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

Posts by Joey Katzen

Joey Katzen is an entrepreneur and attorney who previously lived in Arlington, Virginia. A native of the Commonwealth, he hopes our public and private sectors can work together to continue transforming each of our neighborhoods into attractive places we can be proud of. 

Public Spaces

I wish this were... an active plaza in Ballston

Could an inviting urban plaza take the place of a fallow plot by the Ballston public garage?

Photo from Google Street View.

Giving inspiration to its former name, the old Parkington Shopping Center in Ballston once held claim to being the first shopping mall in the country to be built around a multilevel garage. The complex was redeveloped into the Ballston Common Mall in 1986. At that time, Arlington County built an adjacent replacement public garage but inexplicably sited it at an angle to Glebe Road.

Rooftop ice rink. Photo from Wikipedia/Robdrur.
In 2006, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex (a twin-rink practice facility for the Washington Capitals and community skating) opened on the roof of the garage, with access from a dedicated elevator adjacent to Glebe Road.

Because of the unusual angular siting of the garage, the smartly designed glass elevator shaft opens onto an unappealing grassy triangle with mud patches where the groundcover has died. Neither an urban pocket park nor an attractively landscaped buffer, this section of the Ballston Common block lays fallow in a rapidly developing neighborhood.

Comprising approximately a quarter-acre on its triangular parcel, the lot sits on the least active front of the Ballston Common Mall complex. While other façades of the mall hold patio restaurant seating, retail entrances, and display cases, this lot is fronted only by a brick-and-concrete garage.

General site plan of the Ballston Common shopping mall. Empty "park" in green. Parking garage with rooftop ice rink in red.

Presently, this face is blessed with less pedestrian traffic than its other fronts, though that is bound to change as the redevelopment game washes anew over the surrounding blocks.

Owned variously by Arlington County and Macy's, Inc. as tax-free open space, the small bit of land is ripe for something better. But what?

Likely too small for an active grassy space, perhaps it could be hardscaped into a Belgian-blocked plaza with a series of eight or ten tall specimen trees, benches, and a kiosk offering another lunch option, as well as giving a small food business a low-rent opportunity.

Plaza proposal by author.

If you have any other ideas for this space, leave your thoughts in the comments. Do you use this space as it is now and think it could be better served simply by re-sodding the grass? Or do any changes need to wait until the other properties along Glebe Road have been redeveloped to be successful?

I Wish This Were... is a series in which Greater Greater Washington contributors imagine a better use for vacant properties and poorly-conceived public spaces in the DC area.


Ask GGW: The Glebe Road curve

Reader M asks why an Arlington County road has a very strange curve that looks like a part of an interchange that was never completed:

From Reader M.
I drive on this section of Glebe Road often, near the Chain Bridge and wonder why the curve was designed this way. I tried researching for some sort of unbuilt interchange, but had no luck. Do you know any GGWers who are good at sniffing this stuff out? It's not even on Wikimapia.
To answer this question, we found a wealth of resources from Arlington County, which provides electronic copies of its historic General Land Use Plans.

As can be seen in the 1961 Plan, This section of Glebe Road was designed to be part of a wye (or 'Y') interchange with the George Washington Memorial Parkway and also with a new bridge proposed to connect with Arizona Avenue across the river in the District.

Glebe Road and the Chain Bridge, from the 1961 Arlington General Land Use Plan

This interchange remained on the books until 1975, when the County removed the proposed bridge and a number of other road projects (including, for a period of four years, I-66) from its Plans.

Glebe Road and the Chain Bridge, from the 1975 Arlington General Land Use Plan

On a related note that may become a later post on Greater Greater Washington, and as recounted by Zachary Schrag, Arlington County at the time was in a war with the state and the Federal Highway Administration over Interstate and Metro plans. In 1979, I-66 was restored in a compromise with the two other parties to run Metro underground in Arlington. However, the two other proposed bridges (the I-266 Three Sisters Bridge near Spout Run Parkway, and the Arizona Avenue Bridge suggested above) never made it back in after various battles.


NPS hasn't asked its concessionaire about bike sharing

The National Park Service hasn't spoken to Guest Services, Inc., the concessionaire that runs bike rentals on the Mall, to determine if they'd object to placing Capital Bikeshare stations on Park Service land.

Photo from DDOT.

The Capital Bikeshare service "glaringly" omits the large swaths of Washington and Arlington controlled by the National Park Service. The City Paper's Lydia DePillis reported that DDOT "ruled out" placing any stations on NPS property (including Lincoln Park) specifically because of the NPS concession with GSI.

This week we reached out to GSI for a response. GSI's Kris Rohr stated that his company "has never been approached by anyone, including Capital Bikeshare, about placing bikes on the National Mall or the other parks [we] mentioned," including West Potomac Park, Roosevelt Island, and Dupont Circle.

The Park Service declined to answer any of our dozen specific questions. NPS National Capital Region spokesman Bill Line provided only the following cursory response: "There have only been recent, informal discussions between the NPS and DDOT about exploring the possibility of Capital BikeShare station placement on NPS property. No formal presentation or request from DDOT has been made. The NPS has a contractual agreement with Guest Services, Inc., for bike rental services, with Guest Services, Inc. having the right of first refusal for any new or additional services."

GSI defended the limiting of commercial services to those with concession agreements by arguing that they allow one to "enjoy the Lincoln Memorial without being approached by a t-shirt vendor who has set up shop on the steps." While, according to Rohr, the "'right' that [their] agreement ensures is the right of first refusal to new or additional similar services," when asked, he demurred from expanding upon the distinction between bikes rented for short point-to-point transportation (like Capital Bikeshare) and bikes rented for longer periods of time for leisure (such as those GSI currently offers "for $7 or $8 an hour" at "several of [their] locations").

Because GSI has "not been approached by any organization, including the National Park Service, DDOT, or Capital Bikeshare with regard to the placement of bike racks or bike rental facilities within any of the locations that [they] are contracted to operate on the National Mall and in the National Capital region," Rohr suggested it was "premature" for GSI to address specifics of possible programs that have never been proposed to them. Encouragingly, however, Rohr stated that GSI is "open to suggestions about other rental arrangements."

When asked about the nature of their contract with the NPS and its term, Rohr declined to answer specifics, but stated that "[t]here are no automatic contractual renewal terms." This might not matter, as the Park Service has been loathe to make changes to other concession agreements upon renewals in the past.

According to Rohr, the concession contract covers the "National Mall and Memorial Parks, and President's Park; also for the C&O Canal National Historic Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Rock Creek Park, and National Capital Parks-East." NPS lumps small parks—like Capitol Hill's squares and trianglesas part of the "National Mall and Memorial Parks" or "National Capital Parks-East" divisions.

NPS has been experimenting with an alternate bikesharing system known as B-Cycle for its employees since the fall of 2009 and appears to have at least some interest in expanding bikesharing to its visitors. As with most decisions in the region, the strength of area leadership will likely determine whether the players can all come to the table to ensure an interoperable system.

We requested comment from the Park Service and will release updates as we have them. In the meantime, if a dialogue with the NPS proves difficult, perhaps DDOT, Arlington, and Capital Bikeshare could directly engage with GSI on the issue as well.

Update: This article has been amended to include the Park Service's response.


Could carbon credits fund bike-sharing systems?

A few weeks ago at an angel-investment presentation, I had the fortune of meeting the founders of Philadelphia-based CityRyde, bike-sharing consultants who are launching a platform called "Inspire" to facilitate the exchange of carbon credits between bike-sharing agencies and carbon producers (or investors).

From the CityRyde Inspire explanatory video

What the guys at CityRyde (a competitor of MetroBike, the consultants implementing Capital Bikeshare) are proposing to do is to enable bike-sharing agencies to sell—on existing carbon markets—offset credits based on the CO2 saved by their clients who cycle rather than drive.

For those who aren't familiar with the carbon-trading concept, virtually every industrialized nation in the world except the United States (and in some circumstances China) has adopted legislation that requires CO2 producing industries to "offset" their pollution above a certain threshold by buying carbon "offset" credits.

Regulated under the Kyoto Protocol, these offset credits are generated by thousands of individual projects that reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Examples include reforestation, methane collection, and the generation of renewable energy through nonpolluting methods. In addition to carbon offsets that nations mandate under Kyoto, there is also a growing "voluntary market" to allow polluters to offset their pollution by choice.

Though it's not often discussed in this country, the market for carbon trading is enormous. In 2007, noting that the carbon trading market could approach $1 trillion a year in a decade, the head of Barclays Capital Environmental Markets stated, "Carbon will be the world's biggest commodity market, and it could become the world's biggest market overall."

