Morning Poll: Streetcar vs. Articulated Bus

by June 22, 2012 at 11:35 am 6,488 159 Comments

The public comment period on the alternatives and environmental analysis for the planned Columbia Pike streetcar ended yesterday (Thursday), but the debate over the streetcar rages on.

The streetcar plan has spawned a very vocal group of opponents. Many of those streetcar critics say that one of the alternatives from the analysis — articulated buses — is a cheaper and in some ways superior transportation option for Columbia Pike. Streetcar supporters disagree, however, and often point to economic development along streetcar corridors as the reason why rail is preferable.

Amid the back-and-forth arguments over the streetcar and the potential for articulated bus service, where do you stand?

  • CW


    • neutrino


    • boothinator

      In 20 years, maybe.

  • KalashniKEV

    Stage Coach.

  • HollaArl

    Lobster Trucks

  • South Awwlington

    Someone is baiting for high traffic today. Grab the drinks. Let the games begin.

    • Aaron

      If he were an ACPD officer, I’d assume he has a “performance activity expectation” that he needs to meet for the current specified time period.

      Click on a few of the ads and maybe we’ll get back to real news!

  • John

    Pulled rickshaw

  • Ashton Heights

    I love that the streetcar is winning! Totally agree by the way, buses are stinky poor people movers.

    • Eric

      Who you calling stinky? The buses or the poor people? The new Metro hybrid buses are pretty nice and they are quiet when they start up and stop. I think folks who are so enamored with streetcars haven’t ridden a new bus in years.

      Streetcars so European. But since we can’t raise gasoline taxes 300% to drive people out of cars, there really won’t be a measurable increase in public transportation ridership no matter what.

      • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

        wait- why cant we raise gas taxes 300%???

    • Becoming indifferent

      If you combine the two other options, then streetcars are winning by less then one percent.

  • Buckingham Bandit


  • Mitt Romney

    Sedan Chair! (or one of my wife’s caddilacs)

  • drax

    We can’t use old technology like streetcars!

    Also, walking is pre-historic technology. Pull up the sidewalks.

    Cars were invented in the late 1800s. Ancient technology, eclipsed by many new power sources and modes.

    I guess we have to go with flying cars! No, wait, aviation goes back more than 100 years, so that’s out too.

    Fusion-powered teleportation! Anything less is old and therefore useless!

  • WeiQiang

    Mobile Learning Coaches

    [just not within view of any houses]

  • Swag

    Streetcar: $249-261 million
    Articulated bus: $39-68 million

    Your argument is invalid.

    • KalashniKEV

      How much for increased regular bus service?

      • drax

        Buses date from the 1820s when they were horse-drawn. Ancient technology. Get rid of them.

        • drax

          In fact…buses are OLDER THAN STREETCARS.

          Gotta get rid of this ancient technology!!!!!

    • drax

      So Swag, you voted for do nothing because it’s cheaper than both of those.


    • JohnB

      Smart Car: $12,500
      Murcielago : $382,400

      Your argument is invalid.

      • Sam Walton

        Smart Car: $12,500
        My used Hyundai: $5,000

        Swag’s argument is again valid

    • G Clifford Prout (now moderated for extra purity)

      Running water and sewer system $10 million

      Well and septic $1.98

  • Redonkulous Maximus

    Nah, this is all silly. What we really need are Hummer limos escorting people up and down the pike. Free of charge, of course. That would really boost business and keep Arlington residents riding in style.

    • KalashniKEV

      You almost need an M1151 Gun Truck to drive on the west end of the Pike at night.

    • R. Griffon

      That might fly in Texas, but most Arlingtonians wouldn’t be caught dead in a Hummer. Prius limos, maybe?

    • Arlwhenver

      Actually, at $250 million and the projected load of about 5,000 streetcar round trips, the Hummer Limo service would likely cost less than the $50K per streetcar rider cost.

      • JohnB

        More like 17,000 trips per DAY.

  • R. Griffon

    How about a giant zip line?

