Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vihstadt and Garvey Demand, Receive Answers from County Staff About Streetcar Funding

Hello, Yupette,

County Board met with the County Manager and Transportation Staff this afternoon to discuss transportation programs related to the 2015-2024 Capital Improvement Plan.

Things went smoothly until about 45 minutes before the end of the meeting when John Vihstadt and Libby Garvey began asking Barbara Donnellan, Dennis Leach, and Transit Bureau Chief Steve Del Giudice a number of very pointed questions about Pike and Crystal City streetcar planning.

Turns out the the Federal Transit Administration could take 3 years or more to approve the County application for federal funding. Which prompted Jay Fisette to ask if it might be better to turn to other funding sources, like the State of Virginia. When queried by John Vihstadt, Leach stated that the County has a good working relationship with the State of Virginia regarding funding of capital transportation projects. That prompted both Vihstadt and Libby Garvey to ask whether state transportation funding can be used for transportation projects other than a Pike and Crystal City streetcar freeing up general obligation funds for uses like schools. (Short answer is yes).

At that point Donnellan became visibly angry and told Vihstadt that funds were already committed to the streetcar projects. Vihstadt continued, asking how much the County was spending on PR infomercials promoting the streetcar and asking whether it was fair to the two minority Board members for the County to be spending lavishly on advertising for the Board majority's position. Donnellan replied that it was appropriate to spend money informing Arlington residents about streetcars. Vihstadt then asked for an accounting of how much is being spent.

Those are the highlights. Post reporter was on hand for the entire meeting, so you may be able to read her take on what occurred tomorrow.

2100


32 Comments:

At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to like a guy who's looking out for the taxpayers. J.V. also inquired whether the County could place advertising on bus shelters.

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Little problem like a streetcar derailing? Streetcar proponents have it all figured out, just call a tow truck.

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live outside Toronto. Streetcars suck. Do a Web search on 'Toronto Viva BRT' to see why.

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libby Garvey is right. All tax dollars are fungible. Just ask Barbara Donnellan who has done a Three-card Monte with our tax dollars, day in and day out, for the past 30 years.

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara Donnellan: "Waaaaaaa...Waaaaaa. I want my streetcar systems..."

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheesh...Vihstadt and Garvey had to pry the truth out of Donnellan, Leach, and Del Guidice? This County is even more messed up that I thought.

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, John and Libby had to ask them a number of very direct questions to obtain something resembling the truth about Pike and Crystal City streetcar funding.

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I and my family and my neighbors are voting (again) for John Vihstadt in November

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, does mean $500 million will be required to build the Pike Streetcar in 3 years?

 
At 18 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Short answer? Yes.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kind of baffled by Donellan's notion that she can be angry at Vihstadt and Garvey, that their actions are somehow illegitimate. They were ELECTED as boatrockers. They are doing exactly what the voters who sent them to the Board wanted. We have a system (four year terms, one or two elected per year) which creates an enormous lag time between the will of the voters and its expression.

Vihstadt and Garvey are well representing a very large number of Arlington voters. We will get a better idea in November how durable their majority backing is, but it is clearly sizable. Sneering at them, and the voters they represent, is not smart.

Dave Schutz

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara Donnellan became hostile and defensive about the Stupid Streetcar?

It's her legacy to Arlington. Before she retires to her wonderful suburban home in her wonderful suburban neighborhood...in Fairfax County.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really pissed. These turkeys on County Staff (Robert Duffy is another) get a big paycheck for planning the utter and complete neighborhood by neighborhood urbanization of Arlington, then drive their single-occupant SUVs home to a classic 60's suburb, usually in Fairfax County.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Duffy lives in Alexandria.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or, like Zimmerman, Tejada, and Fisette, they live in a single-family home enclave in Arlington.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget their New Urbanist facilitators, like Carrie Johnson, who live in luxury single family home enclaves.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Urbanist facilitators? You mean the Smart Growth shills on the Site Plan Review Committee?

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donnellan's tirade yesterday proves that we've lost control of our County. Arlington is de facto run by a coalition of carpetbaggers.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you hear what happened yesterday? Residents of the urbanized neighborhood around TJ middle school visited the luxury enclave neighborhoods of the NIMBY School Board and left signs telling the School Board where to put a new elementary school.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Tuesday's County Board meeting where it was revealed Alexandria resident and Arlington Fire Chief Jim Shwartz and Clifton resident and County Manager Barbara Donnellan chose the location for a new fire station up near Marymount.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for a moratorium on New Urbanism in Arlington County.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it about time for Barbara Donnellan to retire?

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the $15 million cost of preparing an application to the FTA the County can buy 10 of the Wright Streetcar BRT buses that provide transit service in Las Vegas.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I e-mailed the County Board (countyboard at arlingtonva dot us) to say enough is enough with streetcars and I will not vote for anyone who wastes my tax dollars on this foolishness.

 
At 19 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barbara Donnellan is just as wacky over streetcars as Jay, Mary, and Walter.

BTW Pike and Crystal City streetcars are NOT about transportation, they're about corporate welfare for developers along the Pike and in Crystal City.

 
At 20 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arlington County has become a cash cow for developers via various tax incentives and out-and-out giveaways, bonus density for energy efficient construction that isn't energy efficient and affordable housing that isn't affordable.

 
At 20 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree. Issue is NOT about transportation, it's all about redevelopment and enriching the developers, at our expense.

If transportation were the issue we would already have state-of-the-art BRT, and double deck buses on the Pike.

 
At 20 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know if there is an estimate of the cost of all the streetcar fender benders, bicyclists getting hurt by accidents with streetcar tracks, etc.

 
At 20 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice that Vornado's attorneys are attending every public meeting where the Pike or Crystal City are on the agenda? How often do they meet with the County Board, County Manager, and County Staff?

 
At 20 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, none of the local media that accept paid advertising will show either modern BRT vehicles or streetcars accidents in their print and Web pages. The information is completely censored.

 
At 20 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

All part of so-called New Urbanism which is incredibly destructive - to infrastructure to communities, to the environment.

 
At 21 June, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post Reporter Patricia Sullivan's report finally appeared in today's Post.

Nothing whatsoever written about BRT alternatives to streetcars in Arlington.

Obviously, Post reporters have been forbidden, censored, prohibited by the Graham Family, which still controls the Post's content, from posting anything about BRT alternatives to streetcars.

 

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