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Alan Howze Proposes 100% Renewable Energy for Columbia Pike Streetcar

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Good suggestions from the Alan Howze (D) for Arlington County Board campaign. I particularly like the 100% clean energy component. As for Repoublican-masquerading-as-an-“independent” John Vihstadt, I agree with Alan Howze that all he's interested in is “using the streetcar to drive his political agenda.” What Vihstadt's been doing has been divisive, harmful to Arlington, and certainly not constructive in any way. I look forward to Alan Howze defeating Vihstadt soundly in November! 

Howze Issues Proposals to Improve Streetcar

Alan Howze introduced new proposals to address community concerns and reiterated his support for creating a modern streetcar system to link Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria. 

 

In introducing new proposals to make the streetcar work even better, Howze said, “the streetcar has been used as a wedge issue by those who seek political gain by dividing our community.  Rather than use the streetcar to score political points, let's focus on responding to community questions and using innovation to make the planned streetcar even better.” 

 

Howze continued, “This once-in-a-generation investment will have a positive effect on our community for decades to come. Today, after talking to thousands of Arlington residents at their doors, I am making five proposals that come directly from suggestions I have heard.”

 

  1. Speed and accountability in government matters. Timely construction should be a key contract requirement. This will minimize disruption, protect taxpayers, and accelerate the benefits from the streetcar.

  2. Create a small business contingency plan to support small businesses affected by streetcar construction.

  3. Create a business and residents advisory council to ensure community issues that arise during construction are dealt with in a timely manner.

  4. Examine the feasibility of using streetcars that can run without wires for sections of the streetcar line to reduce the use of overhead wires.

  5. Secure 100% renewable energy power supply for the streetcar.  This would ensure that the streetcar is a zero emissions system.

Howze continued, “Our community has seen this debate before.  In the 1960's opponents of Metro claimed that buses down Wilson Boulevard would work just as well, and called the Metro “Gold Plated” and overbuilt.  More recently, opponents of the Silver Line proposed more buses instead of extending Metro. For 50 years, transit opponents have used the call for more buses to attempt to block the expansion of rail transit.”

 

The streetcar will use dedicated transportation funding from local, state and regional sources that do not affect Arlington's funding for schools, police or human services. As with Metro, the streetcar will spur economic growth, and generate new tax revenue to support our rapidly growing schools.

 

Howze continued, “I was among the first to call for a public referendum of the project because I know with a public vote we can finally put these efforts to divide our community behind us.”

 

Howze concluded, “I am committed to responsible solutions, and that means a streetcar that works for the needs of our residents, today, tomorrow and for decades to come.  My opponent is only interested in using the streetcar to drive his political agenda. It is time to lead Arlington, not divide it.”

Alan Howze is the Democratic nominee for the Arlington County Board in the general election to be held on November 4thhttps://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/RnNZfQn2o2xpggJQqefCOervMbPIci5mujDPJnvl43kv6Rtxjyh5gHN_JKVzeU-aaGz3pePFgxfoAAtZJZNx8mveVTc-11j98EfuAJVcumUenA=s0-d-e1-ft#https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif 

  • essequamverderi

    Arlington is divided on the streetcar project.I am a life-long Democrat who doesn’t think the Columbia Streetcar project makes any sense. None of Howze’s new proposals address my concerns regarding the project because they all assume that the project should move forward. Right now, Arlington residents are being asked to support this project by virtue of historical inertia and dubious claims as to the project’s value. I didn’t live in Arlington when that initial decision was made but why should any of us be bound to it now? Why throw good money after bad?  

    Moreover, I care deeply about affordable housing issues in Arlington. The last thing I want to see is Columbia Pike turn into another Clarendon. The 6,000 unit affordable housing set-aside envisioned by the County does not assuage that concern because the proposal is simply that: a proposal. The actual substance of the policy, to be hammered out with developers that will overwhelmingly benefit from this project, is unclear. Yet, no mention is made of alternative plans to preserve affordable housing sans the streetcar proposal. Why?  

    Simply put, Howze is making it extremely difficult for me to vote for him.