Happy people of the future stroll the mixed-use town center of Baileys Crossroads. No streetcar is visible, but it is expected to help create this tree-lined utopia with early 21st century vehicles. (Fairfax County)

Arlington’s board unanimously approved their 4.5-mile route along Columbia Pike last week, in a 1:30 a.m. vote after hours of public discussion and plenty of opposition. Fairfax’s segment is less than a mile, beginning on the south side of Leesburg Pike in the Skyline area, then running along South Jefferson Street between two large strip malls, and connecting with Columbia Pike at the county line. Corinne Reilly, our new Fairfax County government reporter, has the full details here. No completion date for all this is known yet.

The streetcar, to run in existing traffic lanes with rails and overhead wires, is part of Fairfax’s plan to turn Baileys Crossroads into a mixed-use town center, with “offices, homes, parks, stores and more,” according to the county. (Mixed-use is everywhere these days, isn’t it? My mixed-use back yard is a place where both children play and many varieties of grass go to die.)

At top is an artist’s rendition of what Baileys Crossroads, as a mixed-use town center, looks like in the hopes of Fairfax County planners. Below is a map of the plan, with the streetcar line in blue. If it's too small, here’s a link to it.

Fairfax County's plan to redevelop Baileys Crossroads into a mixed-use town center. For a bigger version of this, click here. (Fairfax County)