News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Political Theater: Scrapping Silver Line Phase 2 Suggested, But Who Would Be Able To Tell The Difference?

Political Theater

There's nothing wrong with our beleaguered mass transit system that a little elbow grease political theater won't fix. After floating the sliver-lined trial balloon of closing most Tysons stations during off-peak periods, a Metro board member has made an even more awesome Modest Proposal: doing away with the entire second phase of the Silver Line from Wiehle out to the particleboard Valhalla of Loudoun County, leaving a series of half-constructed stations to crumble in the median of the Toll Road. What could possibly go wrong?

Construction has begun on five of the six stations, and the project is nearly 47 percent complete.

Price said canceling the extension would save about $100 million over two fiscal years beginning in mid-2018, at a time when the District and other jurisdictions are concerned about rising financial demands from Metro for increased government subsidies.

Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans (D), who also represents the District, said he supports Price’s idea.

“Mr. Price’s observation that we may have to just stop moving forward with the Silver Line may make sense in light of the enormous financial challenges that we face,” said Evans, who also is a D.C. Council member. “It just goes back to the need for a dedicated funding source.”

Of course this is another ham-handed attempt to extort more money out of Fairfax County and/or Virginia. That's going to be inevitable when the county's champagne wishes and caviar dreams are so transparently focused around something out of its control -- something those of us in Reston are starting to understand ourselves. On the plus side, maybe they could open the never-to-be-finished segment of the Silver Line as an awesome rollerblading track, allowing those of us with limited luggage to zip on over to Dulles in a matter of minutes.

In the meantime, it's extremely likely that Metro will start closing early in the evening, which will put a severe damper on our evening trips to Tysons for some sweet chain dining. And for those of us dealing with the latest -- and worst -- SafeTrack disruption of Silver Line service, never fear! Metro has sprung into action -- not with an accelerated repair schedule or additional trains, silly rabbits, but with a teevee video:

Just something to watch on repeat about 150 times on the trip downtown, the end.

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