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Morning Poll: Schools Instead of Streetcars?

by ARLnow.com August 1, 2011 at 9:28 am 3,221 107 Comments

In an editorial, the Washington Post suggests that now would be the “wrong time” to start building a proposed streetcar line along Columbia Pike.

After all, the Post opines, the federal funds that the county hopes to receive for the $140-million-plus project may become difficult to obtain now that the federal government is on the verge of approving spending cuts. Arlington’s leaders, the Post editorial board says, would be better off spending the county’s share of the 4.7-mile streetcar line’s big price tag “elsewhere” — perhaps on additional capacity for the burgeoning Arlington Public School system.

The editorial comes three weeks after the Washington Examiner’s editorial board blasted the streetcar as a “colossal, unjustified waste of tax dollars.”

Do you agree with the Post’s stance?

  • Steve

    Hard to claim you want people to have a “car free diet” if you don’t provide them a means to get rid of their cars..

    • Burger

      Do buses not count?

      • NPGMBR

        When busses don’t arrive on time, then you get two and three i.e. 16Ys showing up all at the same time it becomes painfully obvious that Metro is a highly disfunctional organization.

        As such, I will never give up my car because I just can’t rely on MetroBus to be on time.

        • Scott

          And streetcars will solve this how?

          • Stu Pendus

            Is the streetcar going to stop at the Pentagon Metro, which is where the majority of 16 line riders are going in the AM commute?

            I guess the bigger question is, if it’s being sold as a commuter option to replace buses, what is the hypothetical trip from the Pike and Carlin Springs to Capitol Hill like?

          • ARLCNTYBORED

            Currently my commute from Dinwidde and Columbia Pike via the 16G to Pentagon City to Union Station is 40 mins on the BEST day and 60 mins on a heavy day. If the street car made that commute a solid 40 mins on MOST days…I am all for it. Doubtful though as it too will move in traffic lanes.

          • Stu Pendus

            I ask that question because I used to make a similar commute several years ago. All the buses I caught on the Pike went to the Pentagon. Have they changed them now to go to Pentagon City instead?

          • ARLCNTYBORED

            16H and 16G –> Pentagon City. Not sure about the entire 16 line.

          • BoredHouseWife

            Yet again, south Arlington gets pooed pooed on.

          • history first

            South Arlington put itself in this situation 30 years ago. They wanted nothing to do with the development and metro building and they had the lines completely rearranged to not be involved. They thought it would destroy the community vibes and bring in trouble, and instead they created the divide that now people resent and act like north Arlington have shut them out of something on purpose. I know it’s not the “fault” of a lot of the current residents, but a lot of people build up this reputation that south Arlington is “poo pooed on” and neglected, when the history shows that they chose to divide and set the tone for the last 30 years of development in north Arlington to flourish.

          • NPGMBR

            You seak as of all those same people are here now and thats not the case at all.

          • history first

            No, actually I acknowledge that it’s to no “fault” of a lot of the current residents (though not EVERYONE in Arlington is from somewhere else, there are a lot of communities in South Arlington especially that are generational “Arlingtonians”). But I just get so frustrated that everyone acts like South Arlington has been cut off from North Arlington and ignored and it’s some spur of the moment split that’s gone on… that’s just not the case. The plans for development surrounding the N. Arlington metro stops where (generally) in place when the original plans for the trains were written up. Obviously we’ve surpased that continued expanding, but N. Arlington doesn’t get special attention or treatment nor are they intentionally leaving S. Arlington in the dust… the plans to keep S. Arlington primary residential and to boost the commercial side of N. Arlington and make it a pedestrian friendly area are based off of plans that have been in place for forever. I get that we can try to find ways to develop S. Arlington differently (which I think C. Pike is doing a good job of, as did Shirlington to the extend it was allowed to expand), but I just wish people would stop acting like just because not everyone thinks this trolley is a good use of the $$ that they have something against S. Arlington. Most of the people that complain about this aren’t even from the area and have some chip on their shoulder because they chose the cheaper area to live in because Atown is so expensive everywhere, but now they’re realizing that transport is part of why it’s slightly less.

