Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Stop the madness


Photo by freefotouk on Flickr.
Use McMillan site to stop flooding?: DC may create catchment tanks at the McMillan sand filtration site to prevent flooding in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. The planned 1st Street relief sewer may also happen sooner than planned. (Post)

Trade the FBI for the Redskins?: Jack Evans says he'd be willing to let the FBI go to Prince George's if the county will let the Redskins break their lease and move to RFK. But the federal government chooses the FBI's site, not local leaders. (NBC)

Cyclist stabs driver: A road rage confrontation between a driver and a bicyclist ended in the cyclist stabbing the driver in the ribs. Needless to say, this is wrong. (NBC)

Rail yard construction could delay Silver Line : A West Falls Church rail yard, which MWAA is building, is behind schedule; the delay could further delay the Silver Line's opening, currently scheduled for late 2013. (Examiner)

Wards 1 & 2 making the most children: The Census predicts that DC's wards 1 and 2 will produce the most babies over the next decade. The population of school-age children is expected to rise in all but Ward 7 between 2010 and 2020. (DCist)

Development along Lee Highway?: Arlington staff recommend the County Board approve a mixed-use development along Lee Highway. The Planning Commission voted the project down last month, saying a development plan should come first. (ARLnow)

Fairfax wants funds from Pentagon: Fairfax County is seeking $1 billion from the Defense Department to compensate for transportation changes from BRAC relocations. They also want the parking cap at the Mark Center to continue. (Examiner)

And...: GWU will allow students to use their meal plans at food trucks. (GW Hatchet) ... Alcohol sales will be legal in DC on Sundays. (DCist) ... Everyone is excited about Chicago's new bike lane. (Streetsblog) ... Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses in some counties, including Montgomery. (WJLA)

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Comments

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Needless to say, this is wrong.
Regardless of the way that planners, police and commuters act in a deadly syndicate to harass cyclists on a daily basis, I have never believed in dealing out vigilante justice with my U-lock. It is incredibly tempting to get some vengeance on a dangerous driver by U-locking their wing mirror (as appears to have happened here) but two wrongs do not make a right.

Also- if you are driving a car - never get out of your vehicle to engage somebody in a road rage incident. Once you step out of your vehicle, you are entering the arena, and anything can happen. Always stay in your car.

by renegade09 on Dec 7, 2012 8:51 am • linkreport

RE: FBI/Redskins swap

These inter-jurisdictional fights are dumb when states use tax breaks to lure companies across the country. They are infinitely more dumb when jurisdictions from the same region fight to see who can give enough handouts to lure different uses. Neither the 'Skins nor the FBI are interested in building a campus that fits in with DC's vision for the future, so why do we want either?

I don't get this desire Evans and some other CMs have to lure the 'Skins back to DC. What possible benefit can DC derive from having the stadium here? Some minor amount of stadium taxes that will be completely swallowed by billions spent on a stadium and even more building infrastructure to manage traffic for ~12 events a year?

by MLD on Dec 7, 2012 9:00 am • linkreport

The entire FBI-Redskins trade is ridiculous also because Snyder owns FedEx Field.

by selxic on Dec 7, 2012 9:02 am • linkreport

At the Bergmann's (lee highway) development the planning commision's relectuance is bizzare.

There isn't much to develop there on Lee Highway. Katty corner is an old, slum like building. There is an empty lot and some car sales a few blocks down. But Lee Highway is pretty much done. Trafic impacts will be minimal. I do wish they would include a bar, as Upper Rosslyn really needs something. Wayne at Ray's3 did a good job but I fear he may be gone.

And nothing about Garvey's incredbly brave finger-pointing on Zimmerman's conflict of interest? Come on. If it was a DC council member the tut-tutting would have started before the post....

by charlie on Dec 7, 2012 9:03 am • linkreport

That baby-boom meme has caught my eye. The claims are nothing short of extraordinary: "up to 55%" increase in school-age population. Damn!

But I am wary: "up to" ? Clearly to project the number of babies born out 10 years depends on assumptions and modelling, and there is uncertainty. And it is just too self-serving for DCPS and its budget.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Where is the proof?

by goldfish on Dec 7, 2012 9:11 am • linkreport

I saw an article last night about this idea to "trade the FBI for the Redskins" last night, and assumed I'd misread it. Given that Evans is usually good for coming up with some of the *dumbest* ideas ever, that this is one of the most *nonsensical* ideas ever proposed by a DC politician is a refreshing change.

Perhaps we should trade "DC United" for "Ft Meade." Or "the Lincoln Memorial" for "New Orleans' inimitable down-home vibe."

