Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Improvements


Photo by thisisbossi on Flickr.
Fares will increase less: Thanks to an improving economy and cost-cutting measures, Metro riders will likely have to shoulder a smaller fare increase than initially thought. (Examiner)

Now you see Silver, now you don't: Governor Bob McDonnell had offered $300 million to help pay for the Silver Line but now he refuses to pay a dime. Phase II might not get built, and if it does, tolls will have to rise substantially. (Post)

From parking to high rises: Once dominated by parking lots, the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood has seen nine high rises built, with a dozen more on the way. New restaurants have attracted more people to an area that now feels safer. (Post)

See ideas for the Mall: The Mall redesign competition has chosen its finalists. You can see the designs this week at the Smithsonian Castle and Museum of American History but they aren't online or on the competition website. (Post)

Modify the Ike memorial?: The Eisenhower Memorial commission should ask Gehry to modify the design, and scale down the memorial to become part of a park instead of dominating, says Roger Lewis. But a Post editorial says full speed ahead. (Post)

Hard to grab lunch in Anacostia: By highlighting race, Marion Barry distracted from an otherwise valid point that it's tough to find a decent lunch in Anacostia. The low density of the surrounding neighborhood hampers retail development. (R. U. Seriousing Me?)

A city that still sleeps: 2 restaurants recently opened in the U Street corridor with late night hours, but have now scaled back. They hoped the influx of new residents is turning DC into a 24-hour city, but it appears that time hasn't quite yet come. (Post)

Brutal preservation: Washington's Third Church historic preservation debate has echoes in a New York suburb whose Brutalist county office building suffers from leaks, mold, and bad ventilation. (NYT, Ben Ross)

And...: Metro wants members for its Accessibility Advisory Committee. (Post) ... DDOT is now caught up on bike lane installation, or is it really? (d.ish) ... A PA bus driver blocked a road to stop a driver who was fleeing after hitting a cyclist. (Post via WashCycle)

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Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  

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So McDonnell wants more toll money to build Metro lines? [Deleted for violating the comment policy.]

Tolling - bad
charging 25 cents for every passenger at Dulles to pay for the Silver line -- good.

by charlie on Apr 9, 2012 8:46 am • linkreport

One of the options for passes being discussed is a $230 28-day unlimited rail pass on Smartrip. Problem is, it doesn'
t work with Smartbenefits.

Personally, I doubt that this will be popular enough to be worth the effort.

I didn't start advocating for passes so that we could have 28-day versions of the passes we already have.

by Michael Perkins on Apr 9, 2012 8:47 am • linkreport

The Anacostia situation is chicken and egg: you won't get dense residential development until you have more retail and you won't get more retail until Marion Barry is six feet under.

by monkeyrotica on Apr 9, 2012 9:06 am • linkreport

As a semi-regular DTR user (and plan to find ways to use it even less if the tolls go up), I can't understand why I never see a serious discussion of a passenger fee at IAD. It seems like $2 to $4 per ticket should provide plenty of funds (actually since the airports authority also runs DCA you could impose a fee there too, and charge even less per ticket), and no one would notice such a small amount. Plus, you are spreading the load, not charging the same people over and over. Discussion?

by Garden City on Apr 9, 2012 9:25 am • linkreport

The reason there is no serious discussion of the Dulles ticket passenger fee -- which is the most efficient and fairest way of raising some of the Silver Line money -- is that the project is being managed by MWAA. They simply don't want the their airport to have to pay for any of the infrastructure required to run their airport. The cheaper the tickets are, the greater the passenger volumes at Dulles and the more power/influence/recognition the MWAA receives.

by Falls Church on Apr 9, 2012 9:40 am • linkreport

@Garden City; MWAA has refused to even consider a passenger fee.

Demand on the DTR is pretty inselastic and I think MWAA think they can charge $12. Given the incomes of people out there, they probably can.

As I said, 50 cents to a dollar is a better range. No nedd to include DCA.

Big picture, breaking up MWAA, then seperating both airports and giving them to Virginia (and privatizing them) makes a lot of sense. DC and MD should not be part of the MWAA. MWAA is another exanpe of failed interurban compacts that need to be broken up and more responsible to the public.

by charlie on Apr 9, 2012 9:42 am • linkreport

@Garden City

I'm pretty sure that FAA rules only allow for cross-subsidization of one airport for another for aeronautical purposes. Ground transportation does not count.

Also, fees imposed on flights must be used on FAA approved projects. There's a $4.50 per enplanement max charge, which IAD is already using for airport improvements.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 9:44 am • linkreport

@Garden City: People do notice these travel expenses, but they can't do anything about them. Example: airport fees and taxes on rental cars are approaching 20-30% in many places. It it is imposed on the visitors that have no political voice, and the cost is outrageous. Likewise with taxes on hotel rooms.

Tack on $5 per ticket at Dulles can probably happen without people complaining too much, if they understand it is to fund roads and the Metro. More than that and watch out.

These sorts of costs are tolerated basically because they are deductible business expenses. This ultimately costs the Federal Gov't the revenue. They can be increased only so much before Congress steps in. Want to guess when that happens...?

by goldfish on Apr 9, 2012 9:47 am • linkreport

I'm pretty sure that the silver line will mostly carry commuters at rush hour. While the benefit to DTR commuters will be indirect, in the form of reduced congestion (vs a no build case) far more of the benefits will go to them than to the large numbers of air travelers who don't use the silver line.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 9:53 am • linkreport

@Garden City

Tolling the toll road even more seems like an appropriate way to do it. The hundreds of thousands of people who moved out into what was the middle of nowhere, and forced the region to spend billions to connect their subdivisions on former farmland to the rest of the region should be paying for that connectivity.

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 9:53 am • linkreport

I must be new here... what has Barry done that is against retail, monkeyrotica?

by selxic on Apr 9, 2012 9:55 am • linkreport

@charlie, there were 23.2 million passengers flying in and out of Dulles in 2011. Charging 25 cents per person won't generate much money. A ticket surcharge of $2, if it can added to tickets for those flying to Dulles as well as those departing from Dulles, would raise over $46 million a year. Which over a 6 year period would mostly make up for the $300 million in VA funds that may not be provided this state budget cycle. The question is whether there are legal restrictions on international flights or in the agreements & contracts with the airlines that preclude the airport authority from adding a special fee to the tickets to pay for a transit line that is mostly outside the airport grounds. On the other hand, perhaps the special fees could go towards just the Dulles station to pay for that part of the $2.8 billion project.

