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Posts from December 2011


Weekend links: Hold it

Photo by IntangibleArts on Flickr.
A matter of personal dignity: Metrobus drivers typically don't have time for bathroom breaks, and when they do have time there's often no place to go. Not only is it uncomfortable, but holding it so long can lead to health problems. (Post)

ICC beats projections: Intercounty Connector usage exceeded expectations by about 1,000 cars per day for the first two weeks tolls were enforced. The freeway is projected to take 30,000 cars per day around June. (Examiner, Dan Reed)

Micro living for the masses: For only $850 per month, Vancouver renters get 291 square feet of their own in the downtown core. The apartments show just how much demand there is for urban living. (Grist, Dan Reed)

Our suburban presidential candidates: All but one of the Republican candidates for president have elaborately decorated McMansions in the suburbs. Jon Huntsman, the exception, owns a Kalorama rowhouse. (NYT, Dan Reed)

Closing bars for safety's sake: Mood Lounge is closed for 96 hoursincluding the New Year's holiday - following a double stabbing Friday night. Chief Lanier used her emergency liquor license suspension powers to close the club. (Post)

Purple Line moves ahead: Maryland's Purple Line received $69 million in state funds for preliminary engineering work on Thursday. The line could start construction in 2015, but much more funding is still needed. (Examiner)

Bluetooth travel time: Arlington wants a real-time travel system on Highway 50 with displays showing how long it will take to drive from one point to another. The system would work by measuring how long it takes Bluetooth signals to travel from one detector to the next. (Business Journal)

Redevelopment agencies lose fight: Most of California's redevelopment agencies will be shut down after losing their court fight against Governor Jerry Brown's austerity budget. The agencies captured property taxes to fund themselves, which the Governor said was a drain on local and state budgets. (LA Times, Pacific Sun)

And...: Arlington is on track to have its first murder-free year since 1960. (ARLnow, Miles Grant) ... A pedestrian struck in a crosswalk dies. (Post) ... DC's office market isn't quite so hot. (Business Journal) ... 8 of the 10 busiest Metro days were Nats game days. (Patch)

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Rally questions Barry's leadership in Ward 8

Local activists questioned Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry's commitment and leadership when he failed to appear at a Thursday rally in opposition to a women's services shelter in Anacostia.

Rally in Historic Anacostia. Photo from CHOTR.

Amplified with a bullhorn, ANC Commissioner Greta Fuller's voice cut the early morning cold, echoing down the 1200 block of Good Hope Road SE.

"We have been fed lies over and over again that are our community will be revitalized," Fuller said to more than 50 people who gathered. "Marion Barry, you are not in touch with our community. You don't know what we want, you don't know what we need."

Organized by former Barry spokesperson Natalie Williams, now challenging Barry for Ward 8's 2012 DC Council Democratic nomination, the rally attracted community leaders and residents that have sought information on Calvary Women's Services' plan to open a 50-bed shelter on Good Hope Road for the past 6 months without success.

A self-identified "old foot soldier," known widely as the grande dame of Anacostia for her tireless work with children and the homeless, Hannah Hawkins expressed her disappointment in Barry.

"Marion Barry, I love him," said Hawkins, the matriarch at Children of Mine Youth Center on Mount View Place SE. "But he has backed off a lot of these social services issues."

Many in the assemblage questioned Barry's nonattendance. In a recent press release criticizing Williams' candidacy, Barry addressed the women's shelter asserting "This is an issue I investigated and have been working with the Community [sic] on for over three months. Her Johnny-come-lately efforts are just that." No one in the crowd could account for Barry's claims, while some even questioned if there are ulterior motivations for his reluctance to respond to his constituent's concerns.

In reaction to Barry's statement, DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown reprimanded the former mayor for a "potential violation of the Council's Code of Official Conduct" in addition to existing city and federal law that bar electioneering with public resources. The DC GOP questioned Barry's ethics in attacking an opponent on government time.

Many speakers at Thursday's rally were direct in marking the distinction of their opposition. "We are not against women's shelter, we are not against homelessness," Fuller said. "What we are against is the oversaturation of these services in a condensed area."


American bike sharing systems more than doubled in 2011

2011 closes as the last year that Washington will probably lead the nation in bike sharing stations after having the most in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, New York City will launch a 600-station system, dwarfing DC's system.

