March 24, 2006

BUSTED MYTH: GEORGETOWN METRO KILLED BY SWELLS

Imagine if all the shops, restaurants, bars and taverns in Georgetown DC were surrounded by a Metrorail station. Alas, it was never to be. But the station was not killed by powerful, well-connected and well-heeled Georgetown residents who did not want to be overrun by riff-raff.

The station was never built because it cost too much relative to its benefit it would have provided, says Zachary Schrag, Assistant Professor at George Mason University who recently appeared on WAMU.

As articulated in his book, A Great Society Subway, Schrag said Metro designers concluded a Georgetown stop would have:
-- cost too much:
1. Proximity to the Potomac River gave the engineers nightmares, and
2. Building such a massive project in historic Georgetown would have been worse;
-- and provided only limited benefit:
1. Georgetown is not a big employment center, and
2. The extra stop would slowed the commute from Virginia.

In fact, the only station killed by local opposition was the Oklahoma Ave. station in Northeast. The largely African-American neighborhood wanted to remain quiet. The residents convinced the powers that be that the station was a bad idea.

So much for the masterplan. I guess there is no conspiracy afterall. Or is there?

1 comment:

rock_ninja said...

Faschinating. Thanks!