At a presentation a couple years ago, I remarked to Chris Zimmerman, Arlington County's elected official (currently chairman of the Arlington County Board), that in many communities "transit oriented development," densification at transit stations, or even creating transit systems (witness the letters to the editor in the Gazette
which call the Purple Line a boondoggle, a gift to developers) is usually vociferously and routinely opposed, but that somehow, Arlington County was exceptional in that it had a consensus that transit and transportation demand management generally was a good thing.
I have written about this particular topic over the past few weeks in terms of how, despite claims to the contrary, Arlington County wasn't hiding anything about the streetcar succeeding bus rapid transit and utilizing transitways in the Potomac Yard development as it is all disclosed in the Arlington County Master Transportation Plan
. (I can't be the only person to have read this document.)
But the way people are getting worked up about this, after the many years (I wasn't able to go, but was invited by Geoffrey Farrell to attend the first public charrettes for the Columbia Pike plan back in 2002 I think) of planning and public meetings that have been invested in this, I find really disturbing.
The planning for the streetcar in Arlington County began exactly at the same time as occurred in DC, with public meetings starting in 2003. Arlington in fact is further ahead of DC in terms of planning, except that former ANC6A Chair Joe Fengler encouraged the city to include streetcar rails in the streetscape reconstruction program for H Street NE, which accelerated DC's program somewhat.
-- Columbia Pike Transit Initiative and the Multimodal Project
I am not one to criticize "the media" for "being critical" but I wonder how much of this is abetted by the Examiner.
There's no question that the Examiner is fully committed to a road-centric transportation agenda, based on the tone of its coverage of transit, evidenced by the coverage of the Silver Line subway extension, the Purple Line, and the Arlington County streetcar.Washington Examiner, 7/24/2011.
Labels: car culture and automobility, civic engagement, media and communications, protest and advocacy, transportation planning