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Development


How five local businesspeople would tackle gentrification on 14th Street

As recently as ten years ago, DC's bustling 14th Street corridor was riddled with crime and blight. Its rapid transformation is one version of the same story you can find all over the District. How can change of this magnitude serve existing communities rather than displace them?


14th Street NW in 2014. Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

On August 6th at The Studio Theater, a panel of speakers hosted by The Washington Post gathered to discuss this challenge, providing personal insights into how rapid transformation can be better managed and implemented so that it benefits everyone.

The panelists included Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal, Mindful Restaurant Group owner Ari Gejdenson; Erik Bergman, a director of operations with the Neighborhood Restaurant Group; JBG Companies vice president Evan Regan-Levine; and Meridith Burkus, the managing director of Studio Theatre. Local Washington Post columnist John Kelly moderated the discussion.


The panel. Photo by Tina Revazi.

The panelists discussed two separate (but interrelated) forms of gentrification. One is economic gentrification. In the context of the discussion, economic gentrification is the result of unsustainable costs of living due to the regulatory climate imposed by local government (for example, the expensive and unsubsidized cost of purchasing land).

Evan Regan-Levine summed up this challenge "How can we pair smart legislation with the desire to have the private sector invest in and redevelop neighborhoods without destroying that fabric?"

Then, there is cultural gentrification. In the context of the discussion, cultural gentrification is the result of residents feeling marginalized and unwelcome in their own neighborhoods, with their interests being superseded by surrounding business interests. To that end, businesses moving into newly developed neighborhoods hold a level of responsibility for ensuring that members of the community are welcomed and included.

Better public policy can shape the outcomes of economic gentrification

"A city is not a bank, it's not a business. It really needs to think in terms of 'What is our responsibility?'" said Andy Shallal. "First and foremost, it is for the citizens. And it's not just the new people moving in. It's the people who have lived here. Gentrification isn't gravity...it happens because it's intentional. It's intentional by the city, it's intentional by government."

Part of the responsibility falls on government to make diverse and affordable development feasible for developers.

It starts with the price of housing, which is driven by the cost of land. And cost of land is, to a degree, controllable by government.

Communities are marginalized when they are displaced from their homes, so if housing could be made more affordable, the level of displacement would decrease. In an attempt to level the playing field, government needs to be held accountable for ensuring that all residents can afford to live in DC, while balancing the power of developers and special interest groups.


14th and U Streets NW in 1950. Photo by Addison Scurlock.

One way to create more affordable housing is through public-private partnerships between developers and the city government.

"We have been really willy-nilly about giving away public property, and I think that's been one of the problems. You have to hold the city accountable, and say, 'You cannot give away land unless you do some really serious concessions.'" said Shallal.

An example of such a concession is subsidizing the cost of affordable housing, so that the burden of charging reduced rates for affordable housing doesn't rest squarely on the shoulders of private developers.

"The Housing Trust Fund has $100 million, but it needs to at least be doubled," said Shallal. "And there is money, this is the time. The city has almost $2 billion in surplus. This is the moment to say, 'Let's invest and let's plan for the future', otherwise we're going to sit and have this same conversation next year, and the year after, and the year after."

While the Housing Trust Fund was infused with nearly $100 million during last year's budget process, there's still lots of remaining work to be done to ensure the fund ultimately helps those who need it most.

Businesses share responsibility for welcoming members of existing communities

"The government can play a role, but I think we have to play a role as well", said Meredith Burkis, regarding the need for local businesses to be conscious of their impact on existing communities.

"One of the things we've been doing over course of the last year is asking how [The Studio Theater] can play a role in that challenge. We all have to have a commitment to understanding that there are people who have been here, it's their community. What role can we play in that community? There's not one answer. Government, yes, has to play a role. But we have to make it a priority too."

There are many examples of how this can be put into action. It starts, as Shallal pointed out, with raising awareness of cultural divisions and proactively working to avoid them.

Shallal stated, "It's not just about a business opening and saying 'I'm successful, I'm doing well'. It's about a business saying that success doesn't stop at the bottom line of a dollar, but it stops at 'Am I really representing and feeling good about being here, can I walk outside my door and have my head raised up high, and feel like I'm not contributing to the destruction of somebody else's life or culture?' That's the question that us as business owners have to ask ourselves every single day."

