Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Lower rent, higher traffic


Photo by James Cridland on Flickr.
New Tysons housing more affordable?: Fairfax County leaders are eager to attract more residents to Tysons Corner but are debating how to get more affordable housing in new residential developments coming over the next few years. (Post)

Pushing for more traffic enforcement: One of the owners of Mt. Vernon Triangle's BicycleSPACE bike shop, Eric Kugler, has launched a petition asking for more speed and red-light cameras after a driver hit Kidical Mass organizer Megan Odett. (WTOP)

Don't count on Outer Beltway: The people pushing for a new (sprawl-inducing) Potomac River crossing are likely to be disappointed. Virginia state officials want it, but Maryland says they're focused on transit instead. (WAMU)

More roads, more traffic: University of Toronto researchers have confirmed what we all suspected: building more roads creates more traffic. Interestingly, public transit availability had no effect on driving levels. (WSJ)

4000 series causing problems: Metro's 4000 series rail cars are causing on-time performance problems and are more unreliable than older cars in service. Tom Downs said they should be fixed or replaced, neither of which will happen soon. (WUSA)

Some resist underground parking: Many surface parking lots are turning into mixed-use developments with underground garages in places like White Flint. Some suburbanites are complaining about having to drive down a level or two to park even though their walk to the store becomes shorter. (Post)

What's up with Alexandria's waterfront?: The long-awaited and often controversial Alexandria Waterfront plan is nearing completion, though the Boat Club is still fighting public space plans that would require them to change their parking lot. (DC Mud)

DC man pushes Pepco for solar: Former DC Shadow Representative and community activist John Capozzi is using his status as a Pepco shareholder to push the power company to adopt and encourage solar power. (Examiner, S. Glazerman)

And...: Are DC's drivers the dumbest in the country? (City Paper) ... Mayor Gray wants to enable higher pay for top officials (Examiner) ... Think all musicians tour the country in earth-killing luxury tour buses? Better think again. (Lane Change)

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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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Dear MD officials,

We need both transit and a new Potomac river crossing.

Sincerely,
A Silver Spring, MD resident.

by Redline SOS on May 31, 2011 8:41 am • linkreport

This guy Vice Gray just doesn't get it. I can't recall one positive thing the man has been involved in... and I'm a news junkie. I think it's time to start calling this the Fenty/Gray administration... Is there a difference?

Sad part is this, I had high hopes.

by Mike R. on May 31, 2011 8:43 am • linkreport

Anyone have an update on the Bike DC rider last week that had an apparent heart attack off the GW parkway last week?

by TGEoA on May 31, 2011 9:13 am • linkreport

I'm not totally against some additional speed cameras. But it depends on the road. Constitution Ave NW is designed to very safely accommodate 35mph traffic even if the signage is 25mph. Wide, straight road. Few curb cuts. Pedestrians have little reason to attempt to cross mid block as there are so few building entrances on the street. Crosswalk signals are nice and long. It's a boulevard. In my view GGW can't argue that highways need to be torn down and converted boulevards and simultaneously clamp down on boulevards like they are T Street NW. If the limit stays 25mph a speed camera on Constitution is just a revenue grab...

On the otherhand I could see more speed enforcement on pedestrian heavy areas of 7th Street/U Street or a diagonal avenue that has many awkward intersections like Mass Ave. That makes better sense for safety and wouldn't be mostly about just penalizing drivings for the sake of penalization.

by Jason on May 31, 2011 9:16 am • linkreport

The University of Toronto's findings are fascinating if accurate. People will chose to drive when practical and affordable, but in any growing area, this means eventual gridlock, with or without mass transit options because any "room" made from transit is filed up immediatley. Like NYC's traffic, even the best transit won't free up the roads, but what it will do is move a heck of a lot more people, more efficiently and sustainably. And increasing volume in a well built system with express trains and lengthening cabs provides flexibility at a much cheaper cost than building more roads.

