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County Board Mulls Pike Streetcar Design

by ARLnow.com — December 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm 14,305 129 Comments

Arlington County Board is mulling over possible design specifications of the streetcars that will one day traverse Columbia Pike.

At a work session earlier this month, the Board was presented with a number of streetcar vehicle design considerations, including the width, length, layout and emergency power capacity of the streetcar.

On the topic of streetcar width, Board members seemed to prefer the wider of three options. At 2.65 meters (8 feet and 8 inches), the wider streetcar would be only slightly more broad than the standard Metrobus, at 8 feet and 6 inches. The 2.65 meter streetcar could accommodate four seats and an aisle across, whereas another option, a 2.4 meter streetcar, would only be able to seat three across.

The wider streetcar would cost roughly the same as the narrower streetcar and would still fit within a 11-foot travel lane along Columbia Pike, the Board was told. A 2.65 meter light rail vehicle is also being considered for Maryland’s Purple Line, opening up the possibility of cost savings through joint purchasing.

“I don’t know why you’d go with the narrower one,” County Board member Jay Fisette remarked.

Depending on the length and width of the streetcar, each vehicle could have a total capacity of between 92 and 231 riders. A streetcar could thus have three times the capacity of a bus, but with only one driver, lowering operating costs.

While a longer streetcar could seat more riders, the streetscape along Columbia Pike would have to be designed to accommodate the longer length, potentially a daunting task for the longest of streetcar designs. Board member Chris Zimmerman asked Board members to think long-term when they ultimately select a length. He said that ridership will likely increase over time, necessitating higher vehicle capacities. To illustrate the point, he recounted how Metro ran 2- and 4-car trains when it started running in the 70s.

County staff projects that average weekday streetcar ridership will increase from 14,433 to 16,580 between the system’s first year in operation and 2030. Total Columbia Pike transit ridership in 2016 is projected at 17,802 without the streetcar and 26,155 with the streetcar and buses, rising to 30,457 with streetcars and buses in 2030.

Another design consideration has to do with the interior floor layout. Most streetcars have a “partial low floor,” with a low-floor middle section and two end sections with steps leading up to a higher floor, somewhat like current Metrobuses. The higher floor better accommodates the streetcar’s wheels, or running gear. Streetcars can also be built with the low floor throughout the vehicle — like a Metrorail train — but that would raise maintenance costs and possibly make the ride a bit rougher due to a shorter suspension system.

County Board Chair Mary Hynes seemed partial to the “100% low floor” design, since it could better serve parents with strollers, people with bicycles, individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

“We want the street car to be as accessible for as many people as possible,” she said.

A final consideration is how much emergency power storage each streetcar should have. Should a power outage occur, a streetcar without some form of emergency power would simply stop in its tracks.

More emergency power capacity comes at a cost, however, in terms of both vehicle weight and money. County staff is suggesting at least 200 feet worth of “off-wire” travel capacity.

“At minimum, we would want the capability to move the vehicle in emergency circumstances,” said Stephen Del Giudice, Arlington County Transit Bureau Chief.

Board member Walter Tejada asked about the feasibility of using a wireless, completely battery-operated streetcar, but transit consultants who were present at the meeting said that would be impractical for a route as long and hilly as Columbia Pike. Hynes said that the single overhead wire required to power a modern streetcar is much less visible than the overhead wires required by early and mid-20th century streetcars.

“Single wires are not unsightly, like the streetcars of the past,” she said.

Arlington expects to purchase 13 streetcar vehicles to initially run along Columbia Pike, as early as 2016. Each streetcar is expected to cost between $3.5 and $4 million, as compared to between $700,000 and $800,000 for a 40-foot, natural gas-powered Metrobus. Streetcars have an operating life expectancy between 30 and 35 years, compared to about 12 years for a bus.

