Streetcar is approved for Columbia Pike

Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia, one of the more successful commercial strip redevelopment areas spurred by a form-based code, will get a streetcar.

The county board made a contentious decision, 3-2, to go ahead with the $333 million project that is expected to further spur redevelopment on the corridor. Two years ago, the board approved a plan for new housing that included saving 6,000-plus currently affordable units and adding more affordable units along the corridor, which connects the Pentagon and Pentagon City's metro station with outlying areas in the county.

The county will get an additional $65 million from the state, but forego federal funding in order to more forward with the project more quickly. This will save $25 million and shave a year off construction, according to The Washington  Post.

One of the supporters, county board members Mary Hynes, told the Post “If we don’t do this, . . . we become a bottleneck for the region and we become a far less wonderful place to live.”

The original plan for the form-based code was created by Dover, Kohl & Partners and Ferrell Madden Associates, with the updated plan two years ago by Dover, Kohl & Partners. The Pike has seen substantial mixed-use development in the last five years, leading to a denser, more walkable main street character. 

Streetcar route. Source: The Washington Post.