The construction of the menu itself at Busboys and Poets is an example of maintaining this awareness. Initially, Shallal hired a chef who put together an upscale menu that would likely leave many members of the local community feeling disregarded.

"I looked at the menu, and half of the things on there I couldn't understand let alone would want to have on the menu. In order for us to be accessible to the neighborhood, we had to have food that [customers] feel comfortable ordering without having to feel stupid about looking at the menu."

"In order to be friendly to the neighborhood that you're coming into, you can't just parachute into it. You need to build from the bottom," Shallal concluded.

This is a powerful truth to be acknowledged when it comes to new businesses planting roots in revitalized neighborhoods, if they hope to embrace the past while welcoming the future.

Transit


I don't care what some people say: DC has great transportation options.

SafeTrack is pretty much Exhibit A when it comes to how frustrating the transportation options in the Washington region can sometimes be. But as my recent move to Orlando reminded me, problems like SafeTrack are somewhat of a luxury—you have to have a rail network to even have them. My message to the DC region: it's really not so bad!


X2 Bus. Photo by Elvert Barnes.

In the Orlando region, there's a fixed route bus system and new commuter rail line that provides reliable service for millions in Central Florida. And I just happen to live and work in a more transit-accessible area than I did in DC. But that is uncommon. Wait times between buses and trains are often an hour, and real-time traveler information isn't available throughout the entire system.

I recently spoke to some Greater Greater Washington contributors about my newfound appreciation for what DC does so well, asking if there's anything here that they're particularly thankful for. I really liked what Alex Baca had to say:

Metrobus arrives on time, consistently, and the frequency on the notable crosstown lines (90, X2, S buses, 50s) blows many, many other systems out of the water. I left DC for San Francisco and am now in Cleveland (car-free!). In both cities, it is a struggle to find a bus that arrives when it's scheduled. I know that the switch from NextBus has caused some consternation as far as real-time arrivals, but at least DC's buses arrive when their paper schedules say they will.

I was in New York recently and a friend warned me that "the buses aren't like DC here," so I would have to give myself a 15-minute window for my bus from Prospect Heights to Williamsburg, in case it was early or late. In Cleveland, the bus that stops outside of my apartment (a "high-frequency" line on a major route to downtown) is routinely four (four!) minutes early and only runs every 15 minutes—when I first moved here, I missed the bus several times and waited a whole headway for another, which, of course, was often late.

I left DC in 2014 but am back as often as I can be. I always, always take Metro from National or MARC from BWI, then Metro and Metrobus as needed. Often, I'm lucky to have a bike, but sometimes I don't. I don't want to undercut WMATA's problems with Metro, but even as a hot mess it's a better system than most other cities in America have to offer, and I will say that I was utterly miserable biking for both transportation and recreation in San Francisco, a city that is ostensibly one of the country's most bike-friendly. BART's role as a commuter system is even starker than Metro's. I rarely used it to get around the city in the way that I used Metro, just to get to the airport and the East Bay.

DC's transportation is comparatively incredible across the board. This is a great thing. It's also a depressing indicator of the state of transportation in the US.

In a word, Alex is right.

The Washington region has tons of options, from bikeshare to trails. Wait times between buses aren't bad when you compare them to other cities, and we've got apps that give us real time information. We've also got good wayfinding.


Capital Bikeshare in action. Photo by fromcaliw/love.

Capital Bikeshare adds to its 370 stations monthly, it seems. In just a few years, the system could have nearly 500 stations.


The Metropolitan Branch Trail. Photo by TrailVoice.

Bike commuting is easier with the region's extensive trail network, linking downtown to the suburbs. When Metro closed for a day in March, the MBT experienced a 65% increase in cyclists. That's a testament to how easy it is to bike in the area.


Wayfinding. Photo by Dylan Passmore.

Across the District, blue signs point you towards neighborhoods, Metro stations, and other points of interest. A person new or unfamiliar to an area can find their way to the Smithsonian museums or the zoo pretty easily.

Tell us your thoughts: what have you seen or experienced while traveling or living elsewhere that made you particularly thankful for the region's transportation network?