          • NPGMBR

            Not that it would resolve that problem but it sure would come with more benefits than the bus. i.e. non-polluting, real time tracking, fewer trips because it can carry more people, roomier inside that makes it easier to navigate and quieter than the bus.

          • Burger

            You must not read the subway then – more room…snicker.

        • Jon

          “When busses don’t arrive on time, then you get two and three i.e. 16Ys showing up all at the same time it becomes painfully obvious that Metro is a highly disfunctional organization.”

          Translation: I can’t stand having to sit next to hispanics and other minorities, who will stick to the less-expensive buses.

          • ARLCNTYBORED

            Really? Pathetic attempt.

          • Rick

            Don’t forget sitting right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing…

          • ARLCNTYBORED

            It’s something alright.

          • bluemontguy

            Move to Kansas if you’re afraid of people.

          • Nah, don’t move to Kansas. Just walk, bike, or get in your car and drive.

          • ArlingtonSouth

            I’d classify myself as an Arlington Yuppie who should probably live and behave like the majority of residents on the Orange Line.

            I, however, own a home in South Arlington and have no problem with the people on the bus or using a bus as a mode of transportation.

            My issue is with the scheduling, route planning, and execution of getting from start to finish.

            The Pike Line bus plan is great in theory. Plenty of lines, plenty of stops, and fairly consistent planned arrivals.

            But, for people who live at the edges of the various routes, the commute can take forever given that each bus stops at almost every block. If you don’t work at the Pentagon but take the bus to Pentagon/Pentagon City to get on the Metro, your commute takes on the vagaries of the bus system/traffic as well as the operation of the blue/yellow/orange lines.

            Busses are listed as “Express” on certain routes. Yet, make every stop they pass on their way to a destination. There is nothing express in that execution. Furthermore, riders get on and off at places on the routes where the route says that should not occur.

            I don’t ask for much. I ask that my mass transit at least be competitive or comparable in terms of time for the commute. For many residents on the Pike, the driving alternative is still better except for the cost. And right now a total drive time of 30 – 40 minutes along the 16Y route and $255 in parking a month is preferable to $25 and a MINIMUM commute of 90 minutes.

          • ZoningVictim

            That cost differential only exists if you work someplace where you have to pay the going rate for parking in downtown DC. My company has their own parking lot, so not only would taking Metro double my commute time, which would be 1.5 hours a day lost, it would actually cost me more if I paid in cash (the SmarTrip discount just started this month, and even with that it would only save me $18 per month). That’s a pretty sad statement given the fact that my job is only 9 miles away and I figured this out using the standard of $.50 per mile, which includes both fuel and maintenance costs.

          • NPGMBR

            Wow thats a REAL stretch…….considering that I’m a minority myself!

    • Who is claiming that? Arlington County? I guess they are putting rail lines down in a travel lane making it more difficult for cars to get by. They also will be stringing ugly high power electric lines overhead. Why not use the existing bus lines and change the buses so they just look like streetcars?

      • Steve

        So beauty is the overriding factor here? I’ve been far more impressed with european cities that have “ugly” street cars than I have ever been with Arlington. there’s nothing beautiful here to preserve, nothing in the slightest.

        • Nope. Fiscal responsibility is. Being ugly is just another reason not to do it.

      • Matt

        I’m also not sure why the bus systems in NOVA and DC do not have real time tracking.

        I lived in Columbus, OH and all the city buses were linked via GPS to an online map which showed location and real time arrival data. This was years 5 ago. How does a commuter unfriendly cow-town get it right, while this area (as usual) falls short on civic works.

        Also, this fetish for street cars is obscene. What it allows for is developers along the line to jack up the prices on condos and sell them to urbanites who think its quaint to have a street car but never actually ride them. The condo developers should foot the bill, not the city and tax payers.

        The electric argument is bunk. Where does electricity come from? No, Jim Moran doesn’t miracle it to us. That’s right, Dominion produces 97% of their output from coal, nuclear energy and natural gas. Only 3% from renewables. So street cars add to the electricity consumption, with increased inefficiency over just using clean natural gas as buses do now.

        Oh, and street cars cannot swerve to avoid hitting poor little Johnny who runs out into the street to get his ball. They also cannot adapt to disruptions in commuter patterns or road blockages. It was called progress when we switched from rail to the automobile. Let’s keep moving forward and not take giant regressive steps back.

