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Here’s the need-to-know info on Metro’s upcoming closing of Four Orange Line stations

Westlake Legal Group metro Here’s the need-to-know info on Metro’s upcoming closing of Four Orange Line stations transportation Transport Things to Do Summer shutdown Policy News & Updates News Metro shutdown Metro Platform Improvement Project metro 2020 summer shutdown
© kuosumo / stock.adobe.com

Come May, hundreds of workers in the Northern Virginia region will once again be tasked with finding alternative routes to their daily commutes as a result of WMATA’s three-year Platform Improvement Project.

At the end of 2019, Metro had completed construction work on six Blue and Yellow Line platforms—Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield—in phase one of the project.

Next on Metro’s agenda is the renovation of several outdoor platforms on the Orange Line. Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations will be closed for 24/7 construction, while West Falls Church will remain open because it is equipped with two platforms that can be reconstructed one at a time, Metro announced in a recent press release. As of now, the scheduled closures will begin Memorial Day weekend and continue through the end of August.

While at the end of 2019, WMATA was expected to turn its attention to several Green and Yellow Line trains in 2020, the company announced in early December that it would postpone the work and instead focus on changes to the Orange Line, due to scope and cost, according to the The Washington Post.

WMATA is in the middle of its $300 million to $400 million, multi-year capital project to rebuild outdoor platforms at 20 stations, which is discussed in more detail here.

As of now, Metro is still finalizing plans, and has announced it will update commuters with further details in March.

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Fairfax Connector strike enters 2nd day

The strike involving Fairfax Connector bus workers continues for a second day in Virginia’s largest county.

Routes that are running Friday on a Sunday schedule are: 151, 171, 310, 321, 322, 401, 402, 630, 640, 650, 950, 981, 983, RIBS 1 and RIBS 3.

All other Fairfax Connector routes are canceled until further notice.

When the strike started Thursday, Fairfax Connector thought it could get enough drivers but it could not, so it reduced service.

The strike is one of two involving bus drivers in Fairfax County. The other is in its sixth week and involves at Metro’s Cinder Bed Road garage in Lorton.

Negotiations continued Thursday between the Amalgamated Transit Union and Transdev, which operates the buses.

Bus riders are urged to use alternatives.


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Selling Metro station’s name? Not so fast, Fairfax County says

Fairfax County, Virginia, supervisors are slamming Metro’s plans to unilaterally sell the naming rights to, and thereby renaming, the future Innovation Center station on the Silver Line.

The county was caught off guard Monday when the Metro Board put plans to waive existing naming rules so that Metro staff can finalize a naming rights deal with a “Fortune Global 500 company.”

According to Metro documents, a company wants to put its name on the station in conjunction with a new headquarters in that area.

“I heard reports on WTOP (Monday) about this, which was a big surprise. First time I had heard that there was any consideration for changing the name. That’s just not OK,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said.

The Silver Line station names were selected years ago after a lengthy back and forth between Fairfax County and Metro, which also included input from the public and developers building around the stations.

“Changing this name without coordination with the local jurisdiction is not acceptable because there was a long and deliberate selection process to approve the current name, which included considerable public input,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said.

Foust represents the area around the station, which sits in the middle of the Dulles Toll Road just east of Virginia Route 28. It is not far from the Loudoun County line.

Metro did not want to disclose the name of the company that has expressed interest in paying for the station’s naming rights, given ongoing negotiations for station naming rights and the company’s continuing work to formally finalize the property deal needed to locate its headquarters near the station.

“This is a bad idea, but … the way it is being handled by WMATA is just, you know, extremely disappointing. I didn’t catch WTOP, I should have,” Foust said.

He learned of the Metro Board’s planned action early Tuesday morning, and he said county transportation staff were not notified either.

Metro hopes station naming rights deals could help offset losses from ridership declines to help keep the budget in line without more significant fare increases.

One concern in the past, however, has been about free speech protections that could force Metro to allow station names that may not be palatable to some people.

Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday night to send a letter to Metro, complaining about the lack of communication and the apparent plans to waive current station naming policies.

“The reason the criteria was set up in the first place was to prevent something like this from happening,” Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay said.

McKay is chairman-elect of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. He is asking the Metro board not to act Thursday to authorize negotiation of a naming rights deal, and to wait on any decisions until there have been discussions between Metro and Fairfax County.

