Board of Supervisors Agrees to Fund the Next Step in Designing the Columbia Pike Streetcar
July 30, 2013
The agreement allows the project to move forward with additional environmental planning and conceptual design. This work is needed before the proposed transit project can move on to engineering and construction.
“I am pleased that our Board has agreed to move ahead in the process of planning and designing the Columbia Pike Streetcar,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova stated. “The project will help serve the growing need for public transit along Columbia Pike and help to revitalize the Baileys Crossroads area.”
The almost five-mile streetcar line will stretch from Pentagon City in Arlington to Baileys Crossroads in Fairfax County.
The agreement lays out how Fairfax and Arlington will share costs for this next step in the project. Arlington will pay for 80.4 percent of these costs, and Fairfax County will pay for 19.6 percent. These planning and design efforts total $999,131, including optional tasks, and per the agreement, the county will only pay up to $195,830.
Under the terms, Arlington will be the lead partner for this phase of the transit project, and Fairfax will act as participating partner. This will allow a single jurisdiction to apply for federal funding if both counties agree to seek it.
As the lead partner, Arlington has hired a consultant to carry out the environmental planning and conceptual design. This work includes:
- Creating a conceptual design to move the streetcar platform closer to the entrance of the Skyline Complex, along with conducting any needed topographical or boundary surveys.
- Creating a conceptual design for an operations, maintenance and storage facility that will be located in Arlington.
- Developing updated ridership projections.
- Refining the streetcar’s operational plans.
- Assessing the kind and number of streetcars needed to meet peak demand.
- Archeological testing and evaluation as required by the federal National Historic Preservation Act.
For Fairfax County, the Columbia Pike Streetcar is a key component to revitalizing the Baileys Business District. The county’s plan to transform this area into a mixed use, urban center depends upon focusing growth near the streetcar stops, as well as meeting the growing need for public transit along Columbia Pike.
Based on a 2012 joint study, the streetcar will lead to a projected 4 to 10 percent increase in property values within a quarter mile of the transit line. This amounts to a $126 to $315 million spike in values along the study corridor, which spans both counties.
Furthermore, the streetcar could result in 10 percent net new development along the corridor. Over 30 years, this added development would generate $82 million in new revenue from sales taxes, businesses licenses and other fees. This increased development would produce $156 million in property tax revenues over the same period.
The majority of the streetcar line is in Arlington. Fairfax County’s three stations will be located in the Baileys area: Goodwin House, Jefferson Street and Skyline.
To finance construction of the project, it’s anticipated that a mix of local, state and federal funds will be used.
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