Thursday, June 21, 2012
County Board, County Manager, Chamber of Commerce Intimidating Local Media into Endorsing Pike Streetcar System
Arlington County Board, Arlington County Manager, and Arlington Chamber of Commerce are pulling out all the stops to keep the local media, (including news blogs) from featuring, or even mentioning, articulated buses on the Pike and in Crystal City, which would save Arlington taxpayers at least $400 million versus the anticipated cost of the County Board's trolley folly.
Special recognition to County Board Member Chris Zimmerman, County Manager Barbara Donnellan, Arlington Public Information Director Diana Sun, and Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee Member Scott McCaffrey for intimidating the local media into profound silence regarding the real and only transit alternative for the Pike, articulated buses. Nothing like telling local media editors that they will lose ad revenue, lose access to elected VIPs, and lose advance information from elected VIPs if they provide ANY information about articulated buses, to ensure silence from the local media.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The more we look at the articulated bus option for the Pike and Crystal City the more we feel articulated buses are the ONLY transit option for the Pike and Crystal City. The Wright articulated buses, also known as 'Wright streetcars', that provide transit service for Las Vegas as the 'Ace Bus' would cost Arlington taxpayers $100 million versus $500 million for streetcar systems on the Pike and in Crystal City. The 'Ace Bus' uses clean energy, not mountaintop coal, for power. The 'Ace Bus' is flexible, it uses both regular traffic lanes in downtown Las Vegas and dedicated transit lanes in outlying areas. There are no tracks to cause accidents with bicycles and pedestrians. There are no overhead wires. The 'Ace Bus' is a big hit with tourists and residents in Las Vegas. You can see for yourself by Googling 'Las Vegas ACE Bus' and 'Wright streetcar'.
We are appalled by the Arlington County Board's 'dirty tricks' aimed at anyone who might oppose its trolley folly. These ranged from telling minority groups (who heavily use Pike transit) they would be arrested if they attended the June 6th and 7th Pike Transit meetings to cutting off the audio when County Board candidate Audrey Clement spoke against the trolley folly at last Saturday's County Board meeting.
We feel our only recourse is to write both the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General detailing the outrageous manner in which the County Board has behaved.
We don't have financial interests in any corporation or organization that markets articulated buses. We need the $400 million that would be wasted on the County Board's trolley folly spent on new transit infrastructure to benefit all County residents. Therefore, the 'Ace' Wright streetcar articulated bus is the only real transit option for the Pike and Crystal City.
Cindy, and many others,