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Bag fees, Bethesda to Burtonsville: Montgomery County has passed a 5¢ bag fee. Unlike DC's, it applies to all retail, not just food sales. Nancy Floreen (at-large) was the only dissenter. (Post)

WMATA employees park free: Employees of the 14th Street bus garage are using handicapped placards to park for free all day in metered, on-street parking spaces. Even if the placards are legitimate, they may only be used for 4 hours. (MyFoxDC)

DDOT rejects Walmart traffic study: DDOT says the traffic study for the Brightwood Walmart is "insufficient and incomplete", and recommends not approving the plan until their specific concerns are addressed. The Office of Planning told the developers they have to work with DDOT. (The Brightwoodian, Jonathan O'Connell)

Visualize the 4/26 election: Keith Ivey created maps of voting preferences in the April 26 DC special election. Biddle had the broadest appeal, just not strong enough, while Mara and Orange were very concentrated in opposite halves of the city. (Four26)

Black church turns to solar: A century-old church in LeDroit Park has become the first black church in DC to use solar power. The church is launching a green ministry to educate its congregants about environmental justice and clean energy. (Post, Gavin)

Today in buildings: Could redevelopment plans for Capital City Market finally be headed somewhere? (Housing Complex) ... The Georgetown ANC officially opposed the development at the Key Bridge Exxon, but was far more vehement in their opposition to construction proposals by neighbors themselves. (Georgetown Metropolitan)

Where are the food deserts?: The USDA created a great interactive map of food deserts. By their metric, DC doesn't actually have that many food deserts; much of Prince George's is far worse. (RPUS)

Using Tysons to better Fairfax: Fairfax County leaders want to use proposed pedestrian and bike friendly street design standards in Tysons Corner as a template to be applied across the whole county. (Examiner)

And...: Irvin Nathan was confirmed as DC's Attorney General yesterday. (WAMU) ... America Walks is conducting a National Walking Survey to help target their pedestrian advocacy. ... New York City picked the "Taxi of Tomorrow," foregoing the proposal that offered wheelchair accessibility standard. (NYT)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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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Seems to me that saying "the first black church" implies that there is a "white" church that already has solar. Why is it significant that it is a "black" church? I understand the significance of the first black baseball player, or the first black president, but is there some kind of oppression that is keeping black churches from adopting green technologies? Just seems oddly specific.

by Ben on May 4, 2011 8:36 am • linkreport

What exactly is a "black church"?

by OX4 on May 4, 2011 8:54 am • linkreport

If you read the article you will notice the church talks about using its solar panels to start a discussion on green and energy efficient technology among its parishoners. This is important becuase on average blacks pay the highest electrical bills. Thus the fact that they are a black church (a church in which most of the people are black) is relavent.

by nathaniel on May 4, 2011 9:10 am • linkreport

In this case I think the church is self-identifying as a black church because that's who it was founded by back in the 1800s.

In the small southern town I grew up in a lot of the pre civil war congregations were integrated but then split into white and black churches during reconstruction. Even 150 years later you could see the separate buildings often down the street from one another with completely homogenous congregations. Its my understanding that this was fairly common across the south. So combine that with DC being one of the first stops in the great migration then it makes sense to talk about the make up of the congregation if that history is there.

by Canaan on May 4, 2011 9:27 am • linkreport

Re Food Deserts:
There is nothing "great" about that map, unless "great" now means incorrect - particularly with regard to inside the beltway PG. Google "store locator" plus your favorite local supermarket: the result is that there are real live grocery stores (Giant, Shopppers, Safeway, etc.) located within those sad pink USDA deserts. I've actually lived in some of those "deserts" and regularly walked to the Safeway next door to my apartment complex. Not quite sure what USDA was trying to show here, but the implication of inaccessibility to food is way off base.

by Bryon on May 4, 2011 9:41 am • linkreport

I really just don't understand why it is so hard to weed out the handicap fakers. I mean...those placards expire right? Don't you have to go somewhere and provide a doctors letter verifying your illness, or can you simply renew them online where no one is the wiser?