“Innovation Center is a perfect name for this. There’s a lot of innovation happening around this Metro station. And to limit that to the name of one person or one entity who can afford to pay to play would be a wrong decision, I think, for Metro, and would confuse a lot of people,” McKay said.

Even supervisors who potentially support selling naming rights in theory agreed that nothing should be done without consulting local leaders who represent the station’s areas.

When the Silver Line’s second phase opens to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, likely next year, the Innovation Center station — whatever name it ends up with — will be one stop east of the Dulles station and one stop west of the Herndon stop.


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Metro to sell naming rights to station on Silver Line extension

Metro plans to sell corporate naming rights for Fairfax County’s Innovation Center Metro station on the forthcoming Silver Line extension to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County — a station that may no longer be called Innovation Center at all.

The Metro Board is set Thursday “to allow a Fortune Global 500 Company to sponsor and rename the new Innovation Center Metro station on the Dulles Corridor,” according to documents prepared for the board.

This would be a one-time sponsorship deal, rather than a wholesale change to Metro policy. A change to explicitly allow other sponsorship deals is likely in the next few months.

“A unique and time-sensitive opportunity has arisen where a Fortune Global 500 Company, currently in negotiations to lease headquarters adjacent to the new Innovation Center Metro station has expressed interest in being the corporate sponsor for this new station,” the Metro documents said.

Acting now would set expectations for the costs of naming other stops, office buildings or entire rail lines.

“The Corporate Sponsor plans to use its North America headquarters as a gateway for its international visitors and local employees visiting its North America headquarters, with many of these visitors and employees using Dulles International Airport and the Dulles Airport Metro station,” the documents said.

The deal still must be finalized, which is why Metro has not disclosed the name of the company.

The deal would mean the Innovation Center station opens next year with a different, sponsored name, which could signal a willingness not just to add sponsors’ names to existing stations but also to rename them entirely if the price is right.

Innovation Center is just east of Virginia Route 28 near Sunrise Valley Drive and Innovation Avenue/Rock Hill Road.

The airport will be one stop to the west; Herndon Station at the current Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, will be one stop to the east.

Metro is aiming to offset lost revenue due to ridership declines, with the goal of staying within new cost caps and reducing the need for fare increases.


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If the Nationals’ post-season games run late, so will Metro

Westlake Legal Group nationals-clinching-wild-card If the Nationals’ post-season games run late, so will Metro wmata Washington Nationals transportation transit Trains Sports rail system News & Updates News nationals metro local transportation Baseball
The Washington Nationals clinched the wild-card game at home on Tuesday, Oct. 1. (Photo courtesy of Alex Trautwig for MLB Photos)

Following the Washington Nationals’ win of the wild-card game on Tuesday, Oct. 1, WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld made the executive decision to extend train hours beyond normal closing times for the remainder of the season. 

For loyal fans attending the ballpark and nearby bars in the area, the Navy Yard-Ballpark Station will remain open until 20 minutes after the end of each game for entry, in what Metro is calling its “flex” hours. All other Metro stations will be open for exit only. 

According to a press release from Metro, roughly one in four fans at Nats Park used the rail system to get home following Tuesday night’s National League Wildcard game, prompting the organization to accommodate with the extension of hours. 

The flex hours will continue for Washington Mystics fans, too, should the basketball team play  next Thursday at the Events and Sports Center by Congress Heights Station. 

Today’s commitment to keep trains running 20 minutes after all Nationals and Mystics postseason games lets the region’s fans choose Metro and know that we’ll be there to get them home,” Wiedefeld said in a recent press release. “This approach is a bridge to address the immediate concerns of customers until the Board can take a fresh look at the policy.”

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Metro riders react to an expected return to normalcy as summer shutdown ends

Following three and a half months of construction, disrupted travel patterns and alternative commuting options, the longest shutdown in Metro history has officially ended. Starting yesterday, NoVA commuters now have the option to return to the six Blue and Yellow Line stations—Braddock Road, King Street, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield—that were not in commission during Phase I of the Platform Improvement Project, as contractors reconstructed outdoor platforms and various other amenities. From pure excitement regarding new features to frustration with unexpected delays, here’s a look at how commuters in the Northern Virginia and Washington, DC area are adjusting to the reopening of the stations on Monday, Sept. 9.

In conjunction with the reopening of the Metro stations, many restaurants, shops and attractions within the city of Alexandria are offering promotional deals to individuals with a Metro SmartTrip Card until Sept. 15. From local hotel packages to expanded happy hours at nearby restaurants, here’s everything you could save on this week in Alexandria.