A Crystal City streetcar line, which will connect to the Columbia Pike line at the Pentagon City Metro station, is also in the works. The Crystal City streetcar line will be designed to use the same streetcar vehicles as the Columbia Pike line.

  • YTK

    bunk

  • Steve

    Yay!!!! Streetcar comment time!

  • YTK

    Please be sure to mention Froyo and SUV roofs as well, thank you.

  • novasteve

    How about have it shaped like a fruitcake like the board members who support it?

    • drax

      You of all people should not be making that comment.

  • novasteve

    Will it have WMATA rules or can I eat Froyo on it? It wouldn’t be Arlington if I couldn’t have froyo on it.

  • Captain Obvious

    I’m just sad that there were no “Streetcar Named Desire” jokes made in yesterday’s post about prostitution along the Pike.

    • Captain_Obvious

      I’m sad you stole my username.

      • CW

        But his isn’t backwards-compatible to DOS-based systems!!

  • Pablo

    The people of Arlington are going to regret this decision by the Board in years to come. We are going to be short of money for Schools and Quality of Life initiatives that we have been able to afford because the cost associated with developing and maintaining the infrastructure of a Streetcar are going to overwhelm the budget. Any projections of increased revenue because of a Streetcar are fantasy….most; if not all, of that would occur regardless of a Streetcar being built. For the Board to be deciding details such as described in this article means this is a done deal and they do not care about the future of this County and why so many of us choose to live here. $23.5 Million shortfall in the next budget for the Schools….Great Job Zimmerman!

    • drax

      Yeah yeah yeah.

    • Josh S

      I believe that the streetcar counts, in part, as a “Quality of Life initiative.”

      • Mary-Austin

        well it really shouldn’t but I’m sure that’s what they will claim.

        • South Awwlington

          Why not? Because you will be inconvenienced for a short time during construction? Should we argue the same for:

          the beltway?
          Metrorail?
          495 Expresslines?
          Wilson Bridge?
          Douglass Bridge?
          Spot Improvements on I66?
          MD-200?

          If not for small growing pains, how will this project negatively impact the quality of life in Arlington?

          • Mary-Austin

            I think it will bring more inconveniences over the long term. I just think it’s a bad idea and the people who think it’s going to be like Metro are mistaken.

    • James

      Just wait till the fiscal cliff cuts come in and Arlington gets affected. This areas life blood is the overpaid government and contract work along with the lobbyists and lawyers.

      • Road Diet

        Won’t happen James.

        • Alex

          It’s a mathematical fact that it has to happen, whether it’s by the government or the bond market something has to give. We cannot have 100% debt to GDP (and rising), a $1T deficit, $85T in unfunded liabilities over the next ten years without some serious cuts to the Federal government — and its contractors. This has been long overdue and the Federal Reserve cannot monetize half of the national deficit ad infinitum without serious consequences.

          • Jane-Dallas

            Japan’s been doing it for 20 years.

          • Sam Antonio

            To be fair, Japan’s economy has been in the toilet for over twenty years, and it fell off the cliff after a massive real estate bubble. Most of their government debt is also held internally by savers and pension funds, rather than US debt which has a lot of foreign owners, like China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, etc. All it takes is those foreign owners to begin to sell and interest rates to rise for the government to be forced to contract.

            Our ZIRP in this country costs savers $250B a year, only to support excessive government spending and bank speculation in various markets. Destruction of price discovery mechanisms for bonds and equities is not a productive solution to serious structural imbalances in the markets, nor is it a meaningful way out of massive government debt. The only purpose it is serving is allowing our government to spend and pretend for a bit longer under the guise of propping up the economy while asset prices are propped, but only temporarily.

          • Josh S

            Sam, most US debt is also held domestically. In fact, about a third of it is owned by the federal government. So the government owes itself money.
            Besides, those who own the debt very much want to be paid, so it is not in their interest to jeopardize the ability of the US to pay them back.

