Posts by Christopher Honey
|Christopher Honey is a political consultant and a progressive labor activist. He and his fiancée live on Capitol Hill, where she is a vendor at Eastern Market.|
Columbia Pike will change: Arlington's Columbia Pike plan shows renderings of how the pike could look different, including new retail, green space, and 10,000 new units of housing. (ARLnow)
What's up in northern Maryland: New building permits are rising in Frederick County, though most are for very sprawly projects. Meanwhile, Carroll County may also soon have its first mixed use development. (News-Post, Sun)
Streetcar will move ahead?: Marion Barry now won't oppose the streetcar contract after getting some promises, but still stokes divisions by saying the line will "service newcomers." Meanwhile, Kenyan McDuffie has been hearing from some residents opposing the maintenance facility near Spingarn High School. (DCist)
Gray for campaign finance reform: Mayor Vince Gray and AG Irv Nathan now want to reform campaign finance, including limits on contractors' donations and bundling by lobbyists, and disclosure for LLCs that contribute to campaigns. (City Paper)
Lots waiting for charters: DC's charter schools collectively have more than 17,000 names on their waiting lists, especially at a few of the most successful charters. Some others, meanwhile, still have unfilled spaces. (Examiner)
Watch David talk Metro: NewsTalk has posted the video of David and guest host Jennifer Donelan talking Friday about Metro's safety, 3 years after the crash.
Will Boxer cave?: Bicycle groups are worried Barbara Boxer will give in to House negotiators on Safe Routes to School and letting cities spend federal money for bike-
ped projects. The groups have taken out ads in SF. (The Hill, Streetsblog)
Waters rising in Delmarva: Global climate change is not affecting all regions equally. The Delmarva region is in a 600-mile long "hot spot" where sea levels are rising 3-4 times the global average. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Prince George's casino still possible: Maryland leaders are trying to resolve a standoff over the proposed National Harbor casino. The House isn't willing to offer a lower tax rate to lure the casino. (Post)
More white families moving into Prince George's: Prince George's became majority-minority in the 1970s as black families moved from the city into the county. Now, that pattern is changing as many white families move into the county. (Post)
Reckless councilmember, light punishment? : Did Prince George's councilmember Karen Toles get off too easily with a $400 fine and no points after driving recklessly? (Post letters) ... Do many other reckless driving incidents end the same way?
Bellevue library is pretty great: The new library in Bellevue (near DC's southern tip) looks boring on the outside, but has a great interior whose architecture helps separate and link activities. (City Paper)
Feds ignoring homeless?: A homeless organization says the federal government is breaking its own rules that it has to offer surplus federal property for homeless services before selling it. The group has filed a suit against OMB. (Post)
Traffic noise can give you a heart attack: Danish researchers have found that high levels of traffic noise increases the risk of heart attack. For every 10 decibels of increase in traffic noise, the risk iincreases 12%. (The Atlantic)
Deregulation cut bus ridership?: English bus ridership outside London has fallen by half since buses were deregulated in 1986. In London, where service is still regulated, ridership has grown. Are they connected? (Yorkshire Post, Ben Ross)
And...: Gaithersburg's new city planner starts in July. (Gazette) ... One woman stabbed another on an A8 Metrobus. (Post) ... DC honors properties and people that exemplify the best of historic preservation. (DC.gov)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Rush is now Plus: WMATA's new service pattern, Rush Plus, begins today. (Examiner) ... Did it affect your commute? How did it go?
Corcoran could struggle in the suburbs: Suburban jurisdictions are wooing the Corcoran, but arts institutions have a much harder time thriving in the suburbs. Should it merge with GWU? (RPUS)
Shakespeare sues to keep its space: The Shakespeare Theatre's landlord, the Lansburgh Theatre, is trying to raise the rent by 700%. The Shakespeare is suing, saying a long-standing agreement prohibits this. (DC Theatre Scene, DC Doug)
DC is great and getting greater: Ethics issues aside, DC (and the Washington region more generally) is getting to be a better place to live every day, and that trend will only continue with better education, retail, less trafic and more, writes Roger Lewis. (Post)
Shuttle goes to fresh food: A new shuttle bus will transport residnets of Ward 8 to the ward's farmers' market, one of the few nearby opportunities for fresh produce. Organizers hope to serve an upcoming St. Elizabeths market as well. (Post)
Climate change threatens Norfolk: Only New Orleans is at greater risk from climate change and rising sea levels than Norfolk, Virginia, says NOAA. To make matters worse, the ground in the region is literally sinking. (Post)
And...: Mayor Gray will reappoint Natwar Gandhi as CFO. (Washington Times) ... DC's $1 fuel surcharge ends Wednesday. (Examiner) ... A driver made a U-turn across the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes and hit a cyclist. (@GarberDC) ... The latest Calvin and Hobbes rerun is an urban planning classic. (GoComics, J)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Secondhand stores safe: Stores selling secondhand records, clothing and similar items won't need to get special licenses after all. DCRA will exempt such stores, which were long operating under more general licenses until finding out otherwise in April. (WBJ)
DC not so easy for small business: Small business owners give DC a D+ for friendliness. It's not so much tax rates, but rather licensing regulations and other hoops to jump through. (Examiner)
Corcoran of Alexandria?: The Corcoran Gallery might sell its building near the White House and move elsewhere, possibly to the Alexandria waterfront. Another museum might seek to take over the space. (City Paper)
Will Tysons lose more trees?: Plans to create a street grid at Tysons might require paving a forested strip at the edge. Residents don't want to lose those trees as a buffer between neighborhoods and the urban district. (Post)
Congress considers more monuments: Despite a law saying the Mall shouldn't get more monuments and museums, members of Congress have introduced 12 bills to add 8 more monuments to the Mall. (Examiner)
Better sewers benefit all: DC Water's $2.6 billion Clean Rivers project will improve water quality across the region, so the entire region should help pay for it and not just DC ratepayers, argues a Brookings fellow. (Post op-ed)
Listen car-free: TPB director Ron Kirby, DCist's Martin Austermuhle, and US News' Danielle Kurtzbelen talked about living car-free yesterday on the Kojo show.
