This project has been part of the County's Comprehensive Plan for many years, which calls for a structured, commuter parking facility of 1000+ spaces that should be designed as a multi-modal transportation center that includes additional features to serve both carpools and transit users.
The transit center is an important part of the County’s transit service plans as well as the County’s plans for the Springfield Community Business Center. However, the intention and plan for the garage is to serve all the uses, including the slug lines, and not to favor one use over the other.
The Comprehensive Plan language can be found here:
No. One of the main goals of the garage project is to provide additional, permanent parking for the slug lines, and the intent of the garage is to adequately serve all the uses programmed for the garage - slug lines, carpooling, bicycle and pedestrian, and transit.
The Comprehensive Plan specifically mentions slugging and sluggers as a form of carpooling that should be preserved at the proposed garage. The specific language is on page 29 at this link under, "Commuter parking facility and multi-modal center:"
Yes. County staff has worked with the design consultants to revise the ground level design in order to address these concerns. The revised plan is available on the project website for review. Key features of the updated design are as follows:
- Moved the slug lines further into the garage, closer to the exit at Old Keene Mill Road.
- Expanded the loading zone lengths for the slug lines. The original design had a loading zone capacity of approximately six vehicles for each slug line. The revised design provides loading zone capacities of approximately 18 vehicles for one line and 15 vehicles for the other.
- Expanded the queueing capacity for each slug line. There is additional queueing capacity of four vehicles for each line before the queues would back up onto Springfield Boulevard. The total queuing capacities with the revised layout are approximately 22 vehicles for one line and 19 for the other (these numbers include the vehicles in the loading zones).
Even though there are transit facilities at the Springfield Town Center and Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station, a transit center is still needed at the proposed site and will improve transit service in many ways, including the following:
- The transit center will enhance transfers between Fairfax Connector and Metrobus routes that service this area. Up to ten Fairfax Connector bus routes currently operating in the area will be able to use this center, allowing transfers to Metrobus Routes 18G, H, J and P.
- Several existing Connector bus routes and a future route can be rerouted to serve the proposed garage in order to create more efficient travel paths, resulting in faster service with less operating expenses.
- This transit center can better serve commuters west of I-95 and I-395 because of its location and its accessibility to I-95, I-395, and I-495. It provides service benefits that complement and expand upon the transit center at the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station and the park-and-ride and shelters at Springfield Town Center.
When the garage opens, five bus bays are required to handle the existing peak bus service, and seven bays are required for planned bus service expansion.
Service is a possibility and will be considered. Service will be provided to Huntington Metro and Franconia-Springfield Metro via Fairfax Connector 310. The planned Fairfax Connector Route 313 will provide service to Franconia-Springfield Metro Station.
Destinations served by Metrobus include the Pentagon, the Rolling Valley Mall Park & Ride, and the Keene Mill Heights neighborhood. Existing Connector routes that will use the facility will serve the Franconia-Springfield Metrorail Station, the Huntington Metrorail Station, the Van Dorn Street Metrorail Station, the Pentagon, and the Shirley Industrial Park. Planned Connector service to the facility would also serve the Mark Center, George Mason University, the Fairfax County Judicial Center, the Fairfax County Government Center, and Centreville.
The County intends to continue to lease the spaces near the lot once the garage opens based on concerns raised that the demand for the slug lines combined with the transit center may exceed the capacity of the garage. However, future leases are always contingent upon the property owners’ willingness to lease the spaces to the County.
The County has no plans to charge for parking in the garage, and there will be no equipment installed with the garage to charge for parking.
The current County policy is to provide free parking at its park-and-ride lots and commuter parking garages, and costs to construct, maintain, and lease these facilities are covered by the County. This policy has been in place for several decades and would have to change before commuters would be charged for parking in the future.
The existing lot will have to be closed during construction, and the county will be developing a plan to temporarily relocate the slug lines and commuter parking during construction. Construction is not scheduled to begin until late 2019/early 2020, but planning for the relocation has begun, and will be closely coordinated with the users of the existing lot and slugging community.
Construction is not scheduled to begin until late 2019/early 2020, and is expected to take approximately two years. However, the County will be evaluating the possibility of expediting construction.
The level of security to be provided when the garage opens is being determined, but the facility design allows for varying levels of security based on the need, ranging from periodic site visits to onsite security personnel. There will be security cameras provided on all levels, and a security office is being provided to allow for onsite security if it is required.
Cell phone service is expected to be available within the garage. The vertical fins planned for the exterior walls of the garage will provide openings that should help facilitate better signals.
All parking spaces (with the exception of accessible van parking) are on the upper levels of the garage and have a maximum allowable vehicle height of 7’-0”.
The ground floor, which includes the slug lines, kiss-and-ride, and accessible van parking has a maximum allowable vehicle height of 9’-6”.