  • occasionally a fact

    The numbers are noteworthy: a projected increase in average weekday travel of 14.9% for streetcars, and 18.4% for buses — over 14 years! That’s a gain of just over 1% per year for bus travel and less for the streetcar. Where’s the big improvement in transit use? Where’s the exceptional benefit from the extra investment in streetcars? Surely there must be other numbers that make the case better than these…

    • drax

      What bus-only projection did you use to calculate that? I don’t see one.

      • occasionally a fact

        The projected total minus streetcar ridership = bus ridership. It’s called arithmetic.

  • JROG

    Arlington will regret it just like they regret voting 66 a 2 lane highway 30-40 years ago. Arlington need this people. not a stinky bus

    • Well said!

      +1

    • Wider?

      Why would the people of Arlington want 66 to be wider?

      • drax

        Arlington didn’t want 66 at all. Limiting it to two lanes was a compromise for getting it built here.

      • JROG

        how bout better traffic flow and less traffic? now they are doing ‘spot’ widening that doesnt help

        • drax

          You mean like how they’ve widened 270 in Montgomery County to 12 or more lanes?

          Widening highways does nothing. Especially when there’s a bridge of the same width ahead. A wide bottleneck is still a bottleneck.

          • JROG

            i take it you dont drive inside the beltway on 66 during rush hour? 7, toll road ramp, is where is bottlenecks.

          • bobbytiger

            Of course the widening of highways does something. It invites more drivers into the fold.

      • fedworker

        C’mon, you didn’t see that episode of Seinfeld when Cramer widened the lanes on a highway?!

    • fuzzy

      I don’t want 66 widened. Having it as is increases the value of living in Arlington/close to DC. Anything that makes traffic awful for people living further out only enhances to real estate value for those of us who own houses in Arlington. Screw the people living in Reston, Leesburg and Vienna.

    • Road Diet

      I’m very happy Arlington stuck to a 2-lane highway and fought to beautify 66. It kept a quality of life in Arlington that the suburbs can only dream of.

      • John K

        Unless you’re one of those people who (gasp!) likes to go west outside of the beltway every once in a while, or who’s job gets moved west, etc. Then your quality of life sucks for the time you get stuck on 66 or on roads attempting to avoid 66. Arlington is nice, but… um… not THAT nice.

  • Sandra

    The streetcars are going to result in auto accidents from people who don’t know how to drive around them. When these accidents occur, they will cause the backups which the county is trying to prevent. More bus service would be better.

    • drax

      Streetcars cause cancer in laboratory rats.

    • Dezlboy

      How is driving around a slow moving vehicle restricted to a straight track any more difficult than driving around a bus that can change lanes?

      • novasteve

        Street cars are heavier than busses. If the incompetent drivers do what they always do here, there’s going to be a lot more destruction than by a bus. It’s this thing called physics. It’s not wise to ignore physics.

      • Josh S

        You haven’t seen Sandra drive…..

        • Steve

          Sandra apparently can only drive in a straight line without the ability to brake. Take away her commenting rights. :-o

          • drax

            Sandra clearly drives an automatic.

    • steve

      This argument has no weight. Learn how to drive.

      • Mary-Austin

        Yes I’m sure only drivers who know how to drive will be on the roads then. All the bad drivers will be so charmed by the streetcar they will never drive again.

        • Joe Hoya

          Bad drivers will be plowed off the roads by the streetcar. That’s a win in my book.

          • Safety First

            But.. but.. accidents involving vehicles kill four times more people than gun violence annually.

  • arlvapete

    Columbia Pike has the highest numbers of bus users in the state. They’re building a lot of tall apartment buildings without enough parking spaces for every tenant to have a car. So I guess those folks will be increasing the numbers. They’ll be paying really high rent, so I guess a bus system is too low class for them. Sigh. I’ll bet the streetcars will be expensive too.