        • Josh S

          They do have real time GPS.

          Clean Natural Gas refers to localized pollution, i.e. smog and is in comparison to diesel powered vehicles. There is still some pollution generated out of the tailpipe, as opposed to an all-electric vehicle which of course has no local pollution emissions. When it comes to climate change, then there may indeed be no difference. I don’t know. However, at least electricity has the possibility of being generated without fossil fuels. Natural gas is, of course, a fossil fuel so you’re definitely adding to the CO2 in the atmosphere by burning it.

          “Progress” may be in the eye of the beholder. It certainly depends on your viewpoint. Moving one person inside a one-ton hunk of steel and plastic is certainly less efficient than moving 40-60 of them inside a five ton hunk of steel and plastic. (All figures are estimates, but you get my point.) The fact that rail systems of all types continue to be used, maintained, expanded and built worldwide leads me to believe that not everyone has subscribed to your viewpoint regarding the “progress” of cars versus trains.

          • Matt

            Josh – Where can I view the GPS arrival info?

            Why dont we just convert buses to hybrid technology.

            The ‘progress’ I speak is that laying track and overhead electrical infrastructure limits the adaptability of the transportation system.

            Some argue that laying the infrastructure is the main advantage of a streetcar over a bus. Allowing business owners the ‘security’ that the route will not change and creating ‘well developed’ neighborhoods. This is a red herring argument. If the intention is business development there are a myriad of ways Arlington County can relax their over regulation and allow businesses to grow.

          • Josh S

            http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/nextbus/arrivals.cfm

            The economic stimulation effects of the streetcar are not red herring in any sense of the term. They are up front and center quite clearly one of the goals of the streetcar as put forth by the county. I guess it’s possible that relaxing “over regulation” could also allow businesses to grow, but without specific examples of what you mean, it’s hard to say. In any case, however, the argument is that building a streetcar can also stimulate growth and probably to a greater degree than allowing sidewalk signs and the like.

          • Stu Pendus

            Columbia Pike will be redeveloped even if they ran rickshaws pulled by tranny-midgets up and down the street. It’s all about regional location than some silly need to pay someone to move you 7 blocks down the road. It has already started. And it’s been redeveloped before without a streetcar. Red, the herring is.

          • Skeptical

            The “Next Bus” feature. You can access it on your Smartphone or home computer. I use it before I leave the house in the morning and for the most part it is accurate.

        • We like to offer MPG equivalents when we talk about hybrid or electric cars. I’d like to see a new standard: MPT. Miles Per Ton of CO2 emitted. I wonder how the electric vehicles (cars, trains, etc.) would fare when coal is their energy source?

          • ZoningVictim

            I’m with you. Overall environmental impact is more important than some catchy statistic about MPG. What’s the economic impact of building all of those lead-acid batteries (or other types) and disposing of them? How much CO2 is created during their production and subsequent rebuilding? Are we really polluting less, or just somewhere else by using them? Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to tell because most people are biased one way or the other when they spout facts and figures.

            And when it comes to metro and light rail, how much CO2 is produced during the creation of the system and how long does it take to make up for it? I can’t imagine we’re really making headway with all of the cement, steel, digging and building that go into creating and expanding a metro system. It’s certainly obvious that public transportation, at least our area, isn’t economically capable of standing on its own or it wouldn’t have to be subsidized.

        • ARLCNTYBORED

          I see you have been schooled by our Resident Expert on Everything (below)…welcome!

          • ARLCNTYBORED

            er um above!x2.

  • Louise

    Steve,

    The streetcar would run along already-established bus line. So, there’s already a means there.

    • Lyndsey

      Also, in our neighborhood, english is a secodn language and most of the people have learned how to get around town on the already existing great bus line. It would cause confusion and congestion to change it all. Not to mention making C. Pike miserable to dive down.

      • Steve

        Maybe they should learn english so they can figure out how to use a tram?

        Why is it that I can travel to germany where I’m not even remotely fluent, and be able to use a bus, Ubahn or even the Sbahn?

  • Suburban Not Urban

    What the should “cancel” is the county’s policies of increasing density – which would ease pressures on school system.

    • It would also ease the congestion on public transportation.

