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Breakfast links: Veterans


Photo by @superamit on Flickr.
Thank you, veterans: Today, on Veterans' Day, Americans honor those who have served our country in the armed forces. To our readers who are veterans, thank you very much for your service. Please post in the comments so we can thank you personally.

Post not local enough: The Washington Post ombudsman says the paper doesn't have enough local coverage. There are a lot of jurisdictions in the region with different issues and needs, but they all deserve detailed coverage, he says.

Fairfax court goes light on speeding, DUI: At one recent session of Fairfax City court, the Town Attorney recommended very light punishments for egregious speeders and even for drunk drivers. (FABB)

Efficient transit = expensive housing?: A new Brookings report finds that most parts of the DC region are well-served by transit, but the places with the best transit access also have the highest housing costs. (DCist)

Restonians want less Silver Line TOD: A Reston group says the development planned around the Silver Line will bring too much traffic. County plans called for mixed-use development, but a task force suggests curtailing commercial growth. (Examiner)

3 townhouses won't be parking: The Mayor's Agent for Historic Preservation won't allow a Mount Vernon Square church to demolish 3 rowhouses for surface parking. The church argued they're too expensive to fix; others said it could sell them. (DCmud)

And...: 80% of transit-related ballot initiatives passed this year. (Streetsblog) ... Watch a video of one day of Vancouver's transit network. (Human Transit) ... Philadelphia's center city housing market has been more resilient than the suburbs. (Streetsblog)

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80% of transit-related ballot initiatives passed this year. (Streetsblog)

According to the Beakfast Links 160% of transit issues passed.

by Jasper on Nov 12, 2012 9:35 am • linkreport

Speaking of transit: bus, metro and cars were all terrible this morning, according to an informal poll at my office. e.g. Red Line trains were too packed to even get on, as early as Medical Center. More than half the people in DC dont work for the Government, and many of them had to work today. Why does DDOT, Metro treat today like a holiday?

Bikes, as usual, were fantastic.

by SJE on Nov 12, 2012 9:49 am • linkreport

Rest in Peace, Sgt. Julian C. Chase, United States Marine Corps. Graduate of Wilson Senior High School and spirit of 14th Street NW, Fort Reno, and Rock Creek Park.

by John Muller on Nov 12, 2012 9:58 am • linkreport

Thanks to all of those who have served, but Veterans Day was yesterday.

by selxic on Nov 12, 2012 10:01 am • linkreport

Sadly, Reston is making the same mistake that Springfield made over a decade ago to not tie transportation to land use. Springfield was then facing an issue of traffic (similar to Reston) and believed the mixing bowl and slowing growth around the mall would help relieve.

Today that is true, traffic is less in Springfield but it is because the business and retail community is dying from complete disconnection and isolation from the rest of the area. Lack of investment and growth means that new projects and the public improvements they bring have all but died and the area has remained a stagnant over paved abandoned parking lot.

I hope Reston recognizes that in planning it is about balance and doesn't go down the path of Springfield

by Tysons Engineer on Nov 12, 2012 10:05 am • linkreport

It's almost as if that DCist story points out that demand is greatest near the metro and that the best response is to put more housing near the metro in order to begin to meet that demand.

by drumz on Nov 12, 2012 10:06 am • linkreport

Re: punishments for traffic violations in Fairfax. Actually, the Town Attorney recommended some pretty substantial punishments and the judge went below that. Although, as a prosecutor in Maryland, I can tell you that jail time (or even points!) is pretty rare for a first time DUI offender unless there's a collision or other aggravating circumstances.

by Jeremy on Nov 12, 2012 10:20 am • linkreport

That's some interesting revisionist history on Springfield, Tysons Engineer.

That really stood out when browsing the cases, Jeremy.

by selxic on Nov 12, 2012 10:31 am • linkreport

How is it revisionist? I lived in Springfield from 1985 to 2000 and that is exactly what happened. No consistent idea on how to use this new focal point for improving the lives of residents in Springfield. Instead it became a tool for commuters only.