Boston's Hubway. Photo by Luis Tamayo on Flickr.

Here are the current US bike sharing systems, ranked by number of stations. The list is more impressive than last year's version.

Nationwide, the total number of cities with bike sharing expanded from 8 to 18, and the total number of bikesharing stations more than doubled, from 251 to 559.

  1. Washington/Arlington, DC/VA: 140 stations
  2. Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN: 115 stations
  3. Miami Beach, FL: 70 stations
  4. Boston, MA: 61 stations
  5. Denver, CO: 52 stations*
  6. Madison, WI: 27 stations
  7. Broward County, FL: 20 stations
  8. San Antonio, TX: 20 stations
  9. Boulder, CO: 15 stations*
  10. Washington State University - Pullman, WA: 8 stations
  11. Chicago, IL: 7 stations
  12. Omaha, NE: 5 stations
  13. University of California - Irvine: 4 stations
  14. Des Moines, IA: 4 stations
  15. Tulsa, OK: 4 stations
  16. Louisville, KY: 3 stations
  17. Kailua, HI: 2 stations
  18. Spartanburg, SC: 2 stations
For the second straight year Washington's Capital Bikeshare was the largest system, but CaBi will begin to face more serious competition in 2012 and 2013 as a number of new cities begin to launch their own networks. Baltimore is expected to launch with 30 stations next year, Chicago may build up to 300, and most notably of all: New York is moving forward with a 600-station behemoth system.

Data for this list was compiled with the help of The Bike-Sharing Blog's excellent map of world bike sharing.

* Denver and Boulder are counted separately, but cross-honor memberships. Combined, the system has a total 67 stations.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.


Breakfast links: Taxicab opinions

Photo by mikeygibran on Flickr.
Cheh hails for taxi feedback: An online poll lets you share your opinion of DC taxi service with Councilmember Cheh, who has authored a bill to make many improvements to taxis. (DCist)

Bus burns: A Ride On bus caught fire on Tuesday. Over the past 15 months there have been two additional fires on similar Ride On buses, but they were unrelated. (Examiner)

High prices make DC less cool: DC's high prices, caused partially by the Height Act, are keeping starving artists out, claims Matt Yglesias. He also thinks the only thing keeping housing prices down is poor schools. (Slate)

Do this, don't do that: Since October Metro is trying to move away from hand written signs and replacing them with printed signs. But some station managers don't seem to know the new signs exist. (Examiner)

Not gentrification?: With many of the new comers to Anacostia being black is gentrification the right word? In LA, where Latinos are displacing other Latinos, they use the term "gentefication." (WAMU)

Parking to parklet: San Francisco is adding more pedestrian space with dozens of "parklets," which replace street parking spaces with temporary, privately funded seating areas and green space. (SFGate, Tony G)

And...: A new map of all the planned development in Southwest DC. (SWTLQTC) ... A video with all the maps of the NYC subway. (Gizmodo, Redline SOS) ... A round-up of 2011 demographic changes. (DCentric)

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Breakfast links: Oldest inhabitants

Photo by SdotCruz on Flickr.
DC wants to keep its WWI memorial: The Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia wants a national World War I memorial, just in Pershing Park rather than on the District's existing World War I memorial. (WAMU)

Audit for Union Station management: Union Station management will undergo a federal audit if two members of Congress have their way. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton "doesn't know enough to say there's something wrong, but what's worse than that is not knowing anything." (Times)

Death in Rockville crash: Five drivers, including a Metrobus operator, were involved in a major accident on Rockville Pike. One person was killed and a dozen more injured. No cause is yet known. (WAMU)

Shady deal in Catoe's Metro: A Metro manager hired a friend for $140,000 in a noncompetitive manner and fired a whistleblower for complaining to then-GM John Catoe, according to a report by WMATA's Inspector General. (Times)

An avalanche of tickets: In fiscal year 2011, DC issued 1.6 million parking tickets - roughly six per minute - according to AAA. To AAA, this amounted to "no mercy", while DPW said such enforcement was necessary to ensure parking turnover. (Times)

Think of the tourists: Tourists have special transportation needs that aren't currently addressed by the region's disparate agencies and land jurisdictions, but they should be built into the regional transportation plans. (RPUS)

Madrid swaps highway for park: A corridor that once was a major highway is now a six-mile long park through the heart of Madrid, reviving once-dead neighborhoods and returning a river to the open air. (New York Times)

