Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Just a few miles from the White House


Photo by Kevin H. on Flickr.
The Presidential City: Presidents like Madison, Grant and Johnson have had dramatic effects, both positive and negative, on DC's life, cityscape and voting rights. (DCist)

Share a taxi from baseball: Taxis can soon pick up multiple passengers at once after baseball games, under new rules from the Taxicab Commission. Nats Park will also get a taxi stand and line similar to Union Station's. (Washington Times)

Name the Silver Line stations: WMATA and Fairfax County have created a survey to get input on Silver Line station names. The county-recommended names came under substantial criticism for being extremely boring and repetitive.

Violent crime on the rise: Violent crime, especially robberies, is up significantly across DC. Murders, however, continued to decline. (Washington Times)

More restaurants in Wards 7 & 8: A few sit-down restaurants have opened east of the river, and residents are eager for more. One potential restauranteur, though, decided not to open in Anacostia because there wasn't enough pedestrian traffic. (Post)

Now free to open wide: Half of low-income adults with dental coverage haven't been to a dentist in more than a year. A new free clinic opens in DC to help low-income residents fill that gap. (DCentric)

LivingSocial takes a lashing: Local businesses accuse LivingSocial of deploying "Walmart principles against the creative community" by opening a store 918 F Street NW. But are they just sore about competition? (DCist)

Keeping seniors in cities: Although the trend has been for seniors to move to the sunbelt after retirement, cities could do more to entice them to stay, including adding street furniture and legalizing jitneys. (Salon via Planetizen)

On the Mall...:: Developer John Akridge has given the Trust for the National Mall $1 million. (DCist) ... Tourmobile's replacement will soon operate around the Mall for only $5 per boarding, or $8.75 for a trip to Arlington Cemetery. (WTOP)

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David Edmondson is a transportation and urban affairs enthusiast living in Mount Vernon Square. He blogs about Marin County, California, at The Greater Marin

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"In shared riding, passengers pay the fare whenever one passenger gets out at a destination. The meter is reset and the pattern continues until the last passenger pays the remaining fee for his or her trip."

How is this advantageous to the rider? By sharing, I'm paying an extra fee for the additional passenger I wouldn't have had otherwise.

by 7r3y3r on Feb 21, 2012 10:54 am • linkreport

@7r3y3r

In theory, the way passenger sharing in DC works is that each time somebody gets out of the cab, all the passengers split the fare, divided up however they like. Then the meter is reset and at the next destination all the passengers split the fare, etc until the last destination where the last passenger pays the fare.

It only really is worth it if you're both taking a cab ride over 5 miles.

Does anyone really like cab sharing anyway?

by MLD on Feb 21, 2012 11:14 am • linkreport

Vote Coppermine for the last station!

by tom veil on Feb 21, 2012 11:51 am • linkreport

@MLD

That makes sense, thanks. The fact that the drop rate and gas surcharge are reinstated and that there's a fee for each additional passenger pretty much limits the financial benefit one gets for sharing a cab. Guess that's the point: cab drivers don't want to much lose money by having people share. I think it's lame.

by 7r3y3r on Feb 21, 2012 12:04 pm • linkreport

I took the survey and suggested McLean/Dolly Madison BVLD for the first station. It didn't seem right to just put McLean alone when the actual center of that neighborhood is still a couple of miles away and I was committed to only using the word "Tyson's" once and that was going to the station closest to the malls. You'd probably be better off just making up a name for the first station and just having that stick over time.

by Canaan on Feb 21, 2012 12:04 pm • linkreport

@tom veil: I voted for Coppermine because I thought it sounded cool and place defining. I assume there is some history with that name?

For the Tyson's I&II stop I wrote-in Galleria Center, which incorporates both mall names elegantly (at least in my opinion).

I think the only one I agreed with the recommendation was Reston Town Center.

by Steven Yates on Feb 21, 2012 12:53 pm • linkreport

I like cab sharing because it means I have to wait less time (especially when a huge event, like a baseball game, ends and tens of thousands of people are trying to catch a cab); plus it is way better for the environment. Obviously public transit is the first hope though.

by H Street Landlord on Feb 21, 2012 12:57 pm • linkreport

Re: Silver Line -- I don't like street names as station names. I don't see a problem calling the first station McLean when downtown McLean isn't nearby. It's similar to how the Vienna station isn't actually in downtown Vienna. It's nice to name stations after actual neighborhoods or geographic features rather than roads.

Re: Increasing Crime -- the decision to not provide Chief Lanier with the requested number of officers in the city budget is looking like another bad decision by the Council/Mayor.

by Falls Church on Feb 21, 2012 1:07 pm • linkreport

The multiple replacements for Tourmobile -- separate cemetery and Mall services; the Haines Point shuttle; CaBi service -- promise to provide a dramatic improvement in the core DC tourist experience. Huge, huge step forward. If Tourmobile was the obstacle to having all of these, good riddance!

by Arl Fan on Feb 21, 2012 1:14 pm • linkreport

Also amazing about Amtrak and Virginia moving up the start date for NEC Regional extension to Norfolk. Bet that will be a huge success. Exciting stuff, especially once they up it to 3 daily trips.

by H Street Landlord on Feb 21, 2012 2:28 pm • linkreport

Cab sharing is a shock if you don't know about it. Ever catch a taxi in Hobken? No thank you.