And...: Some love subways so much, they get tattoos of the maps. (Grist) ... The corner of Euclid and Sherman is getting some infill. (New Columbia Heights) ... Georgetown University and Georgetown neighborhood groups are really close to agreement on the campus plan. (City Paper) ... China might invest in DC's streetcars. (WJLA)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Entrepreneur lets estate decay: Some beautiful and historic old estates including one in Virginia are falling apart after a tech entrepreneur bought them, planned to fix them up, then fell on hard times. (Post)
Where's the exit, Metro?: A recent inspection found problems with Metro's emergency exits, including locked and blocked doors and even one sign, at Capitol South, pointing in the wrong direction. (Examiner)
Building falls down: The facade of a building on H Street collapsed. ANC members say they warned officials but were "insulted." (DCmud)
Some live off the beaten path: DC's alley dwellers form a tight-knit community making their homes in often very small spaces that were once industrial, then abandoned, and which some don't even realize are homes from the outside. (WAMU)
Walkable North Bethesda vs. U Street: After moving from 14th and U to White Flint, the "14th and You" bloggers miss the small plates restaurants but have better Asian food, still enjoy one car-free commute, miss the beautiful old houses but have more yard space, and tangle with baffling missing sidewalks on Rockville Pike.
Time to shuffle committees?: With Kenyan McDuffie on the council, is it time to recreate an economic development committee or make an education one? Kwame Brown says he has no plans to do this; maybe that means means he doesn't want to punish anyone who's crossed him lately. (Examiner)
Soccer proposal gets numbers: A soccer stadium at Buzzard Point would cost $157 million but bring in substantial economic benefits, argues a report from a group promoting sports in DC. They promise a better deal than the baseball stadium. (Post)
McDonnell backing off Silver Line: Even Joe May (R-Loudoun) is frustrated with Governor Bob McDonnell over the Silver Line. The governor was negotiating over a labor agreement, but now threatens to withhold all money if there is one. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
SmarTrip gets cheaper: There are only 350,000 of the current model SmarTrip cards left, and the manufacturer stopped making them. This is a good thing, because this fall WMATA will switch to a cheaper card and charge riders less. (Examiner)
Teaching goes online: Kramer Middle School will shift about half of its coursework online this coming year, allowing for student-guided teaching and giving teachers a chance to work with students where they're struggling individually. (Examiner)
Less gravelly?: NPS may adjust the Mount Vernon Trail near Gravelly Point to make its route less circuitous and add a pedestrian path to Roaches Run. (WashCycle)
House lien sold without notice?: A few homeowners say they never got notices when DC's Office of Tax and Revenue put liens on their homes
or foreclosed or sold those liens. But officials insist everyone gets 2 final notices in the mail. (Post)
C'mon, exercise! Everyone's doing it!: Peer pressure does not have to be bad; it can actually encourage children to exercise more. A study found that kids' friends had the strongest effect on how much they exercised. (TIME)
Density resembles transit: There is a strong correlation between residential density and transit mode share, stronger even than job density in a city's central business district, but that may not be the whole story. (Old Urbanist)
What was zoning for?: Urbanists, especially the libertarian ones, tend to criticize zoning for the way it artificially restricts urban development, but the original arguments in favor of zoning codes were concerned with many of the issues urbanists would raise today: development externalities, squatting on a vacant parcel, and safety. (SCC)
How cars took over: At first, people thought pedestrians had the right to use the road. That changed thanks to public campaigns by car companies, AAA, and corporate-sponsored media. (Scientific American)
Walkable is expensive: Renting in a walkable community near Metro can cost as much as $1500 more a month compared to car-dependent neighborhoods. (Atlantic Cities)A few stories we've linked to in the past have come around in the press again and we've seen again in the tips, so we've included a few of these important stories for those readers who missed them or want to discuss them some more.
Speaking of tips, since we are starting to get some new links editors up to speed, it would be especially helpful to hear from all of you about what you'd like to see in the links. Please submit your suggestions on the tip form!
- Bikeshare is a gateway to private biking, not competition
- Short-term Washingtonians deserve a voice, too
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- Public land deals have both benefits and pitfalls
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- DC Council makes major policy changes overnight
- PG planners propose bold new smart growth future