I feel significantly stupider for even having read about it.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2012 9:13 am • linkreport

Story about the altercation between the guy in the car and the guy on the bike is pretty awful. But it does serve as a counterexample to the daily refrain, "When a driver and a cyclist tussle, the cyclist will always lose."

People are people, and a driver is no more likely to be carrying a gun or a knife than a cyclist, and vice versa. Which is one of the many reasons we should treat each other with respect and deference.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2012 9:22 am • linkreport

So yes, there should be a sector plan for Lee Hwy but at least from the renderings I saw there was nothing incompatible with anything that's on Lee Hwy right now. And that location is within easy walking distance of the metro.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 9:22 am • linkreport

The delays on the expansion of Fall Church Yard should not be considered that big of a problem. When the 11 mile segment between Stadium-Armory and National Airport opened 07 01 1977 WMATA only had one maintenance facility, Brentwood Yard. They stored cars on the elevated south of the station and did minor repairs there.

by Sand Box John on Dec 7, 2012 9:30 am • linkreport

Can we trade Jack Evans for the Prince George county IKEA?

by aaa on Dec 7, 2012 9:31 am • linkreport

Re: The FBI move

Here's what I don't get, Evans is asking what we get by having them move? How about a whole city block to redevelop in one of the most expensive commercial markets in the country now moves from the feds (non taxable) to private (taxable). That's going to be huge cash flow to the city, and I imagine the number of workers will be relatively even given how poorly the hoover building uses its space.

by jj on Dec 7, 2012 9:33 am • linkreport

The Jack Evans proposal has so many levels of ridiculous:

1) Since when does the DC Council have a (meaningful) say in what the federal government does with its buildings and their locations?

2) Why is it a bad thing if the FBI leaves, given that the building will ultimately be replaced by a larger, more efficient office building with even more employees (many of whom may well be better paid than FBI employees, and thus more willing to spend money in the vicinity of the building)?

3) What do the Redskins have to do with the FBI at all?

4) Why do we want to bring the Redskins home stadium back within the District limits?

5) And, why as pointed out above, would Dan Snyder have an interest in doing that given he owns, not leases, Fed Ex field, unless he is given, free of charge, a new stadium that is at least as attractive?

As an aside, I think the entire Council should individually pledge that they will not accept any preferential ticketing/seating from the Redskins in perpetuity should the Redskins relocate to Washington, DC.

by ah on Dec 7, 2012 9:34 am • linkreport

@Goldfish

I tend to think you can model fairly well in a situation like this. There has to be some very solid evidence of what situations people are most likely to have children in.

In W1, if they have 4,000 married couples between 25-32 in the middle class, and in W3 they have 600 of those same couples, it is quite easy to project out to where the babies are going to come.

For W4 (where my wife and I live) you can look at our income, ages (25 and 25) and home ownership status, and figure out pretty quickly that the wife is going to convince me to have a baby in the somewhat near future. I tend to trust the modeling here. Wish they would have given a bit more explanation here, but if you can figure out the demographics, you can figure out who is going to be having babies.

by Kyle-W on Dec 7, 2012 9:41 am • linkreport

The cyclist faces charges of aggravated assault? Why not attempted murder, for a knife in the ribs?

I was going to excoriate Jack Evans, who apparently misunderstands . . . well, the list of things he apparently misunderstands is too long to itemize. But others have done a better job than I could have, so no sense piling on.

by dcd on Dec 7, 2012 10:01 am • linkreport

@ah,

And, why as pointed out above, would Dan Snyder have an interest in doing that given he owns, not leases, Fed Ex field, unless he is given, free of charge, a new stadium that is at least as attractive?

Would it be possible to trade, say, an original copy of the US Constitution to Baltimore in exchange for their football stadium? Get Evans' office on the phone.

by oboe on Dec 7, 2012 10:03 am • linkreport

@dcd - It may be that the knife was not considered a weapon capable of causing death. He also wasn't charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Plus, they may not yet have sufficient evidence of intent. Charges can always be added later.

by ah on Dec 7, 2012 10:16 am • linkreport

Too bad Jack Evans has a very good shot at being our next mayor.

by Phil on Dec 7, 2012 10:17 am • linkreport

So did the driver initially assault the bicyclist with a deadly weapon (the car). The bicyclist defended themselves. The driver escalated the situation by getting out of the car and cheges the bicyclist who then defended themselves again.

Just another possible read on the situation based on a very lightweight news piece.

by Curious George on Dec 7, 2012 10:19 am • linkreport

I like this idea! We can make all sorts of trades.

