59°Rain

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com June 19, 2012 at 9:00 am 4,935 151 Comments

“Route 50 in Illinois” in Arlington — Why does Route 50/Arlington Boulevard show up in Google Maps as “Route 50 in Illinois?” That’s unclear — but it turns out the mis-labeling problem in Google Maps is not limited to Arlington. [Yurasko.net]

Latest Salvo in Buses vs. Streetcar Fight — Greater Greater Washington’s Ryan Arnold weighs in on the argument that articulated buses are a better alternative to streetcars on Columbia Pike: “Articulated buses are appropriate in many places, but they are not the same as streetcars. They don’t accomplish the same goals, and are not merely a less-expensive substitute.” Arnold says a streetcar will “accomplish the planning goals set out by the county and approved by its voters” in a way that buses cannot. [Greater Greater Washington]

Hidden Rosslyn Restaurant Serves Pho — Delightful Food Court, a semi-hidden restaurant at 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive most often frequented by local office workers, now serves pho and bahn mi sandwiches. [Rosslyn Blog]

  • CW

    Very curious about this Illinois thing too; been noticing it for months.

    • CrystalMikey

      Yeah, I just noticed it the other day…

      • ArlGIS

        … but don’t worry… it only took us two years to get them to change 28th St S to Campbell Ave.

    • HayCaramba

      happens too with i66 and navigation. for some reason it doesn’t like routing you from the toll road on to 66 to come into arlington.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Not sure, but I thought that was because 66 is HOV some of the time, and the good people at Google don’t want you to get a ticket!

        • Josh S

          I assumed the same. I can’t remember it ever choosing 66.

        • CW

          Yes that is why. I believe now it lets you choose it but with a big warning.

    • JamesE
    • drax

      Try a google search on “Northern Virginia” and see where the map takes you.

    • Tricia

      Heck, if you look at 50 between Seven Corners and Glebe Rd, there are a couple of places it says, “Route 50 in Nevada” in the same stretch of road that it also says, “Route 50 in Illinois.” Weird.

  • AJ

    bánh mì.

  • South Awwlington

    Bring me the Streetcar already!!!

    🙂 Happy Tuesday

    • Marie Antoinette

      As long as you pay for it, have at it.

      • South Awwlington

        Honey, I’ve been paying for Orange and Yellow line stations all along. Don’t start that tired bull$hit.

        • Patrick

          Based on the greatest increases in property values (and thus taxes) affecting those properties along the orange and blue/yellow lines, those property owners have actually shouldered the greatest burden of paying for Arlington’s contribution to metro. People whose properties have shown no appreciation because of metro have not had a similar increase in taxes and thus are not paying more then they otherwise would if there were no metro. Admittingly I have no knowledge if there was a county wide increase in the tax rate when Arlington’s contribution to metro began.

          • CW

            This has got to be a joke, right? Burden? Try comparing property VALUES, for starters…

          • CourthouseChris

            I agree with CW. I’d suggest you expand the scope of your last sentence to beyond just “if there was a county wide increase” to “all matters of tax, land values, and public works projects”.

        • John Fontain

          “Honey, I’ve been paying for Orange and Yellow line stations all along. Don’t start that tired bull$hit.”

          And herein lies the problem with government cheese. When given to one, another demands their share. Soon, all the rats are gorging themselves on ‘free’ cheese, oblivious to the indirect, but very real and substantial, costs.

          • Josh S

            But hopefully fully aware of the indirect (and direct) very real and substantial benefits.

            Or, if you really must focus on costs, you can compare to the indirect, but very real and substantial, costs of building and maintaining a road system.

          • John Fontain

            “But hopefully fully aware of the indirect (and direct) very real and substantial benefits.”

            Of course the rats are aware of the benefits of ‘free’ cheese. That is why they want it when they learn their neighbor is eating it. Why pay for something when you can get it for ‘free’, right?

          • Josh S

            ?

