Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rail transit launches: Northern Virginia's Silver Line; Tucson's streetcar

Tucson's Streetcar started service this morning, with free service through the weekend, and a multitiude of special events and promotions. See "Streetcar celebrates its official launch" from the Arizona Daily Star.

I like this editorial cartoon from the Daily Star by David Fitzgerald, which comments on the critics, the fact that the streetcar system is now operational, and that $600 million of new development in Downtown Tucson has been sparked by the new streetcar.

It's the kind of result that will happen, likely in DC, once a streetcar becomes operational on H Street NE.

2. The extension of the Washington area's Metrorail system further into Fairfax County opens tomorrow.  The Express free daily has a special section of articles today and last Sunday's Washington Post included a similar section.

I will write more extensively about these events next week. But these previous blog entries are meat for people interested in the topic.

-- "Short term vs. long term thinking: transit, the Washington Examiner, Fairfax/Loudoun Counties vs. DC," (2011)

-- "A clear signal of a failure in "metropolitan" transportation planning: a proposal to eliminate a subway station from Dulles Airport," (2012)

-- "Without the right planning "controls" you can't stop change: Loudoun County and rail service in Northern Virginia, (2012)

-- "The state of Arlington County Virginia's commercial real estate market: 2012 and the future," (2012) -- this piece discusses how the extension of Metrorail hurts the ability of Arlington County to retain federal agencies, as their rents will be undercut by newly accessible to Metrorail properties in Fairfax County

-- "Silver Line delays: maybe the real lesson is that contracting out construction to the private sector doesn't always work so well," (2014)

-- "The Silver Line WMATA story that WJLA-TV missed," (2014)

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