According to CityRyde founders Timothy Ericson and Jason Meinzer, a bike-sharing operator could net a million dollars a year (or more) from selling on the voluntary market the carbon credits earned by its customers using their Inspire system.

Capital Bikeshare's annual operating costs are expected to be about $1.4 million/year, with 60-70% recovered from user fees. The 1100-bike system cost about $5 million in capital costs. Thus, if Inspire were implemented, it might suggest that a system comparable to Capital Bikeshare could cover most of its operating costs in a year, or else expand by 200 bikes a year at no cost.

Whether it all pans out as the founders predict is something that will be left to time to prove, but Ericson makes it sound simple: the market is there, the four major bike-sharing manufacturers are in various stages of discussion with CityRyde, the agency operators who have heard about it are excited, and all that's left is for bike-sharing to be validated as a carbon offset.

Under Kyoto, the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is the sole accrediting methodology for new forms of carbon offset. In the voluntary market, there are a number of accreditors. CityRyde is in the process of submitting its proposal for acceptance to the Voluntary Carbon Standard program. A decision could come as soon as January.

Perhaps the next question is whether someone can help sluggers capture their piece of the carbon market.


Can a toll serve as an effective growth boundary in Virginia?

It's a commonly accepted axiom among many of the contributors of this blog that freeway tolls help drivers internalize the cost of their housing and transportation decisions. Could Virginia use tolls as a substitute for a statutory growth boundary?

Photo by paul.derry on Flickr.

Tolls are one item in the cost-shifting bucket sometimes available to governments to affect demand, along with "vehicle-miles traveled" fees and gas taxes. In typical fashion, however, these all have a relatively linear impact on driving distances. That is, for every extra X miles travelled, the driver must pay $Y more. When a prospective home buyer seeks a new house, then, choosing a cheaper property "just one exit more down" affects his cost calculation only subtly.

Given the small marginal cost difference in driving just one more exit, even in the presence of tolls, some progressive governments have experimented with other options to control growth at a hard-and-fast boundary. Perhaps the most famous example is Portland's Urban Growth Boundary. Other approaches include cutting off urban services (like sewer connections) beyond a certain point or using transferable development rights (TDRs) with large multipliers to drive growth away from agricultural areas. The ability for jurisdictions to implement these approaches, however, varies state by state.

Compared to many states, Virginia localities are more restricted in their ability to control growth past a boundary. For instance, Fairfax County was prohibited (partially on a technicality) by the Supreme Court of Virginia in 1959 from downzoning the western two-thirds of the County to larger two-acre lots in order to lessen growth there and encourage it in a denser form in the areas closer to Falls Church, Arlington, and Alexandria. (See Board of Supervisors v. Carper, 200 Va. 653.) One of the fears suggested by the Court over the years has been that restricting large areas from development would serve to increase prices county- or region-wide, unconstitutionally excluding low-income Virginians from finding homes. In recent decades, similar growth-controlling policies by other counties have been attempted with varying degrees of success, but the localities find themselves in court over the regulations virtually every time.

Moreover, attempts such as Fairfax's struck-down 1959 large-lot ordinance often act as blunt tools. Though a region may be interested in controlling sprawling growth emanating from a megacity at its center, such large-lot development policies might have the effect of making housing expensive and car-dependent for the towns on the periphery that are not currently in the direct orbit of the megacity.

It was with this in mind that I recently found the privately owned Dulles "Greenway" toll highway a fascinating case in growth control. Its toll structure works like this: traveling westbound (away from Washington), users pay a toll solely upon entry; traveling eastbound, users pay a toll solely upon exit. At the Greenway's easternmost terminus (near Dulles Airport at the start of the similarly named but state-owned Dulles Toll Road), the toll is nearly $5, while the first few exits at the western end are free before slowly going up in price as one travels eastbound.

The result is that this road is effectively linearly priced for travelers starting their journey in Leesburg (at the western terminus) but fixed-price for travelers starting their journey near Dulles. This makes using the Greenway an expensive proposition for any driver in this latter group not utilizing the entire length of the facility.

Suddenly, a Tysons commuter who chooses a home off of Old Ox Road or the Loudoun County Parkway doesn't suffer just a subtly more expensive commute than one who opts for a similar house in Herndon, a mere 3 miles away: it results in upwards of $2,000 a year in added commuting expenses. On the other hand, residents of the Leesburg area who commute only within their town's region without driving as far as Dulles don't bear the brunt of the eastern end of the road's more expensive toll.

