@livemore Commute less & imagine life with more time to live
Skating Along METRO The Ever-Evolving Reston No-Hassle Skiing
Ejercicio que Trabaja
Founder of Reston Robert E. Simon Jr. 1914 - 2015 A publication of the Dulles Area Transportation Association
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skating along metro
robert e. simon, visionary, and the reston master Plan
the ever-evolving reston
on the cover ®
lake anne, reston va, november 2013. Photo by alejo Pesce.
no-hassle skiing (snowboarding, ice skating or tubing)
multi-modal improvements advance i-66 outside the beltway
train, train take me on out of here
senate and house agree on transportation funding
be one of the best
telework! va: helping Companies work outside the office-box, for free!
schoolPools: mornings made easy!
ericka’s Corner: ejercicio que trabaja
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The DATA staff and friends are excited about the coming year. 2016 should shape up to be an excellent year to explore ways you can live more and commute less! Unfortunately, this past year we saw the passing of one of the most visionary, iconic planners of the 21st Century – Mr. Robert Simon. Reston, the community designed and built by Robert Simon in the late 1960’s, was one of the most forward thinking developments of its time. Based on a concept of mixed use – weaving commercial, retail and housing into a single, walkable/bikeable , community was a vision that few had at this time of an automobile-centric generation. Today, Reston is still evolving into a community – and perhaps a future “city” – that exemplifies the idealistic community of work, live, and play all in close proximity. This concept is a testiment to his vision and long lasting imprint on the Northern Virginia landscape. Furthermore, the winter months often
bring about a certain amount of malaise to our residents and readers – but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a lot of opportunities to get outside and have fun during the winter months. Check out our article on Skating METRO; you do have options! Ericka’s Corner is back as well, she will tell you more (in English and Spanish) about how you can improve your health while improving your commute. We are also introducing our readers to the concept of school pools. If you have children, and don’t know about this concept, please read our article. In this edition of @livemore we introduce to you a variety of “winter” options to occupy your spare time and allow you to enjoy this time or year to its fullest. So put your skates, snowshoes or skis on and get out there and have fun! In closing, you shouldn’t be thinking about being holed up for the winter, you should be out living more and certainly commuting less.
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James N. Larsen Executive Director/CEO Dulles Area Transportation Association
No-hassle Skiing (or snowboarding or ice skating or tubing….) Does the idea of a day of skiing without having to drive appeal to you? If it does, grab a few friends and charter a ride to the slopes! No-hassle skiing is available to you simply by contacting a local charter company and arranging for a day of skiing without the problem of checking to make sure your car is ready for the trip. Or having to sit in your car in a traffic jam to reach the slopes that you like! You can leave the driving to a professional driver and arrive relaxed and ready to enjoy whatever you may like to do at your ski area of choice! There are many charter
companies, but several are located in Northern Virginia which will help keep your costs low. You can contact Reston Limousine at 703.478.0500 (www. restonlimo.com). Universal Bus, located in Vienna, can be reached at 703.823.0000 (www.universalbuscharter. com). Another company is Reston Coach at 703.444.4458 (www.restoncoach.com). Each of these companies is a member of Virginia Tourism Corporation which adds a level of comfort to your planning. And each company also has a variety of vehicles available – accommodating a group of 15 to a full busload
of more than 40. It is highly recommended that you call and talk with the company representative to book a charter group. All of Virginia’s 4 major ski areas – Bryce, Massanutten, Wintergreen, and Homestead – offer group rates on ski lift tickets and rentals, so you’ll save money, time and most important, stress in getting to and from the slopes! You can also request that special needs be accommodated at Virginia’s ski areas. Surrounding states also have great skiing, and your charter bus company can take you there as well. Just ask! Bryce Resort, located
VRE Reaches a New Milestone On November 16th VRE opened a new station in Spotsylvania County approximately 6 miles south of the City of Fredericksburg (near the intersection of Rt. 17 and Crossroads Parkway). VRE projects ridership to reach about 1,200 within the first six months of operation, providing needed relief to the I-95 corridor. The station has parking for 1,500 vehicles, is ADA accessible and includes ticket vending machines. As of November 30th, VRE added an additional route to the Fredericksburg line and now
runs eight trains each way daily. “Our Fredericksburg Line riders have been requesting more commuter rail service for a long time and we’re pleased to deliver greater flexibility and travel choices in the I-95 corridor. The opening of our new station in Spotsylvania County and near completion of a third railroad track between our Crossroads Yard facility and Mine Road have allowed us to provide the new train,” said Doug Allen, VRE Chief Executive Officer. VRE provides about 20,000 daily
rides and the additional train will add about 780 potential seats each way. Within the first month, VRE’s data indicates an average of about 550 trips at the new Spotsylvania station. The opening of the Spotsylvania station represents the first new station opened by VRE since the Lorton and Franconia/ Springfield stations, which were opened 20 years ago. VRE has recently undertaken a study to extend the Manassas line another 11 miles by opening stations in Gainesville and Haymarket.
in Basye VA, is great for families with beginning or intermediate skiers. It also offers snow tubing and night skiing among other amenities. Enjoy après ski dining at the Copper Kettle Bar and Lounge. Contact Bryce at www.bryceresort.com. Massanutten Resort, located in McGaheysville VA, boasts a spa, indoor water park, snowboarding and tubing, ice skating and night skiing. A choice of dining is available. You can learn more about the resort at www. massresort.com. Wintergreen in Central Virginia is about a 3-hour drive from Northern Virginia,
and offers double, triple, quad and 6-person lifts as well as ice skating, snow tubing, spa facilities, and night skiing. Dining is available at the Copper Mine or Bistro. Contact information is at www.wintergreenresort.com. Omni Homestead, a 4-star resort in Hot Springs VA, offers skiing, ice skating, snowboarding and tubing, as well as a full spa in the luxury hotel. The Homestead offers many choices for dining. For more about the Homestead, contact www.omnihotels.com /hotels/homestead-virginia.
