Greater Greater Washington

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Maryland, Virginia, fund these projects!

Maryland and Virginia will both enact major new transportation funding bills this year. Neither bill says exactly which projects will be funded, but here are the top 10 projects in Maryland and Virginia that most deserve to get some of the funds.


Tysons grid of streets, no. 2. Image from Fairfax County.

1. 8-car Metro trains: Metrorail is near capacity, especially in Virginia. More Metro railcars and the infrastructure they need (like power systems and yard space) would mean more 8-car trains on the Orange, Blue, and Silver Lines.

2. Tysons grid of streets: Tysons Corner has more office space than downtown Baltimore and Richmond put together. Converting it to a functional urban place is a huge priority.

3. Purple Line: Bethesda, Silver Spring, Langley Park, College Park, New Carrollton. That's a serious string of transit-friendly pearls. The Purple Line will be one of America's best light rail lines on the day it opens.

4. Baltimore Red Line: Baltimore has a subway line and a light rail line, but they don't work together very well as a system. The Red Line will greatly improve the reach of Baltimore's rail system.

5. Silver Line Phase 2: The Silver Line extension from Reston to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County is one of the few projects that was earmarked in Virginia's bill, to the tune of $300 million.

6. Arlington streetcars: The Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcars both have funding plans already, but could potentially be accelerated.

7. Route 7 transit. Leesburg Pike is the next Rosslyn-Ballston corridor waiting to happen. Virginia is just beginning to study either a light rail or BRT line along it.

8. Corridor Cities Transitway: Gaithersburg has been waiting decades for a quality transit line to build around. BRT will finally connect the many New Urbanist communities there, which are internally walkable but rely on cars for long-range connections.


Corridor Cities Transitway, no. 8. Image from Maryland MTA.

9. MARC enhancements: MARC is a decent commuter rail, but it could be so much more. Some day it could be more like New York's Metro North or Philadelphia's SEPTA regional rail, with hourly trains all day long, even on weekends.

10. Alexandria BRT network: This will make nearly all of Alexandria accessible via high-quality transit.

Honorable mentions: Montgomery County BRT network, Potomac Yard Metro station, Virginia Beach light rail, Southern Maryland light rail, and VRE platform extensions.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a professional transportation planner for the Arlington County Department of Transportation. He has a degree in Urban Planning from the University of Colorado, and lives a car-free lifestyle in Northwest Washington. His posts are his own opinions and do not represent the views of his employer in any way. He runs the blog BeyondDC and also contributes to the Washington Post Local Opinions blog. 

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wrt to Rte 7 - IIUC Penny Gross was asked about extending LRT at a town hall, and her response was that the FFX BOS wanted to see how Pikerail works out first, before looking it - or did she say committing to - extensions. I don't know if that means waiting till PikeRail is complete and in operation, or just further along. Meanwhile Falls Church is getting new development without it, and in Pimmit Hills high density will be banned, IIUC, so I think this one is a ways off.

2. Id rather this not get diverted into another debate modal choices for the two ArlCo corridors.

Other than that, the list makes complete sense at least on the NoVa side.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 3, 2013 2:15 pm • linkreport

The CCT project lost my enthusiasm when they decided to go with BRT instead of light rail. They even tried to sweeten it up by calling for the "Gold Standard" of Buses.

Oh Great, a Glorified Ride on route. A bus is a bus, why waste money on making it Golden (Lots of symbolism, little substance)?

The developers will be able to build despite the CCT not being ready and then it will be done poorly. Kind of like the Silver Spring Transit center.

At least the County Council will feign disgust and then go back to business as usual.

by Cyclone on Apr 3, 2013 2:23 pm • linkreport

I'm glad you have 100% 8-car trains at the top. Pretty much the only short-to-medium term way to expand core capacity.

by Dizzy on Apr 3, 2013 2:24 pm • linkreport

All of these are slam dunks really.Even if the CCT would be better for the bigger investment to rail.

