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Old 10-05-2009, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 29,534,702 times
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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to Dulles Airport officials protesting the use of toll money on widening Rt. 606 in Loudoun County.

The airport argues that Rt. 606 (aka Old Ox Road) is part of the airport loop and that it will need to be widened to service the Silver Line.

The FCBS says the money should only be used to build rail to Dulles or for maintenance of the toll road. They say that since the money is collected in Fairfax County, it should be spent in Fairfax.

So..... what do you guys think?
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:38 PM
 
1,384 posts, read 2,218,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has sent a letter to Dulles Airport officials protesting the use of toll money on widening Rt. 606 in Loudoun County.

The airport argues that Rt. 606 (aka Old Ox Road) is part of the airport loop and that it will need to be widened to service the Silver Line.

The FCBS says the money should only be used to build rail to Dulles or for maintenance of the toll road. They say that since the money is collected in Fairfax County, it should be spent in Fairfax.

So..... what do you guys think?

I think they should focus the funds on the Metro Rail for now as that is most important to alleviating congestion and would benefit the greatest amount of people.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:56 PM
Status: "Hi Yac!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
31,796 posts, read 73,257,763 times
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I personally think Fairfax County and Loudoun County have to stop acting like monolithic morons and need to start planning regionally. What happens in Ashburn often affects people in Great Falls or Reston. What happens in Centreville can affect people in South Riding. As a Fairfax County taxpayer I have no qualms with some of our revenues going to help widen a road in Loudoun County if it is anticipated to experience greater congestion as commuters try to access Reston for the Metrorail.

I agree with jbird though. The anti-Silver Line whiners either have to give me just ONE good reason as to why they oppose mass transit coming to the area, or they can just shut up in my eyes as typical NIMBYs. The area is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years, and that was before several major white-collar job announcements (not even including the exciting Science City proposal just across the Potomac in Montgomery County). If we're going to be opposing the Silver Line, then what, pray tell, is supposed to take its place so we don't officially become the next L.A. in terms of congestion?

Raise my taxes to pay for the new rail line. I don't care. I'd rather eat the burden NOW to make life easier LATER.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 27,622,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
As a Fairfax County taxpayer I have no qualms with some of our revenues going to help widen a road in Loudoun County if it is anticipated to experience greater congestion as commuters try to access Reston for the Metrorail.
The widening of Route 606 is not about commuters trying to drive to Reston. Route 606 is the site for one of the metro stations. By the way, this station will have ramps to the Dulles Greenway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
If we're going to be opposing the Silver Line, then what, pray tell, is supposed to take its place so we don't officially become the next L.A. in terms of congestion?
Personally, I'm in favor of the Silver Line. For selfish reasons, I admit--it will raise my property value. Also, I look forward to riding it and I think it's smart to have trains connecting the two airports.

However, even though I like the idea I've heard many intelligent arguments opposing the Silver Line. Most people I know who oppose the Silver Line would rather see the funds used to expand bus services. They argue that:

1. About ten times as many bus routes can be created for the same amount of money being spent on the silver line. Therefore, bus service wold bring mass transit to more people.

2. Bus services are preferable because they can be moved as neighborhoods grow and change. Metro stations cannot be moved once they are built.

3. Busses are easier to repair and to update than trains are.

Last edited by normie; 10-05-2009 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:15 PM
 
3,275 posts, read 8,856,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
Most people I know who oppose the Silver Line would rather see the funds used to expand bus services. They argue that:

1. About ten times as many bus routes can be created for the same amount of money being spent on the silver line. Therefore, bus service wold bring mass transit to more people.

2. Bus services are preferable because they can be moved as neighborhoods grow and change. Metro stations cannot be moved once they are built.

3. Busses are easier to repair and to update than trains are.
And rail advocates can argue against all three of these points:

1. Rail service on a per-rider basis is more expensive to create than bus service but cheaper to operate. Rail service is also more efficient time-wise and does not have the stigma that buses do, which means that a higher percentage of people "served" by rail choose rail as opposed to the percentage of people choosing a bus.

2. This is true, but with proper zoning, growth occurs by the Metro stations, a la Arlington's urban villages.

3. I'm not sure what "easier" is referring to, but rail is considerably more reliable than bus on a per-rider basis.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:18 PM
 
3,275 posts, read 8,856,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
The FCBS says the money should only be used to build rail to Dulles or for maintenance of the toll road. They say that since the money is collected in Fairfax County, it should be spent in Fairfax.
I think that's a rather provincial view. The Toll Road has many paying commuters from Loudon County so it's only fair that Loudon get its share of the Toll Road dollars.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 27,622,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
And rail advocates can argue against all three of these points.
True, indeed. It's a very complicated issue that has been debated in depth. And FWIW, I'm on your side.

