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Breakfast links: The morning after (the stimulus vote)

Counting our chickens: State and local officials have started discussing how to spend the stimulus money. Maryland's John Porcari says they'll prioritize repairs over new projects, which is the right choice; VDOT head Pierce Homer wants to pay for repairs and some of the delayed projects, meaning potentially more freeway widenings or new freeways. Most likely, according to COG transportation planner Ronald Kirby, the Purple Line won't get any of this money. Update: Or maybe it will. Nobody really knows yet.

Photo by J-Rod85 on Flickr.

Screw nature: $200 million to repair the Mall's grass and keep the Jefferson Memorial from sinking underwater got cut from the stimulus. MoCo is cutting port-a-potties from Rock Creek Park in winter. And auto manufacturers have confirmed they plan to use public bailout money to keep suing the public for imposing higher clean air standards (via Ryan Avent).

Wires have their high points: That Bombardier wireless streetcar technology looks pretty cool but, writes Manifest Density, it'll probably be quite energy inefficient, likely wasting 20% of the power it consumes.

Thanks for reading, Examiner: It looks like the Examiner noticed GGW's weekend links about the emergency DMV rule for federal judges. Reporter Bill Myers called the DMV, who said "the emergency order sprang from 'a situation' recently," but wouldn't elaborate.

Cut transit and people stop riding transit: Maryland Politics Watch's Marc Korman reluctantly stopped riding MARC after recent service cuts (and falling gas prices). No word yet on whether he's changing his name to I-95 Korman.

Lose the LOS: Streetsblog SF explains how Level Of Service (LOS) warps traffic engineers' thinking and blocked important improvements in San Francisco. city and state planners are trying to dethrone LOS as the primary driver of traffic decisions.

Midwest vs. DC smackdown: President Obama mocks the Washington region for its inability to handle some snow; City Desk's Andrew Beaujon says he'll take this over Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan anytime.

Stop hatin' on K Street: Yglesias points out, "'K Street' is a synedoche for the influence peddling business, but it's also an actual street," which is definitely not full of lobbyists over in the Mount Vernon Triangle. "You wouldn't want to actually crack down on K Street, leaving out all the bad people on other streets but hitting the new Busboys & Poets coffee shop."

And: A new Colesville Wendy's will site the building close to the sidewalk, but still will face a mostly blank wall to the street; Imagine, DC almost loses his wheels after meeting GGW contributors.

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. 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 two children in Dupont Circle. 


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This whole Obama snow thing cracks me up. First, there is no doubt that he is correct - this region cannot handle inclement weather. It's a plain fact.

I'll cut DC a little slack since they don't deal with it that often, but even so, the response in general is absurd.

As a graduate of the Minneapolis Public Schools, I tallied 2 snow days total in my time from 1st to 12th grade. One was when the Governor overruled all school districts and canceled school when the actual temp (not wind chill) hit -30, and the other was when we got hit with 38 inches of snow in 24 hours - the 1991 Halloween Blizzard (a storm that continued east and later became part of the system made famous by the book/movie The Perfect Storm).

Two days in 12 years.

Advice to the DC natives: don't tell us cold weather folk we don't understand. We do understand, and you all stink at handling the conditions.

And I've also been to Sault Ste Marie (both in Michigan and in Ontario). Fun place to watch the ore boats go through the locks.

by Alex B. on Jan 29, 2009 9:27 am • linkreport

For the new Busboys & Poets in Mount Vernon Triangle the patio and the majority of the frontage of the restaurant is on K Street NW - yet they sport a 1025 5th Street NW address. Given B&P's theme perhaps they didn't want to be associated with the K Street influence peddling stigma. Of course there could be a variety of other unrelated reasons as well...

by Paul S on Jan 29, 2009 10:18 am • linkreport

It is annoying that the money to rehab the mall was cut. The infrastructure around the Jefferson Memorial is crumbling into the tidal basin and the peninsula is about to fall into the river. Much of the promenade around the peninsula is unsafe to walk on anymore. The Mall itself is a disaster zone after the inauguration and needs to be ripped up and completely replanted, perhaps this time with a sprinkler system built in. Hopefully this will be revisited soon as it really would be an economic stimulus/job creator.

by NikolasM on Jan 29, 2009 10:39 am • linkreport

Ok, Ok I get it. We know everyone is all tough and hardy and and not from here. DC doesn't take cold weather in stride like Chicago. Also, our pizza sucks compared to (fill in the blank). I understand, I look down upon Californians and Floridians. A couple of points though:

1. DC handles snow just fine. DCPS was open yesterday. It's the suburbs that fall apart when one flake hits. If the President takes issue with that, he should make sure DC doesn't get hit in the crossfire. Guess that wasn't in Sidwell Friends' fine print.

2. It isn't snow that's the problem. It's ice. Chicago doesn't have the constant thaw/freeze cycle to deal with. Snow takes me fifteen minutes to clear off my front steps and sidewalk. Ice takes a lot longer, more salt, and a heck of a lot more aggravation. And I have to do it every day since the snow keeps re-melting after the fall.

3. At least we don't let all of our old folks die off in the summer:

by TimK on Jan 29, 2009 10:59 am • linkreport

The ice is a lot worse than snow from a safety standpoint. But people do need to handle cold weather in this area better, it's pretty weak IMO.

by Vik on Jan 29, 2009 3:22 pm • linkreport

I'm with Alex (though in my time in Minneapolis, we had more than just 2 snow days...there were others in additon to the two he mentioned).

by Froggie on Jan 30, 2009 8:08 am • linkreport

I-95 Korman should think about the effect that his driving will have on his children and his children's children. Isn't he concerned about global warming?

by andrew on Jan 30, 2009 12:34 pm • linkreport

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