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Residents Believe Route 1 'Improving,' Survey Finds

Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation releases results of recent consumer survey.

The majority of local residents recently surveyed by the  (SFDC) reported they think things on Route 1 are “improving,” according to results released Monday.

In all, 56 percent of respondents said the situation on the corridor was improving, compared to 28 percent who reported things were getting “worse.” Another 16 percent were unsure.

However, 86 percent of respondents reported that Route 1 has traffic problems, and 88 percent said the corridor’s image needs improvement.

The SFDC conducted the online opinion survey, which received more than 900 responses, in February and March. David Ben, SFDC marketing and communications director, said the biggest take-away from the survey was the number of people who indicated they believed the area was improving.

“That’s really exciting,” Ben said. “We hoped that that number would be high, and it certainly met our expectations.”

The survey also found that:

  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents dine out on Route 1 at least once a month, and 40 percent dine out in the corridor at least once a week.
  • More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents shop along Route 1 at least once a week, and 36 percent shop in the area multiple times each week.
  • The two things that respondents most wanted to see along the corridor are better restaurants (66 percent) and entertainment options (53 percent). Boutiques and mixed-use developments also saw significant support.

Ben said he was pleased by the number of responses and interest in the survey.

“We were not terribly surprised that a lot of people are concerned about traffic,” he said. “We’re concerned about that, too, but we’re also encouraged by a number of responses, like the number of people who dine per month or per week on the highway.”

In a statement, SFDC Executive Director David Versel said he was encouraged by the findings but saw room for improvement.

“We are pleased to know that the community thinks things are improving along Richmond Highway,” Versel said in the statement. “We recognize that there is much work to do to continue to attract better businesses and to make the corridor a safer and more attractive place to live.”

The SFDC plans to conduct the opinion survey on an annual basis going forward. Ben said the information would be used to help promote the corridor.

“Some of the comments and the data we found from the survey will be used for that, when we talk to community leaders and developers,” he said. “It’s something we can point to, to show support of the people who use the highway the most.”

Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Rt 1 feels utterly hopeless - all this new development is just greedy developers & cheap retailers rushing in to fill a void with trashy chains. Nothing hopeful about this - vastly increased traffic because of the nearby military industrial complex, shimmering heat hovering above vast wastelands of broiling asphalt, cheap fat/salt-laden food everywhere, chains selling shipping container after shipping container of cheap toxic Made-in-China wares, huge amounts of invisible chemicals laid down at every storefront/restaurant to keep pests at bay, the air heavy with invisible cancer-causing pollutants from out-of-control traffic - all near residential streets - no clean water source/green space/trees to provide sustenance/shelter for suffering wildlife - a place to be avoided and ashamed of, doubly so that we're supposedly being given an opportunity for improvement and we see what is happening. Who in the world would want to live in those new apts hanging over Rt 1 near Beacon Mall other than transitory military who don't care about local communities? And they want to pave over Woodlawn Stables and take part of historic Woodlawn mansion property to further their destruction, putting in place a 30'-high ramp to accommodate MORE traffic. How self-destructive & naive of us to allow corporate (SFDC) / military America to shove this down our throats & profit at the expense of our communities & families!
Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Mr. Colvert, yes, I am partially blaming increasing traffic woes on ill-thought-out Defense Dept plans from yrs back which are now coming back to haunt us - part but not all of the problem. No one is "targeting service members", nor am I 'targeting' any specific administration in place at the time these decisions were made. Pls see the following quotes from Wikipedia, Fairfax County's webpage, & the WP (the latter re Mark Center BRAC) to help clarify my comments, which are made in the spirit of neighborliness to try & help our communities thrive & resist the kind of onslaught we're currently experiencing - your suggestion of holding elected officials more accountable is certainly well taken, although I would point out that Connolly, Moran, Surovel & others have worked long & hard to try & find resolutions. Increased traffic is not only detrimental to our communities, but can also pose a security threat when lg populations are unable to move.
Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 07:21 PM
"The preliminary 2005 Base Realignment & Closure list was released by the US Dept of Defense on 5/13/05. It recommended closing 22 major US military bases & the "realignment" (either enlarging or shrinking) of 33 others. On 9/15/05, President GW Bush approved the BRAC Commission's recommendations, leaving the fate of the bases in question to Congress, which had 45 days to reject the proposal by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, or the recommendations automatically entered into effect.The House took up debate of the resolution which failed to pass, thereby enacting the list of recommendations & Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld was required to begin implementing the recommendations." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_Realignment_and_Closure,_2005
Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 07:22 PM
"Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) is the process the U.S. Dept of Defense uses to reorganize its military installations to adapt to changing circumstances. The 2005 BRAC law will result in the transfer of 14k to 19k Dept of Defense jobs to Ft Belvoir by 9/15/11. A Final Environmental Impact Statement & Record of Decision regarding the BRAC moves to Ft Belvoir was released in 2007. According to the Record of Decision, the Natl Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will bring 8,500 employees to the Engineer Proving Ground. Relocations of Army leased space & the new DeWitt Medical Center will bring approximately 5,500 employees to the main post of Ft Belvoir. An additional 6,400 jobs associated with BRAC 133, incl Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) are to be located at the Mark Center in Alexandria." http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/brac/
Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM
"The Mark Center warned in the past that the site lacked adequate setback from surrounding roads. The first of 6,400 federal employees began moving into the site at Seminary Road & I-395 as part of the Pentagon’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) changes. “The traffic impact of moving 6,400 people to a Metro-inaccessible site represents the most immediate threat to our community, but these security concerns are legitimate and must be addressed by DOD.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/moran-asks-for-meeting-on-mark-center-concerns/2011/09/07/gIQAuDwBAK_blog.html
Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Mr. Colvert - military families are often not stationed long enough in any one spot to become fully invested in or even aware of local community issues - they are, after all, concentrating on protecting our country & should not be burdened with such matters. Instead of turning my comments into a war of words using service members as a pawn, please consider all facets of the issue, if you will, and respect diverging opinions. My comments are not meant as a personal attack on you or any other individual or entity; I am merely exercising my freedom to express a personal opinion concerning the state of our neighborhoods. Are you, by chance, affiliated with SFDC or any of the local chains/retailers/developers?
Native Daughter June 23, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I stand enlightened! And good to know we share some of these local concerns. THANK you, Mr. Colvert, a million times over for your service to our country, and my apologies for any offense inadvertently caused by my comments re temporary housing and/or the Defense Department. I've lived w/in a 5 mile radius of this area all my life, so I take these local issues personally too. Barbara

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