    • Redonkulous Maximus


      • Aaron

        Don’t forget to take in the gnar!

        • Richard Cranium

          What about bad weather? Obviously, a Gondola system is the way to go here. Eliminates all those “routing around stopped car” problems as well.

  • Aaron

    Let’s fight the obesity epidemic and put some Americans (and of course documentless Americans) to work — pedicabs!!!

    • John K.

      I hate my job and need exercise. Sold! How do we promote this option?

      • Aaron

        Send our county board members on a very important transit mission to downtown Boston or San Diego to observe how pedicabs work?

  • Mary-Austin

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see a streetcar hit $300 mil

    Wasn’t their an article just the other day about how Arlington is going to be getting less money from the government money tree?

  • Enough already

    Streetcar is such a waste of money, it’s the Arlington way. Vote for these arrogant people and this is what you get

  • D'oh!

    Honest questions here. Do people think the streetcar will increase ridership? Based on the pictures, they look to me like Metro buses on rails. I don’t see the appeal. Or is the main argument for efficiency?

    • Mary-Austin

      The main argument is that they are cuter.

      • Aaron

        There’s a certain demographic in the county that refuses to ride buses. See the pro-streetcar comment above about buses being for smelly poor people.

      • JohnB

        No it’s not.

    • JohnB

      Honest answer: Yes. The general population has a higher mode preference for streetcars than they do buses meaning there are people who won’t ride buses that will ride a streetcar. Increasing the bus capacity would result in a higher number of transit trips when the population increases but the proportion of transit trips to auto trips would remain the same. Streetcars would increase the proportion of transit trips to auto trips as well as handle increased demand from an increased population. While no one can predict the future, there is strong evidence to support this assertion from empirical data from other streetcars in the US (where streetcars replacing bus lines resulted in an increased share of total trips) as well as survey data along the Columbia Pike corridor indicating a much higher percentage of the population would use a streetcar than currently uses the buses.

      • D’oh

        I understand the technical pros and cons. But why are streetcars any more appealing to the general population than buses? They are both enclosed and will probably have similar fare. You’ll still have current bus riders that seemingly keep those survey responders off buses now. I tend to think that people’s expectations for the aesthetics of a trolley are not in line with reality.

        Maybe people are duped and decide that public transit isn’t so bad after all. I have a hard time justifying spending that much money to cater to people’s snobbery. Bottom line: I doubt the survey is indicative of reality.

        • JohnB

          That is a fair concern, but we don’t question customer preference in other purchasing decisions so why should public transit be any different?

          • AL

            I agree fully. People don’t always make decisions based on logic, and that’s part of what makes someone human. If all we cared about was practicality, why would art (not ART, art like paintings and music, etc.) exist?

            Personally, I think Columbia Pike badly needs to be overhauled. I support the streetcars over buses as it would greatly help calm the traffic speeds in the area. As someone who rents on Columbia Pike, it is pretty scary to be walking on the sidewalk just 5 feet away from cars whizzing down the hill at 40 to 45 mph, protected only be a 4″ curb.

        • drax

          “I have a hard time justifying spending that much money to cater to people’s snobbery.”

          Been on a local highway lately?

          • JohnB

            Agreed. To elaborate, the other side of the coin is that we spend hundreds of millions of dollars building roads so that people can ride in the comfort of their single passenger vehicle. Why won’t those people ride buses? In other words, the streetcar is a road substitute. We can’t (or shouldn’t) widen Columbia Pike but we can entice more people out of their cars freeing up roadway for others. It’s like widening the pike to three lanes in either direction, only with a much better outcome in terms of economic development and neighborhood sustainability.

          • D’oh

            Fair point. If people do ride the streetcar, regardless of reason, and it increases economic development (which seems to be doing pretty well on the pike even without the streetcar), then I’d be for it. But only if it’s not a money-losing venture or offers other tangible benefits, like significantly reduced polution from decreased car use.

            For now, it seems like a very large subsidy when an adequate public transit option already exits. Public use of tax dollars should be based primarily on facts and studies, not customer preference (which ought to be questioned when it involves public financing).

