Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Cuts all around


Photo by alsokaizen on Flickr.
Cuts could kill?: Mayor Gray's budget cuts more than $20 million from homeless services, which could mean people actually die. Jim Graham called the cuts "inhuman," while Jack Evans thinks there aren't enough cuts. Gray's budget would also eliminate community funds created in exchange for approving the ballpark. (Housing Complex, WAMU)

DCPS cuts 660 jobs: DC Public Schools will is cut 660 teaching and support positions, more than 10% of its faculty and staff. One teacher was told the cuts were equalizing staff with student numbers, but enrollment is growing next year. (Examiner)

Metro shuts markets: In an effort to start revitalizing the station area, a group of Prince George's citizens want to start a Saturday farmers market at the Naylor Road parking lot. Metro denied the request because it's against the rules to sell food on WMATA property. (Post, Joe Don Baker)

A gentrifier comes to Rosedale: A new resident of the Rosedale neighborhood, near H Street, struggles with the meaning and impact of gentrification as she gets to know her neighbors, many of whom have lived in their houses for decades. (Wilson Quarterly)

CaBi keeps growing: The mild weather and high gas prices are playing favorably for Capital Bikeshare, pushing usage up near 5,000 trips per day and garnering a total of 22,000 daily users and 11,000 annual members. (WJLA)

WABA keeps low profile in Wards 7 & 8: In order to keep its core supporters and participants from filling up spots in educational classes east of the river, WABA has to keep its event promotion very focused on communities in Wards 7 and 8. (DCentric)

Peds struck, one killed in Loudoun: A mother and son were struck crossing a major intersection in Ashburn last night. The 8-year old boy was killed while the mother is in stable condition. (WUSA)

Federal government to sell property: The White House released a map of excess federal properties the administration plans to sell off, including some in DC, Bethesda, McLean, Sterling, Oxon Hill, and other parts of the region. (Gavin)

And...: Fairfax County is pondering impact fees on developments to offset costs of increased traffic they bring. (WTOP) ... NoMA has a new identity about connectedness (Housing Complex) ... How about a Georgia Avenue Temporium? (Park View, DC)

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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Help the homeless. Donate your old clothes and other unneeded items directly to CCNV instead of other organizations that resell them. CCNV has the smallest overhead.

by TGEoA on May 10, 2011 9:01 am • linkreport

Regarding the farmers market:

Doesn't Clarendon host a farmers market on WMATA property?

by TGEoA on May 10, 2011 9:03 am • linkreport

The map of property is nifty! It contains a lot of details that you never see on other maps, like the position of power and oil lines.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/fiscal/excess-property-map

Oddly, they say that a building they have on the GW Parkway near Belle Haven is in McLean. Wrong side of the county.

by Jasper on May 10, 2011 9:26 am • linkreport

Capital Bikeshare really needs to figure out how to handle peak usage hours better. Has the interest/use been significantly higher than they anticipated? Most stations in the Logan/Shaw/U Street area are completely cleared out by 8 - 8:15, and returning a bike after 6 PM is a crapshoot as well.

I'm thrilled that so many people have taken to the program, but do not want to see it turn into a victim of its own success.

by Ben on May 10, 2011 9:33 am • linkreport

@Jasper...they're using OpenStreetMap as the base map.

by Froggie on May 10, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

Re: DCPS
I didn't get a chance to submit this, but this WaPo article does a little better job of explaining the deal with excessing:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/more-than-600-dc-teachers-at-risk-of-losing-jobs/2011/05/09/AFI6KDdG_story.html

by MLD on May 10, 2011 9:44 am • linkreport

I agree with #Ben. I was really excited when I recently got my new CoBi membership key a few weeks ago. The the last week or so I have taken three trips and two have ended with me circling blocks looking for a parking spot. I was having so much fun on the bike last night just ridding around, but then I got to the 16th and U CoBi station and it was full. Rode to another nearby station, and it was full too. The same thing happened last week. I really like the idea of bikeshare, and have been loving riding around town at after work (I've never ridden a bike in the city before and CoBi helped me get over some of my fear of riding in traffic and need for a bike)but at some point the whole thing becomes unusable if you can't drop bikes off.

