Friday, March 12, 2010
Getting Tysons rightSome opponents to transforming Tysons from a suburban office park to a vibrant, livable, mixed use community say that until the "transportation infrastructure" is in place, we can't have any more density in Tysons. Yet with this type of thinking a place like New York City, San Francisco or just about any other dense urban area shouldn't work.
What most people mean by "transportation infrastructure" is usually more and wider roads. What makes dense urban areas work? Having a mix of uses that allows people to walk and bike to nearby destinations. Having a good transit system and bicycle network that provide people with choices for moving around. Having interesting streets people want to be a part of and not just to pass through on their way to somewhere else.
Clark Tyler, Chairman of the Tysons Land Use Task Force, understands this and discusses his concerns about people who demand more and wider roads in Tysons before allowing development in the article "More lanes in Tysons is not the answer":
The goal in trying to transform the area is to enable people using Tysons to shift to public transit, and away from the automobile. Transportation improvements must focus primarily on making Metrorail a success. This can only be done by creating a viable circulator system: enhancing community shuttles from places such as McLean, Vienna, Great Falls and south county; building a grid of streets with completed sidewalks and bike lanes; and forgetting about such things as more lanes on Route 7, Route 123 and the Dulles Toll Road.