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


Breakfast links: New food

Photo by Rubber Dragon on Flickr.
Fish not in the 'hood: The Fish in the Hood restaurant in Park View has changed its name to Fish in the Neighborhood, reflecting the changing demographics along Georgia Avenue. (Post)

District can't afford planned taxi reform: Even a new 50¢ surcharge won't be enough cover the costs of planned taxi reforms to add credit card readers, hire more inspectors and more, says DC's CFO. (Examiner)

Growth has unequal effects: Even if the increasing density of the Washington region is a good thing, it's important to acknowledge the negative effects these changes bring to portions of the population. (Atlantic Cities)

What is suburbia?: When suburbanites think of the city, they think crime and noise, grit and crowds. When urbanites think of the suburbs, they think lawns and malls and freeways without end. But where do small, old cities fit in? Is Alexandria less a city than DC just because it's quiet? (Atlantic Cities)

"Dumbest column" hates CaBi: Since Capital Bikeshare opened, astoundingly almost nobody has criticized it, but one Washington Times columnist manages to in what Alan Suderman calls "the dumbest column [he]'s ever read." Update: You can avoid giving the Times click-through traffic and see most of it quoted in a rebutal on DCist.

Mechanic hit, trapped under train: A Metro mechanic accidentally walked in front of an out-of-service train which hit him and trapped him for an hour. He was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. (Examiner)

Richmond's booming, too: At least 1,200 apartments and condos are under construc­tion in downtown Richmond, where the vacancy rate is half that of the area. It's not as much as DC's 11,000 or so, but shows that DC is no fluke. (Times-Dispatch)

Subways take similar shapes: Despite cities' varying geography, it turns out almost all large transit systems have basic commonalities, like the ratio between the core and branches or proportion of transfer stations. (Scientific American, Bossi)

In defense of white Girls: The new sitcom Girls has received highly-publicized criticism for the lack of diversity in its depiction of Brooklyn. But just because cities are diverse doesn't mean individuals' social networks are. (Next American City)

Please welcome one of our 2 new links editors, Thaddeus Bell! And please help him out by submitting your tips!
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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In the 1980s, Alexandria was the most crime-ridden and dangerous DC-area jurisdiction outside of DC - its "quiet" is recent and hard-won. Old Town was a pit by anyone's standards thirty years ago. Its gentrification has run parallel to and is part of the same trend that has transformed neighborhoods like Dupont and Georgetown.

by alex on May 30, 2012 9:01 am • linkreport

That probably is the dumbest column ever written. Holy cow!

by LeFabe on May 30, 2012 9:13 am • linkreport

Sunderman isn't wrong. Sad thing is, a not insignificant percentage of Times readers are probably nodding away, their foam flag hats bobbing on their bemulleted heads, muttering, "Riding bikes when they should be driving? And sharing bikes? Why, that's un-amuriken!"

by dcd on May 30, 2012 9:20 am • linkreport

Thaddeus, welcome, thanks for your effort, and quickly develop a thick skin.

Thank you to David Edmondson as well. Is he retiring?

The two Atlantic cities articles, together with the Post article on schools, is perhaps a positive sign that urbanism is more than a culture war. Who knows, one of these days we might recogonize that cars aren't really the enemy, higher buildings aren't always good, and Mayor Gray isn't the antichrist.

(I should throw in RLayman's "Wegmans is evil"" article into that mix as well)

by charlie on May 30, 2012 9:22 am • linkreport

Yesterday's obviously unmoderated knife fight wasn't enough, I guess----more links to Atlantic Cities. At least one article was OK, whereas the Alexandria one begs the obvious which is that once one gets beyond Georgetown's old competitor for shipping, you're in an inner ring suburb with all that comes with that descriptor-decay, gentrification, dead malls and 50s tract house developments that have become a little iffy. The Atlantic is a funny magazine, despite changes in editorial leadership over time, it combines very thoughtful longform articles (much like the New Yorker) with real bonehead fluff.

by Rich on May 30, 2012 9:28 am • linkreport

@Charlie - Gray's not the antichrist but he is a vampire. I know this from the eminently esteemed and reliable source, none other than Monkeyerotica. But don't worry, Gray may be a vampire but Monkeyerotica isn't a real monkey.