Dulles is one of the more expensive airports for ticket prices. Adding a $2 or so fee to each ticket or $4 for a round trip ticket would push the prices up. Easier for the airport authority to hit up toll road drivers who are not going to the airport.

by AlanF on Apr 9, 2012 10:03 am • linkreport

The hundreds of thousands of people who moved out into what was the middle of nowhere, and forced the region to spend billions to connect their subdivisions on former farmland

The airport that was put into what was truly the middle of nowhere and forced the region to spend $$$ to connect the airport with the region should also pay. Why are there no tolls on the Dulles access road?

While the bulk of the Silver Line should be paid by DTR tolls since they receive the bulk of the benefits, the airport should absolutely be making some kind of contribution. This could be in the form of an extra fee for using the airport Silver Line station like they have at SFO for BART and that extra fee could pay for the more expensive airport station option.

by Falls Church on Apr 9, 2012 10:04 am • linkreport

To all:

Again, MWAA cannot just tack on fees to IAD tickets at their own discretion. There are limits to the amounts of those fees and to the uses for those funds. Yes, the airport should be making a contribution, but recognize that the airport's ability to do so is limited by various laws and regulations covering the uses of airport fees.

A single station surcharge is a bad idea. SFO's massive BART surcharge means that the station has ICC-itis. The fee is so high that people don't use it.

Tolls on the toll road make sense. The primary use of the line will be to add capacity to the toll road corridor. Tolling is the perfect way to both manage demand and also raise funds for additional capacity.

All of this is beside the point that the state should just chip in more to the project's cost.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 10:09 am • linkreport

I'm surprised that the post suggesting that my ward will improve once Barry is dead..made the cut. Death? Highly inappropriate.

WRT lunch options, they are no better or worse than dinner options. I have no particular interest in eating at any of the local chinese/seafood/hamburger carry-outs. Horrible. Just absolutely horrible!!!

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 10:11 am • linkreport

@Alex B: there are other ways the airport could get revenue. Such as parking.

by goldfish on Apr 9, 2012 10:13 am • linkreport

@Selxic, according to modern lore, Barry is the levee that keeps all interest in W8 at bay. As long as he's alive then...well you can figure it out.

But death? Imagine if someone made a similar statement about...well nevermind.

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 10:14 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by selxic on Apr 9, 2012 10:16 am • linkreport

The National Mall redesign site (http://www.nationalmall.org/design-competition/ideas) is brutally slow for the images. I've only been able to look at one picture in the past few minutes. Though maybe that is a good sign and maybe everyone is looking at the ideas...

by Thaps on Apr 9, 2012 10:21 am • linkreport

@selxic

there are other ways the airport could get revenue. Such as parking.

Which they already charge substantial amounts for.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 10:22 am • linkreport

It's slow because they are large images that are scaled to fit the page, Thaps.

by selxic on Apr 9, 2012 10:25 am • linkreport

It's nice to know you have me on the mind, Alex B., but that was goldfish.

by selxic on Apr 9, 2012 10:26 am • linkreport

Ha! Whoops. My bad, selxic.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 10:28 am • linkreport

@selxic - Yeah I see that. Doesn't make it a good idea or fast :)

by Thaps on Apr 9, 2012 10:34 am • linkreport

It is beyond frustrating that the NoVa delegation in Richmond can not get its act together and get the state to cooperate more.

Meanwhile, US-50 out there is being widened to allow for more sprawl in Loudoun county, while a good chunk of US-15 and I-66 also has been widened. Loudoun county is very short-sighted if they think they can sustain their sprawl by widening the few roads they have. Penny-wise, pound foolish.

by Jasper on Apr 9, 2012 10:34 am • linkreport

@Alex D: Which they already charge substantial amounts for.

Dulles economy parking: $10/day
Washington Reagan economy parking: $12/day

This cost is to improve metro access to the airport; this will relieve parking and improve auto access. So MWAA should increase the parking rate $2/day so it is comparable to National -- which already has a metro.

This is only one of the appropriate means to raise money. Others potential sources of revenue may include rental car, taxi, and limousine fees. Etc.

by goldfish on Apr 9, 2012 10:35 am • linkreport

@Goldfish

It's not that simple, of course. Would a $2 increase actually net any money? Would the higher price just drive parkers elsewhere?

If the increased revenue stream isn't useful for financing the very large capital costs of the Metro, then it's not going to make a huge dent.

I'm not going to say it can't be done, but that there are limitations to doing so that people here don't acknowledge. I'm not holding that against anyone, since this is a blog comment section after all - but some of this is just like the (false) idea that Metro could solve all of their operating budget shortfalls by selling more advertising when ad revenue makes up a very small portion of their overall budget.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 10:42 am • linkreport

@AlexB; didn't FAA change the rules on using airport fees for ground transporation. Also, there are private lots around Dulles -- besides the various deals where you get a priceline hotel for $45 then park your car for two weeks?

@AlanF; appreciate the numbers. You are right, at 25 million a year, 50 cents would not be enough. $1 would be -- 25 million a year can finance a lot of debt.

by charlie on Apr 9, 2012 10:46 am • linkreport

@Alex BIt's not that simple, of course. Would a $2 increase actually net any money? Would the higher price just drive parkers elsewhere?

There really are no alternate parking lots.

When I have a flight out of Dulles, the calculation I make is taxi vs. parking. Taxi ride from DC is about $60 each way, so parking is cost effective if the trip is shorter than 12 days. (YMMV.) Most trips are short than that, so parking will remain the preferred choice.

That is why I also suggested fees on taxis and limousines, to capture the leakage.

by goldfish on Apr 9, 2012 10:50 am • linkreport

@Kyle,

In the event you didn't notice, both the DTR and Greenway are TOLLED roads, the Greenway being a private road meaning that favor you think you did to all those so called far flug folks, doesn't exist. The DTR had recouped its construction cost and set aside a trustfund for future maintenance by 1999 meaning every dollar collected since then, upto and including the ridiculous 3 billion dollars in driver tolls used to pay for the Silverline are above and beyond what any homeowner or user of the DTR owed anyone.

When was the last time some metrorail or commuter train system not only produced a profit, but was used a source (if not primary source) of revenue for some completely different mode of transportation?

The MWAA has full authority to add a ticket surcharge to not only Dulles customers, but DCA customers as well. Between the 18 million people a year that use DCA and the ~23 million a year that use IAD, simply adding a $2 fee per ticket would raise 80 million a year. Or "shocker of an idea here" institute a Dulles surcharge of $1 onto everyone who uses the Dulles station. But no...oddly enough the MWAA's own customers are strangly immune to their malfesance, letting the folks who will see no measurable benefit (their own traffic studies show the traffic reduction on the DTR for the next 10 years will be unoticable.

Bloggers love to complain that drivers never pay for the full cost of driving and then ignore the billions a year collected specficially from drivers and used on other forms of transportation like rail. Perhaps if drivers weren't being bilked to pay for your tranportation and users of modes of transportation like this paid for atleast the same percentage of costs that drivers pay to fund roads, then you could have an argument. Until then, fans of the Silverline (i.e. the most ridiculous public infrastructure project boondoggle since Bostons big dig) should probably just say "thank you" to the DTR drivers and leave it at that.

by dtr on Apr 9, 2012 10:52 am • linkreport

@DTR

On the same token as your argument that gas tax goes to fund transit (20% of gas tax?) then one could argue that the ~30 billion a year shortfall that the gas tax doesn't cover is paid for by everyone (including bikers, car-less people, and even unborn children, as that money is being paid for with debt)

Also, transit does cover the same percentage as roads. About 50% across the board. But transit has way less bad externalities (pollution) and way more positive externalities (walkable neighborhoods and development around transit stations) but you already know that, you just choose to ignore it.

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 11:01 am • linkreport

@DTR,

Great response!

The cost of the Silver Line has gotten completely out of hand. Of course, we'll never see it, but it would be nice if the some of bloggers who continue to whine about how the ICC "costs so much and not just in money" would take a hard look at the cost of the Silver Line.

by ceefer66 on Apr 9, 2012 11:04 am • linkreport

@DTR:

Alex B has already explained why "simply adding a $2 fee per ticket" would be difficult, if not impossible.

Something else to note which you forgot to mention: MWAA runs the DTR. The Feds actually own the land, but MWAA operates it. You can thank the 2005-era VDOT for that.

by Froggie on Apr 9, 2012 11:11 am • linkreport

Kyle,

Of the ~25 billion a year raised through the federal gas tax, 40% of it or 10 billion a year goes to non road programs.

So that shortfall you reference would be 30% smaller if the gas tax was actually used on roads projects.
It also still doesn't change the fact that far more debt is being paid for by debt on mass transit, especially when you break it down to the miles traveled, people carried etc.

This ofcourse does not even come close to counting the what...tens of billions a year collected by states from roads (like the 3 billion from the DTR) as direct tolls that is then funneled elsewhere (silverline).

And lastly, please show us where the construction and maintenance of transit cover is covered by half with farebox/ticket recovery, because frankly, you aren't even close.

If you were, then one would wonder why not one dollar of the ~ 6 billion dollar and counting Silverline has actually been paid for via metro fares?

Please, I am sure I am not the only one that would like to see evidence that the construction and operation of the nations mass transit systems is covered 50% by fares/usage.

by dtr on Apr 9, 2012 11:14 am • linkreport

some numbers. According to the website, Dulles has over 24,000 parking spaces. The number is not broken down by valet, daily, economy parking, but let's figure a $1 a day surcharge is added to all parking rates. If, just to generate a revenue number, we assume that over the course of a entire year, 60% of those spaces are filled on average each day. (which is likely on the high side given the vast acres of parking in the economy lots). $1 a day surcharge would generate $14,400 a day or about $5.2 million a year. Not a lot of money.

The parking at Dulles is a pretty captive market, because the alternatives are to take a taxi ($$), bus, or get someone to drive you. Not many people walk or ride a bike to Dulles. A $1 a day increase would have little effect in reducing the parking share, but it would also not generate all that much revenue to pay for the Silver Line.

Phase 2 of the Silver Line, at least as far as Dulles, will get built. It will be badly needed by the time Phase 2 is done. We are just seeing a lot of political posturing at the VA state government level and by the Loudoun county board.

by AlanF on Apr 9, 2012 11:17 am • linkreport

@AlanF: let's figure a $1 a day surcharge is added to all parking rates.

The increase needs to be proportional. Short term parking at Dulles is $4/hour or $36/day. Adding $1 to that won't do anything, but adding 20% -- as I suggested for economy parking -- will boost revenues by much more.

More to the point, this increase is the appropriate way to get the revenue to pay for the metro stop. Far more appropriate than sticking it to the daily commuters on the DTR.

by goldfish on Apr 9, 2012 11:37 am • linkreport

ar more appropriate than sticking it to the daily commuters on the DTR.

Of course, they're paying for far more than just one station at the airport. This isn't another debate about whether they'll have the gold plated station at the airport, you realize.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 11:43 am • linkreport

"i. Ground Access Projects. It is the policy of the United States to encourage the development of intermodal connections on airport property between aeronautical and other transportation modes and systems to serve air transportation passengers and cargo efficiently and effectively and promote economic development. (See 49 U.S.C. § 47101(a)(5).) Consistent with this policy, a sponsor may use airport revenue to pay for the airport's share of a ground access project in two general cases: (1) if the project qualifies as an integral part of an airport capital project, and (2) if the project is owned or operated by the sponsor and is directly and substantially related to the air transportation of passengers or property."

by charlie on Apr 9, 2012 12:00 pm • linkreport

Sorry, got cut off.

If that is still current (from FAA regs, chapter 15 "Permitted and Prohibited Uses of Airport Revenue" ) then clearly MWAA could use airport revenue to build a section of rail terminal at Dulles.

by charlie on Apr 9, 2012 12:01 pm • linkreport

Death? Highly inappropriate.

I disagree. We talk about people's possible deaths all the time. What if the Pope dies? What if the Queen dies? etc...

It's not inappropriate to talk about because I'm pretty sure that Barry will die. There's only two things you can't escape: death and taxes (though Barry has made a concerted effort to dodge the latter).

It would be inappropriate to wish for his death, or plot it, or encourage it. But to mention it as something that will happen? Not inappropriate.