I will also say I've lived a lot of places around the nation and I have never known handicap fakers to be such a problem. Yet EVERY single time I see someone park in a dedicated space, I see them bound in and out of the vehicle, carrying heavy items etc. Yes, I know not everyone "looks" handicap, but I don't know when the last time was when I saw someone in one of those spaces who looked like they needed it.

Maybe I am just more aware because it seems the local media has been doing a lot more of these "gotcha" stories but people simply have no shame anymore.

by freely on May 4, 2011 9:55 am • linkreport

@freely

Many placards are faked.

There's also a fundamental misunderstanding of what they are for. There was an article a while back in the Post about a woman who's car was towed near the Convention Center by the Secret Service because the President was in the building. I guess they do this for security reasons, just moving cars a few blocks away. However, she had parked in a handicapped zone, despite the fact she was not handicapped at all. Her husband was, but he was not with her. She thought this entitled her to make use of the placard at any time.

The beauty of the piece was that it was clearly written with the desire to generate sympathy for the difficulty she had finding her car after MPD lost it, but instead she received a strong backlash for blatant, unethical use of a handicapped placard.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/19/AR2010091905134.html

So, short answer - yes, abuse of these placards is a huge problem. Truly shameful behavior, as well.

by Alex B. on May 4, 2011 10:06 am • linkreport

Re: Key Bridge Exxon

Didn't Trump once build a tower in NYC that blocked a lot of people's views and when they complained he hung a sign that said something to the effect of "if you still want this view move to my building?"

by jj on May 4, 2011 10:07 am • linkreport

So a handicapped placard in the District allows for free parking at double of the maximum time allowed at the meter. Who is tracking this? If you don't have to pay the meter, how can anyone tell if you have been there double time? I much prefer the Arlington "All may park, All must pay" scheme. I can't understand why someone with a handicapped placard must also be eligible for free parking. The possession of a handicapped placard is no indicator of income, especially given the cars I've seen handicapped placards on.

by ksu499 on May 4, 2011 10:18 am • linkreport

Re: Taxis of Tomorrow

Did anyone actually look at the runner up "Taxi of Tomorrow" linked to in that article? The Karsan Model, which are ALL wheel chair accessible, actually LOOKS like a futuristic taxi. Very cool. Unlike the Nissan model they picked, which looks exactly like a "Taxi of Today". What a bore. And NYers say DC is conservative...

by John on May 4, 2011 10:23 am • linkreport

For those that might be interested, Wal*Mart is remodeleing and upgrading their Cambridge Maryland store to a Super Center. The front facade of the partly completed building is looking like the renderings of the of the DC stores that have been posted here.

Will take pictures this weekend of the progress and provide links to the pictures to David if there is any interest.

by Sand Box John on May 4, 2011 10:23 am • linkreport

In the small southern town I grew up in a lot of the pre civil war congregations were integrated but then split into white and black churches during reconstruction.

Even before that: the Southern Baptist church was established in 1845 as an explicitly pro-slavery faith (In 1995 they made a formal apology, so it's never too late to do the right thing).

While I'm sure most slaves in the antebellum South were required to attend services at pro-slavery churches, there were a few churches founded by freed black folks. The AME was a post-reconstruction entity founded with the aim of establishing religious autonomy for blacks.

by oboe on May 4, 2011 10:24 am • linkreport

@Alex B:

There was an article a while back in the Post about a woman who's car was towed near the Convention Center by the Secret Service because the President was in the building. I guess they do this for security reasons, just moving cars a few blocks away. However, she had parked in a handicapped zone, despite the fact she was not handicapped at all. Her husband was, but he was not with her. She thought this entitled her to make use of the placard at any time.

