Home > General Discussion > Explain to me the need for a streetcar OR BRT on Columbia pike

Explain to me the need for a streetcar OR BRT on Columbia pike
  • ahum April 8, 2014 - 8:47 pm #103402 Reply

    What are they thinking it will result in? They have a streetcar in media, and I don’t see massive development there, though it’s probably due to the rules about not building new things. But whenever I go to columbia pike, it’s got a lot of stuff. How big of a change do they think it could make, and why? I would think the really rich want to live in areas that are established trendy. The middle class will no doubt be forced out if the housing does come.. But what about retail or business? I can’t see something like that driving business here. Might be good for the people who live by the terminus who don’t feel like driving, but I just don’t see how this is going to do much. Why is nobody saying we don’t need anything there?

    Swag April 8, 2014 - 9:08 pm #103406 Reply

    It’s not a specific/current need (which is why I’m not a fan), it’s a shot in the dark at maybe generating more tax revenue by revitalizing the area, under the assumption that the current, streetcar-less revitalization won’t take.

    ahum April 8, 2014 - 9:16 pm #103409 Reply

    Why does Moco have, well, I won’t say revitalization, but they convert former farmland into those “mixes use-town like communities” without having streetcars or metro in those areas?

    abinva April 9, 2014 - 9:26 am #103449 Reply

    In all of these discussions about the streetcar in Arlington I don’t recall seeing much of a mention of the DC streetcar that will be running soon. I must admit that I don’t know much about the DC project or how it compares to what Arlington plans to do but it seems like there should be some regional lessons learned there.


    Rick April 9, 2014 - 10:21 am #103468 Reply

    I think a majority of the success of the H Street corridor is the idea of being connected to metro. You can break that down from there and decide whether from that percentage, BRT or streetcar makes up a majority of that. The rest of the success is the hipster movement embracing counter-culture and and ironically drinking in “the ghetto”, which H Street could qualify as as little as 5 years ago (see: Williamsburg in Brooklyn). Columbia Pike is obviously in better shape than H Street was before any construction begins, but the commercial district of Columbia Pike ends at Glebe for all intents and purposes. As for serving Baileys Crossroads, I played with the wmata ride guide and found that a bus from the King Street Metro would take 30ish minutes to get from the station to Baileys. Will this time beat the streetcar? I realize fairfax is paying for their portion of the rail but why would we pay to connect the line from Glebe (Or George Mason if we’re being generous) the extra mile to Carlin Springs and the county line?

    ahum April 9, 2014 - 10:28 am #103479 Reply

    How are people supposed to go to those big box stores in Bailey’s xroad on public transit? If this is about getting people to give up their cars, um, how does this help? You can’t exactly carry much with you.

    esmith69 April 9, 2014 - 11:13 am #103502 Reply

    It’s not about giving people in Arlington an easier way to get to big box stores in Falls Church.  All the people that live along the Columbia Pike corridor need better transportation to get to places such as the pentagon and beyond, just like all the people in Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn have with the metro.

    Apparently due to Columbia Pike’s hilly terrain, it’s not feasible to do underground metro.  Streetcar is the next best thing.

    ahum April 9, 2014 - 11:15 am #103504 Reply

    Why is it that everyone else who lives not near the metro, which is the vast majority of people in the DC area, can hack it without a street car, but apparently columbia pike cannot?

    halj April 9, 2014 - 11:22 am #103508 Reply

    Same reason people all over can hack it without smoking bars I guess.

    ahum April 9, 2014 - 11:36 am #103513 Reply

    Funny how when you go off topic, the topic doesn’t get closed.

    vibrancy April 9, 2014 - 12:19 pm #103526 Reply

    Moderator, please close this topic.

    Quoth the Raven April 9, 2014 - 1:18 pm #103550 Reply

    Why close it?  For once, we’re pretty much on topic here!

    Quoth the Raven April 9, 2014 - 1:19 pm #103551 Reply

    I’ve always thought the “need” for the streetcar can’t be judged without knowing the price.  In other words, in a perfect world, I think the streetcar is a great idea.  I think it would help traffic, and would help the community.  But I can’t support it, because from everything I’ve ready the cost is going to be extremely high, and I don’t think it’s worth it given how thinly the overall budget is stretched.  Just my two cents.

    ahum April 9, 2014 - 1:45 pm #103558 Reply

    I still don’t even seen the need, let alone why a streetcar is better than busses at doing whatever it is supposed to do. If we get into the nitty gritty of how it works, busses are less intrusive. Busses can get out the way. A  street car cannot. A streetcar is a bigger hazard. If we’re gonna spend a ton of money on something we don’t need, at least pick the less dangerous option.

    Quoth the Raven April 9, 2014 - 2:00 pm #103559 Reply

    The streetcar can carry more people than busses.  And frankly, they’re cooler.  And to a lot of people, that matters.  Maybe it shouldn’t, and maybe others disagree, but to a lot of people streetcars are cool and they are seen as improving the neighborhood.  There are stretches of Columbia Pike which could use some improving.  Again, does this justify the expense?  I don’t think it does.  But this is the argument (at least part of it).

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