Tysons Boulevard with its repurposed lane. Image by Rassi G. Borneo of TimeLine Media used with permission.

On May 29, a half-mile stretch of Tysons Boulevard became the first street in Fairfax County reoriented for pedestrians and bicyclists’ social-distancing.

Enjoy these photos of it in action!

Image by Rassi G. Borneo of TimeLine Media used with permission.

The transformation of an outside driving lane into space for people to walk or bike belies how unthinkable this would have been even a few years ago. It belies how many systemic barriers had to be overcome, from speeding drivers, to rigid engineering standards, to bureaucratic inertia.

But even beyond the process of how it came to be, that there’s pedestrian demand for it at all shows how Tysons’ evolution from 20th Century office park into 21st Century downtown is… actually happening, piece by piece.

Approximate location of the Tysons Boulevard active lane. Image by Google, modified by the author.

And, OK, Tysons Boulevard may not have the pedestrian volumes of bustling streets in DC, but it has more than its narrow sidewalk could accommodate safely. And change was possible.

Now, thankfully, a person pushing a stroller and another person walking a dog can pass each other with room to spare.

Tysons Boulevard with its repurposed lane. Image by Ronit A. Dancis of Tysons Partnership used with permission.

  • Tysons Partnership

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of Tysons underwritten by the Tysons Partnership and community partners. Greater Greater Washington maintains full editorial independence over its content.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and an adjunct professor at George Washington University. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado and lives in Trinidad, DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post. Dan blogs to express personal views, and does not take part in GGWash's political endorsement decisions.