            FWIW, I don’t agree with our general “roads first” approach either. I put more miles on my bike than my car, paying a premium to live in Arlington to do so.

          • JohnB

            Well the current system is pretty much at capacity so there is definitely a need. The prime driver of the redevelopment has been the anticipation of the streetcar and the form based code. Without both, nothing would have happened. There have been many facts and studies and I would suggest going onto piketransit and reading the progression of documents so you can see this process evolving over time. As far as losing money, roads lose money. Cost recovery via user fees is only one metric to view transportation (all types) investments through. I would argue that the externalities of the investment are more important as they are the primary reason for the investment. We don’t build roads to make money off of them. We build roads to facilitate commerce. Same with other transportation facilities (including bike which I support).

          • Ramen

            “nothing” would have happened?? LOL, now you’re just lying.

          • JohnB

            You’re right. All of the commercial development along the pike from 1980 – 2005 would have been replicated.

  • ArlForester

    I love how they are considering public opinion on this but giant wastes of money like the Artisphere are pushed through without any input.

    • RWarren

      Hate to break the news to you, but they are not really considering public opinion on the streetcar.

      • ArlForester

        I know that. The County Politboro likes to pretend they care what people think.

        • drax

          The sore loser contingent in Arlington is so loud.

          • Vikram

            The people who see this as a winner / loser issue are so sad.

          • drax

            I agree. When people stop whining, that will be settled.

          • Becoming indifferent

            I have yet to meet a single Arlingtonian who thinks this is a good idea, so yes, this is being shoved down out throats whether we like it or not.

          • Hello!

            Now you have! congratulations! you’re welcome

      • JohnB

        Actually they are. They’ve been considering public opinion for about 8-10 years. What they are discounting is the recent attention being paid by people who haven’t been involved in the process suddenly waking up and thinking themselves transportation/urban planning experts.

        • IngtonWayArl

          Right. It’s only those in the super secret inside group who have been told why spending $200 million more for the same transportation result is a good idea. Everyone else who points out stuff like this is just ignorant and uninitiated. So, tell us, John. Based on your decade of involvement, what exactly does justify the fifth of a billion dollars more? You know, besides thie fact that Zimmy really really wants a nifty streetcar?

          • JohnB

            Yes. You’ve uncovered the conspiracy. The super secret inside group of the general public and all of the civic associations along the pike who have been engaged in a detailed, thoughtful, multidisciplinary public planning process. It’s really terrible how nobody has been excluded other than the people who decided not to show up. And it’s not the same result. What’s different? How about a higher capacity system, a billion or so of private capital invested along the pike, hundreds of millions of additional tax revenue, a couple hundred new business and a couple thousand more jobs, and many more people using transit freeing up discretionary income.

          • SomeGuy

            JohnB, from your last sentence, which of those is impossible to achieve with a high-frequency high-end bus service? I.e. not the typical bus service around here, but a truly high-frequency every 5-10 minutes or less high-end service.

          • JohnB

            All of them. That’s why I called them out as being different. Streetcars will have a higher capacity than enhance bus. Streetcars will attract private capital that bus will not. Streetcars will capture a higher percentage of all trips than bus. Enhanced bus does have benefits, but to call them equal to the benefits of the streetcar is incorrect.

          • CW

            John raises an extremely important point that is not cited enough – one of the selling points of the streetcar is its permanence. By investing this amount of capital up front in a project designed to last a long time, the County is showing that they are serious about taking care of the Pike. In the developer community, that means something.

          • Unimpressed

            CW – didn’t they do this once with the Artisphere already? They don’t exactly have a stellar track record of spending money wisely. If it turns out to be a poor investment when they’ve already invested $300 million into it and they have to keep funneling money into it, does its permanence still make it a smart decision?

          • One thing you don’t mention – the gentrification of Columbia Pike. Be honest – that’s an obvious result of “economic development.” One of the few remaining locations offering affordable housing (at least by Arlington standards) will be transformed rapidly into block after block of renovated, over-priced apartments and condos. Is this what the county – you know, the one that laments the lack of affordable housing – really desires? Sure seems like it.

