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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — February 14, 2011 at 8:40 am 1,158 106 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day — To celebrate, Caribou Coffee is offering a buy one, get one free coupon. [Shirlington Village Blogspot]

Fairfax Supervisor Slams Arlington on HOT Lanes — The animus for Arlington continues over at the Washington Post. In an opinion piece published online, Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity says the Arlington County Board has “thumbed their noses at every motorist sitting in traffic on our region’s congested highways” by using “gutter-style tactics” to block HOT lanes and other projects. A pro-Arlington Letter to the Editor, however, says that “The Post needs to stop blaming Arlington County for congestion on I-395.”

Library Changes This Week — Arlington Public Libraries are transitioning to a new catalog system this week. As a result, a number of library programs and resources won’t be available for the next several days. [Library Blog]

House Bill Could Cost Arlington Schools $700K — The budget bill passed by the House of Delegates calls for steep cuts to education. Arlington would lose $681,534 under the bill. Fairfax County would fare worse, losing some $5.9 million. The state Senate’s budget bill, however, does not contain such cuts. [Washington Examiner]

Arlington Approves Pike Affordable Housing Project — The Arlington County Board approved a plan to build a 121-unit affordable housing complex near the western end of Columbia Pike. The apartments will be located next to the currently under-construction Arlington Mill Community Center. [Pike Wire]

Flickr pool photo by Michael T. Ruhl

  • Tom

    The Herritys are a joke. Does anyone remember Jack’s reign of over-development, build anything, anywhere philosophy of the 1970s-80s that the region is paying dearly for now??? Gutter style – how about driving down the breakdown lane at 80 mph during rush hour – the nut does not fall far from the tree.

    • Rick

      If you can tell me when I can drive down the “breakdown lane” at 80 I will drive you around for a week. Usually I go about 30 in that one…

  • Lacy Forest

    Interesting. Out of one side of our mouths we talk about how education is what will keep America ahead in the long run in the global business competition, yet out of the other side of our mouths we cut funding, lay off teachers, freeze teacher salaries and talk about cutting Pell Grant funding. God forbid we should raise anyone’s taxes to keep from having to make these cuts. I got mine and by God, I’m going to keep all of it. No, I am not a school teacher nor do I nor anyone in my family work in education.

    • V Dizzle

      Well said. Of course cuts will have to include education, one of the largest chunks of the budget, but I’m one that is willing to pay a little more to avoid cuts. People cannot continue to expect the best from our country without being willing to pay for it.

  • mehoo

    Every dollar we don’t spend on education today is three or four we’ll spend on prisons tomorrow.

  • NArl

    Yes but they can still get an education while in prison :)

  • Bluemont John

    Arlington Mill is at the *eastern* end of Columbia Pike.

    • charlie

      BJ: You should really get to South Arlington someday…
      Arlington Mill is at the western end of the section of Columbia Pike in Arlington.
      Maybe ARLNOW, a blog about Arlington, needs to clarify that for the geographically challenged.

      • local

        You’re all wrong – it’s pretty much in the middle.

        I win!

        • othersideoftheriver

          Two-thirds the way?

          • local

            Hey, no fair, you’re using fractions!

      • SoArlRes

        I am generally skeptical of other-than-market-rate housing units driving revitalization and redevelopment investment. However, the design of these looks great and I am hopeful that it will anchor the west end of Columbia Pike and spur even more redevlopment from here to Adams Square – basically, encourage private investment that is being sluggish due to economic conditions. The plan for Columbia Pike is a good one.

        • Bender

          Why not simply confine yourself to worrying about what is built next door to you, rather than what monstrosities are being built directly adjacent to some others.

  • charlie

    I ♥ AARLNOW

  • Lalaland

    Maybe if Fairfax actually cared about motorists sitting in congested highways they would have adopted policies years ago to prevent it from happening in the first place. Fairfax residents only have their county to blame for spending hours in traffic.

    • Lalaland

      Oh yeah, and you know what 70 extra hours translates to? 8 minutes per trip. Sound the alarms.

    • jan

      Fairfax: home to Tyson’s Corner where you have to drive to go across the street. Now, 40 years later, they think one transit line is going to relieve the mess.

      • Ben

        The silver line was part of the original metro plan but was cut due to funding.

        Dulles has a underground metro station that they were supposed to use. Not to mention construction was supposed to have started years ago….