I always seem to have an easier time catching the 8 car train on the way home than on my way to work.

by drumz on Apr 3, 2013 2:28 pm • linkreport

Yup, 8-car trains has got to happen. That is terrible English. As @Dizzy said, it is the only short-medium term way to expand core capacity.

We need 8-car trains only, at least during peak hours, to meet capacity, especially on the red line union-farragut, orange from court house - metro center, blue from pentagon-metro center, yellow from pentagon-gallery, and not quite yet, but green from navy yard - mt vernon eventually.

by Nick on Apr 3, 2013 2:30 pm • linkreport

New Long Bridge (Marc, VRE, Amtrak, CSX/NS) with Four Tracks between 1st Street Tunnel and Alexandria Union Station.

by mcs on Apr 3, 2013 2:33 pm • linkreport

Extension of all metro lines further out.
[Remember, these are recommendations for MD and VA, not DC]

by Jasper on Apr 3, 2013 2:45 pm • linkreport

This list is total transit geek bait. I'll take a Number 1, yesterday, please. The fact that we don't yet have this is literally mind boggling. Combined with TOD development you can generate some new tax base to pay for the other projects. This is not just a comfort issue, it's also a safety issue in my opinion.

by Alan B. on Apr 3, 2013 2:47 pm • linkreport

There already is a plan to fund the Grid of Streets in Tysons. The costs have been assigned 90% to the Tysons landowners and 10% to the public, just as the costs for widening Route 7 west of Tysons has been assigned 10% to the Tysons landowners and 90% to the public. Much of the grid will appear as existing structures are torn down and new ones built as part of the rezoning proffers. Sections located in areas where redevelopment might not occur for many, many years will be funded largely from the Tysons Road Fund.

The County's funding plan includes state (and federal) contributions based on a 20-year history of receipts. It's a conservative financial plan.

Opening up the "funding deal" by transferring funding responsiblity for more of the grid to the public would not be beneficial as it might unwind other compromises.

AWalkerInTheCity is correct in that Pimmitt Hills will not receive increased density. It's an area of relatively affordable housing and would be protected by the County. Similarly, the Fairfax County Planning staff views the area between the Seven Corners and Baileys Crossroads Commerical Business Centers as "Suburban Neighborhoods." Since the County wants to keep as much future development in Tysons and other "activity centers," such as Seven Corners and Baileys, I don't see much added density along Route 7 in other areas.

I sense Fairfax County would like to see more 8-car trains on Metro.

by TMT on Apr 3, 2013 2:48 pm • linkreport

Make every suburban arterial a complete street in urbanizing or soon-to-urbanize areas, especially where it is already planned (for example, Route 1 in College Park -- route 193 in Greenbelt etc. in my area). Converting arterials to complete streets would be a huge liveability improvement and spur to economic infill development throughout the region, but requires big bucks for utility burial, relandscaping etc. This should be a major priority for regional transportation.

Second, GGW should also consider drawing up a list of cheap or cheaper/smaller projects that could still make a big difference for local transport and liveability -- the low hanging fruit, so to speak. At the very least a true, planned network of connected bikeways would seem to be the cheapest way to move a lot of people around the area. Bikeshare is great for parts of DC and Arlington, but the next step is to build our interconnected bike trails and cycletracks inside the Beltway and within 10 miles of major employment hubs. There are plenty of great connections possible that would make medium distance bike commuting much more feasible throughout the region.

by Greenbelt on Apr 3, 2013 2:54 pm • linkreport

Where is the Southern Maryland Light Rail project supposed to run to/from? Is that the one that would connect to Waldorf?

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Apr 3, 2013 2:54 pm • linkreport

TMT IIRC the baileys district extends to Culmore, and Seven Corners down to Patrick Henry - so protecting the small part of route 7 in between (after all we don't want urbanism to threaten either tall "towers in the park" on Munson hill, or radical islamism)does't really obviate the need for better transit in the corridor - but I do think they will wait till Tysons and Col Pike are farther along.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 3, 2013 2:56 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity; no high rises in Pimmit hills?