    • Josh S

      The growth would happen regardless of the county’s policies. This isn’t Soviet Russia. Land, being privately owned, is privately developed. The county can push things on the margins.

      Besides, from a regional standpoint, it makes far more sense to have increased density in Arlington than increased sprawl in Loudon.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        That’s nonsense, Arlington being basically 100% built-out means that only the county changing zoning allows more density. Up-zoning commercial zoning as mixed use, and trading increased density for consessions, perks and pet projects, are not by-right development IE the EFC plan, the proposed Bluemont plan, Crystal City redev, . Arlington was primaryily residenstially zoned and it takes the county board to change zoning to do what they have done and plan to do in the future.

    • Mark

      Avoid density by turning back the hands of time to the 1950s or 1960s — when school enrollment was higher than today?

      I’d wager that the good folks in our most dense areas are more likely to subsize the schools, while those with front and back yards are more likely to use them. Many of the areas with no real increased density (e.g., N. of Lee) are putting the most pressure on school enrollment.

  • Well..

    LOL.. initially read this as “Schools Instead of Streakers?”

  • ArlingtonSouth

    I take all exception to the “Great Bus Line” comments.

    The busses are not great. They do not provide for less traffic issues than a street car would. They cause a huge amount of damage to the roads (that never gets fixed). And they call a 45-minute, 26-stop route from Four Mile Run to McPherson Square “Express”.

    It’s a good service. Adequate. But, by no means “great”.

    • NPGMBR

      +1

      • ARLCNTYBORED

        +10

  • NPGMBR

    Maybe the Editorial Board Opinion and everyone else moaning about costs should consider the fact that to complete a project tomorrow would NEVER be cheaper than it would be today as the costs of materials will continue to rise as emerging economies like China and India consume more of the world’s resources.

    The Columbia Pike corridor is FINALLY getting the attention that was given to other parts of the County in the past decade and as usual people are griping and moaning about change. I’m a 15 year resident of South Arlington (and not even an owner) and I welcome the changes coming to my neighborhood.

    Maybe if those that bemoan the streetcar project were to prove that it would be cheaper to do it later, they might have my support. However, seeing that the cost of oil, iron, copper, gold and textiles are on the rise even though consumption in the U.S. has been tepid; I’d be willing to bet there is no chance it would be worth it to put this project off till a later date.

    • It would be cheaper to not do it at all. When it isn’t the right project, it really does not matter when you do it. It is wasted money either way. I guess your point stands that it would be less of a waste of money now than later. But, doing something like expanding metrorail might benefit the region more than a streetcar would on the Pike. Yeah, it would cost much more. But, to your point, it would cost much less now that it would later. And it is likely closer to the right project.

      • CW

        +1.

        If you’re going to do something, do it right. Streetcars are a cool idea for within an urban core under the right conditions, but giving Columbia Pike the attention it deserves would mean a metrorail spur. And I’m not a resident of the area, but, as a North Arlington resident, it would benefit everyone to have a wider diversity of housing options for people who work in places like Rosslyn and downtown D.C.

        • Vik

          You also have to a bit a bit practical. Of course Metro would be better. However, I don’t see the Columbia Pike Metro line being built any time soon, given Metro’s other priorities and the prohibitive costs associated with Metro extensions, whereas the streetcar could be up and running in under 10 years and the entire corridor would greatly benefit in that time. A metrorail extension along Columbia Pike would cost a few billion dollars and wouldn’t be finished in less than a decade from now.

          • CW

            I understand the point, but I mean, gosh, they did have to have the faith to build the metorails system to begin with. Rail to Dulles is estimated to cost $7B, but I do realize that most of it is above-ground and there could be (further) cost overruns. However, if you are to compare the Pike and the R-B corridor and say with all honesty that the only difference between the two is metrorail, and then look at the value differential, I think it’s hard to say that it would not be a worthwhile investment. You’re opening up whole new swaths of valuable real estate and putting a ton of extra value on existing locations.

            I realize that this is pie-in-the-sky, but this country didn’t become great because people were afraid to think big.

      • NPGMBR

        Ya know I’d agree that you are correct but I’d argue the fact that moving away from vehicles that pollute onsite to those that pollute at the power plant is a good move for any metropolitan area.

