Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com August 27, 2012 at 8:58 am 4,178 104 Comments

Streetcar Video Came at a Cost — An Arlington County-produced video that makes the case for the planned Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar lines cost the county $3,400. Arlington officials greenlit the video because they “felt there was a general ‘lack of public awareness and education'” about the streetcar. [Washington Examiner]

Beef ‘O’ Brady Eyes Arlington — The Florida-based Beef ‘O’ Brady chain of sports bars/restaurants is apparently looking to open in Arlington. Arlington is a “key component to the company’s growth strategy in Virginia,” according to a press release. “While there’s definitely a market for Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in the Arlington market, we’re taking a careful approach to finding a franchise partner with business savvy, tenacity and a readiness to reinvest in the communities they serve,” said James Walker, Chief Development Officer of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, in a statement. “ [Restaurant News Release]

Donations Sought for USS Arlington Commissioning — The commissioning of the USS Arlington, a new Navy transport ship, is six months away. The USS Arlington Commissioning Committee is now seeking donations to help support the commissioning ceremony and to build a “tribute room” within the new ship. [Sun Gazette]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

  • BrianKal

    Streetcar Video: Cooking up some popcorn to get ready for these comments.

    • Arlwhat

      I’m already weeping for the future.

      • Bender

        **they “felt there was a general ‘lack of public awareness and education’” about the streetcar**

        Translation: There is too much opposition by a knowledgeable population so spin and a propaganda video filled with totally unsupported claims and projections are needed to confuse people.

        • Arlwhat


    • SteveM

      hmmm, any hornets in here? let me poke a little…

    • NoVapologist

      I would expect no less from a county that forces 5 year olds to wear 45lb backpacks while crossing busy highways in the dark during lightning storms just to get to school.

      • Zelda

        Then move to Fairfax and get higher property taxes and higher per student number per class…quit whining … you just want to suck up more white colar welfare subsidized by condo owners who can’t get services because APS suck up 50% of our property taxes.#

      • Whatever Troll

        I have a 5 year old – he won’t be carrying a 45 lbs backpack to school. He’ll walking .5 mile carrying a backpack with a sandwich and juice. and he’ll be fine. Those worried about this stuff are yet another example of Arlington “super moms” making something out of nothing.

        • Arlington Supermom

          My kid walks 10 miles with a 50lb backpack and has to hunt for food and water along the way. No sandwich for him. That’s weakling talk.

  • Really?

    I think we are good on sports bars for now

    • DarkHeart

      We surely don’t need sports bars with hillbilly names.

  • MC 703

    I’d rather go to A-Town Bar or Wilson Tavern than a big chain joint.

    • BrianKal

      and look at their website, makes me never want to step foot in that place. It’s like Applebee’s meets Denny’s meets a place you would never step foot in meets somewhere to go for food poisoning.

      • truly terrible

      • Ren

        Yeah, I know it’s naive to think they won’t come here, but the chain explosion is a downer. Even the press release from this one sucks.

        • Ren

          I should have said, “naive to wish they wouldn’t…” – [[my kingdom for a ARLNow comments editor! 🙁 ]]

          • WeiQiang

            Use the Blue Book

      • Westover

        A Denny’s in Clarendon or Balston would ROCK!

  • bobco85

    When I think of the name Beef ‘O’ Brady, I think of…

    • bobco85

      (I’ll start off the chain)

      …a competitor to Hamburger Helper.

      • CrystalMikey

        Or a Chef Boyardee item

        • O Newton

          …a porn star from the 70s.

    • WeiQiang

      Pre-Chewed Charlie’s

    • SteveM

      an Irish porn star

      • SomeGuy

        That’s what I was thinking.

      • Secrets

        Beef O’Brady will be our guest performer this coming Thursday night.

        • SomeGuy

          Sweet. I’ll see if Clarendon Skank is free that night. If there’s anything tight with that girl, it’s her schedule, but maybe she can squeeze me in.

          • Quoth the Raven

            Well done, sir.

          • John Fontain


        • DarkHeart

          They could move into the Days Inn on CoPi (or would that be CoPu)?

        • The Ghost of Sam

          He “killed” in his performance on Sam’s closing night….

  • Deshotz

    What is up with the very similar photos for today’s Morning Notes on ARLnow and today’s Morning Roundup over at DCist?

    • Well, our friends at DCist clearly copied us in the 2 minutes between when we published and when they published.

    • Whatever

      what do you care? you think your busting someone for cheating on their homework?? why not use something visually appealing whether it used someplace else or not??

  • OHtoVa

    I grew up in Ohio where chain restaurants abound. Even by Midwestern standards, Beef O’Brady is tacky and cliche. I’ve never seen one in any of the wealthier suburbs of northeast Ohio, so I’m not sure why they think they’d succeed in NoVa.

    • WeiQiang

      Perhaps they want to get the jump on a space in the parking lot of the Shirlington Wal-Mart.

    • brown before green

      From their website, the only remotely nearby locations in this area are Hagerstown and Frederick, MD. Are the demographics of Arlington just like Hagerstown and Frederick?

      • Just Stats

        White and Latino? Then yes.

        • cirrusly

          well, nevermind the objection, then

  • Becoming indifferent

    Will the trolley go to Beef O’Brady? Maybe Arlington will spring for a video to educate us about Beef O’Brady. What else can this county waste money on?

    • South Awwlington

      Actually the new trolley route is as follows:

      Ford the Potomac
      Loop the Pentagon
      Pause at CCR
      Utilize the Incline over 395
      90 degree turn onto the Pike to Eamonns and Giant
      Quick Pass up Glebe through Buckingham Gardens
      Over to Clarendon for some brown flips flops and Whole Food Beer Bar…

      all before re-upping the water supply at Donaldson Run for it’s hydrogen power, rocket grenade propulsion system.

      • O Newton

        You forgot the over the water transportation to Norfolk VA and back provided by the USS Arlington (LPD-24), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.

        “Brandy, you’re a fine girl, but my first love is the sea…”

  • Clarendon

    There’s already a Beef O’Brady’s in Newport News, Va and one in Fredneck, Md – how many more do we need ? We are practically surrounded by them. Might want to rethink that strategy, Beef.

    • CrystalMikey

      Not that I care for this place, but you do know Newport News is a 2.5 hour drive from here, right?

      • Clarendon

        That’s with zero traffic – highly optimistic. With the caliber and character of a place like Beef O’Brady’s I don’t think it needs to be any closer. But, that’s just my opinion.

        • CrystalMikey

          Oh, I agree (on both accounts, my parents live down there so I make that drive a lot), I’m just making sure you didn’t think it was right outside the beltway. LOL

          • O Newton

            The USS Arlington (LPD-24), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, can make it there and back without traffic, albeit it would be about a 7 hour trip, one way.

  • Theater Critic

    So the County made a video, about a streetcar they desire?


  • ARLing

    Put it in Ballston. That seems to be the place for bad chain food, and of course we need another sports bar. Maybe they can all coordinate their flat screens.

    • DarkHeart

      Maybe Ballston Mall can morph into a giant Dave and Busters?

    • Brian

      watch it. We also have non-chain places. 🙂

  • Caroline

    Yawn. These comments are silly, boring, and sound like a bunch of wining school children. I’m going back to work; filing papers interests me more than reading this dribble.

    • Josh S

      Don’t worry, the crowd is just getting warmed up. Besides, it’s Monday morning of the last week before school starts. Things should be fairly quiet…..

      • Josh S

        Checking back in four hours later and I see I was wrong……on all fronts.

    • Tre

      “yawn” comments are worse in my opinion. Don’t like what you see, bring something better to the table. I retract this statement if you were merely yawning as a result of it being Monday morning.

    • Becoming indifferent

      Why so serious?

    • WeiQiang

      … but if you throw in a few topical memes, the curmudgeons thrown down.

    • Wining School Children

      I hope your “work” involves taking a vocabulary lesson. “Wining school children” is a tactic used by pedophiles. And last I checked, no one here is shooting hoops or wearing a bib, so your drivel about “dribbling” might be misplaced.

      • Quoth the Raven

        Let’s hope “dribble” was a function of a weird auto-correction, rather than her belief that it’s the right word. “Wining” is just a typo…

        • WeiQiang

          I’m conflicted. While “whining” was likely the intent and I’ll give her the typo, “dribble” may be ok. Drivel is a synonym for dribble in certain cases. Man, I love these thrilling grammatical threads.

          • NoVapologist

            Drivel is only synonymous with dribble when it used to describe drooling.
            Dribble is not synonymous with drivel when referring to stupid or childish talk.

