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The Right Note: Metro Edging Closer to Real Change?

by Mark Kelly — September 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

Mark Kelly

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

In an editorial last Friday, the Washington Post almost came to the conclusion that a massive overhaul of Metro is in order. The Post’s concerns – the possibility of “massive disruption” or some sort of “culture war.”

It is good to see that the Post is not condemning the possibility of a dramatic shake-up by the WMATA Board. To anyone who uses the system or watches as the failures pile up, it is pretty clear that disruption to the current culture is exactly what the flailing system needs.

If the Board does opt to bring in a “czar” to oversee such an overhaul, they need to be prepared for some discomfort, and they need to be committed to seeing it through to the end. If a small faction on the Board would even consider being peeled off by political pressure the first or second time a controversial decision is made, they might as well not move forward.

Affordable housing plan debated at CivFed.

As could have been predicted, the two Democrats vying for the County Board, Dorsey and Cristol, expressed support for the new housing plan. Clement opposes it and continues to back an additional layer of government bureaucracy through a housing authority to address the issue. McMenamin said the priorities for Arlington should be on economic development and schools, not necessarily affordable housing.

It does not require anyone to go too far out on a limb to predict the plan will ultimately pass. And, we can safely predict that in 10 years we will be debating the issue again because the plan did little if anything to make housing more affordable.

School is back in session.

If you are like me, that means often discovering a school bus stopped along your morning commute. If you are in a hurry, you may find yourself tempted to ignore the flashing lights and continue on your drive.

That course of action is unsafe for kids who, despite parents’ best efforts and instruction, will occasionally dart across the street. And, the Arlington police will pull you over and write you a ticket if they see you. Now, some of the buses are equipped with cameras that will send your photo to the police to determine if you will receive a ticket.

So, no matter whether you are behind the bus or it is on the other side of the street in front of you, please be prepared to stop for one or two minutes. Take a sip of your coffee as you wait. And then you can proceed when the red lights stop. It is safer for everyone and might just end up saving you time and money from a law enforcement stop.

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