Ladies and Gentlemen, hold on to your horses. Your humble author is about to agree with…JIM BURTON! (from WAMU):
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors have voted to move forward with a plan to fund the second phase of the Dulles rail project. But some supervisors and residents remain unconvinced that the so-called Silver line to Dulles Airport is a smart investment for the county.
After a public hearing on the issue, the board voted 7-2 to approve what’s called an MOA or “memorandum of agreement” between Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Metro, and the federal government. The MOA says MWAA will build the rail station at Dulles above ground instead of below, and that the agency will bring down the overall cost of the project by $1 billion dollars — to $2.8 billion.
Loudoun got everything it wanted in the latest agreement, according to Loudoun County Board chair Scott York.
“This was about reducing the scope of the project, in terms of the dollars,” he says.
But board member Jim Burton, one of the two opposing votes, says the funding still depends far too much on rising Dulles toll road revenues, which will mean more commuters looking for non-tolled roads.
“They will drop off the toll road, saturate our side roads, and we’ll be left with some other way to try to bail out financially,” Burton says.
Then Mr. York goes and compares an Airport with a local train system. Like they really are the same thing:
York says anyone who thinks that this project is a white elephant — meaning “expensive and useless” — should remember that people were once saying the same things about Dulles Airport: “It is not a white elephant — it is essentially credited with producing the economy that we have in Northern Virginia.”
A vote for final approval from the Loudoun County Board will come in March of 2012.
Mr. York, with respect, Dulles Airport brings thousands of people from all over the globe to Northern Virginia. The train is designed to move people from place to place…that are already going from place to place…in cars, and it’s going to do it by making people who drive cars SUBSIDIZE people who ride trains? Because it’s already more expensive to take a passenger by train.
Folks, we’re not going to get rid of our cars. Municipalities all over the country have tried to force people “off the roads” for a variety of semi-noble reasons. It doesn’t work. We’ll have busier side roads and empty trains for a feel good mission.
It costs too much because the market doesn’t demand it…only politicians do. If the market demanded it, it would be built and tolls would go DOWN because they would have competition. Not the case.
For more on how “planners” demand things that people don’t demand: