Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bobby Haircut and Jack Johnson: Friends Forever?

In today's Post: Governor Ehrlich is making friends with Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson, going so far as to compare him to William Donald "Archie Bunker" Schaefer.
"He's made pronouncements, kind of similar to Schaefer really, that 'I support the Democratic ticket, but if you're asking me about this administration, this is what they've done,' " the governor said.
And in return for handing over Prince George's County to the Republican Party (They have a website! I was surprised.) Ehrlich is helping Johnson with the NAACP's move to National Harbor and the Konterra development mere spitting distance from East County. However, there's one thing that Bobby Haircut will never be trusted on:
Ehrlich said the proposed 14-mile transit line from Bethesda to New Carrollton, known officially as the Bi-County Transitway, "is going to happen." The question being studied is whether it will consist of rapid bus or light-rail service, known as the Purple Line.

"You may actually have a mix. I just don't know," he said. "We're moving ahead."
Oh, my God. Robert Smith was right.

Crossposted at Just Up The Pike.


Blogger Bruce Godfrey said...

Ehrlich and Flanagan are not friends of transit - clear.

But I can imagine a mix being a good thing if the final construction involves both light rail and dedicated bus in the same tunnel.

In Seattle, for example, the new light rail will run in a tunnel that has been serving busses for a long time. I see nothing wrong with light rail and busses using the same multimodal track. The original bus rapid transit in Essen, Germany, ran busses along a tram right of way.

But what Ehrlich means, of course, in this case is that some of the rail, maybe all of the rail, will be scrapped if he gets his way, and that the bus rapid transit will be pretty damn non-rapid. I would not mind busses if they were put in a 15 mile tunnel with improvements to facilitate rapid boarding and alighting, but they will not put busses in a 15 mile tunnel.

One other thing I will say for BRT. It is easier to set up a rapid-express system along the same route as a local system when the vehicles run on flat ground, are shorter and have tires; such busses can pass one another for an express service more easily and cheaply than can a system based on track switches. An express bus system could link New Carrollton, College Park, Silver Spring and Bethesda Metro Stations while passing local busses in tunnels. Even passing lanes might not be needed, dotted yellow down the middle of the tunnel.

In my dreams.

8/14/2006 01:19:00 PM  

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