Skating Along METRO Glide your way through winter car-free! In need of some outdoor exercise that doesn’t require driving your car to the location? Try taking METRO to one of these six outdoor ice skating rinks conveniently located near a variety of METRO stations. Hours of operation and fees vary from site to site, particularly during some warm, or extremely cold weather situations. Best to call in advance. So, get off the couch, grab your blades and jump on a METRO train to the nearest rink and have some great winter fun! National Gallery of Art Ice Rink (Blue/Orange Lines Smithsonian Mall Exit, or Yellow/Green Lines Archives 7th Street Exit) The 2015–2016 ice-skating season begins November 14 and continues through March 13, weather permitting. Experience ice-skating in the Sculpture Garden while surrounded by large-scale sculptures by contemporary artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Sol LeWitt, Tony Smith, Roy Lichtenstein, Roxy Paine, and others. Rental skates are available for a fee. Hours Monday–Thursday 10am-9pm Friday 10am-11pm Saturday 11am-11pm Sunday 11am-9pm Please note the ice rink will be closed when it rains or when the temperature dips below 20°F. For the current status, please call (202) 2169397. Admission fee required. The National Gallery of Art
Sculpture Garden is located on the National Mall at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, is bounded by Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive and by 7th and 9th Streets NW. Canal Park Ice Rink (Green Line Navy Yard/Ballpark New Jersey Ave. Exit; Circulator Bus as well) Canal Park is a stunning new public park on the site of the historic Washington Canal in the heart of DC’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. With its dancing fountains in summer, vibrant ice rink in winter, and LEED Gold-certified water reuse systems, Canal Park is a sustainable and green neighborhood gathering place, and a destination for the entire city. Canal Park is located in the vibrant Capitol Riverfront neighborhood at 2nd & M St. SE, one block from the Navy Yard/Ballpark Metro (New Jersey Ave. Exit). Street address is: 202 M Street, SE Washington, DC 20003. Fee for admission. Hours Monday & Tuesday 12pm-7pm Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 12pm-9pm Saturday 11am-10pm Sunday 11am-7pm Pentagon Row Ice Rink (Blue/Yellow Lines Pentagon City Exit) The plaza at Pentagon Row underwent major renovations to create a year-round experience for guests, and now boasts an ice rink that is 50% larger with an outdoor dual-sided stone fireplace
for lounging during skating breaks. Pentagon Row’s 6,840 square foot ice rink is now the largest outdoor rink in Northern Virginia, and the second largest in the state. Located at Pentagon Row Fashion Mall at 1201 Joyce Street, Arlington, VA. Phone: 703-418-6666. Fee for admission. Hours Sunday 10am - 7pm or 10pm* Monday 12pm-10pm Tuesday 12pm-10pm Wednesday 12pm-10pm Thursday 12pm-7pm or 10pm* Friday 12pm-11pm Saturday 10am-11pm *If there are Ice Rentals we will close at 7pm and reopen at 9pm Tysons Corner Ice Rink (Silver Line Tysons Corner Exit) Glide your way into Winter on the beautiful new Tysons Corner Center Ice Rink! Open daily, with extended holiday hours, it offers not only public skating, but learnto-skate lessons, birthday parties, weekly cartoon skates and Saturday Night Rock ‘n Skate. Just over 6,000 square feet, the rink is also perfect for private parties and corporate outings. The Skate Shop (2nd floor, next to Lord & Taylor) has over 500 pairs of skates in stock, from Toddler size 8 to a Men’s size 14, with figure, hockey and doublebladed skates available. The Tysons Corner Center Ice Rink is located on the plaza between Lord & Taylor and Hyatt Regency. Address for the Tysons Corner Center Ice Rink; 1961 Chain Bridge
Rd., McLean, VA 22102. Phone: 703-356-1240. Fee for admission. Hours Monday-Tuesday 3pm-7pm Wednesday-Thursday 3pm-9pm Friday 3pm-11pm Saturday 11am-11pm Sunday 11am-7pm Reston Town Center Ice Rink (Silver Line Whiele Avenue/Reston Exit) Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion is open seasonally from early November-mid-March, offering public skating every day and extended hours for all holidays. The skate shop is stocked with over 500 pairs of skates ranging from size 8 toddler through men’s size 13, in both figure and hockey styles. For the beginner skaters, try the double bladed, flat edge skates to walk across the ice until you’re ready to glide into a single bladed skate, available in size Youth 8-13. Located in the heart of Reston Town Center at 1818 Discovery Street, Reston, VA.
Phone: 703-709-6300. for admission.
