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Nov 02

Pondering pedestrian accessibility and thinking about transportation

Posted on November 2, 2016 at 4:44 PM by Lynne DeWilde

One of Vienna’s long-term goals is to improve pedestrian access and safety. The Town is working toward this goal by installing sidewalks, adding traffic-calming measures where appropriate, finding creative solutions to challenging intersections, and educating pedestrians about the importance of making eye contact with drivers when crossing intersections.

Consider these recently completed or ongoing Town initiatives:

  • The Town installed its first mini-roundabout this fall to alleviate traffic along Locust Street and the commercial area of Park Street.
  • Last year, the Town installed its first HAWK signal to provide a pedestrian-activated, traffic-stopping crossing on Maple Avenue.
  • The Town’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC), Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), and Transportation Safety Commission (TSC) are working to create a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan for Vienna.
  • The Town is starting to work with a consultant who will use new methods of gathering transportation data to better determine how people move around the community, which will help the Town further improve pedestrian access and more effectively address other transportation issues.

The majority of traffic on Maple Avenue is regional commuter traffic to and from Tysons. One of the challenges with this cut-through traffic is that it often leads people to think: “We can’t allow commercial improvements because it might lead to more traffic.” I have to believe that citizens want successful businesses along our main commercial corridors and don’t want to see dilapidated properties that diminish our tax base and vibrancy of our commercial districts. I think we can find solutions to improve pedestrian access so that we don’t give up on the Town’s commercial areas and allow cut-through traffic to deter positive redevelopment along Maple Avenue and Church Street. 

Mayor Laurie DiRocco

Aug 08

All-season gatherings on the Town Green

Posted on August 8, 2016 at 9:43 AM by Lynne DeWilde

The Vienna Town Green was dedicated in May 2007. Since then, it has served as a gathering place for people of all ages. Two years ago, a roof was added to the stage.  The cost was split between the Town and Vienna Rotary. Rotarian Tom Kyllo provided his architectural services, and Tommy Staats provided his building services. The roof has made the acoustics even better, and it has enabled musicians to keep their instruments and themselves dry and in the shade. 

Concerts and events on the Green have been a huge success. Bands vary from national to local and from folk to rock. Families can enjoy a concert while their children dance and play. Wednesdays have been dedicated to children’s activities, Tuesdays to yoga, and some Saturdays to teens.

There are two Friday concerts left this summer. The award-winning, multi-genre Richard Walton Group performs August 12 and one of our local favorites, NRJ, plays August 19. 

At the beginning of the summer in June, the Town Green was abuzz with excitement for the hugely popular Chillin’ on Church.  Look forward to enjoying the end of summer on September 16 with friends and families on the Town Green at another Chillin’ on Church event.  

Looking forward to the fall, the Green will provide a nice reprieve to have a picnic, meet a friend, or borrow a book from the M. Jane Seeman Little Library. In winter months, the trees will be lit, and it will be a lovely time to walk through the Green, sing carols, or enjoy the Holiday Stroll. 

Linda Colbert
Town Councilmember

Jun 14

Assessing our past and present and planning for our future

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 11:25 AM by Lynne DeWilde

Every five years, the Town is tasked by the Commonwealth to review its Comprehensive Plan. After the most recent review and public comment, I now have a better appreciation of its significance. The black-and-white 2010 document had been regularly updated since the last major re-working in the 1990s. Recently, under direction of the Planning and Zoning director and staff, the document has been reinvigorated with supplemental work thanks to Town boards and commissions – most notably, the Planning Commission. Now it contains an additional 100 pages with interesting photos, easy-to-interpret graphs, and information that outlines our past, presents the current, and projects the future of Vienna.  I would encourage you to take a look to discover some interesting facts relevant to you about your Town.

During the decades of the 1950s and 1960s, incredibly the Town grew in population from 2,000 to 17,000 persons, mainly through annexation and new growth. We are still enjoying the visions of that growth. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of many of those cherished additions, such as Vienna Shopping Center and the Vienna Community Center, which are receiving new looks and offerings, but still provide the same support to our community. This newest Comprehensive Plan document includes opportunities of the Maple Avenue Vision and inclusion of planning that will create new opportunities for all ages along our main street to revitalize our vehicular-focused, mid-century, modern, suburban commercial offerings into a more sustainable, walkable, mixed-use environment.

Looking forward, there are plans for a public charrette regarding our central business district, to be led by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), as well as parks master plans, as budgeted in the next fiscal year. We hope to see you all there in order to give input that will take our Town into the next 50 years.

Carey Sienicki

Town Councilmember