While there are many more new roads the DC area can make an argument for, this logic prooves the best investment the region could make is investing in enlarging metro/trolleys and backing that up with the appropriate zoning ordinances.

Whether roads or trains or both, the government has a hand in the market, the only choice is whether it is a good investment or not. If only the Democrats who keep falling back on rail investment would make the case for transit using this most darwinian argment. Capitalism abhores bad investments.

by Thayer-D on May 31, 2011 9:17 am • linkreport

You'd think, during the first heat wave of the summer, that people would appreciate nice, cool, shaded underground parking. I actually seek it out this time of year. You car stays in the 70s, instead of being 120.

by charlie on May 31, 2011 9:34 am • linkreport

@Jason

Actually, GGW's been pretty consistent on that. When a road can safely handle higher speeds, the speed limit should be raised to a reasonable level. Traffic cameras are *not* effective for anything other than a revenue grab in these locations.

The canonical example, of course, is New York Avenue NE near the BW Parkway interchange. The limit is 25-35, and the road can easily (and safely) support 55. Naturally, there are cameras.

I'm not even sure that DC is legally allowed to put traffic cameras on Constitution Ave NE, which, of all things, is actually a national park. Also, a +10mph threshold for triggering the cameras is on the low side. I think the camera in the 395 tunnel only gets triggered when you're going 15-20+ over.

Onto another topic: Because I see it being brought up again, it's worth noting that express tracks are not a panacea. The fast trains, wide curves, and farther-than-normal station spacing on Metro gives us average speeds that are comparable to express trains in NYC within the city, and vastly faster speeds out in the suburbs (where express service is fairly limited these days). That said, it'd be nice to have some 3-track sections for operational flexibility and reliability.

by andrew on May 31, 2011 9:53 am • linkreport

Pushing for more traffic enforcement:Signed and sent.

Don't count on Outer Beltway: We don't need a new bridge. There is one between Dahlgren and Newburg on US-301. USDOT needs to work on upgrading US-301 to interstate status, and resign it as and extension of I-97, with a I-197 short-cut spur over MD-3 between US-50 the current I-97. Good signage could pull long distance traffic of off I-95 at Bowling Green VA and dump it straight back on I-695 and I-895 in Baltimore.

Happy to hear MD is focusing on transit. Now start building. When are they building that Purple line, and extending the Green, Red, Orange and Blue lines? And when will we get any rail service to Annapolis and the Atlantic Coast?

Some resist underground parking From the link: “It’s kind of not natural.”

True. Underground parking is kinda weird. But how normal is it to surround yourself with a ton of steel?

@ Jason: Constitution Ave NW is designed to very safely accommodate 35mph traffic even if the signage is 25mph

Except that the actual roadways is so bumpy and poorly paved that no car other than an actual Humvee can drive 35mph there without taking out its suspension.

by Jasper on May 31, 2011 9:59 am • linkreport

Is there any evidence that speed/red light cameras have EVER made anyone safer? I'm all for safer streets, but I'm very much against things that pretend to make our streets safer, but really just work to prevent actual solutions from being implemented.

by Jon Renaut on May 31, 2011 10:04 am • linkreport

@Thayer-D:

"If only the Democrats who keep falling back on rail investment would make the case for transit using this most darwinian argment. Capitalism abhores bad investments."

Absolutely. I'm a self-described Republican, and I've often wondered why Republican politicians aren't willing to see the economic issue in such terms. Transit is a GREAT investment, done correctly; and even with flaws such as Metro's, there's no reason those couldn't be worked out in the future.

Though the Democrats aren't always Simon-pure, either...they've controlled Fairfax County for years, and I've yet to see a concerted effort at remaking the Route 1 corridor that hasn't come from one of our local elected officials.

I realize that I'm making sweeping generalizations here, but as Dave Barry would say, I also realize that I don't care. :-)

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 31, 2011 10:07 am • linkreport

Aren't we supposed to be refurbishing the 4000-series once the 7000 series has been delivered?

That's "soon," right?

If the Silver Line gets delayed, we might even be able to start refurbishing/mothballing the 4000-series cars earlier.

Of course, I could easily see Metro taking a different course of action. There are only 100 4000-series cars. It might make more financial sense to run the cars into the ground, skip the refurbishment, and retire the fleet 5-10 years early, replacing it with an expanded 7000 or 8000-series option.

Designing and executing a refurbishment program around such a small batch of cars could very well have very high overhead costs, and could have high operational costs if the 4000s cannot be equipped with similar systems to the 2000, 3000, and 5000 series cars. Right now, the 4000s are very different from anything else in the system, and that can't be good from an efficiency or reliability standpoint.

by andrew on May 31, 2011 10:14 am • linkreport

@Jon Renaut

http://vtrc.virginiadot.org/rsb/RSB23.pdf

Speed cameras definitely decrease speeds on the roads they are installed on.

by MLD on May 31, 2011 10:31 am • linkreport

@Jon Renaut

Yes, there is much evidence that red light cameras make streets safer. Here's one study: http://www.namic.org/Home/ReadArticle/620fb0ce-0517-4c9d-b091-dae155b59306

Excerpt: "Researchers tallied signal violation rates at intersections before and after extension of yellow lights and again after red light camera enforcement had been in effect for about a year. The first step reduced signal violations by 36 percent. The cameras reduced the remaining violations by 96 percent. At the same time, violations didn't change much at intersections without cameras in Atlantic County, New Jersey, about 50 miles away."

by KG on May 31, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

Okay, I stand corrected. I guess most of what I heard was anecdotal and seemingly inaccurate. Thanks @MLD and @KG for providing the links.

by Jon Renaut on May 31, 2011 10:38 am • linkreport

@Jasper - Seconded a million times over. Rail service down Route 50 with a tunnel to the beaches would see thousands of riders every summer. Not to mention the commuters it could bring from the East with TOD, lowering the pressure on federal employees to live with rents that don't match their incomes.

Do you hear us Governor O'Malley?

by Redline SOS on May 31, 2011 10:39 am • linkreport

Couldn't agree with the Eastern Shore train route. For added ammunition, see this great article on today's Slate magazine to heop understand all the unintended consequences of the car commuting life style hole we've dug for ourselves. http://www.slate.com/id/2295603/
You wonder who's running this ship sometimes, but we're "HEADING THE WRONG WAY!!!"

I shouldn't erevert to politics when discussing these transportation issues, after all it was the Lincon Republicans that laid out the railroads on who's back this country developed, but it's they who hold the purse strings, and if we don't get them spend our dollars on creating a sustainable future, it's only going to get worse for the next generation.

by Thayer-D on May 31, 2011 10:48 am • linkreport

RE: Jasper and Redline - I agree that building a new line out East and finally starting the Purple line would be very positive developments. But I think extending the Redline and Green Line further North would be a disaster. Some mornings it's standing room only at Shady Grove before the train even departs. We need more capacity within the system first before we extend anything.

And Mike R: I totally agree about V. Gray. I didn't vote for him, but was told by all his supporters that he was going to be different and better than Fenty; he hasn't done one thing yet to prove to me that I was wrong, and everyone else was right. And to make matters worse, I can't help thinking of these guys everytime I look at him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLPZmPaHme0

by Shipsa01 on May 31, 2011 10:49 am • linkreport

@Shipsa01 - I think we've got to go farther north, but I also agree with the capacity issue. WMATA needs a plan to multi-track the system, we can't afford to not look at the long term development of DC and acknowledge the failure of Metro's basic design. Additional trackage is the only answer.

by Redline SOS on May 31, 2011 10:56 am • linkreport

Hm. Interestingly enough, there's already a partially-active railway right of way from Queenstown, MD to Lewes, DE.