And the "creative community" complaints proves why they are artists and not businessmen. Living Social is more likely to help their business than hinder it.

by TGEoA on Feb 21, 2012 3:28 pm • linkreport

The whole Living Social/Groupon "daily deal" promotions spur a race to the bottom, and the evidence suggests that they're harmful to small businesses, not helpful.

Conversion rates are low, and the cost of a promotion means that merchants can lose money, especially for businesses that operate with low margins. One study found that only about 1/5 of Groupon customers ever return. Other researchers found that daily deal customers provide lower Yelp ratings, driving down a business' average.

Living Social's downtown events are a foray into new territory, certainly, but I find it hard to believe that a customer lured by Living Social's promotion, taking a class in a Living Social space, is going to make much of a connection to the merchant partner.

The new classes are off to a shady start. One of their first events is a yoga class with teachers from Yoga District - all fine, except that Yoga District's founder thought that it was going to be a class for staff, not a public event.

by David R. on Feb 21, 2012 4:18 pm • linkreport

I do like a lot of the options available for the survey. I only chose one hyphenated name, only one recommended name (Reston Town Center). I love the connotations of "Coppermine" - there are some awesome things you can do with that name, and it's practically an invitation to open a tavern nearby.

I didn't name any for streets or roads, given their linear nature, preferring to drop the "Street" or "Road" and instead let the name become a neighborhood name. Wiehle, Spring Hill, Tysons.

by OctaviusIII on Feb 21, 2012 4:32 pm • linkreport

Regarding Silver Line names:

If you have more than one station using the same geographical area in the name, then you have to be absolutely unambiguous as to where the station is located. I think for Tysons it's imperative to recognize that the two main shopping malls will be a major destination for a lot of riders and that if you have multiple stops named "Tysons whatever" you make it confusing for those people. After all, let's not forget how many DC-area drivers found it baffling when the Western Beltway was I-495 and the Eastern Beltway was I-95, or when Virginia and Maryland both had roads named "George Washington Memorial Parkway."

I voted as follows:

(1) Westgate (for the stop near the Capital One building; I dislike "McLean" because Central McLean is too far from there to walk, I dislike "Capital One" because if that company moves or is renamed the name is outdated, and I dislike "Tysons anything" because it's on the other side of the Beltway from the area most people know as Tysons)

(2) Tysons (Malls)--with the parentheses like that. Hit the riders over the head. "Malls" is unambiguous. I don't like "Tysons I & II" as much because a lot of people call Tysons II "the Galleria." I suppose that's really its correct name, but either way, the two malls are sometimes called by a variety of names depending on how long the person speaking has lived around here. "Malls" is about as clear as can be.

(3) Central Tysons (swap the words from what Fairfax County wanted so that ONLY the mall stop would begin with the word "Tysons" for extra clarity. Can't use "Westpark" because it sounds too similar to "Westgate" two stops to the east, plus a lot of the office parks on Westpark Drive are quite a long way from this stop)

(4) Spring Hill (drop "Road" to make it sound less restrictive as to what it serves....the area is full of car dealers and auto-body shops now, but having the Metrorail might spur redevelopment just like what happened in Arlington)

(5) Wiehle Avenue (no other good options)

(6) Reston Town Center (no-brainer, and it's a precise location within the much larger area that is Reston)

(7) Herndon-Monroe (the name is already well-established. I thought about "Fairfax County Parkway," but that road is really long and so such a name would be ambiguous.)

(8) Route 28 (yes, that suffers from the same problem as "Fairfax County Parkway," but something like 75% or more of the traffic will reach that stop via Route 28 and the other proposed names are meaningless to just about everyone).....I guess if you don't like "Route 28" you could use "Sully Road," but I think that name is receding into history since the road was upgraded to a freeway. I'm not sure when I last heard anyone call it "Sully Road."

by Rich on Feb 21, 2012 6:15 pm • linkreport

Silver Line name comments: Except for Spring Hill, the choices for the first 3 Tysons stations are all weak because the locations currently lack any real identities. The station by the two Tysons malls will be the most identifiable of the 3, but the Galleria or the Mall won't be that close because the malls were built for car access. The identities for the Tysons stations will change as the areas around each is redeveloped and built, so hopefully they won't insist on Tysons in the names for all 4.

Choose Coppermine for the station by Rt. 28, because that is memorable and consise. I expect we will end up with Rt. 28 in the name.

by AlanF on Feb 22, 2012 12:50 am • linkreport

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