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


Breakfast links: Metro works

Photo by tracktwentynine on Flickr.
Metro cars look good: Metro's 5000-series cars look just fine according to inspectors. Metro is still investigating why a piece fell off of a 5000-series car last week. (Examiner, Post)

Metro projects improve station access: Metro has come up with its pedestrian and bike projects for the next five years. The total cost is $25 million, but right now Metro only has $7 million in funding. (PlanItMetro)

MARC cuts delayed: MARC will delay service cuts to allow for public comment. This follows outcry from riders groups, which said they had no chance to give input. The cuts have been presented as scheduling changes but would mean reduced service along the Brunswick Line. (Examiner)

MD Ave. plan improves land use, transit: Maryland Avenue SW is currently dominated by office buildings, but a new plan would create a more mixed use corridor with a multimodal transit hub at L'Enfant Plaza. (SWTLQTC)

Streetcar storage gets more expensive: DC agreed to pay Metro $427,000 more to store its mothballed streetcar fleet as a result of delays, bringing the total storage costs to $7.62 million. (Examiner)

Shady realtors of history: In Capitol Hill, restorations were paired with segregation in the 1940s. Real estate agents used scare tactics to push out black families, allowing agents to restore homes, and used different tactics to push out white families, allowing them to make shady home loans. (Sociology in My Neighborhood)

Union Square goes to AOC: The area just west of the Capitol will transfer from NPS to the Architect of the Capitol. Proponents cite security, while critics fear free speech will become more restricted. (Post, Eric Fidler)

Work around the alcohol: Corner stores and delis are trying to work around DC's Class B alcohol license moratorium by applying for a Class A license but voluntarily restricting their activities to Class B. (Park View DC)

And...: US Treasury gets LEED-Gold certification ... Ten sites added to Virginia's Historic Landmarks list, including Dominion Hills ... Virginia officers have been ticketing drivers without proof of insurance, even though there is no law requiring it (Virginia Lawyers Weekly) ... A swimmable Inner Harbor by 2020?

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David Edmondson is a transportation and urban affairs enthusiast working on his master's in city and regional planning at Cornell University. He blogs about Marin County, California, at The Greater Marin
Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  


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Metro is giving the okay to the 5000-series cars before finding any potential problems. I have no problem with that, but did anyone else laugh at that thought?

by selxic on Dec 28, 2011 9:24 am • linkreport

The story about VA cops issuing tickets for non-violations underscores the imperative for the cycling/alternative transport community to push back strongly against efforts to impose new regulations or extend motor vehicle regulations to cyclists.

by Arl Fan on Dec 28, 2011 9:40 am • linkreport

Would someone please fire John if possible. Or is he union and such cannot be done.

So the DC's Transportation spokesperson tells us it really is cheaper to pay close to have a million dollars to METRO, no less, to store un-used street cars for some possible future use. What?

He further claims that having bought the trolley cars a few years ago was a good buy because they were marginally cheaper then. That makes no have older technology, they are sitting and decaying and this is somehow sound use of taxpayers money?

If we ever want to have a GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON we really need to rid ourselves of these taxpayer-paid parasites.

Mr. Lisle should simply have said this rental cost is a result of horrendous DC planning and a waste of transit subsidy and the community should be outraged by it. At least he would have been applauded for being honest and having common sense and would have done the region a valuable service. Even more comical is how METRO came up with the amount of this rental fee. Love to see how they show that on their 'books'.

by Pelham1861 on Dec 28, 2011 12:28 pm • linkreport

Streetcar storage: If I am interpreting the article correctly, DC is paying Metro $427k to store 3 streetcars for 531 additional days. This amounts to $268/day/car. And I thought the impound lot was expensive!

Any justification for this?

by goldfish on Dec 28, 2011 1:46 pm • linkreport

Last I was aware, the streetcars are in the shelters (much more limited space) and are also being maintained. I can only wish impound lots extended those same courtesies with their fees :) And at about $4/linear foot it actually looks to be about on-par for a nightly stay in an impound lot even without the extra fixin's.

by Bossi on Dec 28, 2011 2:14 pm • linkreport

@Bossi -- Who says the storage goes by the foot? High end warehouse space in DC costs $30/sq ft/year. Assuming 4000 sq ft total (50% area occupied), amounts to $175k for the needed number days. For $427k, DC could buy a small lot in an out-of-the-way industrial neighborhood, put up a prefab steel building, and truck the streetcars there. When the storage need ends, DC could sell the lot and probably just about break even.

by goldfish on Dec 28, 2011 2:38 pm • linkreport

DA: Why did you delete the solicitation for a prefab structure? Offered at $120k, this supported my position that streetcar storage fee paid to Metro was way too high, and more important, was very funny.

by goldfish on Dec 29, 2011 10:25 am • linkreport

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