Links


Breakfast links: Monumental takes on our monuments


Photo by Li Tsin Soon on Flickr.
Not your father's Mall: In 1791, Washington's planner Pierre L'Enfant envisioned the National Mall as a wide avenue with a canal. Here's how one of the world's most famous public spaces has kept changing and evolving over the past 200 years. (Post)

Confederate memorials hostile or history?: An Alexandria advisory group recommended the city keep a Confederate memorial in the middle of an intersection, but change the name of Jefferson Davis Highway. Many residents say the change is not enough, but others say any change erases Alexandria's Confederate history. (Post)

Washington Monument still shook up: Five years after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rocked our region, the Washington Monument is still damaged. The National Park Service says earthquake damage is to blame for recent elevator outages. (WTOP)

New chief, familiar face: Peter Newsham, the current DC Assistant Chief of Police, will take over as interim chief when Cathy Lanier steps down in September. He has 27 years on the force, with the last 14 as the assistant chief. (Post)

Silver Spring is for artists: A Silver Spring police station will transform into an art studio with affordable housing. Montgomery County is building out the art scene to house a variety of creative pursuits, including tattooing and hairdressing. (Post)

Uber raises prices: The minimum fare for an UberX just went up $1, to $6.35. Uber says this is an effort to increase pay for drivers. The increase did not affect UberPool, the company's carpool option. (DCist)

Buzz for stadium: Construction on DC United's new stadium at Buzzard Point will begin soon. Here are some new renderings of what's planned. (DCist)

More housing or fewer jobs?: The mayor of Palo Alto, California responded to the planning commissioner who quit because she couldn't afford a home in the mostly low density city. The mayor would like to reduce the number of jobs rather than add more housing. But one council candidate disagrees. (Curbed, Vox)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.

Transit


System maps on the ceilings of cars? Color blind-friendly dots on sign posts? These are the last 2 MetroGreater finalists!

You have a few more days to vote for your favorite MetroGreater finalists before voting closes at midnight on Friday, August 26th! We've told you about eight of the ten finalists over the last few weeks. Here are the last two: System map decals for ceilings of cars and color-blind friendly dots on sign posts.


Photos by Mr. T in DC and thisisbossi on Flickr, respectively.

System map decals for ceilings of cars

Many people who submitted ideas for small, quick fixes to make riding Metro better wanted to see improvements to signage. This finalist idea proposes to add more system maps to rail cars by putting them on the ceiling. Although Metro has made ceiling space available for advertising on some cars, they could make room for some maps.


Original photo by Mr.T in DC on Flickr.
Read Janet S.'s original submission:
Place decals of Metro system Maps on ceilings of the cars, preferably in between doors. This will encourage tourists to move to middle of car, away from doors, if they are able to see a system map that is not near a door.

Ceiling system maps will also be helpful to regular riders who are having to make detours during Safe Track surges.

A few commenters think this is a great idea. Daniele notes that because she is 5'3", "it can be EXTREMELY difficult to see the Metro map! By putting it on the ceiling, I would no longer have issues seeing the map!" Rick agrees that this is a good idea, but thinks that adhesive system maps might make for tempting souvenirs. He recommends that WMATA "make sure that they can't be peeled off" too easily by people wanting to take them home!

What do you think? Should system map decals for the ceilings of rail cars be the winning idea? Vote at MetroGreater.org and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Make the dots on sign posts more color-blind friendly

Many people with color blindness experience unique challenges when trying to navigate Metrorail. Difficulty or the inability to distinguish between colors means that system wayfinding tools based solely on color are confusing for some people with colorblindness. This MetroGreater finalist idea seeks to assist people with colorblindness by adding text to the rail line dots on sign posts in Metro stations.


Photo by thisisbossi on Flickr.

Diana B.'s original submission explains:

On all sign posts, print the word color (ex. Blue on blue dot) so color-blind people can tell what line it is.

People who are color-blind have trouble determining which line is which, because they can't tell the color of the circles. My son-in-law has to ask people which line is which and sometimes gets no help because people just tell him to look at the posts.

Commenters agree with Diana. As someone who seems to have color blindness herself, Lori "support[s] this 100%." She shares that if she didn't already know where she was going, she would have a hard time navigating based on colors alone.

To make wayfinding easier for people who are colorblind as well as those who may not read English, Mark suggests making "giant colored dots with white colored text words" in the center in both English and French. Rick, on the other hand thinks less is more and recommends "dots with the single capital letters in them, (B) = Blue, (G) = Green, (R) = Red, etc." to reflect some of the new system maps.

