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Fairfax and Loudoun threaten Silver Line: Fairfax and Loudoun counties are threatening to pull funding for the Silver Line if the MWAA doesn't pay for an underground Dulles station itself. VDOT says raising Dulles tolls is not an option. (TBD)

NTSB report questions 1000 series: The NTSB report on the November 2009 rail yard crash again questions the crash worthiness of 1000 series cars which were totalled in the crash despite traveling at most 19 mph. (Examiner)

Gray, Norton mixing messages?: The Mayor had framed DC's objections to the budget deal as a fight home rule, but after appearing on national press in front of Planned Parenthood, he may risk making abortion the central issue. (Examiner) ... Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced amendments to the funding bill to remove DC riders, pleading for autonomy, but later appeared with Gray at Planned Parenthood. (TBD)

Driver strikes cyclist, gets tickets: A driver who struck and all but killed a cyclist in Baltimore has received two traffic citations. The cyclist was left in a coma and is not expected to regain cognitive function. (Baltimore Sun)

Budget includes money for NoVa, MoCo roads: Congress' budget deal includes $300 million to expand roads around Fort Belvoir and the Naval Medical Center, but nothing for transportation alternatives to the two, or any funding for Mark Center access improvements. (Post)

VRE adds seats for rush hour: A new agreement with CSX will allow VRE to add rail cars to rush hour trains (PDF) holding an additional 700 passengers each day. (mcs)

Online gambling now legal in DC: In the heat of budget negotiations, Congress' 30 day window to object to a new DC law legalizing online gambling has passed, paving the way for the city to earn an estimated $13 million over 3 years. (WAMU)

Chicago Walmart portends problems: The experience with construction of a Walmart on the west side of Chicago shows Walmart is not used to the urban construction world and questions whether professed local benefits aren't quite what they make them out to be. (Crain's New York Business)

And...: The Post's annual Peep diorama contest contains more than a few regional references. ... Arlington says just kidding about the Rosslyn and Courthouse CaBi stations it said were coming this week. (ARLnow) ... Baltimore wants to get a comprehensive count of its bike traffic this spring and needs volunteers. (B'more Bikes) ... The Post has endorsed Patrick Mara for DC Council at-large.

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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. 

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$13 million over 3 years? Sounds kind of paltry.

by TGEoA on Apr 13, 2011 9:06 am • linkreport

@Wal-Mart in Chicago: I'm not sure I see how this article shows Wal-Mart at fault for anything. The focus of the article is on how Wal-Mart hired a minority-owned firm as general contractor, and then that GC farmed out all the actual work to non-minority-owned firms. There were billing disputes between the GC and the other firms and it all went to hell. How is Wal-Mart at fault?

by RDHD on Apr 13, 2011 9:23 am • linkreport

Here we go again, more threats over the very existence of the Silver Line if a station doesn't go above/below ground. Yes, we can all agree that an underground station is the preffered option, but putting the entire project into jeopardy over it is absurd.

by Ben on Apr 13, 2011 9:23 am • linkreport

Can VDOT tell MWAA what to do with the Dulles Toll Road? Doesn't MWAA own it and have control over it?

by Tim on Apr 13, 2011 9:26 am • linkreport

@Tim

I think MWAA owns the Dulles ACCESS road. Certainly not the toll road.

by TGEoA on Apr 13, 2011 9:29 am • linkreport

No, they own and operate the DTR.

VDOT can't do much. But VDOT didn't say anything -- it was the Secretary of Transportation. Not sure of the jurisdiction there, but you can always have a hearing an embarrass MWAA. Wolf wants to do the same to the Greenway, and both of them could use a good public examination.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 9:34 am • linkreport

@Tim & TGEoA

VDOT originally built the DTR, but transferred operations to MWAA in 2008, with MWAA taking full ownership in 2009. So to answer Tim's questions in a nutshell, No and Yes.