      • drax

        When are you going to reimburse the county for the economic development that resulted from the Metro that generates business taxes that now comprise half the county’s revenue, keeping your taxes low? Or for the increase in value of your property that makes you wealthier?

        You don’t live on your own little island.

        • John Fontain

          “keeping your taxes low?”

          hahaha! I can’t always can’t on you for a laugh when it comes to discussing taxes.

          • CW

            John, it’s been pointed out numerous times that our tax RATES are lower than any surrounding jurisdiction. One can move to a neighboring jurisdiction with higher RATES and lower property VALUES and, as absolute tax = rate * value, they will pay less, yes.

            I can see people arguing that their homes are overassessed for taxation purposes. Problem with the argument being that houses are selling for as much.

            I just have trouble with this whole argument. Look at the differential on comps between say Lyon Village and Penrose. The county put a subway line under one of those neighborhoods’ major roads, and not the other. Homes in said neighborhood are worth probably 300-500k more on average. When someone just hands you half a million in created value, I don’t have a problem with them asking for a couple percent back.

          • Suburban Not Urban

            Except they aren’t since the quantity(the rate is irrelevant) of taxes that we pay per home is higher.

          • CW

            Did you really just say that?

            If you made ten million dollars a year you would be complaining about the absolute amount of taxes paid, even if you were getting the Warren Buffett rate?

          • Josh S

            The rate is entirely relevant, and in fact the only relevant way to compare taxes from one jurisdiction to another. Your home is worth more – that’s equity that *you* have, no one else. Taxes take a tiny fraction of that to provide goods and services which are intended to maintain and improve upon the community, which will, in turn, keep your home value high.

            If you are so concerned with your total tax bill, move to a smaller house. Or move to a jurisdiction where property is worth less.

            People moan about high property taxes yet conveniently leave out the part where the rate has been more or less stable for many, many years, yet property values have skyrocketed. Would you prefer that the county do what it can to keep property values low? Not only would that be absurd, but actually the change in property values, while influenced by county actions, is largely outside their influence and instead the result of economic conditions, changing demographics, etc.

          • drax

            The rate is irrelevant, Suburban Not Urban? So if the County raises tax rates to triple what they are now, you won’t care?

          • Suburban Not Urban

            Drax – H yea I would care because the amount went up because I’d pay 3X as much.

            CW So if I work 6 hours a day and my taxes pay for supporting X other folks. and then I decide to start working 18 hours a day – I should support 3X folks. That’s what you are doing when you focus on the rate. If every one just kicked in their fair share we’d be square. I’ll refer you to the tax studies that just under 50% of american’s pay NO that 0% that’s zip or nada in income taxes. So what’s fair about that.

          • CW

            @Suburban – you’re kinda showing that you agree with me, aren’t you? It’s not about “supporting people”, it’s about “giving your fair share” just like you said. I also said nothing about people who pay no taxes, but I know you had to throw that little Tea Party red herring out just because its one of the talking points they give you. You appear to be either in favor of a flat tax as a % of income, which is EXACTLY analogous to property taxes, or to every human being paying some fixed $ amount regardless of how much they make, which is absurd. So I’m not quite sure where the argument is.

            So say you go from working 6 hours a day to working 18 hours a day. Say you’re a delivery driver. You’re using the roads 3 times as much, so you should pay 3 times as much tax. Say you work outdoors. You have to check the weather 3 times as much, so you’re using NOAA’s services 3 times as much and pay your fair share. See how that works?

          • John Fontain

            CW, drax didn’t say tax ‘rates’ were low, he said taxes were low. They aren’t. I’m not saying that they are shockingly high, but let’s not pretend that folks around here who own property are paying ‘low’ amounts of tax, because we just aren’t.

            I hear your arguments about correspondingly high property values, but remember that for many people the high value is meaningless unless they plan to sell and move someone else cheaper (thus realizing the gain). For those who have lived here a while and plan to continue to do so, a high property value on a piece of paper from the county provides little solace at tax time.

