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Old 11-18-2011, 09:00 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Decision Near For Columbia Pike Streetcar | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Locating the mtnce facility at NVCC, as Alex proposes, would bring the line into Alexandria sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
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Thanks for posting this. I have been keeping tabs on this ever since it was first brought up a good while ago. My good friend who is a director for Arlington Co. transportation has talked a little bit about it here and there and he always gets excited about it and rightfully so.

I wonder exactly how far into Alexandria the line would go? Yes it would be great for people to use to get to / from NVCC's Alexandria campus, but that whole area of Alexandria is lacking in transportation other than buses. Perhaps the line could run through Alexandria and connect riders up to metro elsewhere in the city like at King street or Braddock road. While that would be nice, I have a hard time seeing that happening as there seems to be little to no land to use to widen certain streets that would be needed to accommodate both auto and street car traffic.

I also wonder if Fairfax and Arlington are willing to foot most / all of the bill until Alexandria gets a portion of the line?

From reading that short blurb, it does not sound like they are in any hurry to include Alexandria on any line, and I would guess that Alexandria tax payers would have major issues with footing any part of the bill for something they can't use.

I do hope this happens though. The whole Columbia Pike corridor, other parts of south Arlington, and Alexandria sure could use some kind of rail. Places like Shirlington come to mind. Shirlington has managed to become fairly built up even without any rail, but I would venture a guess that if thee was some sort of rail near by it could spur even more growth in that area.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:53 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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this is phase 1. The original plan was to terminate at Skyline with Mtnce nr Crystal City. Alex wants to extend to NVCC, mostly so that the mtnce facility could be combined with vocational education in street car maintenance (a growing field in the region) at NVCC. Presumably Arlington and FFX will pay for most of that, as they had to have maintenance anyway. Im not sure if Alex would kick in money. Certainly there wont be a further extension as part of phase 1. IIUC there is strong interest in a phase 2, to go at least as far as the new Marc center BRAC building. There are other ideas floating around for extensions beyond that. The most obvious would be take it down Beauregard to Landmark - that would tie in to plans (currently on hold) to rebuild Landmark mall as a high density mixed use project. Some people I think have suggested then extending it west to Annandale.

This blogger
Just Down The Parkway: Transit maps on Flickr

suggests running the columbia pike/beauregard light rail down from Landmark to Van Dorn metro station. And building an east west LRT line on duke from King street metro to Landmark and then beyond to Annandale, which would make Landmark a transit hub. He would extend the Crystal City/Pot Yard LRT into old town. for the time being he would only improve bus service to Shirlington. I dont even know if there will really be money and political will for all that, but its not necessarily bad to start thinking about the longer term. Certainly the large amount of office space now opening at Marc Center, the massive concentration of residences at Landmark, and the prospect for redevelopment of the landmark mall site, are key issues for Alex and the surround region.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
this is phase 1. The original plan was to terminate at Skyline with Mtnce nr Crystal City. Alex wants to extend to NVCC, mostly so that the mtnce facility could be combined with vocational education in street car maintenance (a growing field in the region) at NVCC. Presumably Arlington and FFX will pay for most of that, as they had to have maintenance anyway. Im not sure if Alex would kick in money. Certainly there wont be a further extension as part of phase 1. IIUC there is strong interest in a phase 2, to go at least as far as the new Marc center BRAC building. There are other ideas floating around for extensions beyond that. The most obvious would be take it down Beauregard to Landmark - that would tie in to plans (currently on hold) to rebuild Landmark mall as a high density mixed use project. Some people I think have suggested then extending it west to Annandale.

This blogger
Just Down The Parkway: Transit maps on Flickr

suggests running the columbia pike/beauregard light rail down from Landmark to Van Dorn metro station. And building an east west LRT line on duke from King street metro to Landmark and then beyond to Annandale, which would make Landmark a transit hub. He would extend the Crystal City/Pot Yard LRT into old town. for the time being he would only improve bus service to Shirlington. I dont even know if there will really be money and political will for all that, but its not necessarily bad to start thinking about the longer term. Certainly the large amount of office space now opening at Marc Center, the massive concentration of residences at Landmark, and the prospect for redevelopment of the landmark mall site, are key issues for Alex and the surround region.

Very true, and all very good points. I know its a long way off but I think this area really would benefit from more extensive rail coverage on the whole. While still no NY, eventually this area is going to get much much larger, and today's transit, 50 years from now will likely fall far short of cutting it.

Boy, poor Shirlington just cant catch a break no matter how hard it tries. Shirlington reminds me though if the little engine that could. It just keeps on getting better despite being overlooked for real transportation for so long.

That whole Mark Center thing was / is a big mess from the beginning. One of the most poorly planned / thought out projects in the area in quite some time. How you add that many people going into such a small, already high density area without giving any forethought to transportation issues is beyond me. That area is something the sorely needs to be addressed and sooner rather than later. I lived over there for a short time a long time ago in one of those high rises near by and traffic was iffy / tricky back then. I have been over there once in the last 6 months and now its just off the hook compared to what it was 12 years ago.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:35 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by United_Caps_Skins_Fan View Post
Boy, poor Shirlington just cant catch a break no matter how hard it tries. Shirlington reminds me though if the little engine that could. It just keeps on getting better despite being overlooked for real transportation for so long. .
shirlington is virtually on top of direct access to the 395 HOV lanes. That gives easy, fast bus access to the Pentagon metro. In addition it has local buses in most other directions. It has better bus transit than anywhere else in NoVa - arguably better than Columbia Pike. I can't see prioritizing rail to shirlington given the existence of the HOV lanes on 395.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
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Transitway Corridor Feasibility Study | T&ES | City of Alexandria, VA

http://alexandriava.gov/uploadedFile...ternatives.pdf

Last edited by brooklynborndad; 11-18-2011 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
shirlington is virtually on top of direct access to the 395 HOV lanes. That gives easy, fast bus access to the Pentagon metro. In addition it has local buses in most other directions. It has better bus transit than anywhere else in NoVa - arguably better than Columbia Pike. I can't see prioritizing rail to shirlington given the existence of the HOV lanes on 395.