Some of those slumlords are going to be disappointed.

by charlie on Apr 3, 2013 3:08 pm • linkreport

Oh and I can't wait until the discussion not about when Arlington and DC will finish their streetcars but rather when they are going to connect the two systems! 14th St bridge, anyone?

by Alan B. on Apr 3, 2013 3:10 pm • linkreport

Route 1 in Virginia?

by selxic on Apr 3, 2013 3:10 pm • linkreport

charlie

Im mot sure what you are trying to say.

Alan

Since H Street is not yet running, PikeRail does not yet have fed funding, and AFAICT the extension of H Street west across downtown is still in the planning stage, Id say any connection over the river is a long, long way off.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Apr 3, 2013 3:12 pm • linkreport

Quite possibly. I still think it has a better shot than the Purple line (not that I am in any way against the Purple line!) especially if it proves a viable alternative to costly metrorail expansion work.

by Alan B. on Apr 3, 2013 3:29 pm • linkreport

@AWalerInTheCity

Yes, but it would make sense to have a long-term goal in mind so that DC and VA make sure to use compatible power systems, lay out routes that would logically lead to a river crossing, and don't build anything that would get in the way of said proposed crossing.

I personally don't mind if we build the network very incrementally. I do mind that DC and VA are undertaking major (and expensive) street construction projects along future streetcar/LRT routes without actually leaving provisions for those routes.

We just completely rebuilt the Adams Morgan streetscape without any provisions for rail, despite a near certainty that a future streetcar route will pass through that corridor. DDOT's going to need to tear up and redo almost all of the (expensive and disruptive) work that they just did.

Even if the system doesn't get built immediately, it is extremely prudent for all of the DC-area jurisdictions to get together, set out a long-range hypothetical plan, and set some standards to ensure that everything's compatible. WMATA needs to step up and take a leadership role here. We do not want to end up having a dozen different disjointed rail systems.

by andrew on Apr 3, 2013 3:36 pm • linkreport

On the same note as my previous comment, I continue to think that Maryland is seriously underestimating the demand for the Purple line.

IMO, the line needs to be built with the assumption that it will eventually need to be upgraded to a full-fledged Metro line.

If the line will really become the backbone of DC's most populous suburbs, we really don't want to be stuck with a half-assed LRT line. I'm pretty sure that most folks wish that the MBTA Green Line and the Muni Metro were built to standards that were more appropriate to their (very heavy) usage.

by andrew on Apr 3, 2013 3:42 pm • linkreport

WMATA needs to step up and take a leadership role here.

Metro couldn't lead organizing a line at Subway.

Keep them as far away from streetcars as possible.

by Another Nick on Apr 3, 2013 3:43 pm • linkreport

Nice list, but it probably could be shortened to 7 (and a few DC projects thrown in) with the Purple Line at the very top.

I have a hard time seeing an actual urban street grid in Tysons. As much as I want to believe, it would be an extremely daunting task to change one of the best examples of ugly sprawl in the area into a true urban area. Driving (because you sure can't walk) down Leesburg Pike is borderline depressing. White Flint/North Bethesda (another strip mall/random office building mecca) in MoCo faces similar problems, but won't be as challenging because it's more compact.

Also, I don't see Route 7 LRT/BRT or Alexandria BRT coming along any time soon.

The Penn Line actually has hourly service all day during the week, but as you said no weekend service (which should be priority #1). O'Malley should have Sen. Mikulski, Cardin, and friends pressure Amtrak to let MARC run trains on the weekend. As for service on the Brunswick and Camden Lines, we're stuck where we are now for the forseeable future as far as additional service in concerned, unless of course CSX has a HUGE change of heart (something akin to Republicans promoting an nationwide gun ban).

by King Terrapin on Apr 3, 2013 3:56 pm • linkreport

Keep them as far away from streetcars as possible.