Regarding the Fort Belvoir road widening, I'd like to point out that the community as a whole down here is supportive of both the widening of Route 1 *AND* rail transit along the corridor at least between Huntington and Ft. Belvoir if not all the way to Lorton (many of my MVCCA transportation committee fellows would like to see it to Lorton). Route 1 through the fort has long been known as a bottleneck, even before BRAC. And BRAC will make it that much worse.

by Froggie on Apr 13, 2011 9:48 am • linkreport

RE the MWAA,

I said as much last week when I commented that I would be apoplectic at this point if I was a Loudoun or Fairfax resident. Users of the DTR are unfairly shouldering an outsized portion of the cost of the Silver line when the bulk of the toll payers get zero benefit from the Silver line. The tens of thousands of people who come in every day from Ashburn and Leesburg and beyond, whose businesses nor personal property will see any direct or indirect benefit get a toll raise every time the cost of this mega boondoggle goes up.

DTR tolls have doubled in the past 3 years, specifically to pay for the Silver Line. The base DTR user is now being tolled an extra $1.50 per day, or $360 dollars per year not to pay for road maintenance or upkeep, but specifically to pay for a rail system that they won't benefit them at all. Metro is a regional transportation system, if we as a region have decided to expand the system then we as a region should share the costs, just as has been done with all the other station expansions.

This cost overrun is specificially for the airport users. Why isn't MWAA adding a surcharge to all passenger tickets in/out of Dulles for this? With 24 million passengers in and out of Dulles every year, it wouldn't take much of a surcharge to pay for this.

Disclaimer, I use the DTR a few times a year and couldn't care less.

by freely on Apr 13, 2011 9:50 am • linkreport

The Examiner article notwithstanding, "Planned Parenthood" and "abortion" are not synonyms.

Furthermore, whether Gray stands in front of a Planned Parenthood awning or not, the DC rights issue, in this case, actually is linked to abortion rights. It is not a coincidence that the rider the Republicans insisted on was about forbidding DC from spending its own money on abortions, rather than bike lanes, or bag fees, or garbage pickup.

by Miriam on Apr 13, 2011 9:59 am • linkreport

The government needs to take responsibility for this debacle that taking place at Mark Center.

by Vik on Apr 13, 2011 10:14 am • linkreport

@froggie; I really think that part of Rt. 1 can be the next Rosslyn-Ballston.

IF traffic problems are a bad as predicted, you can hit up the feds for money.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 10:22 am • linkreport

@Ben
No, the preferred option is to allocate the $4 billion to BRT which would be more cost-effective and would provide better service to more people.

by movement on Apr 13, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

@ movement; or just build it to Wiehle or Dulles Town Center, then stop.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 10:41 am • linkreport

@movement
No, the preferred option is to allocate the $4 billion to BRT which would be more cost-effective and would provide better service to more people.

How on earth could BRT serve more people than Metro? It can't.

by MLD on Apr 13, 2011 10:43 am • linkreport

The story of the 20 yr old is tragic ... actually worse, it's horrendous. So what do we do now, put an 83 yr old woman on death row? The wiser action is to rethink the wisdom of pushing for more mixing of bike and vehicular traffic. Can a 20 yr old really be fully aware of the danger of operating a 50 lb bike around vehicles weighing a couple tons? Probably not, but the people setting transportation policies should be. I lay the blame to this horrendous event squarely at there doorstep.

by Lance on Apr 13, 2011 10:49 am • linkreport

@freely: while I agree with the notion that the regional users of the system ought to share in the cost of expansion (I, as a DC resident will directly and indirectly benefit from the Silver Line), you repeatedly make this claim that drivers on the DTR will not receive any benefit and I couldn't disagree more. "To pay for a rail system that they won't benefit them at all," you say. Do you really think that this expansion of Metro will not take people out of their cars thus reducing (or avoiding future) traffic? Will DTR drivers not benefit from the cleaner air that comes from fewer cars?

by RDHD on Apr 13, 2011 10:50 am • linkreport

@Lance; I don't think the fault is of the 20 year old; the fault is clearly with allowing 83 year olds to drive.

(accident in ARL yesterday -- 19 year old lost control of his truck, hit a pedestrian and dog. that is a better example)

But in neither case do criminal charges arise.

Amazing how people do not understand it is possible to die and in accident and nobody should be criminally responsible.

(Take contintenal and the Concorde crash? Should continental be held to criminal charges? Their staff? CEO?)

