Susan Straight in The Washington Post writes that new infrastructure construction in Tyson’s Corner is kind of a pain in the ass:
Now, construction of Metro’s Silver line, Beltway HOT lanes and other projects have made regularly traveled routes unpredictable and driving much more difficult. There have been nighttime pile-driving marathons, lane closures on I-495 and overnight closures of I-66, ramp closings, lane reroutings, and a temporary shutdown of Metro rail service between the East and West Falls Church stations.
But it’s not keeping people away:
When stacked up against Zip codes for comparable suburban commercial hubs such as White Flint Mall or Largo Town Center, home sales around Tysons are faring no worse, and in some respects, better. The Zip code overlapping White Flint Mall, 20852, had a 15 percent drop in the number of sales but a 6 percent gain in median sales price last year. Largo Town Center’s Zip code, 20774, saw a 15 percent increase in the number of sales, but the median price fell 11 percent.
I don’t think this is really all that surprising. It’s a mistake to think that an area whose underlying economic fortunes are bleak can be “turned around” by a shiny new piece of infrastructure. But when you have an area whose underlying economy is doing well the question then becomes how do you make it possible for people to participate in the economic dynamism. Transportation infrastructure and upzoning then become key.