        • Lou

          I’m not sure if that station is fact or urban legend. I’ve heard convincing people say both things. I tend to believe that the station was not built, and besides, the new station is brand new, not the one under the terminal. Perhaps.

          I’d love to get a definitive answer on it though.

        • local

          No, I don’t think it was ever part of the original plan. It was anticipated as an expansion though.

          • Ben

            Eh you are technically correct, but it was in the original plan from 1970

            http://chnm.gmu.edu/metro/images/phase70h.jpg

            Concrete pillars were built when west falls church was constructed in 70′s. I’m pretty sure they intended to build it much sooner then 2013/16

        • Overgrown Bush

          There were parts of the original plan not enacted, including a stop at Skyline on King Street. South Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church have been paying for that deletion for decades and will pay for decades to come. Bring on the trolley as the solution to the planned added density. Insanity.

    • Overgrown Bush

      I don’t know. There’s a pretty nice parkway from one end of Fairfax County to the other. It gets congested near Reston and the Toll Road, I66, and again near I395 in Springfield, all major commuter roads with discussions about needing improvement. Otherwise, you can get around Fairfax County fairly well (Tysons revitalization is underway, btw.)

      • Lalaland

        And when Tysons is finally completed it will be great. The problem, of course, is that Tysons is geographically a very small portion of the county. Fairfax still has to find a way for it’s McMansion and townhome-living population to get to work every day, and it failed to think of a plan other than “pave Arlington” when it OK’d those projects.

        Fairfax is finally confronting that by developing Vienna and Tysons, but it still has a long way to go until can convince me that they can actually be trusted to plan a county.

        • Overgrown Bush

          Without the proper mass transit in place, I’m not sure how Fairfax or other outer counties, can be successful. Face it, the existing Metro rail to Vienna or Springfield only takes you near the built interstate! In Fairfax’s case, they have built a good county parkway to get through the county and connect to the major transportation hubs of existing interstate highways AND public transit. They are building a silver line to their major business hub in Tysons…. The issue is really that the existing infrastructure in place to get people who work in DC, to DC, is not there. It is a volume thing, and not necessarily a sprawl thing totally. There are just too many people for the existing infrastruture.

          Prince William and points south have a rail option. The blue VRE goes past Manassas with stops along the way, including in mid-Fairfax in Burke and Rolling Road, that will take you into Alexandria, Crystal City, and L’Enfant. Red VRE goes all the way to Fredericksburg. Trains are full. Highways are full. Too many people.

          Loudoun, on the other hand, is a high priced McMansion sprawl for the snobby with few commute options. Unless you live and work in Leesburg, forget it.

        • Overgrown Bush

          VRE rail map, for those of you who don’t realize there is rail options other than Metro through Fairfax, Prince William, and points south.

          http://www.vre.org/service/systmmp.htm

          • Lalaland

            I realize this exists. Thanks. But the county couldn’t figure out to put development projects around the station, making traffic just as bad.

    • Ben

      “Maybe if Fairfax actually cared about motorists sitting in congested highways they would have adopted policies years ago to prevent it from happening in the first place.”

      From my understanding they’ve been trying for the past 8 years.

      • Overgrown Bush

        Longer. They have a nice parkway to cross county with and get you to the existing major transportation infrastructure.

        • Ben

          I was speaking in specifics to the 395 hot lane project. But your right.

  • terri

    who cares what fairfax supervisor says about hot lanes. people are driving in from stafford and even farther from points west of 66. if you don’t want to sit in traffic either move closer or get a job closer to where you work. fairfax encouraged the over-development and now they want arlington to get them out of the mess they made. NO to hotlanes and good on the arlington board for fighting it, money well spent.

    • cj

      +1

    • formerbristow

      For the sake of exploring your recommendations to the fullest, I suspect there’s not enough real estate/living space for the collective commuting populations of Fairfax, Stafford, Loudoun, Prince William, Faquier counties (and points further south/west) to move into Arlington and enjoy this county w/ shorter commutes.

      Nor does it seem remotely possible that there will ever be enough jobs in these counties for these poeople to “get a job closer to where you work”.

      • Overgrown Bush

        Logic doesn’t play into the isolationist argument.

        • borf

          You’re right, those isolationists who move out to the middle of nowhere and expect everyone else to cater to their isolated lifestyle are illogical.