    • esmith69

      There are only three new apartment buildings along Columbia Pike, and as far as I know all three of them have TONS of underground parking spaces for their tenants and for guests. The other proposed and/or under construction buildings also I think are planned to have tons of underground parking spaces.

      There are still lots of existing tall apartment buildings on Columbia Pike that are much older, so maybe those are the ones that have a shortage of parking spaces? I don’t know much about those buildings though.

  • Water Main Infrastructure

    If you think this morning was bad – just wait. We definitely aren’t getting any better with age. Expect that over the coming decade that a stretch of me is going to need to be replaced every 2-3 months. I sure hope they buy enough buses to handle both the trolley and the bus passengers to detour around me.
    Oh, and fixing me is going to cost a BOATLOAD more money when you have to dig up the rails to do it – hope that’s in the budget projections, too.

    • drax

      So you looked at the budget and found that the county has no plan for long-term maintenance of the pipes? And you also looked up that it will require digging up rails? And that this costs alot more? Or you just made all that up?

      • actually, yes

        I did – which is why I made the comment. Long-term maintenance? Yes. ADEQUATE long-term maintenance, no. Apparently you are too lazy to look it up yourself. Here’s a quick summary for 2010 (which is the last year they have actuals vs. projected)
        Projected: $7.2M; Actual spent: $11.6M; Number of water main breaks: 1
        So far we’ve had 3 main breaks in the past 4 months – 2 on Columbia Pike. With 485 miles of water mains in the county, yes, some of them do cross the entire road. If you want to repair them properly, it requires them to dig up where the tracks would be.
        And since ‘alot’ is not a real word, I have no idea of how much it would cost. They already underestimated for 2010 without having to dig/repair/replace ANY rails.
        Let’s wait two more years to see how the $7M (less than in 2010) they budgeted for this did against the actuals.
        I know you hate facts.

  • Will Bon

    Will the streetcar have a froyo shop inside each car?
    this streetcar thing is going to be a hot mess.
    its like they want more yuppies to move to arlington

    • Josh S

      What’s with everything being a “hot mess” these days?

      On the yuppies comment – I believe that barn gate has already been run over by some bubble-headed bleach blonde in an Audi. Arlington IS yuppies. If more move here, no one will notice.

    • Joe Hoya

      More streetcars –> More yuppies –> More tax revenue –> More streetcars…

      It’s a vicious cycle.

  • Truthi

    and buses cost how much less than a trolley???

    • JohnB

      Capital cost Bus = $62,500 per year. Streetcar = $115,000 per year. But you need two buses to carry the same amount of people as one streetcar so about the same.

      • drax

        You didn’t include cost of tracks, power system, stations….

        • JohnB

          That wasn’t the question that was asked. I was simply trying to make the point that capital costs should adjusted for useful life when making cost comparisons.

          • drax

            I’d say that was the question that was asked, but if not, it’s the one that should have been asked. But you’re right about useful life.

      • Dezlboy

        But, trolleys last 2 and 1/2 times as long as buses. Energy costs are less, pollution is less, etc. The proof of the pudding won’t be realized for years, but those who derided (hehe) the metro subway in 1970 for the same reasons as those against the trolley were proved wrong. I think the same will be true for the trolley.

  • Penrose Mike

    I’m looking forward to the street car. I hope my property value triples over the next ten years like it did around the metro stops in the ballston to rosslyn corridor.

    And what is the deal with all of the froyo jokes? I’ve lived here for two years and I don’t even know where one is.

    • novasteve

      How much will rents go up so that “affordable housing” can exist at the cost of renters?

    • steve

      There is now one on the pike! The trolly will pass right by it! Menchies! I guess it is Hebrew for munchies.

      • FrenchyB

        It hasn’t opened yet.

      • Josh S

        Such a bad joke it’s funny. Menchies. Well done.

    • Mary-Austin

      Don’t hold your breath…this thing isn’t the Metro.

      • Bob

        Mary-Austin, you must be a total joy be around.