Yes, that is the one big thing it has going for it. But even those buses get caught up in that horrible traffic. I've always figured that its great "convenient" location was both a boon for it, and a bit of a setback because it is always going to be the last place considered for any kind of transportation other than buses. I also have to wonder how good those HOV lanes would continue to be if they are also turned into HOT lanes. I could see so many people paying to use those if they were turned to HOT lanes that it would get just as bogged down as the rest of 395.

I lived over there for a couple years a long time ago, and while the "down town" area, if you will, was fairly nice back then, its much better today. I could even see it getting bigger / nicer than it is. It's lack of "land space" has forced the high density smart growth, and they have done a pretty good job at doing just that there, growing smartly.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,868 posts, read 12,555,005 times
Reputation: 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by United_Caps_Skins_Fan View Post
Yes, that is the one big thing it has going for it. But even those buses get caught up in that horrible traffic. I've always figured that its great "convenient" location was both a boon for it, and a bit of a setback because it is always going to be the last place considered for any kind of transportation other than buses. I also have to wonder how good those HOV lanes would continue to be if they are also turned into HOT lanes. I could see so many people paying to use those if they were turned to HOT lanes that it would get just as bogged down as the rest of 395.

I lived over there for a couple years a long time ago, and while the "down town" area, if you will, was fairly nice back then, its much better today. I could even see it getting bigger / nicer than it is. It's lack of "land space" has forced the high density smart growth, and they have done a pretty good job at doing just that there, growing smartly.

If and when the HOV lanes get converted into HOT lanes, there would be a stronger argument for rail transit to Shirlington (but note - HOT lanes tolls are SUPPOSED to be set high enough to keep traffic flowing - thats the plan for the beltway lanes, anyway) . Note the options for the beauregard corridor include BRT from Mark Center to Shirlington. There is a huge amount of material on the corridor work group - presentations and discussions on options in each of three corridors (beauregard, duke/eisenhower, and north south through old town) Looks like they are leaning toward dedicated lane BRT on Beauregard in the short run, eventually building LRT. Some kind of higher capacity bus service in Old town. And putting any new east west transit on Duke, with incremental improvements to bus services on eisenhower. I dont think they are up to seriously looking at modal alts on Duke, but Im guessing they will look at BRT first, with the option of LRT in the future. ANd with the assumption that LRT happens on Beauregard before it happens on Duke.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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VDOT dropped the plan to convert HOV to HOT on 395. HOT will be on the Beltway and 95 only.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
414 posts, read 906,934 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklynborndad View Post
If and when the HOV lanes get converted into HOT lanes, there would be a stronger argument for rail transit to Shirlington (but note - HOT lanes tolls are SUPPOSED to be set high enough to keep traffic flowing - thats the plan for the beltway lanes, anyway) . Note the options for the beauregard corridor include BRT from Mark Center to Shirlington. There is a huge amount of material on the corridor work group - presentations and discussions on options in each of three corridors (beauregard, duke/eisenhower, and north south through old town) Looks like they are leaning toward dedicated lane BRT on Beauregard in the short run, eventually building LRT. Some kind of higher capacity bus service in Old town. And putting any new east west transit on Duke, with incremental improvements to bus services on eisenhower. I dont think they are up to seriously looking at modal alts on Duke, but Im guessing they will look at BRT first, with the option of LRT in the future. ANd with the assumption that LRT happens on Beauregard before it happens on Duke.
Yeah I had seen that page before. (thanks btw) It IS alot of reading material for sure.

I think that at least putting BRT on Duke. I think the LRT on Bauregard would be a big help for the area as well. Higher capacity bus service in old town, or most parts of Alexandria period would probably be a good thing. I always feel like BRT is a bit of a misnomer because often there is nothing rapid about it. lol. Now if it had a dedicated lane for bus use only, well that may speed things up, but I don't see how that is really possible in most places without putting a very large cramp in existing traffic.

I could see adding some even over along Eisenhower as that area, while not quite as densely used / populated (yet) is not really served that well in its middle section between Van Dorn and western old town. I know there is an enormous office building that was remodeled several years back near the Covanta plant, that has still just sat there empty. Not sure why. Perhaps higher capacity transit could spur at least enough growth to get that building occupied?

Alexandria, at least to me does not seem to be quite as on the up and up with the smart growth and transit as Arlington has been / is. The past few years Alexandria keeps threatening to cut dash significantly, leaving potentially thousands of passenger trips stranded daily. I spent alot of time working with a small group of citizens going to hearings and handing out fliers at metro stations / dash hubs to make people aware of the potential cuts and fortunately it was enough to stop most of them, if not all of them. Alexandria is almost like 1/2 a doughnut. It has good transportation on its fringes to the east and south where the metro and bus hubs are, but considerably less coverage in its middle. Trying to get anywhere in the middle during the day was fairly challenging as buses were running in some places only every 45 minutes to an hour in non rush, and were often fairly full. Even during rush when Dash would run every 1/2 hour it was just barely enough to keep up with ridership, esp into areas away from metro.

Suffice it to say that any and all work on this stuff will help, but Alexandria seems like it has a bit of catching up to do, and is always a bit behind the curve. Alexandria just recently got on the whole bikeshare program, which my friend in Arlington county helped to get off the ground. Oddly enough, he works for Arlington, but lived in Alexandria for many years and he too agreed that Alexandria was / is always a bit slower on the uptake when it comes to such matters.
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