The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Weekend links: The American Revolution lives on

Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.
DC gains a GOP friend: 235 years ago, Americans rejected the notion of taxation without representation. Yet today the 600,000 Americans who live in America's capital suffer this same situation. Even Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman came out in favor of DC voting rights. (Post)

Walter Reed could affect Embassy Row: A new chancery enclave at Walter Reed could be a bunker isolated from the surrounding neighborhood, but some of the buildings on Embassy Row could become more public uses. (City Paper)

States must return federal money: The Federal Highway Administration is asking states to return unspent federal transportation money: $10.5M from DC, $39.7M from Maryland, and $62.5M from Virginia. Since states have flexibility in choosing which programs to cut, ask your state to treat bike and pedestrian facilities fairly. (WABA)

Challenge to the jobs mantra: Officials often tout the jobs created by transportation projects. However, job creation is not enough to justify a project; even boondoggles create jobs. (Streetsblog)

Transit is a tool of economic development: DC should focus on transit expansion and development as a tool for economic development. Short travel distances and easier commutes enhance the city's residential and commercial appeal. (RPUS)

Maybe our AAA isn't the worst: California's AAA chapter lobbied against a bill requiring passing cyclists with 3 feet of space. In other places AAA has been supportive or neutral. (Streetsblog)

Virginia ratifies bevy of laws: Virginians on motorcycles, mopeds, and bikes may now treat red lights as stop signs after waiting 2 minutes. The commonwealth also inaugurated its infrastructure bank. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Australia literally paying for sprawl: Following decades of a housing supply unable to meet demand, Sydney has thrown in the beach towel and will pay residents $7,500 to move to the exurbs. No joke. (Guardian, Andrew S.)

And...: An article from 1965 laments the effects of transportation on life in suburban Long Island. (Modern Mechanix, Neil) ... São Paulo will connect its airport to its transit system with a monorail. (SmartPlanet) ... Narrowing LA streets in Photoshop makes them more inviting. (Magical Urbanism)

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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. 


Add a comment »

There are two solutions.

One: Move to a jurisdiction where one has a vote in Congress.

Two: Exempt all individuals that reside in the District for more then 2 years from federal taxation and exempt all income earned by enterprises on business done in the District from federal taxation.

Doing anything else would be unconstitutional.

by Sand Box John on Jul 2, 2011 4:31 pm • linkreport

Yeah, it's too bad there's no way to change that Constitution when circumstances change. If only they had thought to allow for that!

by Gray on Jul 2, 2011 6:19 pm • linkreport

I think it's funny that people opposed to D.C. voting rights bring up what I call the "just move" argument. It could be the single laziest argument made on the subject. The fact that the nation's capital should be devoid of people is just silly and beguiles the fact that any U.S. citizen can move practically anywhere in the world and still get to vote for President, two Senators, and a voting representative in the House. That is, of course, unless you move to the District of Columbia. I'm pretty sure that U.S. citizens who become residents of foreign countries are no longer residents of a state as required by the Constitution.

In addition, whenever other Constitutional matters in relation to D.C. come up in Congress, such as eliminating gun control laws, the "just move" argument that many of the same members of Congress use never seems to play out. Logically, if one believes that D.C. residents can just move in order to gain the right to full representation, then surely one can move in order to exercise the right to buy an unregistered assault weapon.

by Adam L on Jul 2, 2011 6:41 pm • linkreport

All of the transients that moved into DC knew what they were getting into with representation.

by TGEoA on Jul 2, 2011 9:18 pm • linkreport

@TGEoA: At what point is one no longer a "transient"? Should all non-natives accept the current policies in their current home as is for as long they live there? Is that the sort of fatalism we should expect of Americans?

by D on Jul 3, 2011 2:25 am • linkreport


Is that the sort of fatalism we should expect of Americans?

No. Only in DC

by TGEoA on Jul 3, 2011 8:01 am • linkreport

The Australia thing makes sense in the context of the Westfield company. Westfield is the Australian landlord for Westfield Wheaton and Montgomery malls (among others around the world). They're completely blind to the concept of redeveloping Westfield Wheaton into a format that is more compatible with the neighboring legacy street grid. I've heard that Australia and New Zealand were more sprawl-a-rific than even the U.S. and that link is proof.

