News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

As the Silver Line Turns: As Loudoun Deadline Nears, They Get Letters

rcounty-loudoun.jpegAs the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors continues to consider whether to fund Phase 2 of Metro's Silver Line into their particleboard Valhalla, the Washington Post "news paper" has written a fancy editorial, with strong words and whatnot, urging Loudoun to make a smart decision.

Some residents of Loudoun fear the traffic and urbanization that the Silver Line would bring. They like the county the way it is — suburban and prosperous. But growth is coming Loudoun’s way regardless; the Silver Line would only ensure that Loudoun enhances its prosperity as it grows.
I'mma let you finish, Washington Post editorial, but we've provided a handy pictorial guide of what that growth would look like either way. But go on!
The project’s opponents have been encouraged by right-wing groups with scant knowledge of Loudoun and no stake in its future. Their only interest is ideological: they oppose tax increases for any purpose. A group funded by the conservative Koch brothers has sponsored thousands of robocalls in the county, saying the Silver Line would mean a “bailout to rail station developers.”

We suppose that the Koch brothers would also have opposed building the transcontinental railroad, the interstate highway system, the Golden Gate Bridge, or, for that matter, the Metro system and Dulles International airport themselves. Maybe things would be simpler that way. But America would be a poorer, less vibrant place — hidebound, parochial and stuck in old ways.
Sounds about right.

Meanwhile in our hidebound, parochial, and stuck in old ways progressive county to the west, anti-Silver Line folks allegedly plastered cars parked at a supervisor's church with letters urging her to "be strong" and vote against the project.
To make the unethical truly dishonorable, these cowards behind this flier couldn’t even stand behind their words. No identification of who it was that felt the need to litter on our personal vehicles and on the Church’s private property, no ability to address directly the people who write this clearly biased and ridiculously ill-supported drivel. If they are so proud of Mrs. Volpe and are so convinced of the correctness of their cause, why are they skulking around in the dark? Why are they so afraid of standing up and being recognized?
Sounds like the Koch brothers invested in a Xerox machine as well as a speed-dialer. Good for them!

The Loudoun Board held a fancy work session on the project last week, where they learned the annual cost of servicing the debt from their share of Phase 2 would range from $11-19 million.
“To me, this looks pretty affordable,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau, who pointed out that the finals costs could amount to less than two cents on the real estate tax rate, in terms of cost to taxpayers.
Funny how the screw has turned since the airports authority dropped the labor agreement that was of tantamount importance to right-wing think thanks keeping ordinary Loudoun citizens up at night.
Despite continued disagreements—including an unknown divide among supervisors about whether to even participate in the project—Clarke, the board's vice chairman, said she believed the board made significant progress in its review.

MWAA sent a letter to the county regarding its decision to abandon a preference for a project labor agreement in which it indicated it was prepared to begin procurement on the project on July 5 if Loudoun opts in by July 4. It's estimated that passengers could be riding the Silver Line to and from Ashburn by 2018 without delays.
What additional fun and games will we see as this decision comes down to the wire? Only the Koch brothers Shadow knows.


  1. Why does Loudoun need a train? If Loudoun needs more mass transit, it would probably be smarter for them to expand their fleet of buses and continue to dump their riders off at West Falls Church. Considering the length of the ride from Wiehle to WFC and the four extra stops in Tyson's, it would probably be faster for them just to go directly to WFC instead of depositing their commuters at Wiehle.

    Nor, for that matter, would they be confined to the Greenway. They could put pick up points at different places throughout the county, just like they're doing now. Expanded Bus Rapid Transit may be a smarter solution for Loudoun until they're finally politically ready for an extension of the Silver Line.

    1. Getting anywhere on a bus takes forever. Transferring is a hassle and you can wait up to an hour for the next bus to come. Once you consider the cost of gas for a bus that is sitting in congested traffic it doesn't make sense. The Metro makes sense. Yes to Metro!

    2. In addition to what Ann has pointed out, buses also contribute to part of the traffic problem...have you ever seen the back up behind any of these buses when they stop?? Just when traffic starts flowing they stop again. So annoying. Loudoun County IS ready for the Silver Line.

    3. In addition to what Ann pointed out, buses contribute to the traffic problem....have you ever seen the back up behind a bus when it stops?? They take forever and once traffic gets flowing again it makes another stop. So annoying. Loudoun County IS ready for the Silver Line. To quote this very blog 'resistance is futile' :)

    4. Not only are busses slow and clog traffic, but they pollute bad. I read just last week on cnn that they believe diesel exhaust causes cancer. So really, I don't think putting more cancer machines on the road really is the answer. We need Merto.

      Yes to Metro

  2. Based on McCartney's editorial in the Washington Post today it seems Loudoun County folk think we in Fairfax County are arrogant and thank them for educating our workforces children... and feel two Silver Line stations will allow them to steal our commerce... vs. our future 16 stations. Fightin' words!

  3. Convict - as someone who rode a bus from Reston to WFC before moving out to Loudoun and having to change jobs because the route into DC was intolerable...I've got to ask. Have you taken a bus to WFC from Loudoun County lately? There's nothing fast or convenient about it.

  4. I feel your pain, MSO. But what are the options, if the BoS rejects the Silver line?

    But with all of that traffic disappearing from the DTR because they're all riding the Silver line, traffic should move much quicker, once you make your way to the DTR.

  5. None really. The anti-metro crowd are all either calling for rapid-bus transit (which is apparently free to the county somehow) or a "head in the sand" approach where the population of the county continues to grow, and we do nothing at all about transportation infrastructure (which is also free). Maybe they all work from home.

  6. Busses are not the answer, they pollute too much, are too slow and do not carry enough people. Loudoun needs the Metro and 80 percent of us strong want it. It's time to vote yes and build us a shiny train.

  7. If 80% of you want it, Mel, then why do you folks keep electing anti-tax idiots whose world view seems to be farther then the dollars in their wallets?

  8. Unfortunately Convict, I think that all politicians lok to line their pockets these days. The politicians are going to keep finding reasons to tax us, they are going to keep taking more from us, but let me ask you this. Wouldn't you rather get something in return for your money? Something this area needs? A solution to a problem we have had ever since this county started to double in size every couple years. They are going to keep taxing us and I personally think that we need to get something in return. Something that will serve Loudoun for generations to come and be one pice of the puzzle that is fixing our traffic nightmares.

  9. Buses are so NOT the answer, not only do they add to pollution, but they also get stuck in traffic, and tend to be unreliable. The rail will give many a one seat ride to work. not to mention the jobs that will be created, and nowadays we can use more jobs!


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