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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 03/20/2013

The $1 million bus stop


Arlington has unveiled what could be the most expensive bus stop in the commonwealth. It’s sleek. It’s modern. It’s graffiti-free (so far). But what does a $1 million bus stop do that other, far cheaper, bus stops can’t? According to ARLnow.com, everything the average bus rider could possibly imagine:

The Walter Reed stop features shelter for some 15 passengers, lighting, an electronic display that shows when the next buses are coming, and a number of unbranded newspaper boxes. It opened last week after nearly a year and a half of on-again, off-again construction activity.

Okay, fine. But how on earth does all this cost a million bucks?

The new prototype “Super Stop” at the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive cost $575,000 for construction and fabrication and $440,000 for construction management and special inspections, according to Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel.

And it took over a year and a half to build. Who paid for it? You did:

Of the $1 million cost, just over $200,000 was paid for by the county, with the rest coming from VDOT, Whalen McDaniel said.

I am so happy to see that VDOT was able to pay for 80 percent of the cost of this single bus stop, because that means it has successfully solved every other transportation problem confronting the state.

But before we get too excited about that prospect, read the comments on the story. This dazzling structure manages to avoid sheltering people from wind and rain. You know, a basic function of every bus, train, tram and trolley stop ever built.

Which means it’s not so much a bus stop as it is a monument to Arlogance.

Now just imagine what other marvelous, if only somewhat functional, edifices will be constructed once those transportation tax hikes go into effect…

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Norman Leahy  |  10:42 AM ET, 03/20/2013

 
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