by Stake on May 30, 2012 9:38 am • linkreport

As I read the CaBi article (which, by the way: wow) I can't help but be amused that all the ads on the page are for bicycling services.

by Bossi on May 30, 2012 9:48 am • linkreport

I should throw in RLayman's "Wegmans is evil"" article into that mix as well

Sorry, Charlie, but Wegmans is evil--at least if you're going to build one near the urban core in the current configuration. Just a dumb use of scarce resources.

by oboe on May 30, 2012 9:54 am • linkreport

@Rich; Atlantic Cities is the bankrupt forum for Richard Florida. They are running out of things to say. But the articles I referenced are perhaps signs that the "Friends" generation is coming of age and realizing that urban living isn't meant for everybody.

@Oboe; actually, Wegmans is evil. I don't like it there. Groceries (wine/cheese) are mediocre. Preparing food kitchen is OK but otherwise the store isn't that hot. I'm not impressed with 200+ beers anymore. Really, it just for fatties that stuff their faces at the hot bar.

by charlie on May 30, 2012 10:09 am • linkreport

urbanism is more than a culture war.

It became a culture war when suburbanites felt personally attacked by the sight of people on bicycles. They got doubly angry when they realized that urbanites weren't just going to roll over in the face of insults and opposition.

by JustMe on May 30, 2012 10:22 am • linkreport

ummm....If you read this forum and the comments, you see much more butthurt from the urbanites who feel that they must criticize anything that anyone outside the urban core does as being wasteful, stupid, and illogical.

I don't feel the need to dictate to those who -choose- to live in the city how they should live. Its ironic that there is no reciprocity.

by Frylock on May 30, 2012 10:28 am • linkreport

How surprising the Washington Times gets a story so wrong. The Washington Examiner, in contrast, has right wing commentary galore but it will still have interesting articles on local issues.

by watcher on May 30, 2012 10:58 am • linkreport

The column is beyond dumb, but I do have what I consider a legitimate complaint about Bikeshare--the riders themselves. The behaviors I see pretty regularly are just beyond dumb, with Bikeshare riders breaking traffic laws to the danger of drivers and pedestrians alike. And don't get me started on those Bikeshare riders who insist on riding on the sidewalks on streets like 14th--where dedicated bikes lanes exist!--mowing down pedestrians along the way.

I love the idea of Bikeshare, but as the program grows, here's hoping the asshats who have no apparent familiarity with the rules of the road don't ruin it for the rest of us.

by Brian on May 30, 2012 11:01 am • linkreport


This website does not attract that many trolls. If you want to see people screaming about how the City Is Evil, go over to the Washington Post website. There are many people who love to dictate how urbanists should live.

by watcher on May 30, 2012 11:02 am • linkreport

I read the "Is alexandria a suburb?" article yesterday. I wanted to pull my hair out at someone who writes for a website about cities and yet can't form a coherent thought about what makes a city.

1. Alexandria is a city by statute. So there is one answer.
2. Alexandria has urban and suburban neighborhoods, just like the city limits of DC contain both urban and suburban neighborhoods.
3. Form matters, that could have been the entire article.
4. This is apparently the other side of the debate used when people talk about how the suburbs are still growing faster than the city without calling attention to the fact that the growth is largely coming from these suburbs adopting a more urban form. Example, Tysons Corner is located in the "suburb" of Fairfax. Meanwhile the one of the worst times I ever got lost in this region was in Spring Valley in DC where the streets don't connect well and I ended up in cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac.

5. There is not some massive ontological difference between suburb and city. Both can be designed well or poorly, it doesn't need to be a political thing.

by X on May 30, 2012 11:21 am • linkreport

I think fairness dictates an observation that many posters here exhibit (1) condescension toward suburbanites and (2) an inferiority complex when it comes to New York.

by Crickey7 on May 30, 2012 11:24 am • linkreport

oboe said" Sorry, Charlie, but Wegmans is evil--at least if you're going to build one near the urban core in the current configuration. Just a dumb use of scarce resources.

afaik Wegman's isn't building anything, they're leasing space. People would have been up in arms about Best Buy coming to DC had there been blogs back then.

