Columbia Pike Streetcar Moves Forward Without Federal Money | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Columbia Pike Streetcar Moves Forward Without Federal Money

Play associated audio
Supporters of the planned Columbia Pike streetcar say moving forward without federal funding is the right way to go.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfyurasko/4002624581/
Supporters of the planned Columbia Pike streetcar say moving forward without federal funding is the right way to go.

The Arlington County Board is ready to move ahead on a plan to pay for the Columbia Pike streetcar, and the county is planning to build the controversial project without federal money.

Applying for federal dollars is time-consuming and potentially fruitless, so the county board is expected to approve a plan tomorrow to pay for the $330 million streetcar system without federal funds. That is the right move, according to Chris Zimmerman, a former board member and long-time streetcar supporter.

"I've thought all along that it was a mistake to be going for federal funding," Zimmerman says. "I think that has only delayed the project and increased the cost."

A 3-2 majority of the board supports building the streetcar. One of the opponents, Republican-turned-Independent John Vihstadt, just won his seat in a special election to fill the vacancy created by Zimmerman's resignation. Vihstadt will be up for re-election this November. Next year, seats held by two streetcar backers will be up for election. So opponents hope to block the project by taking control of the board.

Peter Rousselot is a leader of the group Arlingtonians For Sensible Transit, which favors buses to streetcars. He says tomorrow's vote is not the final word. "It's only a matter of time before the project is stopped," he says.

Virginia recently announced it would pitch in up to $65 million.

NPR

Gluten-Free Guests For Thanksgiving? We've Got You Covered

It's like the start of a bad joke: a vegan, a gluten-free and a paleo walk into a bar — except it's your house, and they're gathered around the Thanksgiving table. Don't panic — we've got recipes.
NPR

For Native Alaskans, Walrus May Take The Place Of Turkey

Thanksgiving is a harvest festival — the traditional menu is all about the bounty of late fall. What does your pantry look like if you're a Yupik family living off the land in rural Alaska?
NPR

Obama: 'No Sympathy' For Those Destroying Ferguson

Saying he understands the frustrations of people who feel they're not treated fairly under the law, President Obama also said, "I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities."
NPR

Is Digital Learning More Cost-Effective? Maybe Not

Digital learning initiatives are spreading to schools across the country, but new research raises doubts about how well they work.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.