2007-01-05, 13:00

Baileys Crossroads looks at mixed use

By: Jonathan Groner
Fairfax County, Va., is farther from D.C. than close-in Arlington, and Fairfax (the county that includes Tysons Corner) is known for its traffic problems and for its sprawl almost as much as it's known for its wealth and its high-tech companies. Perhaps mixed-use development will help alleviate Fairfax's problems. Here is a very recent, brief article from the D.C. Examiner.

Baileys Crossroads could be 'next urban hub,' land experts say
William C. Flook, The Examiner
Jan 1, 2007

A panel of land-use experts says Baileys Crossroads could be "the area's next urban development hub," recast in a mold similar to that of Rosslyn or Ballston.

After a weeklong study of the area, the Urban Land Institute last month suggested that Fairfax County officials plan for higher density mixed-use development akin to Arlington County's pedestrian-friendly, rail-driven neighborhoods.

The area now exists largely as an aging commercial hub defined by the intersection of Columbia Pike and Leesburg Pike.

"The ULI study was very exciting, because it was a fresh look," said Supervisor Penelope Gross, who represents Mason District. "The caution we need to take with the study is that it is looking out 20 years, so there are a lot of things that would have to happen before you can achieve that particular vision."

For example, property owners must be interested in investing in the community’s revitalization, she said.

The report is the latest manifestation of the hope that Arlington County's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor can be duplicated somewhere in Fairfax County, though the county has yet to come close to that goal. The communities are often cited as examples of successful land use, with manageable traffic and dense development.

Baileys Crossroads is not far from Metro's Orange Line.

"You have the opportunity for more mixed-use [development] so that you put people where they can live and work and shop in the same area without having to get in their car and go a long way," Gross said.

ULI will also recommend that officials move forward and fund a streetcar proposal, coordinate transportation with neighboring jurisdictions and plan the area "in terms of districts surrounding transit stops," according to the group.

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