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Breakfast links: Pedal pusher

Photo by madame.furie on Flickr.
CaBi gets one Post editor biking: Washington Post copyeditor Bill Walsh started bicycling to work thanks to Capital Bikeshare. He calls CaBi his "gateway drug" and bike lanes the "enabler." (Bicycling)

Limbaugh calls Cheh "babe," gets facts wrong: Rush Limbaugh calls Mary Cheh a "babe" in a rant against the 5¢ bag fee and more. Limbaugh thought Cheh authored the bill; she supported it, but the primary author was Tommy Wells. (Post)

Why the projects failed: Living in low-income housing projects is bad for residents housing in many respects, increasing the incidence of psychological and chronic health problems, according to a new long-term study from HUD. (Land Use Prof)

The answer is infill: All signs point to infill development as the path forward in the DC region, but especially in Prince George's County. (Post, Cavan)

Congress slow-walking FBI relocation: The FBI wants to relocate, but Congress is dawdling on authorization for the bureau to move. Despite that, local counties are in a heated bidding war to attract the agency. (Post)

Skyland still in limbo: Skyland Mall's dragging eminent domain problems continue to leave redevelopment in stasis. While 15 tenants remain, the District is optimistic about moving them by the end of the year. (DCMud)

Placemaking in Baltimore: Baltimore leverages its public spaces to increase value downtown. If the neighborhood's public spaces are nicer, the thinking goes, local businesses and residents benefit. (Baltimore Sun)

And...: How do Arlington grocery stores compare in providing bicycle parking? (Bike Arlington, Steve O) ... Muriel Bowser wants to consolidate or eliminate some of DC's boards. (City Paper) ... Riverdale Park votes for the Cafritz project, while College Park votes against. (Patch, Dan Reed)

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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


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Wow, Rush insulted women and got facts completely wrong? Breaking news!

The council should get a clue, because engaging with Rush is pointless and unnecessary.

by MLD on Jan 17, 2012 8:47 am • linkreport

Moving the FBI is not politically feasible at this time. The price tag for an agency size move to a new building is around 1-2 billion (more toward to the 2 billion end). With elections coming up, approving the funding may be too much for Republicans to swallow.

by RJ on Jan 17, 2012 8:51 am • linkreport

The Moving to Opportunity (MTO) study was truly a remarkable study and worth reading about. Here is the more direct link to the final report released in November ICYMI.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jan 17, 2012 8:53 am • linkreport

Wow, it costs $2 billion to move the agency? I'm curious, where does that come from? I had no idea.

Too bad because I was really looking forward to demolition of that building.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jan 17, 2012 8:56 am • linkreport

Spain is a very bad example for HSR in California. It was being touted as a model because of similar demographics and clusters, but in reality projects like that are a reason Spain is in such a mess. So from a financial perspective, terrible model.

AVE is nice, but a bit dated. Still cheaper to fly to Barcelona to Madrid, however. The problem with that is both airports are a bit distant, but with good underground connections.

by charlie on Jan 17, 2012 8:56 am • linkreport


"..but in reality projects like that are a reason Spain is in such a mess"

So now AVE is a scapegoat for Spain's economic woes? That's a stretch.

by Ray on Jan 17, 2012 9:13 am • linkreport

@Ray; massive overspending on infrastructure by regions? Yep, that's Spain. Throw in some toll roads, airport, that stupid new park in Madrid, and you've can see why the country in bankrupt.

by charlie on Jan 17, 2012 9:29 am • linkreport

Rush Limbaugh calls all women he finds attractive babes, be they be politicians or members of the news media.

Here is the full transcript of the commentary in question to put things in context.

Washington, DC, Law Forces Exterminators to Capture and Relocate Rats

by Sand Box John on Jan 17, 2012 9:34 am • linkreport

@Ray do you have a source on the agency move figure? That seems high to me. Plus, I would imagine the cost depends on agency size and a whole bunch of other things. Also, this is the headquarters and not the whole agency.

by Kate W. on Jan 17, 2012 9:36 am • linkreport

@Ward 1 Guy

Sounds like a lot but here:

Recent area moves:

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Ft Belvoir): $2.4B Mark Center Move: $670M (2010) Most likely over a $1b when said and done
DHS: $4.3B+
Walter Reed: $2.7B+

My hunch with the security requirements and the fact that the high brass will be there, this is going expensive. My WAG: $2Bmin.

by RJ on Jan 17, 2012 9:37 am • linkreport

@Sand Box John are you saying that makes calling her babe better? It's still insulting. Also, he's wrong about the rat thing.

by Kate W. on Jan 17, 2012 9:38 am • linkreport

The Steven Pearlstein piece in the Washington Post was the best analysis I've read in a long time of where develpoment is going in the forseeable future. He confirms what so many on this blog already know, that the developers are going to focus on these areas inside the beltway, not becasue they want to create urbanist utopias, as some Tea Partying folks like to suggest, but rather becasue that's where the dollars are.

Government shouldn't be in the job of creating jobs, but rather helping to create the climate where by the most jobs might be created. To that end, his suggestion that a Regional Redevelopment authority be created to coordinate the effort of all surrounding jurisdictions should be given serious consideration. The streetcar network ought to be started immediately along with a simplified re-vamping of the zoning and permitting process to allow for growth to proceed with the goal of greating a greater greater Washington.

by Thayer-D on Jan 17, 2012 10:05 am • linkreport


...massive overspending on infrastructure by regions? Yep, that's Spain. Throw in some toll roads, airport, that stupid new park in Madrid, and you've can see why the country in bankrupt...

