Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sprucing up Silver Line concrete in Tysons - including proposal for new trail under tracks

Chairman Bulova recently convened a group of architects and designers to come up with ideas for transforming the space below the new Silver Line in Tysons, as discussed in an article in today's Post Sprucing up Silver Line concrete in Tysons is goal for brainstormers who met Wednesday. One of the suggestions is to create interesting places linked by a "pathway beneath the tracks, accessible to pedestrians or cyclists."

The new elevated tracks atop massive concrete structures are a major change to the visual character of Tysons. The group discussed several ideas for softening the space such as "sustainable gardens, fiber optic light canopies and even a giant pyramid sculpture made from recycled tires towering over the tracks."

The Tysons Task Force recognized the importance of making Routes 7 and 123 attractive urban boulevards rather than wide suburban arterials, places where "People will be able to walk or bike safely along Route 7 and 123 to nearby businesses." I hope that the brainstorming discussions will expand to include ways to make the full Route 7 and 123 corridors more livable, aesthetically pleasing places.

The proposed pathway under the tracks is an idea discussed before by several groups. Several years ago school kids who lived west of Tysons suggested a trail in the median of Route 7 across the Dulles Toll Road leading to the Silver Line Metrorail station. The proposed trail under the tracks would be an excellent complement to the planned bike facilities and the loop trail that is contained in the draft Tysons parks plan and would provide cyclists and pedestrians another option for traveling along Route 7.

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