            Also, due to the housing bubble (which never fully corrected in Arlington), property prices increased by over 100 percent on average in a span of about 5 years. The tax rate remained essentially unchanged, which for practical purposes means that absolute taxes and government spending doubled in just a very short amount of time. Doubled! I can’t imagine any reasonable person believing that it is reasonable for a tax burden to more than double in just a few years when that rate of increase is absolutely out of proportion to the change in real costs (i.e., inflation).

          • CW

            Fair discussion, but we’d need to go line by line through the budget to see where the money went. Compounding the issue is that the County saw explosive growth from pretty stereotypically suburban (hardware stores and pho) to quite urban over roughly that same period. There were likely infrastructure expenses that did not scale linearly with population.

            From a policy standpoint, the county probably couldn’t just slash property tax rates because assessed values were going up – if there was a drop it would be a much harder proposition to get them back to necessary levels again.

            It is “unfortunately” a fact of life in our country that people are taxed based on certain measures of wealth. This factors into where people choose to live. I’m not telling people to deal with the taxes or get out, not in those terms, but if you swapped me, someone who can’t even dream of getting into the market, with someone who bought ten years ago, realized $300k in appreciation, and is paying an extra couple grand annually for it, you’d be hard pressed to make me complain.

          • John Fontain

            You’re right, high property taxes are a mixed blessing. And believe me, overall I don’t have a lot to complain about.

            “There were likely infrastructure expenses that did not scale linearly with population.”

            If anything, I would guess that infrastructure expenses scale down per capita as population rises (using roads as an example, similar amount of roads with more users per road mile).

          • CW

            For roads yeah, but what about the sewer plant? Or electric lines that were on poles but now have to be buried? Or having to build a new firehouse, but the land now costs $3M. I’m no city planner, but I think that things generally become more costly and painful in an urban setting.

          • Josh S

            The higher property values can provide direct benefits without selling – home equity loans, for example.

          • L’Enfant

            That strategy worked so well during the Bush years.

          • drax

            It’s obvious I meant rates.

            I pay more in taxes than I would in another county because my home value has grown more here than it would elsewhere. For me to complain about that fact would be pathetic. I pay more because I am wealthier. But the government takes less of that wealth here than it would elsewhere.

        • South Awwlington

          +1,000

  • Tim

    Arguing that an articulated bus is a good substitute for a streetcar is the same as saying that riding across the Atlantic in a container ship is the same as a first-class cruise. The logic seems to be “if we can still get them from point A to point B, while saving money, it’s a viable substitute.”

    • South Awwlington

      Very good analogy.

      • SomeGuy

        No. Very bad analogy.

        Completely different modes of transportation (land vs. sea, but that’s forgivable), completely different trip durations (15-20 minutes vs. several days/weeks), and not even comparable since the land-based version of a “container ship” would be much more akin to the back of a FedEx truck than an articulated *passenger* bus. Have you heard anyone suggest that Columbia Pike passengers should be relegated to the back of a truck bed?

        So whether you prefer streetcars or you prefer buses, you should still have the sense not to applaud bad analogies just because they try to make the argument you agree with.

        • Boris Durke

          His analogy is terrible. He clearly has not read the alternatives analysis. If he had, he would see that the service levels are identical between bus and streetcar. They both are the same in getting you from Point A to Point B.

          • drax

            But this isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B. That’s the point.

          • Boris Durke

            That was the point of the analogy. Please try to provide useful comments in the future.

          • South Awwlington

            No, it’s not a bad analogy.

            A bad analogy would go something like: articulated bus over streetcar is like crawling on your knees versus driving your BMW.

        • John Fontain

          ^^Somebody obviously doesn’t really understand what an analogy is.

        • Suburban Not Urban

          Another issue is that ships use what is effectively an unconstrained resource where the Pike is limited real-estate and failure to accomodate multiple uses based on their actually need and benefits will have vast consequences.

        • Josh S

          Err, are you familiar with analogies? Apparently not. Your entire first paragraph makes no sense as you raise objections to the analogy that simply point out that it is an analogy.