Thanks for my morning dose of schadenfraude. That was beautiful. Would that karmic payback were always so swift, just, and appropriate. The accompanying picture was just icing on the cake.

by oboe on May 4, 2011 10:31 am • linkreport

The reason a black church installing solar panels is so significant is the fact that the environmental movement has largely been led by liberal, well-off, white people. The reality is that minorities often suffer the worst consequences of our mistreatment of the environment. Minorities are more likely to live by highways. They are more likely to live in areas with high pollutant levels. The idea of environmental justice is to emphasize that, in impoverished communities, environmental issues play a huge role in the health and safety of residents. This is why it matters that a black church is doing this.

A good definition of a black church would be a church that has a) nearly all African-American parishioners and/or b) is in a traditional "black" denomination (Baptist, A.M.E.). This is not a foreign concept to Washington, D.C. at all.

by thesixteenwords on May 4, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

My apologies if my first comment came across as trolling. I re-read it and it sounds a bit more racially-focused than I intended. I really meant to ask if this is the first CHURCH in DC to be solar powered, not just the first black church.

I did, in fact, read the article, and I understand the premise of the article that green tech is a community issue for African Americans, due to the fact (quoted in the article) that many older, less efficient homes in the city are owned by African Americans. But to emphasize that this was the "first black church" seemed to imply the existence of some racial impediment to the adoption of green technology that has been overcome.

by Ben on May 4, 2011 10:43 am • linkreport

Are the handicapped spaces -- and "placards" mandated by the ADA, or are we just being nice?

Seems like the real problem is just placard abuse, it is that we need to get rid of those spaces.

by charlie on May 4, 2011 10:49 am • linkreport

Dear Montgomery County:

Please shop with us. No charges for unrealistic bags here.

Love,
Prince George's, Howard, Frederick, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties

P.S. Any bag fee should ONLY be for plastic bags at majority-food establishments. No charge for paper bags. No charge for bags at department stores. This has to hit the upscale shoppers at White Flint/Montgomery Mall hard.

by Jason on May 4, 2011 10:52 am • linkreport

Not sure why people think plans are afoot to do something with the Capitol City Market. Although it's interesting that the obviously-stolen-goods-emporium Funky Flea Market is losing its lease, Sang Oh is planning to petition the ANC tonight to extend its PUD by two years, because it essentially has no plans to do anything with its parcel.

Honestly, it will be sad to see the market go, if that does eventually happen.

by andrew on May 4, 2011 10:57 am • linkreport

@Jason,

I can't tell if you've being ironic or on the level. Upscale (i.e. environmentally conscious) shoppers at White Flint are going to be driven to shop in PG or Frederick because there's a 5-cent bag surcharge?

by oboe on May 4, 2011 10:58 am • linkreport

Maybe my irony meter is turned off, but is Jason really serious?

by andrew on May 4, 2011 10:58 am • linkreport

Puh-leeze. DC's AA population is one of the biggest roadblocks to any and all environmental progress. City bikes, bag taxes, utility tariffs to pay for environmental initiatives, bottle fees, recycling, bike lanes, parking fees to discourage driving, etc --virtually every initiative is opposed by DC's black politicians and their constituents.

And DC's poor are extremely well subsidized from a utility standpoint. DC's rates are far below the rates required to maintain the existing infrastructure.

by ahk on May 4, 2011 11:01 am • linkreport

I'm black and don't understand the significance of posting a story about the first black church to use solar panel.

Will there one when the first hispanic or homosexual church installs solar panel.

Hmph! And we wonder why race is always an issue.

@Ben, no your comments didn't come across as trolling. I immediately understood your response.

BTW, is there some sort of methodology behind that notion that blacks pay higher electric bills? Do we like more heat/ac than others? A little lost on that one.

I also remember the glee and irrational responses to the story about the woman being unable to find her car. Didn't find it funny.

by HogWash on May 4, 2011 11:02 am • linkreport

Oboe,
"The AME was a post-reconstruction entity founded with the aim of establishing religious autonomy for blacks."
Not to go off-topic, but I believe they were founded much earlier than the Civil War. A nugget of history that I discovered late in life was that the founder of the church, a Mr. Allen, was a freed slave who had moved to Philadelphia, but who was originally from a farm not far from where I grew up.

by spookiness on May 4, 2011 11:04 am • linkreport

The (A?) Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill has had a large solar install for about a year now. I'm not very familiar with these matters, so I couldn't tell you if it's traditionally black or white.

by HM on May 4, 2011 11:07 am • linkreport

Puh-leeze. DC's AA population is one of the biggest roadblocks to any and all environmental progress.