          • Overgrown Bush

            People who live in Manhattan have to deal with traffic congestion from the outside all the time. Yet, most people there are able to live without cars or complaining too much about the outside traffic. Those outsiders clogging the streets come into town to work, to add to the economy, and make their little island what it is and the reason to live there. I don’t see that mentality with Arlington. That is what I mean by isolationism. Not on the individual level, but rather on the jurusdictional.

          • local

            Manhattan fought the creation of huge highways plowing over their homes too though. There was a plan to build one right over Greenwich Village. You wouldn’t want that either, would you?

            Arlington is not obligated to just accept every plan to run roads through it without question.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Well, the proposals at hand aren’t plowing over a whole village. They are using existing free space on 395, and limited widening of I66. If they wanted to plow a new highway through Arlington, that’s a no brainer. There are already enough people blowing down 50 to Falls Church. (Disclosure: I opposes HOT lanes, support I66 widening.)

          • local

            They want to widen, and widen, and widen – not a big difference.

          • BoredHouseWife

            Car-pool. Use mass transit. For the moment, car exhaust is distributed more equal amongst the local counties. If that horribly one-sided contract went through, then a good majority would be excreted in Arlington.
            Besides Arlingtonians breathing in more pollution, and a lopsided contract, they were only going to repaint the lines inside the HOV. And if you give people the idea that there is another lane, more will come on 395.
            The last thing we need is to encourage more cars on the roads.

          • Overgrown Bush

            From what I can tell, car pool lots are full. The Pentagon has one sophisticated slug line to ride share. The HOV lanes stack up with traffic during HOV hours. They are full. Regular lanes are full. Mass transit to many of these areas is limited to commuter buses (which fill early), carpool and slug lots (which fill early), and VRE which is full. Tell me, what option does a commuter have? You don’t have a grip on the reality of the problem as it exists.

            If Arlington is so interested in keeping traffic off of I395, maybe they should as the Feds to move the world’s largest office building at the edge of 395 and take those jobs out of Arlington. Oh, wait, that would slump the local economy especially that around Pentagon City and Crystal City……

            Talking about wanting your cake and eating it too…

          • local

            Nice false choice there with moving the Pentagon.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Thanks local. Not providing road infrastructure isn’t really a choice either. If you think it is, take a drive out to Loudoun County and look at the massive developments built on small country roads and what happens at rush hour.

          • local

            I don’t think not providing infrastructure is a choice either. But there are more choices than the two you offered – build roads or move jobs away.

          • BoredHouseWife

            “From what I can tell, car pool lots are full.”

            Malarky. I see plenty of lots half empty, especially in the Springfield and Burke area.

            All I hear are wha wha. Seriously, you complain about commuter buses. You sound entitled. I rode commuter buses and I get car sick. Toughen up. You really need to change that Richie rich attitude. I hope you are rich, to have that point of view.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Rich is a state of mind, not money. If I’m happy with my means then I guess I’m rich.

            I’ve taken trains, buses, car pooled, and even biked to work in my 40+ years in this area. I currently drive, and have a modest commute. I have moderate traffic most days, and heavy traffic other days. If I had my druthers, I’d get to work currently another way. But, I have no choice. Not everyone has a choice. For me, currently, I have to drive. Rich and entitled? Hardly. Realistic about the region. Sure.

          • BoredHouseWife

            I agree with you. There are many, like yourself, that think that the majority have the right to harm the minority, as long as it benefits the majority. Nothing is inevitable.

          • Overgrown Bush

            Actually, I just think the majority (in this case the regional entities) should develop the solution and not one any governmental jurusdiction or individual who thinks she knows what is best. So, yes, I do think the majority should develop the regional solution. Does that mean Arlington’s and your air quality should suffer? No. Does that mean there shouldn’t be more mass transit? No. I’m just not so high on my horse as to think my way is the only way it should be. The whole region needs to develop a solution and plan.

  • BoredHouseWife

    What is with this entitled BS? They come across as douchey.
    Typical, they want to poop on our lawns. We refuse and then they blame us and call us selfish.

    • Overgrown Bush

      Actually, BHW, you sound as if you think you are entitled to being isolated from everyone else in the urban region you chose to live despite them having to get to work to earn a living. There are a million small towns in this country where you can have little traffic impact to your life and still be a bored housewife.

      • borf

        Sorry, OB, you can’t poop on someone else’s lawn. Nor can your dog.

        • Overgrown Bush

          What about if I carry a pooper scooper and little green bag?