Battle of the buses: MegaBus has petitioned the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to break up BoltBus, a joint project between Greyhound and Peter Pan bus lines, arguing the regulations that allowed the BoltBus partnership are out-of-date. (Bloomberg)

Core capacity for BART: BART, Metro's California cousin, is looking at its future and it may sound familiar to some of us - increased core capacity. But also like Metro, BART doesn't have the money to do it. (San Francisco Chronicle, Chris G)

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Lost Washington: Good Hope Roadís German orphanage

Good Hope Road SE, one of East Washington's historic thoroughfares, has been home to many places now forgotten. While still a pastoral area the arterial road hosted, from the late 1800s into the 1960s, an orphanage for children of German ancestry, one such place with an obscured memory.

German Orphan Asylum on Good Hope Road SE. Photo from Historical Society of Washington.

Too rural for street addresses, the German Orphan Asylum at 2300 Good Hope Road wasn't given an address until 1945. It first opened its doors in August 1880. Today, the Marbury Plaza apartment complex looms over Good Hope Road where the orphanage previously stood.

"In the second half of the nineteenth century, Washington's native-born and immigrant German population was significant in numbers," writes Mona E. Dingle in 1996's Urban Odyssey, A Multicultural History of Washington, DC. At their peak presence, Germans represented 10% of the city's population, significantly less than Chicago and Baltimore where nearly one-quarter of city residents were of German ancestry.

With an increase in the city's German population, a concern emerged to care "for orphans and the aged." In 1879 parishioners of Concordia German Evangelical Lutheran Church at 20th & G Street NW began to raise money for an asylum for needy German orphans. With financial support from leaders within the city's established and emerging German American community, the "German Protestant Orphan Asylum Association of the District of Columbia" was incorporated with a twenty year charter from Congress. The Protestant designation was later stricken from the title to allow admission of children of other religions and eventually non-German children were accepted.

"Admission requirements, based on race and age, stipulated that a child must be of the white race Ö at least three (3) years old but not over eleven (11) years,'" according to Louise Daniel Hutchinson's seminal 1977 work, The Anacostia Story: 1608-1930. These restrictions were relaxed in later years.

Before the turn of the century, the German Orphan Asylum was one of the first institutions built for the care and welfare of children in Anacostia, but other charitable efforts soon followed. The Stoddard Baptist Home for "colored elderly and indigent women" was founded in the Garfield community near Hamilton Road, present-day Alabama Avenue. In 1904 the Episcopal Diocese expanded its work to provide "for winter service to homeless children at Anacostia, D.C." according to Hutchinson.

Local beer manufacturer Christian Heurich, known for his popular "Senate" beer, was one of the earliest benefactors of the German orphanage. Later contributors included local department store owner Julius Garfinckel.

Simon Wolf, a German Jewish immigrant and successful lawyer, assisted the orphanage, with funding from Congress, in purchasing the 32-acre Good Hope Hill Farm from Captain Samuel G. and Flora Cabell in what is today the Fairlawn neighborhood. With the help of Wolf and friends of the asylum, a new brick building was constructed and dedicated in October 1890. The asylum had formerly occupied space in downtown Washington.

Photo from Historical Society of Washington.

"The new two-story home, perched on top of Good Hope Hill measured 52 feet x 100 feet, and was designed to accommodate up to 80 children," according to, "To Help A Child: The History of the German Orphan Home," an article in the 2006 edition of Washington History by local historian Anna Watkins.

According to Census records from 1900, the orphanage had 52 "inmates" and was run by the Henry and Elizabeth Harrold along with their four daughters and one son.

The board of directors controlled the admission and release of the children, and selected their schools until they reached the age of about 14. The youngsters were then placed in carefully surveyed homes where they worked as household help or nannies, or were assigned as an apprentice to a trade or profession. The board retained responsibility for the children until they reached legal adulthood. The older adolescents attended public school in Anacostia, while the younger ones prepared for school at the asylum.

The orphanage taught, studied, and used both German and English. Due to the national mood during World War I, the board decreed in 1918 that use of the English language would take precedent "because we must show ourselves thoroughly patriotic and loyal; we are American in every sense of the word and proud of it." During this time the American flag was raised daily on the main building. However, in 1929, when an illustrated 50th anniversary history book was published, it was done so in both languages.

