Greater Greater Washington

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Breakfast links: Changing the landscape


Photo by rot ist die farbe der hoffnung on Flickr.
"Shallow" look at gentrification?: The New York Times reviews gentrification in DC. Race, the streetcar and bike lanes feature prominently. But some say it's oversimplified and "shallow," and the economy, not bike lanes and dog parks, was the reason Gray beat Fenty in 2010. (Prospect)

Freemasons pushed out, too: A branch of the Freemasons is leaving its location near 14th & U Streets to make way for a mixed-use apartment building. This particular branch of Freemasons is historically black. (Housing Complex)

Purple Line will reshape communities: The proposed Purple Line still isn't yet funded, but counties are pondering what to do around planned stations anyway, including at Chevy Chase Lake, College Park and New Carrollton. (Post)

Carma-nothing: Los Angeles' "Carmageddon," where the 405 freeway was briefly shut down, was far from the end of the world, as enough people stayed away from driving to avoid massive gridlock. (Streetsblog, Post) ... Too bad there's no rail option. (Daily News) ... Cyclists beat a plane from Burbank to Long Beach. (Slate, Brad)

Be careful, pedestrians AND drivers: A pedestrian was struck and seriously injured at 7th and Pennsylvania, NW. NBC Washington's video report only talks about pedestrians being unsafe, with no mention of driver behavior except a note about more traffic.

Congestion relief for BRAC?: The Department of Defense will fund congestion relief projects around BRAC sites. Montgomery County's hoped-for projects include the new Medical Center Metro entrance. (NBC Washington)

Learn how to deal with a crash: If you're in a crash while riding a bike (or on foot), do you know how to get a police report? What if the report is wrong? WABA is holding a seminar tonight on what to do after a crash. If you can't make it, read this.

And in PG...: A former deputy fire chief is the latest to plead guilty in the Prince George's corruption scandal. (Post) ... The county wants to eliminate a porn shop in Beltsville, but the zoning board expects an appeal. (Examiner)

And in DC...: DDOT has historic pictures of the 11th street bridge construction (Flickr) ... The DC Office of Zoning is offering free zoning classes (Frozen Tropics) ... WABA delivered new bikes to winners of the Get On a Bike contest east of the river ... Is Vince Gray boring? (DCist) ... 2 Senators buy houses on Capitol Hill. (City Paper)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Jamie Scott is a resident of Ward 3 in DC and a regular Metrobus commuter. He believes in good government, livable communities and quality public transit. Jamie holds a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at Georgetown. 

Comments

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"Too bad there's no rail option."

Does the MTA Red line which connects the the Valley to the Basin count? Or the Metro Link Orange County Line, Antelope Valley line or Amtrak Surfliner count?

http://www.metro.net/riding_metro/maps/images/rail_map.pdf

by RJ on Jul 19, 2011 8:47 am • linkreport

That report on pedestrian safety is terrible. We have a friend who was hit by a right-turning Metrobus while walking with a full walk-signal.

Given that the car in this video has it's right front bumper dented, it seems like that continues to be a major issue. And according to the report, there were two more deaths at that corner last year.

Something needs to be done about that intersection (and particularly the right turn from east-bound Penn onto southbound 7th), because the pattern seems rather clear.

by Jacques on Jul 19, 2011 9:04 am • linkreport

So what happened at 7th and Penn yesterday? The news report doesn't provide *any* details about whether the pedestrian was in a crosswalk, had a walk sign, whether the car was speeding, whether the driver was distracted, etc. I know that regardless of what happened, a report on safety should discuss what pedestrians AND drivers AND cyclists should do to prevent these types of accidents, but a little more info on what happened would be nice.

by jaybeas on Jul 19, 2011 9:05 am • linkreport

I wouldn't say the Freemasons were pushed out, LDP even says the use of "gentrification" was tongue in cheek. Doesn't this deal really mean the Freemasons are just good businessmen?