If you built a bridge, rail service out there might actually be more feasible than I initially thought. Of course, you still need to get to Annapolis. Not really sure how to fill in that gap, or justify the enormous cost.

by andrew on May 31, 2011 11:04 am • linkreport

@Shipsa01:

I agree with the capacity issue, and further agree that Metro should consider building a second track along all its lines; I suspect that would go a long way towards fixing some of the problems into which it's gotten itself. As for a more short-term fix, what about expanding MARC service? I think there's much potential in that - especially around Fort Meade and out to BWI. I've heard others suggest that improving MARC service would be better than extending the Green Line, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea.

@Redline SOS: What sort of rail service - Metro-type, or MARC-type? I can see more merit to the latter than to the former. Tunneling through under the Bay would make it what, an hour and a half to the Eastern Shore? Get a couple of rail links to Accomack County, and some people who don't mind a two-hour train ride into the office, and I can see even more potential there. And as to the summer travel season, all one would need to do would be to reopen the rail links up and down the Virginia peninsula to expand access as far as Cape Charles. That would be an incredible boon to a lot of places...

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 31, 2011 11:12 am • linkreport

"Transit is a GREAT investment, done correctly; and even with flaws such as Metro's, there's no reason those couldn't be worked out in the future."

WMATA is beyond redemption and cannot do transit correctly. It needs to reduce its personnel costs significantly. The Agency has resisted this requirement and is not likely to change. Notice that many local jurisdictions have provided their own bus services, rather than count on WMATA to expand Metrobus. They know that WMATA is a money pit.

Bus Rapid Transit and jitneys probably have the best chance to provide cost-effective transit in the metro area. BRT can serve communities of interest, while jitneys can bring commuters to and from rail stations to and from less dense neighborhoods. The Silver Line follies, which are not over by a long-shot, will most likely mean that Metrorail will not be expanded significantly in Virginia. Tysons needs a parking tax to discourage SOV commuting and to fund BRT.

by tmtfairfax on May 31, 2011 11:14 am • linkreport

@ tmtfairfax; and MetroAcccess. An extra $100M a year.

by charlie on May 31, 2011 11:18 am • linkreport

From the link for the study, it doesn't seem to imply that more roads create traffic, but rather that it doesn't alleviate it. To suggest that the link says that more roads is the cause for more traffic is misleading and adding one's own editorial spin. Especially when the causes could be something else (such as say, natural population growth).

by DC Driver on May 31, 2011 11:28 am • linkreport

Charlie - forgot about MetroAccess. I've been informed by some local elected officials in Virginia that WMATA goes well beyond its obligations in operating MetroAccess at a huge cost that is clearly compromising WMATA's other missions. We need to provide reasonable access to disabled people, but cannot permit the program to grown to unaffordable levels.

by tmtfairfax on May 31, 2011 11:43 am • linkreport

I'm not totally against some additional speed cameras. But it depends on the road. Constitution Ave NW is designed to very safely accommodate 35mph traffic even if the signage is 25mph. Wide, straight road. Few curb cuts. Pedestrians have little reason to attempt to cross mid block[...]If the limit stays 25mph a speed camera on Constitution is just a revenue grab...

I'm curious...what do drivers think the extra 10 mph is going to do for them? Actually, we should just go ahead and say the extra 20-25 mph, since every road in DC that's marked at 35 mph sees average traffic speeds of 45+ mph.

If there's a road in DC that has adjoining sidewalks, that road's speed limit should be 25. And that speed limit should be enforced ruthlessly. I understand folks' desire to speed around the city, but there's a lot of evidence that higher speeds have a corrosive effect on street life. The idea that posting signs increasing the legal speed limit on Constitution will do anything but make it less safe, turn it into a traffic sewer, all for some non-existing benefit is misguided.

Much better to rigorously enforce the existing limit. And if that's not possible, to re-engineer the street to bring drivers to heel.

by oboe on May 31, 2011 11:48 am • linkreport

We don't need speed cameras. We need roads reengineered to an appropriate speed limit for the area, plus speed limits that are reasonably set. Empirical studies suggest that abnormally low speed limits (such as the SE/SW Freeway and Kenilworth Ave) help promote overall disregard for ALL speed limits...a situation that just makes the problem worse. I'm not saying we need to raise DC's 25 MPH limit en masse...though I grew up with 30 MPH and consider that appropriate for an urbanized area. But we need to match the engineering/road configuration to the speed limit and vice versa. Then match the signal timing to that as an added encouragement to going the speed limit.

Regarding rail to the Eastern Shore, I think that ship has long sailed. For starters, it needs a new facility across the Bay (not that I don't think such is needed...it is). Second, Maryland and Anne Arundel County shot themselves in the foot by effectively eliminating the old WB&A rail alignments into Annapolis by allowing development on the old alignments. And while using a highway right-of-way (like Route 50) solves some of the right-of-way issues, it requires considerable engineering/reengineering since roadways can handle much steeper grades, slopes, and curves than a rail line can.

A good example of this and how it'd relate to the Bay Bridge is the Huey Long Bridge in New Orleans, LA. Note how the rail trestle requires considerably longer distance on either side of the Mississippi than the road spans.

by Froggie on May 31, 2011 11:49 am • linkreport

@tmtfairfax:

Just out of curiosity, then - how well do you think Fairfax Connector fills the bill? I've looked at a map of southeast Fairfax, and even given my relatively limited experience of the area I can see room for a good deal of improvement.

I know WMATA is a mess, and unlikely to get better any time soon. But a fellow can dream, can't he? :-)

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 31, 2011 11:53 am • linkreport

Does anyone know why no one seems to be able to erect speed cameras along Constitution and C Streets in NE? (And, no, the answer is not "The gummit only wants your money, maaan!!")

We've been told over and over again that there are engineering issues (line of sight, etc...) that make it unworkable. Any expertise on the issue out there?

But this is a scenario where speed cameras would actually promote the smoother flow of traffic. As it is now, there's a massive public support for keeping Constitution two-way (rather than one-way in the morning). There's massive public support for the stop signs that were erected as you move west of 14th street. Both of these measures were taken because there's zero enforcement, and drivers just cannot manage to keep it in their pants.

by oboe on May 31, 2011 11:53 am • linkreport

@Ser - MARC style throughout the DelMarVa penninsula.

by Redline SOS on May 31, 2011 11:54 am • linkreport

How would a 1-way Constitution Ave even work??? It would be 8-10 lanes wide at some points!!!

by andrew on May 31, 2011 11:56 am • linkreport

To those discussing a desire for a rail link to the Eastern Shore, Maryland and Delaware have been considering starting a connecting service to the NEC that would use the lightly used NS Delmarva branch rail lines from Newark DE to Dover to Ocean City MD. This would not be very direct for anyone coming from DC, but it would provide a rail service route to get to the Eastern Shore. Don't know how advanced or serious the plan is, but apparently it would not take much to implement, mostly locating equipment or paying Amtrak to run a daily train down the branch.

by AlanF on May 31, 2011 12:02 pm • linkreport

@Redline SOS: I like the sound of that. I can see it being a somewhat-viable option if run straight down the center and made somewhat commuter-friendly. I've driven that route on the highway (whichever one it is - can't remember offhand), and it generally takes no more than fifteen minutes to get from the center to the coastal towns. So...commuting from Wachapreague to DC, while a hair extreme, wouldn't be much worse than the current commute from Richmond, I shouldn't wonder.

@AlanF: Why Amtrack? Mightn't it be better to get some more local authority to run the trains?

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 31, 2011 12:11 pm • linkreport

@andrew:

Constitution Ave NE, not NW. It's a two-lane street on Capitol Hill. For many, many years, it was a one-way in-bound on weekday mornings.

