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Breakfast links: Unsatisfying


Photo by ElvertBarnes on Flickr.
DDOT responds on bike lanes, sort of: DDOT posts an official reply to news they may cancel L and M cycletracks: they're studying things, they have to consider all users, etc. (d.dish) ... TBD On Foot finds the answer unsatisfying.

IZ units arrive 5 years late: DC's first 2 Inclusionary Zoning units are about to be awarded. The Fenty administration stonewalled IZ from 2007 to 2009, thereby forestalling many potential units, and then the downturn meant little new housing was built.

Nathan criticizes DCTC: DC Attorney General Irv Nathan says the Taxicab Commission's rules against recording meetings are "not consistent with the philosophy of the administration or ... good government or good common sense." (Post)

Tysons may recalculate: Fairfax County wants to count new Tysons projects against the area's overall limit on office space later in the development process, to better monitor traffic impacts, but developers say it creates uncertainty. (Post)

One step closer, many to go for Baltimore Red Line: The line received federal approval to start preliminary engineering, one of many steps before it can get onto a long line of transit projects waiting for limited federal funds. (Baltimore Sun)

Alexandria seeks waterfront compromise: The city council appointed a 7-person committee to reach a compromise for the controversial waterfront redevelopment plan. Opponents will form their own competing committee. (Post)

Bar opposes VA on principle: The owner of Madam's Organ wants out of his voluntary agreement, but not because of any specific onerous provisions; he just thinks they're unfair in general. (City Paper)

And...: Arlington's zoning administrator is leaving to go to seminary as the county reconsiders its sign law. (Post, Examiner) ... Hours after the Tune Inn's kitchen was destroyed by fire, they got a $200 ticket for improper recycling placement. (WTOP) ... A Uighur restaurant may open in Anacostia. (And Now, Anacostia)

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Eric Fidler has lived in DC and suburban Maryland his entire life. He likes long walks along the Potomac and considers the L'Enfant Plan an elegant work of art. He also blogs at Left for LeDroit, LeDroit Park's (only) blog of record. 

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Regarding DDOT canceling the bike lanes to "study" (obfuscate and hope they go away), elections have consequences.

(disclosure: I'm not a DC resident so I can't vote for the mayor of DC)

by Cavan on Jun 29, 2011 9:30 am • linkreport

It's funny that in DC "studying" bike lanes becomes a rallying cry for the oppressed bikers, but Arlington pushing back bikeshare in R-B until 2012 isn't worth complaining about.

by charlie on Jun 29, 2011 10:17 am • linkreport

There's a difference, charlie. Arlington is still fully committed to bikesharing in R-B, it's just taking a little longer than expected to roll it out. According to these statements, DC is no longer fully committed to the cycle tracks.

Bikesharing in R-B will definitely happen. The DC cycle tracks may not.

by BeyondDC on Jun 29, 2011 10:21 am • linkreport

@According to these statements, DC is no longer fully committed to the cycle tracks.

Would the L&M cycle tracks be the first and only in the city? If so, then I can understand how you would believe that DC is the no longer fully committed to cycle tracks.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 10:45 am • linkreport

@HogWash
I think when discussing the L&M cycle tracks, BeyondDC was referring to the L&M cycle tracks when saying that DC appears to be no longer fully committed to the (L&M) tracks.
I have no idea why you think the (relatively few) already extant cycle tracks would have any bearing on this conversation, which is about the L&M cycle tracks.

by Jared on Jun 29, 2011 11:01 am • linkreport

@HogWash
Would the L&M cycle tracks be the first and only in the city? If so, then I can understand how you would believe that DC is the no longer fully committed to cycle tracks.

I don't understand how you do the mental gymnastics required to say that if the city takes plans that are in place for new cycle tracks and shelves them, they are still "fully committed" to cycle tracks.

Just because they aren't doing the worst thing possible (ripping up the ones already in place) doesn't mean they're still "fully committed." Backtracking would indicate that they are definitely not "fully committed."

I see this mentality a lot in your comments, the backwards logic that says "if XYZ group isn't actively trying to dismantle what's already in place, then they are fully committed to improving it!" That's bad logic.

If the mayor is committed to improving the city's bicycle-friendly city rating, and he has said he is, then building new infrastructure has to be a part of getting there.

by MLD on Jun 29, 2011 11:06 am • linkreport

@BeyondDC; I see nothing in their statement that says anything about canceling. "reducing to 50%", "studying", and "waiting." That is EXACTLY analogous to what Arlington is doing with bikeshare -- studying and waiting.

