Morning Poll: Long-Term Thinking Needed on Streetcar?

Rendering of a streetcar along Columbia PikeIn an op-ed in the Washington Post this weekend, Greater Greater Washington editor David Alpert argues that Arlington residents should look at the county’s history with Metro when forming an opinion on the Columbia Pike streetcar line.

Residents should take a long-term view of the benefits of the Pike streetcar, instead of just looking at the price tag, Alpert says. Such long-term thinking helped Arlington come up with the plan for Metro that ultimately led to much of the county’s prosperity.

Alpert adds the streetcar line is relatively inexpensive when comparing projected ridership with that of the Silver Line.

“In comparison with other projects, a streetcar on Columbia Pike is a thrifty proposition,” Alpert writes. “But that hadn’t stopped it from being a political punching bag for some who simply attack the price tag without context. News coverage that reports only the cost without discussing benefits does not help, either.”

Alpert says the county should focus on long-term investment, not just on spending as little as possible. Do you agree that recent discussions of the streetcar have focused too much on cost?
 


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