Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Who's got the authority in Virginia?


Photo by markhillary on Flickr.
McDonnell gets Metro seat, lets cash flow: After fighting for more than a year, Governor McDonnell and the NVTC have reached an agreement where McDonnell will get to appoint his 1 member to the WMATA Board, and McDonnell will stop trying to withhold promised Metro funding. (Examiner)

MWAA might start being more open: The airports authority is under pressure to increase transparency; it posts no agendas or minutes online, streams no meetings, and doesn't comply with FOIA laws. The board will meet Wednesday on the issue. (Examiner)

Gray allegations made into a federal case: At least one witness testified before a grand jury in the federal probe of allegations by Sulaimon Brown and others regarding the Gray campaign and potential fundraising violations. (Post)

Bike bits: Is Chicago neglecting poorer neighborhoods and not giving the public input into bike plans? (NY Times) ... Keep up with the latest summary of CaBi expansion. (WashCycle) ... DC was a cycling paradise in 1888. (DCist)

The return of Georgia Avenue's mini-cities?: Georgia Avenue was once a thriving thoroughfare with mini-cities from Shaw to Shepherd Park. President Clinton walked the strip. Is now the time for this historic and lively commercial corridor? (Post)

Anti sentiment varies by gender: Women are much more likely than men to fight proposals to build power plants, malls and big box stores, while men are more likely to oppose apartments and condos. Why? There's not a clear answer. (NYT via RPUS)

And...: An iPod replaces a handheld radio as Metro's "no audio" icon. (City Paper) ... Occupy protesters want to be more diverse. (WTOP) ... George Mason may add another location in Tysons Corner. (Capital Business)

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John Muller is an associate librarian, journalist and historian. He has written two books, Frederick Douglass in Washington, DC, Mark Twain in Washington, DC, and also writes at Death and Life of Old Anacostia

Comments

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I give McDonnell six months before he starts throwing another temper tantrum and making noises about Metro spending. He's under pressure to get something done before the end of his tenure next winter (2013), and road transportation in the NoVa sector hasn't really improved.

Sure, NoVa will get a brand-spanking new Beltway from Springfield to Tysons Corner, but systemic improvements are much thinner. And some would argue that the HOT-way isn't much of an improvement either.

by Jack Love on Oct 17, 2011 9:54 am • linkreport

I thought that the interstate compact that created MWAA specifically made it subject to the laws of Virginia. Wouldn't that cover FOIA too?

by Tim on Oct 17, 2011 9:59 am • linkreport

@Tim; exactly. Another good reason to kill MWAA and turn over ownership of DCA, IAD and the DTR to Virginia.

I'm also doubtful on the HOT beltway lanes. 85% of my opposition is about how the deal is structured, but I also have to think it is not going to work.

by charlie on Oct 17, 2011 10:10 am • linkreport

DC was a cycling paradise in 1888.

Can someone forward this to the C100 and Historic Preservation folks that oppose bike lanes?

And some would argue that the HOT-way isn't much of an improvement either.

The HOT lanes will be a disaster. But, they will mean that the Beltway can't be widened for another 75 years. Which will force more transit.

by Jasper on Oct 17, 2011 10:54 am • linkreport

The Emmanuel/Klein Chicago story is likely much ado about nothing. I can imagine that it's pretty much the same as what we've found here. EOTR doesn't have as much stations as those WOTR if for no other reason than practicality (for now at least). It's a need/use argument if you ask me.

How much longer before this Gray investigation concludes?

by HogWash on Oct 17, 2011 11:43 am • linkreport

@HogWash; more importantly, who leaked the Gray investigation.

Grand jury is supposed to be sealed. Is this a case of the feds trying to take out a popularly elected mayor -- or one of the witnesses (not under secrecy orders) leaking for his own benefit.

by charlie on Oct 17, 2011 12:08 pm • linkreport

One of the things the media ignores is VDOT's statement that, after huge spending on the Springfield interchange and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge that pushed more money to NoVA transportation than we generated in taxes, there are other big transportation needs elsewhere in Virginia. VDOT is addressing those other needs now.

Re: HOT Lanes. Hot Lanes will permit reliable bus service on the Beltway. That is worth quite a bit.

by tmtfairfax on Oct 17, 2011 12:11 pm • linkreport

Yes, MWAA is subject to FOIA. See http://foiacouncil.dls.virginia.gov/ops/04/AO_01_04.htm. Interestingly, WMATA is not subject to FOIA, as that URL discusses.

by Matt on Oct 17, 2011 12:25 pm • linkreport

I'm not sure why everybody is screaming to turn IAD over to Virginia.

The Port Authority of NY/NJ operates under a similar inter-state compact, and does not have these sorts of problems. They even operate a small rail transit system, arguably more competently than the other NYC-area railroads.

It might be time to restructure MWAA, but I sincerely believe that Balkinization is easily the worst thing the Greater Washington area could do.

by andrew on Oct 17, 2011 12:35 pm • linkreport

"there are other big transportation needs elsewhere in Virginia. VDOT is addressing those other needs now. "

Virginia's addressing the funding. But not so much the need. Given the huge backlog of pavement and bridge needs statewide, they're only putting a pittance of this bond money towards them.

by Froggie on Oct 17, 2011 1:10 pm • linkreport

@Charlie, who in the heck knows!!!!! At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if the fbi, cia, and nsc were involved.

Just get it over with!

by HogWash on Oct 17, 2011 1:46 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash,

It is a large investigation, involving all of Grays senior campaign staff and their kids who were given quid pro quo jobs etc. Granted, Gray was neck deep into this mere minutes after his inauguration but it has only been 10 months.

by freely on Oct 17, 2011 2:05 pm • linkreport

@Freely, well yeah you do have a point. It really has only been 10 months. I guess I'm drained because we've been hearing about this stuff for..well..10 months.

But one thing to mention, I thought the investigation was centered around Brown's allegations (quid pro quo) and the whole money order thing. I didn't think they launched an investigation into nepotism - maybe because I didn't know it was a prosecutable offense.

Oh well. Goes to show you how much I know!

by HogWash on Oct 17, 2011 2:34 pm • linkreport

Amazing that folks are angry at VA's Governor. He is watching out for the state's budget. That's his duty. The very idea we have these municipal Boards..answerable to no-one and who keep no Minutes is patently absurd. Should not even be tolerated.

McDonnell is NOT worried about seeing anything completed before his term is over as Virginia Governor's cannot serve consecutive terms. (A great system.) He is watching the money of Virginia's taxpayers go out the window, over-spending and lies from those transportation Boards. Glad he acted.Good for him. Gov. Kaine surely did nothing about them. Amazes me folks online here think that watching out for the taxpayers money is somehow throwing a tantrum.

HOT lines are an idea of urban planners who get college degrees for classroom work which has little to do with the realities of state and Federal budgets. But, now we have these HOTLINES coming which, in the end, will likely do little for traffic congestion. An outer beltway would have been better.

by Pelham1861 on Oct 18, 2011 3:06 pm • linkreport

PS: My comment above should refer to HOT LANES not HOT LINES! :)

by Pelham1861 on Oct 18, 2011 3:08 pm • linkreport

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