Hours Monday 11am-7pm Tuesday 11am-7pm Wednesday 11am-10pm Thursday 11am-10pm Friday 11am-11pm Saturday 11am-11pm Sunday 11am-7pm Rockville Town Square Ice Rink (Red Line Rockville Exit) The ice rink at Rockville Town Square is the largest outdoor ice skating rink between Baltimore and Washington DC. It is the largest in all of Montgomery County. The rink is 7,200 square feet. Located in the heart of Rockville, MD at the Rockville Town Square. 131 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD. Phone: 301-545-1999. Fee for admission. Hours Monday-Thursday12pm-10 pm Friday 12pm-11pm Saturday 10am-11pm Sunday 10am-10pm Extended hours on holidays
robert e. simon, visionary, and the reston master Plan by Patty niCoson
That the widest choice
of opportunities be made available for the full use of leisure time. A wide range of cultural and recreational facilities were to be made available, as well as an environment of privacy. •
That it would be possible for anyone to remain in a single neighborhood throughout his or her life by providing the fullest range of housing styles and prices serving various income levels at the four different stages of a household’s life. That the importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning. It was the first open community in Virginia, open to people of all races. The Commonwealth of Virginia had enforced segregation in housing and educational facilities. Today, Reston is a vibrant, multi-cultural community with an annual festival that celebrates this diversity.
That people be able to live and work in the same community.
That beauty --- structural and natural --- is a necessity of the good life and should be fostered. Natural beauty is a
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe
Robert E. Simon was born in New York City on April 10, 1914 into a family that had emigrated from Germany. His father developed a successful real estate management business. Bob graduated from Harvard University and took over the family business at age 21 when his father died suddenly. After several decades of managing Carnegie Hall, Bob sold it in 1961 and invested the proceeds to purchase 6,750 acres of land in Fairfax County not too far from the Washington Dulles International Airport, which was then being planned and was soon to be under construction. Bob’s father had worked on the planning of Radburn, an early attempt to provide an attractive, open space and pedestrianoriented community that accommodated the car. This influenced Bob’s lifelong interest in planning and in the creation of community. Planning for Reston began in the early 1960s. Reston gets its name from Bob’s initials R-E-S ton. In creating Reston, Bob’s major goals were:
hallmark of the Reston community, as is high quality architecture and urban design. Two community design review boards and a set of covenants governing the appearance of structures have helped the community maintain an appealing physical environment. The final of the original goals was that since Reston was being developed for private enterprise, in order to be completed as conceived it must also, of course, be a financial success. It wasn’t for Bob Simon since he was fired by Gulf Reston, but over the decades the concept of mixing uses in a community has come to the fore in planning circles. The mixeduse Reston Town Center is the forerunner of the walkable urban environment that is now desired by employers, employees and developers, as well as residents. The Town Center has proven to be an enormous financial success. Bob Simon’s vision for Reston emphasizes the dignity of its residents and their quality of life. The community was designed as a place where you could live, work, and play because
Reston Town Center Plaza, circa 1970s.
of the mix of uses being provided: housing, retail, office space and other places of employment, worship, parks and other recreational amenities, and schools. Simon hired the architectural and planning firm of Conklin + Rossant to do the Master Plan for Reston. In 1962, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the Residential Planned Community (RPC) zoning that made Reston possible by providing the ability to build a mix of uses within an area and the flexibility to respond to
market conditions over time. Construction began on Lake Anne and the Lake Anne Village Center in 1963. In 1964, the first industrial tenant came to Reston and the first residents moved in. In 1967, Gulf Reston bought Bob Simon’s development interest. In 1973, Reston’s first office building, the International Center on Sunrise Valley Drive, was dedicated and the nearly 1,000,000 squarefoot U.S. geological survey headquarters opened. In 1979, the Reston Community Center opened, funded by a
special tax district. Also in 1979, Mobil Land bought Reston, which by then had grown to 30,000 residents and 49 community businesses. In 1996, Reston Land sold its holdings to Westerra, which was renamed Westbrook Communities. In 1990, the first phase of Reston Town Center opened and was hailed for its innovative urban design of retail, hotel, and office uses served by a grid of privately owned streets in contrast to the suburban shopping malls that had been developed around the country. In 1997, Reston Town Center added more shops, office buildings and high rise residential towers. Today, Reston is a community of 62,000 residents and 68,000 employees. It is possible to live and work in Reston and more than one third of the residents do so. It is also possible to live in Reston
without a vehicle. The plan for Reston with its arterial, collector, and local streets facilitates transit services. The Reston Internal Bus System (RIBS) provides transportation within the community, but it now links the recently opened (July 26, 2014) Metrorail station at Wiehle-Reston East to the town center and the commercial buildings along Sunrise Valley and Sunset Hills Roads. Phase 2 of the Silver line will have two additional stops at the Reston Town Center and Herndon stations. When Bob Simon returned to live in Reston in 1993, he became very active in the community including serving on the Board of the Reston Association (RA); testifying in support and opposition to development projects; and frequently writing op ed pieces and letters to the editor in the local newspapers. He
Mr. Simon loved inspiring children to think about community design and planning and participated in many young children oriented workshops.
