The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.

Posts by Aimee Custis

Aimee Custis is a wonk, communicator, and professional advocate at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Her writing represents her own views, though they're often aligned with her employer's. Weekends, you'll find Aimee at home in Dupont Circle or practicing her other love, wedding photography

Photography


Heat wave in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Woodridge Elementary, Vista and Central Avenues NE DC. Photo by James Crane.


Union Station. Photo by Jordan Barab.


Herzog's Restaurant (c. 1938), Old Fish Market, SW Waterfront. Photo by StreetsofWashington.


Photo by Ted Eytan.


Bladensburg & Montana Avenue NE. Photo by James Crane.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

History


This video compares LA's streets of 70 years ago to today's

How does a street change in 70 years? In some ways a lot, and in others, not at all, as this video of Los Angeles from the New Yorker shows.

Beyond the increased build-out along the streets, in some places the older streets seem more welcoming to people walking; in others today's streets seem friendlier. While this video is of LA, one can imagine a similar then-and-now for DC.

Would you be willing to create something like this, but for DC? For example, you could grab a Go-Pro and follow the route of the 82 streetcar today.

What else do you notice about the video? Tell us in the comments.

Photography


Vibrant in the Flickr pool


Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Pennsylvania Avenue. Photo by Jarrett Hendrix.


Four Mile Run, Arlington. Photo by Erinn Shirley.


Photo by Jamelle Bouie.


Union Station. Photo by Jordan Barab.


Photo by philliefan99.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Public Safety


Today

In the last 72 hours, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were killed by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Minneapolis a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, and then a sniper killed five police officers in Dallas. These tragic deaths, on the heels of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last month, have left us reeling.


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At its core, Greater Greater Washington is about creating more livable communities and cities. Normally, we do this by discussing transportation, housing, development, public spaces, and other elements that make our cities better places to live.

Today, though we wanted to take a moment to pause and acknowledge that a basic prerequisite before we can even begin to talk about "livable cities" is to preserve human lives, and our society did not succeed for the victims of these events.

We invite you to take a moment, too. We don't want violence like this to go unmarked in our personal lives or in the communities we want to help make better.

Photography


Long weekend in the Flickr pool

Here are some of our favorite summertime images from the past few years in the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, to get you in the spirit of the holiday weekend. Happy Fourth of July!


2014. Photo by Ted Eytan.


Gravelly Point, 2011. Photo by Erin.


Ocean City, 2011. Photo by Jennifer.


White House Farmer's Market, 2012. Photo by Erin.


Vida U Street rooftop, 2012. Photo by Ted Eytan.


Nationals Park, last week. Photo by Rudi Riet.


Farragut Square, 2010. Photo by Erin.


Skate Fest Fairfax, 2016. Photo by John Sonderman.


14th St NW, 2014. Photo by Tim Brown.


Jack's Boathouse (Georgetown), 2011. Photo by JY O'Reilly.


Capitol Grounds, 2013. Photo by Ian Livingston.


Rock Hall, MD, 2014. Photo by Caroline Angelo.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Development


A big development in Woodley Park may spark DC's next housing battle

The Wardman Park Hotel in Woodley Park is set to get a major influx of new housing. Washington Post reporter Jonathan O'Connell pegs the project as the next big development battle in the District, and he's not sure the opposition will be justified.


Map of the proposed new building. Courtesy David M. Schwarz Architects/Gensler/Lemon Brooke.

Currently, the site at Woodley Park encompasses the Wardman Park hotel, the Woodley apartments and the hotel-condo Wardman Tower. But the DC Comprehensive Plan designates the entire site as high- or medium-density residential. That makes sense, given how close the site is to a Metro station.

Developer JBG has both short- and long-term plans for the site. In the next few years, it hopes to add an "eight-story, 120-unit multifamily building," according to the Washington Business Journal. The addition will include a large green space, and will sit between 2700 Woodley, an existing 212-unit apartment building, and the Wardman Tower.

The longer-term build out calls for replacing the hotel with almost 1300 new residential units, in four new buildings, with more than of 1200 parking spaces and 400 bicycle spaces.


The possible long-term buildout, including almost 1300 new residences. Map of the proposed new building. Courtesy David M. Schwarz Architects/Gensler/Lemon Brooke.

At build-out, the new buildings will have fewer units in them than the Wardman Park Hotel does today, and the big conventions and meetings will go away.