        So putting a street car/light rail in is not cheap. Its never going to be cheap but at what point do we change public transportation to take advantage of technologies that do a better job of moving people while at the same time reducing pollution and giving residents real options to give up their cars.

        I understand that my utopian idea is many many years away but we have to start somewhere.

        • Maybe, if you think coal mining and coal pollution are better than burning some gasoline.

          • NPGMBR

            Maybe, if you think buring importing oil to produce gasoline is a better idea.

          • I’m talking about environmentally, not fiscally.

            If you think strip coal mining is clean, you are sadly mistaken. They remove whole mountain tops to get to the stuff then leave the remnants to wash into water bodies. We may have a lot of coal to produce our electricity from, but it is one of the dirtiest forms of energy around.

            http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/MountaintopRemoval/

          • NPGMBR

            I made no such comment.

          • MC 703

            I cringe when I see the commercials for “Clean Coal”

            I also can’t believe the strong support for coal in the states where it is mined. Sure, it’s a big job creator but at huge expense in terms of public health and ecology.

            There have been numerous stories where the mining companies have been downright criminal in dealing with the waste and contamination issues at the total expense of the surrounding communities.

          • And this is why going totally electric is a joke when it comes to being “cleaner”. Until we generate electricity predominately from solar or wind, forget it. To get off of foreign oil, we need to tap our vast natural gas reserve and use our existing internal combusion technology. This will minimize emissions and pollution at current technology, break the hold of foreign oil, and allow time for the electrical generation (and distribution) technology to advance where electric can be used cleanly.

            There is not a chance in hell I’d buy an all-electric automobile now.

          • bluemontguy

            Well, yeah, except it’s cleaner locally. Most of the air quality problem is in the city. Electric transportation moves it out of the city.

          • NPGMBR

            bluemontguy: Thank You. The other posters seem to have overlooked the point I was making about pollution. I said absolutely nothing about the type of pollution. What I said was referring to where pollution is emitted.

          • Duderrific

            Right. So, in other words, NIMBY. Thanks for at least coming clean about it. It’s not about THE environment, it’s about YOUR environment.

    • Louise

      Those are good points. And as a former resident of the Pike, I have been pro street car for years now. I think it may be helpful if we saw a rundown of cost comparisons, both long term and short term. What would we give up, as a county, if we went ahead now with the streetcar? And what would we gain?

  • steve85

    Why are we worried about the trash that the washington examiner writes. i understand what the post is trying to say but the pike need this for future development. I think Arlington will make the right decision and build the street cars for the Pike and for Crystal City. The Washington Examiner is nothing but a colossal of wasted papers.

    • CW

      LOL, +1. Whenever I look at the Examiner, I think “Wow, they’ve started printing toilet paper with words on it?”

      • steve85

        LMAO….

        • Some Body

          Get a room, you two!

  • VA

    I agree with the overall concerns about cost and think it’s worth considering a different, more cost-effective strategy, but as a Pike resident I disagree with two points the Post editorial makes, and I wonder how much time this editorial board actually spends in our neighborhood:
    – “Buses are doing the job of carrying commuters down the pike.” I commute to work by bus and find that at rush hour it is always over-crowded, and often people waiting at the last stops get left behind because there’s no more room (and because WMATA is horrible at keeping its buses on schedule). This will get worse quickly as more and more people are moving to the Pike.
    – “It could be the first step toward a revitalized Columbia Pike.” Hasn’t the first step already been taken? With many new developments, shops and restaurants (and more coming very soon) revitalization seems to be occurring now, even without the streetcar system.

  • Arlwhenever

    For those who support the streetcar project, I fail to see why you don’t advocate that the developers along Columbia Pike, who are the intended beneficiaries, fund a large portion (say half of the $140 million) through assessments and tax surcharges. That would take off the table concerns about tax revenues being diverted from higher priorities.

    • ARLCNTYBORED

      This is a good idea…something like a ‘Columbia Pike Business Improvement District.’ I do agree, the businesses will receive the greatest benefit.