@ RDHD; there will be a small reduction in traffic; but given the fare increase over time the very very very large balance is in favor for the drivers. If anything, the proposed increase Tysons's density is going to increase traffic more than the metro will decrease it. Look at 66 by Vienna....

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 10:59 am • linkreport

BRT is the best way to go. More cost effective and the access road is already in place.

BRT can't serve more people than Metro, but it can provide express service to DC.

by mcs on Apr 13, 2011 10:59 am • linkreport

Charlie said: @froggie; I really think that part of Rt. 1 can be the next Rosslyn-Ballston.

I've been saying this since I moved here. The neighborhood, by and large, is for it.

by Froggie on Apr 13, 2011 11:20 am • linkreport

@ Charlie

OT, but Continental was found criminally liable in a French Court, and one of the mechanics was given a 15 month suspended sentence.

by WCLAlum on Apr 13, 2011 11:23 am • linkreport

@charlie
I'm confused. You say that balance is in favor of the driver, which to me means you're saying that drivers benefit. But then you say traffic will increase more than Metro will decrease it. Which sounds like you're arguing the opposite.

Without Metro would the traffic be even worse? Or is the argument that the development wouldn't happen without Metro?

by rdhd on Apr 13, 2011 11:29 am • linkreport

Amazing how people do not understand it is possible to die and in accident and nobody should be criminally responsible.

But certainly the opposite can also be true (which is why we should have a fair and nuanced legal system that can differentiate between the cases).

How about the woman who struck and killed Natasha Pettigrew, dragging her for several miles before arriving at home, and then calling the police. If that's not negligent homicide, I don't know what is. I don't believe that any charges were ever filed in that case, which is quite simply shocking.

by andrew on Apr 13, 2011 11:29 am • linkreport

So what do we do now, put an 83 yr old woman on death row?

Why not start by revoking her driver's license. And requiring that drivers be recertified, say every 5 years?

Obviously, that would be the greatest infringement on civil liberties since the Khmer Rouge depopulated the cities, but I'm that radical.

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 11:34 am • linkreport

@charlie:

(accident in ARL yesterday -- 19 year old lost control of his truck, hit a pedestrian and dog. that is a better example)

While that's horrific, I blame our transportation planners. Can a 19 year old be truly cognizant of the dangers of walking on a sidwalk? What about the innocent dog?

Sidewalks put children in danger, and that faul lies solely at the feet of our city planners. I lay the blame to this horrendous event squarely at there doorstep.

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 11:36 am • linkreport

@WCLAlum - I think the point is not whether or not Continental was actually held criminally liable, but rather whether it was appropriate to find liability for deficient maintenance that resulted in the loss of a metal strip from an airplane that remained on the runway, cutting the tire of the concorde, resulting in tire fragments causing an engine fire leading to a crash.

by ah on Apr 13, 2011 11:39 am • linkreport

I'm curious, and perhaps @charlie or @Lance can help me out here: is there *any* point at which a driver's privileges to operate a vehicle on public roads should be revoked? What's the minimum threshold? 3-4 DWIs?

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 11:39 am • linkreport

RDHD,

The only way the silverline helps your typical daily DTR driver is by taking traffic off the road thereby reducing congestion for those left on the road. To do that you need commuter lots adjacent to stations, giving people a place to park and ride.

Currently there is one commuter park/ride station on the books, a 2200 vehicle lot in Reston at Wiele ave.

The DTR sees what, ~450K vehicles per day, taking less than a one half of one percent of the traffic off the road isn't going to be noticable to anyone, least of all the hundreds of thousands of people coming from Sterling VA and beyond every day.

Will additional lots be built in the decades to come as the silver line stretchs to Ashburn? Probably, but making a very small and select group of people shoulder the majority of the cost for something that a fraction of a percent of people "may" benefit from in the next decade in the form of less DTR congestion and a still small but larger fraction "may" benefit from in terms of less traffic in the next couple of decades is simply ridiculous.

Furthermore, the Silverline isn't being routed through any existing highdensity residential areas. Will these future stations become high density mixed/use centers in the decades to come? I am sure they will, but again that does absolutely nothing for the people being beaten to death with these tolls now or in their usable future.

