Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Public policies


Photo by MrStaticVoid on Flickr.
Problems with MWAA: Federal reviewers found flaws with the MWAA, the body responsible for running Dulles and Reagan Airports, as well as the Silver Line to Dulles. The MWAA was found to have poor oversight and a lack of transparency. (Post)

Maryland Casinos to get assistance?: A proposed bill in the Maryland House would offer tens of millions in relief to Maryland's established casinos to compensate them for the losses from the potential opening of a casino in Prince George's County. (Post)

DC tech moving up?: DC has lately developed more technology start-ups not based on federal contracts, but still loses many start-ups as they mature and leave. DC lacks the venture capital networks which benefit established tech centers. (Post)

PG gets wheelchair-accessible taxis: Wheelchair-accessible taxis are now available in Prince George's County, the first such service anywhere in the region. (Post)

Longer library hours?: DC Councilmember Jack Evans has proposed an expansion of library hours, from 48 to 69 hours per week. The new hours would include Sunday, when only the MLK library downtown is currently open. (Examiner)

An app to explore a city: A Dutch designer has developed a smartphone app which tracks where you have been in a city, and where you haven't been. By showing untraveled streets, the app encourages the exploration of new parts of a city. (Atlantic Cities)

And...: Many incumbent members of the DC Council have raised less money than their challengers. (Post) ... Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has a record of opposing transportation spending. (The Transport Politic) ... The Washington Post shares views from atop the Washington Monument.

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Comments

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there must be an angle here where you can take a shot at evans.

come on, ggw - dont let me down!

libraries? who needs em?!?!

by Larry Zabysko on Aug 14, 2012 9:10 am • linkreport

Wow, paying off the casinos? Didn't the casino operators know that another casino at Arundel Mills and later on National Harbor were both bloody well likely? Because I sure did.

by Bossi on Aug 14, 2012 9:14 am • linkreport

Wait, we've had wheelchair accessible taxis in Arlington for years.

by Michael Perkins on Aug 14, 2012 9:18 am • linkreport

While recognizing that wheelchair accessible wheelchairs are needed because they're the law and its only fair.

But is there any reason in the law (or practical consideration) why a taxi doesn't have a bike rack? I don't know how many cyclists would partake but it always seems like a nice option to me. Maybe if I ever start a cab company...

by drumz on Aug 14, 2012 9:21 am • linkreport

Let be clear about the problems at MWAA. We don't have the report linked, but this is what the post said about the IG report:

"weak oversight, lax ethics, conflicts of interest, no-bid contracts, a lack of transparency.

Others were the kind that infuriate taxpayers and drivers who worry about rising tolls in their daily commute. Some members of the unsalaried board were living large on expense accounts: two bottles of wine for $238, three dinners for $4,800, a $9,200 airline ticket to a conference in Prague, a $4,800 first-class ticket to Hawaii and Florida."

That is a bit more than oversigh and lack of transparency.

Sadly, the real issue is by not building the Tysons tunnel, and not finding a way to charge airport passengers for a better dulles station, the MWAA managed to screw over NoVa for a generation. Thanks Timmy Kaine! Remember that why I don't vote for you.

by charlie on Aug 14, 2012 9:22 am • linkreport

@LZ
Are you kidding? Libraries are as popular as ever. My local one is often buzzing. I'd much prefer to go to one than a coffee shop - quieter and less hassle.

by movement on Aug 14, 2012 9:24 am • linkreport

Del. Frank S. Turner (D-Howard) ... said the additional relief would help ensure that the state’s three largest casinos — all in the Washington-Baltimore corridor — could be viable.

Oh, the great free market :-D

DC lacks the venture capital networks which benefit established tech centers.

And that's why those are the tech centers. How many are there, other than Silicon Valley and NYC?

by Jasper on Aug 14, 2012 9:34 am • linkreport

@Charlie

The Governor of VA killed the tunnel in 2006. The transfer from VDOT to MWAA was in 2008. Remember VA forced MWAA to build the project after the state refused to allocate gas tax funds for the project.

by mikeh on Aug 14, 2012 9:41 am • linkreport

DC has lately developed more technology start-ups not based on federal contracts, but still loses many start-ups as they mature and leave.