    • Josh S

      The problem with that is that I don’t think it’s allowed in Virginia, especially at such a targeted level. In other words, you couldn’t tax just businesses with a certain address. You’d have to at least tax the entire county and then it would have to be for general transportation needs county-wide.
      In general, however, it is a good idea. The state of California, for example, raised the sales tax by 1/4 of a point, or something like that, in just the Bay Area counties when it came time to build BART.
      It makes you wonder how all the various trolleys got built a hundred years ago. Arguably, since the population was so much smaller, there wasn’t nearly the need. I think the key difference is that people didn’t have the expectation of driving everywhere in their own car. Also, there wasn’t nearly the sprawl, so public transportation was much more efficient. At this point, it’s got so people willingly drive in their car 20+ miles to visit a grocery store. Stunning, when you think about it.

      • steve85

        That’s why we should break away from the rest of Virginia. Those laws shouldn apply to us.

        • Guy Smiley

          Lead The Revolution!!!

        • ARLCNTYBORED

          Don’t you remember…DC gave us back to VA cause they didn’t want us either…
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_retrocession
          of course our County Board would much rather be part of the District than of dirty ole’ Virginia.

          A laughable sidebarb to all this seriousness…do you know: Little Miss Green Arlington County doesn’t require restaurants to recycle? Talking out of two sides of your mouth is policy in this County.

          That is all. 🙂

    • ArlingtonSouth

      That would be a perfectly reasonable suggestion. However, the county and the sensitive-to-gentrification Pike residents would not like the trade for those taxes as it would likely mean higher densities, and the elimination of affordable components.

    • NPGMBR

      I don’t have a problem with that.

    • ARLCNTYBORED

      BIDS already to exist in Clarendon, Ballston, Rosslyn and Crystal City. Not sure if their is a tax imposed or if allowed by Virginia Code. DC does tax theirs.

  • TheNative

    Arlwhenever??! By that reasoning maybe we should tax all the businesses that are within 1/2 mile of Metro to pay for their woefully underfunded operations. The businesses that are on the Pike would not be the only ones that benefit. They should not be responsible for funding the project for many reasons. Not the least of which is that Arlington County promised that the businesses on the Pike were PROMISED that a plan like yours would not be enacted to pay for the trolley.

    • bluemontguy

      There are already proximity taxes for Metro stations and other similar projects.

  • Savvy

    I would rather have more bus routes, which would add to the already excellent service on the Pike. I would also fund & build a comprehensive multi-modal environment around the pike before adding the streetcar. I don’t have a problem with setting the stage for the streetcar, but without an approach that includes streetscape enhancements, tree cover, pedestrian friendly space, bike blvds., etc, the streetcar would be more of a burden than an improvement. We should set the stage first, would would be an achievement in and of itself (ie. prepping the underground infrastructure) and see how that would impact development, and then see if we can find the funding for this massive capital project. I fear that we are going to commit to enacting multiple plans, but not seeing them completed to the point that they would be successful.

    • South Arlington

      They’ve been doing that the past few years. Where have you been?

      Utility undergrounding and streetscape enhancements have been done up and down the Pike. They just came up with the off-Columbia Pike bike blvds. plan, and new pedestrian friendly spaces and sidewalk improvements have been done in the town center area. Utility undergrounding was the big one to get done, and that has been going on for years now.

      • The streetcar’s utility, power lines, are planned to be above ground over the road.

        • South Arlington

          Streetcar power source is ompletely different from utility undergrounding. The “streetscape enhancements” referred to by Savvy have been done, with utility undergrounding being a huge, time intensive portion of it. The unsightly power lines that used to hang everywhere down Columbia Pike have been undergrounded. Believe this was one of the first steps in the prep for the streetcar.

          • Agreed, but they cleaned up the unsightly landscape just to hang an extensive power infrastructure above the new streetcars.

          • South Arlington

            If you asked me which I preferred, the tangle of numerous power lines paralleling and crossing Columbia Pike plus buses swerving all over the place vs. underground utilities with streetcar above ground wires, I’d take the streetcar every time.

          • I’d gladly take a natural gas powered streetcar (i.e. a bus that looks like a streetcar) instead of either.

  • Hank Hill

    I don’t care how many street cars, buses, etc…that are avaliable to get to Columbia Pike. I avoid Columbia Pike at all costs. It should become part of Alexandria.