I'm not sure I feel that strongly, but I do think that if Arlington ran a streetcar into DC with the participation of DDOT it has a lot of potential and possibly more viability. Cross-jurisdictional transit is always going to be complicated though which is why we have these odd webs of agencies around NY, SF, DC, etc so WMATA may end up the only option. It would only have to run up a little way to 14th and K or so to hook up with the DC streetcar system. You could potentially skirt the Pentagon completely and have a major regional multimodal transit center in Pentagon City or Crystal City. And theoretically it wouldn't even require an expensive new bridge or tunnel.

by Alan B. on Apr 3, 2013 3:59 pm • linkreport

Two items on the list are already funded or pretty solidly in the plans. Street grid in Tysons: The hard part will be sticking to the plan over the next 20 years. Silver Line Phase 2: funded and construction contract to be awarded this spring. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the major purpose of the $300 million from VA is to reduce the amount of bond debt, so the tolls won't have to be raised as much.

Maybe the list should be broken into: A. funded & approved, but make sure to stay the course. B. Get a move on and fund the projects for construction. The B category can be a Top 15 list, don't have to be so dang decimal.

I would move MARC and VRE enhancements up the list, especially expanding MARC Penn Line to 7 day a week service with MD contributing more towards NEC upgrades. VRE & Amtrak need the Long Bridge & 4 tracks to Alexandria as a higher priority.

by AlanF on Apr 3, 2013 4:03 pm • linkreport

MARC enhancements, yes! We need cheap weekend service to Baltimore.

by MV Jantzen on Apr 3, 2013 4:05 pm • linkreport

AWalkerInTheCity is correct in that Pimmitt Hills will not receive increased density

Although not technically Pimmit, a new townhouse development just went up on the Whole Foods side of 7 next to Marshall HS and I know there's been a plan in the works for some time to develop a PUD on part of the forested land next to the Fairfax Towers apartments. There could be other opportunities for development on the non-Pimmit side of 7.

Also, Pimmitt won't be a bastion of affordable houses for long. Many of the small 3/1 houses from the 50s are being torn down and being replaced with McMansions. The quarter acre lots are very valuable even if the houses are only 800 sq ft.

by Falls Church on Apr 3, 2013 4:13 pm • linkreport

@Andrew, the Purple Line is designed as a high grade light rail line with respectable capacity. For the circular route, I think it will have more than sufficient capacity. It is not going to get the very heavy commuter or tourist loads going downtown, that the Metro handles.

I would like to see Northern VA pursue similar light rail lines with a good level of grade separation and dedicated ROW. One along or parallel to the Rt. 7 corridor from Tysons to Bailey's Crossroad and then TBD to a Blue/Yellow Metro stop. Maybe a second line from Tysons, but on a more western arc, to Fairfax, Meritfield, TBD. But neither is in the planning documents, so we won't see any such light rail line in northern VA for decades. Streetcars and Metro line extensions will be it.

by AlanF on Apr 3, 2013 4:23 pm • linkreport

Good list -- so many good ideas and so little time. I am not sure I'd throw Tysons in there as a transit issue. That's a neighborhood development thing, and funds should be appropriated as such...without eating deeply into transportation budget -- obviously some road work is involved, but I think that most of the money should come from local interests.

I'm also not convinced that longer trains should be so high on the list. That's primarily a convenience and comfort issue. If that takes pressure off the need to build a tunnel to bring in additional trains, then making it such a priority is worthwhile. Otherwise, I'd focus more on the tunnel and making it possible for Metro to expand its reach within the city.

For me, the highest priorities should be bringing mass/rapid transit to areas that don't have it.

So, the Purple Line is brilliant -- assuming that the folks who live near these stations have a need to use it (Although I love the idea, I'm still not entirely convinced it will get the predicted ridership).