For some folks, it was a perfect symbol of DC DOT policies which bent over backwards to cater to suburban commuters at the expense of DC residents quality of life. It was a perfect example of traffic engineers looking at a spreadsheet and determining that optimizing auto-traffic flow could be done easily, and with no impact on quality of life for people who actually live there. After all, there's no reason to cross mid-block, and the sight-lines are *great*! It's a perfectly straight road!

Of course, there were some corners that had a high-speed t-bone collision, taking out some homeowner's fence every other month. And you couldn't let your kid walk the two blocks to school without keeping an iron death-grip on their shoulder lest they get run down by speeding drivers, but that's the price of optimal traffic-flow!

It took a long time, and a lot of citizen action, but the only thing that got commuters to stop screaming through the residential neighborhoods on the Hill was choking the street down to a manageable size. It's high-time we understood that cities are for people. Optimizing the driving experience of non-resident drivers should be far, far down the list of priorities.

by oboe on May 31, 2011 12:20 pm • linkreport

@AlanF

Given the congestion at the Bay Bridge, even with the circuitous routing a rail service from DC to Ocean City MD might be competitive on time. If the stopping pattern were adjusted accordingly, you might be able to make it work.

There are daily commuter trains in Philly from Atlantic City. Maybe there would eventually be enough traffic to support a daily commuter train service from DelMarVa to Baltimore or Philly, for example - with increased special service for beach access on weekends.

NE Regional trains are scheduled to run from Union Station to Wilmington in 1:32 - if you tack on another hour from Wilmington to Ocean City, that's still time-competitive with driving from DC and waiting to cross the Bay Bridge.

by Alex B. on May 31, 2011 12:51 pm • linkreport

@oboe. Ah. My mistake. Didn't notice the NE, and scratched my head thinking "WTF."

If we're going to start riffing on that subject, Maryland Ave NE could also do with some traffic calming.

Routing trains through Newark DE is certainly an interesting idea. Amtrak remains the most logical operator of such a service, given that it would cross 3 state lines. The origin /routing of such a service would largely depend on the configuration of the junction. Similarly, there are lightly-used freight lines all over the peninsula that already serve most of the beach towns.

by andrew on May 31, 2011 1:02 pm • linkreport

Ok, you link to a story about a cellist who tours on bike. That is completely awesome but screams out for a picture. How do you even do that? And his backup musicians (including drummer) also ride with their instruments? Wha??

by Ward 1 Guy on May 31, 2011 1:21 pm • linkreport

@Redline SOS

@Shipsa01 - I think we've got to go farther north, but I also agree with the capacity issue. WMATA needs a plan to multi-track the system, we can't afford to not look at the long term development of DC and acknowledge the failure of Metro's basic design. Additional trackage is the only answer.

If it were the only answer, we'd really be in trouble, because it is not something that would be feasible anytime soon. Fortunately, there is another measure that could increase capacity that is much more feasible: increasing the percentage of 8-car trains until it hits 100%.

Unfortunately, the money for the necessary power upgrades got diverted and the railcars necessary to achieve this are prohibitively expensive at present, unless the Feds feel like including it in the Surely-It-Will-Pass-Someday Transportation Bill. Still way cheaper than adding extra tracks anywhere, though.

by Dizzy on May 31, 2011 1:22 pm • linkreport

@Alex B.: I'd argue that that's better than time-competetive, even, given my experience. Extend the train on down the peninsula, and all you'd need is a half-hour, max, to get people to Chincoteague. I think that could work just fine.

@andrew: How lightly used, exactly? I can imagine most of those towns would welcome the money.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 31, 2011 1:53 pm • linkreport

Well, the big question is the condition of the track on the Delmarva peninsula. I remember seeing some of it at grade crossings when driving to the beach, and it didn't exactly look great. That's fine for infrequent slow freight, but it's not going to work well for passenger rail asking for modest speeds.

by Alex B. on May 31, 2011 1:56 pm • linkreport

@ RedlineSOS: Rail service down Route 50 with a tunnel to the beaches would see thousands of riders every summer.