At least people in DC can vote for a mayor and change things. Arlington is really the closet we get to Communist China in the US: No voter choice, rules being stuffed down your throat, and a deep commitment to building real estate.

by charlie on Jun 29, 2011 11:07 am • linkreport

@HogWash There's already the tracks on 15th and Pennsylvania.

by andrew on Jun 29, 2011 11:08 am • linkreport

charlie, in Bellamy's hearing he said the cycletracks "might not happen". Arlington is not "waiting" they are actively installing. They are committed - they've even budgeted the money. What do you think the chances are that Arlington won't expand bikeshare? Now what do you think the chances are that the L&M cycletracks won't happen are?

by David C on Jun 29, 2011 11:19 am • linkreport

I don't remember Gray making a commitment to cycletracks. Wasn't his promise to get platinum certification? I could be wrong about that.

by charlie on Jun 29, 2011 11:22 am • linkreport

@Jared, I have no idea why you think the (relatively few) already extant cycle tracks would have any bearing on this conversation, which is about the L&M cycle tracks.

I actually have little idea where cycle tracks in DC currently are. With that in mind (and after reading the dissents) I don't think it's unreasonable to ask whether we have any other cycle tracks in the city or if the L&M cycle were the first and only planned tracks in the city.

@MLD I don't understand how you do the mental gymnastics required to say that if the city takes plans that are in place for new cycle tracks and shelves them, they are still "fully committed" to cycle tracks.

Because I'm not an absolutist. I don't think "not" voting Fenty is an indication that Gray voters aren't committed to education reform. I don't think DAl voting Gray means that he isn't committed to transit improvement. I don't think requiring people to get a job after five years on TANF means they aren't committed to helping lower income residents. Because I'm not an absolutist.

if XYZ group isn't actively trying to dismantle what's already in place, then they are fully committed to improving it!" That's bad logic.

Maybe you are relying on your own characterizations of my positions instead of what they really are. Your analysis of my logic makes no sense and is ass backwards. My responses here certainly don't back up your assertion.

If the mayor is committed to improving the city's bicycle-friendly city rating, and he has said he is, then building new infrastructure has to be a part of getting there.

So because the mayor decided that THIS particular cycle track project should be shelved, you travel eons and conclude that he isn't committed to making DC bike friendly? Friend, I think that's ass backwards logic and speaks to the ME ME ME..It's All About ME attitude many of you are often parodied as. Think myopic twits.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 11:26 am • linkreport

I don't remember Gray making a commitment to cycletracks.
He hasn't spoken on the subject? What's your point.

by David C on Jun 29, 2011 11:28 am • linkreport

if XYZ group isn't actively trying to dismantle what's already in place, then they are fully committed to improving it!" That's bad logic.

Maybe you are relying on your own characterizations of my positions instead of what they really are. Your analysis of my logic makes no sense and is ass backwards. My responses here certainly don't back up your assertion.

If the mayor is committed to improving the city's bicycle-friendly city rating, and he has said he is, then building new infrastructure has to be a part of getting there.

So because the mayor decided that THIS particular cycle track project should be shelved, you travel eons and conclude that he isn't committed to making DC bike friendly? Friend, I think that's ass backwards logic and speaks to the ME ME ME..It's All About ME attitude many of you are often parodied as. Think myopic twits.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 11:29 am • linkreport

Hogwash, there's a cycletrack on 15th and arguable on Pennsylvania Ave.

So because the mayor decided that THIS particular cycle track project should be shelved, you travel eons and conclude that he isn't committed to making DC bike friendly?

Yes, but not just because of this. This is THE major on-street bicycle feature that DDOT was working on. It had moved way beyond idea and into design. The only other thing they've offered is 10 miles of bike lane. So if he is committed, he's keeping it a secret and it isn't being manifested in any real way.

by David C on Jun 29, 2011 11:31 am • linkreport

@ David C ; as far as I can gather Arlington is "actively installing" one bikeshare station in courthouse. They are "studying" and "planning" for 30 more. According to their meeting, they haven't ordered or budgeted for this yet -- although you are better connected and might have private information. And there are zero plans to expand this beyond R-B. Just hopes and desires.

So, both projects are in the same place: studying and dragging your feet. Sure, I understand the fear that Mayor Gray will remove cycletracks in West End and downtown because some hommies EOTR hate white people and biking. But that's all it is: fear.

If anything, I'd say DDOT learned the lesson on the Penn. Ave cycletrack, which is don't drop in and surprise everyone with a half-baked notion.

I doubt Gray has thought at all about L and M, and much like Gabe Klein, it probably only takes 15% of the time of DDOT.

by charlie on Jun 29, 2011 11:34 am • linkreport

If he (the mayor) has a particular problem with those cycle tracks then the mayor should be able to say why. I personally don't see that the mayor is not trying to make DC more bike friendly but its foolish to expect there not to be questioning of the his motives if the explanation is that "its on hold".

by Canaan on Jun 29, 2011 11:36 am • linkreport

Charlie, that's not correct. The money has been budgeted, but the stations and bikes have not been ordered. They've committed to adding 30 stations. Not adding 30 stations pending study. They're studying where to put the stations, not if they should put them in.