          • SomeGuy

            Josh S, I am familiar with analogies. I think it’s a poor analogy because he has chosen extremes to analogize two things that are not extreme. You may feel differently, and if you’d like to articulate why it’s a “very good analogy” to imply that passenger bus service is to freight transport as passenger train service is to first class cruise liner, you’re welcome to do so.

          • Josh S

            Nice try.

          • Ballston Resident

            passenger train service is to first class cruise liner

            Huh? Where is that?

        • drax

          SomeGuy, you know what an analogy is, right?

          • SomeGuy

            Yes. And if you want to make a case for why it’s a “very good analogy,” feel free.

          • RWarren

            *crickets*

          • drax

            Really? I have to explain an analogy?

            Sigh. Okay.

            “Completely different modes of transportation (land vs. sea, but that’s forgivable)”

            Well, yeah, their different – because it’s an ANALOGY.

            “completely different trip durations”

            Um, yeah, because it’s…an ANALOGY.

            “and not even comparable since the land-based version of a “container ship” would be much more akin to the back of a FedEx truck than an articulated *passenger* bus. Have you heard anyone suggest that Columbia Pike passengers should be relegated to the back of a truck bed?”

            Ah, so container ship didn’t do the trick. Okay, how about steerage in a fishing vessel?

            Are we done?

          • SomeGuy

            So it’s a good analogy?

        • bringmetheyuppies

          Here’s an idea. Since noone from the north side wants this thing and doesn’t like their property value increases due to metro. Lets just eliminate the stops in Arlington and put in an articulated bus along that line. That way the property values could plummet and they could ride the busses like they want us to! If this sounds unreasonable to you perhaps you don’t think stinky, smelly, nauseating busses are they solution.

          • Suburban Not Urban

            Except it wouldn’t happen. Maybe in those big stinky smelly towers but not in the SFH where only a few people metro. It’ll be irrelevant anyway when the Fed govt down sizes and we all see a huge down swing just like the 80’s

          • South Awwlington

            So you think that occupants of SFH’s don’t take Metrorail? Interesting.

    • drax

      Another good point from the GGW article – we’ve had buses for decades on the Pike and look where that got us. How do longer buses help any?

    • Marie Antoinette

      It’s taxpayer money. It’s our money. If I HAD to needlessly spend $200 million (delta between Folly Trolley and articulated bus), I would prefer safer crosswalks for pedestrians and cyclists, parks, investment into schools–anything but the Folly.

      • South Awwlington

        Well Marie, the streetcar, and much like your head, is off and running. So you can deal or move. I think for you, I prefer the latter.

        • Patrick

          I wouldn’t count your chickens before they hatch. I still find it very hard to believe that Richmond is waiting and willing to contribute the 40 million or so the county is anticipating from the state.

          • Marie Antoinette

            You can thank Jay Fisette for that! His little stunt cost Arlington big time and I do hope Richmond scuttles this pet project.

          • South Awwlington

            Thank Jay Fisette for what? Being one of the more moderate current Board members? I am thankful for him and Mary Hynes every time I watch a Board meeting.

            Yes, he is an arts advocate and yes I think Artisphere is actually Artisflop. Other than that, there is no denying he is the more moderate of Board members.

          • marie antoinette

            Um, his stunt of green-lighting a lawsuit which named a transportation official in his official and personal capacity, re: HOV lane. It was a dirty play and as a result, the Arlington delegation felt Richmond’s wrath at the General Assembly this year.

            I’m with Patrick on this one. It may be quite a ways out.

      • KalashniKEV

        The streetcar is a disaster.

        If we really want to increase the level of QUAINT CHARM we should be have a stage coach line.

        • drax

          Quaint charm never sells. Let’s have cinder block and open bed trucks!

          • Josh S

            Kev –

            if you’re having trouble reading that, I can translate – he said
            “Let’s have CINDER BLOCK and OPEN BED TRUCKS.”

            You’re welcome.