I wonder if ridership is using it differently than they originally thought. I walk to work, then tend to use the bikes to go out at night, usually in the places listed above; Shaw, U St, MtP, etc; the same places everyone else is going. I have been using them to just shorten medium to long distance walks rather than going across the city or something. Does anyone know what time they stop reshuffling the bikes around? I see them during the day, dealing with the commuters, but does anyone see them at night, say at the 10th and U station where everyone is taking them to go to the 9:30 club, for example, and its full before a show.

by DAJ on May 10, 2011 9:52 am • linkreport

Yeah a major problem with CaBi right now is that tons of people ride bikes from downtown up to U Street, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, and Mt P. Those docks gets full and it makes trying to ride a bike in between those places completely impossible. I don't even bother trying to use CaBi when I check the app and the stations around where I'm going to all have one dock available. I know I'll spend an extra 15 minutes trying to find a space and walk to where I want to be.

It's going to be tough to balance the commute demand with evening demand.

by MLD on May 10, 2011 10:05 am • linkreport

@TGEoA: I get the feeling that that whole park belongs to the county, and probably only a small part of it belongs to Metro.

Naylor Road, on the other hand, is a Metro-owner park-and-ride, and the whole parking lot belongs to Metro.

by Tim on May 10, 2011 10:07 am • linkreport

re DAJ's comment: CaBi needs to make much greater use of temporary docks for special events (not just major events like ballgames, but even medium-size events like shows at the 9:30 club).

by Simon on May 10, 2011 10:14 am • linkreport

excellent article about the Rosedale resident.

by jkc on May 10, 2011 10:18 am • linkreport

@jkc:

Agreed. This line:

"But Elder is troubled that when she comes to visit her aunt in Rosedale and says hello to passersby new to the neighborhood, they don’t always return the greeting."

really hit home for me. I used to work in Edgewood, and occasionally I'd take a walk around the block on my lunch break (when it came late and I'd already eaten at my desk). I ALWAYS made it a point to say hello to the people I saw around - I worked weekends, so I'd see people sitting on their stoops, enjoying the weather in late summer, that sort of thing. And they always responded. I just don't understand how/why someone would NOT respond when hailed in the street like that.

Actually, yes, I CAN understand why. Not that it makes me feel much better about it...

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 10, 2011 10:31 am • linkreport

@TGEoA -- I think you mean Courthouse(not Clarendon), and that farmers market is on a county parking lot (attached to the Courthouse complex).

I don't believe WMATA has any parking lots (or above-ground property, outside the immediate station entrances) in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

by Jacques on May 10, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

@Ben @MLD @DAJ -- I think the U Street/AdMo/Dupont crunch in the evenings is a big issue for CaBi to address, but I think it's exacerbated by those stations being big for both nightlife AND people's homes. Increasing the size of those stations (as well as adding stations in that core) should help a bit, but I think no matter how big the system gets, the chokepoints will continue to be chokepoints, because the more bikes it can handle, the more people will use them.

(For example, the new Farragut Square and National Portrait Gallery station initially eased the availability of spaces for commuters, but now, they've mostly just increased the number of people who commute to those neighborhoods by bike).

Need more bikes and more stations.

But more stations is going to be more important than more bikes, as walking up to an empty station is annoying (and causes a change of transportation options) while riding around looking for a dock causes a lot of lost time.

by Jacques on May 10, 2011 10:40 am • linkreport

Re: excessing, is there a difference between the 600 proposed now and all firing during the Rhee era? Where they excessed then and now? Anyone?

I can imagine how disappointing it is for a teacher in good standing to lose his her job. But as w/all industry, guess they can't be immune. Shame is you ask me.

- The WABA effort EOTR seems like a good and constructive move. I sorta chuckled at the notion that the slots keep filling up with MD/VA residents.

- The farmer's market @Naylor sounded like a not so good idea in the first. The area does need one. Just not @the metro.

- The Gentrifier bought @ a great price a year ago, likes the increased property value potential, and has no interest in becoming a long-time resident.

by HogWash on May 10, 2011 10:42 am • linkreport

Actually, yes, I CAN understand why. Not that it makes me feel much better about it...

Please enlighten me then. I have noticed this about DC ever since I moved here thirty years ago. You say hello to someone and rather than respond, they just glare at you with a look that says "why the hell are you talking to me."

by Juanita de Talmas on May 10, 2011 11:20 am • linkreport

@HogWash -- what you see as the Gentrifier having no interest in becoming a long-time resident, I read as an acknowledgement that this particular house may not always fit her lifestyle.

