Congratulations seniors! - VDOT to fund Braddock Road improvements - Police to hold virtual town hall on proposed traffic pursuit policy
Braddock Nights return - Fairfax Connector to take over discontinued WMATA bus routes, including Pentagon Express
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Realtor Jennifer Mack, whose column this week says the extreme sellers market is finally cooling off, ever so slightly. Reach out to Jennifer with column ideas or real estate questions at email@example.com
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Remember to vote: Tomorrow is the Democratic primary for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and House of Delegates seats in several districts. The election is open to all registered voters. You can find more information here on polling sites, your registration status, and acceptable forms of identification.
VDOT to fund Braddock Road improvements
Some big news for those who often find themselves stuck in traffic on Braddock Road: The Virginia Department of Transportation has agreed to fund a big portion of the $74 million cost for Phase 1 of the Braddock Road Multimodal Improvements Project, an effort launched in 2014 to reduce congestion on Braddock between Guinea and Ravensworth roads.
The official announcement isn’t expected until later this month, but Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw tells us he’s been notified the project will get more than $50 million through a VDOT program called Smart Scale, which ranks projects based on the amount of congestion reduced for the lowest cost.
This comes as a surprise, because the Braddock Road project had lost out in previous efforts to secure funding through state and regional programs—and had come up short in an initial Smart Scale analysis released earlier this year.
“It's great news,” Walkinshaw said in an interview. “In the initial scoring, we were just under the threshold—had just missed the line to get funding. But some other projects dropped out, and our staff was able to work with VDOT's staff to convince them of the merits of the project.”
He said VDOT would present its design plans to the community this summer or fall. The project is expected to adjust traffic patterns at intersections and add bike and pedestrian paths on both sides of Braddock. You can find more information here.
Fairfax Connector to take over discontinued WMATA bus routes, including Pentagon Express: Starting July 10, the Fairfax Connector will take over five local bus routes that were discontinued by WMATA, including the former 29W Pentagon Express that made stops in several Braddock District neighborhoods. The move follows a grassroots lobbying effort to keep the Pentagon Express route, which WMATA had been trying to cancel for years. It will now be known as Fairfax Connector Route 835. A list of all the new Fairfax Connector routes is here.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday for the new pedestrian bridge in Smokewood Park was attended by Braddock District Supervisor Walkinshaw, Braddock District School Board member Megan McLaughlin, Park Authority officials, and community members. You can read more about the neighborhood campaign to replace the bridge in our Feb. 22 edition.
Woodson High School bid farewell to its graduating seniors last week after what was surely one of the most difficult years in FCPS history. The other two high schools in the Braddock District, Lake Braddock and Robinson, are holding their graduation ceremonies this week—on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
WorkAway Solutions offers flexible coworking space in Ravensworth
WorkAway Solutions is offering your first day free and half-day and full-day passes. Book a tour today, or contact owner Susan King Glosby with any questions you might have about coworking at firstname.lastname@example.org
Police to hold virtual town hall on proposed traffic pursuit policy: The Fairfax County Police Department will hold a virtual town hall this Thursday at 7 p.m. on its proposal to reduce traffic pursuits. To limit the danger to the public, the new chief of police, Kevin Davis, wants to bar officers from engaging in high-speed pursuits if the only crime is a traffic violation or misdemeanor. You can join the meeting here.
County to hold virtual meeting on Rolling Road VRE parking lot expansion: The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will hold a meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. on plans to expand the Rolling Road VRE parking lot. The project will add 38 parking spaces, improve stormwater drainage, and upgrade the sidewalk and curb. Register to attend here.
Braddock Nights return: The “Braddock Nights” concert series is returning this summer after being replaced last year with a series of virtual concerts. The free concerts will be held at Royal Lake Park, Rutherford Park, and Wakefield Park. Here’s the full lineup—click to enlarge:
News in Brief
Braddock District Supervisor Walkinshaw has endorsed Sean Perryman, former president of the Fairfax County NAACP, in tomorrow’s Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. “I saw firsthand how he fought to push through reforms that break the school-to-prison pipeline and make our schools a place where every child can succeed,” Walkinshaw said in a letter-to-the-editor published by Connection Newspapers.
This year’s Taste of Annandale festival has been canceled after running into “major obstacles,” reports the Annandale Blog. Last year’s festival was also canceled, due to the pandemic.
The Fairfax County Park Authority announced that all facilities are returning to (nearly) normal operations, though a few activities will still have capacity limits and require pre-registration.
Jennifer Mack column: The market is (ever so slightly) cooling down
It’s too early to say if the market is seeing a sustained shift, but there has definitely been a slight cooling down in the last two weeks. Many more homes have come on the market as the traditional peak selling season has hit, and many sellers waited to list until late May/early June so their move would coincide with school ending. Those sellers may not be rewarded as much as sellers who chose to list in the late winter and early spring when inventory was extremely limited. For now, properties in prime shape will continue to see strong offers, since many buyers remain in the market, but homes in below average to average condition or homes priced too high may not see competing contracts with excellent terms like we saw in the last few months.
Many buyers are noticing this trend and jumping in to see if they can scoop up a home and retain some contingencies such as appraisal, financing, and home inspection. However, other buyers have exited the market, choosing to renew their leases or stay in their current homes a while longer. I predict that this situation may remain in place for another month or so and then in July we will see a slowdown of new listings. One thing that will be interesting to watch and will definitely impact the housing market this summer is whether buyers stay in town or make up for lost pandemic vacation time and flee the area for beaches or other vacation destinations. Remote work enables people to take longer trips than usual and I am hearing of quite a few people taking extended vacations of a month or more, which will delay househunting plans.
If you would like to sell this summer, it isn't too late but you will need to act quickly to get on the market and capitalize on the strong selling trends we’re seeing.
My next online seller’s seminar will be June 28 at 7pm. Registration info will be shared soon!
Jennifer Mack has more than 16 years of experience in the real estate industry, with her team servicing Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Contact her at email@example.com or by calling 703-672-0038.
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