      • South Awwlington

        @Marie – Yes, you are right — it is OUR money. And the people who live on the Pike are part of the group you lovingly refer to as “OUR.”

        Perhaps you should “cash-out” now if you don’t want your sliver of “our” to be used…

    • Patrick

      Terrible analogy. That is like saying articulated buses are akin to tractor trailers.

    • SomeGuy

      It’s not the same as saying that, Tim.

      • South Awwlington

        So the bike advocate is anti-streetcar…care to share with the group why?

        • SomeGuy

          When did I advocate bikes or express an anti-streetcar sentiment?

          • South Awwlington

            Um earlier in this thread and last week during the bike incident.

            Unless you are Some”other”Guy.

          • SomeGuy

            In neither article did I advocate as you suggest.

            I advocated against bad analogies in this thread. I advocated for not jumping to conclusions without facts in the other thread. I did not render an opinion pro- or anti-bikes in the other one nor pro- or anti-streetcar in this one.

            That’s why I’m often surprised by posts like yours in which you assume I have an opinion that I have not expressed.

    • Garden City

      Oh, just put tiny little wheels on the articulated bus, and stick a broomstick on the roof and no one will notice that it’s not a streetcar.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        LOL, good one, Garden City!

      • DarkHeart

        How about an articulated bus with a reticulated design?

        • Reticulated Python

          I’ll take that as a backhanded compliment – surely you didn’t mean it in a derogatory fashion. . .

  • Suburban Not Urban

    Guess accuracy is not really a big concern when you state that the streetcar has been “approved by the voters” when the county refuses to seperate out the funding as a seperate bond for approval.

  • JnA

    Been to Vegas lately? State of the art articulated Ace buses are great. So are the double deck Deice buses. They’re so good the Arlington pro-streetcar crowd that’s in charge of the planning process won’t even discuss them, lest the taxpayers revolt against the $500 millionPike and Crystal City streetcars.

    • Ed

      I just image-googled the Ace bus — nice!! I was wondering if someone could build an articulated bus that looked pleasant. I assume the floors are low, but I didn’t check. It says they have “three wide doors,” also good, if true.

      • WeiQiang

        +1

      • South Awwlington

        Yes, nice if you are a tourist in Vegas schlepping around some place you never plan to live with ZERO residential living on the strip.

        Me, living on the Pike and trying to NOT replace my 10 year old car, I’ll take the streetcar.

        I’ll take it to Giant, I’ll take it to dinner, I’ll take it to the bar late night, I’ll take it to work M-F.

        Any single person who complains about this streetcar yet lives within .5 miles of a Metrorail station should stop concerning themselves about what is happening on the Pike and start identifying properties within your own neighborhoods for location of Affordable Housing.

        Let’s face it folks, development is coming, like it or not. You can choose to be out in front of it and management it or you can be bulldozed by it.

        The County does some things right, somethings not so much. Transportation is something the County does right and if you deny that fact you would probably also debate the color of blue in the sky.

        If you want to have serious debate about this, then let’s do it. If you want to complain about your taxes while not mentioning the fact that your properties within walking distance of Metrorail have made you millionaires, go to complain to your next-door neighbor, adults are at work here.

        • JohnB

          I concur.

        • posit

          Vegas ACE bus is basically a streetcar with rubber tires. Check it out via Google.

          I choose to tell the developers to take their mixed use act it to crummy downtown Annandale.

          • South Awwlington

            No, it’s not. It’s an articulated bus with three doors. I’ll opt for the opinions of transit professionals on the east coast with experience with planning in dense and livable cities.

            Vegas can stay cute for gambling tourists. I’ll take my vacays at the beach and my living in east coast, metro areas.

            Thanks.

    • drax

      Did they completely transform downtown Las Vegas?

  • Marie Antoinette

    It is a pet project of the Royal Arlington County Board.

    • drax

      Except it’s not royal, it’s elected. Other than that, you’re right.

      • Patrick

        Did you actually just admit that the streectcar is a “pet project” of the county board?