From what I understand, they have fewer towns and cities that are legacies from the walking/streetcar eras than we do. Most of our towns and cities have some legacy historic core that is a decent example of walkable urbanism. They're even younger than we are so they have even fewer legacy walkable places.

by Cavan on Jul 3, 2011 8:45 am • linkreport

TGEoA: All of the transients that moved into DC knew what they were getting into with representation.

So only "transients" want DC representation?

by Bob See on Jul 3, 2011 1:40 pm • linkreport

Huntsman seems like a reasonable, smart guy, which means he probably doesn't stand much chance.

by spookiness on Jul 3, 2011 2:23 pm • linkreport

Virginians on motorcycles, mopeds, and bikes may now treat red lights as stop signs after waiting 2 minutes.
enforcement nightmare and an invitation for bi-wheeled vehicles to blow through red lights. will they still be at fault when they get hit by another vehicle that has the green?

by AJ on Jul 3, 2011 3:53 pm • linkreport


I'm sure all DC residents want representation. But I have no sympathy for the transients that are whining (which describes 99% of what you see on GGW). They knew what they were getting when the moved into the District. I do however feel for those who through no fault of their own came of age in DC and are denied representation.

by TGEoA on Jul 3, 2011 4:19 pm • linkreport

TGEoA: So, less voices on the issue is better.

by Bob See on Jul 3, 2011 4:36 pm • linkreport

You know who I have no sympathy for? The colonists who rose up against the king and wanted independence. They knew what they were getting into when they moved into the colonies.

Let's ask England to take us back. As a gesture of good faith, we could refuse to watch fireworks, eat bland food, and drop off the taxes we owe England at their embassy.

by Amber on Jul 3, 2011 5:07 pm • linkreport

I, for one, do not want our federal government beholden to local/DC government interests. Why the federal government itself should not be enclosed in any DC State (one led by Marion Barry would be extra awesome, no?) was discussed hundreds of years ago in the Federalist Papers.

Do whatever it takes (e.g., amendment) to get the machinery of the federal government itself separate from the residential areas in the district-- residential areas only as a new state, cede res areas back to MD, constutional provison for voting only (similar to the amendment that ALREADY gives DC a say in the presidential election.)...

by ed on Jul 3, 2011 8:14 pm • linkreport


DC residents aren't the only people representation for DC. Just like gays aren't the only people who favor gay rights or blacks aren't the only people favoring civil rights.

by Falls Church on Jul 3, 2011 9:29 pm • linkreport

You are all seriously responding to TGEoA?

That is a waste of words.

He's not mayor. Deal.

DC will not get votig representation until it is 60% Republican. Nothing else will matter. And the fringe element in that party who says they stand for individual rights will do nothing about it, until DC is 80% white repulbicans.

by greent on Jul 4, 2011 11:25 am • linkreport

While we're on the subject of the oppression of DC residents, I would just like to relate my own miserbale experience of trying to bring my groceries back into the District across one of the security checkpoints on this Independence Day.

I did some shopping at Potomac Yards and was riding my bike home via the Mt. Vernon trail and 14th Street Bridge. The security checkpoint near the Tidal Basin at 15th Street blocked every damn street -- including 15th Street, which is completely unecessary. I was searched and not allowed to bring my groceries back in. (If I had been in a car it would not have been a problem.) I was told to crossback across the 14th Street Bridge and re-enter DC through Georgetown -- or else throw out any of the glass-containered groceries I had!

Luckily, I found a route that let me drag my bike across a few lanes of freeway and sneak back up though 14th Street, where there was no checkpoint. On the way out to Potomac Yards I had the thrill of riding my bike on that highway-ish portion of 14th Street before it gets to the Jefferson. There is no reason to have Independence and 15th closed off. And the heavy police presence on the Mt. Vernon trail today, with cops on golf carts darting in and out between bikers and pedestrians and disregarding intersections is a whole other story unto itself... Can we stop the security insanity???

by vincente on Jul 4, 2011 4:08 pm • linkreport

vincente, can you shoot me an email? I want to hear more about your experience but you posted your comment using a fake email address.

In general, we'd appreciate people using real email addresses. All email addresses are kept secret.

by David Alpert on Jul 4, 2011 4:18 pm • linkreport


From the cache of documents found when UBL got converted to fish food, some of them mentioned the desire to strike targets on July 4th, so security was a bit tighter than usual this year.

And what the hell were you thinking about riding on the MVT on the busiest day of the year? That it was going to be a velondrome?

by TGEoA on Jul 4, 2011 11:44 pm • linkreport

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