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 12:02 pm • linkreport

Sliver Line benefiting the DTR. If one reviews the Final EIS for Dulles Rail (Table 6-2.2), you will see there is no projected traffic improvement on the Dulles Toll Road (East Bound) between the No Build and Full Local Preferred Option. There are no benefits for these drivers, such that it is extremely unfair for them to pay high tolls to subsidize rail. There is some improvement on the Access Road, from D to C LOS, such that those who want to see airport drivers pay more have a valid point. It would also make sense, given the costs to drive, take a cab or bus to the airport, to impose a several dollar surcharge on those boarding or departing rail at the Airport stop. A $4-to-$5 surcharge on those Silver Line riders seems justified.

by tmtfairfax on Apr 9, 2012 12:02 pm • linkreport

Of course, we'll never see it, but it would be nice if the some of bloggers who continue to whine about how the ICC "costs so much and not just in money" would take a hard look at the cost of the Silver Line.

ceefer, I'm sure if you did such an analysis, GGW would be glad to publish it. If not....what was that you were saying about whining?

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 12:03 pm • linkreport

Of course, they're paying for far more than just one station at the airport.

This point was ceded when MWAA took over the project, to provide access to the airport.

by goldfish on Apr 9, 2012 12:12 pm • linkreport

Agree that perhaps some of this funding should come from parking fees. There is only one station at the airport though, so to think that the entire funding should come from parking, while the rest of the counties that use this should get off free seems ridiculous to me.

Of the gas tax, transit gets something like 2.6c, while roads get 15.3, so my previous estimate of 20% was pretty close.

You ignored the rest of my comments regarding externalities etc, leading me to believe you are just a big highway supporter, and hate metro, so I will stop here. Enjoy sitting in traffic on deteriorating roads, and paying ever more expensive amounts for gas/tolls!

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 12:18 pm • linkreport

@charlie

If that is still current (from FAA regs, chapter 15 "Permitted and Prohibited Uses of Airport Revenue" ) then clearly MWAA could use airport revenue to build a section of rail terminal at Dulles.

No one is saying MWAA can't chip in - as 'airport revenue' is the broadest category imaginable. Specific things like passenger surcharges and landing fees are indeed regulated both for amount and for end use.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 12:31 pm • linkreport

Kyle,

I don't live in Loudoun or Fairfax, and use the DTR a few times a year. It doesn't change the fact that you are making any excuse to forgive, that 3 BILLION dollars in toll fees is being extracted from drivers using a road they already paid for since it was built in 1982, for a compeltely different form of transportation. And as we've confirmed, the DTR drivers get ZERO net benefit for their troubles as the Silver line won't reduce traffic on the DTR one bit.

"Gets something like". No, I got my numbers from the FHWA. 40% of the money collected through the federal gas tax isn't used on roads, so your statement is not close. It is off by 50%.

And the reason I ignored the transit fav "externalities" is because you can't put an actual number to them, and when you do it is X dollars, plus or minus 100%.

I recommend you find some legitimate numbers, and as long as you aren't lumping in everyones obesity, lung cancer, catatracts, world hunger, male pattern baldness, autism and infertility into a catagory that is all caused by me driving the DTR (because we all know the nations roads are only used by greedy recreational drivers, and your favorite Harris Teeter receives its stock by bicycle) then I think we will atleast have a starting point for a debate.

Lastly, you ignored the plea to prove that 50% of mass transit, both construction and maintenance is paid for via user fees. Thats because they don't.

by dtr on Apr 9, 2012 12:39 pm • linkreport

http://www.faa.gov/airports/resources/publications/federal_register_notices/media/pfc_69fr6366.pdf

I am not an expert on FAA budget items, but it does appear that in the 2003 FAA act they can use the Passenger Fees for ground transportation. Perhaps this rule has not been finalized.

by charlie on Apr 9, 2012 12:41 pm • linkreport

"And as we've confirmed, the DTR drivers get ZERO net benefit for their troubles as the Silver line won't reduce traffic on the DTR one bit.

The EIS tmt mentioned shows no decrease in vehicles on DTR BECAUSE major increases in development are expected as a result of the Silver line. Whether it would be more fair, and more feasible, for the developers, or the Counties, to pay instead of the DTR users is another question (certainly some of the DTR users will be employed in the new jobs, and some will see the value of their houses increase). Its certainly not the case that the existence of the Silver Line and traffic on the Toll road are unrelated, for any given level of development.

its certainly the case that if Ph 2 is not built, or is only built to Dulles and not to Loudoun, Loudoun will still benefit from it. I think its desirable that Loudoun contributes in some form.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 12:50 pm • linkreport

Charlie,

http://www.faa.gov/airports/resources/publications/reports/media/bulletin_1_surface_access_best_practices.pdf

This provides some guidance.

Yes, airports can chip in. However, the sources of fees are limited and must be approved. The scope of costs is limited to airport-specific projects. In the Silver Line case, MWAA could use those fees to pay for the station at Dulles, but probably not for a significant chunk of the rest of the line.

Also, MWAA is indeed chipping in beyond just DTR revenues.

http://www.metwashairports.com/3861.htm

A. Based on the agreement between the local funding partners, 4.8 percent of the cost would be allocated to Loudoun County, 16.1 percent to Fairfax County, and 4.1 percent to the Airports Authority. The remaining 75 percent would be paid from proceeds from Dulles Toll Road revenue bonds and any other funding sources secured for the Dulles Rail Project.

by Alex B. on Apr 9, 2012 12:58 pm • linkreport

This argument here has become totally surreal. The commonwealth does not want to pay, and now Dulles parkers are supposed to pay?

by Jasper on Apr 9, 2012 1:08 pm • linkreport

@DTR

Send the link of this so called 40%. My reading says you are wrong.

I also use the DTR probably 2 times a year. As far as paying for it, the point stands, Loudon county rose from farm-land to suburbs, and needs to be better connected to the region, so as such, the residents of Loudon should be responsible for shouldering a good portion of the burden of paying for it. Regardless of if they won't see traffic get better, it won't get worse, which it certainly would if this thing isn't built. I am not for or against the extention to Loudon, could care less, and would never ride out there, but if they are doing it, Loudon should pay.

As far as how to get Loudon to pay, if you have a better idea than tolling (mostly) Loudon residents, I am all ears.