The Orphanage's relocation

With the growth and development of Washington following World War II the neighborhood dynamics around the orphanage began to change.

1959 Plate Map. Photo from DCPL Washingtoniana Division.

"Increasingly developed with housing and institutions, the area was no longer conducive to having children do farm chores as heavy traffic sped down the hill bordering the property," according to Watkins. Long-time Superintendent George Christman "noticed that more people were walking across the home's grounds. Some ran dogs on the property, teenagers had parties and played games there displaying loud and annoying behavior, and drunks used the front steps to take a rest."

With the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954 and other factors, such as the construction of the Barry Farm housing development and urban renewal of the SW waterfront, the demographics of the surrounding neighborhoods began to shift. Herein the orphans began to face difficulties in the neighborhood schools.

The board began to consider relocating and selling their property on Good Hope Road. In early 1964, developer Charles Smith offered to rent the property for 99 years at a price that allowed the orphanage to relocate. The Smith Company would later demolish the facilities and build the present-day apartment complex Marbury Plaza.

Soon thereafter the directors of the orphanage purchased a large parcel of land in Prince George's County, opening a new home on Melwood Road in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in 1965. In December 1978, at the end of the semester, the orphanage closed to its last student.


Though a rare breed, suburban bicyclists tough it out

In outer-ring DC suburbs designed without them in mind, a surprising number of brave souls are getting around by bike, willingly mixing with cars and trucks on busy, fast highways.

Photo by cobalt123 on Flickr.

Upon my return to Silver Spring from Philadelphia for the holidays, I found myself driving much more than I'm used to in the course of Christmas shopping. While I anticipated a lot of car traffic, I've also been pleasantly surprised to see bicyclists everywhere I go, on roads nobody would consider bike-friendly.

Inside-the-beltway suburbs, while far from an ideal environment for bikers, are still a cyclists' paradise compared to sprawling outer-ring locales. Closer-in neighborhoods have relatively narrow streets and boast short distances between places of interest, while farther-out suburban areas were designed under the assumption that everyone would have a car.

I have nothing but respect for these hardy individuals I observed over the past week (all photos by the author):

Bicyclist Heroes, Route 50 & Pickett Road, Fairfax, Va.

A couple in matching coats tries to cross Route 50 at Pickett Road in Fairfax City. It took me three light cycles to make a left turn here, but they had to wait much longer for a right-turning driver who'd stop for them.

Bicyclist Hero, Dobbin Road & Route 175, Columbia, Md.

A bicyclist waits between trucks and SUVs to cross Route 175 at Dobbin Road in Columbia, a massive intersection bordered by the even bigger Columbia Crossing shopping center. This is probably the most inconvenient bicycling environment imaginable: fast roads, no sidewalks, and nearly every building is on a hill and facing away from the street, making each trip a long, tiresome trek.

Bicyclist Hero, Rhode Island Ave & Route 1, Beltsville, Md.

I found this bicyclist at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and Route 1 in Beltsville. Unlike the last two examples, the streets here aren't as broad. But since it's a mile north of the Beltway, this intersection can get very congested. Rhode Island Avenue also doesn't have sidewalks for much of its length, meaning bicyclists don't have a choice but to "share the road."

I have happily pedaled around Philadelphia and the District for a year and a half now, but I haven't enjoyed many forays outside the city. Arlington, for all of its bike lanes, is quite hilly and has some really confusing intersections. The Capital Crescent Trail is pretty, but frequented by super-serious, capital-B Bicyclists who thought nothing of shoving me or my 12-year-old brother out of their way when we biked it last summer. Nor have I had a pleasant time biking in downtown Silver Spring, where the bike network is so lacking that a route on Cedar Street was once declared the "Stupidest Bike Lane in America."

When the District can't build its planned bike lanes, it's hard to believe that surrounding suburban communities will do much better. It is heartening that Montgomery County, Alexandria, College Park and even Columbia are trying to join Capital Bikeshare or looking to start bike sharing programs of their own. Yet these remain, for the most part, inhospitable places to ride a bike, discourage their residents from choosing a healthier, greener, and much cheaper way to get around.

Despite unsympathetic drivers, spread-out communities and unaccommodating infrastructure, a considerable number of outer suburbanites get around by bike. Better planning and simple policy fixes are needed so that a safe, enjoyable experience awaits those who choose to take to two wheels.