also worked to ensure the completetion of a number of major community elements. He spurred interest and support for the development of the Nature House in south Reston on the 75acre nature preserve. The RA had for many years run programs and camp activities on the property, but these had been limited by the lack of an all-weather facility. With his active encouragement, residents began a campaign to raise funds for construction of the Nature House. It has been a great community resource and is used by RA for its many educational programs and community events. When the Reston Community Center opened in 1979 in the Hunter Mill Village shopping center, Bob Simon recognized that there was a need for an additional facility to serve the north side of Reston. He purchased space in the Lake Anne condominium and rented it to RA. A variety of programs are offered there and its community room is used for activities both public and private. Bob Simon (and his wife Cheryl) were active participants in the planning process for the redevelopment of the Lake Anne Village Center and were involved in the selection of the development team that won approval to do the redevelopment and expansion of the center. Fairfax County had amended its Comprehensive Plan in 2001 to reflect the arrival of bus rapid transit
Candlelight vigil for Robert Simon at the Reston Town Plaza.
and rail in the Dulles corridor. Recognizing that these planning recommendations were out of date in 2009, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins appointed a task force to update the Reston Master Plan. Its recommendations were approved by the Fairfax County Board in February 2014. Bob Simon was an active and effective participant in the four-year process making sure that the plan respected and built on his original principals. Design excellence and environmental sustainability remained key elements, as well as diversity of housing types for all incomes. He made sure that the plan language encouraged plazas, the traditional focal point of communities in the transit station areas and village centers as these areas develop and redevelop. Bob remained active in many of the planning issues affecting the community
until his death in September 2015. He was involved with efforts to secure a performing arts facility, a new recreation facility, and the redevelopment of Reston Town Center north and the Tall Oaks Shopping Center. Over the years, he had the ear of Reston’s Congressmen and state and local officials and was an effective lobbyist for Reston’s plans and projects. Bob Simon’s Reston has had a worldwide influence on community planning with visitors coming from around the world to see this special community. Bob served as a mentor to countless planners, architects, and the residents and students in Reston. His wisdom, enthusiasm, and dedication to the community of Reston and its people will be sorely missed. Patty Nicoson serves as President of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association.
Multi-Modal Improvements Advance on I-66 Outside the Beltway By Tom Biesiadny
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is undertaking a significant expansion of I-66 from the Beltway (I-495) to Route 15 in Haymarket. Phase 1 of the project includes two Express Lanes in each direction from the Beltway to Gainesville; significant increases in bus service along the corridor; additional park-andride lots; transportation demand management; a parallel trail; and numerous interchanges improvements. In addition, VDOT is also reserving the median in most places for the future expansion of high-quality transit. VDOT has been closely coordinating this project with Fairfax County, Prince William County, the City of Fairfax, the Towns of Haymarket and Vienna and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro).
Bus Service, ParkJust like the Express Lanes and-Ride Lots and on the Beltway and I-495, Transportation Demand the I-66 Express Lanes will Management allow vehicles with three or more people to travel for free. Vehicles with fewer than three people can also use the lanes, but they will pay a toll. Toll rates will be managed dynamically to ensure that the speeds are maintained at 55 miles per hour. The new lanes will be separated from the existing travel lanes by flexible posts, similar to the ones on the Beltway. Users can enter and exit the lanes at specific places. Several new ramps will also be constructed to provide access. Three regular, or general purpose, lanes will be maintained in each direction for those traveling with fewer than three people who don’t want to pay a toll. There will also be an auxiliary lane between some interchanges in Fairfax County.
The project will fund significant increases in bus service in the corridor that will take advantage of the new Express Lanes. The new service will be implemented as “point-to-point” service, such as Haymarket to Tysons and the Stringfellow Parkand-Ride Lot to downtown. The new bus service will be operated by existing providers, such as the Fairfax Connector and OmniRide; however, the service will likely be branded to provide a consistent image for riders. To facilitate this new transit service and also support ridesharing, four new parkand-ride lots (three in Prince William County and one in Fairfax County) will be constructed. Also, an existing park-and-ride lot in Gainesville will be expanded.
Ride the Washington Flyer Silver Line Express bus between Washington Dulles International Airport and the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.
In total, approximately 4,000 new parking spaces will be added when the Express Lanes open. VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation will also be implementing a number of demand management strategies, such as ridesharing and transit fare incentives, during the construction of the project and beyond.
VDOT and Fairfax County have worked closely to develop a trail that will be constructed along I-66 with the project. The trail will extend from Gallows Road to Bull Run Regional Park. In general, the trail will be located between the shoulder of the roadway and the soundwalls. It will be similar to Custis Trail that parallels I-66 inside the Beltway. In some places, the facility will become bike lanes on existing roadways. In other cases, the trail will traverse parks. In places where the trail is within the I-66 rightof-way, there will be periodic breaks in the soundwalls to allow access from adjacent
neighborhoods. The width of the trail will vary, but in most cases, it will be eight to ten feet wide.
Roadways Across I-66
As part of the Express Lanes Project, VDOT will be replacing a number of bridges across I-66. Other bridges will be upgraded. Each of the new bridges will contain new pedestrian and bicycle facilities connected to the networks adjacent to I-66.
