Streetcar backers ask NoVA officials to cooperate on transit
When the Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition formed in early 2010, we thought it would be pretty easy to bring Northern Virginia officials to our way of thinking: streetcars should be part of each jurisdiction's array of transit options to connect Northern Virginia people, homes, and jobs.
Since then, there have been notable successes:
- After completing a NEPA process, both Arlington and Fairfax Counties selected streetcars as the "Locally Preferred Alternative" for the Columbia Pike Line between Skyline and the north end of Crystal City.
- Arlington adopted its Crystal City Sector Plan that includes provision for streetcar service through Crystal City to Four Mile Run, connecting to the Columbia Pike line.
- After almost three years, funds Congressman Jim Moran earmarked to study transit options along Route 7 are finally close to release. The City of Falls Church will finally get a chance to consider streetcars (along with other transit options).
- Fairfax County is a participant in several transit studies that may identify potential streetcar corridors.
- The Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition was able to pull together a TIGER II grant application coordinated by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and signed by the City of Alexandria and Arlington County. Unfortunately, the application did not win a TIGER grant.
- Northern Virginia Community College's bid to host a streetcar maintenance facility on their Alexandria campus was found to be infeasible by the Columbia Pike Transit study team, foreclosing the option of serving the campus and possibly the BRAC-133 building at Mark Center by streetcar.
- Along the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor (Route 1), Alexandria selected Bus Rapid Transit as the preferred mode of transportation to connect to Arlington's Crystal City streetcar line, with the option of converting to streetcars later. NVSC is suggesting Alexandria continue the Arlington streetcar south of Four Mile Run at least to the planned Potomac Yard Metro Station.
- The Alexandria Transportation Master Plan corridor studies have all selected bus or BRT as the preferred mode of transit.
The Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition is hosting its Annual Meeting on November 14, 2012 from 7 to 9 pm at Skyline Technology Center, 5275 Leesburg Pike. The meeting is open to the public and free of charge. We have invited Mary Hynes, Chair of the Arlington County Board; Penny Gross, Supervisor, Mason District, Fairfax County; Paul Smedberg, Alexandria City Council; and David Snyder, Vice Mayor, Falls Church to discuss opportunities for cooperation among jurisdictions in planning for high capacity transit solutions to connect Northern Virginia.
What questions would you want to have asked of this panel? Please comment with some specific questions our moderators could ask.
- Upper Northwest hits peak NIMBY about a homeless shelter
- For DC Council in Ward 7: Vince Gray
- For DC Council at large: Robert White
- Metro doesn't have four tracks. That's not why maintenance is a problem.
- DC's population is exploding
- If Metro had been more like Southwest Airlines, it'd have saved a lot of headaches
- For Arlington County Board: Erik Gutshall