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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com November 18, 2011 at 8:30 am 3,344 34 Comments

Garvey Announces For County Board — Arlington school board member Libby Garvey, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate earlier this year, will formally announce next month that she’s running for Senator-elect Barbara Favola’s old seat on the County Board. In an email to supporters, Garvey also said that she will not run for re-election to the school board when her term is up in 2012.

Pike Streetcar Project Moves Forward — The Columbia Pike streetcar project is still on track. “We’re on a schedule to try to get a project going, and we don’t want this to take as long as Dulles rail,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman told WAMU.

Arlington Buildings Recognized — The Northern Virginia chapter of NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, held its annual awards ceremony yesterday. Among the Arlington winners was the 900 North Glebe Road building in Ballston, which won for “Best Building, 4 Stories and Above;” George Mason University Founders Hall in Virginia Square, which won for “Best Building, Institutional Facility over $20 Million;” and 2800 Crystal Drive in Crystal City, which won for “Best Interiors, Tenant Space 15,000-49,999 square feet.”

Lawyer: Bullying Led to Hawaii Shooting — The lawyer for an Christopher Deedy, a State Department special agent who lives in Arlington, said that Deedy was protecting others when he fatally shot a 23-year-old man in a Waikiki McDonald’s. [Associated Press]

  • South Arlington

    GREAT news on the streetcar!

  • Burger

    Three questions:

    Isn’t the county bumping up against its debt limit? How could you build this albatross without exceeding the debt limit?
    Will they be hiring the Occupy walkers from yesterday or hire people that have actual construction experience?

  • charlie

    finally a candidate that might actually be good for Arlington and care about Arlington instead of others who are just sock puppets.

  • John Fontain

    I stopped by Trader Joe’s this morning at around 8:15. The store was brimming with happy employees and even happier customers.

    The store is much bigger than I expected it to be. It seems like it is bigger than the Bailey’s store.

    And lots of nicely priced fresh flowers right at the entrance. No excuse not to pick up a bunch for the wife on the way home from work.

    Nice job TJ.

  • Andy

    Imagine how beautiful that scene would be without the road and all the stupid cars.

    • Driver 8

      It sure looks pretty from my windshield!

      • drax

        Take a break, Driver 8.

    • Carl

      Imagine how you could not take that picture were it not for a bridge to handle cars.

      • charlie

        ha. the bridge was originally just for BOATS. Then they added a deck for pedestrians and street cars.
        THEN that bride got too small so they opened Key Bride — which was originally two lanes plus trolley line.
        So yeah, the bridge was built for cars. and rebuilt. and expanded. cars are sucking the life out of us.

      • Burger


      • Andy

        Yep, you’d have to climb a tree to get the picture. That would be horrible. It’s easier to just drive.

    • Burger

      Imagine if we didn’t have fire or the j-tube.

    • UnlimitedCustoms

      My family enjoys the scene as we drive along the parkway.

    • Larchmont

      Would look even better with a 3rd lane headed north, and a toll booth.

    • PikeMan

      The horse and buggys and all the horse poop would be much better.

  • charlie

    re: today’s picture.
    I’d love to know why the NPS has closed off the slip lane from Key Bridge to SPout Run. Of course it is a traffic nightmare forcing me to come home Route 50 and 10th Street instead of staying on the parkway.

    BUT why the work — more earthquake damage??

    • Cakes

      Probably to present rock/land slides. I trust that the work needs to be done.

    • Scoot Scoot

      Probably repairing and shoring up loose rocks here. The impending freeze thaw this winter may also lead to more rock falls.


      • charlie

        right. hence my question. this closure was PAST SPout Run and directly related to the earthquake.
        So this is a different location and there have been falls lately. I’m curious if it was “planned” seasonal work or additional work due to additional inspections for earthquake damage.

  • Street car folley

    This street car business is insane…Portland’s street car cost them an average 13 million per mile…not including operating expenses. In Tuscon, AZ they are already considering cancelling their streetcar plans after spending 25 million on just 6 cars. Their costs are projected in the half billion mark for 5 miles of track with estimates of it taking 90 years to recover costs. Columbia Pike will be undriveable for those residents who need their cars for work.

    • drax

      Gee, transportation costs money? Shocking.

      Street cars in Portland and many other cities have been successful in providing transportation and revitalizing neighborhoods.

      • Burger

        Ah, the economist chimes in without and real point.

        • drax

          Who did you vote for in the Senate race, Burger?

