10 during rush hour.
The operator’s last rate increase request was denied in 2021. [FFXnow note: The Dulles Greenway operator’s latest request comes on the heels of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority increasing fees on the Dulles Toll Road for the first time in five years, starting this past Jan. 1.]
TRIP II said in its application that the increase will help it meet its financial obligations: “Only with the approval of the proposed tolls along with additional future increases will TRIP II be able to reach a place where it would have an opportunity to provide a reasonable return to its investors.”
Victoria LaCivita, a spokeswoman for Miyares, did not directly respond to whether the attorney general has any interest in lawmakers directing the state to enter into discussions with the toll operator to change how the roadway is managed.
However, she added, “Consumer protection is an important function of the Attorney General’s office. Northern Virginia residents and commuters have voiced strong opinions against the toll increase, and the Attorney General plans to represent that view in front of the State Corporation Commission.”
The proposed increases
TRIP II made the toll rate increase request after the failure this winter of legislation backed by the operator and Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration that would have let the state Commissioner of Highways, Secretary of Transportation and a steering committee negotiate new rates for the toll road. The proposal also included plans to reduce toll costs and implement distance-based tolling, which would charge drivers based on how far they travel.
Currently TRIP II is regulated by the State Corporation Commission under the Virginia Highway Corporation Act. That law allows the company to ask the SCC for a toll increase once per year but doesn’t permit it to negotiate those increases.
“TRIP II looks forward to continuing to work with the commonwealth to find a solution to how the Greenway is regulated to implement distance-based tolling,” said Renee Hamilton, chief executive officer for TRIP II, in a statement. “Drivers on other private toll roads in Northern Virginia pay based on the length of their trip. Drivers on the Greenway should be treated the same way. Filing a rate case application with the SCC was not our first choice.” Read More
A Stafford man was arrested on Friday (July 7) in connection with the sexual battery of a woman in Chantilly and two other incidents that police say are related.
Fairfax County police arrested Hien The Dinh, 20, on charges of abduction and sexual battery. Police say he approached a woman in “broad daylight” on July 3 around 11:30 a.m. in the 14500 block of Northeast Place and forcefully grabbed her in an intimate area and put her in a chokehold.
The victim had been walking down the street with her mother, who went to visit a neighbor’s house before the incident happened, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said when announcing the arrest on Friday.
According to Davis, the woman screamed, alerting her mother, who was able to intervene and prevent an apparent abduction attempt.
Police believe Dinh was also involved in a May 18 incident around the same neighborhood. In that case, a man broke into a house on Iberia Circle and tried to sexually assault a woman who managed to escape and call the police.
Davis said Dinh has also been linked to a May 10 sexual battery incident at Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun County campus.
Davis described the suspect as a “predator.”
“I don’t know what you do with a person like this besides incarcerate him, because he’s going to offend again and again and again,” Davis said.
The FCPD circulated video surveillance footage of the area, along with a composite sketch of the suspect. They found his car in the 3900 block of Stonecroft Blvd.
“Throughout the week, detectives were able to link the vehicle to Dinh after reviewing hours of surveillance footage and observing the vehicle in the vicinity at the time of the incident,” FCPD wrote in a statement.
Police arrested Dinh as he left a business in the area and entered the car.
He is being held on no bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center on charges of abduction with the intent to defile and sexual battery. Davis said he anticipates more charges, as investigations continue in all three cases.
A Reston man has been arrested and charged in connection with a June 11 shooting of three people in Sterling.
Isaias Lainez-Alvarado, 19, was arrested at a home in Reston on Thursday (Jan. 5), according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
He has been charged with three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony and three counts of malicious wounding in connection with the shooting on North Fillmore Avenue.
The suspect is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.
Another teen under the age of 18 was arrested and charged in connection with the incident in June. That individual faces one count of attempted aggravated murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and four counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on June 11, a woman was shot several times, and two other individuals also had minor injuries after returning to the crime scene following the involvement of police, according to the sheriff’s office.
All three victims were released from the hospital.
LSCO worked with the Fairfax County Police Department to arrest Lainez-Alvarado.
