FREE bus service from Kingstowne area to Tysons through 4/12/13
According to the Kingstowne-Rose Hill Patch, the Fairfax Connector will offer FREE bus service on 2 new express routes from the Kingstowne area to Tysons Corner through April 12th. As of March 18, new these new routes began running from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station, the Lorton VRE station and Saratoga Park to Tysons Corner. Buses are able to use the new 495 Express Lanes. After April 12, the express fare will be $3.65 with SmarTrip or $4 with cash. Now commuters have more options to get to work in the morning, and hopefully with less headahces! Check out the rest of the bus routes in southern Fairfax County here.
Another transportation option is coming to the Springfield area in the spring. According to the Kingstowne-Rose Hill Patch, a new Park and Ride lot will offer bus service to the Franconia-Springfield Metro and the Pentagon. Located in the Saratoga area, this lot will include 535 parking spaces and space for bikes. Commuters within walking distance can access the lot by conveniently placed walkways. Construction should be completed by the end of December.
Last week’s Springfield Connection had a great supplement called “Virginia Mega Projects” where it detailed many of the transportation projects in the works for our area. Plans are in place to construct Express Lanes along 29 miles of highway on I-95 from Garrisonville Road in Stafford County to Edsall Road in Fairfax County. Construction began this month, and will be finished by late 2014. This project will expand and revamp existing HOV lanes from Dumfries to Edsall Road in Alexandria, and create new HOV lanes from Dumfries to Garrisonville Road. Vehicles with 3 or more people can use the lanes for free, and those with fewer than 3 passengers can pay a toll to use the lanes if they choose to. According to Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton, “The 95 Express Lanes combined with the nearly completed 495 Express Lanes will bring a transportation network that manages congestion effectively, saving time and better connecting commuters with some of Virginia’s most important employment centers and military sites”.
In other news, crews are entering the final stages of the 495 Express Lanes project; when completed this will be a great option for commuters in the area. Throughout the fall, you will start seeing more signs and paving crews out and about. As far as construction goes, the only remaining bridge is the one from I-66 West to I-495 South and the only remaining ramps are at Braddock Road, Gallows Road and Route 7. Be sure to get an E-ZPass or E-ZPass Flex if you plan on using the lanes, as all tolls will be collected electronically. The advantage of the Flex pass is that you can manually switch between HOV and toll paying modes. Drivers with 3 or more persons and an EZ Pass Flex switched to HOV can use the lanes for free. To learn more, you can go to EZPassVA.com.
If you’ve driven around the Kingstowne area in past couple of days, in particular Beulah Street and Telegraph Road, you may have seen the signs up announcing the closure of Telegraph Road. The closure will take place at Piney Run Drive, starting at 10 PM Friday 7/27 and ending 5 AM Monday 7/30. Hilltop Golf Club will still be open, but there will be detours in place for everyone else. This will definitely affect some of the neighborhoods nearby, such as Alden Hill and Ashby Heights. I am sure there will be a work around for residents living near the construction site. Telegraph Road will be closed so crews can install a sewer line; this work is in conjunction with the construction of Mulligan Road, which will connect Route 1 to Telegraph Road.
Due to a separate construction zone, additional areas of Telegraph Road will be closed in Alexandria. This relates to the continued Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project. Telegraph Road north and south will be completely shut down between the Beltway and Duke Street from 9 PM Friday 7/27 until 5M Monday 7/30. Both the eastbound and westbound ramps from Duke Street to Telegraph Road will be closed. You can always check out www.WilsonBridge.com for the latest updates.
Hope you have a great weekend and avoid Telegraph Road!
If you are headed downtown this weekend, be prepared for some possible delays on Metro. Two stations will be completely closed: Reagan National Airport and Crystal City. This affects both the Yellow and Blue lines. Trains will operate normally between Franconia-Springfield and Braddock and between Pentagon City and Largo Town Center on the blue line; trains will operate normally between Huntington and Braddock and between Pentagon City and Mount Vernon Square on the yellow line. Shuttle buses will transport riders between Braddock and Pentagon City and will stop at all stations in between. Work begins at 10 PM Friday and continues through Sunday until closing. If you need any more info, check out this site.
Tonight (11/21), from 10 PM to 5 AM, the two right lanes of the Capital Beltway (Outer Loop) will be closed between the Eisenhower Avenue Connector and Telegraph Road so that crews can hang a road sign. All lanes will be closed for 15 minutes just after midnight.