VDOT will be implementing this project with a private partner. There are three different project delivery options: designbuild; design-build-operatemaintain; and design-buildfinance-operate-maintain. The procurement method is expected to be announced in December 2015. The project will be constructed in phases. Construction of the first phase of the project will begin in 2017 and is expected to be completed in 2021. Tom Biesiadny serves as the Director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
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train, train, take me on out of here Seems as if every time someone mentions train travel, and the ease of use it provides, Europe is brought up as the shining example of rail accessibility. A recent study conducted by a Ph.D. student at the University of Vienna, Austria, illustrates just how accessible Western Europe really is. Eastern Europe? Not so much. The data that Peter Kerpedjiev analyzed for 28 cities is quite telling how car independent a tourist or citizen travelling in Western Europe can actually be. Mr. Kerpedjiev’s table of train travel time distances from London illustrates that a person can reach almost all of Western European cities within 24 hours.
In the United States, the network of rail lines is far less extensive. However a resident, business travler, or tourist can reach many of the major eastern and western seaboard cities via train as well. A quick review of Amtrak’s schedules for trains leaving Washington, D.C. indicates that a train traveller has a lot of options to reach some pretty far away destinations within a 24-hour timeframe. With the opening of the Acela, D.C. train travelers can reach Boston, MA under 7 hours. New York, NY under 4 hours. Destinations along the eastern seaboard as far south as Tampa, FL can be reached within 24 hours, and with the Auto Train option, a traveler can even bring their car along for the ride.
If you are interested in more Western destinations, a D.C. train traveler can reach Pittsburgh, PA in 8 hours; Chicago under 18; Charlotte, NC in 8 hours and Atlanta in 14. Closer cities such as Philadelphia, PA, Charleston, WV and Richmond, VA are all reachable under 2 hours. Obviously European train travel is far more extensive, less expensive and allows travelers to cover greater distances in less time than that in the U.S. But with that said, it is not impossible to reach many U.S. destinations via train should one choose to do so. With the current state of our roadways, leaving the car behind can be a much more relaxing way to travel these days.
European Train Travel Train Travel Time from London, England Under 4 Hours: Brussels, Paris Under 6 Hours: Amsterdam, Frankfurt Under 8 Hours: Geneva, Marseille, Zurich Under 10 Hours: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich Under 12 Hours: Milan
senate and house agree on transportation funding The U.S. House and Senate have announced an agreement on a 5-year roughly $300 billion surface transportation bill! This is the first transportation agreement to come out of Congress in 10 years. Below are some highlights of the aptlynamed “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” or FAST Act:
funding by 18 percent and dedicated funding for buses and bus facilities by 89 percent over the life of the bill; •
Continues current formula funding and creates new, discretionary competitive grants under the bus and bus facilities program;
Fully funds all public transportation programs for five years at growing levels;
Provides funding stability for the Transit Cooperative Research Program;
Authorizes increased funding for Amtrak and
TO SMOOTH OUT THE BUMPS ON THE ROAD OF LIFE, JUST SAY “AAA.”
competitive grants for intercity passenger rail; and •
Provides funds for implementation of positive train control (PTC) systems on commuter railroads.
This is an important achievement for our transportation infrastructure, and represents a slight shift in federal priorities towards better funding transit and alternatives to single occupant vehicle oriented projects.
Life is joyous. It’s messy. It’s surprising. Mostly, it’s yours. Throughout it all, there’s one name you can count on, and it’s pronounced Triple-A.
OR VISIT YOUR LOCAL STORE
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Be One of the Best!
You bike to work almost every day, shower at the office and use the secure storage to keep your wheels safe until it’s time to call it a day. When the weather’s bad, you ride the rails and save money with your transit
benefits. You work for a company that’s concerned about its employees and the environment – it’s one of the reasons you took this job – and you wish there was a way your employer could be recognized for promoting commuting choices. Since 2010, fifty-seven businesses in Fairfax County – more than anywhere else in the country – have been designated “Best Workplaces for Commuters” by the National Center for Transit Research at the University of South Florida. Best Workplaces for Commuters (BWC) is an innovative
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membership program that provides qualified employers with national recognition and an elite designation for implementing green commuter programs like ridesharing, transit benefits, biking and walking, teleworking and alternate work schedules. Other advantages include: web conferences and training to help your company implement commuter benefits; research and benchmarking; webbased tools to help calculate the overall financial, environmental, and traffic improvements associated with commuter benefits; and networking opportunities with peers and experts in the field to exchange ideas and learn new strategies. Next year, your progressive employer could be among those recently recognized at a special ceremony at the Fairfax County Government Center hosted by Fairfax County Department of Transportation Director Thomas Biesiadny. Your Employer Outreach Specialist can provide technical assistance to help your organization meet Best Workplaces for Commuters’ National Standard of Excellence, assist in the completion of the application, and even underwrite the annual fee for employers that qualify. “Promoting alternate ways to work, and policies such as teleworking and flex time, help make Fairfax County a better place to live and work by reducing congestion on our roadways,” commented Biesiadny in congratulating the ‘Fairfax First 50.’ We are pleased that Fairfax County
Fairfax County Best Workplaces for Commuters Award Recipients 2012
Horizon Industries Limited Prosperity Metro Plaza FUTREND U. S. Geological Survey Kimley-Horn Freddie Mac Synaptek Corporation National Student Clearinghouse FOX Architects LLC Pyramid Systems Inc.