      • BoredHouseWife

        So I am not entitled to good air quality but you are entitled to excrete pollution? You want a quicker drive to DC, move in closer, or use mass transit, or car pool. Your convinece (getting to work faster) is not on the same level as my necessity (air). If protesting this makes me a douche, so be it.

        • Overgrown Bush

          If you seek exceptional air quality, why do you choose to live in a densely populated urban area with a known traffic problem? Surely if air quality is at the top of your list there must be someplace other than Washington DC to live? In fact, not many urban areas meet EPA air quality standards year round. That is almost common knowledge and you seem to be in touch with air quality. I’d expect you to have known that.

          Air quality in the DC area has improved since the 1970s despite more vehicles being on the road. That comes about becaues of improvements in emission technology. While you may want pristine air to breath, living here won’t make it happen in the current environment with the current technology.

          And if you think the electricity Metro uses to move the subway is clean, ask somebody living next to a coal-fired power plant which is where a good portion of our electicity is generated. What gives YOU the right to pollute THEIR air?

        • Overgrown Bush

          By the way, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming. It is likely a pollutant you don’t like coming from those automobiles. Guess what? Humans produce carbon dioxide Oxygen in, carbon dioxide out. Maybe we should limit human traffic into Arlington as well to ensure you can be the only thing emitting carbon dioxide in the county. We’ll take out the birds and squirrels while we are at it.

          • Lalaland

            All of what you are saying are, indeed facts. Put together, your opinion shows how ignorant you are though.

          • Overgrown Bush

            I’m being intentionally sarcastic to show how ridiculous BHW is in asserting her air quality as the reason to cease car traffic in Arlington. It just isn’t reasonable and will never happen.

          • BoredHouseWife

            So Arlington should just get more pollution, Because the Air Quality already sucks? I am blown away by your ignorance and arrogance. Just Wow. Hey guess what guys? Overgrown Bush says we should just suck it up and let them pollute our air! They are entitled to it! We should just shut up and let them!

          • Overgrown Bush

            No, BHW. I’m saying the region should solve the transportation problem as a regional issue. WMATA is a regional group. That is for a reason. All I am saying is that Arlington’s position goes in the face of regional cooporation. Your opinion takes that even further. Without further infrastructure, including widening Interstate highways within Arlington, cars will gridlock more. When sitting idling, and for longer periods of time, there is more automobile pollution. If you think pollution generated in Springfield isn’t subject to winds that would take it to Arlington, you are mistaken. EPA treats this area as a region, not each individual county as an entity. EPA has mandated laws for this region (such as emission testing for cars….go to southwestern VA, there is none) because the problem is regional. Someone such as me who approaches it from a regional perspective is not the one with the entitled position. It is a regional solution, which is the way things are currently structured. Arlington and your position fly in the face of what the region is doing, and how the government treats our air. So, yes, I do think you should be more open to the regional solution because it will decrease regional air quality issues.

            For the record, I am against the HOT lanes and have stated so here. I am for I66 widening. I am in favor of more rail, more car pool, and more telecommuting. But, I am not self-centered enough to think additional road infrastructure is not needed. It is. The rest of the transportation infrastructure is not enough, and won’t be enough even with a reasonable amount of expansion.

            I think my sarcasm isn’t appreciated in trying to make the point that your position of no additional road infrastructure is non-sustainable for the growth rate this region has experienced, and is expected to experience. If we could wipe the landscape clean and build a perfectly planned community I would agree with you. But we can’t.

          • Overgrown Bush

            By the way, know people in the Rosslyn/Ballson corridor who choose to drive to work rather than take the train. Some of them even get on I395. People from further out have to drive. But, remember, many Arlington residents choose to drive.

          • BoredHouseWife

            395 goes through Arlington County. In fact the traffic bottlenecks as you get closer to DC in Arlington County. Arlington gets the brunt of the waste while everyone else gets the benefit. When will it ever be enough? It never is! More cars will come and years from now we will have the same issue. HOT lanes or widening highways are just stop=losses. Since the public transit system is decaying, We must do something radical.

            If you are being sarcastic, I apologize my meter is way off today.

          • Overgrown Bush

            I can see that point of view watching from the hill in Arlington. Actually, 395 backs up in Arlington, into Alexandria, to Springfield in Fairfax County. Then, I95 continues to back up through Fairfax County into Prince William County then off/on to points further south. This is typically the norm, so four or more local jurisdictions deal with the pollution from the road. And, we’ve not even talked about the Beltway gridlock.