  • Mary-Austin

    Google Maps also calls Rhode Island Ave in DC “City Ave” in some spots.

  • Becoming indifferent

    I can’t wait for the streetcars to come to Arlington and totally fail so I can say, “I told you so.” Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

    • Eds

      I don’t know, I kind of hope they’re successful. If that happens and they are, will you come back on here and admit that by saying “Dumbest. Idea. Ever.” it proves you have no clue what you’re talking about?

      • Becoming indifferent

        I can admit I’m wrong, but I won’t be in this case.

        Metrics for failure: it will cost way more money than what they’re guessing now; it will be way behind schedule, if it’s even built; and traffic will be even more of a nightmare on Columbia Pike.

        • Boris Durke

          You should also agree that “new development that occurred” needs to be tossed out as a metric for success. It is impossible to measure any direct of indirect effect on the quantity of new development with or without a streetcar line. I guarantee you that new development will occur on Columbia Pike whether a streetcar line is built or not.

          • Josh S

            Impossible?

        • Josh S

          Two of your metrics involve things that happen (or don’t) even before the streetcar would begin operation. Seems like they are bad metrics for measuring success.

          Also, you’ll need to quantify/clarify “traffic will be even more of a nightmare on Columbia Pike.” Are we supposed to just take your word for it?

        • JohnB

          “Way more” = 5%? 20%? 50% How much is “way” exactly? “Way behind schedule” = 5%? 20%? 50% How much is “way” exactly? “More of a nightmare” = 5, 20, 50% increase in travel time during rush hour from Jefferson St to Washington Blvd interchange?

          Your metrics seem to be designed to confirm your original bias as they are all focused on potential negative outcomes.

    • JohnB

      What are your metrics for failure or success?

    • drax

      Did you say the same about Metro?

    • Josh S

      Why?

  • JB

    There is a free sandwich at Sam’s Corner today for the first person that references a Bryce Harper quote.

    • nom de guerre

      “I’m not doing what Trout’s doing”

  • nom de guerre

    Regarding the streetcar vs. articulated bus debate-I think it would be interesting if Scott with arlnow.com would devise a posting that would allow readers to vote on their preference.

    • Boris Durke

      By interesting, you mean pointless.

      • South Awwlington

        Cause you’d loose??

        Just sayin.

        • South Awwlington

          *lose*

          *Type slower next time*

  • Swag

    The problem with the streetcars is that while they will more effectively “revitalize” Columbia Pike than buses will, it’s not worth the hundreds of millions of dollars of extra cost.

    • Josh S

      Why not?

    • drax

      So you’re just repeating the argument that the article cited completely refuted, Swag?

      • Ed

        Drax, what? I’m on the fence about the streetcar but I don’t think that article “refuted” much. It says “streetcars are more comfortable,” with no details. It says “more people will ride them,” again with no details. It doesn’t explain how they will get around double-parking knuckleheads. Maybe those details exist, but the “article” does not give them — I would not even call it an article, if we’re talking about the Greater Greater Washington bit. It’s a brief blog post.

        • drax

          Yeah, but it said those things. You just said what you said before. At least now you’re actually responding to the article.

  • John Fontain

    CW, I think Arlnow put that picture up just to aggravate you.

    • CW

      Haha, I was mostly distracted by the trippiness of the photography. But yeah, small dog on a leash, it’s being walked on pavement so this is probably during a festival of some sort, which means it was annoying people. Also everyone in the picture is wearing brown flip flops, and the one dude has some sort of button-up highwaters.

      • WeiQiang

        Don’t harsh on the brah’s clamdiggers, bro.

      • Mary-Austin

        I hope that is not a dude. If so he has some purple painted toenails.

        • Reticulated Python

          It just means he’s from Clarendon instead of Courthouse.

        • Jane-Dallas

          Don’t be such a sexist.

        • another dude

          I have painted toenails. I’m not gay either.

          You know how guys have piercings now? Would have been completely gay 20 years ago.