How about this one for VA; DC will support your efforts to keep the Redskins practice facility, and in return VA will retro-retrocede Arlington and Alexandria back to the District. Deal? I'm even willing to throw in a ham sandwich!

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 10:20 am • linkreport

@dcd, it's very common for the authorities to charge suspects with the lowest-level charge that will justify holding them. That way, if they become convinced that the situation merits a more serious charge, they'll have more time in which to file those charges, reducing the chances of a technical error which could imperil their case.

by cminus on Dec 7, 2012 10:28 am • linkreport

Not only is the Lee Hwy development close to the Metro, it's right on the Custis trail and next to an existing CaBi station. Even with 200+ units, I suspect the impact on rush hour traffic would be minimal. And given the transportation options there, that place will sell out immediately.

by MM on Dec 7, 2012 10:29 am • linkreport

Pretty tragic story about the cyclist going psycho. I'm hoping they tacked on an ADW charge, especially since he wasn't affected and guilty of a serious case of road rage.

You're accidentally (maybe) cut off, go psycho on the car, once the victim steps out you confront, stab them and (like a coward with its tail neatly tucked) run away?

Unacceptable.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2012 10:30 am • linkreport

Good news about Sunday liquor sales even though the owner's oppostion based the idea that they might have to work Sunday is nonsensical.

The Redskins wrinkle in the "where to move the FBI" discussion didn't warrant a mention. The suggestion and the reporting on it is also nonsensical. It's akin to reporting that DC officials are considering negotiating a swap with Walter Reed and the Ravens.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2012 10:41 am • linkreport

@ curious george (So did the driver initially assault the bicyclist with a deadly weapon (the car). The bicyclist defended themselves.)

We're not in Florida.

by ah on Dec 7, 2012 10:45 am • linkreport

MLD

12 events with the current Fedex field. A new stadium, in DC would attract more that the 12 NFL games. Maryland going to the Big10 will use that stadium for major games against tOSU or Pen-state ect,VT uses the site. It will attract a higher caliber bowl game, or games. So you can add 2-5 college games to the 12 NFL ones. A yearly international soccer match, concerts (1-2 events), monster trucks ect. It won't be buzzing 24/7, far from that, but I think a new stadium at a minimum could attract 20 major events (including NFL), and upwards towards 25 events, a year. It all depends on how you design it. So if you really want it to be a event magnet you have to be forward thinking it's design; a bowl with seats will not work.

by RJ on Dec 7, 2012 10:48 am • linkreport

RJ - What prevents FedEx field from doing exactly those things?

Indeed, FedEx has hosted games involving Maryland, Penn St., and Virginia Tech, in recent years, all by contract--the same kind of contract a DC stadium would need. Maryland could just as easily schedule its upcoming Big Ten games at FedEx as it could at a new stadium in DC (and, who knows, by the time anything is built, Maryland may have moved to another conference).

FedEx has also hosted soccer games, concerts, and other events (maybe not monster trucks, which, to me, is no great loss).

by ah on Dec 7, 2012 11:15 am • linkreport

"the owner's opposition based the idea that they might have to work Sunday is nonsensical."

Why is this concern nonsensical?

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 11:24 am • linkreport

Why is this concern nonsensical?

Because owners don't have to have their stores open on Sunday if they don't want to.

by MLD on Dec 7, 2012 11:30 am • linkreport

sk,

Because owners who don't want to work sunday now face a competitive disadvantage with owners who are open on sunday. Before it wasn't an issue because the government protected them.

Its nonsensical because its something that business owners admit to not having any sort of business reason for having the regulation. It's just rent seeking.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 11:33 am • linkreport

@ah,

What prevents FedEx field from doing exactly those things?

Sure, but in exchange for creating a multi- square-acre economic dead-zone in the heart of the DC metro region, *DC* would be getting the paltry tax receipts on the monster-truck rally.

Granted, some naysayers would point to the massive opportunity costs of forgoing the thousands of taxpaying residents and businesses (providing jobs) who could reside on whatever site they decided to build a mega stadium--which would be unused as few as 340 days out of the year--but to them I say..."GO REDSKINZZZ!"

Once we get the 'Skins back, then we can start to discuss plans to develop a District-financed Six Flags on the St E's site. After all, we don't have one of those either, and everybody loves roller-coasters.

by Oboe on Dec 7, 2012 11:33 am • linkreport

You're accidentally (maybe) cut off, go psycho on the car, once the victim steps out you confront, stab them and (like a coward with its tail neatly tucked) run away?