          • where will the current affordable housing tenants move to after the pike is gentrified into Clarendon 2.0?

        • BarbInArlington

          Yeah, I have no tolerance for those low income residents around the Pike who never got involved in the process and now are going to get gentrified out.

          Isn’t adverse effect on disadvantaged populations part of the required EA to get FTA funding?

          • JohnB

            Take a look at the neighborhoods plan and check out all of the affordable housing.

          • BarbInArlington

            What’s your point?

          • JohnB

            What’s yours?

          • BarbInArlington

            Ooh, we hooked a feisty one here.

            Tell me how the neighborhoods plan plays into the affordable housing problem created by the streetcar.

          • JohnB

            The neighborhoods plan contains many strategies to preserve existing and create new affordable housing on the Pike.

          • BarbInArlington

            Who is paying the displacement costs?

          • JohnB

            Read the plan and show up at the public hearing.

          • BarbInArlington

            Whatever, Zimmie

          • JohnB

            Have you read the plan? Decisions are made by the people who show up. We might disagree, but I’d prefer to have you voice your opinion because I firmly believe that we’ll end up with a better solution that way.

        • Mary-Austin

          The Arlington way of considering public opinion is holding forums that the public may attend and educating them on what the County is going to do and why it is good.
          That is not the same as actually considering public input

          • Zelora

            You are completely right! The Arlington Way is to listen to only people who are big mouthed and meeting-happy yo-yos. fugeddabout reserved, intelligent people!

          • drax

            Reserved intelligent people can vote.

          • James Jeter

            We take out overhead wires and pay to bury them- thenwe come with street cars with oveehead wires. We put in concrete median
            stripes,replace them with pavers at $34 per sq ft on Glebe Rd.
            The Arl.Way is to spend all of theArl. Money.


    • Arlingtonian

      When the County Board considered approval of the Artisphere, several speakers, including myself, asked the Board to reject the project because it would likely lose lots of money. However, many more speakers supported approval of the project, as did the County Manager. You can now see the results.

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    The streetcar is great for business it ends right near the 5000 block of Columbia Pike home of the “F–ky, f–ky, 10 dollars”

  • Not so fast my friend…

    I vote for “streetcar-looking bus” like the Wright Streetcar that runs in Vegas. A regular bendy bus is horrible…I’d rather the county spend a billion dollars than have those terrible things riding up and down the pike.

    • Old Town Alexandria has a ‘streetcar-looking bus’ on the waterfront to king street metro

      Best of both worlds I guess

  • bb

    Unless the streetcar can be routed to Pentagon instead of Pentagon City, I don’t see how it actually improves ridership and removes buses from the Pike. When given the option, I’ll always take a Pentagon-bound 16 bus over a Pentagon City-bound 16 bus. Most commuters and bus routes go to the Pentagon, not Pentagon City.

    In the end, I vote for Killdozers as the preferred method of transportation.

    • HayDiosMio

      What if the street car you know, stops at fhe Pentagon. Then it can proceed to end at Pentagon city.

    • JohnB

      I actually take the first one that comes along because there is little difference.

      • bb

        I disagree. If you’re trying to make a connection to Metro, most Pentagon bound buses will get you to the Metro before the 16 G/H buses would. Once they split at Joyce, a 16 G/H will usually have several lights to go through as well as a stop at the mall before it arrives at the station. The Pentagon bound buses’ only impediment is Pentagon parking lot traffic.

        Plus, if you’re going on a Metro towards DC, you’re also farther along the line and thus more likely to make your connection at Pentagon vs. Pentagon City. Transferring at Pentagon City makes my trip slightly more expensive due to it being one stop longer.

        • JohnB

          But if the next pentagon bus is 5 minutes away, then there is only a slight cost difference. I have and use a smartphone app that tells me when the buses are coming and that’s how I make my decision. 3 minutes or under until the next Pentagon bus and I’ll wait. 4 minutes or more and I’ll get on the G/H.