AFCEA International Alzheimer's Association Northrop Grumman Volume Integration Innovative Workflow / Virpack Russ Reid Interstate Moving / Relocation / Logistics XLA Navy Federal Credit Union 2013
ActioNet General Dynamics ExxonMobil Washington Gas Ellucian Virginia International University The MITRE Corporation Noblis Fair Lakes Office Park (Best Sites) Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II (Best Sites)
Oracle Community Associations Institute (AIAA) American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (VDOT) Virginia Department of Transportation SRA International (Fairfax) SRA International (Arlington) (DHHQ) Defense Health Headquarters Towers Crescent (Best Sites) Tysons Corner Center (Best Sites) 2011
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (CSC) Computer Science Corporation Reston Interfaith, Inc. Energy and Security Group Department of the Army, U.S. Installation Management Command Headquarters, United States Army Garrison (Fort Belvoir, VA) CALIBRE Cascades Technologies Inc. PricewaterhouseCoopers High Performance Technologies Inc. 2010
Fairfax County Government The Aerospace Corporation Booz Allen Hamilton George Mason University ICF International INOVA Fairfax Hospital INOVA Alexandria Hospital National Wildlife Federation Orange Business Services/France Telecom Group (SAIC) Science Applications International Corporation
Best Workplaces for Commuters – National Center for Transit Research University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave, CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620 www.bestworkplaces.org
is leading the nation in ‘Best Workplace’ designations and are committed to continuing to expand this program in years to come.” This year, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors also issued a proclamation in support of the “Fairfax First 50,” with special mention being given to the 2015 recipients: Horizon Industries Limited, Prosperity Metro Plaza, FUTREND, U.S. Geological Survey, KimleyHorn and Associates, Inc., Freddie Mac, Synaptek Corporation, National Student Clearinghouse. FOX Architects LLC, and Pyramid Systems, Inc. For more information on Best Workplaces for Commuters,
visit www.bestworkplaces. org, call the Fairfax County Department of Transportation at 703.877.5600 or contact Ciara Williams: 703.877.5605, ciara.williams@fairfaxcounty. gov. The Best Workplaces for Commuters program is available nationwide. For information on how to participate in your jurisdiction, contact your Loudoun County Commuter Services Employer Outreach Specialist Judy Galen: 703.737.8044, judy.galen@ loudoun.gov or visit (https:// www.loudoun.gov/commute). Your Prince William County Transportation Demand Management Specialist is Holly Morello: 703.580.6130, email@example.com or visit (http://www.prtctransit.org).
News Briefs New Passenger Focus at Reagan and Dulles Airports
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has initiated a concerted campaign to better understand and focus new programs on passenger satisfaction and needs. In tandem with this new focus, MWAA is also re-branding the airports to reflect this new emphasis on passenger satisfaction. According to an MWAA press release: “During the past several years, the Airports Authority has undergone numerous changes to enhance the customer experience, including a major redevelopment of its food and retail concessions, additional parking options, online customer satisfaction surveys and new website. Now the Airports Authority is reinforcing these improvements with a new brand centered around a recommitment to its customers. The new tagline Your Journey Begins with Us recognizes that an enjoyable travel experience
begins when a passenger arrives at the airport. “This new logo incorporates every part of our organization into one symbol,” said Jack Potter, president and CEO. “The new brand embodies our choice to embrace change, to innovate and to lead. We want this logo to represent our resolve to serve the needs of the traveling public.” The Airports Authority developed the new brand and customer focused initiative after considerable research “which included employee and passenger interviews, focus groups, competitive brand studies and data analysis of traveler habits across more than 15 U.S. and international airports. The comprehensive study has resulted in a deeper understanding of passengers and allows the Airports Authority to better target its services to meet their needs.”
Apps Spell End of an Era WAMU, the region’s National Public Radio station, announced that beginning November 16th they would no longer broadcast Jerry Edward’s traffic updates. Edwards has been broadcasting traffic reports on Washington radio and TV for over 31 years. WAMU’s announcement stated that “In a world now filled with smart phone map services, GPS devices in cars, and traffic apps, there is better, more up to date information available to our
listeners than what we could provide. “About 75 percent of WAMU’s morning audience listens from home. And everything we know about our listeners tells us that public radio audiences, in general, prefer content with context and a deeper understanding of their region, country, and world.” Over the years Mr. Edwards improved the commute of millions of residents in the greater DC area. Thank you!
HOT Lanes Inside Beltway Planned The Virginia Department of Transportation is planning to construct and install high occupancy toll lanes alongside the existing I-395 HOV lanes within the next 2 years. A series of public hearings and public input forums will be held throughout Northern Virginia. The plans are to coincide with the recent opening of the HOT lanes established along the I-95 corridor between Springfield and Garrisonville Road, 40 miles south of the Beltway. Secretary of Transportation, Aubrey Lane
announced the project on November 21st, indicating that the existing contract with Transurban would be expanded to include the new toll lanes into Washington, D.C. Previous efforts to construct and expand the toll lanes have met opposition and legal challenges by Arlington County. The new proposal is apparently an effort by VDOT to address the concerns of this opposition and will utilize existing right of way and result in minimum new construction along the existing interchanges.
