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Old 12-14-2011, 12:53 PM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,703,903 times
Reputation: 2177
Quote:
Originally Posted by saganista View Post
I would wonder whether a Skyline to Tysons LRT wouldn't actually end up slipping through Seven Corners onto Roosevelt to reach the EFC Metro, then use Park Avenue through downtown Falls Church on the way to Grove Avenue and the WFC Metro station. That would take some pressure off the EFC and WFC parking lots, help avoid impacts on Route-7 auto traffic, but still stimulate the current FC downtown along Route-7 while opening up a whole new strip along the SW side of Park facing the LRT line. Probably need a strict zoning barrier on the NE side to protect those folks From WFC, the line could return to 7 and proceed on up to the Tysons Central/7 and Tysons West Silver Line stations. Could also use Haycock and Westmoreland into downtown McLean, then Chain Bridge and 123 to reach the Tysons East and Tyson Central/123 stations. Or you could make the WFC through Tysons run a single-track loop. Lots of options for people to decide on some decades from now.

Its most likely to lead to redevelopment if it runs where the commercially zoned lots available for redevelopment are, which I think means up rte 7. If they are not interested in redevelopment (which may well be the case) I'm not sure the investment in rail is justified.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:21 PM
 
19,178 posts, read 19,354,144 times
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Yes, the desirability of development would be a primary key, as has been noted by several. And as the article author noted, Falls Church residents have spent a couple of decades now focused primarily on maintaining and defending the high quality of FCCPS and the city's upscale suburban quality of life, having been quite successful in each case. Investment in the commercial downtown has been kind of spotty, perhaps or seemingly by choice, but something that the author at least appears to hope LRT might come along and modify.

Personally, I think that if the Columbia Pike project is as successful as it ought to be, there will be considerable impetus to expand on that success, and the already talked about Route-7 LRT would become a likely reality by some point in the 2020's or 2030's. In that case, it would make some sense to me to send it up Route-7 from Skyline to Seven Corners, but perhaps not then to plow straight ahead through Falls Church. There may be bigger fish to fry. For Falls Church itself, running LRT up Park Avenue would turn the entire block between it and Route-7 into an expanded and revenue-generating commercial zone. LRT would not then affect (or be affected by) traffic on Route-7, and the two streets are less than 500 feet apart (about the same as between Maple Avenue and Church Street in Vienna), so walkability from one to the other would not be an issue. On the SW side of Park Avenue currently are the library, some professional buildings, some higher density residential, and St. James Church and School. There would be no reason from a planning point of view not to mix new commercial in and among those. The NE side of the street is almost all upscale SFH residential that you'd want to protect. Ditto for the entire stretch along Grove Avenue beyond West Street. Fortunately, LRT being cute, clean, and quiet, it does no damage to the upscale SFH residential vibe.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Expatriate Philadelphian in Northern Virginia
7,701 posts, read 11,363,124 times
Reputation: 2190
Quote:
Originally Posted by khuntrevor View Post
Skytrain is even better, but Brooklyn makes some good points. LR is civilized, the bus isn't...that's how it is here in Phoenix. 20 miles; 2 Billion USD. Ridership has by far exceeded expectations.
From personal experience, I would say that the various bus systems on this side of the river - and to some degree, the region as a whole - have carried people from virtually all walks of life at the same time. The bus rider stigma that may exist in Phoenix (and my hometown Philly) among others is less here, if only perhaps because of traffic.

Quote:
Does Falls Church really want growth, though?
It's my understanding from the article that Falls Church was looking to increase its business revenue through the commercial development theoretically spurred on by LRT.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:46 AM
Status: "40cal per mile beats 40MPG" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: You want kimchi with that?
8,479 posts, read 5,703,903 times
Reputation: 2177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
From personal experience, I would say that the various bus systems on this side of the river - and to some degree, the region as a whole - have carried people from virtually all walks of life at the same time. The bus rider stigma that may exist in Phoenix (and my hometown Philly) among others is less here, if only perhaps because of traffic.
To clarify my own position - I see nothing necessarily worthy of being stigmatized about being on a bus - while its completely logical that folks with access to an automobile will seldom use an infrequent local bus service to a place where parking is cheap or free - where the bus service takes advantage of an express facility unavaible to a SOV driver, where the service is frequent, etc that changes the balance.

BUT - I think its clear there ARE some folks who would ride a street car, and not a bus, even where trip time and service frequency are the same - both for reasons of ride quality and social/psychological reasons. To the extent that means more ridership from riders with a choice, that adds to the possible frequency and thus makes the service yet more attractive.

the whole bus vs streetcar thing has many, many facets. streetcars typically carry many more passengers than conventional buses, which means they can carry more volume relative to any given interference with auto traffic (thats a big concern on Columbia Pike- and yes, I realize that where thats the issue, the above noted frequency issue does not apply). A proposed bus altenative is large articulated buses, but in addition to the "bus stigma" they still carry, they have maintenance and length of service issues more severe than ordinary buses (articulated buses were examined as an alternative for Columbia Pike)
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:55 AM
 
518 posts, read 831,888 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone509 View Post
From personal experience, I would say that the various bus systems on this side of the river - and to some degree, the region as a whole - have carried people from virtually all walks of life at the same time. The bus rider stigma that may exist in Phoenix (and my hometown Philly) among others is less here, if only perhaps because of traffic.
Even the streetcars in Philly have a certain stigma, perhaps because they are old, the sometimes violent criminal activity, and an underground portion that is pretty dismal. The rt 15 line along Girard Avenue has stimulated some redevelopment and a few upscale projects especially east of Broad, however. There was talk about reactivating the rt 23 chestnut hill to south philly line to help with redevelopment, but Septa is broke, so that's probably 30 years off. The tracks and overhead wires on that line in Mt. Airy were just completely overhauled, but they won't see any streetcars any time soon.

You are right that the buses in DC serve people from all walks of life. Unlike Phoenix, LA, Baltimore, etc, many professionals see no problem in taking the bus to Metro, or to downtown from Upper NW, or Mt Pleasant, etc. The Circulator is also very popular with students and professionals.

If DC and Arlington built those planned freeways in the 60s and 70s instead of Metro, I suspect more people would be driving to work, obviously, and the buses would serve primarily a poor and young/old clientele.
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