by Bob See on May 30, 2012 11:28 am • linkreport

I'd say the second is mostly from newer residents, Crickey7. As one might say on another semi-local blog, inferiority complexes are better in New York.

by selxic on May 30, 2012 11:29 am • linkreport

And the rejoinders are wittier here.

by Crickey7 on May 30, 2012 11:31 am • linkreport


You can say the exact same thing about any road user...for instance, I see more joggers using the bike lanes than I do cyclists on the sidewalks. So are these joggers asshats and do they "ruin" jogging for all the other joggers? I also have to dodge lots of pedestrians who stand in the bike lanes and completely ignore the big white bike painted on the road...yet somehow no one is saying pedestrians are asshats and maybe we shouldn't let them walk without "earning it".

And really, CaBi users are "mowing down" pedestrians? How many CaBi-ped collisions have there been in the 2million+ CaBi trips and how many of those were clearly the cyclist's fault?? probably so few that they don't even track the statistic.

by MM on May 30, 2012 11:31 am • linkreport


Yep, I'm retiring to spend more time looking for a real job. Know anyone who wants a policy analyst and/or social media coordinator? Because I'd be down for that.

For the moment I'm helping out with the transition, doing some links on the side to help out. You'd be surprised how much work this all is.

by David Edmondson on May 30, 2012 11:34 am • linkreport


I seriously doubt that most people report bad behavior from CaBi users. I'm willing to bet this won't be an issue until something serious happens (like a bicyclist killing some old lady, like what happened in SF), and then it will be a story.

What I'm not saying is that there needs to be some kind of "test" to use CaBi. But I do think a public education campaign for casual CaBi users around the rules of the road would be rather valuable.

And yes, those joggers are asshats. I'm a jogger, and I hate people who do that.

by Brian on May 30, 2012 11:41 am • linkreport

That CaBi editorial is hilarious if you imagine Louis Black reading it out loud.

by andrew on May 30, 2012 12:11 pm • linkreport

Beyond the obvious slant, the biggest problem I saw w/the examiner piece was the last sentence. It made the entire article essentially dumb dumb dumb. What kind of person experiences joy in a crime being perpetuated?

Then again, I imagine the author was only making a funny and really didn't have an orgasm when he saw the woman get slapped and robbed.

by HogWash on May 30, 2012 12:21 pm • linkreport

@Hogwash-Just the last sentence huh? Not that CaBi riders=communists? Or that the bikes themselves are "girl bikes" and only suitable for "un-liberated women" and "metrosexuals" (clearly a euphemism in this case for homosexuals).
Funny that today you "imagine" the author is only "making a funny" but yesterday sincerely thought someone wanted @Lance to die. Seems hypocritical to me.

by thump on May 30, 2012 12:40 pm • linkreport

@David Edmondson; good luck. I don't know anyone who is hiring right now, but you've done a greab job on the links. Thank you. I realize that it is about a rewarding as feeding a bunch of chimps at the zoo, but you have some real talent.

@Brian; the new stickers on CABI help but it is amazing the bad behavior. And yes, signs in the bike lanes saying "Bike lanes are for bikes -- not joggers, baby strollers, and segway tours" would be a nice step. Also don't go salmon on the bike lanes...

by charlie on May 30, 2012 12:57 pm • linkreport

Beyond the obvious slant, the biggest problem I saw w/the examiner piece was the last sentence.
@thump, Hogwash didn't even say "Just the last sentence." I don't know what is gained by distorting his words and the continued personal attacks and "trolling" towards him. Frankly, they appear to be violations of the commenting policy.

by selxic on May 30, 2012 1:20 pm • linkreport

@Selxic-You may be right in that my last sentence may violate the policy. I don't remember if we're allowed to reference previous posts or not.
I'm not sure why you think I'm "trolling" him though. I am pointing out seemingly inconsistent statements from one day to the next. I certainly don't think my post amounted to a personal attack.

by thump on May 30, 2012 1:56 pm • linkreport

Thank you, X! I see that whole thing (and some of the comments) as "hipster who shunned suburbs because she was raised in one and it sucked finds out that not everything outside the district boundry is suburban or even 'a suburb' because it is actually possible to have cities in their own right not located in dc itself. plus even greater shock--not all suburbs even if they truly ARE suburban--suck".