Don't think this is the case at all, or at least, it's only incidentally about race. DC's black population tends to be poorer and older than the population as a whole. Poor people have good reasons to be suspicious of various initiatives that don't seem to immediately benefit them--especially things that might add inconvenience to their already inconvenient lives. Old people of any race tend to be suspicious of change.

I've found younger middle-class black residents of DC to be every bit as supportive of urbanist initiatives as anyone else in that demographic.

by oboe on May 4, 2011 11:07 am • linkreport

@charlie

This is really a new low in your relentless crusade against the disabled.

by MLD on May 4, 2011 11:07 am • linkreport

@AHK, we blacks are one of the biggest roadblocks to environmental progress?

I thought Adrian Fenty and Anthony Williams were big supporter of these efforts.

Oh wait, Adrian Fenty wasn't black and Williams was.

Oh no! Ok, well both are black but one is more of a light-skinned negro which makes him more appealing to nonblacks.

heehee

by HogWash on May 4, 2011 11:09 am • linkreport

"I've found younger middle-class black residents of DC to be every bit as supportive of urbanist initiatives as anyone else in that demographic"

I really wonder how many young, middle class black DC residents are out there. Perennial debate on what is "middle class" in this area, and what is young -- under 40? 50? no children>

by charlie on May 4, 2011 11:35 am • linkreport

@thesixteenwords. Yes, that perception and/or reality of the environmental movement is why I thought mentioning the ethnicity was important too. It must be said that lingering perception contradicts the reality of the environmnetal justice movement, as you metnion, and the mainstream environmental monement too as hogwash points out. But still, for the historic reasons of the perception of environmentalism I do think its important that the ethnicity of the minister/church is mentioned. It helps break down the erroneous perception.

@oboe, unfortunately for the history of the Methodist church the AME was founded b/c AA's weren't welcomed by the Methodist church's national leadership. Also, the AA population in DC with lower than avg. income also skews younger than the avg. pop., e.g. Ward 8 has the greatest proportion of children under 18 of any ward. Ward 3 has the highest avg. age.

by Tina on May 4, 2011 11:35 am • linkreport

@oboe & Andrew: Irony is meant but I do think that people near the county line will travel to shop if need be. Applying it to non-food stores will create big problems, especially as many larger plastic bags don't have a reusable parallel. How often does anyone at Home Depot or Macy's use reusable bags? Far less than at any supermarket where people are more hard-wired to use reusable bags.

Bag fees at MOST should be used by establishments that make the majority of their sales in food. As it is, the DC fee stretching to places like Home Depot and Marshalls where food sales are miniscule is frustrating as it is.

MoCo needs to reevaluate this because they may drive sales from the county. Why bother having to bring a ton of reusable bags into White Flint or Montgomery Mall when a trip to Tysons or Columbia will eliminate that confusion. What person who is going on a shopping spree will want to bring 10 reusable bags with them?

by Jason on May 4, 2011 11:40 am • linkreport

@John, What person who is going on a shopping spree will want to bring 10 reusable bags with them?

Hey, count me as one.

If I decide to do more shopping than my single person can carry, I get a car and load it w/many of the 50-11 bags sitting in my house.

Fortunately for me, I started on the reusable kick years before the came up with the tax. Believe me, once you start to use them, you'll never go black. They are a godsend.

It's why I can load up a Sur La Table bag w/a bunch of stuff even my Trader Joe's bag couldn't handle.

by HogWash on May 4, 2011 11:49 am • linkreport

What person who is going on a shopping spree will want to bring 10 reusable bags with them?

The kind of person who's unwilling to drop 50 cents out of some misguided libertarian principle.