          • bb

            So they’ve turned the GPS back on the buses? For the longest time, it was a crap shoot as to when/if NextBus worked in telling you the truth about the bus status.

          • JohnB

            It’s certainly not 100% but it’s close enough for most days. Plus I can check the trains so I know if I need to run out of the bus or not.

          • bb

            That’s good to know. I gave up a while ago due to the GPS never being on. Any particular app you use? Thanks.

          • JohnB

            DC Metro Transit from Jazz Studios for Android. Doesn’t have the ART buses though so there might be a better one out there.

    • FunReadArlNow

      The streetcar line as currently designed does not stop at the Pentagon. It’ll cross under 395 at Joyce St (I think Joyce, there was an piece about that a few days ago) and wander over to PentCity. One of the “Pike” blogs analyzed the 16 ridership and noted that about 2/3 of the passengers go to Pentagon, about 1/3 to PentCity.

      • bb

        Yeah, I read that too. My other question would be on the other end of the route. Currently the plan is to have it go out to Skyline. It seems that there are quite a few more Pike buses that go out towards Culmore. I’d think that looking towards future deployment, sending the streetcar down Leesburg Pike might be a better idea. You could eventually send it through to Seven Corners and Falls Church.

        • FrenchyB

          There is talk amongst Fairfax County, Alexandria and Fall Church, of eventually running a separate streetcar line on Route 7. The Columbia Pike line is considered to be the first leg of an integrated streetcar network.

  • ArlForester

    Will I be able to take a streetcar from north Arlington to the southside hookers?

  • Bluemontsince1961

    Rickshaws, pedicabs, and horses & buggies.

    • drax

      The “streetcars are old” theme is dead.

      • Mary-Austin

        but the “buses are old” theme isn’t ?

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Roman chariots?

        • Capt. James T. Kirk (Ret.)

          Transporters. Boom. Done.

          • Aaron

            Didn’t he retire as an admiral?

          • Capt. James T. Kirk (Ret.)

            Dammit. You’re right, of course.

          • Admiral Adama

            Don’t sweat it Kirk, I’ve been busted down so many times, I can’t remember what rank I am either.

          • scotty

            “If I push it any harder the whole thing will blow!”

  • chris


    • Frank’s Towing

      Mortimer! We’re Back!!!!

  • wat

    How many people do you know that don’t have cars that would go to an area that you can only get to by bus? I’m not talking about people that live there and bus to/from home, but getting to bars, restaurants, theaters, friends to your place, etc.

    How many of those same people that would not bus would go somewhere via metro? These are the same people that would likely take a streetcar. This is why it is an option better than BRT or articulated busses.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    I love how the rendering shows the car right on the rails – tearing it’s tires up. Anyone that’s actually driven in this environment knows that you will avoid driving there if at all possible.

  • Clarendon

    Now that Dulles has the tram, they must have a bunch of those people movers, excuse me – mobile lounges that we could use.

    • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

      ah- yes the NASA vehicles that we brought back from the Moon landing mission. Those would be excellent to use. They ride so high up that bikers could hitch rides and not have to pedal and ride below them.

  • Scott

    page views bait

  • neutrino

    I’m willing to compromise. Underground articulated buses.

    • SomeGuy

      How about articulated buses, but put them on rails so they can never route around something that blocks their path?

  • SamsontheCat

    Monorail all of Arlington

  • Scott

    Ski lift! Runs non-stop all day long and requires no drivers!

  • Mary-Austin

    Has anyone taken into account the cost/difficulty of road maintenance when there is a track on two lanes of it?

    • South Awwlington

      @Mary-Austin – Just what would it take for you to support the streetcar?

      The same goes for the rest of the naysayers. Would any of you ever support it, aside from it being free or even at the same start up costs as articulated buses?

      Is there anything that could be done to garner your support or will you continue to lob grenades about any old thing? Next thing will be the color of the rails or seat fabric.

