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Dulles Rail Opponents Discuss 'Terrible Project'

Panelists discussed drawbacks to the rail project at a forum Thursday night.

Opponents of the Dulles rail project said the transportation improvement will prove to be no value to Loudoun County at a community forum held by the Loudoun Taxpayers for Accountable Government (TAG) Thursday night.

“We’re trying to approach this as cost versus benefit,” said member of the Loudoun Opt Opt Citizens Group David LaRock. “It’s hard to find bonafide benefits. Using the credible studies, numbers do not justify anything. It just does not qualify as a traffic project at all.”

Panelists included David Dickinson of TAG, Tom Kramer, Loudoun Supervisor Ken Reid, and Rob Martin, a Federal Transit Administration economist.

“Whether tonight’s meeting makes or breaks anything I’m not that good of a forecaster,” Martin said. “I think it’s very, very important to alert people what a terrible project this is for the citizens of Loudoun County. Obviously, it’s a bad project for the people in western Loudoun County. It doesn’t do anything for them. But I think people overlook that it’s a bad project for eastern Loudoun County.”

Martin said there would be increased pressure to allow development in transition zones, a possible decrease in property values, and having to pay extra to employ unions.

“If it doesn’t do any good a penny is too much,” Martin said. “If some good fairy came down and gave us $3 billion I would then argue that that’s a stupid way to spend it. If you want to do something about the traffic problem in Loudoun County then you need to build some roads.”

Supervisor Ken Reid agreed. He said that prior to 2006 he was engaged in opposing the Metro. Since taking a seat on the board, Reid said he decided to take another look at the data.

“It really doesn’t look good for Loudoun County,” Reid said. “If you add up the costs we’re going to be in a hole. We’re fighting a fantasy.”

Reid said cars are becoming more efficient and have better technology. “What new technology are we going to see with Metro?” he asked.

A lot of people don’t realize how much it’s going to cost for those who live in Loudoun County, he said.

“Overwhelmingly people are amazed,” LaRock said. “I don’t want to speak for everybody but people seem to be left with the impression that this really is not a question as to whether or not we should be considering this.” 

The presentation was the conclusion TAG's series of Loudoun County ‘Town Hall’ meetings at the . 

Melvin Summers May 21, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Rob, I am sure they will have lovely bike racks for those who need them, ride your bike to the metro station, then get on a train downtown. It will help those at our lowest income levels, without the need to build "affordable housing" right next to the station. We need to take cars off our roads, and it's high time Loudoun got better than second rate public transportation. Yes to Metro
Melvin Summers May 21, 2012 at 03:07 AM
g.stone, in my opinion, this comes down to right or wrong, and it's just plain wrong for the citizens of Loudoun and all of northern Virginia, to pay taxes to Richmond and have our public public transportation system in the condition it is in. Richmond doesn't have the kind of traffic we do because OUR money pays for their roads and public transportation. Invest now and enjoy the benefits for generations to come. Yes to Metro
Victoria Glenn May 21, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Again saying it will be expensive to take the rail..yet I also hear people opposed to the rail as it will give criminals cheap easy access into the suburbs. Can't possibly be both. And if you don't want the rail..why don't you move elsewhere? Not quite that simple is it? YEs to rail!
Melvin Summers May 22, 2012 at 04:41 AM
It's about time Loudoun got good public transportation. You say it costs too much, you say we should wait until we have a larger population. By then its going to be a crisis on our roads and it will cost twice as much to build. Let them get it done the most affordable they can, by continuing the project with all the equipment and man power already on location. Yes to Metro
Kristen H May 22, 2012 at 01:28 PM
David, he may not have been paid directly, but Heritage Foundation is funded by Honda, Chevron, and Exxon Mobil. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heritage_Foundation

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