What's wrong with that? I find it unrealistic to assume that someone's job or family situation may always allow him or her to stay in one place forever. I'm not sure why some people act like that's a superior way to live.

If someone commits to a neighborhood, gets to know people in the nieghborhood, and helps to make it a good place to live does it really matter if they plan to stay five years, ten years, or twenty years?

by Kate on May 10, 2011 11:22 am • linkreport

@Jacques

I'm def referring to Clarendon. They have stalls setup all around the permiter of the station.

by TGEoA on May 10, 2011 11:27 am • linkreport

@TGEoA
The area around Clarendon Metro is a park and probably not owned by WMATA.

by MLD on May 10, 2011 11:32 am • linkreport

@kate, what you see as the Gentrifier having no interest in becoming a long-time resident, I read as an acknowledgement that this particular house may not always fit her lifestyle.

I don't think our thoughts are dissimilar. You acknowledge your lack of interest in becoming a long-time resident by also acknowledging that a particular house/apt may not always fit your lifestyle. Some people "know" they will be around for a while and others don't. In Sarah's case, although she moved to Rosedale a year ago, she admits that she may not be there a year from now.

by HogWash on May 10, 2011 12:15 pm • linkreport

In Sarah's case, although she moved to Rosedale a year ago, she admits that she may not be there a year from now.

Right, but that's essentially similar to what's behind the decision made by a lot of the children of long-time residents. They moved out of the neighborhood because the housing stock in the old neighborhood no longer fit their lifestyle. Nothing to stop middle-class folks who grew up in Rosedale from buying places and fixing them up. But they decided on the suburban lifestyle instead.

Of course, the main difference is that long after Sarah moves in 5 or 10 years, she won't be giving interviews bad-mouthing the people who are currently living there; the ones working to make the place better. And when she comes back to the old hood, she won't feel entitled to illegally double-park all weekend long, blocking in the cars of residents, then hiding behind Jesus when she's called on her rude and unneighborly (one could almost say, un-Christian) behavior, as is the case with the 44-year-old niece who lives in PG county featured in the article.

One last thing, as far as the "White people don't say, 'Hi!'" nonsense: anyone want to place bets on whether this woman greets every "gentrifier" she meets on the street with a biiig smile and a hearty "Good Afternoon!!"?

I've found that whatever vibe you put out there is generally reflected back to you.

by oboe on May 10, 2011 12:51 pm • linkreport

The "they won't stop and say 'hi' to me" complaint that one hears re gentrifiers is sort of a culture clash. My experience has been that white people don't say 'hi' to anyone -- black or white or other -- they don't know already. To me, as a middle-class white guy, saying 'hi' to everyone is evidence of either mental illness or a chemically-altered state of mind.

by Matt W on May 10, 2011 2:06 pm • linkreport

Re: Saying 'Hi'
I think this is a Southern thing. In the Northeast, especially in large cities, usually you only say to Hi to those people you know. Otherwise, having someone say Hi to you is like an alarm going off that something's up, like they want something from you.
In the South it's thought of as civil. I'll never forget as a college kid being in Charleston SC on a porch and teenagers on their way to school said "Good Morning" to me. I'm like, huh? I really hadn't experienced that. Since a lot of the AA population is only one or two generations removed from the South and DC was/is (?) considered a southern city, it makes sense that people followed that tradition. Now, however, with so many transplants from so many places it's kind of hard to tell who is comfortable with what greeting.

by dc denizen on May 10, 2011 2:43 pm • linkreport

@Oboe, hey I'm not sure exactly where you were going w/your post. Maybe you were responding to my post "in addition" to the thoughts of others.

@MattW, Clearly it's a culture class because where I'm from (the south), acknowledging someone else's presence (as you lock eye contact) is simply courtesy. To this day, I find those who don't respond to a greeting to be rather rude. This rudeness extends to the majority of women for whom I allow to move ahead of me on elevator, train or holding the door for them. They seldom acknowledge with a thank you.

by HogWash on May 10, 2011 2:44 pm • linkreport

@Matt W:

I think it may be a regional thing. One thing I do know: when I walk around my neighborhood, saying "Hi" is a pretty random thing. Women seem to say "Hi" more often than men. Between black and white, it seems pretty mixed.

There are plenty of black dudes who aren't waving, smiling, and saying "Hi", though, I'll tell you that.

by oboe on May 10, 2011 2:46 pm • linkreport

My experience has been that white people don't say 'hi' to anyone -- black or white or other -- they don't know already.