Looks like they cleared at least $2 million on the sale of the building if not more looking at recent assessments of building.

by dcvoterboy on Jul 19, 2011 9:05 am • linkreport

Pushed out? Seems like those freemasons cashed out.

by Alex B. on Jul 19, 2011 9:08 am • linkreport

Tom Sherwood tells the guy with the bag he wasn't safe b/c he had headphones on and was toting a bag, BUT the man was clearly in the crosswalk and crossed with the walk signal. He certainly wasn't "hurrying" or "running" as Sherwood states.
Another problem I see when discussing accidents involving motor vehicles comes from the WaPo. I have seen only one writer say something like "The DRIVER of a car/bus/truck struck...". What they say instead is "A car/bus/truck struck...". It's a subtle change that makes all the difference in the world when placing responsibility. Motor vehicles don't operate themselves, but take human input. Almost every story they take from the AP says "The DRIVER of...", the WaPo doesn't.

by thump on Jul 19, 2011 9:11 am • linkreport

re: WABA dealing-with-a-crash seminar

For those who can't make it, WABA does have a page dedicated to crashes and what to do: http://www.waba.org/resources/crash_faq.php

by Bilsko on Jul 19, 2011 9:18 am • linkreport

"This man, wearing a headphones hurrying across 7th Street..."

And then he admonishes him for "running" across the street while wearing headphones, while the video clearly shows he wasn't "running" and had a walk signal!

The problem isn't "headphones while walking," it's headphones so loud you can't possibly hear anything else, and not paying attention to what's going on around you. The reason you shouldn't wear headphones while biking is that you're mixed in with traffic. When walking, you shouldn't have to keep up constant vigilance so that some idiot doesn't run you over.

by MLD on Jul 19, 2011 9:36 am • linkreport

If the article on the Purple Line doesn't prove that multiple economic dividends result from public transit would produce, nothing will. We need to look no further to stimulate our ecomony into the 21st century by investing in how we all know we'll need to live in the coming century. Oh, it's going to result in the super gentrification of North Chevy Chase. ARGGGGGGG!

by Thayer-D on Jul 19, 2011 9:43 am • linkreport

I think they need to offer long time small businesses tax breaks, but DC needs to look to Del Ray, in Alexandria as a model, where there are still not so many chains, and the original homeowners get high rents for homes that newer residents moved in to.

by Vanmo96 on Jul 19, 2011 9:47 am • linkreport

So nervous about super gentrification now that Thayer-D brought it up.

by Denny on Jul 19, 2011 10:07 am • linkreport

When I read the WaPo article on the Purple line this morning I was struck(1) by how many people interviewed for the story are clueless about how redevelopment/densification around the stations works. Many of them cited "increased traffic" as a reason to not support the increased density.

I'd love to ask them how someone who buys a condo (or rents an apartment) at a station and walks to the stores/station will "increase traffic." And, alternatively, how someone who rides transit to the station and walks to a store/friend's house

I'd also like to point out Clarendon as a hugely successful case study in increasing density with no net increase in traffic.

But I'm not the WaPo reporter who, for whatever reason(2), felt the need to present ill-informed views as if they have facts and data to support them.

(1) Yes, bad pun was intended.
(2) They might not ride transit and so view life through the windshield, their editor might strongly push them to present equally "all sides" of an argument - even ill-informed views, and so on...

by Seeing Purple, er Red on Jul 19, 2011 10:34 am • linkreport

The problem isn't "headphones while walking," it's headphones so loud you can't possibly hear anything else, and not paying attention to what's going on around you. The reason you shouldn't wear headphones while biking is that you're mixed in with traffic. When walking, you shouldn't have to keep up constant vigilance so that some idiot doesn't run you over.

Right, but it's the same nonsense you see with cyclists. Cars kill and maim a ridiculous number of people in this country, but rather than face up to the fact that something needs to be done to rein drivers in, we look desperately around for anything to shift the blame to the victims.

For pedestrians, it's headphones; for cyclists, it's lack of a helmet. The instant either of those two details are mentioned, the blame is shifted, and all is right with the world again.

by oboe on Jul 19, 2011 10:46 am • linkreport

I think Adam Serwer's response was as likely shallow as the article he criticized.

According to the times, "Some of these poorer residents saw revitalization as code for efforts to drive them out, and the building of dog parks and bike and streetcar lanes as efforts by affluent whites to re-arrange spending priorities to suit themselves. That perception surfaced during the Democratic primary last year and was used — many say unfairly — as a criticism of Adrian M. Fenty, who was then the mayor.

I don't think the above statement essentially captures what happened here in DC. Note, the quote doesn't say that bike lanes and dog parks were THE reason that Fenty was ousted. Instead it offers the perspective from those who believed
it. I don't think anyone ccould reasonably believe that dog parks and bike lanes didn't have anything to do with it. As a matter of perception, yes it did.

by HogWash on Jul 19, 2011 10:49 am • linkreport

The problem isn't "headphones while walking," it's headphones so loud you can't possibly hear anything else, and not paying attention to what's going on around you. The reason you shouldn't wear headphones while biking is that you're mixed in with traffic. When walking, you shouldn't have to keep up constant vigilance so that some idiot doesn't run you over.

