I have a bad feeling about this

Here is the latest on Tysons redevelopment:

Remaking Tysons Corner
into the second city of Washington will take a lot more than a new
Metro line and a downtown of tightly clustered buildings designed for
walking. It will take almost $15 billion in new roads and public

Even in this age of sticker shock, that's a lot of money for a local project.  You'll recall my earlier prediction that Tysons will get the road widenings but not enough of the other changes needed to make it a walkable downtown; the road widenings will on net make things worse. Call me an apologist for suburbia if you wish, but I sooner view myself as an apologist for public choice theory.  Some parts of the redesign will be more popular than others and we will get a very unbalanced mix of reforms.  This is indeed what I predict:

The numbers also have prompted some proponents of dense development in
Tysons to argue that if the county pushes too many costly road
improvements and makes room for more cars, the vision could unravel. 

To simply insist that it "should be different," or to charge that I do not spend enough time criticizing interstate highway subsidies, is to miss the public choice point.  Now that the stimulus is up and running, you can see road widenings all over NoVa and they will be finished.  Who will put up the money for the rest of Tysons reform?

For funding, Fairfax officials say, they will look to the Obama
administration, which is committed to subsidizing growth projects in
urban areas. They hold out little hope from the Virginia Department of
Transportation, which this year slashed the county allocation for
secondary roads to zero. Given the millions of dollars Northern
Virginia has gotten for big projects such as the HOT lanes and new
Woodrow Wilson Bridge, "More state funding is pretty much politically
doomed," said Kathy Ichter, the county's chief of transportation

Stay tuned…


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