So yes, my point stands, there is no benefit to the DTR users paying for it, certainly not one that adds up to $360 bucks a year in additional tolls every year (inflation adjusted) for the next ~decade.

Now you could argue externalities all day long about cleaner air and healthier people, but until you put a legitimate price tag on those supposed "benefits" specifically to DTR and Greenway corridor drivers coming from Reston to Leesburg then you can't claim them as benefits, certainly not worth an additional 360 bucks a year per DTR driver.

What they are doing is assesing a demographic that has nothing to gain, the entire cost of something they won't use. It would be like specifically assesing every Arlington County CABI member an additional $500 bucks a year to pay for the DC Streetcar system. Will some Arlington residents use the system at somepoint in the coming decades? Sure, but the cost to that specifc population of people far outweighs the benefit, if there is one.

by freely on Apr 13, 2011 11:42 am • linkreport

@ rdhd; bad phrasing. Clearly there will be some traffic reduction if you but a rail line in. But it will be marginal, and compared to the tolls increase, the decrease in traffic won't be the same as the increase in tolls paid.

A separate issue is the entire idea behind this is to let developers build density at Tysons -- and only pay for a small portion of the rail -- and this density will eventually cause more traffic. Any small benefits you see in reduction will be erased.

My basic point about externalities -- almost always impossible to measure.

@Oboe; the accident in Arlington did not involve a sidewalk -- pedestrian was either in the street or crossing. Speed was probably the reason for lack of control. Sending a high school student to jail isn't the best answer either.

In terms of the Pettigrew case, I can't see from the facts why you couldn't prove gross negligence. The driver had clearly been up late or drinking.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 11:44 am • linkreport

@charlie,

You didn't answer my question. What about a lifetime ban from driving?

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 11:50 am • linkreport

It would not surprise me that as a plea bargain for the two citations the driver is required to give up her license.

Of course, it's unclear from the description whether the driver was engaged in the typical inattention or carelessness of many drivers that result in accidents, just that in this case because she hit a bicyclist the consequences were far greater or if her driving conduct reflected poor vision, judgment, reactions, or general disregard for safety that warrants something more.

I'm not Lance or Charlie, but it seems that a single incident by itself doesn't justify rescinding a license. A larger pattern of conduct (not necessarily of the same type) should be necessary.

by ah on Apr 13, 2011 11:52 am • linkreport

@freely

If you want to criticize the Dulles Rail project, you should at least be familiar with the actual details of said project.

Stations along the toll road/greenway:

Route 772: 3,300 parking spaces planned.
Route 606: 2,750 spaces planned.
Route 28: 2,000 spaces planned.
Herndon-Monroe: 3,500 spaces planned.
Wiehle Ave: 2,300 spaces planned.

http://www.dullesmetro.com/stations/

Also, I'm not sure where you got the 450k traffic number for the toll road. All the data I've seen suggests a number that's about 1/3 of that.

by Alex B. on Apr 13, 2011 11:54 am • linkreport

@Oboe, does the punishment fit the crime.

My 95 year old grandmother gave up her license two years ago. Her independence and mental health have gone done severely since then -- basically confined to home and small walks around. She does live by herself but the decline is very apparent.

if she had to give up her license at 84, I doubt she would have lasted quite so long.

What if it was someone at 48? A lifelong ban on driving --- that is asking for a complete inability to work for the rest of their life.

Not saying there are easy answer here -- but I am suggesting criminal law isn't very helpful. Do people really go around driving trying to kill people?

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 11:57 am • linkreport

"...a single incident by itself doesn't justify rescinding a license."

Really? No matter how bad the "single incident"?

by Fred on Apr 13, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

@ Fred; how bad is the "incident" or how bad in the outcome?

I run a red light, and kill 15 children. I run a red light and kill one person. I run a red light and nobody dies.

What punishment is appropriate?

I run a red light and kill a child molester....

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 12:01 pm • linkreport

What if it was someone at 48? A lifelong ban on driving --- that is asking for a complete inability to work for the rest of their life.

