Ever since it was developed into 1,700 acres of high-rise offices and shopping centers years ago, the Tysons Corner business district in Fairfax County has been the subject of traffic complaints.
Last week, more than 50 representatives from Tysons area companies took a step toward solving that problem: They organized a nonprofit Tysons Transportation Association Inc. (TTA) to formulate options for transporting people around the area.
"We hope to get between 4,000 and 5,000 cars off the road out here within the next five years,if we're successful," Bob Eidson, chairman of the committee that has been studying the traffic tie-ups for the past month, told the group at a breakfast meeting at the Tysons Marriott.
The committee recommends, Eidson said, that TTA immediately begin lans for a van pooling and car pooling system to take workers to and from the area and for a shuttle service aimed at moving people within the Tysons Corner neighborhood.
John F. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax supervisors, who last week was named organizational chairman of the TTA board, was optimistic about the project's chances for success. "We've collected bout $8,000 or $9,000 in seed money already." Herrity said he will ask the county "to give another $10,000."
"By the end of October, I hope we'll have some van pools and car pools and some trolleys (shuttle buses) going" Herrity said. This week, he said, TTA will elect permanent officers and will begin the search for a full-time executive director.
The TTA will be open to all businesses and private individuals in the Tysons area, although anyone is welcome to join. Already about 50 businesses have ndicated they will participate.
In addition to the donations that have been received, the project will be financed through membership dues, to be paid by Tysons businesses according to floor space and number of employes. Advertising will be sold on the buses when the project becomes operational.
Eidson added, however, that membership dues will only beused "to get us going. We hope the membership can cease their dues within two to three years." As much as $74,000 can be generated from shuttle advertising rates, he said, to cover operating costs, which are expected to be about $25,000 a year. That does not include acquisition costs for equipment -- a major consideration in determining the transportation needs of the area.
Dick Busey, an executive with Planning Research Corp., one of the largest employers in the Tysons Corner area, said some new form of transportation relief is "very much needed" there. "We do have a terrific transportation problem. . . . A supplemental type of transportation is certainly needed."
"It's atrocious," said Chuck Gulledge, president of Dynalectron, a high-technology services company in the area. "We're running short of parking spaces at our facilities here."
Gulledge said if the new plan "can take 2,000 or so of the cars off the street during rush-hour time then we'll be doing all right."