Go look at an aerial picture of the Springfield region between 1995 and today. Hardly any changes other than the mixing bowl. That is sad considering Springfields central location and business history.

by Tysons Engineer on Nov 12, 2012 10:33 am • linkreport

Yep, first time DUI cases. 5 days in jail, suspended sentence for 180 day, suspended license, mandatory counseling, increased insurance rates seems like a pretty good punishment for a first time offender.

by charlie on Nov 12, 2012 10:35 am • linkreport

@Restonians want less Silver Line TOD

It must be nice problem to have .... other areas will gladly take your commercial development

by jcp on Nov 12, 2012 10:36 am • linkreport

@JCP Restons balk is Tysons gain. What they dont realize is much of that development is mixed use not just office towers. All development is not equal and traffic does not necessarily correlate to total square footage

by Tysons Engineer on Nov 12, 2012 10:39 am • linkreport

RE: Reston
This underscores the whole fallacy of the Silver Line. Reston is at least a decade away from being a good place for TOD (with Herndon and Ashburn even further). There is plenty of supply coming on board in Tysons. Overdeveloping the western part of the line will lead to oversupply and no one will be happy.

by movement on Nov 12, 2012 10:59 am • linkreport

Whatever you do, take your vet to a free meal. Several national chains are having their Veterans deals today. http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/ has an up-to-date list, and some regional places (like Mission BBQ up near Glen Burnie on Richie Highway/MD RT 2 by the North County Branch Library) are also getting in the deal as well.

Yesterday, took Dad to Applebee's for lunch. Today, breakfast over at Denny's.

by Drake Perth on Nov 12, 2012 11:01 am • linkreport

@movement Reston's economy is more tied to Dulles than it is DC. This is the fallacy of the DC centric view on this area. Just because Fairfax is next to DC does not mean it's economy relies solely on its position with DC. In many ways there are 3 separate industries and three separate COBs occurring in Fairfax.

1) That which is external to Fairfax (DC and Arlington, which btw the number of residents in Fairfax which work in DC and Arlington is less than the number of residents that work inside of Fairfax which is why Fairfax does not follow traditional suburban concepts)

2) That which is in eastern and southern Fairfax (Tysons centric which is very much the consultant industry in support of government functions in DC as well as accounting, banking, retail, health care industries)

3) That which is fairly isolated from DC and more closely related to companies central to Dulles (shipping support, transportation, developers/construction, biotech, telecomm, and software/hardware engineering)

You cant just say, Reston is further west than Tysons and therefore less of a spillover from DC, that simply is not what is happening in Fairfax regardless of how many DC residents on WaPo's comment board want to believe it is

by Tysons Engineer on Nov 12, 2012 11:04 am • linkreport

New Orleans streetcar news:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121112/us-super-bowl-streetcar/

by Tom Coumaris on Nov 12, 2012 11:53 am • linkreport

@TE
Fair enough but there is no way to create transit infrastructure around Reston or points west in the Dulles Corridor. The suburbs are too decentralized and it will take decades to reverse that trend. With DC you have a nexus that can support a hub and spoke system. There is no nexus in Northern Fairfax. Tysons could be one eventually but it will take more than a decade.

by movement on Nov 12, 2012 1:36 pm • linkreport

RE: Post not local enough

This is old news, but the problem keeps getting worse and worse. Just a couple of weeks ago the WaPo killed the Maryland Politics Blog (along with DC and VA) and replaced it with a "MD Politics Page" which is a joke, and has far fewer articles. Radio stations like WTOP, local papers like the MoCo/Frederick Co./PGC Gazette, the Baltimore Sun, and even the right-wing Examiner provide far better local coverage.

RE: Efficient transit = expensive housing?

Really? In other news, it was discovered that fish swim in water.

by King Terrapin on Nov 12, 2012 2:11 pm • linkreport

Re:WaPo

The Post is a national newspaper similar to the NY Times (which is why I never get people who live in DC and subscribe to the NY Times). There are plenty of other outletsfor local news like this blog. There's no reason the WaPo has to cover a lot of local news. We should be proud to live in an area with one of only a handful of nationally recognized newspapers of record.

by Falls Church on Nov 12, 2012 2:36 pm • linkreport

Falls Church,

The Times does a hell of a lot more to cover local news in New York than the Post does in DC and environs.

Being a national paper of record is one thing. I don't see how that should prevent better local reporting. Likewise, the Post's record on national reporting isn't as strong as it could be. Hell, they basically had the idea for Politico handed to them, yet they turned it down.

http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2012/04/washington-post-watergate

by Alex B. on Nov 12, 2012 2:45 pm • linkreport

Being a national paper of record is one thing. I don't see how that should prevent better local reporting.

Resources are limited and newspapers are a dying industry. Every dollar spent on local reporting is a dollar not spent on national reporting. That's how an emphasis on national reporting prevents better local reporting.

The Times has more revenue and a bigger budget than the WaPo. So, they can afford to have more reporters/bureaus, covering a wider array of news, like local happenings and fashion.

Likewise, the Post's record on national reporting isn't as strong as it could be.

