Or something Orwellian. So goes the apparent mindset of those who do urban planning in the People’s Republic of Arlington, Virginia. Arlington County is a wonderful place to live, if you can stomach the smugness of our central planners.
Bike lanes! Free bikes for all! Walk to work! Eat overpriced organic foods that are fair trade/sustainable/don’t kill whales or baby seals! Inhale, but don’t exhale; carbon dioxide is a pollutant! That last just a wee bit of an exaggeration.
The latest from the Arlington County Politburo? Trolleys. As in, the preferred mode of surface transportation for those who hate the automobile and who want to seem hip. And, not coincidentally, for our central planners who love nothing more than inconveniencing our citizens so that they can feel smug about their transportation choices.
Too bad we mere citizens don’t seem to have a choice. The project, which is extolled in a video here, will tear up the streets for a few years in order to do two things: add overhead powerlines (party like it’s 1890!), add tracks in streets already overflowing with cars. Cars filled with people who most likely won’t take a bus or trolley regardless of the noble intentions of county planners.
I rode trolleys as a kid in Boston (rubber tired-buses that ran off of overhead power lines) and the rail trolleys on cobblestone streets in New York. Great substitute for buses in the middle of the last century. At least in the parts of Boston and New York I rode in, cars were not that plentiful.
Not the case today, at least here in Northern Virginia. But let’s look at the Central Committee’s gushing news release about the project in Arlington, Virginia:
Arlington’s streetcars will bring clean, efficient, accessible, quiet transit to two of the most heavily travelled corridors in Northern Virginia…
Is it bold to add a whole new form of transit to our mix? Yes.
Should the merits of a project stand on its costs and benefits? Double yes. Smug, self-congratulatory nonsense aside, do any of the geniuses on our Central Committee realize how most electricity is generated in the part of the country?
King Coal, baby. But that pollution occurs miles away, among the lesser breeds who cling to their religion, their God, and likely hate liberals like us wonderful thinkers here in Arlington…