DON’T TEXT & DRIVE
IT’S THE LAW!
telework! va: helping companies work outside the office box-for free! As you leave your house and are about to get in your car, feeling the stress and anxiety of the inevitable nightmare that is your commute to work, you notice your neighbor’s car is still in her driveway. That’s odd, she always leaves before you. Is she feeling too ill to go to work? No, your neighbor is working from home today. She is a teleworker, and employees like her are saving companies money, showing increased productivity and growing in number. All teleworkers are avoiding the round-trip commute to
work (which averages over an hour in the DC-area) and most, according to studies, report higher job satisfaction than their office-bound counterparts. Survey results from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ State of the Commute show that the percentage of regional telework has more than doubled since 2001. Incidence grew in nearly every demographic and occupational segment in which telework is feasible. Global Workplace Analytics also found those
who work at home tend to put in longer hours and are often more productive. They also have found that when formal telework plans are put in place, telework can positively impact a business’ bottom line. For example, American Express employees who teleworked produced 43 percent more business than their non-teleworking counterparts. On a more local level, most of us remember the multiple snow days last winter. Federal employees in Washington who worked from home during 2014’s four official snow days saved the government an estimated $32 million.
Recognizing an opportunity to both help businesses and employees reap the rewards of telework and fulfill their mission to help mitigate traffic congestion, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) have partnered to provide assistance to businesses in Northern Virginia through the Telework!VA program. Telework!VA is a FREE program that helps businesses in Virginia begin or expand a telework program. Through this VDOT/DRPT partnership,
Telework!VA staff can help create a customized telework strategy, develop telework policies and agreements, identify positions best suited for telework, assist with developing budgets and develop technology plans. They also provide on-site training for managers and employees, offering guidance on the management and work strategies that will maximize a telework program’s full potential and avoid some of the challenges working remotely can present. For more information on the Telework!VA program, please visit their website at http://teleworkva.org/ NOVA.
The Ever-Evolving Reston By Fionnuala Quinn
In a way that Irish families readily understand, my siblings and I live all over Fairfax, Edinburgh, Dublin, Kobe - four countries and three continents. Having been raised with a full complement of independent travel options but not getting car keys until after entering the workforce, we remain keen walkers, bicyclists and public transit users and no matter where we now live, the available transportation choices impact our quality of life. Like most people, we are each just trying to move ourselves, our loved ones and our stuff from one place to another safely, easily and in comfort. Bonus points if we accrue some health benefit and we are not looking to add stress or spend lots of money in the process. Even here in almost-entirely suburban Fairfax County, approximately one-third of daily trips are less than three miles in length so my busy household also mixes in walking, bicycling and transit to get around. We may have to work a little harder than my siblings to leave the car home but after several decades of life here, it’s clear that local travel choices have appreciably increased in recent years and it’s for the better for all of us. Depending on how streets, sidewalks, trails and rail lines connect for a particular community, people can choose walking, bicycling or motorized travel. The U.S. travel network has been put together to serve all sorts of needs and is incredibly complicated in design and operation. Transportation
itself is in a time of great change and we can expect challenges and burdens to increase in volume and complexity over coming decades. As with the legacy of post-war subdivisions, we are making decisions now that will influence our range of choices for getting around in the future. The more flexibility and connectivity we design or retrofit in, the more options there will be to avoid congestion and reap social and health benefits. By clearly expressing how we would like to live and with thoughtful attention to putting the built world together, we can add choices like walking that one-mile trip to the library while also preparing for the transformational mobility possibilities. Modern U.S. suburbs were made possible by new means of transportation that allowed living further from employment, services and activities. While early suburbs developed around streetcar lines, later expansion focused around automobile travel. Reston was a noted national exception and developed in a fashion that included connected walking and bicycling options. This was all thanks to the visionary ideas of Robert E. Simon, Reston’s original founder. Decades later, the resulting community offers increased choices for getting to shopping, social events and employment and those who do walk, bike or use transit represent a wide range. While my husband’s eight-mile bike
commute to Reston is a key aspect of integrating health into his busy work life, there are many living locally unable to drive or with no access to a vehicle who benefit more profoundly from having these options. Always generous with his time, Mr. Simon visited the before-school engineering program at Hunters Woods Elementary School annually. He would invariably ask for a show of hands on how many walked and biked to school. He told the students that he had them in mind when he came up with the trails and that he wanted them to be able get to the pools and tennis courts independently also. Five decades later his ideas about having those trails go over or under the streets so as not to have to deal with speeding cars seems even more relevant. You could see the students excitedly light up when he added that the only thing better than biking to school was riding a horse. No one ever accused Mr. Simon of failure of imagination in terms of the possibilities for getting around and it was pretty
inspiring to see a 99-year old surrounded by 11-year olds lining up for his autograph after listening to his thoughts on these matters. Reston’s layout has created a robust framework that can readily reorient towards 21st century transportation and land use changes. The neighborhoods and destinations of Reston are served in a way that already make this one of the most livable areas in Fairfax County but the addition of the rail service and upgraded bus service adds further layers of options and trip combinations. Notably, the 45-mile W&OD Trail runs through the heart of Reston and passes within feet of the Metrorail system creating a key regional travel interconnection. When I go into D.C., I can now combine my folding bike with local buses to access the Metrorail as rules allow carrying these types of bikes on at any time. Upon my later return, the folding bike allows me to catch any of several buses that get me to within a short biking distance of my house. Meanwhile my
grown children use their smartphones to catch Uber or Lyft from the Wiehle-Reston station without a thought of it being novel. Every morning, the numerous young professionals pouring out of the station as they head to employment in Reston are a testament to the new choices. High-quality bike parking is available at the station so many are biking the last mile of their rail trip. Meanwhile many are awaiting the planned local bikeshare system, currently under design. With work well underway on new land uses and transit expansion, how we travel locally already supports a range of choices and combinations beyond private automobile trips. Transportation culture is always changing and the signs are visible that there are many open to the new travel choices. The future is a foreign country…they may do things differently there… but we can play important roles in shaping that future for ourselves.
