Thursday, May 1, 2008

DC Public Transit: The Silver Line

So - remember how I complained about the funding for a line to Dulles Airport being held up by the FTA? Apparently, they've finally seen good sense, and approved funding for the Silver Line to Tyson's Corner. For more on this one, I actually found an excellent blog called "Track Twenty-Nine" focusing on urban planning and public transit - run by a gentleman named Matt at U of Maryland. check it out here:

The first three posts for April 30th are all worth a read - one is on Obama's stand on the new "repeal the gas tax for the summer" craze coming from McCain and Clinton. The other two are on the Silver Line.

I happen to agree with the general thrust behind his posts - although one of the serious problems for longer-distance transportation in the US is the lack of evenly distributed, high population density areas. Just look at a population map of the US and compare it to Europe. Of course, that doesn't mean we couldn't be doing much better than we are now...

Well, one change is better than none. I'd still really like to see the purple line.


Matt' said...

Thanks for the referral. Your blog is certainly interesting, although we have different interest areas when it comes to policy.

There are lots of issues facing both the Purple and Silver Lines, and they aren't the only transit projects currently being studied in the region.

Some of these projects I have covered over on Track Twenty-Nine, others I haven't yet done any reporting on, but they are worth a mention.

1: Silver Line to Tysons.
2: Silver Line, Phase II to Reston, Dulles, and Loudoun County.
3: The new Woodrow Wilson Bridge. was designed to accommodate light or heavy rail across the Potomac.

4: Purple Line light rail from New Carrollton to Bethesda.
5: MARC Expansion, Governor O'Malley has promised to triple MARC commuter/regional rail service by 2025.
6: Corridor Cities Transitway, a light rail or bus rapid transit line linking Shady Grove Metro to Kentlands, Germantown, and Clarksburg in the I-270 Corridor.

7: Anacostia Streetcar Demonstration Project, will demonstrate streetcar technology by constructing a line parallel to the Anacostia River, on the Anacostia side. Was supposed to open in 2006, the cars are ready, but the tracks aren't started yet.
8: Other Streetcars, the District DOT is proposing a large system.
9: M Street Subway, resurrected from the dead last week by WMATA, who project that the Orange Line will be above capacity (it already qualifies as overcrowded) by 2025. The project would separate the Orange and Blue Lines from Rosslyn to Stadium-Armory and would include a stop in Georgetown.

That's a basic run down. I hope I haven't monopolized too much of your space.

Sean said...

Excellent, thanks a bunch for the run-down. I'll be sure to take a look - but I'm glad to know that there are plans on the table to plug a bunch of the obvious holes in the system.