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Breakfast links: Tysons in transit-ion

Tysons. Photo by mindgutter.
Inside the Tysons tunnel: The Silver Line won't run in a tunnel through Tysons as many wish, but there will be a tunnel: a half-mile segment where the line makes the turn from Route 123 to Route 7. The Post looks at the engineering involved in building this tunnel while keeping nearby roads and businesses open. (Nick J.)

New Tysons buses, VRE operator: A new bus service from Woodbridge to Tysons is launching, complete with new Wi-Fi enabled buses. It's free for the first six months week, rising to $2.40 and then $4.50 $4.75 after six months (more without SmarTrip). (Inside NoVA) ... The VRE Board voted to replace Amtrak as the operator with French company Keolis Railroad Services America. The change should save $1 million a year. (WBJ, Gavin Baker, Arslan J)

Idaho stop or a wink?: "Vehicular" cyclists want to train cyclists to operate as cars. "Facilitators" want better bike infrastructure. Both generally agree on the Idaho Stop, but is it feasible? Or is a simple agreement not to enforce stop signs for bikes except in unsafe situations more realistic? DC cyclist Christopher Beam ponders the stop-sign running debate. (Slate)

Where should the Google trike go?: As part of adding bike routes and pedestrian paths to Google Maps, Google will drive a Street View trike around no-car areas like parks, university campuses, and even zoos to capture images from those areas. Nominate your favorite locations and Google will run a public poll to pick some. (DC Downshift)

Toronto may look to alley density: Toronto could add density without building higher by adding more alley dwellings in its many "laneways," argues Christopher Hume. But some oppose the idea, saying it will stress the existing infrastructure like water and sewers. Richard Layman says, then build better infrastructure. (Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space, Michael P)

NJ Transit site snazzier but not more transparent: New Jersey Transit has an improved Web site, but includes little budget information. Mobilizing the Region wishes they could be more like WMATA, which does post substantial budget data. (Mobilizing the Region, Michael P)

Less frequent service, less TOD?: Montgomery County's (Red Line) Metro stations all have more service than any of the Prince George's County (Green, Blue, Orange) stations because those lines share tracks in the core while the Red Line doesn't. Could this contribute to the relative lack of development at those stations versus Montgomery's? (Imagine, DC)

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David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Accompanying photo to the Tysons Corner tunnel article:

Tunnel Construction: Digging a Hole in Tyson's Corner

Construction begins at Route 123 and International Drive in Tyson's Corner as workers use special tunneling methods to build the future Metro line. This is all happening while commuters continue to navigate the roads above.

This is not the first time NATM (New Austrian Tunneling method) has been used by WMATA contractors. The stacked tunnels under Park Road between Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue-Petworth and tunnels under Rock Creek Cemetery between Georgia Avenue-Petworth and Fort Totten were excavated this way.

by Sand Box John on Oct 19, 2009 9:24 am • linkreport

You are missing the link to the new tysons buses, no fear I googled it

by Ian on Oct 19, 2009 9:47 am • linkreport

Thanks. I've added in the link.

by David Alpert on Oct 19, 2009 9:51 am • linkreport

Arlington's TOD has the same issue facing PG County, so that's not the issue.

by Joshua Davis on Oct 19, 2009 10:00 am • linkreport

hmmmmm... the new NJ Transit site looks AWFULLY familiar Metro

by John on Oct 19, 2009 10:24 am • linkreport

Red Line stations north of Silver Spring have about the same amount of service as those in PG county, but Wheaton seems to be a popular place for development. Of course, so is the Orange Line corridor in Arlington. Also, until a couple of years ago, didn't stations north of Grosvenor has reduced service at most times of day?

I think the relative success of the Montgomery stations has mostly to do with them already being in the favored quarter, though I imagine the more frequent service helps.

by Josh B on Oct 19, 2009 11:38 am • linkreport

try building any new housing or mixed use in the alleys of DC and the "historic preservation" crowd will immediately start to whine about loss of surface parking options.

The HP people get absolutely hysterical about any threat to parking rights, as they see it.

This is really shameful- as one of the best ideas from former Mayor Williams was to try to bing in 100,000 new DC residents. This would be an excellent goal to keep in mind- except for these intolerable clouts who all drive cars and live next to Metro and never walk, bike or think outside the box that was built in the 1960's.

by w on Oct 19, 2009 11:47 am • linkreport

The new OmniRide route will run from the Woodbridge VRE station to Tyson's Corner. However, it will only be free during the FIRST WEEK of service (starting Nov. 9), not the first six months (!) as you stated.

by Mark P on Oct 19, 2009 12:56 pm • linkreport

Thanks, Mark. The second fare increase, from $2.40 to $4.50, is what happens after 6 months. I've updated the entry.

by David Alpert on Oct 19, 2009 1:01 pm • linkreport

Personally, I think much of the issue with getting people to stop at stop signs is partly because of the overuse of stop signs. As many already know, other countries -- even our nearby neighbor to the north -- make extensive use of Yield signs... but such a treatment may not be too fitting used intermittently; it needs a more systemic push across an entire agency. Stop signs should be saved for only those instances where *stops* are required.

by Bossi on Oct 19, 2009 1:50 pm • linkreport

I don't think bicyclists need to follow auto laws, as long as they are safe around cars and don't take unexpected actions. As to stop signs... many car drivers don't know how to handle a 4 way stop at all. I live in Clarendon and I see people F up 4 way stops all the time. This is shocking to me because I'm from Michigan and _everyone_ knows what to do at a 4 way stop.

by James on Oct 19, 2009 2:29 pm • linkreport

Yeah, I agree with "w", everyone thought Williams's extra 100k was a great idea, as long as those "extra" 100k didn't come to *their* neighborhood. DC's (and Congress's) nearly century-long "war" against alley dwellings has foreclosed on a lot of opportunities for affordable housing, granny flats over garages and other ways to densify and diversify neighborhoods without necessarily bringing more traffic and congestion. Our current 1950s zoning code hold fast to a one-dwelling-structure-per-lot orthodoxy that is fundamentally suburban in its outlook.

That's not to say many of the old alley dwellings weren't fetid and sub-standard, but then again many of the pre-1880 row dwellings facing the main streets didn't have indoor plumbing either, and I'm pretty sure most of my friends who live in DC row houses now have indoor toilets and bathing facilities.

by Paul on Oct 19, 2009 2:33 pm • linkreport

The new Tysons route will be operated by PRTC, not VRE, which is a railway and very unlikely to start up bus service. Service will begin on Monday, November 9.

The fare structure:
First Week: Free
First Six Months: $2.40 with SmarTrip $3.00 cash
After Six Months: $4.75 with SmarTrip $6.50 cash

For routing in Woodbridge and Tysons Corner and schedules, go here:

by nevermindtheend on Oct 19, 2009 3:50 pm • linkreport


thanks for jumoing in on this one.

You are right about most DC rowhomes not having indoor toilets- this was the case up into the 1950's in some parts of Old City DC.

Cars and parking are the most important things to the HP people- this is very sad.

Some of the newer and younger people are not much better, either.

by w on Oct 19, 2009 3:51 pm • linkreport

@John: I noticed that too, it looks awfully familiar ...

Probably the same designer. But even beyond the design, it's very similar.

by Tim on Oct 19, 2009 7:30 pm • linkreport

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