The Democratic Club at Greenspring welcomed Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, to the community on Thursday, July 26. During the month of July, the Democratic Club at Greenspring also hosted Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay.
Supervisor McKay spoke about some area transportation issues including the construction of Mulligan Road, which will provide another vitally needed east-west connection from the Springfield area to the Mount Vernon area. The road will connect Telegraph Road and Richmond Highway, providing a route for drivers that was largely restricted when Woodlawn Road and Beulah Street were closed to the public through Fort Belvoir after 9/11.
Additionally, McKay indicated that the influx of employees now working at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters has not caused noticeable traffic problems in and around Springfield. He attributed that to the availability of access ramps directly off the highway, a shuttle to and from metro, minimal parking availablility at the site which discourages driving, a deep campus where any traffic stays, and shift work from the employees.
McKay also referenced the revitalization of Springfield Mall; as of June 30, all stores have vacated the structure except J.C. Penney’s, Target, and Macy’s to make way for the new Springfield Town Center which will feature both new retail and residential areas, as well as a variety of new restaurants.
Chairman Bulova updated the Democratic Club by addressing a variety of topics including transportation, redevelopment throughout Fairfax County, and the recent lawsuit filing against the EPA.
The 495 Express Lanes, commonly referred to as the HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes, are targeted for a late 2012 opening, according to the project’s website. The project will include approximately 14 miles of two new lanes running in both directions on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway. The lanes will run from the the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. Bulova is a supporter of the HOT lanes, stating that it will assist with road capacity issues and comes at an important time when there is little financial assistance being provided for transportation from the federal and state level. Bulova also stated that HOV-3+ vehicles such as carpools, vans, and buses, can use the HOT lanes at no charge.
Bulova spoke about the Evolution of Fairfax series, which is a three-part series on the past, present, and future of Fairfax County. In regard to the past, Bulova said, “We were building a classroom a day trying to accommodate the growth we were experiencing.” Now, she said, we often take for granted some of the issues that used to be the most pressing like trash, water, and sewer management. Bulova said that the County is working toward redeveloping the Tyson's Corner area. With Metro’s silver line, expected to be in service through Tyson’s Corner at the end of 2013, the area will see tremendous changes. Additionally, Bulova acknowledged that currently, Tyson’s Corner lacks a significant residential population and the desire is to see a “vibrant mix” of thriving businesses and residential areas.
In response to an audience question regarding the federal lawsuit filed by Fairfax County and the commonwealth of Virginia against the EPA, Bulova summarized the main reasons for the decision to file suit. The EPA has asked the County to comply with new mandated thresholds for water flow, which would require the County and VDOT to find ways to further reduce storm water runoff. “Their proposed regulation would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and we don’t believe it will solve the problem we are trying to address,” said Bulova. “Fairfax County has a very ambitious storm water and anti-pollution program,” said Bulova.
About Greenspring: Greenspring is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of which reside in the 1405 independent living units. At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.