Friday, February 01, 2013

The Station Location Recommendation Debation

The three Potomac Yard Metro Station
altenatives being considered.

WTOP reported on the update this week regarding the Environmental Impact Study for the potential Metro Station in Potomac Yard (Metro ideas rolling for Potomac Yard).

While their article doesn't go into great detail about all of the nuances and exhaustive analysis being rumenated by the City, the article embeds the presentation made to City Council which provides a lot more insight into the multi-year process.

What's presented is not yet the full cost-benefit analysis yet. It doesn't,for instance, yet compare the the construction costs of the alternatives...or rather the the financing analysis of the 3 alternatives,, since the eventual location may dictate exactly how the station is financed, who all exactly bear the costs and how much is their share. Instead, this update examines the potential benefits of each locations and evaluates some of the indirect other costs of each alternative so a final decision can be made next year weighing all the alternatives against each other in a (hopefully) rational way.

Gauging visual impact from trial baloons
Even so, what is shaping up is that any of the options are clearly going to be better than "no build" (not doing anything at all). And the two alternative (B and D) more accessible to Arlandria are shown to also generate more eventual revenue. However, they also will each have a bigger impact on the GW Parkway: they'll have the temporary impact during construction, and they'll a visual impact on it (you'll be able to see them). Trial balloons were set off (literally) to gauge this impact and artistic renderings have been devised to show it. The analysis suggests that the view will be minimal, perhaps inconsequential, but the final decision will have to be eventually made about that.

From our reading of the report, most of the negative impacts of any station are equal or smaller than doing nothing at all. Traffic will increase regardless, maybe more if we don't provide the transit option. Still, even without transit, the analysis predicts something important to realize: 34% of car trips generated by Potomac Yard in general will be on East/West Glebe. Arlandrians haven't yet had a chance to hear how this traffic might be mitigate...how we can continue to work toward making our community walkable but we expect that in the coming months. And one thing is sorely missing: They didn't look at the impact on Reed Avenue.

The bottom line is that it's shaping up to a matter of whether the better locations generate enough additional revenue or not...and whether their impact on the parkway is worth anything.

(Nope, we didn't make it up: DEBATION. But that doesn't make it right. We apologize. Tee-hee.)

Related post from The Arlandrian:
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