Friday, May 30, 2014

D.C. City Council Dems Vote to Throw Streetcars Under the Bus


Hi Yupette,

Biggest news in yesterday's Post Metro Section? D.C. City Council Democrats voted to sharply cut funding for the proposed streetcar system approved by outgoing Mayor Vince Gray. Seems that mismanagement by the District's Department of Transportation, escalating costs, and the huge projected cost of Vince Gray's proposed 37-mile streetcar system, make constructing a large system fiscally impractical. The H. Street streetcar line currently under construction will cost at least $487 million.

So where are the savings from not building Vince Gray's expansive and expensive streetcar system going? For tax relief to D.C.'s middle class which has long suffered from the New Urbanists' gentrification agenda. The City Council also raised both income taxes and taxes on services, targeted at the New Urbanists. Appears the Democratic City Council majority is much more attuned to the needs of the middle class than their Democratic counterparts in Northern Virginia.

Real Democrat 22201


22 Comments:

At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look Buffy. Look Look. No Tracks. No Wires. No Dedicated Lane. Available Right Now.

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This and other photos of Bus Rapid Transit Vehicles --- Censored by Washington Post, Arlington Sun Gazette, ArlNow, Arlington Independent Media, Arlington County Government (Citizen, AVN).

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Urbanism is a repackaged and socially and economically malicious form of Old Urbanism.

Residents of D.C. neighborhoods like Columbia Heights lived close to where they worked (hospitals, hotels) for decades until they were gentrified out by urban hipsters.

Whatever the deficiencies of the Old Urbanism, the Old Urbanists at least stayed out of working class and middle class neighborhoods.

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why was Arlington developed into classic suburban neighborhoods starting about 65 years ago? So children could attend middle school in an 8-story building? So children can play in the street because a new elementary school is constructed on existing athletic fields?

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for tax relief for Arlington's beleaguered middle class. Like a 4% tax cut next year.

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for the Zimmercrats in County Government to follow Zimmy's example and retire - to Charlotte.

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'New Urbanism' is a massive corporate welfare program, which takes the form of 'bonus density' for redeveloping market rate affordable low density housing into high density unaffordable housing; and which also awards bonus density for energy in-efficiency. Taxpayers provide massive amounts of funds to make over former open space into multi-purpose, multi-use recreation areas to benefit the occupants of in-filled redevelopment.

Redevelopment 101 -- Real estate trusts, investors, property owners pass all the costs of New Urbanism on to those who rent and lease mixed use infill and to taxpayers.

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Urbanism spawns other charades, like 'transit oriented development'. In fact, the County Board and School Board have approved constructing more than 15,000 parking spaces over the past 2 1/2 years.

 
At 30 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about putting a demo BRT vehicle on the Pike for a month, same model as in the photo?

 
At 31 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want an open process for redevelopment decision-making. Not more 'planning' decisions made by the County Board and the REITs in the County Board offices and facilitated by Democratic Party hacks all the way to site plan approval.

 
At 31 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We could have ten of these BRT buses running on the Pike by the end of the year for 1/20 the cost of a streetcar system.

 
At 31 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interest from investing $358 million in fed gov't securities at no risk would allow the County to buy at least 7 brand new BRT buses every year.

 
At 01 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Construct simple but attractive bus shelters on the Pike and use the $350,000 savings per bus shelter to buy state-of-the-art BRT vehicles.

 
At 01 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we paying millions in taxes for censorship by County Government? Not just about BRT but about alternatives to Smart Growth.

 
At 01 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know as this is censorship, exactly, but it sure as Hell isn't facilitating public debate: here is a comment I tried to put up at the Mobility Lab site about a piece by Paul Goddin shilling for the street car. It's still 'in moderation' after three days. Dave Schutz

Dave Schutz May 28, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

This article makes a number of assertions – I want to unpack them here. Broadly, Goddin is asserting that the County did well in guiding Metro development thirty years ago, and this shows that it ought to double down on the path it then followed, by building the Columbia Pike Trolley.

Put that way, the statement sort of refutes itself, doesn’t it? Arlington, with essentially no competition from other jurisdictions, did extremely well in development due to the building of a subway – clearly the highest quality type of rail transit – thirty years ago. Consequently, now a new and staggeringly expensive surface trolley – which can go no faster than the Pike’s congested auto traffic – will enable 2016 Arlington to attract development away from a number of other jurisdictions, several which have either below-ground or elevated Metro built or in process. Goddin even quotes Chris Hamilton, bureau chief of Arlington County’s Commuter Services, in naming the competition: Bethesda, Silver Spring, White Flint, NOMA, Ballpark District, and Tysons. Columbia Pike, with a poky little trolley which will about match the seven mile per hour average speed of Portland’s trolley will out-compete these jurisdictions because?

Goddin asserts: “Millennials have a well-known preference for transit and walkable urban places. Already, this population cohort has made Arlington its de facto ground zero, presumably due to the county’s transportation options, urban lifestyle, and connectedness.” A counter-assertion: much of Arlington’s 1990s success was a result of young people staying away from the chaos and danger in the District. I live by Clarendon, and have been to and through its night life. It’s zippy, no question. And I’ve been to H Street, on weekend evenings. H Street is more and better, in the ground zero competition.

Goddin said: “Arlington, Virginia has long been a national and local leader of transit-oriented development (TOD). It’s been the jurisdictional equivalent of an iPad when the majority of places were still desktop PCs.” So, since Goddin notes that there are now lots of iPads, why does he think the young and trendy will pick our iPad?

 
At 01 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

After banging on Goddin in the comment above, I should at least give readers the link to his piece, sorry. Dave Schutz

http://mobilitylab.org/2014/05/27/other-places-nipping-at-heels-of-arlingtons-transit-oriented-development/

 
At 02 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Transit Oriented Development? If you count all the parking spaces that have been approved by the County Board and School Board since January 2012, the total now stands at about 15,000. Fifteen thousand in 2 1/2 years. Many more to come. Like 903 parking spaces to replace the 300 parking spaces on the site of the Park Shirlington Apartments on S 31st Street when the site is redeveloped.

 
At 02 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Urbanism is out-of-control in Arlington, and I have to believe elsewhere.

Having packed so much dense redevelopment into the County's land as can be developed under current zoning, the New Urbanists are now going after open space park land to build public infrastructure like schools and fire stations. Then telling us to use neighborhood streets, sidewalks, parking lots, street medians, anything for 'open space'.

IN-credible. What a bunch of jerks. I wonder how much time Zimmerman spends lobbying the County Board and County Manager every week to get them to 'facilitate' his 'Smart Growth'?

 
At 02 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will the referendum be held regarding the Pike streetcar? I think there will never be a referendum.

 
At 02 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much time is Zimmerman still spending in the County Board Offices?

 
At 03 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Urbanism out-of-control? Yes. Another huge new in-fill project approved for Rosslyn last night by the Planning Commission. Another 800+ vehicles in Rosslyn. More plazas surrounded by restaurants and retail as 'open space'. A LEED Platinum office building with no renewable energy on-site. A contribution for 'affordable housing that will build 15 units of 'affordable housing'.

 
At 04 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard at last night's Civic Federation Meeting - probably no Pike streetcar referendum.

 

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