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Washington - May 2012

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Washington, DC

May 2012

Arlington — Crystal City Needs Streetcar

The Crystal City "urban village" with high-rise apartments and multi-story office buildings — in Arlington County needs a streetcar line for urban mobility, according to the county board chairwoman. The Arlington Now site posted a story about an editorial Mary Hynes contributed to the Arlington Connection publication. Crystal City south of the Pentagon has DC Metrorail rapid transit stations. Hynes sees an eventual streetcar line stretching from Crystal City to Pentagon City and the Skyline area five miles west via Columbia Pike. She says it would be a one-seat streetcar ride.

A streetcar line in Crystal City is essential for keeping the area from becoming clogged with traffic as the population and workforce grows over the next 30 years, Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in an editorial published in the Arlington Connection on Wednesday.

Making a case for the large investment required to build a streetcar system, Hynes argued that the streetcar is part of Arlington's "smart growth" philosophy. "The modern streetcar for Crystal City — a line that will initially connect Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard — is an important first step," Hynes wrote.

"Eventually, this line will meet up in Pentagon City with the planned streetcar line on Columbia Pike, providing riders with a one-seat option to travel from Potomac Yard to the Skyline area in our partner jurisdiction, Fairfax County," Hynes continued. "Without these strategic investments, our streets could become clogged with traffic, our quality of life could decline, and our robust economy could be at risk — the exact opposite of what we've achieved since the 1960s and what we know is possible when a community plans carefully."

Hynes' editorial comes at a time when the county is seeking public comment on the planned Columbia Pike streetcar line. It also comes as Arlington and Alexandria engage in a mini war of words over federal funding for the potential Alexandria portion of the Route 1 streetcar line.

"We hope [the streetcar] may even stretch further south into Alexandria one day," Hynes wrote in the editorial.


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