Do you support adding text to the colored dots on sign posts? Should it be the winning MetroGreater idea? Vote and tell us your thoughts at MetroGreater.org.

Photography


Think you know Metro? It's whichWMATA week 90

It's time for the ninetieth installment of our weekly "whichWMATA" series! Below are photos of 5 stations in the Washington Metro system. Can you identify each from its picture?


Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5

We'll hide the comments so the early birds don't spoil the fun.

Please have your answers submitted by noon on Thursday. Good luck!

UPDATE: The answers are here.

Information about contest rules, submission guidelines, and a leaderboard is available at http://ggwash.org/whichwmata.

Public Spaces


Arlington has a great new park, and it was easy to build

What if you turned parking space in your neighborhood into the area's newest park? Staff members from a handful of Arlington County agencies recently did just that, creating a new "pop-up plaza" near Courthouse Plaza. It only took paint, plantings, outdoor furniture, and two days of work.

Though the County may have borrowed this idea from New York City, it has recently shown an ability to get innovative in transforming public spaces using inexpensive materials: in May, tape, paper, and potted plants were all it took to build a temporary bikeway.

The pop-up plaza calls to mind the temporary "parklets" that pop up on Park(ing) Day each September, but it's great to see these innovative spaces being created at other times of year.

Hopefully this plaza will remain a permanent fixture of the Courth House neighborhood (at least until the entire parking lot is reclaimed and transformed into a park).

Where do you think Arlington's next pop-up plaza should go?

Links


Breakfast links: Bigger selection for SelectPass


Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
More SelectPass options: Metro's SelectPass program just got better for everyone. Riders can now select a variety of fare price points between $2.25 and $5.90 for the flexible monthly passes. (Post)

You're still fired: Metro and its biggest union are fighting over the firing of a tunnel inspector who allegedly falsified a report related to last January's fatal smoke incident. Metro says it would be incredibly dangerous to reinstate the employee, but the union says Metro is using the employee as a scapegoat. (Post)

California housing plan crumbles: The California governor's plan to allow more housing construction without community veto has failed to get support in the state legislature. This also puts $400 million in housing funding, which was part of the proposed deal, in jeopardy. (SFist)

Bikeshare comes to Baltimore: Baltimore's long-awaited bike share system is set to open in October, with over 400 bikes at 50 stations by spring. 40% of the bikes will include electric pedal assist. (Baltimore Business Journal)

Bethesda Metro's brand new mural: The Bethesda Metro station is getting a huge mural. DC artist Juan Pineda was selected from a pool of more than 50 artists to create his Mayan-inspired piece. (Bethesda Magazine)

The ethics of rent-to-own homes: Rent-to-own homes make home ownership possible for a lot of lower-income folks, but are they a good deal? Predatory loan terms and undisclosed issues mean a lot of people lose a lot of money. (NYT)

And...: A special bike bridge will connect a key bike route over a 6-lane interstate in Portland. (Streetsblog) ... Uber's CEO says self-driving cars won't take away jobs. (Vox) ... DC's Department of For-Hire Vehicles is preparing for a future with automated vehicles. (DCist)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.

Transit


Compass rose decals? More direct priority seating signs? Here are two more MetroGreater finalists.

This week is the last week to vote on your favorite MetroGreater finalists! Before voting closes at midnight Friday, we're telling you about each finalist idea. Today's featured finalists: Compass rose decals at station exits and more direct priority seating signs.


Photos by the finalists.

Compass rose decals at station exits

Have you ever been disoriented upon exiting a Metro station, unclear which way you need to go to reach your destination? This finalist idea offers a solution: install compass rose decals outside stations. A compass rose is a figure which indicates the orientation of north, south, east, and west cardinal directions. Installing compass rose decals outside stations with multiple exits could help Metrorail riders get their bearings after exiting a station.


Photo by finalist Robert B.

Here's the original submission:

Exiting at an unfamiliar metro station, but know the direction you need to head next? Use a compass rose to quickly orient yourself.

Keep sufficiently far away from station exit that tourist won't stand over and block escalator exits. In fact, if decals are 10 feet forward from exit, it could draw unfamiliar visitors forward and out of the way of escalators as they orient themselves.