Breakfast links: Metro works

Photo by tracktwentynine on Flickr.
Metro cars look good: Metro's 5000-series cars look just fine according to inspectors. Metro is still investigating why a piece fell off of a 5000-series car last week. (Examiner, Post)

Metro projects improve station access: Metro has come up with its pedestrian and bike projects for the next five years. The total cost is $25 million, but right now Metro only has $7 million in funding. (PlanItMetro)

MARC cuts delayed: MARC will delay service cuts to allow for public comment. This follows outcry from riders groups, which said they had no chance to give input. The cuts have been presented as scheduling changes but would mean reduced service along the Brunswick Line. (Examiner)

MD Ave. plan improves land use, transit: Maryland Avenue SW is currently dominated by office buildings, but a new plan would create a more mixed use corridor with a multimodal transit hub at L'Enfant Plaza. (SWTLQTC)

Streetcar storage gets more expensive: DC agreed to pay Metro $427,000 more to store its mothballed streetcar fleet as a result of delays, bringing the total storage costs to $7.62 million. (Examiner)

Shady realtors of history: In Capitol Hill, restorations were paired with segregation in the 1940s. Real estate agents used scare tactics to push out black families, allowing agents to restore homes, and used different tactics to push out white families, allowing them to make shady home loans. (Sociology in My Neighborhood)

Union Square goes to AOC: The area just west of the Capitol will transfer from NPS to the Architect of the Capitol. Proponents cite security, while critics fear free speech will become more restricted. (Post, Eric Fidler)

Work around the alcohol: Corner stores and delis are trying to work around DC's Class B alcohol license moratorium by applying for a Class A license but voluntarily restricting their activities to Class B. (Park View DC)

And...: US Treasury gets LEED-Gold certification ... Ten sites added to Virginia's Historic Landmarks list, including Dominion Hills ... Virginia officers have been ticketing drivers without proof of insurance, even though there is no law requiring it (Virginia Lawyers Weekly) ... A swimmable Inner Harbor by 2020?

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It takes a village to become a bicycle commuter

After four months in my new, inside-the-beltway job, I'm firmly entrenched within the ranks of DC-area bicycle commuters. The local bicycling and transportation community deserves much of the credit for giving me the information, support and confidence to bike to work every day.

Photo by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious on Flickr.

With nearly 500 miles of riding to and from work under my belt to date, I've saved money, benefited from a great new workout routine and developed an appreciation for some additional daily outdoor time. And, keeping my car off the road means that I've also made a drop more room on crowded transportation routes for traditional car users.

Looking back, I know that none of this would have been possible without an extensive and multifaceted network of resources available to bicyclists, and bicycle commuters, in particular, throughout the Washington region.

Last year at this time, I commuted by car 22 miles each way from Glover Park to Fort Belvoir. My three-day-a-week compressed shift schedule took me along the Key Bridge, Route 110, Route 395 and Route 95. There was rarely any traffic driving outbound for most of my oddly timed shifts, but on my return trip when shifts ended at breakfast or dinner time, I participated in and contributed to congestion on both Route 110 and the Key Bridge.

My work at Fort Belvoir consisted of three, one-year mobilizations by the Army Reserve. Some time ago, the temporary need for my expertise and labor started to wind down. I started my job search with a basic requirement to work inside the Beltway. Ideally, I wanted a position in downtown DC or Arlington where I could at least bicycle to work once in a while. At the time, riding a bicycle to and from work everyday was only a dream.

When the pieces fell into place and I accepted a challenging position in Arlington along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, I wasted no time breaking the news to my wife: with this change, at the very least, the car would become a last resort for my commute. In fact, I decided that the bus and Metro would play second fiddle to my leg-powered two wheeler.

My wife's concerns mounted as she peppered me with questions of safety and "What if?" scenarios at the dinner table. I had a number of concerns of my own. Luckily, the bicycle community in and around DC was integral in making me a smart, safe and road-ready bicyclist.

The initial inspiration for trying my hand at bicycle commuting came from a blog, of all places. With great admiration and awe, I started reading Brian McEntee's Tales From The Sharrows and following @SharrowsDC for his tidbits on Twitter. He didn't portray his daily rides as always easy or relaxing. Brian identified problems, some caused by others and some by him, and how he overcame them. I figuratively took notes as I plotted changing my commuting method.

