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Old Posted Jun 12, 2009, 1:01 PM
novawolverine novawolverine is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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The extensions in VA I'd support are Tysons, Ft. Belvoir and to Fairfax Corner. Those areas have potential for dense development and wouldn't simply be commuter shuttles like something in Centreville or Woodbridge would be since they have lots of jobs and capacity to grow. There's a area between 66 and I-95 that's not served by metro, like in the skyline area and further out into Annandale and Burke. Ideally, I think metro could have worked here with the population but we need heavy commuter rail upgrades as well as better local planning. It sucks not a lot can be done for the skyline, landmark and seven corners area though. Maybe streetcar and better bus service.

There's potential for core upgrades as well. Most of them have been highlighted, the Potomac Yards one is probably the most exciting of them right now. The pedestrian tunnels should be built, but in the short-term a software change for metrocard users.

Also, the potomac river needs a new tunnel and that'll be very expensive. And areas east of the core, infill stations - perhaps another one in the vicinity of RFK stadium and another on Benning Rd. later down the line. Also homeland security is moving to st. elizabeth hospital campus and it's not in a pedestrian friendly area really. Even later down the line, there could be another station in Anacostia. There's a wide swath of NE that doesn't have any metro, I don't think anything can be done about there, probably better bus service and streetcar.

I can't help but wonder IF, someday, G'town gets served by metro. That's not on the horizon but I don't think it can be taken completely off the table as long as money is being thrown around for extensions and with political pressure to get something done for G'town besides a bus considering it'll most likely always be congested. The price is seriously sky-high and there's lots of nimbys but long-term something needs to be done and I think it's either metro or bust for some people even though that's a perfect area for streetcar.

In MD, there's some who want a green line extension to BWI but MARC is perfect for that route. The tracks exist, it's the right distance away, there's not currently a lot of development on that path although there's a lot more coming. It's a different situation than metro to Dulles where it's already developed. I know there are plans for infill stations on the red line in the Bethesda-N. Bethesda-Rockville area which are much needed with the density and growth they're going for.

Also, in Arlington, there's the Columbia Pike streetcar which will be a big success IMO w/ the way that corridor is developing. And Anacostia has a streetcar under construction and the H street corridor is probably one of the next ones to get tracks put down.

I think light rail is the next big thing. We'll have infill and perhaps some extensions for metro, but light rail will do a great job to fill in the gaps. BRT will take a bit longer IMO, I think more upgrades to bus service will probably be pursued first but we need BRT as well.

And this can't be understated enough but funding for maintenance and service is critical for this system that's already reaching or had reached max capacity. Considering we don't have a third track for express service or back up means we don't have a lot of room for error. We'll have to be very innovative and efficient and we need maintenance and service funding. Ridership has never been this high as what we're seeing now.
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