Messy vitality?

Yesterday, Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein compared an emerging Reston Town Center with Tysons Corner and comes down on the side of Tysons.

I am not a big fan of Reston, even as a kid it seemed a little odd; a planned community that makes my hometown of Vienna look like a Norman Rockwell painting in comparison. I have been critical of Reston Town Center too, because I always thought of it as four square city blocks in the middle of a field. That is changing though, the immediate area has filled in and it is fairly vibrant, even with nothing but chain stores and restaurants. Pearlstein notes, there are some impressive buildings there too. In short, Reston Town Center has matured into a pretty good location, especially for Fairfax County.

Tysons, on the other hand, is a disaster of epic proportions. There is more office space there than Denver or Pittsburgh and yet the only shared experience is sitting in traffic trying to get on Route 7 or 123. Messy vitality? No, just messy. Tysons makes a place like Rosslyn look like like midtown Manhattan.

I hope that Metro, whether under or above ground, can focus redevelopment of Tysons into a more urban setting the takes of advantage of the masses of people to become something more like a city. Reston Town Center, is ready for that already. Nobody is going to confuse either location with Connecticut and K, but they don’t need to be, just be walkable is probably enough.

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