• Transit-oriented development in Tysons has made great strides.
  • A truly walkable and bikeable community requires more infrastructure.

The GreaterGreaterWashington website has been running a series of blog posts looking at Tysons that local bike advocates should read. The crux of the posts is that, while Tysons is an example of transit-oriented development that succeeded in many areas, it still lacks the infrastructure to be a true bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community.

We’re proud that FABB founder and board member, Bruce Wright, is featured in the post by Emily Hamilton about how a Tysons task force created the plan for the area’s redevelopment. Bruce and FABB helped to ensure that bicycling infrastructure was included in the 2010 Tysons development plan around the four Metro Silver Line stations. Advocates for transit-oriented development worked with real estate and business interests and nearby homeowners to pursue residential and mixed-use redevelopment that would help Tysons thrive as a business area, livable community, and a healthy source of tax revenue.

Emily, who is Research Fellow and Director of the Urbanity Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, had some of her research on Tysons mentioned this summer in a Bloomberg CityLab article by Patrick Sisson, “How the ‘15-Minute City’ Could Help Post-Pandemic Recovery.” The “15-Minute City” concept involves creating resilience in cities while reducing congestion and pollution with development that allows residents to meet their shopping, work, recreational and cultural needs within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. Studies this summer suggested that such development not only provides equitable access to jobs and services in high-density areas but holds the potential to rebuild local economies hard-hit by the pandemic.

Despite its improvements, Tysons remains an “island of walkability” cut off from other areas by high-speed arterial roads and highways. Until developers and local leaders make big infrastructure shifts that create a truly walkable and bikeable communities in Tysons and other high-density areas of Fairfax County, such islands of walkability may be all we can expect.

FABB is working to get Fairfax County to make big infrastructure shifts. Won’t you join us and help make bicycling better in Fairfax County? Contact us at [email protected].


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