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 1:11 pm • linkreport

@ AWalkerInTheCity

I agree that new development in Tysons and Reston enabled by the Silver Line's arrival will add traffic. VDOT and Fairfax County have acknowledged that. In fact, Fairfax County has suggested that the DTR might need to be widened by as many as 3-to-5 lanes. I also agree with you that much more of the construction costs should have been paid by the landowners who saw their density from FARs of 1.) plus to unlimited in the immediate vicinity of the stations.
My points are two-fold. I think everyone needs to understand that, overall, traffic in and around Tysons will stay as bad as it is today or even get worse despite rail and high-quality mixed use development. Also, it is incorrect, IMO, to say DTR users should pay because they benefit from rail taking cars off the DTR. The DTR users are being treated unfairly.

by tmtfairfax on Apr 9, 2012 1:17 pm • linkreport

"My points are two-fold. I think everyone needs to understand that, overall, traffic in and around Tysons will stay as bad as it is today or even get worse despite rail and high-quality mixed use development."

IF we fail to get the volume of development planned, than traffic on the DTR will decrease (note well, that the table you pointed to shows a very modest increase in traffic in the build case)

As for what is fair, and unfair, thats debatable. There are certainly lots of residents of FFX and Loudoun whose homes will be more valuable in the build case than in the no build case. Theres no provision for recapturing that. Undoubtedly some people will face a net cost due to the Silver Line. I think thats probably true of any change, and of any infrastructure constructed.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 1:25 pm • linkreport

What's going on between the state of Virginia and MWAA is an issue of control. The Commonwealth wants a greater say in MWAA activities.

The prime example at hand is the MWAA's project labor agreement with unions to build Section 2 of the Silver Line. Governor McDonnell and other republicans are strongly opposed to the PLA and want it rescinded. Until this issue is resolved, Virginia's funding contribution will likely remain nebulous.

by Sage on Apr 9, 2012 1:29 pm • linkreport

Kyle,

"Loudon county rose from farm-land to suburbs, and needs to be better connected to the region, so as such, the residents of Loudon should be responsible for shouldering a good portion of the burden of paying for it."

Thats my point. They have already paid (and continue to do so) for the DTR. They are ALSO paying for their percentage of the Silverline, above and beyond the DTR, so in effect, Loudoun residents who use the DTR are getting doubled taxed for the Silverline. They got their road (DTR) and they paid for it already. They got all the connectivity they need, and I knew if I lived in Loudoun and was having to fork over an additional 3 billion dollars for transportation purposes, I would certainly want a say in how it is spent.

You ask who else should pay for it? Last I checked, Metro was a regional system paid into by MD and DC. A regional system should be paid for regionally, no? Then again, you seem intent on insulating the ACTUAL RIDERSHIP of this line from contributing a dollar.

And you provide the link that illustrates your claim that 50% of mass transit is paid for via user fees and I will gladly link the FHWA tables for you.

by dtr on Apr 9, 2012 1:41 pm • linkreport

The Anacostia situation is chicken and egg: you won't get dense residential development until you have more retail and you won't get more retail until Marion Barry is six feet under.

As is the case with many of DC's ailments, time heals all wounds. In fact, the inevitable aging of Barry's cohort will probably have a greater impact on the direction of DC than any intentional policy direction.

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 1:59 pm • linkreport

dtr - fares contribute significantly to pay for operating costs. Charging beyond that to pay for construction costs would almost certainly result in less than optimal usage.

Clearly, if you go by the EIS you referred to the, the Silver Line is cost benefit positive, and would not be improved by higher fares and lower ridership. The only real debate is how much should be paid by A. The landowners right at the metro stops B. Other landowners who benefit C. The counties D. The commonwealth E. air travelers F. The DTR users.

Im not sure how feasible it was to to get more from A. The real problem is that its not particularly easy to extract value from B - the many landowners who are NOT located in the TOD zoned areas, who will none the less benefit. To some degree F is a substitute for that (it should be noted of course that the Fed govt is paying a good share of the project.

I agree the commonwealth should have chipped in, as they do for other transit and road projects around the state. I hope the folks who live in Loudoun and Herndon reflect on this in our next statewide elections.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 2:05 pm • linkreport

"This argument here has become totally surreal. The commonwealth does not want to pay, and now Dulles parkers are supposed to pay? "

Arguably, McConnel is screwing Loudoun County. If I were a Repub, I would certainly want to change the topic to those mean transit advocates, the widely disliked MWAA, the eevil Tysons developers, or anyone other than Richmond.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 2:07 pm • linkreport

@dtr

So they paid for the DTR. It clearly isn't enough, and they want better, hence they are bringing the metro out there. As far as if you want Metro to pay for it? How do you propose doing that? Metro is already subsidized to some extent, so having metro pay, is just circling about and moving money more. Still the same people pay (state/county). As far as having enough connectivity, if that was the case, they wouldn't be building metro...

Or I guess we could raise fares to $10 each way, and use the fares to cover it... As far as me, a DC resident an frequent metro rider, should I have to pay for the overexpansion of Loudon/Fairfax out into the far suburbs, absolutely not. The people who live/work out there should (and are) paying for it. Should Virginia pay for DC's streetcar?

As far as the farebox recovery, metro is over 50%. As far as the rest of the country, no clue. Could really care less about Marta's farebox recovery. It is likely quite a bit lower, because Atlanta gives more money to it? But again, no clue.

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 2:11 pm • linkreport

"So they paid for the DTR. It clearly isn't enough, and they want better, hence they are bringing the metro out there"

They, IE loudoun county stakeholders, are not all in agreement. Some in loudoun dont want metro - the majority of the previous BoS did, the new BoS has not spoken yet, and losing the Commonwealth $$ will make them less likely to support it. Interests in metro will depend on where your property is located relative to it, as well as ones own personal commute patterns. Presumably the DTR users who will continue to use DTR will complain about that funding much more than the LC residents who will use the Silver Line, or those who work in LC (for whom the calculus is all about housing values).

Naturally if you live in LC, or in Herndon, it makes sense to call for putting more burden on those "greedy" Tysons developers. For other residents of FFX, it may make less sense to risk the anticipated golden egg.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 2:21 pm • linkreport

Those of you who say there are no cheaper parking alternatives for Dulles Airport users are flat-out wrong.