Today, tomorrow (11/22) and Wednesday (11/23), the right lane of the Capital Beltway (Outer Loop) will be closed from the Eisenhower Avenue Connector to Telegraph Road for roadside improvements. This will take place between 9:30 AM and 3 PM today and tomorrow and 9:30 AM to 12 PM on Wednesday.
Be prepared for traffic changes along Telegraph Road starting Tuesday November 29th. Starting at 6 AM 11/29, the left southbound lane of Telegraph Road will be closed but one lane will be open until traffic is shifted onto the newly constructed section of the bridge over Cameron Run. The left southbound lane will reopen by the late afternoon.
Starting at 7 AM on Wednesday 11/30, the ramp from the Outer Loop LOCAL lanes to Huntington Avenue will be closed until at least the morning of 12/2 (Friday). The part of the ramps leading to North Kings Highway and South Telegraph Road will remain open. Those looking to travel on Huntington should get off at Route 1 instead.
Be careful when driving around Alexandria these days! Always be on the lookout for construction delays.
Metro has announced some major track work that may affect your weekend plans. On the Blue line, Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street stations will be closed. Shuttle buses will transport passengers back and forth between the Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn Street and Eisenhower Avenue stations. Track work affects the Orange line as well. Shuttle buses will operate between East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations as labor continues on the Dulles Rail Project. Closures begin at 8 PM Friday 9/2 for the Orange line, at 10 PM Friday 9/2 for the Blue line and continue through closing on Monday 9/5 (Labor Day). Normal service resumes on Tuesday September 6.
Trains will run to/from the Huntington Avenue station, with service about every 20 minutes. Passengers using shuttle buses should allow about 30 minutes of extra travel time. Free shuttle buses between Franconia-Springfield and Eisenhower, via Van Dorn.
Free shuttle buses will transport persons between East Falls Church and West Falls Church stations. Last train will leave Vienna 20 minutes ahead of schedule (2:08 AM Friday and Saturday nights and 11:08 PM Sunday). Trains traveling between Vienna and West Falls Church will run every 24 minutes and share one track. Those persons traveling through this area should allow an extra 30 minutes of travel time to their agenda.
Starting in May 2011, the Fairfax Connector will begin educating the public on bus service changes that will be put into effect because of the BRAC. Information will be provided on their website as well as social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Public meetings will be held in June so residents can comment on proposed routes and schedules. The new schedules will be finalized by August, with the new service to be implemented by late September or early October. Nine new buses are proposed and this significantly augments bus service in South Fairfax County.
New information is also available about the I-95 HOV and HOT lanes. The new proposal allows for a third lane to be added to the current lanes on I-95. The third lane would begin in Stafford County and end just inside the Beltway. Original plans called for this lane to continue all the way into DC. This updated project will link to the 495 HOT lanes currently under construction and provide a “direct HOT to HOT lanes connection” between I-95 in Springfield and Tysons Corner.
There will also be a ramp built from existing HOV lanes on 395 at Seminary Road. This will provide direct HOV access to the new Mark Center site in Alexandria that will soon be home to 6,400 Defense Department employees.
Fairfax County just opened a new free parking area for commuters last month at 7039 Old Keene Mill Road. This 277-space parking lot is located on the site of an old movie theater and Circuit City store in central Springfield. While the county can’t officially endorse “slugging”, this new lot is essentially designed to help slugs. Slugging is a unique form of ride-sharing where commuters line up at designated areas during rush hour and voluntarily get into strangers’ cars in order to take advantage of the much faster HOV lanes on I-395/95. Many of these commuters are going to the Pentagon or into downtown DC. No money is exchanged for slugging, making it a cheap way to get to and from work. “Bob’s Slugline”, one of the very first and most popular slug lines, has operated near the new lot for almost 30 years, so the demand is definitely there. If you are currently slugging, or considering it, this is another place where you can park legally. Fairfax County would like to eventually build a 1,000 space parking garage on the site of this new parking lot. It would be designed especially for commuters. They actually applied for grants in order to build the garage, but were turned down; this new parking lot is considered a stop-gap measure until funds can be secured. The parking lot was funded through a local tax on industrial and commercial real estate, which can only be used for local transportation projects. Check out your many commuting options here!