Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Shutdown everything


Photo by maistora on Flickr.
Park Police won't do events, MPD will: In the event of a shutdown, the Park Police won't help with any special events, forcing postponement of the GW Parkway Classic road race. But MPD, also affected by the shutdown, has agreed to step in and allow the Cherry Blossom Parade to go on. (Express Night Out, WUSA)

Public safety partially essential: While police will be exempt from a federal shutdown, the Office of Police Complaints, which records and investigates police abuses, will be shuttered along with several other consumer and citizen protection agencies. (City Paper)

Services that will continue: DPW will pick up trash, but only starting one week after the shutdown, because after a week the trash piling up will become a health risk. (Examiner) ... Also, the Circulator and Capital Bikeshare will continue during a shutdown.

Furloughed workers can file unemployment: Employees who are furloughed are eligible for unemployment benefits in every DC area jurisdiction. District residents are eligible after a week, but even then, will DC's unemployment office be open? (WTOP)

WMATA clarifies potential cuts: The WMATA Board narrowed its service cut options yesterday. On the table still are increases in weekend train headways, several bus route cuts and consolidations, and a revised Anacostia bus fare discount. (Examiner)

Wheaton Costco debate continues: Montgomery County executive Ike Leggett is still pushing for a $4 million subsidy to attract Costco to Westfield Wheaton mall. Marc Elrich is opposed, George Leventhal supportive. Also, Costco is refusing to meet with the local neighborhood association. (Gazette, Danila Sheveiko)

Black History Museum design revised: The NCPC considered revised designs for the final museum on the Mall, which will have a more subdued nighttime lighting. One NCPC member balked at a water feature at the museum's entrance saying, "It really is a foreign element in landscaping." (Examiner)

And...: The looming federal shutdown shows DC advocates should focus on budget autonomy before statehood, Jack Evans says. (Examiner) ... DC, Maryland and 23 other states applied for a piece of Florida's $2.4 billion in high-speed rail funds. Where's Virginia? (Transportation Nation, Gavin)

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Erik Weber has been living car-free in the District since 2009. Hailing from the home of the nation's first Urban Growth Boundary, Erik has been interested in transit since spending summers in Germany as a kid where he rode as many buses, trains and streetcars as he could find. Views expressed here are Erik's alone. 

Comments

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Is there a link to Circulator being open? The Post "reported" yesterday that it would be closed. That didn't make sense to me, but it would be nice to confirm.

Bikeshare did tweet yesterday they would be open.

Declaring all city workers as essential would be an interesting step. I'd like to see the feds prosecute the Mayor for that. Evans's point about budget autonomy is well taken.

by charlie on Apr 8, 2011 9:03 am • linkreport

@budget autonomy

Agreed. The statehood battle is a long shot for DC, but at the very least they should be excempt from the national political scene effecting their budget. This is also something that could easly be passed as well, but perhaps not until dems control the house again.

by Matt R on Apr 8, 2011 9:22 am • linkreport

Statehood isn't politically feasible yet. Statehood advocates should feel free to keep working toward it, but should recognize it's not likely to happen tomorrow. Meanwhile, budget autonomy is causing trouble today, and it seems more feasible in a shorter term.

by Gavin on Apr 8, 2011 9:42 am • linkreport

The struggle for statehood is a continuous, long-term battle. We should not take our eyes off the long-term goal that is the optimal path towards complete autonomy for the District, even as we work towards policy changes that will incrementally increase our autonomy (most people in this country would be shocked to know that we couldn't even vote for President here before the 60s and had no elected mayor before the 70s...we continue taking baby steps towards full autonomy and statehood). As for "budget autonomy" as supported by Evans, this policy would require an entire Examiner article to discuss, not just one quote. I'm unsure how Evans plans to convince Congress to give us budget autonomy. I'm open to suggestions.

by Alan Page on Apr 8, 2011 10:04 am • linkreport

It would seem that greater national awareness (fueled by local activism/media attention) would be necessary to get something as basic as budgetary autonomy passed in Congress. It didn't pass in the last session despite Democratic control (caught up in the backlog of end-of-session legislation), so even gaining full control over local spending would not be an easy win. Certainly statehood is a longer-term means of achieving this.