So frustrating. But it is nice to see my neighborhood get some recognition.

by Catherine on May 30, 2012 2:14 pm • linkreport

Doh! And I meant to make it clear that I'm not just refering the author herself but just the general mentality of this type of realization. Her personal milage may vary :).

by Catherine on May 30, 2012 2:16 pm • linkreport

re: "Is Alexandria A Suburb?"

I'd say the fundamental difference between a "city" and a "suburb" in the sense that the author was using them is this: a suburb is *designed* to separate the fortunes of the well-off from their poor neighbors. This is achieved both through the form of the built environment, and via public policy.

by oboe on May 30, 2012 2:19 pm • linkreport


@Thump, what did you think I meant by saying "beyond the obvious slant?" The author is writing from his own personal slant against...well whatever he's against.

I didn't think much of calling them "girly" bikes since I've had similar conversation about them w/quite a few people.

I don't think the author wanted to see the woman assaulted and robbed anymore than people here wanted to see Marion barry die. Both can be chalked up as "tounge and cheek" comments that hardly reflect their true beliefs.

Does that mean that I won't call foul when "jokes" about personal injury are made against others (majority) as they have been (and GGW approved) wrt to Lance, Marion Barry, and me (someone threatening to spit in my face)? Of course I will.

And there will consistently be people who justify why it's appropriate or @a minimum, why it's no big deal.

Why? It's what I said at the jump. It's a minority position. Once again, nothing about my original argument has changed.

by HogWash on May 30, 2012 2:24 pm • linkreport

Furthermore, HogWash is not writing independent articles that the blog is referencing. His comments and all others here are subject to the commenting policy. Violent acts specifically are part of the commenting policy. Likewise, there is evidence of the first four policies often being violated by others towards HogWash.

by selxic on May 30, 2012 2:44 pm • linkreport

Does that mean that I won't call foul when "jokes" about personal injury are made against others (majority) as they have been (and GGW approved) wrt to Lance, Marion Barry, and me (someone threatening to spit in my face)? Of course I will.

I'm going to have to call foul here. I'd like to see an example of one of these. Particularly the last one. Not saying they didn't happen; just saying I've never read any of these. Or at least not without an extremely broad definition of "'jokes' about personal injury".

by oboe on May 30, 2012 2:45 pm • linkreport

Likewise, there is evidence of the first four policies often being violated by others towards HogWash.

Excellent. It should be easy to provide some of this evidence, then.

by oboe on May 30, 2012 2:46 pm • linkreport

"GGW approved"? I do not think that GGW "approves" of every comment on its blog. Not deleting a comment is not the same as "approving".

by Fred on May 30, 2012 2:58 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by thump on May 30, 2012 3:11 pm • linkreport

@Fred ""GGW approved"? I do not think that GGW "approves" of every comment on its blog. Not deleting a comment is not the same as "approving"."

Actually, David DID delete it the minute he became aware of it. He hadn't been monitoring the blog earlier otherwise he would have removed it earlier. (Told me that in an email.) That post did have another moderator or two though ... I do wonder why THEY didn't act.

by Lance on May 30, 2012 3:43 pm • linkreport

FYI, links editors can't moderate comments, if they're who you're referring to.

by David Edmondson on May 30, 2012 3:48 pm • linkreport

yes. I assume you mean breakfast links?

by Lance on May 30, 2012 4:30 pm • linkreport

Articles on independent sites are not subject to the Comment Policy of Greater Greater Washington, thump.

by selxic on May 30, 2012 5:10 pm • linkreport

Right. The folks who do the Breakfast/Weekend links aren't moderators, so we can't moderate the comments in our posts.

by David Edmondson on May 30, 2012 5:32 pm • linkreport

I never said they were selxic.

by thump on May 30, 2012 5:36 pm • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by HogWash on May 30, 2012 6:22 pm • linkreport

BTW, I imagine that DAl (if anyone) knows full well that I am not RARELY (if ever) offended by what is said here. He knows that I often point out the inconsisities.

I also hope he knows that my issue is moreso w/the people (and their justifications) who post here.

I ALSO hope that everyone knows that HogWash will usually respond in kind to whatevers thrown his way.

by HogWash on May 30, 2012 6:28 pm • linkreport

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