The Baltimore Red Line is a hugely promising project, but is largely ignored or the need not understood in much of the DMV.

The Silver Line is much needed, but doesn't need much more push. It's hard to imagine it won't be fully built at this point.

I also think MARC (and I'd in VRE) are vastly underutilized and terribly neglected. For Maryland, if we're not going to get Metro expansion up to Frederick and Columbia (light rail or BRT linking downtown (!!) Silver Spring to Columbia would be OK too), then there needs to be a massive upgrade to MARC. I think this could even be more useful in getting cars of the highways than the Purple Line.

I'm guessing much the same could happen in Virginia, though the streetcars might be more useful there to address the huge amount of local traffic. So, the streetcars might be a good investment there. Ditto with DC...and that might replace the push to invest in expanding the more expensive heavy rail Metro within the city.

Infill stations like Potomac Yard are the next big effort. That will be the first, but there will be others. The more Metro starts to add in stations, the greater the need to improve the longer distance commuter lines.

The Virginia Beach light rail would be pretty useful. too.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Apr 3, 2013 4:46 pm • linkreport

Why does the idea of "Metro to Frederick" sound like even a remote possibility to anyone? There is literally NOTHING in the like 15 miles between Germantown and Frederick. I would pay CSX to double-track their line all the way to WV before I would pay for Metro to Frederick.

by MLD on Apr 3, 2013 4:56 pm • linkreport

@selxic: I don't think Route 1 is ready for inclusion on this list yet. I don't know of any one overarching plan for what to do with the area; everything's being suggested and handled piecemeal. Get me a full, approved, accepted plan and it'll be time to talk about funding. Until then, we can only speculate.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on Apr 3, 2013 5:22 pm • linkreport

It seems pretty unlikely that there would be any metro expansion in MD in the next 20 years or so. VA probably has some potential, but it would require an expensive philosophical shift on the part of Fairfax to get it moving. This is definitely going to be the decade of the streetcar/light rail for Washington, Silver Line aside of course.

by Alan B. on Apr 3, 2013 5:26 pm • linkreport

@MLD: There once was a plan to extend the Red Line to Frederick. The Red Line was downgraded to the CCT, which was then downgraded to MARC. Not a good precedent for Maryland.

The Purple Line lacks support in Prince George's County and faces significant opposition in Chevy Chase and Annapolis. The Purple Line and Red Line both require federal funding. The Red line seems to be encountering apathy in Baltimore.

The plan for the CCT also presumes federal funding, but development of the science center area is contingent upon construction of the CCT. If the federal funding doesn't come through it will be interesting to see whether the development is allowed without construction, the developers have to chip in more, or the plan is downgraded to regular buses.

by Stanton Park on Apr 3, 2013 5:28 pm • linkreport

Extend the Orange Line from New Carrollton to Bowie and the Green Line from Greenbelt to Laurel.

by ceefer66 on Apr 3, 2013 5:49 pm • linkreport

@Fischy, the Baltimore Red Line is "largely ignored"? I can't speak for the politics in Baltimore, but the Red Line has completed the FEIS, was fast tracked by the Obama Administration for FTA review, received an official Record of Decision from the FTA in early March, and the funding for it & the Purple Line were major components of the push to raise gas taxes in MD. Both projects are moving ahead, although there will likely be a few inevitable lawsuits and political tussles that could delay the schedules.

As for DC Metro to Frederick or Columbia MD, that is not going to happen. Columbia is slated in the long range MTA plans for a light rail line to BWI and Baltimore. Frederick is so far outside of DC that it is better served by an upgraded MARC. The only Metro extension in MD that made it in the Metro Strategic review was possibly extending the Orange Line to Bowie which presumably would follow the rail ROW. But a 7 day a week hourly MARC Penn Line service might be the better approach for Bowie service.

by AlanF on Apr 3, 2013 5:51 pm • linkreport

Why is it that the first instinct on the 'net is to criticize? If folks actually read my entire comment, or even just the sentence they're plucking a few words from, they might not see the point in picking the nits.

