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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com February 4, 2011 at 8:00 am 1,396 15 Comments

Arlington Has Biggest Income Jump in U.S. — The 2010 Census data is out, and Arlington had the largest jump in median income among municipalities in the United States. Median household income rose by $12,705 between 2000 and 2009. Two other Northern Virginia localities — Alexandria city and Loudoun County — were also among the biggest income gainers. [Bloomberg]

Hispanic Population Falling in Arlington — While the Hispanic population is on the rise in many parts of Virginia, new census data shows that the Hispanic population in Arlington has actually shrunk. The Hispanic population in Arlington fell 11 percent between 2000 and 2009. Arlington’s Asian population, meanwhile, jumped by 21 percent, while the non-Hispanic white population rose by 16 percent. [Washington Post]

Alexandria Happy With HOT Lanes Decision — Alexandria’s mayor says his city “has always and will always be opposed to” High Occupancy Toll lanes. Thus VDOT’s decision to scrap its plan to build HOT lanes on I-395 came as good news for Alexandria. The project was canceled largely thanks to a $1.5 million lawsuit funded by Arlington taxpayers. [Washington Examiner]

Defense Attorney Enters Race to Become Top Prosecutor — Defense attorney David Deane has officially announced his candidacy for Commonwealth’s Attorney in Arlington. Deane will be challenging Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos for the Democratic nomination. Stamos was recently endorsed by the Arlington Coalition of Police and the Falls Church Police Association. The top prosecutor job is being vacated by the retiring Richard Trodden. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Mattron

  • bob

    The HOT lanes on 395 are being killed by finance, not by Richmond or the threat of a lawsuit.

    Credit lines on Transurban’s beltway lanes are already near junk status. Where are they getting the money for the 95 HOT lanes?

    Ironic. 3 years ago it was private companies who could tap into 99 year bonds, getting cheap financing in return for corrupt deals. Now Virginia itself wants to do the same.

    A little context, ARLNOW, would be nice.

    • OX4

      I believe that’s what the underlined words are for.

  • 395 is wide enough

    HOT lanes on 95 are more practical for the through traveller from the NE corridor to Richmond, North Carolina, and points south. They don’t need to deal with the same garbage that idiot commuters complain about when they choose to drive their own car downtown BY THEMSELVES. I’d be thrilled if I was taking a family camping trip or was an over the road trucker and could bypass the Washington traffic by paying a few bucks. But that is I-95, not 395. 395 is primarily a commuter corridor, thus the crowding is only during PEAK times in PEAK directions, unless there is a bloody wreck and a helicopter landing. TELECOMMUTE, change your schedule, ride a motorcycle, take TRANSIT, ride-share, or if those don’t work and you INSIST on driving your precious car into the city, either pick up a SLUG or DEAL with it!

    BTW, Can the City of Alexandria help offset the cost of Arlington’s legal fees since they’re so thrilled about the victory?

    • Burger

      You do realize that DC has some of the highest levels of mass transit usuage, carpooling in the country right.

      At some point, you have to realize building out roads needs to be done. The DC metropolitian area is going to double in the next 20 years. Where are those people going to live? That means either two things – increase density (lots of Nimbyism – see EFC’s recent plans) or building out in the exurbs.

      Or should they just be homeless?

      Why should Alexandria pay some of the bill. IIRC, Alexandria said at the initation of the lawsuit that they supported but didn’t see why they should spend money on it. It is called the free rider syndrome.

      • local

        So we have the highest level of transit use – and you use this fact to argue against expanding transit?

        That proves we need MORE transit. People here are willing to use it.

        As for NIMBYs, you deal with them either way. Some people don’t want high density development, but they don’t want big highways either. I’d say most would choose a nice town center with restaurants and stuff over another lane of highway.

        And you can still build in the exurbs and give them transit just fine. Two words: Silver Line. There’s still plenty of room out there for medium to high density development, and it’s popular out there too.

      • BoredHouseWife

        I used to carpool to work. I saw just about a handful of buses each day. Iwould see a ton of cars with one person on 395 during rush hour. There needs to be more people using mass transit.

    • Lou

      You will need a transponder to interact with the tolling system on the HOT lanes. Tourists will not have those, so they will be sticking to the main lanes.

      Where do you people come up with these bizarre theories?

      • Charlie

        lou: the fundamental theory of traffic planning is: do things to get people off the road so i can have it to myself.

        • local

          If you can get people off the road who WANT to be, that’s good. I hate driving in traffic, and the expense of a second car I’d need. I am glad I have the chance to take other modes and get out of your way so you can drive instead.

          BTW, that’s how HOV and HOT works too!

      • Westover

        An ez-pass works anywhere in the Country. Tourist will have them too. I just do not understand how the system will recognize those vehicles that are HOV in the HOT lanes and not charge them the toll. Anyone understand how that part works?

  • 4Arl

    Speaking of the lawsuit costs, I think an ARLNOW commenter had said that the county structured the lawsuit to recover the legal fees. Does the recent state decision allow the costs to be recovered? Or are they still continuing with the suit to get the legal costs back?

    • Considering the proposal was yanked because private funding couldnt be obtained and not the lawsuit, I would say that’s a big fat negative.

  • MC

    I don’t believe the I-95 leg was pulled because of lack of funding — it would have been the least expensive part of the project (adding just one lane for 6 miles) and somehow Transurban can fund the more expensive part. The lawsuit did force a change in plans — temporarily. Everyone, including Mr. Zimmermann, acknowledges that the HOT construction is not moving forward “for now” but no one has said it won’t in the future. We’ll have a new Va Transportation Secretary in a couple years who is free to disavow any buy-in to this non-binding decision. The County’s $1.5 million (and still counting) law suit will be irrelevant if the proposal is resurrected in a new guise.

    What’s weird is why the State needs Transurban at all, considering they say they have $1.5 billion to allocate to the project and the projected cost is less than that. The economics on these private-public partnerships have always been a scam for the taxpayer: corporations get sweet deals because elected politicians are unwilling to fund roads through gas taxes, and will be out of office by the time the fee increases or revenue compensations kick in.

  • DT

    Does anyone think the increase in average salary and decrease in hispanic population go hand-in-hand? Despite all the efforts of the Politboro to make Arlington (except for their neighborhoods) into one great haven for illegals, it seems the real estate market is pricing them out on its own.

    • BeechF33A

      Bingo, DT. Hispanics are being forced to leave Arlington because of the power of the (housing) marketplace. My informed surmise, based on observation and word of mouth, is that most of the departures are by illegal aliens.

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