But the really weird thing is that it's by no means clear that this is what the poll has found. What it says is that 32 percent of the population says the Silver Line project is "not at all important" while 32 percent deems it either "extremely" or "very" important and a further 32 percent says it's "somewhat" important. The "not important to most Virginians" interpretation is supported by lumping the "somewhat" and "not at all" categories together as "negative" responses. But the straightforward reading of the poll is that the median Virginian thinks the Silver Line project is somewhat important. And it is somewhat important! So why not just say that?In the face of Republican political games, The New Republic's Alec MacGillis says strong support of the Silver Line can be a winner for Tim Kaine in his U.S. Senate race against George Allen.
A friend of mine sent me this photo from the Clarendon Metro station this morning. Here's her commentary:
I don't recall ever seeing an actual ad saying "go to hell Bush," even when he was selected, & even when he lied (yellowcake, etc.)... Certainly not on the metro - which is obviously desperate for funds so as not to impose any basic standards. I'm surprised they didn't use the f word...Again, the ad is heinous enough, but Metro accepted it? I mean, I know they're desperate for money, but WTF?!?!?
Btw, someone wrote - in PEN on the "screen" of the light-up board: "That's President Obama, to you!" Wish my camera had enough resolution to get that!
P.S. Just to be clear, an ad saying "Go to hell Cantor" or "Go to hell Boehner" would NOT be acceptable to me, and it shouldn't be in the Metro system, at least based on my reading of Metro's advertising guidelines (not to mention Metro's desire to keep its system family friendly), as far as I can determine.
UPDATE: No, Kaplan Post and WTOP, you may NOT steal this photo you @#$@#$ers. Take it down immediately, give proper credit, or I'm calling a lawyer!
Gov. Bob McDonnell said Monday that the state would not contribute $150 million to the construction of the rail extension to Dulles International Airport, despite pleas for more money from the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.I mean, I'm not a huge fan of the way the Metro-to-Dulles project has been handled (no-bid deal for Bechtel, no tunnel in Tysons Corner, etc.), but at this point, what are we going to do, let the entire thing die? Is Bob McDonnell really willing to let this project go down the tubes, or let northern Virginia fend for itself, and to heck with the consequences? That's certainly what it looks like right at the moment. As Rep. Connolly said recently - "The only partner that has not yet made a serious financial commitment to this effort is the Commonwealth of Virginia." What's up with that? In addition, as Connolly pointed out, "[b]oth Gov. McDonnell and Sec. Connaughton have expressed rhetorical concern for the burden placed on Northern Virginia's Dulles Toll Road users, but now is the time for all of the partners to go beyond rhetoric."
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) asked [Transportation Secretary Ray] LaHood to urge McDonnell to provide state funding for the project to help reduce the financial burden on Dulles Toll Road commuters.
Connolly said Monday that he is "disappointed" that McDonnell said the state would not contribute money to the project.
"They are the only party that has not contributed,'' he said. "The state is getting a free ride here. The time has come for the state to put up or shut up."
Finally, I'd note that if Virginia really has the supposed budget "surplus" McDonnell's so fond of bragging about, you'd think he'd have a few bucks to spare on this crucial project for northern Virginia. Or maybe all that "surplus" talk was a big lie, as we've long argued, and as David Axelrod pointed out back in early May on Meet the Press? Hmmmm.
Metro officials are eyeing a Brown Line to join the system's existing palette.In general, I'd support new lines that get people into & out of DC's center (serving both transportation needs and security purposes) over loop lines. In particular, a new midcity Blue Line could fill in major Metro gaps in places like Georgetown & Thomas Circle.
The transit agency is planning for the future, looking at creating a train line that dips from Friendship Heights into the District and back up to Silver Spring and past White Oak. It's also studying a line along the Capital Beltway loop, diverting the Blue Line from its current route across downtown to create a midcity rail line, or running an offshoot from the Green Line to National Harbor.
None of the plans is funded or even firm. Engineering hasn't been done and land hasn't been set aside. But the transit agency is studying what it will need by 2040 to accommodate growth in the region and relieve pressure on the system.
Officials plan to discuss some possibilities with regional leaders Wednesday, then hold workshops in July to hear riders' thoughts. By next spring, Metro hopes to have a final plan identifying which projects it will consider developing.
So what would you like to see after the Silver Line is completed? Maybe a Gold Line down Route 7 as GreaterGreaterWashington.org's Steve Offutt has suggested? There's also the long-discussed Columbia Pike streetcar project.
1. According to Leesburg Today, Loudoun County supervisors are not pleased that the price tag for the project has soared by more than $1 billion, and have "made it starkly clear to the MWAA staff that they are unwilling to pay for [an underground station at Dulles Airport]." Also of note:
Loudoun's obligation doesn't kick in until Phase II and, technically, the Board of Supervisors still has an opportunity to opt out entirely. That is a conversation for which some supervisors have pushed and could be held next month when the MWAA team returns to Leesburg to provide a more detailed cost breakdown on the Phase II work...Great, huh?
2. Along these same lines, WAMU reports, "Cost estimates continue to rise for the second phase of the Dulles Metrorail project" and "now Loudoun County may withdraw its share of the funding for the project." According to Supervisor Stevens Miller, "a majority of his colleagues on the Board think the cost of the so-called Silver Line is no longer worth it." What happens if Loudoun County withdraws its funding for this project? "...it's unclear what would happen next -- whether the Silver Line would simply end at Dulles Airport, or whether the entire second phase of the project, from Herndon out to the airport and beyond, would fall through."
3. The Washington Examiner reports that completion of the "Silver Line" has been delayed from 2016 until "the summer of 2017."