Vihstadt: Vote Tuesday on Streetcar Designed to Feed Notion That It’s a ‘Done Deal’

From the Clarendon-Courthouse-Rosslyn Patch:

The Arlington County Board is set to vote Tuesday on a recommendation by the county transportation department to award a major streetcar contract, to HDR Engineering Inc. of New Jersey.

The company planned and designed transit systems in New Orleans and Tucson, and helped manage the construction and design of the D.C. streetcar project. The board is also to vote on another award, for Kimley-Horn and Associates for street improvements.

The total contract authorization is $26,003,721, which includes roughly $5.3 million in “optional” …

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Vihstadt Blasts Award of Streetcar Engineering Contract

For Immediate Release
Tues. September 23, 2014

Independent Arlington County Board Member John Vihstadt today sharply criticized the County Board’s 3-2 vote to award a $26 million contract to HDR Engineering, Inc., for the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar projects. Vihstadt was joined by Democratic colleague Libby Garvey in voting against the contract.

Vihstadt said that “the board majority is playing that old quiz show game ‘Beat the Clock’ in trying to rush the signing of various streetcar contracts and agreements before the streetcar’s low popularity sinks …

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Press Release: Vihstadt Presses For New Gift Ban

September 11, 2014


Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt is calling for a firmer and more specific ethics policy regarding gifts to either county board members or county employees.

Vihstadt, an Independent running for re-election Nov. 4, said, “Arlington must signal its commitment to foster the highest standards of ethical conduct” in the wake of the convictions of former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen on multiple corruption charges.

“To start, the County should consider adoption of a $100 value …

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John Vihstadt’s Letter to the Editor in Inside NOVA

From Inside NOVA:

Editor: In a letter to the Sun Gazette, County Board Chairman Jay Fisette tried to defend spending over half a billion dollars on streetcars. I disagree. Streetcars make neither transit nor economic sense.

The estimated costs for the Columbia Pike streetcar alone have roughly tripled. The 7.4 miles of streetcars now planned are estimated to cost about $70 million per mile. This enormous expense will produce extremely slow transit. Pike streetcars will have to operate in mixed traffic. By contrast, an alternative enhanced …

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Press Release: Vihstadt on DC Olympics: Taxpayers, Schools Come First

September 4, 2014


Arlington County Board Member John Vihstadt‘s comments on Board Chairman Jay Fisette’s statement regarding the 2024 Olympics:

“While I’m a big fan of the Olympics, my first obligation as a County Board member is toArlington taxpayers,” Vihstadt said.

“We have more immediate challenges, such as building more seats for students to address our surging public schools enrollment, before we even begin to think about seats for international sports enthusiasts at an aquatics center or anywhere else …

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Press Release: Vihstadt Challenges Latest Howze Streetcar Defense


“Let’s be careful about who is calling whom divisive,” Arlington County Board member and streetcar foe John Vihstadt said today in response to a press release issued Wednesday by opponent Alan Howze. “We have a strong contingent of voters who oppose streetcars, and are ready to vote in November.”

“The fact is that my election on April 8 – by a resounding 57%-41% margin – demonstrated that Arlingtonians strongly oppose the construction of two streetcar lines of 7.4 miles now projected …

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