SchoolPools: Mornings made easy! Walked dog. Made hot breakfast. Showered. Packed nutritious lunch for you and your child. Out the door with child, school bag (including said lunch), field trip permission slip….all before 8:00 a.m.… you’re killing it! Spend 20 minutes in unplanned traffic to school and 10 minutes in the school’s kiss and ride drop-off. Arrive at work 25 minutes late and frazzled – you also forgot your phone. Definitely not killing it. If you are a parent who sends your child to a school without a busing program, you can probably relate to this scenario. While the ride to and from school can be a wonderful time to connect with your child, providing transportation every day can be stressful. Additionally, the time spent in the car could be spent working, freeing up time to spend with your child at home, in the park, etc. So what is a parent to do? (Da-da-da-DA!) In response to this common issue facing D.C. metro-area parents, Commuter Connections launched a program called SchoolPools, which allows
parents within a school to connect with one another and form their own carpools, walking groups or biking groups. The idea is that families who unknowingly live near one another could be sharing a ride to school – saving both time and money. Not only is a carpool convenient, it provides parents and kids an opportunity to meet one another – helping to build a closer sense of community. The SchoolPools database is completely confidential – only basic contact information, such as your phone number and e-mail are shared with potential matches. Schools must be registered with the Commuter Connections SchoolPool program to participate, so check with your school’s principal or transportation coordinator to see if your school is taking advantage of this program. For more information on SchoolPools and how to get your school registered, please visit: https://tdm. commuterconnections.org/ schoolpool/, or email Sarah McGowan at smcgowan@ datatrans.org.
Advertising in @livemore Advertising in @livemore is an effective way to reach 20,000 readers who are looking for ways to enjoy life more. They are curious, open to new ideas, ready for something new. @livemore is published six times a year, and distributed in highvisibility sites in the Dulles area, including Reston, Leesburg, Chantilly and Centreville and public libraries. Distribution sites include shops,
office buildings, and Live More newspaper boxes at Metro stations. Advertising is easy. An @livemore ad sales exec will walk you through the process. Don’t have in-house design capabilities? We can design an eye-catching ad for a modest fee. We make payment simple, too. We can email you an invoice for secure online payment or payment by check. For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding a Commute that Works Out Donning your shiny new gym membership card and that pedometer bracelet your brother-in-law gave you for the holidays, it should be easier than ever to get the exercise you need. So why does it seem to get more difficult to squeeze in a workout each year? What if I told you that
you could get your exercise while you commute to work? Is that a novel idea or what? Well, not exactly. People all over the DC metro area already bike or walk to work every day. By incorporating your workout into your commute, you can eliminate, or at least reduce, the need to block
off even more time to get your exercise. This extra time creates the perfect opportunity for a family dinner, watching a movie, or playing fetch with the dog; something you actually enjoy doing! If you happen to live too far from work to walk or aren’t comfortable riding
your bike long distances, you can always ride or walk the “last mile” to the metro or bus stop and do the reverse on the way home. That way you can still get your heart pumping before your workday is over. Give it a try sometime. Let me know how it goes. Ericka can be reached at email@example.com.
para hacer ejercicio. Este tiempo extra crea la oportunidad perfecta para cenar con la familia, ver una película o jugar con el perro, algo que realmente gusta hacer! Si usted vive demasiado lejos del trabajo para caminar o no se siente cómodo andar en bicicleta largas distancias, siempre se puede montar o caminar
por la “última milla” para el metro o la parada del autobús y hacer lo contrario de camino a casa. De esa manera usted todavía puede obtener su bombeo del corazón antes de terminar su día de trabajo. Atreverse a intentarlo. Déjeme saber cómo le va. Ericka se puede llegar a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ejercicio que Trabaja Vestido con su nueva tarjeta de membresía de gimnasio y la pulsera de podómetro quien le dio su cuñado para Navidad, debería ser más fácil que nunca para hacer el ejercicio que necesita. Entonces, ¿por qué parece ser más difícil tener el tiempo para hacer ejercicio cada año? ¿Que si le dijera que usted podría conseguir
su ejercicio mientras que usted conmuta al trabajo? ¿Es idea novedosa o qué? Bueno, no exactamente. Gente de todo el área metropolitana de DC ya anda en bicicleta o camina al trabajo todos los días. Por incorporar su entrenamiento con su viaje, puede eliminar, o al menos reducir, la necesidad de bloquear aún más tiempo
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