Whatever happens on Columbia Pike, both sides agree that it needs to happen soon. In the next 30 years, county leaders say, 65 percent of Arlington’s population growth will be along Columbia Pike and Route One — the two areas where the streetcar lines have now been cancelled.
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.”
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.
Both sides in the battle over Arlington County’s proposed streetcar lines are weighing in on a big decision by the county board.
What do Metrorail’s Silver Line, the Columbia Pike streetcar in Arlington County and the Intercounty Connector in Maryland have in common? They have turned out to cost far more than initially projected. And, as often happens in such cases, the public is outraged over the bill.