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Thread: (Northern Virginia) Metro, hired consultants call for streetcar

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
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    (Northern Virginia) Metro, hired consultants call for streetcar

    Metro, hired consultants call for streetcar
    By CHRISTY GOODMAN
    Examiner Staff Writer
    Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 10:43 PM EDT
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    Arlington residents have been presented with a plan to help them zip into the future.

    Metro, along with hired consultants, recommended a high-capacity, environmentally friendly modified streetcar to run from Bailey's Crossroads to Pentagon City on Columbia Pike at a public meeting Monday night at the Arlington Career Center.

    The meeting was held to update residents on the "Columbia Pike Initiative," a study on ways to improve transit on Columbia Pike to meet future transportation demands.


    By 2015 the new transit, a mix between streetcars and clean fuel-burning buses, would run swiftly along the right lane with vehicular traffic in the left lane.

    "I'm excited because it will happen within my lifetime," said Judith Richter, a 17-year resident of the western end of Columbia Pike, who said she thinks with the new transit proposal there will be less traffic on the road.



    The proposed plan would cost some $120 million to build, a cost to be shared between Fairfax and Arlington counties.

    Creativity in funding

    Arlington Board Member Chris Zimmerman said both boards would have to approve the project individually then look at creative funding options.



    Zimmerman, who called the investment "modest" compared to the cost of a new school, said, "It is big enough that it is not easy, but it is small enough that it is plausible."

    Most residents were concerned that current traffic woes would be exacerbated with streetcars or buses dominating the right lane.

    The Columbia Pike Street Space Plan, adopted by the Arlington Board in 2003, would create dedicated left-turn lanes, add greenery, smooth manhole covers and make transportation improvements along Arlington's main street.

    James R. Hamre of Arlington's Department of Environmental Services' Transportation division said, "All of that is assumed to be in place before this scenario."

    Metro's Robin McElhenny explained that the modified streetcar would make stops between a third of a mile and a half-mile apart, with closer stops in high-density areas.

    Jill Lewis, a Columbia Pike resident since 1986, said the plan would encourage pedestrian traffic.

    Martin Chadzynski of Arlington Heights, an officer formerly stationed at the Pentagon, expressed concern over the additional transit adding to the Pentagon's "mob scene" of traffic.

    cgoodman@dcexaminer.com

  2. #2
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahh.....?

    Do they mean street cars like San Francisco street cars or the kind with wheels like in Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, or even the bus type electric vehicles of Chatanooga and Miami Beach? The Los Angeles type looks like the San Francisco street car, but has wheels (this option with electric engines would be the best I think)
    Skilled Adoxographer

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    Do they mean street cars like San Francisco street cars or the kind with wheels like in Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, or even the bus type electric vehicles of Chatanooga and Miami Beach? The Los Angeles type looks like the San Francisco street car, but has wheels (this option with electric engines would be the best I think)
    No those are all light rail. They mean a traditional modern streetcar like the type in downtown Portland.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    No....

    Quote Originally posted by Dharmster
    No those are all light rail. They mean a traditional modern streetcar like the type in downtown Portland.
    Chatanooga is a wheeled street car (looks like a bus to me) and is an electric hybrid vehicle. Is the Los Angeles street car system on rails or on wheels??? My picture seems to show wheels.....maybe someone has been on it recently and could help with a picture....Chatanooga also.....Coral Gables was talking about a similar system.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I think you're backwards. Light rail is modern (Like the SF Muni).

    Generally streetcars are made to be Retro (Like the SF "F" line). Honestly, streetcars have virtually no advantage over busses, so there's not much point unless you're going to try to make them into a tourist attraction.

    The busses with trolley poles are called "trolley busses". They're much more flexible than streetcars and are quiet and have tons of traction (for going up steep SF hills), but they require upkeep of the trolley cables, and changing the route is expensive, so they have limited utility.

  6. #6
    Cirrus's avatar
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    Streetcars are NOT always made to be retro. Portland is the classic example, and very nearby in Washington, DC they're building a line using the same type of LRV (though it will function more like light rail).

    But in any event, Arlington hasn't decided on whether it will be LRT or BRT.

    CLICK HERE for project info.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Gee Wiz....

    Ok ok....I'll just say I like the one's that look like the old time street cars with dual entry, but have wheels and electric hybrid engines...oh and its free to ride....how's that..... The more connectivity in Arlington the better
    Skilled Adoxographer

  8. #8
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    I thought Portland was a typical Light Rail setup (articulated cars running on mostly seperate ROW).

  9. #9
    Cirrus's avatar
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    Portland has both.



    Light rail:


    Streetcar:

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