DC is also lacking in an auto manufacturing industry, and has been unable to build up a chemical industry that can compete with Ohio.

by JustMe on Aug 14, 2012 9:59 am • linkreport

@ JustMe:DC ... has been unable to build up a chemical industry that can compete with Ohio.

Hey, but think of the advantages. Yeah, that's sad. Imagine the spectacle with the Potomac would catch on fire. Would be spectacular at Great Falls!

by Jasper on Aug 14, 2012 10:13 am • linkreport

The wheelchair-accessible taxicabs in Prince George's are the "first of their kind" in that they're the first to be purpose-built as wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Montgomery, and DC have all had wheelchair-accessible taxicabs for years, but they've been aftermarket conversions.

by cminus on Aug 14, 2012 10:45 am • linkreport

Article blurb here said "First such service anywhere in the region"

Is there something materially different between a purpose-built accessible taxicab and on that has been modified to be accessible?

by Michael Perkins on Aug 14, 2012 10:52 am • linkreport

Propping up casinos? Really? What next, we're going to give money to tobacco companies to compensate them for the sales lost because of public health campaigns? Whoever these casinos' lobbyist is, we need to hire her/him and put them to work on DC voting rights.

there must be an angle here where you can take a shot at evans.
come on, ggw - dont let me down!

libraries? who needs em?!?!

by Larry Zabysko

Pretty sure that's the first time I've ever seen someone use a professional wrestler's name as a GGW handle. I look forward to hearing what Bobby "The Brain" Heenan has to say about Bus Rapid Transit.

I can supply the Jack Evans slam you desire, though: this is a totally transparent attempt by Evans to show that he is doing something positive for "the kids" (specifically, kids belonging to certain racial and socioeconomic demographics that have not traditionally been a part of Evans' base and with whom he has been described as having a hard time connecting). It's a symbolic, no-risk move that he can point to in trumpeting his love for all of DC's children while running for mayor. Expect more like it in the near future. I'm envisioning a "Droopy Drawers Disapproval Act," some ceremonial street renamings (The Chuck Brown Memorial Plaza Act!), and some vigorous opposition to those evil government overlords who want to built streetcar barns and bus depots near people's homes. Jack Evans, Man of the People!

Also, the Redskins Appreciation Act of 2012 and giving a key to the city to RGIII the first time they beat an NFC East team. Also, more moments like this.

by Dizzy on Aug 14, 2012 10:56 am • linkreport

@Michael Perkins, I would say not. The purpose-built vehicles are better at the role, but it's a difference of degree, not kind.

The Post said "first of their kind", which is accurate if a bit overstated, but I didn't read the blurb. Having done so, I'd have to say that "first such service anywhere in the region" is simply untrue. In fact, it's almost the exact opposite of the truth, since all of the other large urban and inner suburban jurisdictions in the area have had similar (if lower-tech) versions of this service available for years.

by cminus on Aug 14, 2012 11:04 am • linkreport

"What next, we're going to give money to tobacco companies to compensate them for the sales lost because of public health campaigns"

That's basically what we did (on the farming side of the business) www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RS22046.pdf

by Kolohe on Aug 14, 2012 11:06 am • linkreport

DC is also lacking in an auto manufacturing industry, and has been unable to build up a chemical industry that can compete with Ohio.

The difference there is that DC already has the workforce and physical facilities to support a pretty massive local expansion of the tech industry.

by andrew on Aug 14, 2012 11:17 am • linkreport

@Kolohe

Wow. Thanks. Good God.

by Dizzy on Aug 14, 2012 11:56 am • linkreport

@ andrew:The difference there is that DC already has the workforce and physical facilities to support a pretty massive local expansion of the tech industry.

But they're missing the crucial VC crowd. Kind of a big miss. And please don't argue that DC should subsidize VC to come here. Just go to the VCs.