            My sarcasm goes overboard sometimes, but it is meant for emphasis rather than to belittle. It is difficult to give that feel on a board.

          • local

            Wow, you’re not one of those are you Bush?

  • Set the controls

    Herrity makes it sound like Arlington is responsible for every minute a Northern Virginian is stuck in traffic. If we could only get on board with the concensus, because everyone to points south and west has done everything they possibly can over the years to alleviate traffic congestion-everything, including not ripping up how many thousands of acres of farmland in Loudoun, Gainesville, Stafford and Spotsylvania to build townhouses and McMansions. The whole region looks like it was planned by a monkey, Herrity. And now it is the petulant child’s fault for not joining the adults’ boneheaded conversation. But I don’t think Arlington should get too smug about how it handles transportation issues after the HOT lane decision-with so little traffic in Arlington it sure is tough to get around here. I wouldn’t call it success at all.

    • Lalaland

      Can you give an example of how it’s tough to get around Arlington? I mean, besides 395 and 66 and the associated entrance/exit points (which aren’t really useful to move AROUND Arlington), most of the roads seem to have good flow with few exceptions.

      • Set the controls

        Glebe Rd., Carlin Springs Rd.

        • Lalaland

          The two spots I can think of on those roads are where Carlin Springs intersects with 50 and when Glebe intersects with Lee. But that’s two major roads intersecting each other. I don’t think Arlington can do much to fix that.

        • local

          Let’s build an interstate from Glebe to Columbia Pike, with HOT lanes!

  • OX4

    I moved out of Fairfax into Arlington because of traffic. Fairfax only has themselves to blame for awful 8-lane boulevards and oversized sprawling neighborhoods. *hops on Cabi and thumbs nose at everyone stuck on 395*

  • GeorgeOrwell

    I-66, I-395. whatever
    Fairfax has been complaining since 1983 when I-66 opened. And yet in that time it has become the most prosperous and successful older brother to all of DC and Virginia.
    So what gives?
    blocking 66 hasn’t hurt a flea and neither will 395.

  • el fat kid

    If Herrity doesn’t like the shitty drive into DC from fairfax he can move to arlington. Seriously, the f— kind of entitled, whiny editorial is that?

    It’s time for Pat Herrity to look at Pat Herrity. What can you do to make your life better than doesn’t require imposing your will on others? DO you like sounding like a little b—- when you’re the one who decided to live in springfield?

    Perhaps it was the house next to the golf course, a half-acre lot, 2 car garage, or a 3,000 sq foot new construction that tempted you into Springfield while the real estate agent downplayed the traffic and school differences. I know, you were thinking “it’s only 8-10 miles further out and i get twice as much for my money” but now you’re realizing it really isn’t worth the commute and you want to pave everything between you and your work. Sorry Pat, as a Republican i thought you’d be more of a fan of personal responsibility, because in the word’s of your favorite action hero, Ronald Reagan — “it is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

    Don’t like you commute? Move closer in and quit bitching/blaming everyone else.

    • Bluemont John

      That was my exact view until I realized that a slight widening of 66 *inside the current footprint* would eliminate a crazy bottleneck that affects travelers from inside the Beltway as well. I couldn’t care less if Frank Wolf is stuck in a traffic jam en route from his McMansion in Great Falls (guessing), but having 66 go from 3 lanes to 2 in Arlington is just silly.

      As to the 395 question, I’m really not sure what I think yet.

      • Lalaland

        It costs us money that could be better spent to reduce traffic.

      • Lalaland

        On top of that, three lanes won’t do much when the real bottleneck is on the bridges, which can’t be widened easily.

        • Bluemont John

          I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t think much can be done to reduce the number of cars on the road, esp. with Metro being jam packed and increasingly undependable. So I think the focus has to be on reducing the congestion–which I think the widening to 3 lanes would help with.

          That said, I wouldn’t object to making more roads (50, GWMP, 395) HOV-only in rush hour and stepping up enforcement of HOV on I-66.

          You have a point on the bridges. Maybe if we had more forced carpooling (HOV), then that would help with the bridge congestion.

          • Lalaland

            There are methods to reduce traffic that don’t require increased road/bus/rail capacity. Better urban planning dictates that homes be built near major commercial centers so that people can walk or bike to work, or at least drive less. Having, in my past jobs, driven to work, taken Metro, and walked to work, my favorite so far has been the luxury of walking a mile to work. To be sure, there are other methods, but this is just one example.

