From Richard Layman:
It happened that Matt Johnson was at the ACT monthly meeting on Tuesday, so we talked after. Matt is a blogger, both on his own blog, Track Twenty-Nine, and within Greater Greater Washington. Although Matt is “young,” he’s already probably forgotten more about fixed rail transit especially railroads, than I will ever know…
So we were talking about a more recently energized WMATA planning division, for example that they are putting the separated blue line back on the planning table and that there is a recognition that the decision in 2003 to devolve responsibility for transit (WMATA) expansion planning to the jurisdictions means that there is no regional planning perspective brought to bear on heavy (and light) rail transit planning. That funding is an issue. Etc.
Putting something back on the planning table is a long way from concluding that it’s the best option is a long way from convincing the many governments that would need to buy in to buy in. But. More core capacity is desperately needed, to reduce platform crowding at the busiest stations, to improve the function of the system’s spokes, to support dense development in the parts of the region best suited to it, and to provide additional system redundancy.
Because a new line through the center of the city would make life so much easier for suburban commuters (particularly those on the Blue, Orange, and forthcoming Silver lines), you’d think this would be something the whole region could get behind. But it’s not the kind of thing Virginia is going to come up with on its own; that’s not how the area’s politics work. The District has to push the ball forward. And perhaps they’re beginning to realize this.