LTE: Don't Let Fear-mongering Stop Metro

A former Metro regular decries suggestions that the Silver Line will bring crime to Loudoun.

Having lived in Washington, DC, for several years before returning home to Loudoun, I feel obligated to respond to some of the more ridiculous attacks on the Silver Line that have been put forward in the past week. For four years in Washington, I attended a university in the city and rode the Orange Line – the same route that the Silver Line will take – nearly every single day.  Not once was I attacked on the Metro or in a station, nor was I ever shaken down by Metro police, nor did I ever feel at all in any kind of danger. Looking back on it, my experience with the Metro seems pretty dull when compared with the fictitious “crime train” that opponents like to paint it as.

The idea that Metro will somehow import crime to Loudoun is patently absurd. Do people really imagine that criminals will commute, by train, right past Arlington and Falls Church, out to Loudoun to commit their crimes? Why don’t they already take the bus? There has never been any case of “commuting criminals” – that is, a significant amount of crime imported to a suburban area specifically because of the introduction of public transit – in Washington or anywhere else that I’m aware of. These fears are pure snobbery and xenophobia masquerading as genuine concern and the lowest form of political discussion possible..

Or rather, is it assumed that developing Loudoun will result in more homegrown crime? That is equally asinine. Bringing the Silver Line to Loudoun would increase our gross county product, not our crime rate. By infusing tens of thousands of jobs and nearly doubling the rate of growth of our GCP with the development that the Silver Line will enable, the last thing that will increase in Loudoun is crime.

One particularly loud rail opponent wrote recently, “…the Washington Merto [sic] is anything but romantic, unless your idea of romance is being trapped in a closed space with a bunch of thugs who know they have power over you.”  What this reads like, to me, is, “We don’t have a good argument against Metro so we’ll try to scare folks instead.”  Riding the Metro isn’t romantic, but it is a safe, convenient and cost-effective means of commuting, and, for all of my time riding through the same stops Silver Line will visit, the vast majority people with whom I’ve ever been “trapped in a closed space” were professionals in suits and ties.

Want to know who will accompany you on the Silver Line to and from Washington? Look around tomorrow morning as you’re sitting in traffic.

Loudoun will not get another chance at rail. We have the option to set Loudoun on the economic fast track or condemn ourselves to miserable traffic congestion and slow development for good. This investment has been 40 years in the making and the last thing we should do is deny Loudoun’s economic future for ourselves and for our children by giving in to ignorant fear mongering.

Art Smith

Jonathan Erickson April 13, 2012 at 03:13 PM
This fear stuff is for the birdbrains and so is the metro. You don't know what it will cost, you don't know how much maintenance is, yet you are willing to give them a blank check. Bankruptcy by 2017 is what's going to happen and who will be on the hook for that? Gladly I will pay $4.00 for gas so I do not have to sit next to you.
Julie Monnet April 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Why would it go bankrupt? Because the xenophobes in LoCo won't use it?
Jonathan Erickson April 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Do your research on their current metro lines. The infrastructure is falling apart and there is no money to keep up with the maintenance. It's too expensive for what we get. Rail cars 4 mil instead of 2.6 mil, proving track 60 mil, the list goes on just spend some time looking it up. Mismanagement some of the great Big Dig goofs are running this one. Federal Gov. says in order to support metro line population density should be 9000 people per square mile. Loudoun has 600 people per square mile so no federal money like Fairfax got. The Gov. came to his senses and now the 450 million from the state is gone. See your taxes skyrocket just like North Koreas rocket. BTW How many dead rocket scientists in N Korea today? 0 they didn't have any to start with. Why wouldn't the MWAA want to come to Loudoun they can run 4 trains a day and bleed the tax base of the wealthiest county in the U.S.A. I like Xena the warrior princess myself!
bella-alexis April 18, 2012 at 01:40 PM
OK I knew that some people in Ashburn were a little snobby. But this is just insane. ARE YOU SERIOUS PEOPLE. you truly think people are going to come to Ashburn from DC from different parts of northern VA.just to commit crimes? Or maybe to frequent our boring bars lol. people get real. we will be going to DC but no one is gonna be coming here from there. what does Ashburn have to offer them exactly if they do not live here? shopping no, schools no, parks Nope, clubs or bars no. this is a suburb at best, the only people committing crimes are the ones already here. look many people know its the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
Rob Jones April 21, 2012 at 09:16 PM
The thieves won't ride Metro out to Ashburn, they'll sit in their offices (or cells) and let the cash flow in courtesy of our BOS.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »