The five billion dollar mass transit boondoggle of metro’s “Silver Line” to Dulles airport isn’t even approved by the Federal Transit Administration, but already the MWAA is performing utility relocation for the project according to the DC Examiner. Meanwhile, instead of encouraging development, businesses in the area are fleeing in anticipation of major gridlock coupled with heavy roadway tolls. Spending an ungodly amount of money on a transportation project that makes things worse and increases commercial vacancy rates is hardly what folks probably had in mind when they talked about this as an “investment”.
Instead of early birds flocking to Tysons Corner to take advantage of Dulles Rail’s many supposed benefits, businesses have actually begun bailing out. More corporate tenants have left Tysons than leased office space there this year. This unexpected exodus is most likely being driven by the anticipation of five years or more of major construction chaos and tolls of up to $5 per trip to pay for it. But there is another, more ominous explanation.
McLean Citizens Association Board member Mark Zetts says Tysons Corner will never become a successful transit-oriented development center like Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor because Tysons is sealed off by already overcrowded interstates, while the R-B area has 40 access lanes — one every quarter of a mile — that facilitate the smooth flow of traffic.
We’re going to spend more on this one mass transit project than we’re going to spend on transportation over a two year period in the entire state. It will require endless public subsidies for operation, and it won’t help improve safety or ease congestion at all. To top it off, the project was awarded without competitive bids. What a phenomenal waste of taxpayer dollars.
UPDATE: Bacon’s Rebellion joins in:
Tysons Corner needs to be part of the Washington heavy rail system, but not in the way that has been contrived. Our best hope now is for the project to collapse under its own weight so we can start over. Otherwise, it is destined to turn into Virginia’s answer to Boston’s Big Dig.
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