There are at least a dozen hotels within seven miles of the airport that offer discounted long-term parking.

A couple of months ago, I paid $20 for a Groupon for two weeks parking at a Hilton brand hotel near the airport, and used it for nine days. It was a ten minute shuttle bus ride to and from the airport. Saved a big chunk of change.

A quick web search found a bunch of places offering parking for anywhere from $30-$45 a week. Some even have indoor parking.

The idea that you can raise parking rates and demand will remain inelastic is simply not true. Higher prices will mean more alternatives and fewer people actually using the Dulles lots.

by Mike S. on Apr 9, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

In fact, the inevitable aging of Barry's cohort will probably have a greater impact on the direction of DC than any intentional policy direction.

I know I know. Many of the ABY's would like many of their DC neighbors to simply die. Then, they can take over.

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

Many of the ABY's would like many of their DC neighbors to simply die. Then, they can take over.

I'll take Veronica O over Marion B any day. Would I prefer that everyone live forever, and no one ever die? I have mixed feelings on that one. My feelings about giving dysfunctional local politicians power for eternity are pretty unambiguous though.

Don't worry though, when Barry's time inevitably comes, we'll probably see a Ward 8 -fueled movement to amend the DC charter, and make it legal to elect dead men to the council.

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 2:47 pm • linkreport

the comment about Marion barry dying was not appropriate. CM's, unlike queens and popes, can be removed through elections. It would have been more appropriate to say "when CM barry is out of office" (though personally I am skeptical of the actual impact of officeholders on retail). The comment has resulted in unhelpful follow on comments.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 2:51 pm • linkreport

@HogWash,

One last thing: when we're talking about "Barry's cohort" we're talking about folks who are 75, 80, 90 years old. What ABY's 'like' isn't really all that relevant. But I'm not sure what it gets us to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the coming decade isn't going to bring a massive change.

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 2:53 pm • linkreport

Silver Line

first off, many people will benefit from the Silver Line and all those people should contribute something. This includes VA state and Dulles. I also agree that DTR users will only benefit from the sense that the added people travelling on the Silvet Line (which represents new demand and not a transfer of demand from DTR to silver linr) will not be clogging up the DTR. If you add 100k jobs to tysons without the silver line, I assure you that would create havoc with DTR traffic.

The real beneficiaries of the silver line are the landowners in tysons and along other silver line stations and they should definitely pay more rather than pitting so much burden on DTR users. Of course, there's a pretty high correlation between land owners within a few miles of the silver line and DTR users, so in that sense DTR tolls aren't a terrible proxy for a special tax district on land.

by Falls Church on Apr 9, 2012 2:58 pm • linkreport

In all honesty, the state should be paying a lot more, as this is going to long term be a huge boon to the state as a whole.

However, due to the senate and house that Virginians chose, that is not going to happen, so your back to square one, which is the people in Loudon paying for this thing, through the DTR. The DTR is without a doubt the path of least resistance to pay for this thing, and as such the DTR users are going to continue paying for it. Right or wrong.

Very much so a "you made your bed, and now have to sleep in it" situation.

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 3:04 pm • linkreport

CM's, unlike queens and popes, can be removed through elections.

I think the evidence is pretty clear that CM Barry can NOT be removed through elections.

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 3:05 pm • linkreport

Don't be silly. If and when the majority of voters in Ward 8 choose to remove CM Barry, it will happen. The likelihood of that happening any time soon is debatable, but it makes speculation about his death something different in seemliness than speculation about the death of a monarch. ESPECIALLY when his death is tied to some desirable social change. Its just bad form, and I'm not sure why people don't get that.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 3:14 pm • linkreport

There has to be some sort of irony in that we can discuss if it's best for an area's development if a public figure dies, but acknowledging a poster (and not even disparaging him) as a regular on several local blogs is the only thing that gets deleted.

by selxic on Apr 9, 2012 3:20 pm • linkreport

The VA senate and house were not chosen by northern virginians. The vast majority of NOVA state reps want the state to pay more for the silver line. It's the rest of va that once again takes all of NOVA's taxes and gives only a small fraction of it back in services.

The state should pay more but frankly, the benefits to the state from increased jobs (which equals extra income tax revenue) pales in comparison to the benefit landowners will get from increased property values. In Tysons alone, property values will increase by $10B yet the special tax district will only raise $400M. That's because the big businesses in Tysons have a lot more political influence than DTR drivers.

The real people losing out from the silver line are reverse commuters and Marylanders who dont work walking distance to a station. They will pay the higher tolls but won't see their property values rise. I think DTR drivers who live within a few miles of a silver line station will make out fine as property values don't have to increase much to cover the extra cost of tolls.

by Falls Church on Apr 9, 2012 3:22 pm • linkreport

I'll take Veronica O over Marion B any day

Well V doesn't live in my ward..Barry does. So any discussion defending your idea that things will improve once Barry (and his folks) dies should at a minimum consider those who actually live in the ward. Maybe Veronica simply living EOTR is enough for you. Hence, the comparison.

we'll probably see a Ward 8 -fueled movement to amend the DC charter, and make it legal to elect dead men to the council.

Yeah, it'll probably happen at the same time we see a W6-fueled movement to ensure that its W7 neighbors have little to no involvement in whatever happens w/Res 13.

The comment about Marion barry dying was not appropriate.

Apparently because it was referring to Barry, it made the cut. Now if someone suggested that the city would be much better when the ABY's and The Saint dies..it would likely not since it wouldn't be considered as "encouraging dialogue."

One last thing: when we're talking about "Barry's cohort" we're talking about folks who are 75, 80, 90 years old.

You mean those old enough to have paid their dues by raising families, owning homes (most I'm sure) and paying taxes? You're waiting for them to die? Sounds a bit harsh but ok.

@DC, I think the evidence is pretty clear that CM Barry can NOT be removed through elections

What nonsense. Sure he can..once he gets a formidable opponent. At least that's how it works in every other US jurisdiction.

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 3:24 pm • linkreport

@David C,

in response to me comment: Of course, we'll never see it, but it would be nice if the some of bloggers who continue to whine about how the ICC "costs so much and not just in money" would take a hard look at the cost of the Silver Line.

" ceefer, I'm sure if you did such an analysis, GGW would be glad to publish it. If not....what was that you were saying about whining?"
-----------

In case you missed it, the point I was making is that a considerable amount of space on this blog has been devoted to trashing the ICC highway and complaining about its real and imagined costs, pre, during, and post-construction.