As a pedestrian who often wears headphones (large ones) I do agree that I need to turn the music down and be more aware of my surroundings, especially when walking in traffic. Obviously cyclists and pedestrians should take extra caution when using ear/headphones. Pay attention...don't just follow the person in front of you who decided to walk out into traffic before the signal.

by HogWash on Jul 19, 2011 10:52 am • linkreport

@oboe: For pedestrians, it's headphones; for cyclists, it's lack of a helmet. The instant either of those two details are mentioned, the blame is shifted, and all is right with the world again.

Unfortunately whether or not the blame is properly assigned, nothing will bring back the loved ones that have been killed. Paying attention is essential.

by goldfish on Jul 19, 2011 11:17 am • linkreport

--I'd also like to point out Clarendon as a hugely successful case study in increasing density with no net increase in traffic.--

How long have you lived in Clarendon. Traffic has increased. We can argue about the increase density as being pro (I am certainly for it) but there is no doubt traffic has increased.
You are putting your head in the sand if you think otherwise. Back in 1998, there was never a line of cars trying to get into Whole Foods but because of the increase in people it has occurred.

by Burger on Jul 19, 2011 11:40 am • linkreport

And according to the report, there were two more deaths at that corner last year.

I believe those deaths happened 3-4 years ago, which led to a redesign of the signal pattern.

Anyway, the intersection still needs improvement. As mentioned above, the EB Penn to SB 7th turn is dangerous, but not the worst. The problem there is fast right turns (often "on red" but without a stop) and buses in the right lane that people turn around.

The bigger problem is a lack of enforcement of the left-turn arrow from EB Penn to NB 7th. A lot of cars--and worse, buses--run the red arrow (it's a red arrow, not just a protected left beforehand), and then get stuck in the crosswalk and the intersection on 7th. Then cars on WB Penn. feel they have a right to run the red because they had to wait an entire cycle for the left turners to clear (they can't move because pedestrians are in the crosswalk).

by ah on Jul 19, 2011 11:47 am • linkreport

So I guess GGW is ignoring the latest Gray scandal: That his campaign basically laundered money from the cab industry so the drivers could donate above the legal limit.

Here's the link, because obviously any wrongdoing by Gray is ignored by this blog.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/vincent-gray-campaign-accepted-cash-donations-above-legal-limit-review-shows/2011/07/14/gIQAQMQpMI_story.html?hpid=z3

by anon on Jul 19, 2011 11:53 am • linkreport

@Burger

How long have you lived in Clarendon. Traffic has increased. We can argue about the increase density as being pro (I am certainly for it) but there is no doubt traffic has increased.
You are putting your head in the sand if you think otherwise. Back in 1998, there was never a line of cars trying to get into Whole Foods but because of the increase in people it has occurred.

How about some actual data:

http://www.longislandindex.org/fileadmin/Reports_and_Maps/2011_Index/Case/Case_Study_Rosslyn-Ballston_Corridor.pdf

(I'm cutting and pasting from a PDF, apologies for the awkward formatting)

Page 5:

By every measure, Arlington County’s strategy along the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor has been a
success. Since 1990, the County’s population has increased by 24.3 percent to about 212,470, while the
population within a quarter-mile of the Rosslyn-Ballston Metro stations has increased nearly 107
percent (about 28 percent of the County’s total growth).
Office space in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor expanded from approximately 6 million square feet
in 1970 to more than 23.5 million square feet by 2002. An additional 4.5 million square feet of office
space was added between 2002 and 2009

So, the area has grown substantially and added a great deal of density.

So, what about traffic?

Since 2002, more housing units have been added in Clarendon than in any other station
area on the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and more than half of the retail square footage has been
built there (Table 1), and yet traffic counts in 2006 were 16 percent lower on Wilson Boulevard
and only 4 percent higher on Clarendon Boulevard (Table 2).

That change is from 1996.

There are plenty of other examples from the R-B corridor that take traffic counts from the opening of Metro and compare them to present day - the end result is that net traffic is down despite huge increases in density.

by Alex B. on Jul 19, 2011 11:59 am • linkreport

Anon: Did you submit that as a tip? I don't see it in the tip queue.

