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Arlington County's 'Super Stops' Not So Super

ARLnow.com reported this morning that this week's high temperatures are taking a toll on Arlington County's infamous $1 million Super Stop fiasco on Columbia Pike. We growled about this wasteful expenditure of taxpayers money on March 29, 2013, and included a picture of the glass bus stop that isn't even able to shield occupants from the rain.

Arlington County spent $1 million for a bus stop, but the "bus arrival screen" is out of service?" But hey, there's "a large note apologizing for the problem," reports ARLnow. Here's how ARLnow completed  their reporting:

“Due to the extreme temperatures, our monitor displaying bus arrivals is not operational,” the sign says. “We are working on the problem.”

"Arlington County spokeswoman Laura G. Smith says technicians have ordered a new cooling fan for the display.

“It should be fixed within the next two weeks,” she said. In the meantime, the sign has instructions telling bus riders how to look up bus arrival times on their smartphone."

For some humor, read a few of the reader comments. For example, Pinktulip32 writes, "I wonder what will happen when the first substantial snow falls on it? Will it collapse?"

Still on the subject of the royal, $1 million Super Stops, yesterday, in his weekly opinion piece at ARLnow, Peter Rousselot, writes:

"As the County slow walks the “independent, third-party review” of the infamous $1 million Super Stop, recently released documents under Virginia FOIA reveal an even bigger fiasco than first reported.

< . . . >

"The continuing $1 million Super Stop fiasco is yet another red flag for the $310 million Columbia Pike streetcar proposal. The Federal Transit Administration concluded that the County Board underestimated this proposal’s cost by $60 million, and therefore Arlington and Fairfax counties were not entitled to the $75 million grant for which they had applied under the federal “Small Starts” program. The contractor who developed the cost estimate that was off by $60 million was AECOM, and Arlington paid them millions of dollars for that work.

"The County has promised, but not yet delivered, a truly-independent review of a one million dollar Super Stop.

"There are at least 310 times more reasons for the County to make and deliver on the same promise regarding the proposed streetcar."

By the way, Rousellot helped start Arlingtonians for Sensible Transit, which includes a great deal of information to help those opposed to the current Columbia Pike streetcar proposal.

UPDATE (7/20/13): At the Competitive Enterprise Institute's blog, OpenMarket.org, yesterday. Ryan Young concludes that until the 'bus arrival screen' is fixed in about two weeks, "the super stop will be a bus stop like any other, unless it rains, or is windy. Then it will be worse than other stops."


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