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Council Moves Forward on Potomac Yard Busway

Transitway will link Braddock Metro with Crystal City station

A transitway connecting Potomac Yard to Crystal City will start to take shape soon, with construction of a bus route connecting Braddock Road Metro station with the Crystal City stop expected to begin later this year or in early 2012.

The transitway, which will consist of a bus-specific route running parallel or on Route 1, aims to relieve traffic congestion and is seen as a necessity to sustain redevelopment of Potomac Yard.

On Tuesday, the council decided to move forward on a deal with Arlington County to get the project moving. The city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services has spent nine years analyzing the need for high capacity transit along Route 1.

Operation of the bus route is expected to begin in 2013 or 2014. According to the city memo, stations along the transitway will have features of  “the highest quality.” The stations and transitway will be designed in a way to ease potential transition to a streetcar line.

Busway construction between E. Glebe Road and Monroe Avenue will be financed by a variety of federal, state, local and private funds. Construction of the rest of the route in Alexandria will be funded by development contributions.

The cost of operating the buses will be a budget decision for council in coming years.  

Council Expresses Confidence in New Torpedo Center Board

Council granted the Torpedo Factory Art Center a one-time investment of $38,100 from contingent reserves for the administrative and operational needs of its new governing board, which is expected to take full control of the center in July.

Council created the new board in October to oversee the operation and management of the art center.

Susan Corrigan, the new president of the Torpedo Factory Art Center Board, had requested almost $75,000 from the city to be used toward hiring a CEO for the center, resource development, marketing and financial management.

The city, however, came back with a recommendation of $38,100, with the remainder of the money expected to come through fundraising efforts.

“We realize this is a tightly-rolled budget,” Councilwoman Del Pepper said. “You’ll really have to be working on [raising funds].”

Corrigan is also the president and CEO of Gifts In Kind International, one of the largest charities in the world.

Several members of the council expressed their confidence in the new board and Corrigan, who said she is working to make the center “known worldwide.”

“The new board is really doing excellent work,” Councilman Rob Krupicka said. “It offers the chance for artists to attend the meetings and to be heard.”

Bus Barn To Close

During oral reports on Tuesday, Mayor Bill Euille announced the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently signed a contract to move its bus barn on Royal Street to a new facility in Fairfax County.

“Finally the bus barn here in Old Town will be history,” he said.

Euille said it will be an 18-month process, but that WMATA will close the barn and sell the land for redevelopment.

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