The United States has 5% of the world’s population, 30% of the world’s automobiles and contributes 45% of the world’s automotive CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions are widely acknowledged to be the leading cause of increasing the rate of global warming. With a heightened sense of urgency, policy leaders all around the world are addressing growing concerns about the direct impact planning and zoning ordinances have on climate change.
As it has grown over the past several decades from a rural farming community to a robust metropolitan area, Fairfax County has experienced a rapid population growth bringing with it among the busiest road networks in the US. Much of this growth has outrun the ability of the State and County to keep up with infrastructure improvements. When climate change was less of an issue, adding lanes to congested roads to relieve traffic was given priority over investments in more costly public transportation alternatives. The net result has been sprawling growth across the metropolitan area and traffic congestion that has strained the capacity of the road network in the County. After decades of planning the anticipated arrival of mass transit to Tysons Corner brings with it a welcome opportunity to alter the course of growth in the County.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appointed a Tysons Land Use Task Force consisting of 34 citizen members of varying backgrounds and tasked them with a mission to help develop a plan for Tysons which would fully leverage the arrival of mass transit. The Task Force deliberated for over four years and in September of 2008, delivered a vision for transforming Tysons Corner.
This vision, which was shaped with guidance from the Board of Supervisors and active participation of County citizens through extensive outreach including multiple public charrettes, when fully implemented, will result in a vibrant Tysons that is urban, pedestrian friendly and with a great deal less emphasis on the automobile and far more on alternate forms of transportation. To learn more about the draft comprehensive plan please visit Fairfax County