      • Street car folley

        Streetcars have been successful in adding “eye candy” to already generally attractive cities. They have also suceeded in bursting many city transportation budgets for a very minimal return on investment.
        I get that transportation costs big bucks…nothing shocking there….but if the powers that be spend my tax money, spend it on logical solutions that can benefit the region for generations.
        How about subway lines down Columbia Pike, Rt. 1, or maybe even a light rail down 4 mile connecting S. Arlington to the Pentagon and Crystal City? Maybe even a metro line along Rt. 50…wouldn’t that be something?
        Of course these are billion dollar projects that would no doubt impact the taxpayer but it’s safe to say it would make a positive impact on the commutes of thousands. NoVa (Arlington in particular) and DC have the potential to be a leader worldwide in the use of mass transit that is available to all socioeconomic bakgrounds but we consistantly fall short.

        • drax

          “How about subway lines down Columbia Pike, Rt. 1, or maybe even a light rail down 4 mile connecting S. Arlington to the Pentagon and Crystal City? Maybe even a metro line along Rt. 50…wouldn’t that be something?”

          Yeah, something even more expensive, and not necessarily so good at transforming a neighborhood.

          But I appreciate your points, and I’m glad you’re not just another anti-transit critic.

          • PikeMan

            An underground metro would have been so much better than a trolley blocking traffic. Yet Zimmie compares the trolley to the Silver Line. It is nothing even close. It won’t hold the needed capacity, and it will slow capacity on the road. Stupid idea.

          • charlie

            well it is like the silver line actually — it will transport people from where they live (Loudoun, Fairfax) to their jobs (Tysons, Crystal City) while avoiding all the nuisances in between (Toll Road, Columbia Pike).

        • Steve85

          Great comment!!!

  • 1234

    There are now 14 seperate bus routes that use the Pike. Every one of those buses can get around parked and broken down cars and delivery trucks, accidents that block lanes, etc. Without a serious reduction in the number of buses that use the Pike, and without a serious increase in the enforcement of stopped cars and clearing of accidents, this is going to bring the Pike to gridlock — even more than we already have during rush hour.

    Never mind the fact that we just spent millions to underground wires that will no go back up, or the use of money that could be better used (IMO) to get our kids out of trailer class rooms or repave many of our virtually impassable roads.

    • novasteve

      Maybe they will change it to a Monorail?

      Monorail!!! Monorail!!!! MOno – doh!

    • Josh S

      Such a plate of spaghetti there.

      The wires that will / would be put up to power the streetcar are completely unrelated to the ones recently put underground. I guess aesthetic reasons may have played a role in the decision to underground the power lines, but I suspect that lower maintenance costs and less vulnerability to disruption were probably more important aspects of that decision.

      I don’t know for a fact, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that money for streetcars comes from a different source than money for schools and that you can’t just move funds back and forth willy nilly. In other words, spending on streetcars does not necessarily mean spending less on schools. In any case, the county has spent quite a lot on schools in recent years and already has plans to spend even more.

      THe – it will bring the Pike to gridlock – argument is purely speculative in nature and is easily disputed by noting the many cities around the country that operate tracks in the middle of the road and don’t experience gridlock like you are apparently imagining. But, just to address one of your sub-points there, the streetcar plan does, apparently, come with a reduction in bus service. So the streetcars won’t simply be added to the existing mix.

      • 1234

        Yes, from a purely aesthetic reason, I’m opposed to stringing wires back up along the pike, especially over the travel lanes.

        Last I knew the County’s share was something like $60m that was going to come from a bond. You’re right, the county has spent on schools and needs to spend a lot more. Borrowing is borrowing, I feel that borrowed money would be better used for other things.

        Can you point me to any specific mention of the reduction in service? I believe that most of those 14 lines go much further than the terminus of the streetcar. What is the plan to both consolidate those lines along the pike while retaining them further out? I’m not challenging, I would really love to know what the plan is to handle this.

        • bringmetheyuppies

          How much frickin money do we need to spend on schools. We already spend 20,000 per student. Less than 1/2 of adults who are the taxpayers have kids. I drive the pike daily and am stopped DAILY by the busses in the right and turning cars in the left. When the trolley comes it will be the same… Right lane trolley ahead, left lane cars turning. Same FRICKIN THING!

  • Marc

    Bullying is not an excuse for shooting someone, it is at best assault or possibly “assault and battery”.

    At least in Virginia for this to have been a justifiable shooting several things would need to have occurred:

    1) Deedy would have need to be an innocent party. If any of his actions led to an escalation of the incident, e.g. engaging in a verbal argument with the suspect, the shooting would not be justifiable.

    2) A “reasonable person” would have had to believe that Elderts presented an imminent threat to life or great bodily harm.

    The term “Bullying” is used here to make Deedy case more sympathetic to the public because bullying is a hot button issue. And it appears that Elderts may have drawn a knife, so this shooting may have been justified. But I think that using the word bullying implies that this was a situation that was needlessly escalated.


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