I took my remaining questions to Gil Nissey at the free bike clinic he provides to patrons of the Glover Park-Burleith Farmers' Market. Beyond basic bike maintenance, I needed to know what it was like to rely on a bike for work everyday. Gil put my concerns to rest with one simple fact.

In a soft voice, and without an ounce of bragging, Gil stated that he had biked to work during every day of Snowmageddon except for one. I think that at least 10 times I asked him to recount his technique and equipment so that my novice mind could digest it all.

I obtained free printed bike maps from the District Department of Transportation and Arlington County. I also spent considerable time with Google Transit working through bicycle and WMATA routes. I needed to know all my options.

For better or worse, one of my shift rotations would begin earlier in the morning than Metro buses started to run. That meant that the bike would serve as my only choice for transportation to work during those times. I also mapped out several different routes because I knew that some of my rides would occur along side commuting traffic and some during the darkness of night.

On the DC side, it was a no-brainer straight route from Glover Park to the Key Bridge through Burleith and Georgetown. In Arlington, I selected two routes mostly based on bike accessibility, hills and scenery. Going to work, I take the Custis Trail uphill, pass through some neighborhood streets parallel to Wilson Boulevard and finish on the Fairfax Drive bike lanes. Coming home, I return on the Fairfax Drive bike lanes and turn onto the Clarendon Boulevard bike lanes.

After several rides, I had more questions than answers. I consulted the Washington Area Bike Forum to work through what I did not know about biking etiquette, traffic laws and rain gear. This supplemented what I had learned last year in WABA's Confident City Cycling part 2 course.

To address my wife's numerous "What if?" scenarios, I signed up for Capital Bikeshare and the free Guaranteed Ride Home program. I also carry a WMATA SmarTrip card and taxi fare. I have taken my bike on Metrorail a few times when I have had to run more distant errands after work.

I religiously track each trip with the free My Tracks app. This has enabled me to reliably predict the end-to-end time for my entire routine. Depending on weather, time of day and route, I know how long the bike ride should take give or take a couple minutes. I add in sufficient time to put on and take off all my gear.

For winter biking, I have up to seven thin layers for my upper body laid out and ready to go to compensate for the exact temperature. I also purchased inexpensive rain gear and a back fender for wet days. I'm close to purchasing studded bike tires to help me safely traverse winter hazards.

We have retained my car for now, which I still need for my monthly Army Reserve service. Its motorized four wheels remain as backup transportation, though the vehicle now sits unused most days. And, as my biking experience continues to broaden, with every workday, I can swap stories, good and bad, with the bike commuters in Glover Park who continue to encourage me with their many years of biking to and from work.

This transition into the world of bicycle commuters was a combination of luck, research, inspiration and encouragement. My small payback so far has been to coordinate a bike and pedestrian safety program at our local elementary school.

I'm almost beyond being a newbie among bicycle commuters. My gratitude towards the bicycle and transportation community grows with every pedal.


Boxing Day links: Bad garages make bad neighbors

Photo by Lynn Friedman on Flickr.
Neighbors object to secret garage: A planned intelligence campus in Bethesda is raising ire from neighbors with a 6-level garage and secrecy around whether fences, bright nighttime lights, or other security measures will exist. (Post)

Fingers crossed for transit: Montgomery County officials are hoping state funding decisions don't cause delays in the Purple line or Corridor Cities Transitway. (Post)

CaBi huge with tourists: Capital Bikeshare's ridership has declined since July, despite continued system expansion. But the biggest decline came from short term memberships, indicating that tourists are using the system a great deal. (City Paper)

Calvary to meet with community: Calvary Women's Services, which plans to build a shelter in Anacostia, has agreed to attend a community meeting after calls to do so from community leaders. (CHotR)

Quenching food deserts: The DC Central Kitchen is fixing food deserts by stocking fresh fruits and vegetables at corner stores in underserved communities. (WAMU)

2011 not great for NPS: The National Park Service had a rough 2011 when it came to their work in DC, but the end of the year did see some hope. (City Paper)

Better predictions for transit projects: Large transit projects often run behind schedule and over budget, but there might be a way to improve those predictions by including local governments and private partners. (Atlantic Cities)

No ads in Brazil city: São Paulo banned outdoor advertising and five years into the experiment 70% of residents favor the ban. Instead of looking at advertisements, residents now notice old buildings. (Center for a New American Dream)

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