My research has left me without an answer as to whether the tolling structure was designed with this purpose in mind (and because it's a private road that has more ability to self-set its rates, I doubt it), but if it was, I'm impressed.

As policymakers over the next decades increasingly embrace road tolling, such a system might just be the best way to curb sprawl without needlessly angering communities that can be reasonably independent of a central metropolis.


Finally: an express bus from Leesburg to Tysons

Although Loudoun County has been operating an express bus service for a number of years to Arlington and Washington from major population centers in the County, there has been no service to what is quite possibly the most popular commuter destination from within the County's borders: Tysons Corner.

Luckily, this changes on June 21st when the Loudoun–Tysons Express service inaugurates.

By car: 60–90 minutes each way and $17/day: Every morning, the four eastbound lanes of the Route 267 Dulles Toll Road are slammed with traffic from the Airport to east of Reston, and most days see at least several sections of stop-and-go traffic. The leftmost of the four lanes is restricted to HOV-2 only, so it witnesses a somewhat more freeflowing throughput.

A peak-trip drive from Leesburg to Tysons on Route 267 usually takes about 60–90 minutes each way and $11.50 in tolls roundtrip ($8 on the Greenway and $3.50 on the Toll Road), not yet mentioning wear-and-tear or the $5/day in gas these trips generally impose.

There is a toll-free (or toll-reduced) alternative in taking Route 7 at least part of the way, but this can add in excess of 30 minutes to the commute.

By the new bus: 40–60 minutes each way and $6/day: The Dulles Toll Road is unique among its peer freeways in that it includes a dedicated roadway in its center limited to the exclusive use of cars and cabs on airport business as well as authorized express buses to any destination. As a result of its travel rules, traffic on this restricted "Access Road" rarely stops flowing freely. The new Tysons Express bus service will use these lanes.

Because of the busway-like facility, the new service will provide a commute from park-and-rides near Leesburg and Ashburn to Tysons for a cost of $6 roundtrip and a bus time of 40–60 minutes, depending on the specific start–end trip.

The buses are going to be luxury coaches, complete with restrooms, reclining chairs, and free Wi-Fi.

Next steps: I have a nagging suspicion that if this is marketed properly at all (perhaps with a sign or two in the median of the Toll Road), these buses are going to be wildly popular and crowded, and that Loudoun and VDOT are going to have to find a way to add more. Similar Tysons Express Service was launched from Woodbridge last fall, and I'll admit don't have any idea how well that service has been running.

However, compared to the Woodbridge line, the Leesburg-and-Ashburn-to-Tysons route is such an obvious trip with such an onerous and expensive current commute that it's hard to suspect it won't rock success. The new express bus not only saves a peak commuter $11/day ($55/week or $2750/year) but also up to an hour a day stuck in traffic (and with free Wi-Fi to boot!)

Given the significant cost and time savings, I think there's got to be more demand for Leesburg/Ashburn-to-Tysons bus service than 385 people a day. Time will tell, but I predict an announcement this fall that Loudoun and/or VDOT will be working to double the number of buses on these routes to handle the demand.

This bus is a no-brainer. Why did it take a planned reconfiguration of Tysons just to get the players together to propose this?


Breakfast links: Tragedy of the anti-commons

Map of service outage this weekend, from WMATA
The Grinch stole playtime: The Kensington town council unanimously passed a resolution this week banning schoolchildren from using a public park. Previously used by the adjacent Brookewood private school for recess, now only "caretakers with children five years old and younger can be in Reinhardt Park from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday." Mayor Peter Fosselman "said the park is for taxpaying citizens, not abuse by a private non-profit school." (WJLA, JTS)

Green line severed: This weekend, the Green Line will be closed from Waterfront to Archives. Yellow Line service will also be rerouted through the Rosslyn tunnel. Shuttle buses will be provided. (WMATA, Tom Veil)

Declining ridership means cuts: WMATA is "projecting that declining ridership will create a $22.4 million budget shortfall this fiscal year, forcing managers to urgently search for cuts in coming weeks." Reportedly, the "estimated gap is based on ridership in July and August. If ridership does not bounce back by December, she said, the cuts could grow." (Post) ... WUSA9 quotes Michael Perkins in their article.

