Greg Bacon Presentation

On Wednesday, November 11th, Greg gave an excellent presentation about the Fairfax County GIS office where he works as an analyst, that supports both county GIS users and the public.  He mentioned the specialized, web-based maps his office produces available online at the Fairfax Geo-Portal Page:(http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/maps/geoportal.htm).

GeoportalMain

I enjoyed reviewing the maps, especially the Comprehensive Map Plan, Walkway Maintenance (Greg specifically mentioned this map) and the Historic Imagery Viewer.  One area of Fairfax County I’m interested in is Tyson’s Corner, having worked there for almost 20 years.  The area is undergoing a significant transformation with the metro arrival and more residential housing being built. Tyson’s Corner is changing from a car-oriented, office and shopping center to a high-density, mixed-use area that hopefully will be increasingly pedestrian friendly.

The following screen shot from the Comprehensive Map Plan shows Tyson’s Corner zoning plan:

TysonsComprehensiveMapTool

The following screen shots from the Geo-Portal Historic Imagery Viewer show the Tyson’s Corner intersection of Routes 123 and 7 in 1937, 153, and 1997:

Tysons1937HIV

Tysons1953HIV Tysons1997HIV

Tyson’s Corner redevelopment plans are ambitious, and a detailed description was written in the Washingtonian Magazine, April 2015 cover story issue, Capital of The Future. The following image shows a future high density, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly scene:

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It still is a challenge to walk around Tyson’s Corner. I used to use the only cross walk on Route 7 at West Park Drive when leaving my Forester at the Stohlman Subaru dealership for repair.  Walking safely is still limited to specific sections where sidewalks were present, but there were, and still are, many obstacles present.  The Geo-Portal Walkway Maintenance map shows the organizations responsible for sidewalks in Fairfax County and the following screenshot shows the pedestrian walkways in Tyson’s Corner:

TysonsWalkways

On November 8, The Washington Post published an article about a group of UVA School of Architecture students assessing Tyson’s walkability: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/u-va-professors-outing-aims-to-measure-tysons-walkability/2015/11/07/7db95e24-83fe-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.html.  They encountered many obstacles and plan to monitor pedestrian accessibility as redevelopment progresses.  The following map shows the temperature measured along the route they took in 2014:

TysonsTemperatureMap

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