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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
Sterling

CC Mojo April 10, 2012 at 06:55 PM
The thought of thugs somehow navigating a public transportation system in order to reach into lives of Loudoun is absurd at best.
Tax Pig April 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Art Smith, you are reading from the pro-rail script. Is Art Smith a pen name for CC Mojo the station landowner who is always defending his get rich quick scheme? CC I'll bet you live in a gated community and you like to pick the taxpayers pocket yourself. But can you sleep at night?
Tax Pig April 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM
A real life person (not CC Mojo...aka Art Smith) commented on Facebook: "I grew up outside of Philly, in Cherry Hill NJ. People were thrilled when the train crossed the river into our town...until everyone living near the stops were being robbed during the day...things that could easily be carried, money, jewelry, etc. that were found in homes. Be careful!"
Leslie Ackerman April 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM
What is a crime is the lack of options people have driving around Loudoun Cty (Ashburn, for example). Part of the mess that Route 28 sometimes experiences is simply that. When is Loudoun County Parkway going to be finished? It is a shame. No... it is a CRIME! For this we pay hundreds of dollar a year for that hideous and unfair car-tax. Worse still, we get upset, we get flustered... and there is some illiterate policeman (who does not have anything better to do) waiting to give you a ticket. I wished more people could raise their frustration on all this but, it is my impression, not many want to deal with stupidity. Welcome to VA, folks!
jimmy April 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM
I am confused but by doubling the rate of growth and bringing in more people wouldn't that create more crime?
CC Mojo April 11, 2012 at 12:51 PM
It's kinda funny when I see the "real life person on Facebook" argument, since, well, Facebook is a fantasy land, but I'll leave that for another time. I am 100% real, for the record. A tax paying citizen of Loudoun, an area that I love for it's beauty and really dislike for it's traffic. A lot. As an aside, I was recently reminded of the mob scene in Beauty and the Beast, where Gaston huffs and puffs and tells the village that the Beast will eat their children if he isn't killed. Gaston, a big baby, with feelings hurt over feeling slighted and trying to compensate with playground tactics. Fairy tales are fun things, yet, they can teach a lot about politics and interpersonal dynamics. This whole crime scare thing is petty and totally about grasping at straws. Keep it up, it's pretty amusing :)
Jonathan Erickson April 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Isn't telling me that Loudoun County will not get another chance at rail fear-mongering?
CC Mojo April 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Would not getting rail somehow damage your person or property? No. Does the raving about crime incite fear of violence and theft? Yes. Big, big difference.
Jonathan Erickson April 12, 2012 at 12:20 AM
I fear you are going to waste my tax dollars on rail. Money I earn is my property and I'll thank you not to flush it on rail. To be honest at 5' 11" and 215 pounds I don't really have a lot of fear. Just the fear of your hands on my tax dollars. One does not apply to me? Yes
CC Mojo April 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Even being half your size (thanks for the visual!) I'm pretty powerful 'round these parts. It seems that you have bought PiggiePoo's insinuation that I'm somehow involved in the decision-making process, or have some financial stake at hand. That just goes to show how easily some people are led astray by the squeaky wheels and fanatics in this area, and beyond. You make no sense, and your response is pretty weak when it's clear what I refer to.
jimmy April 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I am pretty amused at you saying your powerful round these parts as if this is a John Wayne movie maybe if that is the case its your thinking thats old as well as the movie
CC Mojo April 12, 2012 at 01:05 PM
I was poking fun at the thought of me being powerful, jimmy, not actually saying I am.
Jonathan Erickson April 12, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Boring and not very funny. See comment from 9:05 and that's just the latest example when your two brain cells rub against each other. Pilgrim
CC Mojo April 12, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Get the torches, folks! Wheeee!
Julie Monnet April 13, 2012 at 02:43 AM
The fastest-growing county in the U.S. balking at the opportunity to bring mass transit to the area? I commuted in D.C. and Chicago for many years and this idea that we should continue our dependence on cars is absurd and just irresponsible. You don't want "your" tax dollars to fund this project? So you'd rather dump $4/gallon into your tank for a 70-mile round-trip commute every day? Sounds like a great alternative use of your money. The fear-mongering will not work on me. I was a city-clicker for years and as soon as these opponents gets their heads out of their $%#@, I'll gladly sit next to a thug and read my paper in peace on the way to work.
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.

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