Community Forum Planned for Crystal City Streetcar

by ARLnow.com November 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm 6,157 34 Comments

Although plans for a streetcar line on Columbia Pike are making most of the headlines in Arlington, another county streetcar project is pushing forward with considerably less fanfare.

The Crystal City Streetcar Project would build a new streetcar line to run from the Pentagon City Metro station to Potomac Yard in Alexandria. Unlike the Pike streetcar project, which hopes to win federal funding, the funding for the Crystal City streetcar is more or less in place, and will come from a Crystal City tax increment financing area (TIF).

Arlington County is now planning to hold a public meeting to discuss the project. The forum will be held at the Crystal Park Condominium meeting room at 1805 Crystal Drive, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. next Tuesday, Nov. 13.

“As part of the Crystal City Streetcar Project, Arlington County is studying the environmental effects and developing conceptual engineering for a streetcar line connecting Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard,” the county said in a media advisory. “At the community forum, County representatives will introduce the project, describe the ongoing planning efforts, collect comments and answer questions. The public is encouraged to attend and learn about this new phase of transit.”

Those with questions or language interpretation requests can email [email protected]

  • ccres

    The more streetcars the better.

  • J

    Let’s spend more money we do not have. Does it ever end?

    • drax

      So we don’t have the money for this project? How do you know?

    • drax

      P.S. Read the article:

      “the funding for the Crystal City streetcar is more or less in place, and will come from a Crystal City tax increment financing area (TIF).”

      • nom de guerre

        I more or less went to medical school so I am qualified to perform surgery on your brain.

        • drax

          Really bad analogy.

        • WeiQiang

          is THAT what’s on tomorrow’s menu at Qiang’s House of Gołąbki?

          • nom de guerre

            The Gołąbki special will feature minced glioblastoma multiforme marinated in rice wine vinegar, with chopped red onions and basmati rice, wrapped in organic cabbage leaves and baked with a delicate tomato sauce.

    • novasteve

      Well, given that Libby probably won the election today, no, it won’t ever end.

      • b0rk

        Good old Liberal Libby.

    • speonjosh

      Gosh, someone didn’t bother to learn about how the Crystal City Streetcar is funded, did they?

      • Mark My Words O’Malley

        Sure. MD will pass Q7 today. Casinos will make money off table games. Everyone within a stone’s throw from MD will raid the ‘education’ fund to pay for streetcars.

  • Hank

    Hmm… does anyone on this board have an opinion on the streetcar one way or another?

    • SomeGuy

      Doubtful. Seems like a non-issue every time it comes up.

  • Mike

    I understand (but not sure that I agree) why the County is so anxious to build the Columbia Pike streetcar – there is bus service, but no rail service, along that corridor. Adding an Metro line under Columbia Pike would be nice, but prohibitively expensive. So they propose a streetcar as a cheaper alternative.
    But this Crystal City line seems a little odd. It is supposed to run from the Pentagon City metro station to the Braddock Road metro station. As the term “metro station” implies, we have rail service between those stations, and both are on the Blue Line so you don’t even need to transfer. I guess if the County thinks there is a lot of need for people to get to points in between Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Braddock Road, it might make sense. But I would think the existing metro line, supplemented by buses, would be adequate.

    • JohnB2

      And they already have a CC shuttle line, right? Isn’t it the 9S or something like that?

      • elli

        The 9s does not run on the weekends. C city needs better weekend public transport. the metro stations are too far apart. A streetcar on the weekend would be nice…

    • speonjosh

      And the even weirder thing is – they already have roads between those two locations, too.

      It’s almost as if people like having options and somehow manage to fill up those options when they are given to them.


    • confused

      yes its precisely for access to the points in between, and to enable higher density. Metro serves to access DC, and to get people in form the suburbs – not so much for quick trips along the corridor.

      Whether bus is a good substitute, is discussed often (in general I mean, not necessarily on this corridor) there are arguments both ways.

    • Pay to Play

      Prediction: there’s gonna be a connection between a Board member and the trolly contract winner

  • novasteve

    Seriously, what’s with dems and street cars when they can do it so much cheaper with busses? Is it so they can pretend they’re in some socialist country in europe every time they see the street car?

    • confused

      1. You forget, you are supposed to LIKE europe, they have austerity and all that

      2. They like it because it means more transit riders.

    • cyclist

      Cycling is cheaper than cars or buses or trains or trolleys.

  • Narlington

    what is with the county and the damn street cars. As a life long DEM I am no longer voting for any Dem for county board. They have all been in the positions for far too long. TERM LIMITS for the county board.

    • drax

      Uh, negatory on the term limit thing. You stop voting for someone if you want, don’t force the rest of us to.

  • Pezdrake

    What happened to the planned Potomac yard metro station?

    • speonjosh

      It’s still being planned.

      • WeiQiang

        so, does that make it a “being planned Potomac yard [sic]” Metro station?

  • MissKittenCat

    StreetCars are so 1860. shouldn’t we be working on something else?

    • historynerd

      actually electric street cars didnt come in till about 1880 or so. Not long before automobiles.

      Should we stop doing autos because they are so old?

    • drax

      Walking is so 1,000,000 B.C. Let’s get rid of sidewalks!

  • confused

    some of the arguments against Col Pike street car don’t apply to CCPY

    Its going to be in a dedicated transit lane – that means

    A. It can gain speed advantages vs running buses in the transit lane – which is harder in mixed traffic Col Pike

    B. The fear of breakdowns slowing auto traffic doesnt apply

  • Alex

    Thanks for reminding us. Cancel that one too. Use money for afterschool programs to stop gangs. The less street cars the better.

  • Sam the Cat

    More Steetcar! and put a cowbell on the trolly too.


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