Virginia Builds $1 Million “Super” Bus Stop
April 4, 2013 10:09 PM
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It expects to build 23 more at over $900,000 a piece
The city of Arlington just recently opened an
impressive bus stop
with a not-so-impressive price tag of $1 million.
The “super stop” in Arlington, Virginia is unlike any other bus stop. It has a custom designed roof made of glass and steel; a wall of etched glass; heaters in the floor; gorgeous landscaping, and concrete/stainless steel benches.
The bus stop has 10-inch high curbs, 90 feet of concrete and can shelter 15 people at a time while waiting for buses to arrive – all at a cost of $1 million.
The cost comes down to $575,000 for construction/fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and inspections, where federal/state money took care of 80 percent of the total price tag.
When Arlington citizens discovered the cost of the super stop, many were outraged.
“That’s ridiculous,” said Robin Stewart, a citizen who was waiting at the super stop. “From a citizen, from a voter, whoever put that budget through needs to get their butt canned. It’s an outrage.”
The super stop opened on March 11, and 23 more are planned for Arlington’s streetcars. The county has set aside $20.8 million for all of them, which is about $904,000 a piece.
The idea behind the fancy bus stops is to not only accommodate Arlington’s plans for its streetcars and buses (about 16,000 people use the Columbia Pike buses for transportation) but to also draw people to the area. New housing is expected to be built in the area over the next two decades, and the county hopes the bus stops will help it flourish.
“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.”
But citizens are concerned about the budget, saying that Arlington can build nice bus stops without having to spend $1 million.
“Oh my God. How much steel? How much cement? How much glass? One million? Bring them to court,” said Husain Hamid, who was waiting at the super stop. “People are hungry. People are sleeping on the street. It doesn’t need $1 million.”
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Typical and Disgusting
4/7/2013 1:49:08 PM
I expect no less from the Arlington City Council than corruption and mismanagement. Transportation issues are a particular source of skullduggery. Transport is a hot issue in northern Virginia, and it has been for all of the 23 years I've lived here. It is the number one reason they raise taxes on us, as they did yet again this year when Virginia instituted the largest tax increase in its history citing transportation woes. The second largest tax increase in Virginia history happened only a few years before, again citing transportation woes. And, sure enough, after these taxes go through here comes Arlington announcing plans for million dollar bustops and (incredibly) new streetcar lines. Neither of these measures will do much to affect the traffic woes in Arlington, so after all this is done they'll still be a ready made need to call for more taxes, citing transportation woes.
Note how they got 80% of their money from the feds, too. Federal and "private-public" monies are how everything is now done around here. They are determined to spend as little as they can of their new tax monies on transportation itself. And, see the $400,000+ charges from the million dollar bustop going to "management, licensing and permitting". It's pure, simple, naked, indefensible graft.
Northern Virginians would be wise to send all of its incumbents out of office pronto. Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria --- ALL of these players are corrupt weasels.
RE: Typical and Disgusting
4/7/2013 2:17:44 PM
Let me tell you how they rebuilt an existing road nearby in Alexandria. It's next door to Arlington, and they do things the same way pretty much. In fact, Alexandria is arguably a little more corrupt than Arlington. First they tore up the old road and re-graded much of the landscape, putting in new "green" run-off abatement measures around the two creeks that ran near the road. Then rebuilt the road. Only then did some inspector from the city come by and decide he didn't like the new drainage scheme, so they did it all over again, from scratch. The whole process took over a year, during that time all of us unfortunate enough to have to drive on it were amazingly inconvenienced. Luckily, we're only talking about one mile of road. Maybe a mile and a half. And, it kept a lot of Mexicans in the dough for a while, too. Total bill to taxpayers: ~$10 million. One. Mile. Of. Road.
Oh, then they decided to put in new traffic lights at the end of it, even though the old ones still worked fine. In fact, they worked better if you ask me since they also redrew the traffic pattern at the intersection for the worse while they were at it. Total bill for new traffic lights: $100,000, with probably another $100,00 on top for engineering and permitting fees necessary to redo the traffic pattern in a more screwed up way.
That's how they do things in NoVA. Come by someday, and I'll show you the new $10,000 stop sign they put in my community. It's not at any intersection!
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