Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Did Anything Really Change?

Apparently Dulles is a go. But Ma Peters made a comment:
"We wanted to find a way to make this a good project. It's a better project than it was a year ago."

Peters said the most significant improvement made by project managers was to strengthen the proposal's finances and contingency budget. The rail line's costs have spiraled in recent years, and the project was at risk of failing federal transit cost-efficiency standards. That risk is now gone, Peters said.

Did anyone think to ask them if the reason that costs were spiraling out of control was because they kept delaying the project? Then the hurl inducing comment of the week:

"God bless Mary Peters," said U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), who, along with Kaine and recently retired U.S. senator John W. Warner (R) led state efforts to revive Dulles rail.
You mean the lady that almost single handedly killed the project. Thank you sir may I have another?


Yonah Freemark said...

As far as I can tell, nothing about this project has changed. That is, other than Ms. Peters' willingness to support it. To me, the story of the Dulles rail project more than anything else symbolizes the Bush administration's insistent anti-transit stance, its inability to understand the needs of states and localities, and a general incompetence in handling large programs, covered up by "changes" in project design.

Good riddance, Ms. Peters.

fpteditors said...

This was not a pro-rail decision. It was a pro-air-travel decision. Air travel is an evironmental horror.

Anonymous said...

This is the woman whose department told Virginia that they can't consider tunneling, even if they pay the extra costs themselves, because it would ruin the cost-effectiveness, and then tried to kill the project on the grounds of a lack of consensus because some people wanted to tunnel. (And I write this as someone who doesn't think tunneling is worth the money.)

fpt - air travel is part of the coalition, and essential to the financing because the airport is in a position to collect highway tolls that will finance the project. But the core of the project is access to Tysons Corner and the Reston employment centers. Making these areas transit-accessible makes all of Washington a much more transit-friendly city. Lack of rail service to these areas makes it substantially harder to live a transit-oriented life in Washington.

John said...

ditto... would rail to Dulles actually make you sell your car?

"...well transit's pretty good here. I would be willing to make most trips by metro. But it only goes to one airport."

As it stands, I don't see anything wrong with my present choices: a bus or a taxi. Sure I would like an express maglev from my house to the airport, but it wouldn't be worth a billion or two dollars