This is the final piece in our Summer Platform Improvement Project coverage. See all coverage of the summer shutdown here.

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Why Are We Allowing Communist China to Sell Subway (Spy) Trains to American Cities?

Westlake Legal Group 13556907-sculpture-dragon-in-china-flag-620x414 Why Are We Allowing Communist China to Sell Subway (Spy) Trains to American Cities? Trains rail prc NTA National Security metro Infrastructure Front Page Stories Front Page Economy dc metro CTA crrc Communist China Cities

We Should Stop Riding the Dragon


It’s as if we’re willing if not eager to say to commuters nationwide:

“Your next scheduled ChiComm Spy Tubes arrive at….”

All day, every day.

God bless Donald Trump.  As a businessman for decades – he raised the issue of Communist China’s very negative influence on our national security and economy.

And then he decided to run for President.  And then he won.

Trump arrived in a DC – in the midst of a half-century, yuan-funded slumber.

Most of DCs Swamp Creatures have been either too sleepy or too well fed with Chinese take out – to have ever said anything about Communist China’s ongoing, increasing, evil influence in and on our country.

Watching the defenders of the status quo rapidly evolve to Trump’s position – if not his prescriptions – has been hilarious.

They went from “Communist China is no threat at all” – to “China is a real threat – but Trump is dealing with it in all the wrong ways” – in about a year.

Talk about rapid transit.

The ChiComm problems – are everywhere.

Trump is considering banning from the US – Chinese telecom company Huawei.

Because having a Communist Chinese company intrinsically integrated into our wired and wireless Internet and communications networks – is insanely stupid.

Huawei is in neck-deep with the Chinese Communist Party.  Because of course it is.

You can’t open a noodle stand on the corner of 主要街道 and 埃尔姆街 in any rural town in any Chinese province – without being neck-deep with the Chinese Communist Party.

There is no way any Chinese company goes international – without owing everything to the Chinese Communist Party.

Trump should follow all the way through – and completely bar Huawei.

Another example:

As if our colleges weren’t already Communist enough….

Controversy Surrounds Confucius Institutes at American Universities:

“Since 2005, the Chinese government has been funding Confucius Institutes (CI) in the United States—a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. For example, it gave $4 million to Stanford University as a onetime gift.

“What is behind the largesse? Does the China regime just want to promote Chinese culture or is there something more insidious about its intentions?”

They’re Communists – what do you think?

FINALLY, in February 2019 (thank you yet again, President Trump)….

Senate Inquiry Finds Problems with China-Funded Confucius Institute at U.S. Campuses

You think?

Here’s another thought:

Having our political and business personnel – in our major cities all across the country – traveling to and from work on ChiComm subway cars…is a REALLY bad idea.

Imagine the conversations to which the ChiComms could listen – in DCs Metro system.  Or in New York City’s Subway system (“你好, Wall Street”).

It is clinically insane to think we would allow that to happen, right?

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet CRRC:

“CRRC Corporation Limited (known as CRRC) is a Chinese publicly traded rolling stock manufacturer and is the largest rolling stock manufacturer in the world eclipsing Alstom and Siemens….

“The parent company of CRRC Corp., Ltd. is CRRC Group, a state-owned enterprise that was supervised by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.”

And great news: CRRC has a manufacturing plant – right here in the US.  In Springfield, Massachusetts.

Even better news – CRRC has already been selling US cities its train cars.

Because of course.  This isn’t a fair economic fight.

This isn’t multiple competitors competing on equal footing in a free market – and the best company winning.

The Communist Chinese government – subsidizes the daylight out of their companies and products when they go international.

And they ridiculously rig their currency – lowering its value whenever they deem it necessary to screw the rest of the planet.

The ChiComms thereby artificially lower their prices.  Thereby undercutting everyone else.

And for the last half-century, we have been the biggest gaggle of the planet’s Useful Idiots.

We have time and again blithely ignored the economic and national security implications – and simply said “Wow…look how cheap this ChiComm stuff is.  Sold!”

We have time and again proved Russian Communist Vladimir Lenin correct:

“The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

The noose is tightening.

Boston Buys $567 Million in Subway Trains from Chinese Company (CRRC)

These trains are already deployed for spying and timely shutdown purposes.  Oops, I mean in use in Boston’s system.