          • WeiQiang


          • Trolly Troll

            Can anyone realistically expect the County do anything good when so many residents argue over pure drivel?

            Get back to work citizens.

      • HOVA

        Fo’ shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down in VA


      • WeiQiang

        Did someone say “suitcase”?

    • YTK

      Whining school children. They are too young to tipple.

      • YTK

        HAHAHA Dribble? Ya means Drivel, right? Yes, go back to work already. Hopefully you don’t have a job editing dictionaries.

  • Arlington Cat

    A new bar in Arlington, and the county wants to show the public that streetcars in Arlington are a good idea; somehow it is like I am seeing the same news everyday.

  • Ed

    another terrible restaurant.

  • Hikin the pike

    I’ve eaten at Beef’s and I liked it. I apologize in advance for being wrong.

  • nom de guerre

    Speaking of beef, wine, and dribble. today’s special from Sam’s Food Truck features free range beef shoulder, infused with wine, herbs and garlic, slowly roasted on a spit made from reclaimed streetcar track, thinly sliced and presented on an artisan baguette with arugula, heirloom tomatoes and red onions, with a horseradish aioli dribbled on top. Only while supplies last.

    • WeiQiang

      heh. spit-roasted

      • Jeff

        That’s what I was thinking.

  • JnA

    FYI, there is an expensive streetcar information kiosk in the lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd.

    If you want to see what state of the art articulated buses look like you have to Google “Las Vegas ACE Bus”.

    • Hikin the pike


      That bus system is awesome and (shhhh, don’t tell anyone) makes money.

      • Zoning Victim

        This is a liberal town; flexible and effective transportation that generates income won’t fly here.

    • WeiQiang

      Def concur.

  • Elle K

    $3400 is peanuts for a video, fyi. – And I loathe the whole trolley as much as humanly possible.

    • Brian

      Thanks for posting this. I was curious to see if there were going to be a lot of “$3,400??!??! That’s ridiculous!” comments, but it’s not a bad video – especially for the bargain price. I don’t really support the streetcar idea either, especially since it doesn’t connect Ballston to Crystal City. It takes me 45 minutes by metro to get to work vs. 15 minutes by car. Guess which mode of transit I prefer?

      • Zoning Victim

        I can’t believe this post has been here for 30 minutes and nobody has berated you for not walking or riding a bicycle to work… yet.

      • Clarendonguy

        $3400?? Either someone is working for free or they’re not including all the costs. I do videos, it costs more than that. Graphics, interviews, edit time… More like the $1000 per minute ballpark. And that is on the low side of fair.

        • LTruitt

          Seriously. $3400 is a steal, and hardly newsworthy.

  • Ted

    Shhhhh…Vegas ACE articulated bus is supposed to be a big secret. But I located a YouTube video at:


    • South Awwlington

      There is NOTHING secret about articulated buses…they drive up and down H St all day, just outside my office window as well as along several other bus routes through the District. Those same buses are being replaced by the H St Line of the DC Streetcar.

      Why? Because those buses have also already met their carrying capacity…and H St doesn’t have the planned density being introduced along the Pike. Instead of claiming wasteful spending, perhaps you and your pals could thank County Government for NOT wasting $$$ on articulated buses that would need to be replaced in two years because they too will suffer from the same crowding issues that the “secret” H St articulated buses do.

      • MPF

        What will happen when the streetcars reach capacity?

        • Juanita de Talmas

          Ride the Orange Line during rush hour for the answer to your question.

        • The Ghost of Sam

          Double-decker street cars….they have them in London.

        • Josh S

          You’re right – we should never build anything because it will eventually reach capacity.

        • Clarendonguy

          articulated busses

  • Suzanne Smith Sundburg

    From PikeTransit.com: “Capacity is defined as the ‘comfortable standing load’ for a transit vehicle, which is measured using the ratio of total passengers on board (sitting plus standing) to the number of seats on the bus. WMATA uses a ratio of 1.2 to estimate comfortable standing load, which translates into capacities of 63 passengers on a 43-foot bus, 94 passengers on a 60-foot bus, and 35 passengers on a 35-foot ART bus. The comparable load for a streetcar vehicle is 115 passengers (4 passengers per square meter).” See http://www.piketransit.com/downloads/may2012/VolumeII/3%20-%20Transportation%20Conditions.pdf

    So the difference between a bus and a streetcar capacity is 21. According to discussions on the streetcar in DC, there are approximately 30 seats on a streetcar: http://www.scribd.com/doc/87719574/DC-Streetcar-Design-Criteria-January-2012

    Buses have approximately twice the number of seats as do streetcars, which lends support to the argument that buses provide greater comfort to riders.