:)

Look, we ran around and around this when DC made the switch: various chronically irritable folks on GGW pledged they would never shop in DC again, and that a retail apocalypse (AN APOCALYPSE, I TELL YOU!!!) would befall the city.

Turns out the DC bag tax has been fairly non-controversial a year later, and now the critique is that they haven't made as much money as they thought they might because people have been really good about bringing reusable bags.

by oboe on May 4, 2011 11:52 am • linkreport

LOL@ Charlie. I don't know but I think when you hit 40, you are no longer in the "young" category.

LOL@HogWash for never going black.

Wrong adage. Wrong place. Wrong time.

by HogWash on May 4, 2011 11:52 am • linkreport

What person going on a 10-bag shopping spree is going to sweat 50 cents?

by Jen on May 4, 2011 11:56 am • linkreport

I really wonder how many young, middle class black DC residents are out there. Perennial debate on what is "middle class" in this area, and what is young -- under 40? 50? no children>

DC's young, middle-class residents are actually quite diverse, compared to US society as a whole. If everyone in DC who was over 50 years of age, and everyone who had a household income of less than the city's median of $60k were raptured tomorrow, we'd still be an incredibly diverse city.

(Disclaimer: I do not advocate the rapturing of DC's poor and elderly)

by oboe on May 4, 2011 11:56 am • linkreport

My issue with "black church" was in response to the implications of religion, not race. I'm usually more attuned to segregating churches by denomination, like Presbyterian, Orthodox, Lutheran. I wasn't aware that there were black, Asian, or white churches. Saying it's black because it was founded that way in 1800 doesn't seem like an acceptable reason in 2011.

by OX4 on May 4, 2011 11:57 am • linkreport

@oboe, I have to disabuse of the notion that the AA population in DC at the lower income scale is older. Its not. Its younger on avg.

by Tina on May 4, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

I hope my ANC will protect my view of the historic garbage dumpster behind my building just as other ANCs are now protecting gas stations. Beacuse we all know that your affirmative right to a view attaches (to the detriment of all other properties around it) once you build a nice condo. Incredible. Rich people want stuff for free.

by aaa on May 4, 2011 12:05 pm • linkreport

@Tina,

@oboe, I have to disabuse of the notion that the AA population in DC at the lower income scale is older. Its not. Its younger on avg.

Good point, but I hope I didn't give the impression I was conflating the two in my comments; I was speaking about them as distinct groups: the poor and the elderly. Both have good reason to oppose change.

by oboe on May 4, 2011 12:12 pm • linkreport

@oboe; a quick google says that 16% of the district AA population was college education in 1995. Let's say 20% now.

So that is 60K AA in the city with a college education. That's a good proxy for being "middle class."

And let's say half of the again are "young". So about 30K, or 5% of the district's population.

by charlie on May 4, 2011 12:13 pm • linkreport

@OX4 "11 o'clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America", MLK/BG. This has changed very little in the last 50-60 years since the quote.

@oboe, it did sound like you were conflating old/AA/poor.

by Tina on May 4, 2011 12:24 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash DC is a unique case on itself as virtually everyone in the district goes outside of the District to shop at some time or another. Montgomery County has 60% more people than DC and is has 9 times the area than DC. There is a LOT more of a captive audience in MoCo than there is in DC.

If bag fees are so good, why outside the DC area and the Bay Area haven't they taken hold? Why have they never been proposed in New York? Or Philly? Or Chicago? Or Boston? Or Seattle? Or in any of Texas's large cities as Blue as they are? Honestly, I'd rather see DC/VA/MD explore a bottle deposit instead.

by Jason on May 4, 2011 12:52 pm • linkreport

@Jason: MoCo needs to reevaluate this because they may drive sales from the county. Why bother having to bring a ton of reusable bags into White Flint or Montgomery Mall when a trip to Tysons or Columbia will eliminate that confusion. What person who is going on a shopping spree will want to bring 10 reusable bags with them?