Obviously, the Baltimore Red Line has been pushed by governments and may finally be on its way. Note that I said in the DMV. That's areference toeh DC Metro area... Baltimore, Annapolis, even the feds are pusihing it, but it's largely ignored by DC media and DC metro residents.

As for the Frederick thing -- I didn't say we should extend Metro to Frederick. I said that if that's not gonna happen, we should make it a higher priority to improve the commuter rail service from there to DC. Since it's not gonna happen....make MARC better.

I didn't say Metro should be extended to Columbia, either -- though I did write that Columbia should be served by light-rail or even BRT that goes straight to downtown Silver Spring -- not the watered down proposals we've read about lately that would fall short because of the misplaced and wrong-headed concerns of a few residents in Silver Spring about traffic. I didn't say there should be Metro extension that far out. However, since we're on the subject -- the development that's planned in downtown Columbia and the massive development that's going up in Fulton, along with plans for Burtonsville -- all point up the utility and economics that would support a rail line, be it Metro or light rail. 20 years from now, this will be the corridor most in need of mass transit, unless we start the needed planning soon.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Apr 3, 2013 9:32 pm • linkreport

Orange Line to Bowie is more likely to follow US-50 most of the way and end up Bowie Town Center, than to follow the Amtrak to Old Bowie.

by JimT on Apr 3, 2013 10:44 pm • linkreport

For starters, I would be happy to see a true regional bus network emerge in Maryland, using existing routes like the B30 and the 201 as a starting framework. It would consist of routes that provide access to places that are well populated but currently have only peak or very indirect service. Examples would be to operate the Z29 all day between Laurel and Silver Spring with an extension to Arundel Mills, Greenbelt to Columbia via Burtonsville and Maple Lawn, and Columbia to Baltimore. With just a handful of routes, a true connective network could emerge that ties together the smaller systems with the two largest regions on a more comprehensive nature. The start up cost of such an idea would be a fraction of those of much more substantial build, and create the most important basic component of public transit... Access.

by Adam P. on Apr 3, 2013 10:58 pm • linkreport

@Ser Amantio di Nicolao/selxic:

The reason there isn't a plan for Route 1 in Fairfax County is in no small part because the state and VDOT have effectively declined to fund one. MVCCA has been trying for TWENTY YEARS to get the state to commit to a transit study for the Route 1 corridor. Mount Vernon residents overwhelmingly support rail transit on Route 1.

by Froggie on Apr 4, 2013 6:54 am • linkreport

Interesting that the Red Line has an estimated ridership of 50k/day by 2035. That's impressive!

by H St LL on Apr 4, 2013 9:19 am • linkreport

It is sad that VA won't fund a plan for Rt 1 in Fairfax. That is one of the saddest stretches of cruddy development perhaps in the entire metro area. It is so tantalizingly close to the end of the yellow line or even an extension of the blue. But man does it suck right now.

by NikolasM on Apr 4, 2013 10:10 am • linkreport

Can anybody detail the status of work on the items in the MARC Growth and Investment Plan? What's done, under way, or still waiting for funding through the 2015 or 2020 phases?

by stocktoe on Apr 4, 2013 10:29 am • linkreport

@Geoffrey Hatchard the somd light rail is supposed to connect branch ave metro station to the south end of Waldorf using existing railroad tracks.

by Selwyn on Apr 4, 2013 10:41 am • linkreport

Route 1 in FFX is indeed sad. On my end, near Huntington, we have a number of large redevelopments happening that will create several 'walkable' communities within .5 miles of the Metro station. Unfortunately, to go anywhere other than towards DC, there are few reliable transit options (especially considering the major traffic that effects Rt. 1 regularly).

by Thad on Apr 4, 2013 10:52 am • linkreport

@H St LL, the Baltimore N-S light rail line has a average weekday ridership of 29K, the single subway line about 50K. Not bad considering how the 2 lines are poorly connected to each other.

