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$1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

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$1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Old 04-07-13, 12:08 PM
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$1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

The next time someone says that we need to raise taxes, tell them that you agree with them, show them this article, and tell them that you think every bus stop in the country should be just like this one:


http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...e90_story.html

$1 million bus stop opens in Arlington

The glass-and-steel roof swoops up like a bird taking flight. A wall made of etched glass opens the rear vista to newly planted landscaping. Embedded in the floor are heating elements intended to ward off the cold weather and keep winter-weary feet cozy.

The location, near Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive, is perfectly positioned to take advantage of Arlington County’s growing night life and ethnic restaurants.

And the price tag: $1 million.

“Is this made of gold?” asked commuter Yohannes Kaleab, examining the concrete-and-stainless-steel bench that is part of the new, seven-figure bus shelter.

“What?” asked Robin Stewart as he learned of the cost of the structure while waiting for a bus there last week. “That’s ridiculous. From a citizen, from a voter, whoever put that budget through needs to get their butt canned. It’s an outrage.”

The “super stop,” which opened March 11, is the first of 24 new bus stops that will also accommodate Arlington’s long-planned streetcars. It has 10-inch high curbs and 90 feet of concrete, large enough for two buses to pull up at once. It will shelter 15 people at a time, an important benefit for the 16,000 people who each day take the Columbia Pike buses to work, school, shopping and entertainment spots.

“I like it, but whoa — $1 million?” said Abeshire Mehaba, as she boarded a bus bound for the Pentagon.

Arlington’s transportation officials, anticipating the public outcry, said in interviews and to the County Board last week that the bus stop is “an investment in infrastructure to support the [Columbia] Pike’s renewal.”

“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”

New and densely developed housing is expected to be built in the area in the next 20 years, and the county is building a 4.5-mile streetcar line down Columbia Pike, from Fairfax County to the Pentagon, to help transport the new residents. The streetcar is estimated to cost about $250 million, and county officials are awaiting word from the federal government about whether it will receive funding to cover 30 percent of the cost.

But the need for buses will not abate; they will share many stops with the streetcars.

Leach said Metro handled the bus shelter’s construction, which took 18 months — longer than expected. The design was chosen after a public review process, and County Board member Chris Zimmerman (D) said multiple issues delayed the start of construction, including a lengthy environmental assessment required by the state.

In the end, the new stop cost $575,000 for construction and fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and inspections, officials said. Federal and state transportation money paid 80 percent of the costs.

Arlington is taking over construction, and Leach said he expects to “drastically reduce” the time it will take to complete it. Construction of the next bus shelter is expected to start this month.

“Our goal if at all possible is to do it for less,” Leach said. The county has budgeted $20.8 million for the remaining 23 stops, or about $904,000 for each one.

County Board member Libby Garvey (D) asked Leach for a more complete cost breakdown, saying the bus shelter is “pretty, but I was struck by the fact that if it’s pouring rain, I’m going to get wet, and if it’s cold, the wind is going to be blowing on me. It doesn’t seem to be a shelter. It doesn’t really shelter you very much . . . you can get pretty soaked in two minutes.”

Her opinion was shared by some on Columbia Pike trying it out.

“Oh my God. How much steel? How much cement? How much glass? One million? Bring them to court,” said Husain Hamid, unwinding a scarf that he had wrapped around his head in the chilly wind. “People are hungry. People are sleeping on the street. It doesn’t need $1 million.”

“Where I come from, it sounds a bit expensive,” said Soos Attila of Budapest. “It’s very flashy, but the [next bus schedule] screen is not working. I’d prefer to have a proper shelter out of the wind, not a flashy one.”

Other visitors, from Menomonie, Wis., agreed.

“We don’t even have public transportation in Menomonie, much less $1 million to spend on it,” said Jolene Neisius, who was waiting with her son and a friend for the bus to Washington.

“You’d think for $1 million they’d have a heated bench and a restroom,” Jon Fisher said. “Where we’re from, they built a whole highway rest stop for $1.5 million.”


Last edited by grundle; 04-07-13 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 04-07-13, 12:28 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Everyone knows that Arlington County's government is swimming in money at the moment. It has become the hip place for the elite to move to inside the Beltway, driving up real estate prices and hence tax revenue beyond common sense. On top of this, the actual school age population is declining drastically and hence there is less pressure to spend it on necessary things. Bad things happen when governments end up with free money to spend and no immediate financial pressures to allocate the money towards useful projects.
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Old 04-07-13, 12:56 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Yeah this was discussed on Washingtonpost.com a couple of weeks back. They heat the ground but not the metal seating? Who's going to sit on that in the winter? Only screens rain from one direction.