And yet, tensions over development are so high in DC that, Jonathan O'Connell, the Post's main development reporter, tweeted his expectation that this project will spur Woodley Park to become the next in a line of DC neighborhoods to oppose new housing.

Hostility to new housing has becoming increasingly common in the District. Vocal Lanier Heights residents recently won downzoning of that nearby neighborhood. In Northeast DC, Brookland is another front in the so-called "development wars."

"If everything were to go absolutely perfectly," said JBG's Robert Vaughan to the Washington Business Journal, the PUD would be approved by the second quarter of 2017, with groundbreaking to follow in the first quarter of 2018 and delivery by early 2020.

But with a project of this magnitude, even during an affordability crisis, that hardly seems likely.

Photography


The city, outdoors, in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Photo by Ted Eytan.



9th and F Street NW. Photo by Aimee Custis.


7000-series, but #whichwmata? Photo by nevermindtheend.


Florida Avenue. Photo by Erinn Shirley.


14th Street. Photo by Joe Flood.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Photography


Love and solidarity in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


Capital Pride Festival. Photo by Ted Eytan.



Capital Pride Festival. Photo by Ted Eytan.


Dupont Circle. Photo by Maryland Route 5.


Dupont Circle. Photo by Ted Eytan.


Schools without Walls marches for Orlando. Photo by Joe Flood.


Federal Triangle. Photo by Ted Eytan.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Photography


Striking summerscapes in the Flickr pool

Here are our favorite new images from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool, showcasing the best and worst of the Washington region.


18th Street NW, DC. Photo by Mike Maguire.


National Harbor. Photo by John Sonderman.


Eastern Market. Photo by Jill Slater.


Shaw. Photo by Jill Slater.


Glen Echo Park. Photo by John Sonderman.

Got a picture that depicts the best or worst of the Washington region? Make sure to join our Flickr pool and submit your own photos!

Bicycling


Falls Church hopes to add Capital Bikeshare in 2017

The City of Falls Church hopes to join Capital Bikeshare in 2017. But first, it needs the money to make it happen.


Photo by DDOT DC on Flickr.

The City of Falls Church has applied to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) for $2 million that would go toward buying and installing up to 16 stations.

NVTA is the infrastructure agency that gives Northern Virginia the ability to raise and spend its own money on what it thinks is most important. Next Thursday (June 9), NVTA will consider the Bikeshare funding along with a slate of other FY2017 program requests.

A 13-dock station, the expected size in Falls Church, has an up-front cost of approximately $50,000. Falls Church expects to supplement its NVTA grant with developer contributions, Falls Church principal planner Paul Stoddard said in an email to the Falls Church News-Press.

Falls Church has also applied to a different agency, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), for $850,000 to fully fund the first three years of operating expenses. NVTC is responsible for planning and funding Northern Virginia transit. It will consider Falls Church's request tonight.

Both agencies have shown they can be be swayed by public comment in favor of or against projects. The City of Falls Church has produced a flyer informing residents how to weigh in with the NVTA and NVTC.

Bikeshare would be part of Falls Church's expanding bicycle network

Last July, Falls Church adopted a new Bicycle Master Plan, which identified a city-wide network of existing bike and future bike routes, established a "Request a Rack" bicycle parking program, and specified that Falls Church wants to join Capital Bikeshare.

Now, city staff are working to implement the plan. So far, the city has gotten the Request a Rack program up and running, and is refreshing routes on Park Avenue, South Maple Avenue-Little Falls Street, and Cherry Street-E. Columbia Street.


Falls Church bike route refreshes. Map from the City of Falls Church.

As part of its Bicycle Master Plan, Falls Church has also identified three priority corridors for the initial Bikeshare network: the Broad Street corridor, Washington Street corridor, and W&OD Trail. Bikeshare would provide an easy and cheap way to get to the East Falls Church and West Falls Church Metro stations.


Priority Bikeshare corridor. Map from the City of Falls Church.

The plan identifies a fourth corridor, Roosevelt Boulevard, as a priority for future expansion, providing a last-mile connection to Metro for thousands of residents.

Today, nearby Arlington has 84 stations, and Fairfax will roll out its first Bikeshare stations later this year.

If you live in Northern Virginia, you can tell NVTA and NVTC you support Bikeshare funding for Falls Church via this Coalition for Smarter Growth action.

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