Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: new year, semi-new ideas

Better buses too: Matt Yglesias suggests better bus service as a transit improvement we should have included in our 2009 wish list. For an easy change, he suggests updating the schedule cards to a more state-of-the-art design.


Photo by Daquella manera on Flickr.

Yes, stealing bikes is illegal: MPD has been deploying "bait bikes", unlocked cycles left out to attract thieves. According to the MPD, some thieves don't think taking an unlocked bike is even wrong. (City Paper)

Hopefully not just a golden triangle: The Golden Triangle BID (the downtown area between Farragut and Foggy Bottom) is holding a contest to design new, artistic bike racks for the area. I hope they pick something more creative than the fairly obvious design, a gold-colored triangle. (WashCycle)

Call them live/shop lofts? Yglesias discusses the trend toward building housing in malls as a strategy to revitalizing the ailing places. Unfortunately, many efforts to date, like the Natick Mall in Massachusetts, just create an even more isolated condo tower and private park on top of the mall amid the existing giant seas of parking lots. That's unlikely to create a real walkable place with shared public spacee.

NoVa Columbia? Richard Layman calls attention to November's Washingtonian cover feature, about whether Northern Virginia ought to (or could) secede from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginian municipalities can only regulate what the state allows them to, and Richmond frequently denies them needed powers (like drive-thru hours?)

Maybe, asks Washingtonian, including DC in the new state could give DC representation in a way more palatable to Republicans. On the other hand, since both of Virginia's Senators live in NoVa, the new state might end up with two Virginian Senators and add two new Republicans from the South, not to mention the electoral college implications. Practically, it's totally unrealistic (not to mention still probably undesirable for DC), but it's an interesting idea.

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David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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NoVa Columbia ... interesting proposition. Throw in the surrounding Maryland counties where there are federal agencies located, stop calling it a 'state', define a new relationship between the federal government and its capital, and we may have something viable there.

Imagine a Washington acting more like a Paris or a London --- viewed by its national government as a showcase for the nation ... where its agencies, museums, national institutions, and most importantly, it leaders ALL reside. The issue of statehood would be "overridden by events" if those who led the nation had a vested interest in seeing the national capital be a showcase for the nation.

by Lance on Jan 3, 2009 10:32 am • linkreport

"According to the MPD, some thieves don't think taking an unlocked bike is even wrong."

If I swap it for my crappy bike is that really theft? But knowing MPD the bait bike will be even crappier than mine.

And it sounds vaguely sexually naughty. I think I once tapped into a porn site with this theme as the precursor to some Thin Blue Line lovin'.

by Hillman on Jan 3, 2009 1:22 pm • linkreport

We had battled for ages to get DC out of the hands of the federal government and now we wanna hand it back with MORE land?

The federal government already has a 'showcase', it's called Congress.

It sure serves as an example to the rest of the world alright, an example on what NOT to do.

by Economic Geography on Jan 4, 2009 12:30 am • linkreport

A new Metro DC entity would simply give more power to developers, who already have too much influence over PG and most of the NoVA jurisdictions.

by Rich on Jan 4, 2009 1:07 pm • linkreport

They would have to amend the constitution to dispense with the District, but I'm pretty sure it is also unconstitutional to form a new state from a portion of an existing one; and it would be a little more troubling to do away with that prohibition.

by mark on Jan 5, 2009 1:00 pm • linkreport

According to the Washingtonian article, it's Constitutional to make a new state out of part of a state if that state agrees. Of course, as they point out, Richmond would certainly not agree. West Virginia got away with it because Virginia had seceded then.

Statehood advocates also point out that Congress can simply declare the District, outside of a small federal core, to be a state without amending the Constitution to get rid of the District. Retrocession proposals usually do the same; they reserve the Mall, adjacent agency buildings, Capitol office buildings, and East and West Potomac Parks as the federal district.

by David Alpert on Jan 5, 2009 1:05 pm • linkreport

two words: ABSOLUT STATEHOOD

by Nikolas Schiller on Jan 6, 2009 12:21 am • linkreport

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