I think the Red Line ridership predictions are quite conservative and the line will exceed 50K weekdays well before 2035. The Baltimore Red Line will provide a direct connection between downtown and the West Baltimore MARC Penn Line station & the future Bayview Penn Line station on the east side of Baltimore. It is going to draw a lot of MARC connecting commuter traffic and should boost commuter ridership on the 2 current lines. Of course, they have to get it built.

by AlanF on Apr 4, 2013 11:33 am • linkreport

Yes to longer Metro trains and the Silver Line extension, no great attachment to the other options.

Also while making Metro bigger is all well and good, I'm more interested in making it more efficient and reliable.

by Chris S. on Apr 4, 2013 11:38 am • linkreport

Really these should be broken down into 2 lists, one for MD and one for VA.

From the MD side, 8 car trains are not the #1 concern. Also I would put the red line above the purple line. MARC improvements would rank #1 on my list for MD.

by Richard Bourne on Apr 4, 2013 3:05 pm • linkreport

@Selwyn: Are you sure about that? There are no existing tracks from the Branch Avenue Metro Station to Waldorf. The old Baltimore and Potomac tracks go from Old Bowie to Waldorf.

@Richard Bourne: Most likely, the Red and Purple line will get top priority over other transit unless and until the feds deline to fund one or the other, given the timing issues.

I agree that 8-car trains are not a high priority yet.

by JimT on Apr 4, 2013 4:57 pm • linkreport

why not have MD fully fund their smart sidewalks initiative to put sidewalks and bike lanes along all the state highways in Montgomery and PG county,

If Metro improvements are in order, putting canopies over the outdoor escalators prior to rebuilding them would be a big one and if Montgomery county schools
would switch their high school students over to RideOn and Wmata, it would do a lot to make the bust network a lot denser.

by patb on Apr 4, 2013 11:47 pm • linkreport

What about all those poor people communting in on Rte 66 in VA? Any relief in sight? Extension of Orange line to Manassas?

by Martin on Apr 5, 2013 8:18 pm • linkreport

It seems strange that a Metro area the size of Washington does not already have all day commuter rail service already. You should be looking at electrification, with 10 to 15 minute peak frequency and at lest half hourly off peak.

A network of proper regional rail lines, would put paid to over extending the metro system.

by Rational Plan on Apr 9, 2013 5:13 am • linkreport

So Baltimore would get only one of the ten projects (#4 Red Line) and none of the honorable mentions. And while #1 is eight-car trains for the DC Metro, the Bmore Red Line would forever be shackled by only two-car station platforms. Even worse, Bmore rail transfers would happen only via a two-block long pedestrian tunnel - Imagine if DC had to tolerate that at Metro Center, Gallery and L'Enfant. Yes, Baltimore gets only the crumbs of the proposed zillion dollar transit spending, but do they have to be such crummy crumbs?

by Gerald Neily on Apr 11, 2013 8:21 am • linkreport

@Gerald Neily, the Baltimore Red Line is a $2.5 billion dollar project so I would hardly categorize it as getting crumbs in transit spending. Now, whether MD has compromised the future growth capacity too much by shortening the platforms to cut costs is a good question. But the Red Line will fill in a major gap and provide the start of connected rail transit system for the city.

What the Baltimore and MD planners & political leaders should do is to make a decision on the next expansion after the Red Line. Start the alternative analysis, PE, EIS stages shortly after the construction contracts are signed for the Red Line. Don't let 10 years pass after the Red Line opens before getting started on the next stage, be it extending the Green Line subway to the NE, new underground N-S line directly from downtown to Penn Station to Towson or just extending the existing LRT line from Penn Station to Towson.

by AlanF on Apr 11, 2013 6:45 pm • linkreport

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