There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, May 31, 2007

What's Old Is New

Lowell has a great post up at RK on the Tyson's Metro tunnel. Now that it appears that any hope of an underground station is being ditched in favor of aerial tracks (or an El, as we used to call it in New York), Lowell dug out an article that he wrote on this topic over a year ago. Here's what he said then:

I thought about calling this article, "penny wise and pound foolish," because that's exactly what this cheapskate, half-assed approach to Metro in Tysons is all about. So, let's see now, Metro in Tysons is not going to: a) be underground; b) have pedestrian bridges so that people can actually reach the stations across busy, dangerous roads; c) have sufficient rail cars on the line; d) even have freakin' ESCALATORS at some stations (apparently, they're going to just have stairs and elevators, and not even enough of the latter to serve people with disablities). Nice.
At that time, Connolly seemed to be a huge booster for the tunnel. Indeed, even as recently as March and April I saw him sporting a button that proclaimed: "Under, not Over."

But it looks like Gerry is talking out of two sides of his mouth. According to these posts: here and here, he and the rest of the Board of Supervisors has pretty well resigned itself to an aerial Metro stop.

As somebody who rides Metro fairly regularly, I can tell you that this plan is a recipe for Metro disaster for passengers. It will create more urban sprawl and gridlock, deprive Fairfax of the type of smart growth and mixed use that we desperately need to solve our transportation and quality of life problems, and come with unintended consequences, including iced over tracks when we have inclement weather. Underground works so much better for our region for a host of reasons And it really bothers me that they have no plans for escalators - not that Metro maintains its escalator service as it is. There are real problems and a flagrant disregard for the Americans with Disabilities Act here.

I'm actually not unsympathetic to Gerry and the Board. I get it that the feds are threatening not to fund it at all and even our governor, Tim Kaine, seems to be on the side of the federal government and Bechtel rather than concerned with what's good for Fairfax.

Let's face it, this is something the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has worked on for years and they are scared of losing it completely. Nobody has been in their corner but the angry citizens who are now poised to turn on them if they cave in to this pressure.

But the simple fact is that if it's not done right, it will add to Fairfax's problems rather than fix them.

No comments: