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Fairfax County Weighs $2.3B Plan For Tysons Corner Roads

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A development plan for Tysons Corner, Va. will make it a denser, more walkable place to live.
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A development plan for Tysons Corner, Va. will make it a denser, more walkable place to live.

As Tysons Corner plans its expansion, Fairfax County officials are weighing a $2.3 billion plan to pay for the roads and infrastructure the city will need in the future.

The new Tysons Corner envisioned in the county's 40-year plan will have high-rise condominiums, impressive corporate headquarters and new retail areas added to the existing 1,700 acres of concrete jungle. But all of that will require a new network of roads, and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors took a look at one proposal Tuesday.

Most of the roads in the plan will help break up Tysons' existing "super grid" of very large blocks which are not walkable. The new road system features "complete streets" that accommodate cars, buses, bicycles and pedestrians, as well as new connections from surrounding roads into the area, including from the Dulles Toll Road.

"The point of all these improvements is not to facilitate traffic through Tysons or across Tysons, but frankly to help Tysons become more of a walkable, transit oriented community," said Walter Alcorn, a member of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

Alcorn presented a proposal Tuesday that would require developers to pay about $1 billion in new taxes to cover the costs of the new roads.

"We do consider this a fair way of dividing the costs and spreading the costs for redevelopment," said Alcorn. "Developers are bearing the lion's share." Developers stand to benefit the most from Tysons expected growth, Alcorn added.

But there will likely be some debate over how to pay for the transportation improvements, if comments from Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova are any indication.

"The actual street in front of the development that's being constructed should be paid for by that developer," she said. "However, larger transportation projects that have a major benefit inside and outside of Tysons probably should be paid for by the public sector." 

The Fairfax County Board will take up the proposal again Oct. 16, and that meeting will be open for public comment.


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