Meanwhile, barely a peep about the cost of the Silver Line, which costs over 3 times as much in construction costs alone.

Do you dispute that or is you aim to merely shoot at the messenger?

by ceefer66 on Apr 9, 2012 3:29 pm • linkreport

Now if someone suggested that the city would be much better when ... The Saint dies

Which one? Roger Moore or Val Kilmer?

The claim that Barry can not be removed via elections was a joke, btw, people. Lighten up. But if you can be a felon, a tax cheat, hire your girlfriend for work she didn't do, act as though you can give your seat to your son like it's a birthright, commit regularly-scheduled misdemeanors, race bait, etc... and still win 72% of the vote, one has to wonder what you'd need to do to lose.

For those of you who are worried about the appropriateness of monkeyerotica's comment let me ask, would it be appropriate to say "Ward 8 will be better off when Barry is no longer in office and Barry will likely stay in office for the rest of his life." If so, that's the exact same thing monkeyerotica wrote, just without using a euphemism for dead. If not, why not?

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 3:49 pm • linkreport

You mean those old enough to have paid their dues by raising families, owning homes (most I'm sure) and paying taxes? You're waiting for them to die? Sounds a bit harsh but ok.

I'm confused. You're expecting them to live forever?

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 3:49 pm • linkreport

Meanwhile, barely a peep about the cost of the Silver Line, which costs over 3 times as much in construction costs alone.

An investment isn't just about costs, it's also about benefit/return. The return on the Silver Line is enormous ($10B in Tysons property value alone). The main problem with the Silver Line is that the entities benefiting most from the Silver Line are not paying a commensurate share.

I've not heard any calculations of the property values or jobs created by the ICC. Here's an analysis of the ROI of the Silver Line (and why it represents a huge transfer of wealth from the middle class to big business and the rich)

http://www.baconsrebellion.com/Issues06/05-15/Bacon.php

That said, paying your dues to Big Business and the rich is just a fact of life and regardless of what government does (whether it's build infrastructure or cut taxes), the biggest beneficiaries are always the rich and powerful. Even then, it's still worth doing for everyone else.

by Falls Church on Apr 9, 2012 3:59 pm • linkreport

Veronica simply living EOTR is enough for you. Hence, the comparison.

By all appearances, Veronica is a bright, progressive young leader EOTR who hopefully has a long political future ahead of her. Barry is a 75 year old tax-cheat, reactionary conservative, and con-man who optimistically has one more term left before his raffish lifestyle catches up with him.

Hence, a contrast, not a comparison.

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 4:01 pm • linkreport

In case you missed it, the point I was making is that a considerable amount of space on this blog has been devoted to trashing the ICC highway and complaining about its real and imagined costs, pre, during, and post-construction.

And in case you missed it, the point I was making is that this imbalance could easily be fixed by you doing the work you're demanding that others do for you.

Meanwhile, barely a peep about the cost of the Silver Line

I believe there is a peep about it in this very post, no? And here and probably elsewhere.

Do you dispute that or is you aim to merely shoot at the messenger?

I dispute that.
Look, if you think GGW is missing a story then do the research, write a post and submit it to David. David welcomes differing opinions and will surely run it as long as it can be backed up. But if you aren't willing to do it then you're just whining. If GGW doesn't write the kind oof stories you want to see it's may be because none of the writers thinks there is a story there. So prove them wrong. Or don't and prove them right.

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 4:03 pm • linkreport

What and/or who is an ABY?

by you people on Apr 9, 2012 4:07 pm • linkreport

"Ward 8 will be better off when Barry is no longer in office and Barry will likely stay in office for the rest of his life."

C'mon, let's be realistic here. He won't stay in office for the rest of his life. Eventually, his son will take over.

I also agree that saying that Barry will be a council member for life is offensive. Everyone knows that he's not CM-for-Life. He's Mayor-for-Life and calling him anything else is just disrespectful.

I can't wait for the Mayor-for-Life reality show to get picked up:

http://www.theroot.com/buzz/marion-barry-next-reality-show-star

by Falls Church on Apr 9, 2012 4:08 pm • linkreport

"Ward 8 will be better off when Barry is no longer in office and Barry will likely stay in office for the rest of his life." If so, that's the exact same thing monkeyerotica wrote, just without using a euphemism for dead. If not, why not?"

Its not the same thing. The events denoted are the same, but the connotations are not.

"I will pay off my debts when I get my inheritance" and "I will pay off my debts when my dad dies" is different, especially if you are known to have a difficult relationship with your dad.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 4:20 pm • linkreport

"Ward 8 will be better off when Barry is no longer in office and Barry will likely stay in office for the rest of his life.

I don't have a problem with that iteration and imagine that most wouldn't either. That sounds much better than me saying, "As soon as Saint Wells (and those who support him) is six-feet under, the better race relations in the city will be." I imagine that would not meet the moderator check since it's negative, a generalization, and discourages dialogue.

Barry is a 75 year old tax-cheat, reactionary conservative, and con-man who optimistically has one more term left before his raffish lifestyle catches up with him.

Hence, a contrast, not a comparison.

But the initial attack was wrt to W8. Again, talking about some random person in another Ward seems out of place. Obviously, you think what does/n't happen in one EOTR ward dictates the other. We're all EOTR...why not!

@You people...ABY = Anybody But You

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 4:26 pm • linkreport

"I will pay off my debts when I get my inheritance" and "I will pay off my debts when my dad dies" is different

I don't see it. They're equal. I propose we take a policy of being less easily offended rather than requiring more delicate language.

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 4:30 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash

Theres a pretty solid difference between Tommy Wells and Barry. One is drug-free, not corrupt, doesn't race-bait, doesn't embarrass himself nor the city, encourages development, encourages strong communities, and the other... well, he does the opposite of all those. But he gives out free turkeys!

by Kyle W on Apr 9, 2012 4:34 pm • linkreport

But the initial attack was wrt to W8. Again, talking about some random person in another Ward seems out of place. Obviously, you think what does/n't happen in one EOTR ward dictates the other. We're all EOTR...why not!

I think I understand the disconnect here: You clearly consider the differences between ward residents in DC much, much more hard-wired and fundamental than I do. Yes, in general I think the residents of Ward 8 are much like Ward 7. (And that ward 6 is much like ward 5, etc...)