Boston was the first local gaggle of Useful Idiots.  They are nowhere the last.

China’s CRRC Lands $1.3 Billion Chicago Rail Car Project

Oh – and even better in the Windy City….

Losing Rail Car Bidder Says CTA Rigged Contract Process:

“The losing bidder for a $1.3 billion CTA rail car contract has filed a protest with the agency, saying that the bidding process was rigged in favor of a Chinese firm that promised to bring manufacturing jobs to Chicago, at the direction of (Democrat, natch) Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

Way to play for the home team, Rahm.

CRRC to Build Rail Cars for Los Angeles

CRRC Wins Subway Deal in Philadelphia

We can be really, REALLY stupid.

To wit: Some DC Denizens – are REALLY slow on the uptake.

US Rep. Richard Neal, Citing Springfield CRRC Jobs, Says Ban on Buying Chinese Rail Cars ‘Misguided’

Neal isn’t selling the ChiComms rope – he is GIVING it to them.

But a growing number of DCs Denizens – are awakening from their slumber.

And trying to at least make it a little more difficult for our cities – from cutting all our throats for us.

And it has led to a sighting of a DC politics Unicorn – bipartisanship.

Bipartisan Rouda Provision Blocking Federal Transit Dollars to Chinese State Sponsored Companies Passes House in National Defense Authorization Act

And there’s hope for the bill in the Senate – given New York Democrat Chuck Schumer’s concern for NYC.

U.S. Senate’s Top Democrat Calls for Probe of CTA’s Chinese Rail Car Supplier

And pockets of political resistance are arising in the nation’s hinterlands.

Fifteen state-level elected officials in New York – are with Schumer.  They wrote a letter to the heads of the New York City Transit Authority and the Metro Transit Authority saying in part:

“Over the past five years, a Chinese state-owned enterprise has won four major contracts to build metro cars for transit systems….

“(T)he prospect of a government-controlled entity doing so in such a widespread fashion is alarming – and we share the concerns raised by many of our colleagues in cities such as Washington, D.C.”

And the Bay State is contemplating an effort to put the genie back in the bottle.

Massachusetts Considers Banning Future Contracts with Chinese Rail Companies

ChiComm CRRC is starting to feel the political heat – so they are dumping money on K Street.  Just this summer….:

“Squire Patton Boggs has signed…CRRC, a Chinese railroad company that has pushed to keep Congress from passing bills that would make it harder for U.S. transit systems to buy its trains.”

Crossroads Is Working on the Chinese Railroad:

“Crossroads Strategies represents China’s CRRC North America, the unit of the world’s largest maker of railroad cars, as it seeks to fend off moves to ban it from US contracts.”

And ChiComm CRRC – continues to look to expand its footprint.  Including, inarguably, the worst place of all for US.

China to Bid on D.C. Metro Rail Deal

That should be an immediate, hard “No.”

And we should take this rare bipartisan coalition – and derail CRRC everywhere in the country.

And send them back to Communist China – as rapidly as possible.

The post Why Are We Allowing Communist China to Sell Subway (Spy) Trains to American Cities? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group 13556907-sculpture-dragon-in-china-flag-300x200 Why Are We Allowing Communist China to Sell Subway (Spy) Trains to American Cities? Trains rail prc NTA National Security metro Infrastructure Front Page Stories Front Page Economy dc metro CTA crrc Communist China Cities   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NoVA entities prepare for the end of Metro’s Summer Shutdown

Following three months of around-the-clock construction, altered travel patterns and extended commutes, Northern Virginia residents will experience a return to normalcy on Sept. 9, as Metro’s Summer Platform Improvement Project comes to an end.

In addition to new, stronger platforms at all six stations, commuters will be met with new tiled flooring, speaker systems and platform surveillance systems, improved lighting and upgraded platform shelters and screens. There will also be USB charging ports installed at the stations.  

In the final few weeks of the construction project, crews have focused on installing the conduits and wiring for electrical and communication networks, in order to ensure each station has proper and improved emergency response capabilities, according to a recent update from WMATA.

Since the shutdown began, organizations like WMATA and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) began planning marketing strategies for the return of rail service come September. To welcome riders back to Metro on opening day, WMATA is increasing the number of staff at each location and putting up banners.

NVTC has been working on a marketing campaign for the past few months that will begin on Monday, Sept. 16, a week after the end of the shutdown. Total funding for the campaign is $395,735, 80% of which stems from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). The remaining 20% is provided by the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission and the Virginia Railway Express.  