You're correct that there are no hard plans to install anything after Spring 2012, but that isn't relevant here. If you want to compare the commitment to cycletracks on L&M to the commitment to bikeshare in Shirlington then that might be more appropriate.

by David C on Jun 29, 2011 11:39 am • linkreport

As a follow-up to yesterday's NYT story on how European cities are discouraging driving, there's an 8-person discussion by experts today on what to do in America:

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/06/28/car-clash-europe-vs-the-us?hp

by Tom Coumaris on Jun 29, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

If the L&M cycle tracks where just experiencing a minor glitch or delay, I doubt Tommy Wells would have made an issue of it at the confirmation hearings. I also doubt that Bellamy would say that the cycle tracks may not happen. In contrast, I don't hear anyone in Arlington's government making an issue of bikeshare delays or saying it may not happen.

by Falls Church on Jun 29, 2011 12:54 pm • linkreport

DavidCSo if he is committed, he's keeping it a secret and it isn't being manifested in any real way

Gray's response is:

"We are waiting on the completion of our studies of the existing cycletracks on Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street, and the analysis of the L & M Street corridors, before making a determination on proceeding with the concepts for cycletracks.” DDOT recognizes the need for an east-west bicycle connection through downtown, but we are obligated to consider the impacts on all users (transit riders, pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, the disabled, businesses, residents, etc.) before making a commitment to proceed.

It's fine to disagree with their assessment. It's not ok to call into question his committment. If you think so, then it's clear that other than installing as planned, nothing would have satisfied your cravings for cycle tracks.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 12:56 pm • linkreport

I think the DDOT statement is pretty consistent with the "Death By A Thousand Paper-Cuts" critique that many folks make towards Gray.

by oboe on Jun 29, 2011 12:57 pm • linkreport

If the L&M cycle tracks where just experiencing a minor glitch or delay, I doubt Tommy Wells would have made an issue of it at the confirmation hearings.

I disagree and think Wells would be more than willing to use it as an issue for no reason other than he'd be voicing the misplaced concerns of his constituents.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 12:58 pm • linkreport

I think the DDOT statement is pretty consistent with the "Death By A Thousand Paper-Cuts" critique that many folks make towards Gray.

Disagreeing with a decision Gray made? Well surprise surprise! No different than a republican disagreeing with a democrat.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 1:02 pm • linkreport

@HogWash:

Or a liberal progressive disagreeing with a Tea Party fruit-cake!

:P

by oboe on Jun 29, 2011 1:09 pm • linkreport

@HogWash:

Sorry, I forgot to swat this floater out of the park:

Disagreeing with a decision Gray made?

Now which decision was that? Gray's "decision" was to do nothing, and study the issue for an unspecified number of years. Or to be more precise, to direct his DDOT head to prevaricate about it.

He won't implement the long-standing plans (that would alienate voters); he won't cancel them (that would alienate voters). Instead we'll just let everything stagnate.

As I said, this kind of "analysis paralysis" is exactly what Gray's more astute critics predicted would happen.

by oboe on Jun 29, 2011 1:14 pm • linkreport

Well I wouldn't consider you a tea-party fruitcake but if you must.

Uhm..a decision to do nothing is a decision right? Is it reasonable to believe that Vincent Gray was so involved in this issue that he had to issue a mandate to his DDOT head to stall this project? Of course it's not but as we've witnessed with stories like this, reason is often vacated for the sake of insanity. This group mirrors the anti-fenty group who concluded that he made no investments (nor was interested) EOTR. Reason didn't matter to them and it won't to many of you critics either.

Back to ME ME ME. We want our cycling tracks.

ME ME ME. He's not one of us.

ME ME ME.

I told you so! ME ME ME.

This is what the more astute fenty critics predicted would happen among the myops.

ME ME ME! It's not all about Eve..

But ME ME ME!

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 1:34 pm • linkreport

Myopic twits.

Us.

Them.

Myopic twits.

by greent on Jun 29, 2011 1:38 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash It's not ok to call into question his committment.

Sure it is. He's said he wants to achieve Platinum level, but then he's not willing to commit to the L&M cycletracks until a pair of studies are complete, even though he never gives a reason for waiting for the studies. What impact are they concerned about? That's never outlined. These cycletracks have been on the books since 2005 (and even before that). If they won't be appropriate for the place that they have been planned for by consensus for years, where will they be appropriate? What criteria is being used to evaluate their appropriateness? Calling for studies is the exact opposite of committment to action. It is a stalling tactic.

it's clear that other than installing as planned, nothing would have satisfied your cravings for cycle tracks.