          • novapeeved

            Maybe Mary-Austin is from Texas. Things are a bit behind down there.

  • EFC Observer

    If the Pike streetcar is such a good idea and has such widespread support, how come our County Board will not put the millions of dollars of local bonds needed to build it up for a vote on a referendum?

    • Josh S

      Perhaps because that’s not how local government works?

      • John Fontain

        Arlington doesn’t put spending decisions on referendums? Hmmm, that’s news to me.

        • Josh S

          Not for specific projects, which seems to be what EFC Observer was suggesting.

          • Boris Durke

            Yes they do.

          • John Fontain

            November 2010: “Public Schools: $102,888,000 The 2010 bond will fund the design and construction of Wakefield High School, as well as HVAC, roofing, and fiber optic cabling projects.”

            You mean like this one for building the new Wakefield High?

          • Boris Durke

            Exactly.

          • EFC Observer

            The proposed bond funding for the Pike streetcar (over $100M, per the proposed CIP) is not from “general obligation” bonds – the ones that do legally require a vote.

            The principal & interest is proposed to be funded from the commercial real estate tax surcharge. Since these are “revenue bonds”, a referendum vote is not legally required.

            Board Chairman Hynes confirmed that this morning (see the Sun Gazette posting here:

            http://www.sungazette.net/arlington/news/referendum-on-streetcar-looking-increasingly-unlikely/article_ece08390-ba21-11e1-aac1-0019bb2963f4.html

            Even though not legally required per se, what’s the problem with a referendum on this?

          • John Fontain

            “Even though not legally required per se, what’s the problem with a referendum on this?”

            The project might not earn the approval of voters. That is why supporters of the project are so opposed to let voters have a voice in this matter.

          • drax

            No, John, it’s not that the voters might not approve it – it’s that the voters are too stupid to handle it because it won’t be in “plain language.”

          • drax

            EFC,

            Thanks for the information.

    • Hot Dog

      If equal rights for minorities is such a good idea, why don’t they put it up for a vote?

      • John Fontain

        ^^^Now there is an analogy that someguy can appropriately call a very bad analogy.

      • WeiQiang

        They do.

    • drax

      Are they using bonds for this project that haven’t already been approved, EFC?

      I believe they are legally required to put all bonds on the ballot. So you will get your wish.

  • Dan

    The photo of the chihuahua is great……little fellas always look a bit nervous.

  • Douglas Parker

    Another Google error – The Arland D. Williams Bridge (AKA 14th St. Bridge) aslo states it is US Route 1 in Rhode Island.

    • WeiQiang

      I always get confused … which is the Williams Bridge and which is the Rochambeau?

      • nom de guerre

        “The northbound span, which opened in 1950, was originally named the Rochambeau Bridge, and was renamed the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge in 1983 for a passenger of Air Florida Flight 90 who died while saving others from the freezing water the previous year.
        At that time, the Rochambeau Bridge name was moved to the previously unnamed center bridge, which opened in 1972 and carries traffic in both directions.”

    • WeiQiang

      Ahh, Rochambeau was changed in 1983 to Williams. Thanks for that.

      • WeiQiang

        Northbound side is Williams. Southbound is George Mason.

        • drax

          You sure?

          • WeiQiang

            Multiple sources = Southbound “14th” is George Mason. Northbound “14th” is Williams [renamed in 1983]. Rochambeau name transferred from Williams to center HOV [not previously named].

          • Opie

            There was no other source.

  • JohnB2

    On another note, we have the first official congressional use of our new yet overused meme. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reporter: ‘That’s a clown question, bro’” on Tuesday.

    • South Awwlington

      Stop it right now! Love it.

    • John K.

      Most important words uttered in this thread…

    • marie antoinette

      Anyone who uses the word “meme” deserves to be beheaded. Trust me, I know.

  • Mc

    How many commenters here have actually ridden ai modern trolley, the kind common in Europe? I doubt many have, or else they wouldn’t see them as no different from a diesel long bus.

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