Tougher penalties for phones than booze?: Metro's new, tough policy against distracted driving by bus drivers is actually stricter than rules about alcohol and drug use. Some anti-drunk driving advocates think the rules against drugs and alcohol need to get tougher too. (Examiner)

Franklin School RFP: DC has issued an RFP for the redevelopment of the grand historic Franklin School on Franklin Square. "Currently zoned for high density business and retail, the RFP indicates the developer may vary from this use." The RFP comes complete with requirements for the use of small businesses in the redevelopment, to go along with the historic preservation regulations. (DCMud)

Another driverless car: WTOP provides another example of a press report about a seemingly driverless car. "A car drove into an office building in Bethesda. ... An 82-year-old woman was driving her car into a driveway leading to the building. The car sped up, hit a pylon, went along a retaining and then went into the building in the front of the Citrine Salon." The woman is driving the car, right up until the moment when it started speeding up and hit the pylon. (AP/WTOP) By comparison, the Post admits that the woman "lost control of the car." (David A)

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Breakfast links: Suburbs aren't all the same

Photo by destempsanciens
Les banlieues américaines: As happened to previously wealthy urban neighborhoods in the 1950s and 1960s, new mansions in transit-poor exurbs are being divided into multifamily rental properties, with two to three households in each home. Some are being rented as Section 8 housing, with "sheets, not curtains, tacked up in some windows." Will the future American city follow a Parisian model, with a dense and wealthy core, surrounded by car-oriented suburban "slums"? (MSN Real Estate)

Farmer's Market . . . to go: Yet another farmer's market is to sprout up downtown this fall, at the Reagan Building. But, this new farmer's market will focus on "prepared foods, ready for workers to take home," so it may be more of a food festival than a market. (Post, Cavan)

Not a safe route yet: A driver struck a 2nd grader on New Jersey Avenue, NW yesterday during International Walk to School Day, according to a post on the Shaw Neighborhood listserv. Neighborhood leaders are eager for planned Safe Routes to School improvements, including some of those high-impact traffic calming measures like raised crosswalks around the school. (ShawNeighborhood, CCCA)

The obvious (finally): As the first urban President since John Kennedy, Obama has acknowledged that "federal policy has actually encouraged sprawl and congestion and pollution, rather than quality public transportation and smart, sustainable development." According to the Post, the administration is "quietly beginning the most ambitious new policy for the nation's cities since [Johnson's] Great Society programs of the 1960s." (JTS)

Arlington an oasis: The New York Times has characterized the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor as an "oasis of stability amid a downturn." The office and retail vacancies in the Corridor are reportedly the second-lowest rates in the country. The Times attributes the success largely to the Metro and the neighborhoods' walkability, though commenters at Matt Yglesias' blog think there should be more parking. (Ward 1 Guy)

Race to the bottom: Reproved by the District and Prince George's County in its attempts to exact a new taxpayer-funded stadium, the DC United might end up with the Orioles as neighbors. Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to study building a 17–20,000 seat soccer stadium adjacent to Camden Yards and the light rail line. Should the study proceed favorably, the stadium would be used to lure DC United. (WBJ, Cavan)

Transit planning in a recession: Starting October 15, Fairfax county will be hosting meetings to discuss its new 10-year transit plan. Busline-by-busline details are provided in the plan. Among many points of interest, the report explicitly calls for reduced peak-only service for "affluent" neighborhoods.

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Breakfast Links: Narrowing, tunnelling, and bulldozing streets

Suburbs going multi-modal: Fresh off the heels of Virginia's cul-de-sac ban, VDOT plans to convert two lanes of Reston's Lawyers Road into two bike lanes, plus a center turn lane. The Reston Association has also recommended reducing the speed limit from 45 to 35 miles per hour. For context, as recently as 1967, Lawyers Road was a one-lane dirt path. (Restonian, Joshua D)

Georgetown Metropolitian's rendering of a possible Georgetown Metro station, adjacent to the PNC bank branch

Piercing Georgetown's street veil: The Georgetown Metropolitian has brainstormed various places where a hypothetical split Metro Blue Line might provide street access in Georgetown without tearing down an historic building, including in the PNC parking lot, adjacent to the Canal, or directly on Wisconsin Avenue. The quick study doesn't consider an all-elevator option akin to Forest Glen or Brooklyn's Clark Street station. (JTS)

