Not so long ago, a visit to Tysons Corner made for a soul-crushing experience. Numerous road, highway and Metrorail construction projects compounded heavy traffic already coming and going to the Tysons Corner mall complex, strip malls, office parks and apartments squeezed into the chaotic area where Leesburg Pike (Route 7), Interstate 495, Interstate 66 and the Reston Parkway intersect. Back then, a journey through Tysons was a blur of brake lights as far as the eye could see.
Today, the commuter crunch in Tysons may ease a bit thanks to several ongoing projects that Fairfax County and local businesses hope will improve the D.C. commute for people driving their cars, riding the bus or Metrorail, or riding their bikes. These gains, however, may be negated by a massive development on the south side of Route 7 that features five office buildings, six residential buildings, a hotel, ground-floor retail and a large public park.
Seventeen major road projects are under way, including the Jones Branch Connector across the Beltway (which broke ground on Jan. 26), the Route 7 Bridge over Dulles Toll Road and the widening of Route 7 from Reston Avenue to Dulles Toll Road.
New bus lines and connectors are looking to connect the new Metrorail stations at Wiehle-Reston to areas in the Tysons area not within easy walking distance. In addition to circulator routes serving the immediate Tysons area, the Virginia Department of Transportation and area transit officials are planning bus lines from Alexandria and Falls Church along Route 7.
Bicycling in Tysons has become vastly easier thanks to repaving projects throughout the area since 2015 as part of VDOT’s construction in the area. Meanwhile, 11 of 14 planning BikeShare stations have also been established.
Meanwhile, Dominion Square is a rezoning and development plan from Capital Automotive seeking to convert a 19-acre stretch of auto dealerships and other low-rise buildings on the south side of Route 7 between Spring Hill Road and Westwood Drive into as many as 12 buildings and 4.5 million square feet of development. The plan surrounds the Spring Hill Metro Station and would include buildings as high as 33 stories.