That's pretty accurate. What I would be satisfied with is doing what has been in official plans for years - since I see those plans as a commitment and deviation from them as a failure to live up to it - or something that achieves similar goals. He has not committed himself to either of those things. So I'm not satisfied.

by David C on Jun 29, 2011 1:45 pm • linkreport

Oh, one last thing on the "myopic twits" thing:

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2011/06/22/what-should-courtland-milloys-twitter-name-be/

Courtland Milloy: a staunch defender of DC's traditions who was part of the leading wave of those black middle-class who cashed in and scuttled off to a suburban PG County cul-de-sac, and who has such contempt for Myopic Twittering Tweeters he's joining the party. The man is certainly an enigma.

Either that or he's just a cynic, and very good at serving up the kind of bitter dishes that suit the tastes of a certain out-of-date, conservative cohort in the area.

Don't forget to suggest a good Twitter handle for Courtland. The trick is to somehow invoke the man's charlatanry, hypocrisy, and overall oleaginousness in just a few short characters. Harder than it looks!

by oboe on Jun 29, 2011 1:52 pm • linkreport

@HogWash:

Uhm..a decision to do nothing is a decision right?

Was it not Wallace Stevens who wrote:

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

I suppose one could make the argument that sometimes the most effective leader is he who hides in his office all day long and does nothing. I wouldn't, but one might.

by oboe on Jun 29, 2011 1:54 pm • linkreport

@HogWash
RE: ME ME ME ME ME ME

I'm sorry, isn't the entire point of government to organize society/policy/etc for the benefit of the people?

So yes, "me me me," I elect government to make my life and the world I live in a better place. If the people working in government just want to collect a paycheck and go home without doing anything, then get out and let someone who wants to get some s#!t done run things. No cycle tracks are not the most pressing issue for the city but I think people get irked when the words coming out of leaders' mouths don't seem to line up with the actions taken behind the scenes.

by MLD on Jun 29, 2011 1:55 pm • linkreport

MLD, as I said at the top of the thread, elections have consequences just as not making a decision is making a choice. Mr. Gray's administration tries to appease everyone while nothing gets done. Keep that in mind next election, especially when it's time to hand out media endorsements.

DC is stuck with an obfuscating administration. Put pressure on the elected officials and remember their obfuscation the next time you go to the polls. With the Grey Administration, the obfuscation isn't a bug, it's a feature.

by Cavan on Jun 29, 2011 2:24 pm • linkreport

He has not committed himself to either of those things. So I'm not satisfied.

Well again, surprise surprise! You don't get your precious cycle tracks when you want them. Ok fine. Go pout in a corner about it because petulant is how many of you sound. Just a bunch of whiners. Whiiiiine Whiiiiine!

No cycle tracks are not the most pressing issue for the city but I think people get irked when the words coming out of leaders' mouths don't seem to line up with the actions taken behind the scenes.

Well at least you acknowledge that cycle tracks aren't a pressing issue for the city. I think people get irked when their favorite project is stalled or cancelled altogether. No one has been able to demonstrate how stalling this project is an indication of a lack of committment.

Some people want what they want when they want it and will accept nothing less. Frankly, I've never given much thought to Milloy's myopic twits characterization. But after reading this site for some months now, the myopic attitudes often displayed here seem appropriate.

And here, we're talking about cycle tracks. Not funding for schools, HIV prevention, child care, tax increases or the like...

But cycle tracks.

Yes, cycle tracks. What some people find as their raison d'etre.

by HogWash on Jun 29, 2011 2:55 pm • linkreport

Hogwash,
It's fine if you want to whine consistently and thoroughly about anybody, anywhere expressing criticism of Gray. That's your right. Just realize that it makes you a hypocrite when you complain about other people whining.

Really, I worry about your back if you're going to spend the next three years carrying water for Gray.

by TM on Jun 29, 2011 3:26 pm • linkreport

HIV funding.... funny, 20 years ago, no one but a small constiuency was clamoring for HIV funding. And that constiuency got the "stop whining" response then, so that constiuency created their own city services.

Now it's an issue the city needs to pay attention too.

What a difference 20 years makes.

by greent on Jun 29, 2011 5:30 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash,

1.Your constant use of caps lock and exclamation points, accusing people of whining and being self-centered and your frequent name calling are by far the most petulant comments on here. Seriously, look back at some of your comments - they read like temper tantrums.

2. Looking at how you use the words, it's not clear you know the definition of whining or myopic. The mature thing to do would be to couple your accusations with actual examples, instead of, y'know, making stuff up.

3. When your only defense is that people sound to you like their whining, you've basically conceded the merits of the argument and are now arguing style. I graciously accept your concession.

by David C on Jun 29, 2011 7:25 pm • linkreport

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