News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, January 25, 2008

So you're saying we still have a chance!

The headline in today's Washington Post pretty much says it all:

Dulles Rail Project All but Dead

"The FTA made it very clear today to the delegation that they are going to say no to this project," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to anger the transit agency.
Now that doesn't sound good. What happened to all that awesome paperwork Virginia officials were going to spend the weekend on?
Simpson said the FTA would not make a final decision on Dulles rail funding until Kaine and the congressional delegation have had a chance to respond to his concerns. The agency's initial promise to render a decision by the end of January is on hold, he said.

Kaine said Virginia officials and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is managing the project, would address the concerns of Simpson and Peters by Monday. But several project supporters, including state and congressional officials, said privately that it would not be possible to meet all of the federal government's demands.
Well, not with that attitude! Guess it's time to start finding folks to blame for the fact that the next time we want to take a monorail ride through a futuristic urban wonderland like Tysons Corner, we'll have to go to Disneyworld. So where should the pitchfork-wielding crowds go first?
Simpson emphasized his concerns about Metro, likening the Dulles expansion to putting a two-room addition onto a house that is falling down. "First, you have to fix the house," he said later at a news conference. "Metro's operational issues have become really serious over the last several months," he said. "I spent several hours with senior staff at Metro talking about their unfunded needs. They're holding up some of their subway stations with jacks. They're holding other subway stations up with two-by-fours and plywood. I could go on."
So could we. But of course, for some folks, it's time to party like it's... 1989!
One group not disappointed with yesterday's news is the coalition of community activists who have been pushing for a tunnel through the Tysons Corner segment of the project. Project planners instead decided on an elevated track, saying that a tunnel would cost too much and jeopardize federal funds. Tunnel supporters have been pushing for a timeout on the project to give a tunnel more study.

"This is an opportunity for us to make the best of this and see if we can't get the project corrected," said Scott Monett of "We can still move Dulles rail forward -- with a tunnel."
Great idea! We'll go grab a spoon and start digging a hole near the Bed Bath N Beyond(tm).

In the meantime, the DC area joins the ranks of some awesome cities.
THE INTERNATIONAL airports in Chicago, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney are served by passenger rail lines. Those in Kampala, Ulan Bator and Tegucigalpa are not. The Bush administration has now, for all intents and purposes, decided that Washington, D.C., belongs forever in the second category and not in the first.
In honor of the selfless developers "community activists" who helped derail this project, we'll heretofore refer to Tysons as Tegucigalpa -- if only Tegucigalpa had an Olive Garden (tm).

No comments:

Post a Comment

(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).