    • MC 703

      Stay out then. I’ll keep enjoying it more without people like you there.

  • Hank Hill

    as long as you stay out of North Arlington

    • MC 703

      I thought you were only against the Columbia Pike corridor. Can you just pick an area of North Arlington for me to avoid?

      • South Arlington

        MC, better to leave downmarket North Arlington to Hank and the roving street thugs stealing packages off of doorsteps.

        • Lou

          Please do. It is a constant struggle to keep the riff raff out of here.

  • Webster

    Anyone who thinks they can build that whole streetcar system for $140 million needs to have their heads examined. Starting with Zimmerman.

  • Skeptical

    Since when is the WashPost the trumpet of truth? I don’t care what they opine about anything since the quality of the paper tanked. It is now run by the same generation that is running our country and we all know how well that’s going. Look beyond D.C. to other cities that have a mixed bag of transportation. Boston is a great example. Think outside the box. Think with vision and imagination. Actually dare to be different.

  • MC

    The Post is obsessed with austerity and diminished expectations, such as their frankly wacky campaign about the Silver Line, which was nicely reputed by an Airport Authority writer this past weekend as blame-making and demonizing. Here, the Post creates a fake dilemma between schools and the trolly: no one with any credibility has previously suggested there is a conflict, so why is the Post editorializing on this? The Post’s standards continue to drop every month.

    Trollies are need to carry more people — buses can’t handle the volume, and are leaving creators in Columbia Pike as they sink in the asphalt waiting to weaving in and out of traffic.

    • Richard Cranium

      Inglish learn to right gud.

    • John Snyder

      Exactly! Both the Post and this poll set up a false choice. Only dedicated transportation funding (including that raised in Arlington with the commercial property transportation surtax) is going for the streetcar project. By law, none of the funding could be used for schools construction. Postponing streetcar construction will not generate more money for schools. It will just drive up the cost of the streetcar project.

  • Carol_R

    Arlington County schools don’t need anymore money. They already will be spending almost $19,000 per student in the next school year.

    While the streetcar might be nice with the Federal budget cuts I say just cancel the project. We can’t afford it.

  • John Andre

    With the austerity being imposed by the debt deal, postponing the trolley [if not replacing it altogether with dedicated transit lanes on Columbia Pike] wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  • Sal

    The new schools the county just built or renovated are over crowded and getting worse. New schools create new local jobs and encourage our growing population of young families (the folks fueling the new restaurants etc) to stick around. Streetcar another time….we’ll always spend in this county ….give it a few more years.

  • Arlington, Northside

    For all the Liberals in Arlington, and all the love Liberals have for John F. Kennedy, I think it is ironic that it is Kennedy who ordered the end of the Streetcars/Trolly system in DC after one broke down in front of the White House, blocking his motorcade from leaving one day in 1961.

  • Pingback: Pike Wire | County Government Attempts to Rally Support to Streetcar Plans After Taking a Few Knocks()

  • bob111

    Maybe just a Charm City or DC Circulator type bus? Maybe
    to Union Station and a direct bus to Ballston. If they can
    take out the sidewalk maybe and squeeze the trolly into
    a jersey barrier track I’m for it? How it will work with the
    traffic? I wonder about the cost? What an engineer in
    a substation earns a year? For the cost of four of them
    maybe a Circulator to Silver Spring and Greenbelt?
    The Baltimore buses are free.

  • bob111

    Maybe they could emanate domain and demolish the
    8th road corridor? Maybe from Columbia Pike to Route
    50? Maybe give people the option to hold out for the
    most money? Maybe they could afford to tunnel a
    transit line along that route. There are some ugly old
    homes in that area near Carlin Springs Road. There
    is nothing like a shiny new building like Penrose with
    the new Giant. Lots of shiny new building. g Maybe a
    better traffic pattern? Columbia Pike westbound and
    Memorial Blvd eastbound? g

  • bob111

    I would be for the streetcar line if they could put it in
    a jersey barrier track. How it will work in the traffic?
    The cost for the electrical system? How much an
    engineer in a substation earns in a year? Maybe a
    Charm City or DC Circulator type bus to Ballston and
    Union Station? The Baltimore bus is free. The Art bus
    is a good system with the new buses.

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