I'd like to see some rail service along Rt 50 westbound as well. Pretty much from Middleburg to Ocean City would be nice.

by Jasper on May 31, 2011 2:03 pm • linkreport

Ser Amantio di Nicolao WMATA has lacked strong management controls for years (remember how it failed to catch its parking contractor stealing?) and has failed to address unreasonable compensation for its employees for many years. The entire board would (IMO) need to be reconstituted for any reform to occur. WMATA's expenses consistently increase faster than local government expenses (at least for Virginia, while its service has become marginal.

by tmtfairfax on May 31, 2011 2:57 pm • linkreport

@Alex B, a quick check of the map shows a driving distance of over 100 miles from Newark, DE to Ocean city, MD. That is not going to be an hour from Newark DE.

I did some digging at Delaware websites and the plans for any passenger rail service down the Delmarva peninsula appear to be long term. The more immediate concerns are to replace the Newark DE station with a new adjacent station with high level platforms, storage tracks for MARC and SEPTA, and which is directly accessible from an expanded Univ of Delaware campus. The long term plan for MARC is to extend service to Newark DE where it would overlap with SEPTA service.

But MARC expansion northward is dependent on the Chesapeake Connector project to separate passenger and NS freight operations and add a 3rd track at a 6.3 mile two track NEC bottleneck. This is one of the bigger NEC improvement projects and won't be inexpensive.

So any commuter or passenger train service down the Delmarva is likely to be placed until after there is a new station in Newark DE and other capacity improvements on the NEC around there. I found a website that has a July 2010 report that discusses some of this: http://www.wilmapco.org/newarktrain/. Still, eventually extending passenger train service branching off the NEC to Dover and Salisbury and maybe Ocean City is a viable idea.

by AlanF on May 31, 2011 3:25 pm • linkreport

@Jasper: The problem(?) with that is the interstate connection. Not a problem, if VRE and MARC could get together to provide decent interstate transit, which wouldn't be a bad idea. (Live in Lorton, work in Bethesda? Could be good.)

@tmtfairfax: Yes. Still, I hold out hope that eventually things will get so bad that they'll have no choice but to improve. I have a feeling it's heading that way, even as I've noticed a few miniscule upticks in service lately. (Most likely just my luck, but still...)

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 31, 2011 3:27 pm • linkreport

Ser Amantio - I had to let out a giant SIGH after I read your response to tmtfairfax. Unfortuately, I think that's the case with every issue (maybe except throwing away money on the Defense Department) and every agency - unless something is "so bad" we will never address it. How many warnings do we need about our infrastructure (bridges, roads, etc) or climate change or anything - and yet, we still fiddle while... well, you know the rest.

by Shipsa01 on May 31, 2011 3:50 pm • linkreport

@Ward1guy:

http://ditchthevan.tumblr.com/post/1139034679/riding-along-the-d-l-canal-tow-path-really

There also are some videos of the "Ditch the Van" tour on the site.

by Eileen on Jun 1, 2011 12:21 am • linkreport

About ten years ago, I rode a fantrip fro.m DC, down the peninsula to Pocomoke City. The track was great until the Dover area, south of that was pretty rough.

I think there is a market for a daily train fron Philly to Salisbury. Other than that, no. Seasonal beach trains just don't make sense.

by kinverson on Jun 1, 2011 9:23 am • linkreport

“It’s kind of not natural.” - woman talking about underground parking.

Neither is an aboveground parking lot, ma'am. Think about it.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jun 10, 2011 12:03 pm • linkreport

Surface lots are the natural habitat for wild autos. We need to end the cruelty of keeping cars in cages and allow them to return to the wild!

by MLD on Jun 10, 2011 12:14 pm • linkreport

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