On Monday morning, October 30, Congressman Jim Moran, Arlington County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman and others dedicated new canopies over the Metro escalators at Pentagon City Station, as well as Crystal City and Clarendon. As Mr. Moran enthusiastically told those present, however, the soaring canopies symbolize much more than protection from the rain.
John Carten, Chairman of the Arlington County Transit Advisory Committee spoke about the importance of amenities such as the canopies to make the Metro system comfortable and user-friendly. James Haggins, Assistant GM at WMATA told us about the importance of the shelters to protest the escalators from deterioration and the extensive design with over 100 entries for the system-wide canopy design. Mr. Zimmerman thanked Jim Moran for obtaining Federal funding for the project and outline future phases of improvements to the station area including improved bus shelters, street scape, pedestrian crossings, bike parking, and more.
Moran then pullout the stops with a reminder that the Metro system is the heart of the engine that makes Arlington's Urban Villages work as economically vibrant, walkable places to live, work and play. He praised Arlington for the County's commitment to do transit and development the right way, even down to pioneering the installation of the first of the canopies in the Metro system in Virginia Square years ago. And he reminded us of the millions of square feet of additional office, retail and residential development that is underway from Pentagon City to Route 1 in Alexandria, all of which is possible because of visionary County leadership, support from an involved citizenry, and cooperation with WMATA and others to make transit and development work together.
For those of us who just use and appreciate the Metro facilities day to day, its kind of nice to be reminded of the big vision represented by that simple, soaring canopy.
By Howard Jennings.