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Much needed bus stops along the Pike have been delayed yet again for poor design. This morning I spoke before the County Board on the issue and asking if there will be accountability.

Find my comments at about 20 minutes into video:

Hello, I’m Adam Theo, 8 year resident and candidate for Arlington County Board

Six years ago the Columbia Pike streetcar project was cancelled for being a boondoggle in the making.

Critics of the project claimed the county couldn’t be trusted to build it within cost and ensure quality construction that met requirements.

This past week, those critics were proven correct.

Originally intended to go with the streetcar, the infamous “million dollar bus stop” was built. After justified backlash county leadership finally promised cheaper, more standardized solutions for the remaining 23 stops along the Pike to service a fast, dedicated bus service as a replacement for the streetcar.

What happened this past week?

These 23 stops that the county assured back in 2015 would be “kit-based”, modular”, and using “off-the-shelf components” and therefore be cheaper to build and install despite still being customizable for each site are now suffering their second major structural problem and major delay.

The county – only now – is falling back to an solution that is pre-fabricated, and already in use by other jurisdictions.

An option that is $7 million cheaper.

An option that is manufactured by the same company the county had been contracting with already.

Add to this insult in project management that the Pike is still without the rapid bus service the county keeps promising – six years later, and it’s clear our elected leadership are in over their heads with the effort or just don’t care.

Board member Takis Karantonis – who lives along the Pike and frequently uses it as a plug in his campaign pitches has been on the county board for over a year while this issue with the bus stops has gone on and while the Pike goes without a transit solution.

Where is the accountability over this failure?
Where is the rapid bus service with dedicated lanes?
Will it ever come from the current county board?