One of the worst aspects of governments is when some bobo thinks he can copy the success in growth of some commercial sector of some other area. Those ideas often end in massive waste of tax payer money, all for some vane idea of some politician. A former Gov of Ohio thought he could create a Silicon Valley of the Midwest in Ohio by handing out some money. Well, millions were handed out, receivers were happy, but Ohio is too flat for a valley.

Actually, that compensation of the existing casinos in MD for the arrival of a new casino is a similar case. WTF? If there is space for growth, then please let the free market do its job.

by Jasper on Aug 14, 2012 12:02 pm • linkreport

@Dizzy. LOL. Redskins Appreciation Act!? [rant mode on] When is this town ever going to tire of that decidedly second-tier football franchise? Golly, the Nationals have the best record in MLB and are probably going to make the first post-season appearance by a Washington team since the 1930s, when the Senators took the American League pennant. But in the local media, it's Redskins-this, Redskins-that... 24/7. Ugh! Enough! And, the bonus, the Nationals don't have a ballpark and a "practice facility" deep in the 'burbs.

by Paul on Aug 14, 2012 2:09 pm • linkreport

Is there a stable Android version of this track-everywhere-you've-been app?

by Xavier on Aug 14, 2012 2:21 pm • linkreport

@Jasper

Seems like the only thing that the area should do is make sure there are non-stop flights to SF, and NYC, leaving from DCA.

Virgin America and United both do fly non-stop to SF, and there are 20 nonstop flights a day to NYC. Seems like we are in business.

by Kyle-w on Aug 14, 2012 2:58 pm • linkreport

Sadly, the real issue is by not building the Tysons tunnel, and not finding a way to charge airport passengers for a better dulles station, the MWAA managed to screw over NoVa for a generation. Thanks Timmy Kaine! Remember that why I don't vote for you.

Do you really think that a republican governor would have funded a Tysons tunnel or the Silver Line at all? Or that a republican governor would be less likely to screw NOVA in favor of ROVA?

by Falls Church on Aug 14, 2012 3:07 pm • linkreport

Golly, the Nationals have the best record in MLB and are probably going to make the first post-season appearance by a Washington team since the 1930s, when the Senators took the American League pennant. But in the local media, it's Redskins-this, Redskins-that... 24/7. Ugh! Enough! And, the bonus, the Nationals don't have a ballpark and a "practice facility" deep in the 'burbs.

The Washington CDP has around 6 million people. About 10% of those people live in the city and the rest live "deep in the burbs" like where the Redskins stadium is located...inside the beltway. The Redskins have a long and storied history and a fan base that's been built over many generations with deep roots in the area.

Does that answer your question?

by Falls Church on Aug 14, 2012 3:14 pm • linkreport

@ charlie & Falls Church:Thanks Timmy Kaine! Remember that why I don't vote for you.

Do you really think that a republican governor would have ...? Or that a republican governor would be less likely to screw NOVA in favor of ROVA?

Well, luckily VA voters can look at to gubernatorial records when they vote in November, because we have two ex-governors running. Neither built a Tunnel for metro. But Kaine did keep the Silver Line going. Allen was nowhere near new metro stations.

by Jasper on Aug 14, 2012 3:49 pm • linkreport

Ryan's family made their fortune off of building highways.

by Rich on Aug 14, 2012 7:45 pm • linkreport

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

by Larry Zabysko on Aug 15, 2012 9:04 am • linkreport

Slightly O/T, I know, but, speaking from experience, Ohio's chemical industry is concentrated along the Ohio River on the WV border. Trust me, it's not the river catching fire that's the issue. It's traffic signs corroding from the pollution in just a year or so; it's having to go get tested for exposure to a "safe" chemical that DuPont has been dumping in the river for 10 years because, oops, it's not actually safe; it's higher rates of certain cancers than almost anywhere else on the planet; it's a constant foul smell; it's persistent EPA violations. Gah, be glad we don't have a chemical industry. At least all tech companies need is money and electricity (which of course presents its own problems).

by Ms. D on Aug 15, 2012 10:21 pm • linkreport

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