  • Wayne Kubicki

    If the photo rendering is accurate, I see three sets of doors.

    One driver, yes?

    How are fares going to be collected? Will access be limited to only the front set of doors? Or are the streetcars going to be operated on the “honor system”??

    • drax

      It’s not like there aren’t streetcars in many cities that handle this just fine.

      Most streetcars have stations, like Metro, where the fare is collected to enter the station instead of the car.

      Next?

    • JohnB

      Wayne – with as much as you complain, you should know the answer to your own question. Fare pre-payment speeds boarding and reduces bus bunching and travel times. And if you think the rate of non-payment will increase then you’ve never ridden the bus.

      • Wayne Kubicki

        Queries now equal “complaints”? Lovely!

        FWIW, I ride ART buses occasionally. Non-pay rate, from what I’ve seen there, is about zero.

        • Eric

          I’ve purchased multi-day passes for San Francisco’s system, and leisurely hopped on their trams through the rear doors many times without anyone ever checking for my pass. Course, I’m a whitey and wear nice clothes. I find it hard to believe people are not abusing that system.

          • Joe Hoya

            I don’t see color. People tell me I’m white and I believe them because I can get on streetcars without showing my pass.

        • JohnB

          I interpreted the use of a double question mark at the end of your comment to imply exasperation and skepticism. I would categorize many of your posts I have seen as complaints that the democratically elected board doesn’t share your economic value system. These observations led me to believe that you were well enough informed that you should know the answer to your own questions and were posting to complain rather than to gather information. I apologize if my deductions were incorrect.

          I ride the bus to commute almost every day and for personal travel occasionally and I would suggest that your observations are statistically insufficient. The vast majority of riders pay. Most of the non-payment comes from a broken fare box or a driver who is behind schedule waiving people past the fare box to speed boarding. The increase in fare collection from working fare boxes at the stations and the lack of incentive for a driver to allow/encourage non-payment to stay on schedule will likely offset any increase in intentional fare evasion.

          • South Awwlington

            @JohnB – you weren’t alone in the deduction as many of the anti-crowd speak as though they have done their homework, ridden similar.

            I would suggest that we could elevate the debate if both sides took some time to educate themselves.

          • Wayne Kubicki

            Some further Internet digging yielded the following:

            (1) if an honor system is used, a good target for the number roving “inspectors” is a sufficient number to spot check 10% of riders on any given day.
            (2) With a random check of 10%, the resulting non-fare paying riders range from 1% to 6%.

            Here’s the link:

            http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/3431/streetcars-on-the-honor-system/

          • JohnB

            Can’t seem to find info on current rates of fare evasion on buses so I can’t tell if this would be greater than, less than, or equal to existing rates.

        • drax

          Around here, queries are often complaints. Easy ones, since you don’t have to answer them, or even know the answer yourself.

  • South Awwlington

    Making up for the slow news day yesterday.

    Release the hounds.

  • Clarendon Skank

    The longer and wider the better I say.

  • Dezlboy

    Per the Design, just don’t use color schemes such that the trolleys look like Metro WMATA owns or runs them!

    • Josh S

      I think you mean “re: the design.”
      “Per” would imply that the design already existed and then your sentence wouldn’t make any sense.

      • Dezlboy

        @Josh S… thanks for that grammer correction. (honest).

        • grammar nazi

          “Honest” should be “honestly,” and it should be capitalized or included in the previous sentence by eliminating the first period.

          • Captain_Obvious

            middle finger to you.

  • Sandy

    Tiny little things.

    • Clarendon Skank

      No thank you.

  • southarlington

    They keep on building all these condo buildings but not incresing the size of schools…stop overcrwoding the schools and if you are then have a plan to build more.schools ..I see no new schools in the Columbia Pike corridor unless all those kids are going to be fed into the school they are building on Carling Springs ….and that will not be ready for two or three years….