The multi-pronged effort is more than just getting people to use Metro; rather it is about Northern Virginia’s transit system as a whole, according to Communications and Outreach Manager of NVTC Matthew Friedman. 

“In terms of challenges, people have had their routine upset for the summer and we know that people are ready to have the train back instead of relying on the shuttles,” says Friedman. “But we want people to know that we also have long-distance commuter buses, the railway express. There’s lots of ways to commute.”

The 12-week campaign consists of radio announcements on local stations, screen advertising at movie theaters and through the travel app, Waze, and geo-targeted social media advertisements, too. The teams at NVTC and WMATA have spoken on a weekly basis to ensure the shutdown remains on track and ridership will return.

While all six stations—Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town, Eisenhower Avenue, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield—are scheduled to open for public use at 5 a.m. on Sept. 9, minor construction at all of the stations will continue through the fall.

As this summer’s shutdown was part of Metro’s three-year Platform Improvement Project. Commuters in other parts of Vienna, as well as Maryland will be next to experience the seasonal closures in 2020 and 2021. While details have yet to be announced, Metro plants to work on the Orange Line near Vienna and stations north of Fort Totten to Greenbelt, Maryland on the Green Line over the course of the next two summers.

This piece serves as a general summary of the final stages of the Summer Platform Improvement Project. See more coverage here.

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I-66 toll lane construction to completely close bridge near Vienna Metro

A bridge over Interstate 66 will close for nearly a year as part of toll lane construction, and a ramp to the interstate will close permanently, complicating traffic near the Vienna Metro in Virginia.

Vaden Drive will completely close for up to 10 months starting around late October. The bridge just west of the Vienna Metro station connects the garages on either side of the station and provides local drivers with an alternative to Nutley Street, a sometimes easier access to I-66 and a route to and from Oakton High School.

Both Vienna Metro garages and entrances are scheduled to remain open during the construction.

During the bridge closure, Fairfax County school buses, transit buses and first responders will face detours, and Metro could have reduced use of its “tail tracks” beyond the Vienna Station.

The tracks are typically used to keep extra trains ready to go. Metro could place some of those trains at West Falls Church instead.

“There’s a commitment to have the Vaden Bridge work completed — at least one lane in each direction — prior to Metro’s planned closure of the Orange Line next summer. So it’s kind of a tight window,” VDOT Megaprojects Director Susan Shaw said.

Metro has told VDOT to expect a 24/7 Orange Line shutdown for platform repairs and related work to run from July 5 through Sept. 7, 2020, Shaw said.

Additional Metro closures are expected to be scheduled due to I-66 construction work, but those closures are currently expected to be on selected weekends only over the next year, which would not affect rush-hour commutes.

Ramp closure in September is first Vaden Drive construction impact

Before the Vaden Drive Bridge closure begins, a ramp from Saintsbury Drive to I-66 eastbound that is next to the bridge will close on or around Sept. 5, Shaw said. That ramp is expected to remain closed permanently.

Due to the extra expected traffic from the ramp and the bridge closures, VDOT has a plan for some changes to traffic-light timing and left-turn markings from Saintsbury Drive to Nutley Street for the length of the detour. This involves drivers who typically head west out of the south side of the Vienna Metro to leave through the east side instead.

The major additional construction along Nutley Street for a new interchange being built as part of the toll lane project will wait until after this work is done.

“The Nutley construction work is going to be fairly limited until the Vaden [bridge] is back open again,” Shaw said.

Some additional tweaks to the “dog bone” interchange design for I-66 and Nutley Street include improvements for people walking and biking through the interchange and clarifications of connections to the south toward U.S. 29.

VDOT has scheduled construction update meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 at Providence Community Center.

The closures around the Vienna Metro are just part of the ongoing work along the more than 22-mile project to build two toll lanes each way between the Beltway and Gainesville that is next to three regular lanes and a shoulder.

Overall construction is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2022, but the private group designing, building and eventually operating the lanes is required to finish some pieces sooner.

Shaw is still optimistic that the first part of the University Boulevard Park and Ride lot with 960 spaces will open in Prince William County by its contractual completion date of Oct. 5. A lane closure there is scheduled next week to install curbs and gutters and pave the entrance. The lot is scheduled to expand to more than 2,000 spaces by the end of 2022.

Major work continues at Route 28, where intersections are due to be completed over the next year.


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