Of course, there's always room for improvement. But, its reputation is better than the NY Times when it comes to unbiased, balanced, and truthful reporting. It's also widely regarded to have the best political coverage.

Look, I like local news as much as the next person (actually, moreso) but I think it's pretty cool that we live in an area with one of only four remaining national newspapers (WaPo, NYT, USA Today, and WSJ). I'd hate to see the WaPo become just another town-based paper like the Houston Chronicle, which no one cares about outside of Houston. Especially, when DC already has such a plethora of great local news coverage from DCist, WTOP, Patch, Washington Examiner, GGW, etc.

While Warren Buffet is right -- the future of the newspaper industry is in local coverage -- I certainly hope there will be national newspapers like the WaPo for some time to come.

by Falls Church on Nov 12, 2012 4:08 pm • linkreport

Falls Church,

Did you read that VF piece I linked?

Resources are limited and newspapers are a dying industry. Every dollar spent on local reporting is a dollar not spent on national reporting. That's how an emphasis on national reporting prevents better local reporting.

You say this like it's a given - part of the reason the resources are dwindling is that the Post's revenue that forms that pool of resources is from print circulation - which, unlike the Times, is almost entirely local. And one key thing local subscribers are complaining about is the shrinking local coverage! Pexton quotes a reader noting that the Post need not be delivered to his stoop, the paper is almost thin enough now to slide under his door.

The Times has more revenue and a bigger budget than the WaPo. So, they can afford to have more reporters/bureaus, covering a wider array of news, like local happenings and fashion.

Yes, the Times has a bigger budget, but I think you're confusing the correlation and causation here.

Of course, there's always room for improvement. But, its reputation is better than the NY Times when it comes to unbiased, balanced, and truthful reporting. It's also widely regarded to have the best political coverage.

What reputation is better than the Times? Are we talking newsroom, or ed board?

And, as noted in the VF piece, the Post's political coverage is a shell of what it could be. The Politico founders pitched the idea to management, and they rejected it. Now they're playing catch-up to a great degree.

I'd hate to see the WaPo become just another town-based paper like the Houston Chronicle, which no one cares about outside of Houston.

Those papers become parochial because they run nothing but AP national stories. The Post is in danger with the locals because they are running AP local stories.

Nobody is saying they should give up their national niche. That said, I think you're painting the Post into a false choice if you think they can do national or local, but not both.

by Alex B. on Nov 12, 2012 4:23 pm • linkreport

One crucial difference between the Times and the Post is that Washington, even Greater Washington, is a lot smaller than New York, and entirely smaller than Greater New York. In other words, it is the New York (State) Times, not the New York City Times.

by Jasper on Nov 12, 2012 4:33 pm • linkreport

The Post also runs a lot of AP national/international stories these days. It's really become a shell of its former self. If I didn't live here I would just subscribe to the NYT and be done with it.

by Phil on Nov 12, 2012 4:34 pm • linkreport

At one point, the Post management was very proud of its subscription rate in the area -- something like 90+ percent -- best in the county.

They also did a study a few years ago of people under 30 and I think the conclusion was people would pay NOT to have paper delivered. They are also the founders of one of the biggest recyclers in the area.

The NYTIMES for the first time is making more on subscriptions than ads. I suspect that is the future. However, I strongly suspect the Post will wither away unless there is a change in control.

by charlie on Nov 12, 2012 5:03 pm • linkreport

4 years Army here. Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks for the shout out, and please remember SPC Thomas Doerflinger of Silver Spring and SGT David Davis of Mount Airey

by Dave Murphy on Nov 12, 2012 6:52 pm • linkreport

Thanks for your service, Dave! And let's remember and honor the sacrifice of SPC Doerflinger and SGT Davis.

by David Alpert on Nov 12, 2012 6:54 pm • linkreport

I haven't been reading the weekday paper editions of the WaPo, but I've noticed that stories that *will* be in the Sunday print paper are already online starting on Friday, if not Thursday evening. So by the time the paper version comes out, I've read half of it already! C'mon, Post! Don't you want my dollars? You're acting as if you don't.

by Greenbelt Gal on Nov 12, 2012 7:26 pm • linkreport

Springfield was then facing an issue of traffic (similar to Reston) and believed the mixing bowl and slowing growth around the mall would help relieve.
No consistent idea on how to use this new focal point for improving the lives of residents in Springfield. Instead it became a tool for commuters only.
It's revisionist because one thing doesn't always have to do with the other. The Springfield Interchange project wasn't something that was started by or pushed for by residents of Springfield. It was always something they would have to deal with and adapt to, but not their choosing.

by selxic on Nov 13, 2012 7:47 am • linkreport

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