    • Econ-omist

      That’s because these condos aren’t for families with kids…they’re for childless “young professionals” with plenty of disposable income.

      Only the diminishing number of immigrants living in subsidized housing will be sending their kids to APS, so it is a non-issue.

  • CD

    Bus rapid transit and double deck buses that are entering service in major US cities have three sets of doors.

    • South Awwlington

      Could a “double deck” bus clear the Washington Blvd Bridge after reconstruction by VDOT?

      • Don

        The clearance would be at lest 17 feet.

  • TJLinBallston

    See those hideous wires and cables above the over-priced streetcars. They will ruin the sightlines of Columbia Pike for as long as the stand and hide the open sky. This project is a menace! Like a wired wall down the middle of the popular avenue, the streetcar’s mess will cutt he neighbothood in two.

    • Pablo

      They should see how much traction they will get for proposing a street car down George Mason so people will have access to the Medical Center….or is North Arlington not right for a streetcar Mr. Zimmerman? Let’s push it on the people in South Arlington along with more Bus Depots and High Density Office Development.

      • southarlington

        I like the idea of it going on George Mason that would make more sense than Columbia Pike . It also pust you in the heart of Ballston ….

        • South Awwlington

          I think from RT 1 via Glebe to Ballston and then to VHC makes more sense and Glebe is less residential.

      • http://www.TerronSims.com Terron Sims, II

        Though I have always been against the Columbia Pike Trolley (for may reasons), I had proposed that if the county were to build a trolley, it would best serve the entire county if it ran from the Ballston metro (down Glebe and Shirlington roads) to Shirlington; thus, connecting the county by rail. Glebe road is wide enough on both sides to where it can be expanded to enable the trolley to run down the middle of the road: i.e. New Orleans.

  • Ken

    I’m really disheartened by all the vitriol. Come on people. Look, if commetns board had existed when Arlington was mulling putting Metro stations underground in the 1960s I’m sure we would have heard the same arguments (Too expensive! Why not just run buses?)

    Does anyone TODAY think the Metro in Arlington was a bad idea? I don’t. Look how the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor has boomed in the past 30 years.

    The streetcar is forward-looking. It will attract people to move into that corridor – raising real estate and collecting more property taxes! – which is gfreat for the whole county!!), Virtually no one EVER bought a condo because a high speed bus was located close-by – but check out HGTV – in Oregon the streetcar line is a real attraction for home-buyers.

    This is a good idea. Unpopular, sure. But good,

    • Juanita de Talmas

      It’s only unpopular among a few cranks.

      • South Awwlington

        Don’t forget…cranks with multiple user names and double decker bus slides deriding the “liberal media” and their reluctance to publish such things. We’re all aware of those buses, anyone who travels into the district sees them. They aren’t the right fit, they lend no permanence to their route structure and they are meant to shuttle tourists or travel long distances from A to B.

    • David

      Didn’t cities take out streetcars decades ago? Did Arlington have a street car at one time?

      • JohnB

        Yes, but a gallon of gas cost $0.31 in 1960.

        • Alex

          One has to wonder what a gallon of gas would cost if leveraged speculators were not allowed to gamble in energy markets.

          • Josh S

            One also has to wonder what a gallon of gas would cost if all the negative externalities from burning fossil fuels were priced into the product.

          • Alex

            While we’re pricing in the burning of fossil fuels, why not also price in the environmental and economic impact of the extraction of fossil fuels. Suffice to say prices would be a lot higher than they are currently, but the other side of that equation is that it costs oil companies about $30-40/bbl to extract oil, but it currently sells over over $80/bbl.

            If we were to eliminate leveraged speculation in energy markets by participants that are not involved with extraction, refining, delivery or large scale consumption prices would settle much lower and perhaps that would afford us the opportunity to consider pricing in the damage fossil fuels cause during extraction and utilization.