by DCster on Apr 8, 2011 10:09 am • linkreport

If we are paying for the police protection at the parade we better make sure everyone at the parade knows it.

by guest on Apr 8, 2011 10:16 am • linkreport

20 minute headways on the weekend will mean Metro's lost me as a customer on the weekends. I hardly consider Metro on weekends because of the long headways. The last thing I want to find out when I walk into a station or plan to head to a station is that it will be an additional 20 minutes. Yes, there are tools for tracking the next train/bus and they've helped me decide NOT to take Metro because the next bus/train due to the wait. I've used the same tools to help me time departures as well.

by Rob on Apr 8, 2011 10:32 am • linkreport

This could very well be Vince Gray's finest hour.

Even though he could have scored some political points by letting the shutdown wreck havoc on DC (thus bolstering the cause for DC statehood), he's fighting tooth and nail to make sure that most DC government services are staying open and operational.

I'm still not a huge fan of Mayor Gray, but his handling of this crisis has been competent, mature, and has had the best interests of DC's residents at heart.

by andrew on Apr 8, 2011 10:39 am • linkreport

Anyone know what the District is requesting for the Florida HSR funds?
Would be cool to get improvements at Union Station done that way.

by Horace on Apr 8, 2011 10:54 am • linkreport

@andrew:

Even though he could have scored some political points by letting the shutdown wreck havoc on DC (thus bolstering the cause for DC statehood), he's fighting tooth and nail to make sure that most DC government services are staying open and operational.

It's a political no-brainer. Embattled mayor needs some enemy to rally the citizens against. Gray should send Boehner a box of chocolates and some silk panty hose.

One City!

by oboe on Apr 8, 2011 10:55 am • linkreport

20 minute headways on the weekend will mean Metro's lost me as a customer on the weekends. I hardly consider Metro on weekends because of the long headways.

Reason #308 Why DC needs roll out streetcars.

by oboe on Apr 8, 2011 10:56 am • linkreport

I'm confused. Aren't 20 minute headways during weekends, and even late during the week, already commonplace? I've experienced them.

by Brandon on Apr 8, 2011 12:35 pm • linkreport

@Oboe, If streetcars were a viable alternative to getting from SE to VA, I'm all in. Or even Capitol Hill to Brookland.

@Brandon, yep, it's somewhere between 15-20 minutes on weekdays after 8 I believe. It's definately the norm.

by HogWash on Apr 8, 2011 12:45 pm • linkreport

@Oboe - Why would expect street cars to run every 3 minutes on weekends?

by ah on Apr 8, 2011 1:37 pm • linkreport

Congress has given us budget autonomy.

And taken it back.

Nothing but statehood will guarantee keeping it. And statehood is a more simple method than the unconstitutional voting stuff Norton wasted Obama 1's huge Dem majorities with. We become a state with a simple vote of Congress.

Altho I'm rather smitten with the GOP Tea Party congressman's bill that wants to keep us a territory but exempt us from federal income tax as other territories are. My hero (on that).

by Tom Coumaris on Apr 8, 2011 1:40 pm • linkreport

@ah,

Where'd you get 3 minutes? (I believe they're scheduled to run more frequently on H Street than 20 minutes though.)

In any case, my point is a more local system, focused on local service, is more likely to be responsive to local needs.

by oboe on Apr 8, 2011 2:00 pm • linkreport

The "One NCPC member [who] balked at a water feature" is Peter May, a planning director for the National Park Service.

So, now the NPS, which can't keep green grass growing on the National Mall and is currently revamping the (water filled) Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pond next to the (water featured) WWII Memorial, now thinks water is a "foreign element".

Makes so much sense to me.

by Jim on Apr 8, 2011 2:52 pm • linkreport

Pshh, crazy French and their "fountains"

by Bossi on Apr 8, 2011 7:08 pm • linkreport

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