Our links editors go through the tips, through tweets saying #ggwtip, and through their own blog reader to find good stories. Often they are doing much of it the night before, when not all the news is out, and then going through quickly to look for big news in the morning. I sometimes add some I see, but often don't have time to read every paper's RSS feed until later in the day.

I can't say why Jamie didn't include this but it's certainly not out of any desire to protect anyone. I'll put it in for tomorrow, since it's definitely a story we ought to include.

I just want to remind everyone who complains about stuff being missing from the Breakfast Links that GGW is run by volunteers, the links editors included, and we depend on all of you submitting interesting tips to make the links the best they can be.

by David Alpert on Jul 19, 2011 12:09 pm • linkreport

Pedestrians are to Washingtonians as skunks are to ex-urbanites.

Road Kill that smells and needs to be scooped up.

Cyclists and Drivers have one thing in common: their total disreagard for pedestrians.

by greent on Jul 19, 2011 12:37 pm • linkreport

Burger,
That whole foods also suffers from bad design of its parking lot/being really popular. That one store has long lines full of people who'd rather wait to park in a lot in no way indicates that traffic across the whole neighborhood has substantially increased.

by Canaan on Jul 19, 2011 1:03 pm • linkreport

Dal, you've made this point many times. Maybe anon was not online when you did.

Oh, and the closing of each of this articles always state:

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.

So I gather that Anon is just acting like what we consider as an "ass" here.

by HogWash on Jul 19, 2011 1:03 pm • linkreport

The funny thing about the Clarendon Whole Foods is that they will validate your parking for the Market Common parking garage literally across the street, yet people still wait 15 minutes and back up traffic for a spot in the main lot.

by Phil on Jul 19, 2011 1:07 pm • linkreport

Speaking about Freemasonry and cashing out in a broader sense, regarding a particular piece of property discussed in these comments sections, though not reported AFAIK by GGW, of a massive new demolition special boondoggle known as The Hampshires by Comstock Homes.

http://wwwtripwithinthebeltway.blogspot.com/2011/07/eastern-star-dc-i-95-chock.html

by Douglas Willinger on Jul 19, 2011 1:41 pm • linkreport

@Burger -- I can say for sure that the lines were that bad for the Whole Foods lot in 2002, so while there might have been an increase at some point, it's not in the last ten years.

by Jacques on Jul 19, 2011 1:45 pm • linkreport

"I don't think anyone ccould reasonably believe that dog parks and bike lanes didn't have anything to do with it. As a matter of perception, yes it did."

Don't forget the cupcakes ;)

by Brian White on Jul 19, 2011 2:28 pm • linkreport

@BrianWDon't forget the cupcakes

LOL! I don't remember that one. Cupcakes too?

by HogWash on Jul 19, 2011 3:17 pm • linkreport

No no no no keep the senators out of Capitol Hill!! We already have a Georgetown. Get out!

by OX4 on Jul 19, 2011 3:18 pm • linkreport

@Douglas Willnger-I've been to your blog a few times and frankly, I have a tough time figuring it, and you, out. The only question I'd pose to you now is: Are you advocating for I-95 to run through DC?

by thump on Jul 19, 2011 6:42 pm • linkreport

@thump: understatement of the year.

by Michael Perkins on Jul 19, 2011 7:42 pm • linkreport

Indeed!

Thump@ I can't help you if you have such a hard time-

http://wwwtripwithinthebeltway.blogspot.com/2010/04/fallacy-of-not-building-dc-i-95.html

by Douglas Willinger on Jul 19, 2011 8:09 pm • linkreport

@thump wrote:
@Douglas Willnger-I've been to your blog a few times and frankly, I have a tough time figuring it, and you, out. The only question I'd pose to you now is: Are you advocating for I-95 to run through DC?

@D Willnger wrote:
@thump - Indeed!

Ah, ok. That makes sense then. Just to let you know, I-95 will never, ever, ever, ever, *ever* be "completed" by building it through DC.

Just wanted to make it clear in case you wanted to change the focus of your blog to, say, scrapbooking.

by oboe on Jul 20, 2011 9:36 am • linkreport

Oboe- we can imagine having a rational government free from the bs of freemasonry.

They 95 extension makes perfect sense, utility and environmentally wise, especially with that PEPCO right of way- except to the rot at the top, and those that gravitate to such. The Comstock project is a demolition special. Given the prior notice, no one buying into it deserves any sympathy.

Oboe- do you have a real name? I can understand why you hide your real identity given you irrational stance.