And I think, here, we've arrived at the nut of the zero-accountability movement. Can't impose any sort of criminal penalty unless the driver was either drag-racing or falling-down drunk. Can't impose any sort of minimum standard for a license because, without a license, "that is asking for a complete inability to work for the rest of her life."

I think the phrase you're looking for is actually "that is asking for a marginally less convenient process of getting to work for the rest of her life."

You can take comfort in the fact that you're not alone in your position, though. In 21st century America, driving is not, in fact, a privilege. It's become a non-negotiable civil right...

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 12:08 pm • linkreport

@Fred - Let me turn it around as follows: What single incident are you considering that would not have criminal penalties attached to it resulting in jail time and thus an effective (lengthy) suspension of driving privileges?

And I don't think it really works to point to the possibility of criminal acquittal as a justification for turning around and rescinding a license permanently.

by ah on Apr 13, 2011 12:19 pm • linkreport

@ oboe; a lifelong ban from driving isn't a criminal penalty -- it is an administrative penalty.

I have a feeling you might feel differently if it, say, a lifelong ban from riding a bike. Bizarrely, that probably could only be imposed by a court.

Make the punishment fit the crime.

How much discretion to do you to give a prosecutor?

How much discretion to do want to give a judge?

What is the deterrence value of the law? What is the deterrence value of a civil action?

As I said, no easy answers.

About 1000 people die every year in the US from industrial accidents. How often do we criminalize that behavior?

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 12:25 pm • linkreport

@freely/Alex B

Per VDOT, DTR traffic averages around 90K near Route 28, just over 100K west of Reston, and in the low 120s between Reston and the Beltway. Less than 1/3 of what freely claims.

by Froggie on Apr 13, 2011 12:32 pm • linkreport

@charlie
We do criminalize unsafe work conditions. Unfortunately, OSHA penalties are so laughably paltry (limited by Congress) that there's little incentive for employers to improve safety.

by Nick on Apr 13, 2011 12:37 pm • linkreport

@charlie

The 19 yo in the accident yesterday was driving without a license. He had a learners permit, but apparently no licensed driver in the truck. So far he is being charged on those 2 items and reckless driving.

Also, it appears he did drive up onto the sidewalk. I rode my bike by the accident scene and you can clearly see the tire tracks up on the curb. Someone else reported that he was driving erraticlly about .5 mile before the accident location.

by TGEoA on Apr 13, 2011 12:38 pm • linkreport

@charlie:

I wasn't arguing that license revocation was a criminal penalty--just that the negligence standard is so high that there never are any criminal penalties excepting the two cases I noted.

If there were a requirement that I show a minimal level of competence to ride a bike on the public roadways, then, yes, I'd say me running someone down with a bicycle should trigger retesting at the very least.

The written and road test for driving in the US is a joke. The fact that one never has to actually resubmit to testing (short of proving eyesight) is a further joke.

In the case where a driver is found to be at fault for killing or grievously injuring someone behind the wheel, their license should be suspended or revoked.

Strengthening the testing requirements, and making all drivers retest every five years is a pretty damned easy answer.

About 1000 people die every year in the US from industrial accidents. How often do we criminalize that behavior?

Not often. But you can be damned sure that when Billy negligently deep-fry's Bob's arm he's going to be fired--or at the very least he's not going to get to work the fry machine anymore.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe management waits until he's done it three or four times before banning him. Got to be fair, don't you know.

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 12:40 pm • linkreport

@ Nick; when OSHA (rarely) refers a case for criminal penalties, it isn't any limit on OSHA that is paltry. Congress limits the criminal case to misdemeanors. Adminstrive vs. criminal again.

And my point is workplace safety has improved not because of criminal deterrence, but because of civil judgments and regulation.

Perfect system -- far from it. You know what is worse-- our criminal system.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 12:42 pm • linkreport

@Oboe, actually I very much agree with you on drivers education and retesting. I think the reality is after 25 or some point accident rates drop off very quickly, and there is marginal benefits of re-testing. Until, of course, you get to 65. It is, however, also low cost.

If you think about the Toyota acceleration case, that didn't hit the fan until the CHP trooper died. And if anything if proved a state trooper was an massive idiot for not understanding how to stop a car.

