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Breakfast links: What a compromise


Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
Verdict: Transpo bill pretty terrible: The transportation bill "compromise" has many awful provisions, including letting states spend their tiny bit of bike-ped money on things like left-turn lanes if they only sit on it long enough, keeps transit funding low, and commuter benefits unequal, and deletes a bipartisan Complete Streets provision. (Streetsblog)

Bill adds oversight for Metro: The new transportation bill also adds federal oversight of transit agencies, including Metro. The bill will allow the FTA to set standards for rail cars and safety training, though states retain the main authority. (Examiner)

What's going on in Loudoun?: Loudoun's conflict over the Silver Line is really about much deeper divisions and debates about how much this rural county should become something else. (City Paper) ... But to really preserve rural character, they'd need something like Montgomery's Agricultural Reserve. (RPUS) ... Dithering supervisors are certainly not acting like businesspeople as they claim. (realloudoun)

Mendo for less density: New DC Council chairman Phil Mendelson has opposed several development projects that increased density, including the Wisconsin Ave. Giant. Will he do the same as Council Chair? (City Paper)

What a house costs: A survey of DC housing finds the most expensive homes in Anacostia cost about the same or less than the least expensive home in Georgetown. An interactive graph shows the range in prices for each DC zip code. (UrbanTurf, Trulia)

Relief for water: With triple digit temperatures in on the way, Metro will allow bottled water in the system for the second time this year, but don't expect a permanent change, as Metro prides itself as being one of the cleanest systems in the country. (DCist)

And...: It's the last day at City Paper for Lydia DePillis. ... The Maine Ave. Fish Market will soon be allowed to expand its offerings to non-fish items. (DCist) ... DC CFO Natwar Gandhi sails through his confirmation hearing. (City Paper)

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Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  

Comments

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re: Chairman Mendelson

This is all the more reason that supporters of the values of this blog are vocal residents, both with the Chair and At-large Councilmembers, but also with the individual ward members.

They need to hear from all of us on important legislation, at roundtables, and budget hearings etc.

by William on Jun 29, 2012 9:13 am • linkreport

RE: Water on trains

When was the last time anyone was given a ticket or even hassled for drinking water on the Metro? If you want to drink your water just do it, regardless of whether they are permitting it on that day or not. Who cares if it's not allowed?

by MLD on Jun 29, 2012 9:19 am • linkreport

Jeez, when transpo advocates seem so divorced from political realities, it really makes me feel much less sympathetic to cause. This transpo bill had to be reconciled with the most right-wing House of Reps we've seen in more than half a century. What did you guys expect?
(not to mention, Democrats were able to pull out a Republican provision limiting the EPA's ability to regulate coal emissions. That is a heck of a lot more important than a little bit of ped/bike funding.)

by n bluth on Jun 29, 2012 9:54 am • linkreport

I dont think the article is blaming the dems for the compromise. that its the best that could be got given the make up of the house does not logically contradict it being a bad bill. Rather that says that the make up of the House has some bad consequences.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 29, 2012 10:02 am • linkreport

Both of those Loudoun County articles are great. Highly recommended reading for both.

by andrew on Jun 29, 2012 10:11 am • linkreport

@andrew

Agreed. That piece from the City Paper was a great read. Best alt-weekly article on transit ever?

by Tyler on Jun 29, 2012 10:17 am • linkreport

@n bluth, much of the negative reaction is due to that the Senate Transportation authorization bill was much better for transit, bicycle, pedestrian projects. The Senate bill was hammered out as a compromise which received a large number of Republican votes in the Senate. The Senate bill might have passed the House if it had been able to get a up or down vote on the floor. Instead the House leadership stiffed the Senate bill in order to keep the Tea Partiers happy. At the end of a long contentious conference process, there is now a bill that few are happy with.

Assuming it passes, the new authorization bill is now a 2 year bill, in effect only until September, 2014. So, the next House and Senate will have a fight over transportation policy all over again in 2014.

I also agree that the City Paper article on the culture and political conflicts in Loudoun county was excellent.

by AlanF on Jun 29, 2012 11:18 am • linkreport

Don't look now but I just heard police or FBI were raiding another DC council person's office this morning:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-council-member-replaces-campaign-treasurer-asks-for-probe/2012/06/28/gJQA4zK99V_story.html

by Tom Coumaris on Jun 29, 2012 12:06 pm • linkreport

As I wrote on WCP:

I can definitely sympathize with the people in Upper Loudoun. The San Francisco Bay Area had a similar problem back in the 1970s and really only one county, Marin, escaped with minimal sprawl damage. It did this, though, by choking off transportation links to San Francisco.

Loudoun, if it wants to preserve its rural character, needs to enshrine its growth boundaries in law and create an agricultural land trust. To take Marin's example further, Loudoun should make buildable land the exception rather than the rule. Create development pockets around existing town centers, park and rides, and Metro stops but severely limit development elsewhere.

Without radical steps, Loudoun likely will end up as faceless sprawl. The only way to stop a growth machine is grassroots, but you have to go all the way or no way at all. Kill Metro, sure, but kill new freeways and arterials while you're at it. Do both or the latter.

by OctaviusIII on Jun 29, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

"Loudoun, if it wants to preserve its rural character, needs to enshrine its growth boundaries in law and create an agricultural land trust"

just to be clear, threre already is an urban growth boundary there. everything west of rte 15 has very low density, effectively rural zoning, except for the old villages, and I beleive some grandfathered tracts. Many have conservation easements on top of that.

There is an area called the transition zone east of rte 15 west of 621, that LC people do not all agree about. Even some of that area is subject to conservation easements.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 29, 2012 2:16 pm • linkreport

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

by Angry Citizen on Jun 29, 2012 2:21 pm • linkreport

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