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Arlington, Alexandria Strike Deal On Transit Study

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The a study needed for a proposed transit corridor, which would use streetcars in place of buses, now awaits the final location of the Potomac Yard Metro.
The a study needed for a proposed transit corridor, which would use streetcars in place of buses, now awaits the final location of the Potomac Yard Metro.

Arlington and Alexandria have struck a deal on the Crystal City Potomac Yard transit corridor.

Since July 2011, the two neighboring jurisdictions have been working together to complete the environmental work necessary to document the impact of converting the Crystal City Potomac Yard bus transitway into a streetcar system. Last month, Arlington officials decided against moving forward with an optional alternatives analysis, which prompted Alexandria officials to reassess the situation.

"It was unfortunate that somehow, through staff-to-staff working dialogues and so forth, that we got off track a little bit in terms of communication, but that was easily resolved when we went to have a meeting with them, and now we're back on track," said Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille.

Under the terms of the amended agreement, Alexandria will wait until the location of the new Metro station at Potomac Yard is determined before moving forward with the alternatives analysis, which is necessary for federal funding.

"The best information we have now about the timelines and the courses both of our jurisdictions are on — and again in a shared desire to provide better transit options to people all up and down the Route 1 corridor — comes up with a plan that allows us both to move our projects forward," said Arlington County Board Chairwoman Mary Hynes.

Arlington residents could see streetcars as soon as 2018. If Alexandria decides to move forward with a streetcar, city residents could see streetcars two years later.

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