            Then, perhaps instead of subsidies we could try letting the energy companies fend for themselves (perish the though) and impose much, much harsher EPA regulations on the extraction, refining and consumption of fossil fuels domestically, and tariffs on imports that do not abide by those standards without having a significant impact on today’s prices.

            This is all utopian dream talk, though. Just a thought experiment that would not materialize in today’s world dominated by corporate interests.

  • G Clifford Prout

    As a homeowner 500 feet from the Pike I can’t wait for ground to be broken on this project. All the Cranky McCrankypants’ can just go play cornhole.

    • Ted

      So you can sell your home for a tear down McMansion and retire to Dumb Growth NC?

    • Jack Tors

      Thanks for your comment Zimmerman. But stay away from my cornhole.

  • Patrick

    Isn’t that a bit of putting the cart before the horse? Arlington county still needs to secure the necessary state and fed gov’t money in order to make the trolley feasible. I have a hard time believing that money will be coming through given the current state of gov’t budgets.

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    Okay, So, they project that average daily ridership will be 14,443,…

    Will these tiny little streetcars and their short routes even have this capacity?

    Or are they just exaggerating ridership?

    • JohnB

      Here’s some reading for you:
      http://www.piketransit.com/publications.php

      • Clarendon Cruiser

        The closest thing I found in all that is this blurb:
        “15,000 weekday corridor ridership (WMATA and Arlington Transit (ART) bus services).”

        This says nothing about how they arrived at the number of 14,433,…or if the streetcars they wish to buy can support this with their max capacity?

        • JohnB

          Keep reading. I doubt you digested the entire AA/EA in 6 minutes.

  • Modern Person

    This project is going to be so awesome… like Europe! I can think of hundreds of positive comments to this, and the only negative is the initial cost- which will go away as the quality of life improves.

    If you don’t like it then move! I’m sure someone will by your home up quickly.

  • Country Club Arlington

    Keep the streetcar out of my backyard in North Arlington

  • fedworker

    So will the rails for these single lane street cars be built over the same lanes as the bikeshare lanes (I think its called a SharOn lane)? Certainly you don’t expect me to share the car only lane with bicyclists who maneuvor around the trolleys? What’s next…bike only lanes added onto the Pike like that they have in DC. Drivers of Arlington UNITE!

  • Xandman

    Unless these streetcars have the right of way at intersections (coordinated with stoplights) and can run faster that buses, they are a colossal waste of money. Once the novelty wears off, why would people have any reason to want to ride these things any more than they do regular buses?

  • Britt

    Can they also move the goodwill store on the pike to north arlington?

  • Zimmie the Hutt

    Don’t give a rat’s rear what your comments are, because I am getting bribed.

  • http://None.com Atown4now

    Wow, busses are expensive. $800,000 should at least get comfortable seats.

  • Nova Lulu

    How about the Arlington County Board just PASTE dollar bills all over them and then we’d know where our tax dollars were running… down Columbia Pike on a stupid, expensive, unneeded FAKE trolly.

    • South Awwlington

      If this is fake, what is a real – a 19th century steam locomotive?

  • Billy-Bob

    Today a water main broke under Columbia Pike which closed both directions for several blocks. The closure lasted over 8 hours and this is the second time that this has happened there in the past few months. The Metro and Art buses were rerouted to avoid the closure. What would happen if we had street cars? They can’t be rerouted so I see a fundamental problem with introducing them to this environment.

    • Just Like Venice

      The street cars will convert into gondolas during water events……this is the reason that there will be a requirement for drivers to be a able to carry a tune….

    • Alex

      Good point! Perhaps we should address our deteriorating infrastructure (water, power, roads) before spending tons of money on frivolous projects that will never pay for themselves, or provide the societal benefit that’s being marketed to us. Arlington’s already in a fiscal pickle — why is the board adding to it?

  • Marty

    I live just off the Pike. Appears the outbound streetcar rails would be located right over the water main that broke in two places yesterday.

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