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


Weekend links: Wintry mixed uses

Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.
Clear your sidewalks: It snowed last night, which means DC property owners are responsible for clearing their sidewalks, including businesses, apartment buildings, and the National Park Service. Arlington has the rule, too.

Stop discriminating against mixed-use: Lending rules from HUD, FHA and Fannie and Freddie impede mixed-use development by limiting rented residential or commercial space in buildings. Fixing that rule would help economic recovery. (Forbes)

Gingrich sneers at urban living: Newt Gingrich scorned people who live in apartments and/or ride the Metro, saying in a speech to the National Association of Home Builders that such people don't understand the value of homeownership. (WSJ via Yglesias)

Red bikes and pink blooms on the Mall?: Capital Bikeshare stations may come to the Mall by the Cherry Blossom Festival. The Park Service has submitted its 5 station sites to federal review agencies. (Examiner)

Union Square still recordable: Union Square will remain open for filming and photos, despite a change of control from the National Park Service to the Architect of the Capitol. (City Paper)

DC won't limit your photography: DCRA wants to narrow photography regulations to only regulate those taking pictures on the street to sell immediately to people, not journalists or artistic photographers. Also, for some reason, the regulated street photographers are forbidden from taking blurry photos. (Post)

The FederalExpressway?: Virginia may sell naming rights to its infrastructure for highway maintenance money, under a proposal by Governor McDonnell. Virginia would join Chicago and Philadelphia by allowing such sales. (WBJ)

Book Exchange project approved: The Book Exchange project, to house 1,000 students in College Park, sailed through the Prince George's planning board despite opponent concerns that it would disrupt the character of the neighborhood. (Post)

Reforming food truck rules: Food trucks will be allowed to idle without customers as long as they obey parking laws, freeing them from fines under the current rule. Mayor Gray wants to implement this and other changes to DC's food truck rules. (Examiner)

And...: Local business groups want more Maryland infrastructure funding. (Post) ... Is efficiency or look and feel more important to transportation planning? (Slate) ... China unveils the largest bus in the world, and it looks like a Circulator. (Digital Trends)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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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There was an interesting news piece on Greenbelt, Maryland today on WAMU. It might've been Metro Connection.

Compact living - hardly hear much discussion of it.

by Jazzy on Jan 21, 2012 10:57 am • linkreport

I do like the equivalency that SFH's = owners while Towers = renters. Even though it's nothing like that at all. Ultimately this just another "you have only yourself to blame for being rich like me".

by Canaan on Jan 21, 2012 11:25 am • linkreport

Man I hope he gets nominated.

by spookiness on Jan 21, 2012 11:47 am • linkreport

You must also shovel sidewalks in Alexandria.

by Viv on Jan 21, 2012 1:33 pm • linkreport

Are there laws about clearing vehicles from snow/ice before driving?

by TGEOA on Jan 21, 2012 9:35 pm • linkreport

Gingrich is not the only one with a prejudice against renters. Opposition to rental apartments has been expressed in neighborhood meetings in Wards 2 and 8, and most new housing developments in D.C. have been condos.

Condo lovers, or those considering moving into a condo, should read a recent commentary in The Washington Post. ("Airing Out a Fiery Issue", January 21, 2012, p. E1)

by The Civic Center on Jan 22, 2012 8:28 am • linkreport

As a former resident of Old Town College Park, I sympathize with the residents' and city council's opposition to the building. I can't imagine such a large structure sitting amid the one- and two-story buildings that front Route 1.

Enough is enough! College Park and neighboring cities should join together to secede from Prince George's County.

by The Civic Center on Jan 22, 2012 8:42 am • linkreport

@civic center-re: College Park: is your comment facetious? I can't tell.

by Tina on Jan 22, 2012 10:20 am • linkreport

There should be a rule that once someone invokes the phrase "enough is enough!" the comment thread is closed and that person automatically loses the argument.

by Falls Church on Jan 22, 2012 10:27 am • linkreport

Here is the link to WAMU's Metro Connection piece on Greenbelt, Maryland:

by Jazzy on Jan 22, 2012 11:49 am • linkreport

@ The Civic Center-We should secede, only not b/c they approved density in an area that's going to get more dense, but b/c they piss away our tax dollars with far flung infrastructure investment that will never have a positive return on investment. I can think of only a few things that PG does for me that Mt. Rainier cannot or does not. My basic services are taken care of by my city who do a far better job than the county and are much more responsive to resident needs.

by thump on Jan 22, 2012 3:36 pm • linkreport

I would point out that by the identity property, enough actually is enough.

by David C on Jan 22, 2012 11:55 pm • linkreport

Gingrich's prejudice against renters is just another subtle dog whistle to his core supporters. Of course, when you look at economics and the benefits of having a more mobile population that can respond to varying economic conditions in different regions of the country, it's a reminder of how hollow his analysis of this issue is. I wonder if he'll bill Fannie and Fredie for this work too, @ 30k an hour.

by Thayer-D on Jan 23, 2012 8:32 am • linkreport

Gingrich is what a stupid person thinks a smart person is like.

by Vicente Fox on Jan 23, 2012 12:27 pm • linkreport

@The Civic Center - Most of Route 1 is set for a significant upscaling under the Route 1 sector plan. It's going to come in bits and pieces over time, but it's going to come. The other sites adjacent to it on Baltimore Ave. will grow to fit it nicely. The biggest complaints I've heard over the book exchange that 1) it doesn't blend back into Old Town very well and 2) the developer is a dick.

by Distantantennas on Jan 23, 2012 1:31 pm • linkreport

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