      • D’oh

        It will take a convincing argument, which the vast majority of us have yet to see, apparently. You’re asking us all sudsidize something that will benefit . Show us why we should, with reliable citations for any figures included.
        – Prove that current pubic transit options and proposed alternatives are inadequate.
        – Prove that ridership will increase even though streetcars are just buses on rails (i.e., the bus snob issue it moot).
        – Make a compelling case that it won’t lose money.
        – Show what other benefits it will produce (lower polution? public safety?).

      • drax

        They’re also busy claiming that tracks rip up car tires now.

        • drax

          P.S. And now it’s “rebar in the roadway.”

      • Mary-Austin

        Actually the biggest thing for me is the disruption and headaches it will cause.
        If I were convinced it would have a positive or even a minimal impact on my neighborhood and others I wouldn’t really care.
        All I’ve heard so far is yea it is going to suck for a long time while it is under construction and traffic will be terrible but some future condo dwellers might like it so deal with it. That isn’t good enough for me.
        Is there anything that you and the streetcar pushers to reconsider it or are you just set on forcing it on the Pike?

        • JohnB

          If the New Start/Small Start funding doesn’t come through then it would have to be reconsidered.

      • Jason S.

        Even if it were free, you’d have to compare the operational costs.

      • Suburban Not Urban

        If the articulated bus supporters need to answer this question then lets turn it around and ask the trolley crowd. What would it take for you to decide not to support it? The capital costs are twice as much as the current projections(which is really quite likely)? It costs 4X the current projections? Operating costs are 2X the current? Or do you just don’t care how much it costs since the money will come from somewhere – who cares where.
        What about if more accurate projections showed that the actual transport efficiency passanger miles/hour and reliabilty uptime is 5% lower, 10% lower.

      • Becoming indifferent

        Well, what would it take for you to realize the streetcar is a stupid idea? That it will likely cost much more than what the proposed costs are now? That it won’t increase ridership any more than improved bus service? That the development that will supposedly follow will completely change the fabric of the Columbia Pike corridor and turn it into a yuppie wasteland?

    • JohnB

      I agree Mary-Austin. The AA/EA grossly underestimates the capital cost of the articulated bus option because it does not account for the fact that asphalt roadway needs to be replaced far more often than the reinforced concrete that will be laid for the streetcar.

      • CarolynP

        In other news, the streetcar will need a whole new strip of reinforced concrete from end-to-end on Columbia Pike. We all know how rebar in the roadway works when it gets wet over time (and it will get wet and corroded from all the road chemicals)

        • JohnB

          Actually I don’t know how well rebar in the roadway works. Please enlighten me.

        • drax

          So you have evidence from other streetcar systems about massive failure of concrete in the roadway?

          Share it then.

  • D’oh

    ^ You’re asking us all to sudsidize something that will benefit a small population.

    Need coffee…

  • I live in Barcroft, along the Pike –been here for 10 years and lived in Ballston for years before that.

    I look forward to a streetcar option to link me to better transpo and better shopping options.

    I’m a retired Navy officer, have two graduate degrees (not from on-line programs) and, along with my wife, make super cash, but I still feel like a 2nd class citizen in Arlington –mainly because of how the local print and web news (if that’s what this site is) only highlight the accomplishments and going-ons in North Arlington. Whether it’s taking on the County’s low-income housing “commitment,” waiting LAST for any upgrades to our infrastructure, or having to shop at decent grocery stores and coffee shops way outside of our zip code, it’s about time our County leaders recognize that there are a whole lot of us who live in the 22204 and pay for many of the services that benefit the entire County the County.

    I’m tired of always having to go through this sort of extra level of begging and “making a case” for smart growth… it seems like that’s deal whenever 22204 gets a chance to be on equal footing; examples include everything from the timetable and questions around a new Wakefield High School to all this “discussion” and “opposition” on the streetcar.

    ArlNow is really just trying to stir up a bunch of nothing by conducting this poll; most of the folks who support the streetcar and live along the Pike are not able to squat over a computer, with the time to log on to the ArlNow website and participate in this “survey.”