            On a related note, the Washington Post came out with an article yesterday talking about the expense of building suburban communities and urban communities. I don’t remember the exact number, but suburban communities cost governments more than 10x as much money to maintain for various reasons. Luxury comes at a price.

          • local
          • JJ

            Yes, suburbia is the greatest government-induced mass social engineering project in the history of mankind. It was the mother of all stimulus projects. As Corbusier wrote in “Radiant City”…

            The cities will be part of the country; I shall live 30 miles from my office in one direction, under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it too, in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car. We shall use up tires, wear out road surfaces and gears, consume oil and gasoline. All of which will necessitate a great deal of work … enough for all

          • Bluemont John

            I agree it’s great to walk to work and that building homes near employers is a good policy. But that doesn’t help for the residences already built or under construction. More residences means more people either taking Metro or driving. (It’s a relatively small percentage who can walk/bike to work or work from home all the time.) Given that reality, we have to do what we can (within reason) to make room for all those people on the roads and on Metro.

          • local

            Why not? We can still build commercial property near them. Or retrofit. Look at Arlington. You can walk from Bluemont to Ballston to a job today, long after most of the homes in the area were built.

          • Greg

            You’re talking about a solution that works for very few people. Obviously walking to work reduces traffic or the strain on transit. But people live far from where they work because they can tolerate the traffic in exchange for a bigger house, yard, less crime, schools, etc.

            Even most people who live in dense areas don’t live next to their office and instead commute by car, bus or rail to work. Living in Arlington and working in DC, I still know only maybe three people max that walk to work. None of those live in Arlington, which would seem to exemplify the type of area you are discussing.

            That kind of mixed residential/commercial development has benefits, but let’s be realistic. Personally, I would look to mass transit or promoting telework as the primary solutions.

          • local

            Walking to work was just an example. The point is that Ballston is a big job center that has grown up after most nearby homes were built.

          • BoredHouseWife

            Whenever we do widen, more just come.

        • othersideoftheriver

          +1

      • JamesE

        The widening of 66 west should help especially at the Fairfax Dr merge, if they ever get it done. I don’t know why it is taking so long, the metro is being put up faster then adding one lane.

    • JackFan

      Amen el fat kid!

  • Bender

    **Maybe if Fairfax actually cared about motorists sitting in congested highways they would have adopted policies years ago to prevent it from happening in the first place**

    Yes, they have only themselves to blame for building Fairfax in . . . Fairfax and allowing D.C. to be built in D.C. If, instead of foolishly building Fairfax west of Arlington and having D.C. east of Arlington, they had simply built Fairfax on top of Arlington, they would have no need to drive on the INTERSTATE highways through Arlington to get from Fairfax to D.C.

    • el fat kid

      incredibly simplistic and close-minded approach to development…

      I think the point that the quoted user and many others are making is that Fairfax did not plan accordingly. They did not require or build adequate infrastructure to accommodate the building permits they issued. Adding an intersection and stoplight to a 4 lane road, or improving on/off ramps doesn’t do anything to alleviate the congestion that each new 2,000 unit community adds. They should have pushed for or built themselves additional metro lines, light rail, high speed bus, etc.

      Instead they let the developers keep building with no long term plan in place other than building more on ramps and paving arlington. There are adequate metro lines running through arlington to funnel fairfax commuters – expand out from there by building more stations and connectors and if we run into capacity issues, i’m sure arlington will come to the table to discuss expanding public transit lines. In the the mean time simply paving over the county next door is not a solution for the lack of foresight.

      • Overgrown Bush

        I think you are more adequately describing Loudoun than Fairfax. In fact, I’d say you are adequately describing the Gainesville area of Prince William as well. Fairfax comparably has done a pretty good job with cutting their county in half with the Fairfax County Parkway. Prince William has done ok on the eastern side of the county in setting up commuter options and infrastructure leading to the ONLY (excluding VRE) mass transit option coming out of Fairfax, I95.

        I would generally agree with you that builders have had a free pass for too long. But, that is regional and not specific to Fairfax. Loudoun is the worst.

        Let’s also remember that WMATA is a regional group governed by a Board made up of regional entities. By the way, the current chair is from Fairfax and has been in power since 2004. Gee…what’s getting built? Silver Line. I’ve not done so, but it would be interesting to see what entity has chaired the Board over the last decade or so. Reading through the Board members, you don’t see any from Prince William or Loudoun. It is hard to get a regional voice on public transportation when you don’t have the representation. Fairfax has several Board members, and that representation is paying off it seems.

        http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/board_of_directors/bios.cfm

        • el fat kid

          Fairfax has done some stuff to alleviate congestion, but not nearly enough… It is still a complete nightmare to go anywhere out there during rush hour.

