Thumbs Up on Arlington Transportation Development Plan

I support Arlington Transportation Division’s 2017-2026 Transportation Development Plan (TDP).  The TDP lays out a set of clear, realizable goals, including increased transit accessibility and more transit options for both regular commuters and underserved populations.

It proposes to pay for improved ART service by converting some routes from Metrobus to ART and by reducing, rerouting or eliminating service on underutilized lines. It also plans to make use of Transportation Capital funds previously earmarked for the Pike trolley. This is good.

Pike civic leaders nevertheless have expressed dissatisfaction with the frequency of planned service along the Pike, and the Transportation Commission has faulted the County for providing inadequate incentives for people to get out of their cars.

Yet these critics fail to appreciate that no amount of service upgrades will defeat car culture. If state of the art transit technology were the solution, the Silver Line would not be running half empty in the I-66 median with cars parked on interstate on either side of it.

A DC metro area wide advertising campaign could persuade some to get out of their cars but not while SafeTrack is ongoing. SafeTrack might however induce Arlington commuters to switch to ART. Once hooked on ART, they just might forget about their cars. So I recommend that Arlington launch an ad campaign of its own to promote both improved ART bus service and the new premium transit service along the Pike.

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