    If ArlNow really, truly wanted to know folks opinions, especially in South Arlington, ArlNow would canvass the community on foot; but, we just know that isn’t gonna happen.

    I wonder why.

    So, bottom line, I completely welcome the streetcar and become even more vocal to the flat-out disparities this County doesn’t, until now, have the guts to fix.

    • SoArl

      yes, yes, yes. There are a lot of us along the pike with money to spend who are forced to go to other areas of Arlington to shop, eat, etc. I welcome the development the streetcar will bring and am happy that the Pike is getting some attention.

    • bemused bystander

      So you and your family would ride a streetcar, but not an articulated bus? Pray tell me, why?

      • SoArl

        And where do you live, bemused bystander?

      • WeiQiang

        I would totally ride an ACE-like articulated bus. I would also ride a street car … and will.

      • bringmetheyuppies

        To be honest many of us in the south do not ride busses and will probably not ride the street car either. BUT we do have money and want to be able to walk to higher end shops and restaurants in our neighborhood rather than driving to nicer parts of arlington or elsewhere. For me I like a cocktail with dinner. If I can walk to a nicer place than I can be safer to my community because I wont have to drive home. And we are starting to get nicer places but they opened on the assumption of a streetcar bringing them more patrons and if the folks don’t come they are going to close and then more crap boxes will take their place. El pollo laundromat anyone?

    • veeta

      hear, hear!
      I am happy to live in south Arlington, but I do look forward to having more places to walk to. I got a great deal on my house, no doubt, but I pay just as high a tax rate as those in north Arlington.
      I ride the bus (like it much better than metro by the way), but I appreciate the development that a streetcar will spur, and I am an optimistic person happy to contribute to the well being of the entire community, and not just what’s “mine.”

    • Exec MBA

      “I’m a retired Navy officer, have two graduate degrees (not from on-line programs)”

      Many on-line graduate programs far exceed brick-and-mortar “college” offerings and quality. Not sure why you find this tidbit of your background relevant in this day and age. Just saying.

      • Fair point -sorry

    • Well said buddy; see you sometime in LA Bar & Grill?

  • Mary-Austin


    Hello fellow Barcroft neighbor.
    I am with you on some of your points. I am not happy that the county decided to just go ahead with expanding the Buchanan Gardens affordable apartments without neighborhood input. Cut through traffic has not been as bad lately since they have been empty but it will surely spike again.
    Also, it is very strange that there are no decent coffee shops or markets near the neighborhood.
    I disagree with some other points though. I do not think that putting in a streetcar will be a positive for the neighborhood. I think cut through traffic from Columbia Pike could get pretty bad on 8th, Buchanan etc. from people trying to avoid construction, or increased traffic. I don’t really see how any of the new development will this will supposedly bring will really benefit. A new food star, condos, and fratty bars blocks away? no thanks.
    Also the South Arlington not getting attention is a bit of a myth. I graduated from Wakefield about 6 years ago and I can tell you it wasn’t in great shape but didn’t need to be torn down and rebuilt. I honestly believe that was done because of the have-not South Arlington myth and was unnecessary.

    • SoArl

      A new food star? Yeah, I don’t think anyone else wants that either. I won’t even buy cat food there.

  • Alex

    If the streetcar does not have a dedicated lane and has to stop in traffic and at stop lights then it is a pointless waste of money. You get everything with an articulated bus, which costs much less to operate.

    If they separate out the middle lane just for streetcars and coordinate the stoplights with them, then I’m all for the streetcars.

  • The Bible

    The Streetcar barely makes it to 50%.

    • TCE

      … well in presidental politics that would be a mandate. 🙂

  • Ted

    Poll is worthless unless depictions of the 3 alternatives, not just the streetcar option, appear.


    Tuk-Tuks DERPHERP

  • Observer

    One of the days the power was out I headed down to the Smithsonian to get out of the heat. They had a streetcar in one of the museums, right along with all of the other old and obsolete things.


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