Proposed Metro Silver Line to Dulles
After a week of understandable hand wringing and consternation on the part of a host of local leaders terrified that their transit projects will get the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) axe as well, Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia met late this week with USDOT Secretary Mary Peters. In what the papers described as a “cordial” discussion, Kaine proceeded with a terrific strategy. Essentially, he said to the Feds: “Okay, you say you won’t support the Dulles connection because of concerns. Tell us your concerns, and we’ll fix them.” He did not go in with suggestions, since no one knows exactly what has caused the FTA to bail on the Dulles connection project. Lots of speculation, and generalizations about cost and project leadership and other issues, but no actual recorded list of reasons why the Feds are balking.
At a time when the need for alternatives to auto transport is so self-evident, it’s hard to understand why the Governor has to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with Sec. Peters. And even harder to understand why the FTA has failed to show leadership when it is urgently needed.
Cordial? Only with herculean effort, I suspect.