Improving Public Transit in Virginia

Latest Happenings

Arlington County Board cancels streetcar; Fisette cites “political realities”

The proposed streetcar would have run a 7.4 mile path between Fairfax County and Arlington, much of it along Columbia Pike in Arlington. The route was estimated to cost between $250 million and $400 million. “The Coalition of Smarter Growth is disappointed by the Arlington Board’s decision,” said Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the group, in a statement following the announcement, “but far more so by the deeply negative and frequently inaccurate campaign against the streetcar.”

For Fisette and Hynes, streetcar vote was painful but necessary

The Coalition for Smarter Growth, which backed the project, trained its anger not so much on Fisette and Hynes as on “the deeply negative, and frequently inaccurate, campaign” by opponents. “Failure to invest in modern, high-capacity transit will mean more traffic and less economic development,” the group said in a statement.

Arlington officials halt efforts on streetcars for Columbia Pike, Crystal City

Stewart Schwartz, executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth in the District, said that opposition to the streetcars went against Arlington’s history as a place that has fostered transit-based development. “Arlington represents, perhaps, the top national smart-growth story,” Schwartz said. “It went from a declining inner-ring suburb to a very economically successful community.” Opposition was rooted in resistance to the idea of streetcars in general, Schwartz said, and public transportation projects’ reliance on local tax dollars. “Unfortunately, transit projects face many more hoops and require more local funding than highway projects,” Schwartz said.s

RELEASE: Cancellation of Arlington’s Columbia Pike Streetcar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 18, 2014 CONTACT Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director, Coalition for Smarter Growth 202-675-0016 ext.121 703-599-6437 (mobile) ARLINGTON, VA -- Coalition for Smarter Growth Executive Director Stewart Schwartz issued the following statement today in response to news that the Arlington County Board has cancelled the Columbia Pike

Was reelection of Vihstadt in Arlington a referendum on streetcar?

Coalition for Smarter Growth executive director Stewart Schwartz acknowledges that if Howze had won, advocates for the streetcar would have interpreted it as a win for the project. “It would have a been a positive for the streetcar for sure," Schwartz says. But he also says that supporters of the streetcar do not view Vihstadt’s victory last week as a sign that voters are rejecting the streetcar.