Or at least, I think their similarities far outweigh their differences. In fact, I think the idea that ward 8 residents are so unique and constitutionally distinct from any other ward that "only a ward 8 politician can represent them" (or somesuch nonsense) is silly.

"We were talking about ANC 5A! Why would you bring up the ANC 5C!?! Do we all look alike to you!?! We're all Ward 5, right?!?"

Please. You'd think we were talking about Belgium versus Denmark or something.

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 4:42 pm • linkreport

I just want to say that this is the most serious I've ever seen anyone take monkeyrotica.

Carry on.

by OctaviusIII on Apr 9, 2012 4:50 pm • linkreport

@Kyle, although I agree w/a few of the distinctions, outside of his prescriptions, I didn't realize Barry was "on" drugs. What have you heard he's using? I do believe that the Saint has become very adept at sounding the dog whistle though.

I think I understand the disconnect here:

Hmmmm, not really. I believe it started after you cosigned the idea that Ward 8 will be better off once Barry is dead. You then went on to highlight your favorite people who don't live in the Ward. IMO, that's where the disconnect began.

Please. You'd think we were talking about Belgium versus Denmark or something.

While there are similarities between W7/8, we are also different. Being two of the poorest, undereducated ward, the lack economic development is notable. But unlike in my ward, there is no "Marion Barry" component making it hard for "progressives" to get center stage. There is Alexander, Gray, and I believe Chavous. IMO, none of them have been the hindrance Barry is..at all.

So despite how you might like to conveniently look at us as one and the same..we're just not. So Barry's death would affect W7's development in only the most microcosmic way.

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 5:04 pm • linkreport

'"I will pay off my debts when I get my inheritance" and "I will pay off my debts when my dad dies" is different
I don't see it. They're equal. I propose we take a policy of being less easily offended rather than requiring more delicate language'

If you don't see it I don't know that I can help you.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 5:05 pm • linkreport

scopic

by HogWash on Apr 9, 2012 5:07 pm • linkreport

"I propose we take a policy of being less easily offended "

I'm tired of all the rudeness that passes for being "unPC"

We'd be better off if we were MORE easily offended, IMO. And more concerned to say things delicately.

Can you imagine Mayor Anthony Williams discussing the good to come from a political opponent's death? I can't. I COULD imagine CM Barry speaking that way.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 9, 2012 5:10 pm • linkreport

Can you imagine Mayor Anthony Williams discussing the good to come from a political opponent's death? I can't.

No, and I can't imagine monkeyerotica doing it either. Since he didn't. He just said things won't change until Barry, who is NOT a political opponent of monkeyerotica, is dead. There I do see a difference.

by David C on Apr 9, 2012 5:17 pm • linkreport

Will someone please stop me before I find myself wrestling the Jell-O monster next time? Thank you.

by oboe on Apr 9, 2012 5:18 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by selxic on Apr 9, 2012 5:53 pm • linkreport

ESPECIALLY when his death is tied to some desirable social change. Its just bad form

Yes, it is bad form, but you're going to have to learn to suck it up and deal. We're not here to look out for your sensitive feelings.

Hogwash, don't quit your day job to seek a living writing witty acronyms.

by Tyro on Apr 9, 2012 11:59 pm • linkreport

Yes, airport Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) can be used for transit, but per the actual regulation "the access road or facility must exclusively serve airport traffic." As such, the FAA has already ruled that "the station and associated infrastructure located at the IAD terminal complex" are eligible for PFC funding, and MWAA intends to do so (#16). PFCs cannot be raised past the existing $4.50 -- a charge that is paid by all boarding passengers, including the one-third at Dulles who are connecting and did not use ground transport to get there.

The other instance of a local transit system being extended to the airport using PFC funds is for PDX. There, "the FAA permitted PFC funding for only one of three discrete segments (the on-airport segment ending at the terminal) as it alone was solely intended for use by airport patrons and employees." While PFCs did pay for 1.2 miles from the terminal to the airport entrance, PFCs did not even pay for an additional 1.4 miles of rail which were still located on airport property but beyond the "entrance." That was paid for by Bechtel, via a PPP which involved building the rail and a colossal shopping center on said property.

So while a case could be made (easier if the line terminated at IAD) that some associated infrastructure leading to the IAD station could be funded from PFCs, there is no way to use PFCs to fund any improvements off airport. Other fees, like parking charges, could be used -- but there's a competitive ceiling on how high parking charges can go, since IAD (unlike DCA) has numerous off-airport competitors.

by Payton on Apr 10, 2012 11:38 am • linkreport

Actually, strike that last thought: MWAA has a binding agreement with its airlines that "no Revenues from the operation of the Airports* will be used to support... the Metrorail Extension Project" (pg. II-33). The airlines understandably want airport revenue to stay on the airport, since Dulles has billions in unfunded on-airport capital projects. MWAA's 2012 capital budget does include a line item for contingencies "should PFC eligibility requirements prohibit PFCs from being used to cover the full amount" of MWAA's 4.1% share of the Metrorail project.

* operating revenues would include parking, concession, etc. revenues, but not PFCs.

by Payton on Apr 10, 2012 12:18 pm • linkreport

All this wasted breath on the Silver Line and Marion Barry (barf)....meanwhile, barely anyone comments on the Mall ReDesign ideas, which will probably affect the look/feel of this city a lot more than those other topics.

And am very surprised GGW just made it a quick link instead of writing an entire feature on it for commentary...it's sort of hidden--and to me, this is a major public space event that should be discussed.

The pictures loaded fairly quickly for me..I went on the site and saw them all and gave my feedback directly.

I sincerely hope some of those ideas never happen--as to my view, they turn the Mall into a Disney Theme Park.

by LuvDusty on Apr 10, 2012 1:53 pm • linkreport

I too was disappointed that this thread ignored some of the more interesting articles. As for me, I thought most of the designs for the Mall spaces were cool. Not sure what reminded you of Disney but certainly none of those brought that to my mind.

It would be nice if the Mall had some better improvements on all its spaces. Constitution "Gardens" is about as far from gardens as anything I can think of. It needs more spaces with shade that someone might want to just hang out in.

by MLD on Apr 10, 2012 2:17 pm • linkreport

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