Police Arrest Suspect in Car Part Thefts — “A 33-year-old Alexandria man is being held without bond after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of vehicle parts in residential parking garages in Fairfax County and Fairfax City…The first theft was reported on April 19 in the 5800 block of Trinity Parkway in Centreville.” [ALXnow]
Fairfax Man Charged for Loudoun County Bomb Threat — “An 18-year-old man from Fairfax was arrested on Tuesday and charged in connection with a bomb threat that was emailed to Dominion High School on May 19.” [Patch]
Fairfax County to Study Free Bus Service — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed staff to analyze the pros and cons of making Fairfax Connector buses fare free for all riders, building off of a recently approved program providing 50% discounts to low-income riders. The results will be presented to the board at its transportation committee meeting on Sept. 30. [Patch]
Affordable Housing Units Open for Rent — The Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development was recently notified of potential vacancies in apartments targeted toward lower-income residents. There are currently available units in Oakton’s Dwell Vienna Metro Apartments, the Passport Apartments in Herndon, and The Kingston and Hanover in Tysons. [HCD]
Construction Firm Makes Reston Office Its HQ — “General contracting firm Winmar Construction Inc., one of the largest private companies in Greater Washington, is moving its headquarters from Georgetown to Reston. Rockville commercial real estate firm Edge said Tuesday it represented Winmar in a lease for 7,000 square feet at 2100 Reston Parkway.” [Washington Business Journal]
Vienna Proposes Change to Historic Register Criteria — “At the request of Historic Vienna Inc., the Vienna Town Council on July 11 will hold a public hearing to change the definition of ‘historic’ as ‘at least 100 years old.'” The town currently limits its register of historic sites and places to properties that existed before 1900. [Sun Gazette]
Repaved Wakefield Courts to Reopen — “After months of repairs and conversion of existing courts to pickleball courts, it’s time to officially open the renewed and renovated Wakefield Park tennis and pickleball court complex…Please join us on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 9 a.m. for a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by a demonstration of [pickleball] and light refreshments.” [FCPA]
It’s Thursday — Possible light rain in the morning. High of 75 and low of 66. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:35 pm. [Weather.gov]
Oath Keepers Member at Capitol Attack Pleads Guilty — “On Jan. 5, 2021…[William Todd Wilson] drove to a hotel in Tysons Corner in Virginia with an AR-15-style rifle, a 9mm pistol, about 200 rounds of ammunition, body armor, pepper spray and a large walking stick ‘intended for use as a weapon,’ according to court records filed Wednesday.” [The Washington Post]
FCPD Seeks Help Finding Eyeglass Thieves — Fairfax County police are investigating a “smash-and-grab” larceny that occurred at My Eye Dr (6307 Richmond Highway) in Belle Haven on April 19. The suspects allegedly stole over $20,000 of eyeglass frames. Similar thefts have been reported across the D.C. area in recent months, including at a store in McLean. [FCPD]
Reston Startup Raises $9M — “Hubble Technology Inc., an early-stage cybersecurity startup based in Reston, has raised a $9 million seed round to grow its business…Hubble said in an announcement the new funding will be used to grow its D.C.-area engineering team to scale the business and meet increasing demand.” [Washington Business Journal]
Track Work to Disrupt Metro’s Orange Line Service — “During the weekends of May 7-8 and 15-16, Orange Line service will end at Stadium-Armory. The free shuttle buses offered on the Orange Line will replicate the service customers can expect to see this summer during weekdays.” [WMATA]
Fairfax Man Found Guilty After Allegedly Driving 103 MPH — “A Loudoun County jury on Wednesday returned a finding of guilt against a Fairfax man for reckless driving, a class 1 misdemeanor, by speed and recommended the maximum fine allowed under law of $2,500, according to a May 4 release from the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.” [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Military Veteran and Spouse Job Fair Coming — “The Veteran and Military Spouse Career Fair will be held in person from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on May 11 at the National Museum of the United States Army…A virtual career fair will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 12 through online meeting portal Brazen. The event is free to attend.” [Patch]
Plan for Housing Voucher Program Released — The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority has released its draft fiscal year 2023 Moving to Work Plan, which outlines how the county will administer its housing choice vouchers and other affordable housing programs. The plan is now open for written comments, and there will be a public hearing on May 19. [Housing and Community Development]
It’s Friday — Rain throughout the day. High of 64 and low of 56. Sunrise at 6:06 am and sunset at 8:07 pm. [Weather.gov]