I felt a need to point out the arguments opposing the Silver Line because I got annoyed by the arrogance of saying "The anti-Silver Line whiners either have to give me just ONE good reason as to why they oppose mass transit coming to the area, or they can just shut up in my eyes as typical NIMBYs."

That's a really obnoxious way to talk. Why not recognize that there are intelligent arguments on both sides? And for the record we've discussed this issue numerous times on this forum. Both sides have been very well presented. If you haven;t heard intelligent arguments, it's because you don't want to hear them.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:40 PM
 
257 posts, read 536,548 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
1. About ten times as many bus routes can be created for the same amount of money being spent on the silver line. Therefore, bus service wold bring mass transit to more people.
I'd like to know more about how that number was generated. More people might be in close proximity to "a bus stop" but that's no guarantee that that bus is going to go anywhere people want to go at a time they want to do it. And if that's the case, it's a hardly a metric to strive for or brag about. And if this bus is going to be placed on a heavily populated trunk line, how many buses do you really need to meet demand?

My beef with bus service is that the schedules and frequencies are quite limited in comparison to the rail service that would replace it. For instance, let's take Reston. The Fairfax Connector 505 runs from the RTC to WFC metro. During rush hour, it runs mostly every half hour. Rush hour metrorail service? Every six minutes. At least the bus hours coincide with metro hours during the week. But let's look at Friday night, when metro rail is open until 3am. Last bus from WFC to RTC? 11:50. At least on Saturdays it stays open an extra hour.

Let's look at Metrobus 5A... L'Enfant Plaza - Dulles Airport. The thing only runs every 40 minutes. Ugh.

Many suburban bus routes don't even run mid-day or even weekends. They're commuter specials. Rail service is consistent across the network -- you don't have to consult a time table for each separate line you want to take... and if you go places every now and then, you don't have to worry about your line being discontinued.

Quote:
2. Bus services are preferable because they can be moved as neighborhoods grow and change. Metro stations cannot be moved once they are built.
At the same time, trying to plan your life (buying a house, finding a job, etc) around bus service is a non-starter for exactly the same reason. Bus services can be moved as neighborhoods grow and change. You can buy your home near a rail station without fear that they will change the train patterns in a couple of months. So I actually count that as a knock AGAINST bus service, not a pro for it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 27,622,651 times
Reputation: 19075
Excellent points, well reasoned and well written.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymous703 View Post
I'd like to know more about how that number was generated. More people might be in close proximity to "a bus stop" but that's no guarantee that that bus is going to go anywhere people want to go at a time they want to do it. And if that's the case, it's a hardly a metric to strive for or brag about. And if this bus is going to be placed on a heavily populated trunk line, how many buses do you really need to meet demand?

My beef with bus service is that the schedules and frequencies are quite limited in comparison to the rail service that would replace it. For instance, let's take Reston. The Fairfax Connector 505 runs from the RTC to WFC metro. During rush hour, it runs mostly every half hour. Rush hour metrorail service? Every six minutes. At least the bus hours coincide with metro hours during the week. But let's look at Friday night, when metro rail is open until 3am. Last bus from WFC to RTC? 11:50. At least on Saturdays it stays open an extra hour.

Let's look at Metrobus 5A... L'Enfant Plaza - Dulles Airport. The thing only runs every 40 minutes. Ugh.

Many suburban bus routes don't even run mid-day or even weekends. They're commuter specials. Rail service is consistent across the network -- you don't have to consult a time table for each separate line you want to take... and if you go places every now and then, you don't have to worry about your line being discontinued.



At the same time, trying to plan your life (buying a house, finding a job, etc) around bus service is a non-starter for exactly the same reason. Bus services can be moved as neighborhoods grow and change. You can buy your home near a rail station without fear that they will change the train patterns in a couple of months. So I actually count that as a knock AGAINST bus service, not a pro for it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:38 PM
 
328 posts, read 479,887 times
Reputation: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
However, even though I like the idea I've heard many intelligent arguments opposing the Silver Line. Most people I know who oppose the Silver Line would rather see the funds used to expand bus services. They argue that:

1. About ten times as many bus routes can be created for the same amount of money being spent on the silver line. Therefore, bus service wold bring mass transit to more people.

2. Bus services are preferable because they can be moved as neighborhoods grow and change. Metro stations cannot be moved once they are built.

3. Busses are easier to repair and to update than trains are.
The only way to convince people to take mass transit is to either save them time or money. Buses generally do neither. They do not have their own right-of-way, and so are stuck in traffic with everyone else. Rail does a much better job as a trunk line, carrying far more people more quickly. I'm sure once the Silver Line is built out, the Fairfax Connector routes will be replanned to serve as feeders to the new stations, which should bring mass transit to more people who previously lived too far away from a bus or metro stop.
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