Columbia Pike Street Car Project Approved
By: M. Callahan
The Columbia Pike Streetcar Plan (a joint project with Arlington County) has been approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors after many years of consideration.
According to Chairman Sharon Bulova, “The streetcar will relieve congestion and present economic development opportunities for the Skyline area and serve a population with the demonstrated support and need for transit,” Bulova continued, “Light rail has the potential to become an important part of the transportation network as we look to add new options and expand service in Fairfax County.”The line will run 4.9 miles from Pentagon City in Arlington County to Skyline in Fairfax County. Three stations are planned in Fairfax County's portion of the line at Goodwin House, Jefferson Street and Skyline where the highest bus ridership in Northern Virginia at 16,000 riders per day can be found. Since streetcars can accommodate more riders than buses and ridership is expected to double in the next eighteen years, this is good news.
According to a joint study released by Chairman Bulova’s office, Fairfax and Arlington surveyed developers who viewed the following as benefits to the streetcar plan.
The Bailey's area is expected to experience a population growth of 21% and a job growth of 23% by 2030. In this revitalization area, as in most, the transit oriented development strategy is a vital component in creating a mixed-use urban center. The streetcar plan will also reduce pollution and the dependency on automobiles.
It is hoped that this streetcar line will be extended further along Columbia Pike, sooner rather than later, through Annandale's portion of Mason District and on into Fairfax via Route 236. Without a county backed project to jump start redevelopment in Annandale's Central Business District, revitalization does not seem likely.
July 2014 - Read more about increased state funding for this project.....