Thursday, April 18, 2013
Transportation director: County was not yet at point to negotiate funding with feds.
The fact that the Columbia Pike streetcar project wasn't recommended to receive federal funding next year "isn't an insurmountable roadblock" for the parties that are working on it, Arlington Transportation Director Dennis Leach told Patch this week. "We are taking a positive, forward-looking approach," Leach said. "We are absolutely committed to advancing an excellent environment on Columbia Pike, making it more transit-oriented and more walkable." The streetcar's funding plan assumed the feds would kick in $75 million through Federal Transit Administration's Small Starts program, to which Arlington and Fairfax counties applied in the fall. It also relies on $35 million in state dollars and $140 million in local tax money, mostly from …
Friday, March 29, 2013
County reassessing project in wake of public concern about cost and design
Arlington County has put its Super Stop program on hold in the wake of public outcry against the cost and design of the $1 million bus stop that opened earlier this month. The cost of the stop, first reported by ARLnow.com, has been the subject of regular criticism from residents in the days since it opened, which have included two budget hearings and a heated town hall regarding the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. "Congratulations, your million-dollar bus stop has gone viral," Arlington County Taxpayers Association President Tim Wise told the county board this week. Aside from local and regional publications, national publications — like Reason magazine — have latched onto the story. Arlington is "reassessing the design and timing of the…
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Arlington residents left a heated town hall on the planned Columbia Pike streetcar with mixed reactions Wednesday night.
Arlington residents left a heated town hall on the planned Columbia Pike streetcar with mixed reactions Wednesday night. The Arlington County Board and county staff took questions from anyone who had them about the proposed $250 million streetcar project that would connect Columbia Pike and Bailey's Crossroads. Time constraints forced some to leave without being able to ask their question. They were told to fill out a comment sheet, which prompted an angry outburst just before 9 p.m. [More: Columbia Pike Streetcar Town Hall Gets Heated] “I am very pleased staff and board members invested time and energy into the meeting,” said Dan Dixon, a member of Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit, which opposes the project. "Unfortunately, the setup …
Arlington County Board answers questions about controversial project.
At times, it seems like people who support the planned streetcar for Columbia Pike and those who oppose it are speaking two different languages. Hundreds representing both sides showed up Wednesday night for what turned out to be a fairly heated town hall at Kenmore Middle School. Four of the five Arlington County Board members explained the processes and decisions that have taken place over the last decade and have gotten the county to this point. To them, the discussion has been going on, scores of people have participated, and the streetcar remains the best long-term strategic investment to run along the Pike. To board member Libby Garvey, who opposes the streetcar and seems less concerned about any political consequences of her …
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The first so-called Super Stop opened this week at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike.
The $1 million price tag on the first so-called Super Stop along the Columbia Pike corridor gave Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey an opening Tuesday to voice opposition to the planned streetcar. The Super Stop, which opened this month at Walter Reed and Columbia Pike, is designed to hold 10 to 15 passengers and allow two buses to stop in front of it at a time. Real-time ART and Metrobus information is available and the county hopes to install an exit fare machine in the future. Garvey wasn't impressed. "It is pretty, but I was struck by the fact that if it's pouring rain, I'm going to get wet," she said. "It's not much of a shelter." County officials on Tuesday emphasized the various factors that fed into that price and pledged …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Planned transit system would connect Pentagon City to Bailey's Crossroads via Columbia Pike.
Love the idea of a Columbia Pike streetcar? Hate it? Either way, there's a group for you. Over the past couple of months, community groups have formed to both oppose and support the planned $249 million transit system that would connect Pentagon City with the Bailey's Crossroads area of Fairfax County. Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit came first. This group is bent on getting the Arlington County Board to agree to a cost-benefit analysis to prove whether a bus rapid transit, or BRT, system is a better option. "It is premature to know whether a fixed-rail street car is the best option for the Columbia Pike revitalization because other viable options, such as a modern BRT have not been fully and fairly considered," wrote Arlington resident…
Monday, February 4, 2013
Patch welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit for accuracy, clarity and brevity. Links added by Patch.
Monday, February 4
Our Arlington County Board chairman, Walter Tejada, is to be commended for hosting one of his town hall meetings about the streetcar from 6:45 to 9 p.m. March 27 at Kenmore Middle School. All of our board members are expected be on hand to deliver an update on the current situation and, most importantly, to hear from those of us who do not agree that the streetcar is the most financially feasible and efficient way of moving people up and down Columbia Pike as development pressure intensifies in the years ahead. Other options, like Bus Rapid Transit, need to be further explored and closely vetted before a final decision is made. This forum, including the brief update of current plans, must be followed by a panel discussion of …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
The restaurant will be opening soon in the Penrose Square community.
Update: The restaurant has announced that they will be opening on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. RedRocks is opening a new restaurant in the Penrose Square area on Columbia Pike in Arlington in the coming weeks. RedRocks Neopolitan Bistro specializes in Italian food and thin-crust pizzas. The restaurant also includes a full bar. Pizzas and calzones range from $9 to $14. The menu also includes appetizers, soups, salads and paninis and a range of desserts. The hours for the Columbia Pike locations will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Penrose Square is located just east of Walter Reed Drive on Columbia Pike. RedRocks has two locations already open: One on King Street in Old Town Alexandria and another…
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Caroline accused of killing 52-year-old Columbia Pike jewelry store owner this summer.
An Arlington County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 53-year-old James Sylvester Caroline on capital murder and weapons charges stemming from the July 27 jewelry store robbery that left its beloved owner dead. Caroline, of Washington, was indicted on charges of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and capital murder during the commission of a robbery. The grand jury convened at 9 a.m. Monday and heard a number of cases. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office for Arlington and Falls Church drafted the indictments, and the lead Arlington County police detective on the homicide investigation testified. "It's just part of the process," Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos told Patch. "We assessed the facts, we presented it to the grand…
Friday, December 14, 2012
Lane closure under Washington Boulevard bridge will remain in effect through 2014.
A new traffic pattern took effect this week on eastbound Columbia Pike at the Washington Boulevard bridge and will remain in place through 2014. One of the two eastbound lanes below the bridge is now closed to traffic, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. Eastbound vehicles in the right lane must take the exit to Washington Boulevard. Eastbound vehicles in the left lane can take the exit or continue east. Construction is under way to replace the Washington Boulevard bridge over the Pike and is scheduled to be complete by summer 2015. More information is on the VDOT project page.