Be that as it may, if someone says "hi" to you first, it is just rude not to respond, even if it is just a head nod.

by Juanita de Talmas on May 10, 2011 3:56 pm • linkreport

Was anyone else surprised in the Rosedale article when the author was hand-wringing over whether picking up litter (a plastic bag) in a neighborhood was actually a "censure" of the local teenager that threw it on the ground?

My eyes both just rolled right out of my head. I don't think throwing plastic bags on the ground instead of the trash is a particularly valid form of expression. But who knows, maybe the DC bag tax is actually a first-amendment infringement.

by jared on May 10, 2011 6:31 pm • linkreport

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I can see how eye contact and a greeting would be appropriate in a small town where everybody knows everybody. However, this isn't a small town. Even my micro-neighborhood isn't a small town.

by Matt W on May 10, 2011 8:53 pm • linkreport

@ Matt W

DC had always been a small town, until the wave of gentrification. Folks lived in the same houses or neighborhoods for most of their childhoods and their families stayed in their houses for several generations. House flipping for profit was not done very much, and one could go away to college or military service, come back to the hood and know everyone you saw. When you rode or walked through the hood everyone spoke and everyone returned greetings. Now you have folks who buy houses in the neighborhood and if they actually live in the house they don't see themselves staying very long(this house is not going to satisfy my needs in a few years) so they are not vested in the neighborhood and don't usually see the rest of the residents as family. If these new temporary residents have kids they certainly don't send them to neighborhood schools so the kids don't really get true fellowship with the boys and girls in the hood; as soon as the next promotion for mommy or daddy comes the family is out of there and the house is cosmetically fixed up and flipped for profit or rented to new gentrifiers who also only plan to be passing through.

This is how the small town nature of DC has been destroyed, house by house, neighborhood by neighborhood. I am a native Washingtonian and I have experienced it just so.

by KevinM on May 12, 2011 6:56 am • linkreport

@jared: censure =/= censor

by dcd on May 12, 2011 7:17 am • linkreport

If these new temporary residents have kids they certainly don't send them to neighborhood schools so the kids don't really get true fellowship with the boys and girls in the hood.

Funny, that's actually one of the things I like about my street. Lots of parents, mostly sending their kids to the local elementary school. Almost all of them plan on staying in the neighborhood if the middle-school options improve, and if they can manage to swing a larger house in the same neighborhood should their families grow.

Actually, that could pretty much describe the kids of the "old-timer" residents, who left the second they decided they could get more house (and school) for their money in the suburbs. Most native Washingtonians don't live in the city anymore because they did the math, and bought a house in the 'burbs as soon as that option became open to them. Most of the talk of interlopers destroying DC's neighborhoods is just a convenient historical revisionism.

I am a native Washingtonian, and I have experienced it just so.

by oboe on May 12, 2011 10:04 am • linkreport

@ oboe

You talk about the kids of the "old-timer" residents leaving, but how many of the "old-timer' residents are still there? The point I was making- when I drove through my old hood, I would see the parents of the people I went to school with still in their old homes, and either the kids of my old friends or their youngest siblings still hanging around. Not any more, and that is not going to happen with the new residents because they themselves will cut-and-run as soon as a profit is seen to be available in selling, or moving to a big McMansion in the burbs. You say they plan to stay, IF the middle-school options improve, and IF they can swing a larger house in the same neighborhood. Those are the largest IFs in history, and we both know that is code for those folks are outta there in a hurry.

All of this profit-taking from real estate speculation and flipping has priced me out of home ownership, but I still live in DC because it is my home- I wouldn't want to live in MD or VA, even if it meant owning a place. There is nothing revised about what I have said, just straight truth. Tell me what neighborhood you grew up in where the "old-timer" residents are still there, in greater numbers than new folks, folks that "plan" to stay, IF this and IF that? Or are you revising the history of some fictional neighborhood in DC? Come to the neighborhoods that traditionally fed students to Coolidge and Roosevelt in the late 60's and early 70's- those are the neighborhoods I am saying have been and/or are being destroyed by gentrification. The prices of homes in those areas are through the roof, so-to-speak, and only rich people can afford what is for sale in these formally medium-priced neighborhoods. Again, nothing revisionist about what I have said.

by KevinM on May 12, 2011 1:13 pm • linkreport

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