You Got to Be Kidding Me!

I Got Places to Go…

Posted in Mass Transit, Urban Planning by Stacy McMahon on March 2, 2007

My former (now that he’s graduated and passed to me the mantle of longest-running Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate) classmate Alan Fogg has an op-ed in today’s Post. The piece is based on his major paper and calls for Tysons Corner to have its own ZIP code, making it really “Tysons Corner”, instead of Vienna or McLean depending which side of Route 7 you’re on.

The Shopping Bag Building really isn’t part of Vienna, whose identity is centered a few miles southwest on Maple Avenue, near Church Street, the town hall and the future town green.

Likewise, Tysons Corner Center really isn’t part of McLean, whose identity is centered a few miles northeast along Chain Bridge Road and Old Dominion Drive.

In a sensible world, the Shopping Bag Building and Tysons Corner Center would both be in Tysons Corner, which the Census Bureau already designates as a place. It’s a 4.9-square-mile area where 18,540 people live and about 110,000 people work. It’s the headquarters of two Fortune 500 companies — Capital One Financial Corp. and Gannett Co. — and home to two super-regional malls that attract thousands of shoppers daily.

From its long-ago beginning as a remote rural crossroads, Tysons has grown into a modern metropolis complete with four freeway interchanges, more than a dozen skyscrapers, state of the art shopping malls, the dot com era’s hottest nightclub, and as Alan mentions, two Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. It inspired Joel Garreau’s seminal best-seller Edge City, which chronicled the transformation of the suburbs from bedroom community to economic powerhouse. And in the next decade it will become the first link in the next-generation intra-suburban Metrorail lines. So three cheers for Tysons Corner …and hey, it’s not too late to rename Route 7 “Alan Fogg Boulevard”!

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