Friday, May 04, 2012

Squeeze Play Averted

On Wednesday night, the Transportation Commission voted on whether to accept the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group's recommendation against rapid transit in dedicated lanes on Route 1. 

At a hearing where our neighborhood turned out in force -- against rapid transit on Route 1 as well as other streets in our community -- the Commission not only endorsed the original December 2011 resolution from the Work Group but added new language to ensure connectivity to Fairfax County will be achieved through Corridor B (Duke Street) not Route 1, while acnowledging that Maryland pass through-traffic is a problem that needs to be addressed.

The issue will next proceed to Council.  The successful outcome of this meeting for our neighborhood owes much to three Commissioners in particular, and we thank Kevin Posey, who as Chairman provided leadership and balance; Donna Fossum, who contributed her legal expertise in drafting the final language, and Jesse Jennings, whose loyalty to his old neighborhood remains steadfast. 

Here is the language adopted by the Commission:

"The Alexandria Transportation Commission concurs with the recommendation made by the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group in the following Resolution that the Work Group adopted on December 15, 2011:

'Whereas the Alexandria Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan conceptually envisioned the eventual location of high capacity transit in dedicated lanes in the portion of Corridor A south of Braddock METRO Station; and
'Whereas the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group was appointed to recommend methods for implementing the Alexandria Comprehensive Transportation Master Plan to City Council; 
'Be it hereby resolved that the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group recommends that there be no dedicated-lane high capacity transit on the portion of Corridor A south of Braddock METRO Station. 
'Instead, the High Capacity Transit Corridor Work Group recommends that resources be used to explore the possibility of putting circulator buses/trolleys or other forms of conventional and scale appropriate transit in this portion of the City.'
"After careful review of the high capacity transit options in the portion of Corridor A south of the Braddock METRO Rail Station, the Transportation Commission has determined that dedicated right-of-way transit is not viable on the streets of Old Town.

"The Transportation Commission recommends that City Council explore the expansion of East-West connections between Old Town and the existing METRO Rail Stations as the most effective way to encourage transit use in this area.  Any such connections made must be done with maximum sensitivity to residents’ concerns and the historic infrastructure in Old Town.  The Transportation Commission further recommends that City Council direct City staff to engage in community outreach on this matter and that at least one public hearing be held by the Transportation Commission on any proposal regarding East-West connectivity before any action to implement such is taken.

"While the Work Group considered and ultimately rejected all three proposed 'build' options for the portion of Transit Corridor A south of Braddock METRO Rail Station (i.e., (1) West Street, (2) Patrick/Henry Street, and (3) Washington Street), the Transportation Commission urges City staff to explore additional connectivity from Transit Corridor B into Fairfax County via the Huntington METRO Rail Station, and into Maryland via the Wilson Bridge, and to present all findings to the Transportation Commission and City Council on any potential 'build' options identified."


Anonymous said...

Outstanding. As much as certain powers that be want to treat our urban neighborhoods as non-factors for their transportation, education, and public housing band-aids, a united front is the only way we'll be able to have a say in maintaining our quality of life.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the latest hog and heifer show concerning J-H TONIGHT. Per the powers that be:

The next ACPS Jefferson-Houston Community Meeting is scheduled for May 8, from 7-9 pm. The meeting will be held in the school’s multipurpose room. Link to meeting flyer:

The purpose of the meeting to provide the community with a design overview of the new Jefferson-Houston School. This includes the exterior architectural style and elements of the school. Participants will provide design feedback to the J-H design team.

Anonymous said...

At last week's WOTCA meeting Rich Baier and Abi Learner admitted that the three routes the "stakeholder" group (apparenty just made up of city staff) had looked at for the Del Ray Trolley were from the King Street Metro Station to Del Ray via West street, Fayette street, or Patrick/Henry streets. (Per Rich Baier - it never occurred to them to look at Commonwealth.)

Given this, it is clear why T&ES caved on the corridor A issue. They had a fall-back plan. They could give ground on the Corridor A issue because they can accomplish the same goal via the Del Ray Trolley. It is surely no coincidence that two of the three routes proposed for the Del Ray Trolley largely mirror two of the routes T&ES also proposed for corridor A (notably West street and Patrick/Henry streets). Which Corridor A route, you ask, does not reappear among the proposed Del Ray Trolley routes - well that would be the Washington Street route.

Presumably, T&ES hoped to sneak the Del Ray Trolley route in without the neighborhood noticing since it's announcement happened to coincide with a time when the neighborhood activitists' attention was heavily focused on the Corridor A issue. Conspiracy theory, anyone?

Well, the bottom line is that there will be a community meeting/worksession on the proposed Del Ray Trolley routes Saturday, May 19th from 9:30-11:30 at Cora Kelly Elementary School Library.

Anonymous said...

Start and end the trolley at Braddock Road Metro and gear ads and signs to people arriving by Metro to get off at Braddock rather than King St.

Barring that, I agree that the trolleys should shoot up Commonwealth from King Street. What business does a Del Ray Trolley have being on Route 1, West, or a street with residential traffic restrictions like Fayette?!? Wow, these T&ES schemers always have to be pulling a fast one...

Anonymous said...

The only way for Alexandrians to preserve their way of life is to vote every City Council Democratic Incumbent out of Office.

Vote in the Primary, Make Your Voice Heard, Kick the Bums out.

Anonymous said...

I think there needs to be a Trolley route from King St & Royal St to Mt Vernon Avenue. That would actually be useful. It would not have to be free, even a $1 would be reasonable. THere are many events in Old Town and in Del Ray that residents from either location could get to using the Trolley instead of driving. Of course, I, personally, walk to Del Ray from Old Town. But somehow I doubt very many folks do that.

The Trolley route could start at Market Square, head down Royal St to Wythe. Then to Braddock Metro, and down Mt Vernon Avenue to the intersection of Commonwealth and Mt Vernon. Ultimately, this would permit a Metrobus route change for the 10 buses, and maybe they could run on Commonwealth.