Monday, December 29, 2003

FUH2 & Other Transit Thoughts

The digital camera was in the trunk during the drive home from New England, otherwise we might have been able to add a pic or two to F--- You And Your H2. Yeah, the site is a bit rude, but it is getting ridiculous how big so-called passenger vehicles are getting.

The other part of the problem is that sidewalks (or at least ones that actually take people directly from place to place instead of to street crossings a mile apart) don't seem to be in development plans anymore. Sunday's Washington Post had a good article on how hard it is to walk places, even in relatively near in suburban areas.

They are reworking and adding some sidewalks near where I work, which is good, but the construction planning seems to think that people don't actually walk around here. (Actually, not too many do: crosswalks are spaced at half-mile intervals (at best), and there are some very busy streets with the sidewalk abutting the curb.) In some cases the sidewalks on both sides of the street are torn up with signs directing people to use other side.

There also is a rumor that somesort of streetcar or light rail line could be run out to Bailey's Crossroads as part of this project. There's no sign of such an effort thus far, nor on any of the online sites, but that would be great. I'd love to be able to commute by rail to work (I can take Metro to work, but it means catching a bus or cab to get from the nearest Metro station to the office, and that means doubling the commuting time and/or spending an extra $20 per day or so).

[ADDENDUM: I did find one reference to light rail to Bailey's Crossroads. Back in March 2002, the Arlington County Civic Federation issued a resolution on Metro Expansion that would run from Falls Church down Route 7 to Bailey's Crossroads and then up Columbia Pike to the Pentagon. That is a line I would definately ride/use.]

If they do build a streetcar out here, I hope they look at the system being reworked in Toronto. They're using a special rubber coating on the rails to help improve the life of the system. It looks pretty neat. (Thanks to Ranting and Roaring for the link.)

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