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


Weekend links: Ohio leads the way

Photo by Phong Nguyen on Flickr.
Ohio bridge design reunites neighborhoods: When widening a Columbus highway, Ohio reconstructed a bridge and lined it with shops. Now you can't even see the Interstate as you cross over it on High Street. (Chicago Tribune)

Trails come at a premium: Bike trails have a return on investment. A study in Ohio found that homebuyers were willing to pay $9,000 more for a house located with 1,000 feet of a bike trail. This premium can boost property tax revenue. (Atlantic Cities)

Night of the walking dead: As one part of a pedestrian safety initiative, Gabe Klein has installed 32 mannequins around Chicago to represent the 32 pedestrians who died on Chicago's streets last year. (Chicago Tribune)

SF candidates offer solutions to transit: San Francisco mayoral candidates describe how they would fix Muni, the city-run bus and streetcar network. (Streetsblog) ... How many of our area leaders promise to champion WMATA improvement?

Participation can improve outcomes: City planning is easier for dictators, but they often end up building mediocre projects. Public participation in the planning process can slow projects down, but can also improve the end product. (Next American City)

We are the 0% (of Congress): Occupy DC protestors apologized for removing the DC flag from city hall. Meanwhile, Councilmember Michael Brown will soon unveil a statehood branding effort. (DCist)

Tourmobile closing: Anyone seeking a $32 bus ride between Smithsonians will have to look for other options: Tourmobile closes for good on Monday. NPS is looking for a replacement operator as well as non-interpretive transit. (Post)

And...: Union Station's ceiling needs repair work thanks to the earthquake. (Washington Times) ... A wayward deer needed rescuing from the Tidal Basin. (NBC Washington) ... Columbia is mapping all of NYC's "privately owned public spaces." (PPS)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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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gosh... the Columbus project is 7 years old. In SF the city controls the MTA, which means the elected officials of SF have oversight. That's not how WMATA works. And wrt dictators and planning, that's the main issue that Clara Irazabal has in her book comparing Curitiba and Portland, not that dictators aren't able to enact improvements, but that by not having public engagement, you don't get buy in and people don't change their attitudes and behaviors in planning-positive ways.

by Richard Layman on Oct 29, 2011 4:17 pm • linkreport

Yeah, I was in college at Ohio State in Columbus when they did that... in 2003. It was a great improvement over the old bridge, but I don't understand why it's now newsworthy.

An aside: it's interesting that when Columbus built the bridge, it cited the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle (built on top of I-5) as precedent. Now, Seattle wants to build a new bridge with shops over another part of I-5 -- and is citing Columbus. Has anyone realized that they're citing each other? (not that the bridges are a bad idea).

I see this same kind of thing in BRT -- Eugene is doing it because Cleveland is doing it. Cleveland is doing it because Eugene is doing it. Strangely, no one wants to appear to have built BRT first.

by Mark Bardwell on Oct 30, 2011 10:20 am • linkreport

Just the other day I was playing with streetview around cumbus and notice that the street I was looking at had some great looking infill architecture and had even more comin up those the buildings may be complete now

by Canaan on Oct 30, 2011 12:56 pm • linkreport

I recently moved here from Columbus. As an architect I love how that bridge connected Downtown to Short North and Campus. I would always ask visitors where the freeway is and no one could figure it out.

As for the architecture, it's too bad the faux facade is poorly quoting Columbus' Union Station designed by Daniel Burnham that was bulldozed over night (even though it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places).

by Matthew on Oct 30, 2011 4:03 pm • linkreport

@ Statehood effort

As part of this effort, DC council members should also consider being less corrupt. It might just help us make our case.

by Nicoli on Oct 30, 2011 4:23 pm • linkreport

That bridge of I-670 in Columbus is so-so. The stores are very "undeep" and store owners have extremely little storage space, say none. The bridge is rather unfriendly to bikes.

View Larger Map

I used to bike to Goodale Park, which is a lovely, lovely park, but I never crossed that bridge to downtown. No reason to, and scary anyway.

I-670 is a blessing for car drivers, but not beloved by folks in Columbus. Not all are sure that the road was needed. Downtown Columbus does have the best interstate signing that I've seen so far though. Despite the confusing situation of having a mini Beltway around downtown of I-70, I-71, OH-315 and I-670, it's hard to go wrong there. GGW would have opposed the road though.

BTW: Did anyone know that it is Columbus that is America's second gayest city? Big Pharma has a good presence there for HIV/AIDS testing. And for those who don't believe me, go to Goodale Park :-) Columbus was also America's fatest city, has/d the most square feet of retail per inhabitant and is the HQ of Wendy's and Victoria Secret.

by Jasper on Oct 30, 2011 10:04 pm • linkreport

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