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Fairfax Co. Takes Another Crack At Revitalizing Baileys Crossroads

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Today in Virginia, Fairfax County Supervisors will consider a vision for revitalizing the economic and physical landscape of the Baileys Crossroads community.

Creating a unified vision for the future of such a diverse neighborhood can be a challenging.

If you're looking for a meal, but don't know exactly what you're craving, Baileys Crossroads can offer Afghan, Ethiopian, Peruvian, and Indian restaurants, just to name some of the options.

Supervisor Penny Gross, who's district includes Baileys Crossroads, says diversity of culture is one of the area's great strengths.

"You have plenty of opportunity to explore and experiment, or to be comfortable in whatever your own culture is," says Gross.

Long-time resident Priscilla Weck says the diversity in Baileys Crossroads has injected a new energy into the area. But it also means the area lacks the type of business coalitions that have pushed for revitalization in other parts of Fairfax.

"We don't really have that, because it is difficult with different cultures, different communities doing their own thing," says Weck.

The plan being considered Tuesday would lay the framework for a more urban, walkable and unified community here over the next several decades. It calls for more greenspace, and a new grid of streets.

The plan sounds a lot like what Fairfax has planned for Tysons Corner, on a smaller scale. But Gross prefers to see it another way.

"Rather than being a small Tysons, I just say that Tysons is a large Baileys Crossroads," she says.

The plan also focuses on public transit.

The area missed out on Metrorail 40 years ago, but a streetcar line is planned along Columbia Pike and running to the Pentagon in Arlington.

Residents still have some waiting to do, Gross says the Pike Transit line probably won't be operational until after 2015.

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