What person will drive to Tysons from Montgomery County instead of bringing bags (or paying up to 50 cents)? Not me, anyway.

by Miriam on May 4, 2011 12:58 pm • linkreport

If bag fees/restrictions are so bad, why have they taken hold in virtually every city of international significance outside of the US, and several entire countries? Why have they been implemented in Hong Kong,? Or Melbourne? Or Quebec or Toronoto? Or Seattle? Or Mexico City? Or Paris, or later on, the entire country of France? How about Denmark, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, South Africa, Brazil, or New Zealand?

See what I did there?

by andrew on May 4, 2011 1:14 pm • linkreport

@Jason, if you noticed, my comment was more about reusable bags than supportive of the 5c tax. Personally, I'm rather indifferent to the tax because as mentioned earlier, I long ago stopped getting them anyway.

But, there are times when the plastic bags do come in handy and in those cases, I may buy 10 of them which at 50c, never seem to break the bank.

I also believe that you're wrong about NYC. Bloomberg proposed a bag tax increase a couple years ago but I'm not sure if it passed.

It possible that the idea hadn't taken hold in other areas simply because it's too new or two progressive an idea. In this case, DC may have been more forward thinking than other areas and I say hat's off to DC for leading the charge. Didn't it take other states longer than it should have to implement the much-needed smoking ban in restaurants and bars? As a cigarette hater, I welcomed the idea.

On another note, I would be interested in seeing how much revenue is going to be generated to clean up the cesspool of a river called the Anacostia.

by HogWash on May 4, 2011 1:16 pm • linkreport

Oh and it's ridamndiculous to pay for a bag@Filene's.

by HogWash on May 4, 2011 1:17 pm • linkreport

@HogWash: Much of the trash in the Anacostia comes from Prince George's County. PG may be dark blue, but PG is also FAR from being progressive (see how they and Baltimore City stopped the same-sex marriage bill) and probably would not pass such a tax unless Annapolis passed one first. Of course, Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore would derail a tax on bags instantly.

@andrew: How is it that Vancouver's bag bill is eternally stillborn, or how that it's never been proposed in Montreal or Ottawa or how Toronto's is being repealed albeit by a far-right mayor?

by Jason on May 4, 2011 1:23 pm • linkreport

@Jason, lobbyists for corporations that produce the bags/materials for the bags have been somewhat successful in blocking efforts aimed at reducing consumption in many places. They descended on DC in force two years ago. The lobbyists notwithstanding the trend is definitly towards reduced consumption.

by Tina on May 4, 2011 1:27 pm • linkreport

Along with every single (with one exception) Republican and Dems from the east/west/south, PG was the culprit in derailing same-sex marriage. The B'more City delegation, black and white alike, were generally supportive though admittedly not unanimously like the MoCo delegation.

But there was a race gap there. Delegates from the nearly all-black parts of PG voted No but those from the more diverse northern part of the count were Yes votes..

It would sadly not surprise me to see some of the same pattern regarding environmental legislation.

by Answer Guy on May 4, 2011 2:21 pm • linkreport

@andrew; I think all your example proves is politicians everywhere like to raise revenue and play on people's environmental concerns.

As I said yesterday about the DC appleseed report, what percentage of the 600 tons of garbage disposed in the anacoistia was plastic bags?

by charlie on May 4, 2011 2:35 pm • linkreport

@Jason: If bag fees are so good, why outside the DC area and the Bay Area haven't they taken hold? Why have they never been proposed in New York? Or Philly? Or Chicago? Or Boston? Or Seattle? Or in any of Texas's large cities as Blue as they are?

I bet in most of those cases, the cities don't have the authority to institute a bag fee. DC does benefit from not having a state legislature that has to grant it powers, and at least at the time Congress was disinclined to meddle.

Montgomery County has explicit permission from Maryland to institute a bag fee. Prince George's does not; their state legislative delegation asked for authority, but was denied. Prince George's would probably pass a bag fee if they could.

Arlington definitely would, and asked for authority to pass one, but not surprisingly was turned down by Richmond.

Seattle is a moderately progressive city in a state that's much less so. Austin would surely get any idea like that nixed by the Texas legislature.

