VIRGINIA ATTORNEY General Ken Cuccinelli II wants to kill off the extension of Metrorail to Dulles International Airport and points west, a project he calls a “ripoff” and a “boondoggle.” He is urging Loudoun County voters, who are on the hook for almost 5 percent of the $6 billion project, to elect local government leaders who will withdraw from the deal, helping, he hopes, to cripple it.
Mr. Cuccinelli is a few years late to the party. The decision to go forward with the 23-mile Silver Line, as the extension is known, was made three years ago, when he was a state senator. He objected then, along with other officials who failed to take into account the Silver Line’s potential to juice economic development and reduce traffic, and they lost the argument.
Unfortunately, Mr. Cuccinelli and other Silver Line skeptics have been afforded an opening to revisit the matter — ironically, by the project’s overseer and leading advocate, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The authority, which runs Dulles and National airports as well as the Dulles Toll Road, has invited attacks such as Mr. Cuccinelli’s by its politically tone-deaf, fiscally irresponsible decision in favor of a hugely expensive, utterly unnecessary underground Metro station at Dulles. An aboveground station would save $330 million and add scarcely three minutes to the trip of airport-bound passengers, who will comprise just 7 percent of Silver Line users.