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Weekend links: Powerless


Photo by Pete Hunt on Flickr.
Storm leaves homes in the dark: The Washington region's battle with the elements continued last night as a storm left hundreds of thousands of homes without power. More than half of Pepco's system went down. (Post)

Walmart will bring too much traffic: DDOT says the Fort Totten Square development, which will include a Walmart, will generate too much traffic for area roads and has too many parking spaces. The ANC wanted lots of parking. (Heartbeat)

Nader urges little strike for statehood: In the wake of Rand Paul undermining DC's budget autonomy, Ralph Nader suggests residents arrive late for work one day each month as a "limited general strike." Will this actually have any impact? (Post)

CaBi strengthens local bike shops: DC and Arlington bike shop owners initially worried that Capital Bikeshare would cut down on their business, but instead it's strengthened it as people start biking with CaBi, then switch to their own bikes. (TN)

Young men leave cars?: Young men, a demographic often associated with American car culture, may be turning away from cars. Since the start of the recession, young men have driven fewer miles and fewer hold driver's licenses. (Streetsblog)

DC extends pool time: To help ease the sweltering heat, DC's Department of Parks and Recreation is keeping DC's pools open later until Wednesday. Many pools will be open from noon to 8 pm. (DCist)

CUA will reduce parking, then build more: Catholic University will reduce the amount of parking on campus, including making the center of campus into a green quad, but then they want to build a new parking lot in what's now filled with trees. (Heartbeat)

Banned intercity buses crowd out Chinatown minibuses: The closure of 26 intercity bus companies this year has had an interesting effect in New York City: these buses now compete with minibuses in the local route between New York's two Chinatowns. (NYT)

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Classic Metro. There is a downed tree on Cathedral Ave NW that is keeping the N6 from running its usual route--i.e. a service interruption. Yet Metro does not have the N6 listed as one of the effected routes and is not part of their notifications to riders--and there are people out there waiting for the bus.

This is the classic sort of screw up on Metro's part that makes dealing with them so frustrating.

by rdhd on Jun 30, 2012 1:09 pm • linkreport

Suburban traffic sewers were pretty dysfunctional in Greenbelt area yesterday with the signals out. Police had to tape off all left turns on to or off Greenbelt Road, in a futile attempt to prevent mayhem. For example, no left from Gbelt Road on to the Parkway, no left from Hanover Road on to Gbelt Road, no left from Southway on to Greenbelt Road etc. etc. Of course, I think our arterials are pretty horrible all the time, but this was particularly bad.

by Greenbelt on Jul 1, 2012 8:30 am • linkreport

Agreed Greenbelt, I "had to" go up Landover Rd. yesterday and the amount of people who just blasted through intersections w/o working lights was astounding! I saw two very close calls where drivers just drove through when everyone else was stopped (treating the light as a 4-way stop) nearly hitting turning vehicles. I was nearly rear-ended twice as well when stopping. A true fustercluck.

by thump on Jul 1, 2012 10:58 am • linkreport

Strange, living in town, I had no idea there were so many problems throughout the region until I talked to a friend who flew in to Dulles and had to make his way back home. I'm so old I can remember when every storm meant disaster for the city and the suburbs shrugged things off.

by oboe on Jul 1, 2012 11:15 am • linkreport

So, is this the last straw for finally putting key power lines underground? Granted this was one hell of a storm, but reduced versions of this power event seem to happen pretty frequently now.

by jyindc on Jul 1, 2012 6:15 pm • linkreport

@jyindc. I know people in MoCo who have underground utilities and live close to a substation, yet always lose power for days in a storm.

by Rich on Jul 1, 2012 7:14 pm • linkreport

@jyindc Burying power lines costs massive amounts of money - way, way more than repair costs of downed aerial lines. Massive amounts of money means that it's only financially feasible for denisities greater than that of typical suburbia. Greater density means more public transportation. Public transportation means socialism. So no.

by Amber on Jul 1, 2012 7:24 pm • linkreport

When is it the last straw for climate change denial? When is it the last straw for trashing the planet?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 1, 2012 7:59 pm • linkreport

bTW, I am posting from Panera, where we came for a break after now close to 48 hours without power. Ice cculdn't be had for love or money till a couple of hours ago.

Most of the roads are okay. Most people have figured out how to navigate without traffic lights. Yesterday things were getting VERY tense at the few open gas stations. The cyclists Ive seen out and about seem to be enjoying it, and buses seem to be doing fine.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 1, 2012 8:06 pm • linkreport

@Amber, developers have been building suburban subdivisions with underground utilities since before WWII.

by Rich on Jul 1, 2012 10:42 pm • linkreport

@Rich: it costs much less to build a subdivision that way than it does to tear up an existing one to put the lines underground.

by Avenger on Jul 2, 2012 7:07 am • linkreport

@Rebecca and others; the performance of overhead lines also depends on how recently the local system has been updated to improve capacity. My old street in Atlanta had decades old, inadequate lines when I moved-in and the power went down in every significant storm. Then, one day they came updated everything--new wiring along the street, new boxes, etc. and the supply was adequate in all kinds of whether until a tree limb brought down the line to my house.

by Rich on Jul 2, 2012 12:00 pm • linkreport

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