Money couldn't go to something to fix the traffic nightmare there?
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Old 04-07-13, 02:11 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Don't worry, I'm sure Portland's Tri-Met will be getting ideas and making their own over here. The City Of Portland just dished out $2.1M for another section for its cute little StreetCar car, so self-entitled people who make a little over minimum-wage, can ride around and feel good about making their city Green.

Fact is, I see more suited execs downtown in their flashy Audi or Mercedes going to work than ever before.

Initially, Tri-Met was only going to get $600,000. Yeah, we're really hurtin' for money over here.

Most of the increase in money is for: "testing, start up, operations."

OregonLive says some budgets were $10,000 in 2010 and have increased to $1.1M in 2012.

And our awesome StreetCar is only getting 55% of its projected ridership. The City says about 8% aren't paying their fares and are freeloading...but then in another report can't say how many people are actually riding! What a joke.

Dan Anderson, is our awesome spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation who continually hides from any questions about the budget. It's amazing this shit keeps on happening, but voting has no effect. They have a rather impervious corrupt system which has been keeping them in office for decades.
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Old 04-07-13, 04:53 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

It looks like that stop was designed by people who never take the bus, for people who never take the bus. The primary functional goal seems to be that it looks nice for people driving by. The fact that it has seats that get extremely cold/hot and little protection from the elements means the peasants won't be loitering around it ruining the view.
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Old 04-07-13, 11:03 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

It's a million. How many millions are there in the deficit? Thought so. Stop whining and say thank you to Obama for a nice place to wait for the bus that you no longer have to sit at the back of.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:35 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Wait, did we just somehow throw Obama and Blacks in general into a discussion about an Arlington bus stop?

Amazing.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:36 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Forget it, Timber. It's Grundletown.
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Old 04-08-13, 09:40 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

How much will repairs cost once the vandals strike?
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Old 04-08-13, 09:45 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

I don't think the Vandals have been much of a threat since the sixth century, but it's a valid concern.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:02 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

They made a comeback in the 80's.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:11 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

I wonder why this wasn't bolded:

“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”
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Old 04-08-13, 10:14 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
I don't think the Vandals have been much of a threat since the sixth century, but it's a valid concern.
Not true -- back in the 60s, they took the handle of Bob Dylan's pump.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:14 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

15 people is high capacity?
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Old 04-08-13, 10:18 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
I wonder why this wasn't bolded:

“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”
You know as well as I do why it wasn't bolded.
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Old 04-08-13, 10:20 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Forget it, Timber. It's Grundletown.
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Old 04-08-13, 11:29 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
15 people is high capacity?
If you reduce the definition of high capacity, you will reduce the number of mass murders at bus stops.
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Old 04-08-13, 11:40 AM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
I wonder why this wasn't bolded:

“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”
County Board member Libby Garvey (D) asked Leach for a more complete cost breakdown, saying the bus shelter is “pretty, but I was struck by the fact that if it’s pouring rain, I’m going to get wet, and if it’s cold, the wind is going to be blowing on me. It doesn’t seem to be a shelter. It doesn’t really shelter you very much . . . you can get pretty soaked in two minutes.”
Sounds like more R&D is needed... or they could have just purchased a shelter like this:
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Old 04-08-13, 12:05 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

I blame Jerry Jones
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Old 04-08-13, 06:10 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
I wonder why this wasn't bolded:

“When you do a prototype, you end up heavily front-loading on the costs,” said Dennis Leach, Arlington’s transportation director. “These are more like high-capacity bus or rail stops.”
The county is planning on building 23 more stops. The first one is a prototype, so they'll save money on the remaining 23. Those will only cost $900,000 EACH. Seriously. Not joking. They've budgeted 900K per shelter for 23 more of these.
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Old 04-08-13, 06:17 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by wishbone View Post
Sounds like more R&D is needed... or they could have just purchased a shelter like this:
For less than $13K, holds 24-28 people.
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Old 04-08-13, 07:27 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
The county is planning on building 23 more stops. The first one is a prototype, so they'll save money on the remaining 23. Those will only cost $900,000 EACH. Seriously. Not joking. They've budgeted 900K per shelter for 23 more of these.
Wow, they really front loaded those costs...
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Old 04-09-13, 02:43 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Arlington has entirely renovated their schools in the past decade, in some weird futuristic architecture style.
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Old 04-10-13, 09:23 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

I'm truly at a loss for words. We are bankrupt as a country but this is important?
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Old 04-10-13, 09:27 PM
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Re: $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington - It's so big it can hold 15 people!

Originally Posted by Barth View Post
I'm truly at a loss for words. We are bankrupt as a country but this is important?
What country are you posting from?
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