Decals would be best if they gave primary prominence to the north direction, so they could be read from a distance and were not dependent on reading the letters.

Robert B. shares that "downtown [DC] stations can be especially confusing since there are often multiple exits and infrequent riders may not realize that they are exiting at a different exit than they took last time." He thinks installing compass rose decals at certain station exits would help. Commenter "thm" agrees."Start with Farragut North! I always get confused when exiting there because it's 17th street on both sides of Farragut Square, and occasionally I've wanted to walk towards 16th street but made it halfway to 18th street before I got my bearings."

Robert foresees some potential challenges with this idea, but offers proactive solutions. To avoid having passengers clog up the exits by stopping to look at the directional decals, Robert suggests placing them away from the escalators to "pull visitors forward." Also, some commenters have suggested including local landmarks or neighborhood attractions on the decals. Robert thinks that's a great idea, but, taking the long view, he notes that "one of the advantages of the compass rose is that north won't be changing direction anytime soon, while construction and destruction of roads and landmarks could leave the decals out of date."

What do you think? Which stations would benefit from compass rose decals? Vote at MetroGreater.org and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

More direct priority seating signs

Federal law requires that rail cars have signs which designate certain seats as priority for people with disabilities and seniors. These priority seating signs should also indicate that other passengers give up these seats if asked to do so.

This finalist idea proposes stronger language on Metro's priority seating signs to make sure that able bodied people relinquish their seats to those who need them more.


Photo by finalist Matt F.

The original submission explains:

While traveling in Portland and Seattle last year I noticed that the priority seatings signs used much stronger language than those on Metro. Portland MaxRail says you are "required" to give up your seat for someone who needs it.

I see a lot of people on trains and buses unwilling to get up from their seat for someone who is elderly, pregnant or could otherwise use a seat.

Metro has tried to address Matt F.'s concerns about priority seating in the past. In their 2009 "If trains were planes" video about Metrorail etiquette, the animated attendant notes that "all seats are not created equally." She notes that passengers should make the designated priority seats available to seniors and people with disabilities.

This video appears to be part of a campaign Metro rolled out in 2009 to remind riders to make priority seats available to people with disabilities and seniors. In January 2015, Metro worked with the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), which represents the needs of elderly people and those with disabilities, to encourage people to keep priority seats open for these folks through an ad campaign.

Making priority seating available to those who need it seems to be a perennial problem on Metro. Perhaps, changing the language on the signs can help keep priority seating open for those who need it?

What do you think about this idea? Tell us with your vote at MetroGreater.org or in the comments below.

You can also check out the other finalist ideas we've profiled here, here, and here.

Events


Join us for happy hour, learn to write about housing, and other great upcoming events

Tuesday night is our next happy hour in Mount Rainier, featuring Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker. Also, do you want to learn to write blog posts like the ones on Greater Greater Washington? Are you interested in talking about housing? We'll teach you!


Photo by Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka on Flickr.

Blogging is a powerful way to discuss our region's issues with a greater community. To help you learn, we're hosting a writing workshop with a focus on housing on Wednesday, September 7th at 1919 M Street NW.

Join us to find an outlet for your ideas on housing in the region, and to build your skills and network. The free workshop is at the College Board, 1919 M St NW, Suite 300, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Space is limited, so sign up early—we want you to come!

Besides the writing workshop, there are some other great events coming up:

Tuesday, August 23: Join Greater Greater Washington staff, supporters, and special guest County Executive Rushern Baker for happy hour in Prince George's County from 6 to 8 pm at Bird Kitchen + Cocktails (3801 34th Street). There are many transit options to Mount Rainier, and if you'd like to bike, we have a bike group leaving from Brookland at 5:45 pm. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 24: Netwalking is an organization that gets people out in the community, walking for fitness, and learning about important issues. Join the next Netwalk to tour U Street and learn about effective strategies for effective community engagement. Meet at the corner of Vermont St and 10th Street, NW at 6 pm.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, August 30 and 31: Raise a glass with the Coalition for Smarter Growth team at one of two happy hours. Get the scoop on the Purple Line and BRT on Route 1 at the Montgomery Happy Hour on Tuesday at 6:30 pm at Fire Station 1 (8131 Georgia Ave) or join us and Shaw Main Streets on Wednesday at Right Proper Brewing (624 T St NW) at 6:00pm to get the latest on our DC policy work and hear about what we have on tap for the fall.