I'd like to be really clever and say, well, we make roads too easy so drivers are just lazy, but in European countries with "hard" roads you do see a lot of road deaths as well.

In your frying example, the deterrence isn't from criminal laws - it is from civil judgements.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 12:51 pm • linkreport

@oboe, but the reason it's a non-negotiable civil right is partly because, in many parts of this country, there really is no longer any other reasonable way to get from here to there. You can't take the bus if there isn't any bus. You can't take a cab if you don't have the money for a cab (or there isn't any cab). You shouldn't ride your bike if the road is not safe for riding your bike. You shouldn't walk if the road is not safe for walking. You can hitch a ride, but only if you know somebody who has a car and is willing to drive you. That doesn't leave a lot of options.

And I'm somebody who's all in favor of pulling people's licenses.

by Miriam on Apr 13, 2011 12:53 pm • linkreport

In your frying example, the deterrence isn't from criminal laws - it is from civil judgements.

Well, I'd argue that the employer's self-interest comes into play here, too. Probably to a greater extent than the deterrence of civil penalaties.

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm • linkreport

@MLD
>> No, the preferred option is to allocate the $4 billion to BRT which would be more cost-effective and would provide better service to more people.

> How on earth could BRT serve more people than Metro? It can't.

I said provide better service to more people. Metro is extremely expensive per mile and as was noted elsewhere, there is pretty much no high density development along the DTR once you get past Tysons. Since buses don't need rails to run, they are more flexible and you can make them easier to get to. Taking the bus from Herndon-Monroe or one of the Reston lots down the airport lanes is actually pretty efficient now and that's not even BRT. With BRT you can have a similar experience to Metro at a fraction of the construction and operating expenses.

As for Metro, it will move exactly 0 people if the system is too expensive to build or operate.

by movement on Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm • linkreport

@ oboe; not civil penalties -- the government enforcement -- but from private civil judgements from those hated plaintiff attorneys. Very healthy self interest.

Another reason mandatory car insurance doesn't help..

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 1:00 pm • linkreport

@charlie -I have compassion for your grandmother. Aging is not for sissies. Her decline in the last two years can not be solely, or even at all attributed to her not driving. There is plausible and even compelling biological evidence that her decline would have occured between ages 93 and 95 regradless of her drivers license status.

I have my own anecdote: My uncle died recently at age 95 and still had his license. His decline was in no way related to his having/not having a license. He was 95.

by Tina on Apr 13, 2011 1:06 pm • linkreport

"With BRT you can have a similar experience to Metro at a fraction of the construction and operating expenses."

I was unaware that we had underground BRT tunnels running into downtown Washington. Please, enlighten me.

by Phil on Apr 13, 2011 1:06 pm • linkreport

@charlie: "@ Fred; how bad is the "incident" or how bad in the outcome?
I run a red light, and kill 15 children. I run a red light and kill one person. I run a red light and nobody dies.

What punishment is appropriate?"

The law differentiates punishment based on outcome all the time. The only difference between murder and attempted murder is the outcome. If you fire a gun in the air and the bullet comes down in the grass without striking anyone, you are charged with a minor felony, at most. If the bullet kills someone, you're charged with manslaughter, at a minimum. If someone is injured but not killed, the charge is somewhere in between. Similarly, if you get in an altercation on the sidewalk and crack someone in the jaw, you'd likely get charged with simple assault. But if by some chance the punch breaks his neck, the charge is manslaughter.

by dcd on Apr 13, 2011 1:12 pm • linkreport

@Tina; yes, some of it can't be avoided. But from everything I've heard and/or read, having an independent life is an important part of staying mentally fit. Without a car -- that is harder.*

I won't extrapolate what that means for the car-free diet.

But don't you worry about grandma. She just got back from a trip to Italy, and now maybe she'll get one more big trip in.

* she gave up driving because of eyesight -- she cannot see at night. Clearly day-vision and reflexes were also not optimal, but within limits.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 1:27 pm • linkreport

@ dcd; yep. That's why moving to a system like that for traffic offenses would be good.

Take drunk driving, for instance. It should be legal. If you kill someone while drunk, that is murder. HIt someone or a car, assault. Same for speeding, reckless, and every other traffic offense.

