Others Waiver But Fairfax Board Reaffirms Commitment to Dulles Metro Phase 2


Tysons East station taking shape

As its funding partners waiver, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today reaffirmed its commitment to Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail Project, agreeing to contribute up to $498 million to help fund completion of the Silver Line from Reston’s Wiehle Avenue to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.

“It is my hope that Phase 2 will move forward as planned and we will all be able to take advantage of the enormous economic development opportunities the Silver Line extension will present,” Board Chair Sharon Bulova said.

Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration and Republican legislators have backed away from earlier commitments to provide an additional $300 million to help hold down tolls for commuters on the Dulles Toll Road, and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has asked for more time to consider whether to go through with paying their share, about $260 million.

Bulova said today’s vote came “after significant public outreach that included a series of public meetings, online forums, and a full public hearing to receive comments from county residents.”

“At these events and at online forums, we received mostly favorable comments and testimony.  A common theme concerned affordability of the Dulles Toll Road.  This is something that I am working hard to address and am hopeful that funding from the General Assembly for this purpose will be forthcoming, she said.

“Fairfax County has reaffirmed its commitment to the completion of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project today and I am hopeful that our partners in Loudoun County will come to a positive decision in order to keep this project on track.  Rail to Dulles remains my top transportation priority and I will continue to work to complete this project in a way that is affordable to our residents, commuters and corporate neighbors,” Bulova said.

Station names

It’s not only paying for the Silver Line that’s in dispute.  There’s also a lingering disagreement over what to call the stations. The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) had rejected the county’s initial suggestions. The board then solicited public comment and received more than 16,000 responses, although the Reston Association has taken issue with three of the names. The WMATA Board has the final say, so what the locals want may not matter.

The final recommendations from Fairfax County are:

  • McLean
  • Tysons Corner
  • Greensboro
  • Spring Hill
  • Wiehle–Reston East
  • Reston Town Center
  • Herndon
  • Innovation Center

Reston’s suggestions

In a letter presented to the Board of Supervisors, Reston Association president of the board, Kathleen Driscoll McKee said the station names should follow the WMATA station naming policy.  Its goal is to identify station locations by geographical area and provide riders with a sense of place and geography.

“The Reston Association believes the names should let riders know they are in Reston,” Driscoll McKee said. She added that using Reston as the primary name rather than the street or shopping area appearing first would “clearly identify the location to passengers and station staff.”

Here are the competing proposals:

Reston Association                                           Fairfax County
Reston East – Wiehle                                         Wiehle – Reston East
Reston West – Herndon                                      Herndon
Reston Central                                                   Reston Town Center

In the letter to the Board of Supervisors, Driscoll McKee said the names proposed by Reston Association provide riders and station staff with information about the area.

“For example, at the Reston West – Herndon stop, the south side lies in Polo Fields, part of the Reston Association,” she said. “The north side is part of the Town of Herndon.  From the Reston Central stop, riders can easily walk from a Reston Association trail to Lake Anne Village or nearby neighborhoods, churches and schools.”

Adopted in 2011, the WMATA naming policy limits station names to 19 characters, identifies stations by geographical features and states that station names should be “distinctive and evoke imagery in the mind of the patron.”