Legal action expected: Once more, "Tysons Tunnel," a group opposing the under-construction elevated Metro Silver Line through Tysons, is threatening legal action. Backed by the Sierra Club and another unnamed "watchdog" group, Tysons Tunnel is planning to sue based on provisions of Virginia's Public-Private Transportation Act, as a way to have the plans reevaluated and redrawn with a tunnel. (WBJ, JTS)

Then, fleas. Now, Caterpillars. The WMATA-owned property at Florida Avenue and 8th Street NW which presently hosts a weekend flea market, is about to be under contract. Bannecker Ventures expects to close within 60 days on the land, begin construction in summer 2011, and offer move-ins in Fall 2011, for a 120-unit apartment building with 20,000 sf of ground-level retail. This is the same property for which WMATA solicited proposals last summer, unsuccessfully. (Geoff H)

Bulldozing cities: My cousin, in town for the weekend, asked if there would ever be a way to end the traffic on DC's radial freeways. I responded, "not likely, as such relief would require bulldozing the outer suburbs" (as the existing transportation demand will otherwise continue to be there forever, and any widening will induce more exurban road construction), but this act is taking place right now in a number of American cities, including Detroit and Flint, Michigan. Hopefully the governments will limit the destruction to the outer, less sustainable, neighborhoods while preserving the core areas. (Telegraph, Steve, MarkM)

And ... Virginia Rep. Cantor continues to propose eliminating pedestrian and bicycle enhancements (VBF, Jaime) ... The Prince of Petworth asks his readers to comment on whether public housing has failed in DC (Eric H) ... In a case study of "new" urbanism, the Oregonian studies how the architecture of modern buildings in Portland near streetcar routes mimics the city's historic streetcar-adjacent architecture.

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Breakfast Links: The cyclists are naked and rolling

Rolling stops in Loudoun: The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office ticketed a number of cyclists last weekend who were participating in a muscular sclerosis charity event. In defending the citations for riders in the event who had slowed to 1 mph at a stop sign, Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson noted that "[t]hey forget the fact that they're sharing that road with motor vehicles." More than 700 cyclists participated in the event. (Loudoun Extra, Pat O, Cavan, Gavin Baker, ah)

Photo by hoyasmeg on Flickr

Pedestrians are traffic too: For the first time, the Montgomery County planning department's Highway Mobility Report, which analyzes congestion at 130 intersections across Montgomery, also counted pedestrians, who until recently were often given short shrift in discussions about how to make roads and intersections safer and more efficient. "We wanted to make sure we were accounting for all different modes of travel," said Dan Hardy, transportation planning supervisor for the county's Department of Park and Planning. (Post)

Oil prices jumping: Cementing the recent trend reversal, prices of sweet crude passed the $71-a-barrel mark, more than double its low of $30 a barrel from four months ago. Some analysts are predicting $250-a-barrel oil in the future. Noted GGW tipper Steve, "If it goes there, new Metro alignments won't look so expensive." (Guardian, Steve)

(Near) naked: The fourth-annual "Naked Bike Ride" (potentially NSFW) to protest oil dependency will take place today Saturday 6/13 at 3pm, beginning at Franklin Square. In contrast to sponsors of the ride in other, less conservative cities, local organizers have stated that "riders are asked to conform to the DC laws, which means stopping just short of the 'full Monty.'" (WashCycle, Lynda)

Camera data in MoCo: Supporters of the always-controversial speed cameras in Montgomery County have produced auto-fatality data to argue for the devices' continued existence. This year, to date, nine people have died in traffic collisions, a number which is roughly half the number from the same period in each of 2008 or 2007. "This is not a blip on the radar. This is long-lasting, profound effects on our roadways," said Police Captain John Damskey, before continuing, "[t]hey've got to be playing a part." (WTOP)

Miami-Dade Car-way The Miami-Dade busway is on the verge of being opened up to cars in order to fill a budget gap. An oft-ignored drawback of busways over other fixed-guideway transit corridors is that, once paved, there may be considerable political pressure to open them up to cars. (Miami Herald via The Overhead Wire, Cavan)

And ... Froggie has a number of photos from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge trail opening (Va Highways) ... After finding additional sponsors—Comcast and the Trust for the National Mall—HBO has announced that Screen on the Green will not be cancelled after all, just shortened (DCist) ... It's the summer, so, as usual, a number of streets will be closed this weekend, this time for the "Lawyers Have a Heart" Race and the "Capital Pride Festival.

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