May 1, 2008

Metro Getting Money to Dulles, Can’t Find Southeast For Its Life

Southeast's Metro Line.

Alexander Lew tells me that the Federal Transit Administration announced that it is dedicating $158.7 million dollars (and much more) to funding the Metro extension to Dulles Airport. So after sitting still for many years, appropriately, DC Metro abruptly announces its next destination and lurches forward. If we can somehow slap on some silver poles and at least one slightly bored announcer, we could make the plans for the Silver Line just like a real ride on the Red Line.

No one questions that the Dulles expansion is long overdue (expected, routine and minor delays, I’m sure), but even people with very good plans for the Metro seem to think of Southeast as a chronic outage area. David Alpert recently did a good interview with the DCist discussing his Metro map, but I notice that though his plan has a glimmering Silver Line and a majestic Purple Line, we can’t seem to get anything better than a two Green Line Metro stops and some bus lines east of the Anacostia River.

I know that people talking about a Silver Line probably don’t live in Anacostia (a related issue), but it needs some Metro stops. Stacey Long wrote today about the chronic shortage of grocery stores in Southeast, and I want to add that none of those grocery stores are even within a short jog of the Anacostia Metro Station.

Not that it matters, since apparently the Anacostia stop will remain an isolated sack of concrete, suspended in Southeast with no lateral movement so that people can get around. It would be nice to have one of those fancy Purple Lines looping from King Street to Minnesota Avenue. I would even be willing to call it something derogatory if that’s what’s holding them back.

I am a little surprised that Mr. Alpert didn’t have a glance toward our neighbors east of the river, however, since he does talk about putting a Metro Station in the H Street corridor in Northeast for access reasons.

1 comment:

A.J. said...

There really is a one-two punch being described here. If it's difficult to get to a grocery store, you would want to buy more groceries to save on trips. But how many groceries can you buy if the distance to the Metro/bus means hauling them extraordinarily far? So not only is the number of stores inadequate, but the access to those stores is as well.

As Jody rightly pointed out in her post, any efforts on the part of the community and non-profits to deal with this problem should be strategic, and part of that strategy, it seems, would have to be dealing with both aspects of access - location and transportation.