New York often gets things shot down by Albany; a few years ago Albany refused them permission to put cameras on buses to enforce rules against parking in bus lanes, and then only gave them the authority in exchange for budget concessions.

If any local jurisdiction could institute bag fees anywhere in the nation, it's a sure bet many areas would have bag fees in short order.

by David Alpert on May 4, 2011 2:50 pm • linkreport

what percentage of the 600 tons of garbage disposed in the anacoistia was plastic bags?

Percentage by weight isn't necessarily the relevant measure, though it's been said that plastic bags are the single biggest type of pollution. The question is whether they are particularly bad--say, worse than cardboard boxes. They don't break down as quickly, obviously. Do they strangle birds en masse? Do they leach carcinogenic toxins that cause male frogs to turn into females? Etc, etc...

by oboe on May 4, 2011 3:21 pm • linkreport

@Jason: If bag fees are so good, why outside the DC area and the Bay Area haven't they taken hold? Why have they never been proposed in New York? Or Philly? Or Chicago? Or Boston? Or Seattle? Or in any of Texas's large cities as Blue as they are?

What a hilarious argument.

With this logic, you can never innovate, because you cant do something until others have done it, and others cant do it, until you've done it.

by JJJJJ on May 4, 2011 4:31 pm • linkreport

On churches and race--

As I mentioned before, different traditions tend to have different racial compositions. In DC, the location of a church may give you a strong, but not complete, indication of its racial composition.

I am a Lutheran and go to Church in NW by Wilson High. Our church is 90% white. This is not uncommon among Lutherans, who draw from people of German and Scandanavian descent. The Capitol Hill church is somewhat more diverse, because of its location, but it still draws from the traditional Lutheran groups.

It is true that poor African-Americans in this city have not embraced what new urbanists would like to see, despite the fact that they are usually the groups most negatively affected by pollution and traffic issues. It is also true that it isn't really about race but poverty. So, we have to get the poor population involved, in order to build popular support for the initiatives that pro-transit, pro-environment people want.

I think that one of the strongest ways to do that, in addition to restating the inequalities in pollution, is to emphasize the ability of transit to help poor people get to work. There remains a huge disparity in car ownership in this country, so good transportation options are a must for anyone without a car who wants to work.

If we emphasize this social justice point, we will win over more people.

by thesixteenwords on May 4, 2011 5:16 pm • linkreport

Reading all these things about bag fees and gay marriage and how Annapolis denied PG from being allowed to levy a bag fee makes me wonder if there's a feeling that MoCo would secede if ever given the opportunity. This may sound insane, but MoCo isn't like the rest of the state and frankly Annapolis often treats it with contempt, but at the same time Annapolis knows that sans their wealth and numbers Maryland would be in deep trouble.

Whenever I think of DC statehood, I think of how a DC/MoCo state would be a bit more viable. The Dems would get a state of 1.5 million that would be deep blue and Maryland would possibly become a swing state. MoCo, at the same time, would get behind the wheel rather than playing the role of Annapolis's ATM. DC would benefit by having MoCo's superior schools system taking over their. The one downside may be that MoCo has little infrastructure to service the at-need, for example there are no homeless shelters in the entire county as they expect DC/PG to take everyone in.

by Jason on May 4, 2011 5:18 pm • linkreport

DC would benefit by having MoCo's superior schools system taking over their.

The difference between DCPS and MCPS is one of demographics, not of management.

by oboe on May 4, 2011 5:32 pm • linkreport

@thesixteenwords, yes again. Thank you for clarifying that environmental justice is about income and power, not ethnicity.

by Tina on May 4, 2011 6:14 pm • linkreport

The Karsan taxi looked great, the other two, including the winner, look like awful junk. I don't know if Karsan can actually build a reliable taxi or not, but I do know that a process that produces such a terrible result is broken. Why not have standards that mandate something much more like the Karsan model, and then let firms compete to build it?

by David desJardins on May 5, 2011 12:10 am • linkreport

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