Calendar: Beyond what we've highlighted here, there are many other worthwhile events across the region. Check out more great events in our events calendar: Do you know of an upcoming event that may be interesting, relevant, or important to Greater Greater Washington readers that should go on our events calendar? Send it to us at events@ggwash.org.

Air


When airports give your kids a place to play, traveling is far less stressful

If you're a parent, flying out of Dulles International Airport will soon be a somewhat more bearable experience. That's because the airport recently opened a children's play area in Concourse B, where many international flights leave from. The contained space—known as the "FunWay"—has airport-themed climbing structures and a video console with 100 games.


The FunWay at Dulles Airport. Photos by the author.

This is a good thing. A very good thing. And it's actually a bigger deal than you might think.

A few months ago, I wouldn't really have given a kid's play area in a local airport much thought. But after a recent visit to Switzerland with my wife and two-and-a-half year old daughter to see relatives, it became painfully obvious to me that compared to most of Europe, the US doesn't really consider the needs of families—especially those with young children—when it comes to how we get around.

We started our trip at Dulles in mid-July, a few weeks before the FunWay was finished. We had a few hours to kill, so we play zone defense the best we could: one of us would rest while the other took off running as my daughter sprinted down the concourse and into just about every nook and cranny Dulles has to offer. (There's lots, and a toddler will find them all.) To her, it was new and exciting, and she got to explore it all. But for us as parents, it was exhausting and, at times, stressful. There was no easy way to contain her, lest I put her in front of a screen. (Certainly not beyond me, but we were saving that for the 8-hour flight.)

But when we landed in Copenhagen, our five-hour layover was significantly easier. That's because the Danish airport not only has communal strollers for parents to use (we had checked ours in Dulles, and it wouldn't get to us until Zurich), but also a large play area. She got to run around and play with toys in a safe and contained space, while we got to sit back and relax as we waited for our next flight.

And so it went for the rest of the trip. The inter-city trains in Switzerland had designated cars for families—and those cars had small playgrounds for kids. The buses in Berne, where we stayed with family, allowed parents to park strollers in the area designated for passengers in wheelchairs. Even the highway rest stops in Switzerland had playgrounds.


A playground in a train in Switzerland.

This isn't to say that some US airports haven't been ahead of the curve. Chicago O'Hare, San Francisco and Boston Logan are regularly ranked as some of the most kid-friendly in the country—and even compete with some of the better airports internationally. But that hasn't really been the case locally.

Until now, Dulles had nothing for kids—but it did have multiple smoking lounges, not to mention four designated pet relief areas. (Don't get me wrong—I love pets. But I'd bet more kids travel than do pets.) And on Metrobus, you're required to fold up a stroller and carry it. It goes without saying that it's probably a distant hope that Amtrak—not to mention MARC or VRE—would ever consider a kid-friendly car. (Per its website, the best Amtrak offers is the suggestion that parents should "download a train-themed movie for your little ones to watch while they ride the real thing!")

Don't get me wrong: There are far bigger things the US could tackle to make the country more friendly to new families. We're nowhere near Europe—much less most of the world—when it comes to paid family leave, for one. But that's not an excuse not to tackle the smaller things, most of which would be far easier to implement anyhow.

Those small things send clear signals about what we collectively prioritize. Cities that prioritize bikes have great bike infrastructure; just the same, cities and countries that prioritize kids and families will build things like a play area in an airport or have a designated car for kids in a train. Kids are accommodated, not avoided.

And for anyone who thinks I'm just an annoying parent trying to bend the world to my needs and decisions, consider this: the happier kids are anywhere they go, the happier we all are. No one likes a bored, screaming child, least of all their parents. Accommodating children in small ways during travel is cheap—and has a big payoff for everyone.

On our way back to the US earlier this month, our flight was delayed by nine hours. We were all tired and bored, but there was one saving grace: We were delayed in Copenhagen, and we knew we had a place to take my daughter.

Full disclosure: Dulles Airport has provided underwriting for my employer, WAMU 88.5. And to be honest, I only heard about the FunWay when it came up in one of their underwriting spots on our air last week. The idea for this piece predated that spot, though, and I've received no compensation from Dulles Airport for writing this.

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