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NoVa officials discuss streetcar needs

Transportation officials in Arlington and Fairfax counties are trying to decide on features for the Columbia Pike streetcar line as they begin working on environmental documents and federal funding applications.

The five-mile planned route from Pentagon City to Skyline in Fairfax County will need about 14 streetcars, street-level platforms, the possibility for people to enter the cars from both sides simultaneously, and the ability to collect fares at points along the line, said Steve Del Giudice, Arlington's transit bureau chief, to members of the Northern Virginia Streetcar Coalition Thursday night. Transportation officials are still trying to work out issues surrounding overhead power lines, locations for six power stations and a maintenance facility and "how to integrate those in the community," he said.

However, two maintenance facility locations have been identified. One at the North Tract near Pentagon City and the other at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, said Leonard Wolfenstein, Fairfax's transportation planning chief.

Jim McClellan, the MVCC's dean of liberal arts in Alexandria, said the school "is the keystone for this operation," sitting amid the Columbia Pike, Route 7 and Beauregard corridors.

Not only could the school draw students from those areas if it had a streetcar stop, but it could also train students to work within the transit industry with the maintenance facility there, he said.

Falls Church Vice Mayor David Snyder said his city is interested in extending the streetcar down Route 7. Alexandria City Council member Paul Smedberg reiterated his city's interest in connecting to the line near Beauregard Street.

Two town hall forums are planned in November to get public input before the environmental documents are written. The final documents should be ready this spring, officials said.

For meeting dates and more information, visit

-- Christy Goodman

By Michael Bolden  | October 29, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Northern Virginia, Transit, Transportation News, Transportation Politics  
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"Jim McClellan, the MVCC's dean of liberal arts in Alexandria"

NVCC. who edits this stuff??

Posted by: emroad | October 29, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"Jim McClellan, the MVCC's dean of liberal arts in Alexandria"

NVCC. who edits this stuff??

Posted by: emroad | October 29, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The same people that are in charge of watching for double posts?

Posted by: zimbar | October 29, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Nice idea. Too bad Alexandria is incapable of expanding the one existing bus route that goes to NVCC campus just enough to include route 7 itself. That must be absolutely set in stone, so the city can figure out how to connect to the non-existent streetcar down a long steep hill. They'll appoint another committee to study the matter and that will be that until the Rte 7/Beauregard intersection crumbles completely.

Posted by: jody43jody | October 31, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

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