What would happen if we got Metrorail?

Want Metrorail extended to Potomac Mills?  Gainesville?  Hey, why not extend Metrorail to the intersection of Minnieville Road and Route 234, to support one of those hypothetical “centers of community” proposed in the draft land use chapter of the new Comprehensive Plan?

Of course we want Metro.  Metro is good good good.   It’s like asking someone on a hot July afternoon “want a cold drink?”

Unless you consider the impacts.  Getting Metro to PW County could be economic suicide.

The extension to Dulles Airport will cost $5 billion and most of the right-of-way was free… so the costs to build Metro to PW County would be further up in the stratosphere.  However, even if the Congress/General Assembly gave our county a 100% “free” ride, paying for the extraordinary costs to buy into the regional compact and build a heavy rail system into Prince William, getting Metro could still bankrupt PW county.

Imagine the day when Metrorail opened in Gainesville/Minnieville/Potomac Mills.  This county would be soon be filled with commuters catching the train to offices in other jurisdictions.

Fairfax/Arlington/DC would host the office space, getting extra property taxes.  Prince William would get all the residential development – and all the kids to educate.  We’d become a permanent bedroom community, with permanently sky-high property taxes to build and operate schools.

According to the 2000 Census Bureau Journey to Work statistics, 10% of PW residents traveled all the way to DC.  About 50% commuted to Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax.

If we built Metro to encourage more commuters… think we’d ever get more jobs to move to PW County?  Odds are, we’d get the burden of higher school taxes while other jurisdictions would get the benefits of additional commercial property taxes.


3 comments so far

  1. kgotthardt on

    But how do we build more places of employment without overdevelopment? Or could we actually USE some of the empty buildings we have? Why don’t we have more government agencies moving here (like the FBI did)? Did I ask enough questions?

  2. cre8fate on

    Great land use question KG! PWC has been seen as a bedroom community and now more than ever, we have solidified that perception.

  3. cre8fate on

    I had this thought, PWC is struggling to find its identity, and has been for a long time I think. To the East you have Fairfax, built out, urban, and highly reputable business and retail. To the West you have Fauquier, known for land conservation and wealthy landowners. Where does that leave PWC, struggling in the middle to find its way. Our landscape is unique, like none other, we reach from the potomac river to the beauty of the bull run mountains. And yet, what are we known for? …….potomac mills. I guess the question is, who are we and what direction do we go to attain that inner peace as a community? Do we have to be like Fairfax or Fauquier, or do we need to find our own unique visionary future?

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