    The real problem on the Pike is not simply bus vs. streetcar but the fact that the corridor is already beyond capacity with respect to traffic. With increased high-density development along the Pike, traffic congestion won’t be meaningfully reduced no matter which transit mode is selected. Adding a dedicated lane in each direction for the bus or the streetcar would truly increase the corridor’s capacity, but it has been deemed too expensive.

    Here’s what public transit planning consultant Jarrett Walker (Portland, OR) has to say about the streetcar vs. bus:

    “Most important, I’m not saying in the abstract that streetcars are good or bad. I’m saying that they are a major capital expense that requires a justification other than mobility (“getting people where they’re going fast and efficiently”) when we compare them to the bus routes they replace, or that could be developed instead.” See http://www.humantransit.org/2009/07/streetcars-an-inconvenient-truth.html

    • JohnB

      Oh Suzanne. I thought we already had this discussion. You don’t want Columbia Pike to become what is envisioned for it because you seem to be opposed to additional density. Please make your argument against the current vision for Columbia Pike and in favor of your vision instead of attacking the Streetcar as the improper mode. It is the proper mode for the vision of the Pike as expressed and the improper mode for your vision because it is significantly different than the vision as expressed in the Form Based Code, Neighborhoods Plan, Streetscape Improvement, and Multi-modal study. What is your vision?

      • South Awwlington

        I think if we all (myself included) stop feeding the animals, they will eventually go away.

        But then again, it is good typing exercise.

        • JohnB

          Not really. Ms. Sundburg likes to get herself quoted in the media. A simple google search for her name turns up quite a lot that will give you an idea of her viewpoint. I have to give her credit for her PR skills but I wish she would present her vision for Arlington. I think we’d overlap on a lot of things, but from what I can tell she’s more in the Green Party-Audrey Clement camp which I see as missing the forest for the trees. They often present things as a false choice between growth in Arlington or no growth in Arlington. The way I see it, there’s going to be growth in the DC metro region. I’d rather it be concentrated in the core than outside the beltway. I’d rather find ways to re-work the built environment to accommodate that growth than throw up track housing on farmland or clear cut forest.

          I support the vision detailed in this document: http://www.columbiapikeva.us/revitalization-story/columbia-pike-initiative/a-revitalization-plan-update-2005/

          • South Awwlington

            In total agreement with you. If we don’t manage growth, NONE of us will be able to afford living anywhere close to DC. It WILL happen, with or without our guidance.

  • April

    Shhh another big secret in Arlington….also serving Las Vegas is the Improved Deuce double deck bus. I found this Youtube video:


  • April
  • Paula

    Growth ON the Pike? Arlington Mercury blog recently reported that the Federal Transit Administration awarded a $1 million grant to Northern VA Family Services to fix up old autos and give them to middle class workers so they could find better jobs OFF the Pike outside Arlington.

    I have called the USDOT Inspector General Office and asked them to investigate this entire Pike streetcar snake oil scheme, which smells as bad as Four Mile Run downstream from teh Pike.

    • South Awwlington

      Good for you. I had lunch with Ray LaHood on Friday.

  • LP

    More antics by the wonderful folks who gave us MWAA’s Rail to Dulles.

  • More Urban Village Idiocy

    SouthAwwlington, JohnB:

    Where the h-ll do you think the 90,000 or so new residents in Virginia in 2013 are going to live? Chain Bridge Forest? Or in new sprawl suburbs carved out of what was recently farm land or forest, 50 miles from Arlington?

  • Ashton Heights

    Sorry, I’m getting confused. Is Beef O’Brady starring in the streetcar video?

  • Ted

    America’s Smart Growth Future (2012 to 2032) – Urbanize all the older suburbs. Build new suburbs on productive farmland for the 60 million increase in U.S. population over the next 20 years. Wealthy Elite get to live in cities. Middle Class, Working Class, etc., get to live 50 miles out and drive into work in sub-living wage jobs in 10 year old autos provided at discount by nanny non-profits controlled by the Wealthy Elite, funded by grants from state and federal transit agencies.


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