          I’d prefer a 700 sq. ft. 1940′s condo in arlington to a 1,500 sq townhouse in burke, springfield or the city of fairfax any day. 700 sq ft is definitely small for a couple and dog but life is full of choices and tradeoffs. Herrity seems to want a big house and an easy commute. Either make a lot of money and move closer in, move to another city entirely, or be willing to pay the taxes necessary to fund a more effective public transit system. Don’t bitch, blame and write pathetic editorials targeting your neighbor.

      • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

        el fat kid:

        I would say you make a lot of valid points. I do disagree with your point regarding “adequate metro lines running through Arlington”

        Do you ride the orange line??? Try getting on an orane line train at Clarendon or Courthouse heading into DC in the morning.

        If there is a gap longer than 5 minutes between trains (which happens a lot), you cant even get on the train.

        Im sorry but that isnt adequate.

        • el fat kid

          i agree – they need to run more trains, but it should be enough track… right?

          • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

            I think the configuration needs to be looked at in terms of the blue/orange merge. Need more trains on the orange line/silver line and fewer coming to the Rosslyn tunnel via Pentagon, that would help. A second thing to help would make all orange line trains 8 cars. A third would be to perhaps have some orange line trains begin their run at West Falls Church rather than Vienna (maybe every 3rd or 4th train).

            The major issue is the 2 track issue. Whoever designed the system must have been a cocky dude (or chick!) and assumed there would never be breakdowns/needs for express trains/etc. That part of the system design is maddening. And of course, the new silver line only has 2 tracks too. Clearly this is the mentality of money over brains. Which seems to have dictated all of the poor transportation infrastructure decisions in the washington dc region in the last 30 years. Total lack of planning to appease people screaming about costs.

          • Lou

            One problem with the 8 car trains is there is literally not enough power in all of the rail sections to run all 8 car trains everywhere at once. Plus, I don’t think they just have enough cars sitting around doing nothing to suddenly put them out there. But it’s mostly a power issue.

          • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

            hence – not adequate……

          • Lou

            Yeah, Metro is inadequate in all kinds of ways. But if you want to suggest improvements, you need to start with the reality.

          • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

            following would be a start:
            1a. upgrade power systems to be able to run 8 car trains on all orange line from 730am to 930am
            1b. order more rail cars for said 8 car trains
            2. fund with a “density/congestion tax” that will be applied to all new developments built within 1/4 mile of metro stations. another way to fund this would be to apply an additional property tax to existing locations within 1/4 mile of metro rail stations.

            If Arlington is so dead set on people not driving and using metro, then making the developers pay for a portion is fair.

          • Lou

            I’m sure if you dig deep enough on WMATA’s site you can find their cost analysis for power upgrades and something about what it would take to buy enough rolling stock for all 8 car trains. The power issue is definitely something they know about and have run the numbers on.

            Not sure a targeted tax would scratch the surface of the costs. Also remember, lots of businesses around stations in Arlington, for example, are already paying an adjusted tax to fund their local BID operations. There is only so much they can bear.

        • Overgrown Bush

          SGG: Agreed. Metro through Arlington actually convinces some to drive rather than take the train. More cars and more trains if it is possible.
          Who knows what happens when Silver Line capacity comes on line. Metrorail is just not large enough; not enough lines, tracks, cars, tunnels, etc.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltruhl/ MichaelTRuhl

    Hey, thanks for the photo feature.

  • MC

    Here’s a solution even Jack Herrity might like: let’s convert all of 395 into a toll road like the Dulles Toll Road, and have the center lane be toll-free for HOV, like the center lanes are for the Dulles Toll Road. There would be minimal construction to be done, the State could still control the highway, and the revenues could be used to support both for mass transit and fixing the potholes on our third world roads. And there would be fewer cars on 395, so Jack could get to Rossyln faster and not feel so belittled. No one can argue that tolls on the Dulles Tool Road have hurt development in the Dulles corridor, so no argues this is anti-business, please.

    • local

      “Socialism!”

      There, I killed that idea. ;)

    • MBF

      “Jack” Herrity has been dead for years.

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