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Alexandria, Arlington work together on Route 1

The Alexandria City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to join Arlington County in environmental planning and preliminary engineering for the proposed streetcar along Route 1.

Council members Frank Fannon and Alicia Hughes were the dissenting votes.

The streetcar line is proposed for the length of the Crystal City to Potomac Yard corridor, which has been planned to hold 12.7 million square feet of development in Alexandria and 59.4 million square feet in Arlington in the coming years. To handle that capacity, both jurisdictions have been working on bus rapid transit systems for Route 1, but they would like to convert that bus line into a streetcar as the years progress.

The city hopes that by partnering with Arlington, not only will both jurisdictions share in the price of the studies, but that they will be able to more easily secure federal funding as a multi-jurisdictional transit plan. City officials estimate Alexandria's share of the preliminary engineering and environmental assessment to be no more than $1 million.

--Christy Goodman

By Christy Goodman  | October 27, 2010; 4:22 PM ET
 
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Comments

Three cheers for Fannon and Hughes!

They're willing to stand up to ask tough questions about costly new projects, unlike the other members of Alexandria City Council and the Arlington County Board. Both bodies have rammed this project through, with almost no public debate.

The costs of the proposed Crystal City/Potomac Yard and Columbia Pike streetcar projects are staggering (over $300 million for the Pike line alone). And there's little or no transportation benefit from either. Improved bus service would be far cheaper, and far MORE effective in moving people.

Arlington and Alexandria both suffer from one-party groupthink in local government. It's time for both localities to elect more thoughtful independent leaders - like Fannon and Hughes.

Posted by: jrmil | October 28, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The City of Alexandria doesn't have the funds for this unnecessary project.

The Yellow Line, which is only a few blocks from Route 1, is recognized as the least utilized of all the metro lines. Why invest hundreds of millions of dollars we don't have?

Oh yes, because Kerry Donley wants it, that's why. And, he'll resort to threats to get his pet project through, no matter what the cost.

Posted by: BudMiller | November 1, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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