This is just lazy.

Greece’s government took on far too much debt. The governments of Ireland and Spain didn’t but their banks did, and when the bubble burst, taxpayers found themselves on the hook for bank debts.

by oboe on Jan 17, 2012 10:11 am • linkreport

At the beginning of 2010, Spain's public debt as a percentage of GDP was still less than those of Britain, France or Germany.

The problem was the collapse of tax revenues as the recession hit.

The problem with recasting economic crises as morality tales is that things are seldom so cut-and-dried as to deliver our preferred narrative.

by oboe on Jan 17, 2012 10:18 am • linkreport

"OxyContin" Rush Limbaugh has serious issues with women.

Ask any of his 5 - or is it 5 - ex-wives.

by ceefer66 on Jan 17, 2012 10:48 am • linkreport

Now, now, Ceefer. Don't be too hard on Rush. He's just demonstrating his commitment to the sanctity of marriage. More is better, right?

by Matt Johnson on Jan 17, 2012 10:50 am • linkreport

He confirms what so many on this blog already know, that the developers are going to focus on these areas inside the beltway,

Actually, I'd say the biggest focus for developers is going to be (and already to some extent) Tysons. Virtually every month, you hear about some plan or land deal for building multiple new towers in Tysons. When it comes to growth, the Silver Line will be the new Green Line in the coming decade.

I feel like I see an article like this at least once a month:

by Falls Church on Jan 17, 2012 10:56 am • linkreport

@Oboe; you are demonstrating your usual ignorance of the facts.

The "banks" that failed in spain were goverment owned thifts -- usually controlled by the local regions. Known as "cajas".

They took their money, and were overinvesting in infrastructure. If you go to Spain, you'll wonder how they built Barajas, AVE and all the rest. Actually, it wasn't even the Madrid community that wa the first offender-- but a lot of ther other regions. Well, if was through the cajas mostly.

That is why spain is now is such trouble.

So, yes - massively overbuilt infrastructre is not a good financial model for California HSR. I'll give you as an operating model for future passengers flows, it might work. But not the finances.

by charlie on Jan 17, 2012 11:00 am • linkreport

@Matt Johnson,


by ceefer66 on Jan 17, 2012 11:01 am • linkreport


Which link are you referencing for Spain and HSR? What are you using as the reference that the influence the Spanish have should be financial rather than technical?

by Alex B. on Jan 17, 2012 11:44 am • linkreport

By the way, the first story made me think of a Canadian rapper's song, "Pedal Pusher". If ever there was a song celebrating the bike, this is it:

by OctaviusIII on Jan 17, 2012 11:45 am • linkreport

Oh, I see - you're referencing this article from the previous links thread, but commenting in this one:

by Alex B. on Jan 17, 2012 11:53 am • linkreport

@ Falls Church,
Your right about Tyson's Corner. I should have said that development will be centered inside the beltway and any other area with a rail link, like Tysons, New Carrolton, etc., which was more Pearlstein's point.

by Thayer-D on Jan 17, 2012 12:15 pm • linkreport

@Oboe; you are demonstrating your usual ignorance of the facts.

I'll trust the IMF's take on it over yours, unless you've got an actual counter-argument to make.

by oboe on Jan 17, 2012 1:40 pm • linkreport

To be fair, though she's no Harriet Tregoning, Mary Cheh is kind of a babe.

by David C on Jan 17, 2012 1:47 pm • linkreport

I agree. I'll even go farther than "kind of": MC's a babe.

by Tina on Jan 17, 2012 1:52 pm • linkreport

Glad to see the Post editor is liking bikeshare! London's bikeshare has helped me become an urban cycle rider, too.

It's also made me realize just how second-rate the DC system is -- I can think of three huge improvements:

1.) Bikeshare kiosks in London have gorgeous maps that show what you can walk in five minutes and cycle in fifteen minutes if you hit a button. Washington could have those maps, too. They are wonderful even for those who aren't using the kiosk to get a bike.

2.) The London cycle hire "bike holders" (for lack of a better word) are individually cemented into the ground. That allows for them to have a nice feeling of permanence, as well as allowing for some creative use of space that is also aesthetically attractive (i.e. situating the cycles at diagonals).

3.) The stations have a TON of bikes -- well, most do. DC's problem isn't just that there are two few stations, it's that there are two few bikes at each station (see one possible solution to help with space issues, above).

by Anthony on Jan 17, 2012 6:09 pm • linkreport

Sorry, meant to say that if you hit a button the maps beautifully illuminate, as do both sides of the kiosk. It's really classy.

by Anthony on Jan 17, 2012 6:13 pm • linkreport

Hmmm. Better maps are not bad, but one advantage of CaBi is that they aren't permanently installed. It makes it easy to move them if needed or desired - and CaBi already has done that. And CaBi actually has fewer bikes at each station because they found that their bike to dock ratio was too high. They've had better performance since they reduced it.

by David C on Jan 17, 2012 10:42 pm • linkreport

@Kate W

Sand Box John are you saying that makes calling her babe better?

No. It just one of the things Limbaugh uses to tweak the left.

by Sand Box John on Jan 18, 2012 7:25 am • linkreport

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