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Thread: WJLA story on the never-ending EFC bike shed fiasco

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_s View Post
    Typically US governments are required by law to hire the lowest bid contractor. This helps avoid corruption, but also often forces them to hire a company they are pretty confident is going to screw it up, cut corners, or go out of business mid-project. We need a better system.
    Actually, it depends. I have been allowed at times to choose the contractor that offered the best value.

    Regarding your second sentence - Other times I had to choose the contractor with the lowest price that met the minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements should prevent the problems you cite.

  2. #12
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is offline 5000+ Posts? The first step to beating addiction is admitting you have one.
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    Office pool closes on Friday!! Getcher predictions in. Not a lot of predictions so far, so your odds are good.
    PM or email to steve <at> offuttemail dahtcom

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Wait!!! I think this calls for an "office" pool.

    EVERYONE! - Predict the date the East Falls Church Metro Station bicycle park and ride station officially opens for business and win beverages on me at a happy hour or coffee club.

    Rules:
    • Predict the date the station opens for regular use (not a ceremonial ribbon cutting or something that does not coincide with its actual opening)
    • Your date must be prior to (or exactly on) the actual opening. Dates after the opening will be disqualified.


    To keep your prediction anonymous, PM me or email me your prediction. For those of you who failed to read the previous sentence and posted your prediction here, others may not predict a date that is closer than 1 week later than your date.
    Example: a prediction of May 1, 2021 is posted here. No one may post another prediction between May 1 and May 7, 2021 (or, if you do, it will be thrown out).

    Pool closes January 31, 2020, at which time I will publicize the predictions.

    Good luck!!!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlcxrider View Post
    They're required to hire the lowest bid qualified contractor. And in many of these cases, deficiencies or ambiguities ("errors and omissions") in the contract documents lead to problems, in other words the owner doesn't have clean hands either. Of course Metro is not going to admit that, especially if there are pending claims and counter-claims.
    But the contracting officers often lack the stones to assess a contractor to be unqualified at the proposal stage. The contracting officers I've worked with seem to fear a challenge more than anything else, including the zombie apocalypse. Because they are sitting in the catbird's seat, they often are successful in wearing down the actual customers (folks like me) by asking for documentation that tends to eliminate any expertise (and interpretation) of the technical experts reviewing the proposals.

    Combined with the newfound fondness for fixed price contracts (which like fixed gear bikes, have a limited role), we demonstrate that you can put a square peg in a round hole if you accept damage to the peg.

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  5. #14
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    Just saw another coverage of this story on ABC. They say Metro didn't give them an answer when they are going to be finished.

    Metro has spent $3.8 million and 5 years building 2 bike racks. They're still unfinished.(That's about $20K per bike)
    https://wjla.com/news/local/metro-38...ars-bike-racks

  6. #15
    Steve O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n18 View Post
    Just saw another coverage of this story on ABC. They say Metro didn't give them an answer when they are going to be finished.

    Metro has spent $3.8 million and 5 years building 2 bike racks. They're still unfinished.(That's about $20K per bike)
    https://wjla.com/news/local/metro-38...ars-bike-racks
    Still a bargain compared to the cost of making a parking space in an enclosed shelter for a car. I think about the lowest cost per space you might see these days is $20k for a surface spot, but that would not be right by a Metro station, where land costs are higher. Underground parking can cost up to $100k for a single space.
    That's not to say this whole thing is not a fiasco, but rather the enormous costs of automobiles are a continuous ongoing one.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbb View Post
    (which like fixed gear bikes, have a limited role)
    Hey now.
    Challenged or challenging. Please.
    Last edited by OneEighth; 02-13-2020 at 10:07 AM.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Office pool closes on Friday!! Getcher predictions in. Not a lot of predictions so far, so your odds are good.
    PM or email to steve <at> offuttemail dahtcom
    My prediction is the 30 days prior to the actual opening of the Purple Line. It would be egregious PR if a while rail line openers before this small bike enclosure was completed.

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