• Fairfax County to close parts of a street in Tysons to open up space for pedestrians and bikers.
  • Such temporary closures during the pandemic could be a boon in other parts of the county.

During a meeting with county officials last week, the Fairfax County Transportation Department (FCDOT) announced a plan to close a portion of Tysons Boulevard to allow for safer biking, better pedestrian access for exercise with social distancing, and generally enable people to get around Tysons. The upcoming closure is part of a pilot project with Tysons Partnership and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). FCDOT will announce details about the closure soon.

Nearby residents can access Tysons Boulevard from Park Run Drive (bike lane plus a Capital BikeShare station at intersection of Park Run and Onyx Drive), Westbranch Drive (with caution), and Westpark Drive (mix of bike lane and bikeable sidewalk plus a Capital BikeShare station near intersection of Westpark and Jones Branch Drive).

FABB has advocated along with Tysons Partnership and the Coalition for Smarter Growth for Fairfax County to create opens streets to give cyclists and pedestrians more space during the pandemic. We are grateful for the state, county, and private efforts to make this happen.

Tysons Boulevard, which received a number of pedestrian infrastructure safety improvements (e.g., marked crosswalks) in 2018 to make the area more accessible, is a good start for a pilot program. But, there are other areas throughout the county that would benefit from temporary street closures to improve local access to exercise and nearby businesses as they reopen amid ongoing precautions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

FABB encourages its members to contact their district supervisors and ask for a rebalancing of streets to allow walkers and bikers more and safer access to local streets. This not only will make for better bicycling but will make for better health and better business activity throughout the county.

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