The practical result is anarchy of course. But we have a very hybrid system: sometime we punish outcomes, sometimes we punish traffic offenses, sometimes it is admisntrative, sometimes it is criminal.

And from watching all this, what we don't need is more laws.

by charlie on Apr 13, 2011 1:31 pm • linkreport

@charlie, freely, and others

I find this discussion fascinating. Per the numbers cited, it seems that there are plenty of commuter lots. And, yes, much depends on where development is situation in the future. I woudl also argue that those future developers are probably getting off cheap in not having to pay someone back for the Metro extension that will make their developments attractive.

As to the question of environmental benefits, they can be quantified. There are commonly accepted methods for doing so. Contingent valuation and hedonic modeling both allow methods for putting a monetary value on environmental benefits like cleaner air, and simple statistical measures will help value healthier air. One can raise legitimate objections to the specific way these things are done, but that can be said of anything.

[Am I the only one having a harder and harder time reading these reCaptcha things?]

by rdhd on Apr 13, 2011 1:42 pm • linkreport

In terms of the Pettigrew case, I can't see from the facts why you couldn't prove gross negligence. The driver had clearly been up late or drinking.

Exactly. And yet the driver was barely even questioned, let alone brought to trial.

I'm honestly not sure that the new law is 100% necessary. However, I am 100% certain that we need to start evenhandedly enforcing the laws that we currently have on the books.

by andrew on Apr 13, 2011 1:47 pm • linkreport

Charlie: the law has a long history of punishing not just by behavior but by outcomes. The law cannot always predict what behaviors are most dangerous, and trying to outlaw too much behavior constrains liberty. Focusing on the outcome therefore has the benefit of forcing people to be careful without over-policing behavior.

Take road speed. If your reactions are slow, its raining, etc, you should slow down. How much??? Do we have rules for what conditions, ages, types of cars, etc? No: we trust you to drive safely. If you kill someone, it strongly suggests you were not driving safely.

by SJE on Apr 13, 2011 2:08 pm • linkreport

@movement
With BRT you can have a similar experience to Metro at a fraction of the construction and operating expenses.

Actually, bus and heavy rail have similar operating costs per vehicle revenue mile. And considering that a train car holds more people than a bus, per passenger mile heavy rail is much better.

by MLD on Apr 13, 2011 2:08 pm • linkreport

@Charlie '@Lance; I don't think the fault is of the 20 year old; the fault is clearly with allowing 83 year olds to drive.'

I wouldn't blame either of them. I'm pretty sure MD, like most states, has retesting requirements in place for the elderly. So, jumping to the conclusion that she shouldn't have been driving is just that ... jumping to an unsubstantiated conclusion.

by Lance on Apr 13, 2011 3:17 pm • linkreport

@Lance said:

I'm pretty sure MD, like most states, has retesting requirements in place for the elderly.

Funny, I kind of thought this too, but then I saw that Lance was claiming it, and that's how I found out it was incorrect:

Maryland law states that age alone may not be considered justification for reexamination, though the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) conducts vision testing over age 40.

(http://www.marylandinjuryattorneyblog.com/2010/12/maryland_elderly_drivers_more.html)

Thanks, Lance! You're like bizzaro-world Wikipedia! Got any stock tips I can short?

by oboe on Apr 13, 2011 3:23 pm • linkreport

@Oboe, Can't you read what you posted? Or do you need a vision exam yourself? LOL

OBOE POSTED: 'though the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) conducts vision testing over age 40.'

by Lance on Apr 13, 2011 3:42 pm • linkreport

I agree that ending the silver line at Wiehle is the best option. It leaves the table open for future development and improves the current situation of riding the 5A from Rosslyn.

by Sam on Apr 13, 2011 3:49 pm • linkreport

@Lance

Vision testing isn't "retesting." Are there states where you don't have to take a vision test when you get your license renewed?

Retesting requirements means you have to take a driving test to prove you can actually drive a car rather than assuming that someone's ability to operate a motor vehicle hasn't changed between 1940 and 2011.

by MLD on Apr 13, 2011 3:50 pm • linkreport

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