I say the hell with freemasonry, which is largely segregated being the dinosaur that it is, and god bless I-95!

http://wwwtripwithinthebeltway.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-blog-demolition-specials.html

We have many houses in northern DC and no freeways. To place this development on that field is contempt for the public, and an indictment of the federal government.

by Douglas WIllinger on Jul 20, 2011 2:34 pm • linkreport

@Douglas Willinger:

Oboe- we can imagine having a rational government free from the bs of freemasonry.

You've explained why I use a pseudonym far better than I ever could. ;)

by oboe on Jul 20, 2011 2:53 pm • linkreport

That's your explanation and demonstration "oboe"

by Douglas WIllinger on Jul 20, 2011 2:57 pm • linkreport

From Mr Willinger's blog (which I highly recommend visiting):

In the places in downtown Brookland I went, I best remember the barber shop and a hardware store. The men in the barber shop cried out could they please tear down some houses to build that much needed highway and others; one guy there even said that they could tear down “half” the homes in the city to serve D.C.’s traffic flow; I assured them that would not be necessary as a full system would require a tiny percentage. The hardware store guy took a look at the poster I was distributing and asked me if it was one of those stupid highly generalized anti-highway events. I replied that it was not – at least my presentation – though others there will try to turn it into one. Wow! I found the strongest support for urban freeways in the urban areas, with the men in that barber shop being African-American.

"Wow," indeed! Anyone care to set up a betting pool so we can wager when the I-95 segment between College Park, down North Capitol Street, finally hooks up with I-395 southbound? I've got dibs on the "never, ever" square!

by oboe on Jul 20, 2011 3:06 pm • linkreport

Also from that url:

http://wwwtripwithinthebeltway.blogspot.com/2007/02/sampling-of-attitudes-towards-dc-i-95.html

...the following I-95 opponents who embodied the highly generalized attitude of pushing the highways away with far less conversation.

These were a group of black-clothed priests that attended my June 5, 2005 presentation near Catholic University of America, at the Archbishop Carroll High School through the D.C. NE Historical Society. My presentation was "The Never-Built Freeways of Northeast D.C.: The Plans and the Controversy, Part I" by Douglas A. Willinger of the Takoma Park Highway Design Studio. IIRC, these men were identified to me as Jesuits: members of the Jesuit Order, established by Ignatius Loyola in 1543 to counter the Protestant Reformation, via strategizing to further and expand the power of the Vatican/Roman Catholic Church. (If these men were with another Catholic Order I would appreciate hearing so through this post’s comments feature). I remember two of these men in particular, one white haired elderly, described to me as liking to jump on the bandwagon rather then think for himself, and a young, dark haired, reddish complexion one – too young to have been more then a child when D.C. I-95 was canceled in 1968-1973 – who appeared to me to be of mixed Irish and German ancestry. It was he who expressed the astonishment that they were actually going to run I-95 through Washington, D.C., as if that was somehow unfathomable. He did not appear too pleased to hear me discuss its feasibility, even as I acknowledged the shortcomings of the earlier designs (and that I felt it was right to stop those earlier specific plans, such as the 1964 plan’s demolition of Brooks Mansion).

Figuring that these men had an interest in what they would likely call “social justice” matters, I ended my laptop projection presentation with my own example of activism: the South Capitol Street/ Frederick Douglass Mall, and its desecration by the atrociously placed Nationals Ball Park Stadium, with the visual image of the stamp-pair that I had created with Ian Goddard in early 2005. I looked forward to an interesting discussion.

Instead there was only a cold silence.

Such so far reflects the general attitude of the authorities towards any urban freeways.

---

Yes, one can find an interesting and broad array of opinions outside the pseudo-intelligenisia.

I say, given the Jesuit Order's history (far beyond their 'environmentalist' backing to keep the freeways far far away from their properties (while turning a blind eye towards covering those we already have such as 295 in Anacostia), that PEPCO I-95 will be announced sometime after December 2012.

by Douglas WIllinger on Jul 20, 2011 3:25 pm • linkreport

As for 'down North Capitol Street' I agree.

The proper right of way is that RR next to CUA.

Note the attitude of those at CUA abover comment, and the CUA attitude towads covering that RR, as CUA prefers to remain more isolated from the neighborhoods to the east- hardly a new urbainist position to be proud of.

by Douglas WIllinger on Jul 20, 2011 3:27 pm • linkreport

PEPCO I-95 will be announced sometime after December 2012.

I applaud your bravery. Until 12/12 then!

by oboe on Jul 20, 2011 5:46 pm • linkreport

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