News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Yet Another Stupid Silver Line Post: Loudoun Looking a $25 Billion Gift Horse in the Mouth

Loudoun Commuter.jpegNext time you get a 24-hour visa to visit Wegmans or the particleboard home of a friend who "graduated" to Loudoun County, be sure to ask the local citzenry what keeps them up at night. "Well, the value of our particleboard home has fallen at least 30 percent since the peak of the housing boom, and traffic to DC is terrible and my husband might be losing his job strapping bombs to dolphins with a government contractor because of budget cuts, which will lead to foreclosure proceedings against said particleboard home, just like the other 12 identical particleboard homes for sale by lenders in our neighborhood, but what really upsets me is that a Project Labor Agreement will provide an undue scoring advantage during a competitive bidding process for a public works project that will give one massive construction firm an unfair advantage over another massive construction firm, and that's why we elected our local board of supervisors to focus on a national policy issue promulgated by right-wing think tanks instead of local needs" will be the invariable answer. But now that all parties involved in the Silver Line fiasco have been taken to the woodshed and this issue is likely to be taken off the table, what other excuses will Loudoun's leadership have to turn down a project that will bring $25 billion in benefits to their county?

The cost of Metrorail’s extension into Loudoun County in relation to the payoff are minuscule, and no one is making a defensible argument for the benefit not being there, Dr. Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, said in an interview Monday.

Fuller, an economist and author of more than 500 articles, papers and reports in the field of urban and regional economic development, released “The Impact of Metrorail on Loudoun County’s Economic Future,” a 14-page report that concludes the county will miss out on $25.6 billion in gross product by 2040 if Metrorail service isn’t extended to the Dulles Airport, Route 772 and Route 606.

“The opportunity cost of not extending Metrorail into Loudoun County can be measured in billions of dollars not earned, a perpetually weaker economic base, lower salaries and higher tax burdens for Loudoun County residents,” Fuller states in his report.

Phase 2 of the Metrorail Silver Line extension should be a “no-brainer,” Fuller said during the interview.
Yeah, but has he heard the things that Loudoun lawmakers have been saying?
But Board Vice Chairman Janet S. Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), who hasn’t made up her mind about the Silver Line, worries that the rewards will come too slowly.

“My point is, can we afford to front the money, and for how long will we have to do so before we start to receive the income from the economic development,” Clarke said.
"No-brainer" doesn't quite cover it. Keep clapping, kids!


  1. Can we take them at their word they they don't want any economic benefit and start a "Boycott Loudoun County" effort until they change their minds?

  2. Loudoun... even more Reston than Reston.

  3. It's fine with me if the Silver Line ends at Wiehle Ave. If those babies in Loudon Co. want to forgo the best economic opportunity they've had in decades over their tea flavored political inclination, so be it. Let Bob McDonnell notch one in the win column at Loudon's expense. And when Ken Cuccinelli begins his gubernatorial campaign, he can call for a stop to the construction because state money is being used to employ gay construction workers. Welcome to national political inertia Loudon Co.

  4. Let's building a wall between the two counties and charge a toll on all roads leading from Loudoun into Fairfax County. All Loudounites must pay to enter the land of prosperity!

  5. To be honest, I really don't want Loudoun to get the $25.6B boost to their economy. Such an increase will only increase the housing pressures in Loudoun complicating our own traffic problems and creating even more sprawl. I hope that LoCo does the right thing and shuts down Metro expansion from the airport to points west.

    No Growth is Smart Growth

  6. I really wish that Phase 2 of the Silver Line was seperated into two phases. Phase 2 should be from Wiehle Ave. to Dulles, and Phase 3 should be Dulles into Loudoun. That way we can get the Silver Line to Dulles which is the most important part of Silver Line construction now, and the Loudounites can argue to death over "Phase 3" while the rest of us have rail to the airport.

    Like The Convict, I would be happy if the Silver Line never made it past Dulles. Such a thing would only increase sprawl and traffic. If it wasn't for Dulles, then the Silver Line shouldn't be going that far west.

  7. Lake Anne SandmanMay 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Convict, how does your "no growth" plan work exactly?

    Should Lake Anne be converted into a Logan's Run type thunderdome where a newcomer to Reston has to slay a current resident before they can move here?

  8. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 8, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    New mascot and new motto for Loudoun County:

    The Loon Ranger -- "Hi-yo Silver! Away!"

    (With apologies to Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels)

    1. I'm ready to leave Lake Anne, who wants my place?

  9. "Carousel and Renewal", LAS. I like that. Of course, most of Reston is already well beyond 30 years old.

    I'm not against turnover in existing properties, LAS. People would still be free to buy and sale the existing home.

    Crap wears out and needs to be replaced, like Lake Anne. Face lifts are okay. In fact, I'm not even against replacing existing homes or buildings. I would limit it to 1:1 in structures for homes and 1:1 in square footage for commercial and retail.

    The surprising thing about the initiative to add so much extra housing to Reston is that, while "you" can build a new home, I couldn't add an extension on my townhome. Go figure.

  10. And, yes, the manx in the video needs to add more "bounce" to all of that hand clapping and foot stomping.

  11. Let the Metro end at Dulles. It need go no further. Loudoun will continue to grow without the damm Metro and its associated costs. Personally, I don't plan on taking Metro much of anyplace even if it ends at Wiehle. I much prefer my own auto, thank you, a flying MIDDLE FINGER to all the Restonians who just love Metro,but for me, no thanks.

  12. Here's a tidbit from the WaPo on the GMU study author that somehow escaped the notice of Restonian:

    "Fuller said he did not charge his normal consulting fees for doing the study, but a $15,000 donation was given to the George Mason University Foundation by the Claude Moore Foundation, which owns a large parcel of land near the Silver Line that it is beginning to sell to developers."

    No, nothing to see here. Please drive through. Check it out at the link:

  13. See the WaPo poll that concludes that most Virginians could care less about the Silver Line. They know it will do little or nothing to end traffic congestion. They know there are other pressing priorities. The Silver Line is merely a piece of bling that politicians and their acolytes can wear when the mood suits them. Loudoun County should get smart and kill this expensive white elephant before they get sucked in any further.

  14. Silverline SurferMay 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    @ Java,

    Did you read the article? Virginians who don't care about the Silverline don't live in Northern Virginia. Personally, I don't give a Java Master's middle finger what the yokels in Buchanan County think about the civilized world.

    Northern Virginians overwhelmingly are in favor of the metro extension.

    Please to be enjoying your car, I'll be giving you and all the suckers sitting in traffic my middle finger.


  15. To SilverLine Surfer:
    Better watch yourself, my Middle Finger has been known to knock over pasty-faced commuters like yourself with scarcely any effort....
    The article confirms my opinion that the uncivilized "yokels" in the rest of the state are right on the money, and show great common sense when it comes to the White Elephant, oh excuse me Silver Line. Common sense being something that seems to elude the self-interested promoters of this expensive boondoogle, which will go nowhere that I need to go for my business or commute! How much $$ are you willing to pay to ride on this turkey, anyway?

  16. Silverline SurferMay 15, 2012 at 8:46 PM


    I love interwebz tough-guy-izms as much as the next guy, so well played!

    Perhaps you may ask yourself why Ezekia in Buchanan county doesn't care about the Silverline? Answer = because he does not live anywhere near it.

    Same goes for the rest of the state. But they might want to care, seeing as how Fairfax and Loudon are carrying the rest of the deadbeats. Increased revenue for the state means that Jolene, Ezekia in Buchanan county's daughter can go to school.

    Enjoy the Tea Java!


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