We know very little about what happened. For all we know, the driver of the car went at the cyclist with a knife, the cyclist managed to wrestle it off of him, stabbed him with his own knife and then made off while the going was good. We could invent our own narratives all day long. Its kind of weird that we are talking about a run-of-the-mill road rage assault that happens probably every day, the only thing that makes it interesting is that a cyclist was involved this time.

by renegade09 on Dec 7, 2012 11:42 am • linkreport

I would only agree to the FBI-Redskins trade if it includes a first round pick and a player from the FBI's practice squad.

by Falls Church on Dec 7, 2012 11:43 am • linkreport

Its kind of weird that we are talking about a run-of-the-mill road rage assault that happens probably every day, the only thing that makes it interesting is that a cyclist was involved this time.

True 'nuf. If, for example, drivers were committing 20,000 hit-and-runs a year in a single metro area, it would largely go unremarked upon:

http://www.laweekly.com/content/printVersion/1945294/

by Oboe on Dec 7, 2012 11:46 am • linkreport

This is also a man bites dog kind of story. We are just used to pedestrians and bicyclists getting injured or killed that it is a novelty when a driver gets the worst end of things.

by Curious George on Dec 7, 2012 11:48 am • linkreport

I would only agree to the FBI-Redskins trade if it includes a first round pick and a player from the FBI's practice squad.

Done!

I also will sign the FBI player to a $45m contract over 3 years.

by Dan Snyder on Dec 7, 2012 11:51 am • linkreport

ah,

Location and design. Being in DC will be a bigger draw. Not saying that they should relocate to DC, but they should demonstrate that a new stadium could indeed draw events to the heart of the city and not be a concrete black hole most of the year, as Oboe states. It will be a very tough sell, but lets see if someone can do this, if not, then they should stay away. Considering DC council and the Redskins owner, I doubt a honest due diligence process will happen, but one can dream.

by RJ on Dec 7, 2012 11:53 am • linkreport

Drumz -

It seems that you understand that business owners that don't want to open on Sunday will be at a competitive disadvantage. If that is the case, it makes sense to me why they would oppose this change in regulation.

Why does a regulation have to have a "business reason" to be sensical? It seems like we have all kinds of quality life regulations to protect economic actors - i.e. child labor laws, minimum wage laws, overtime, etc.

Using minimum wage as the example, we have this law because people willing to work below the minimum wage would have a competitive advantage over those unwilling to work below the minimum wage. Thus, the regulation protects those unwilling to work below the minimum wage. Similarly, the prohibition on Sunday liquor sales protects those who do not want to work on Sunday.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 11:58 am • linkreport

It seems that you understand that business owners that don't want to open on Sunday will be at a competitive disadvantage. If that is the case, it makes sense to me why they would oppose this change in regulation.

Every other business in the city has to make the decision whether to open on Sunday or not. Why in the world should businesses which prior to now were prohibited from opening on Sundays because of misplaced pandering to the region's dominant religion continue to expect special treatment? Oh, the poor liquor store owners, now expected to make the same decision as every other small busienss owner. The inhumanity!

Gimme a break.

If you want to make the case that ALL businesses should be closed on Sundays, go for it. But singling out one specific business type for special treatment is ridiculous.

by dcd on Dec 7, 2012 12:07 pm • linkreport

@Oboe
Wow, that is really a shocking report that you linked to about hit-and-runs in LA. It made me think to go look at the 'Struck in DC' blog again, it appears that it isn't being updated any more. For a while we had a weekly update on GGW.

by renegade09 on Dec 7, 2012 12:08 pm • linkreport

Except we're not talking about human rights or workplace safety. We're talking about whether a business should be allowed to sell liquor on a sunday. It shouldn't be in the governments interest to mandate a day of rest for those who may not want to take it. Plenty of businesses are closed on sunday without mandates.

Scale is relevant, we need laws that protect workers from harm. I'm not so sure that we need laws to let someone enjoy a day off that they could take anyway.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 12:10 pm • linkreport

Using minimum wage as the example, we have this law because people willing to work below the minimum wage would have a competitive advantage over those unwilling to work below the minimum wage. Thus, the regulation protects those unwilling to work below the minimum wage. Similarly, the prohibition on Sunday liquor sales protects those who do not want to work on Sunday.

Those are not similar at all. For them to be similar, you would have to regulate against all work on Sunday. Everyone gets the day off. No Metro, no restaurants, no retail, nothing can be open on Sunday.

Would you support that?

The minimum wage law applies across the board. If you support no Sunday liquor sales for the sole purpose of giving liquor store clerks the day off, then you need to make that law apply to everything.

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 12:12 pm • linkreport

DCD -

Take a deep breath. . . Calm now? Good.

I think you may have misunderstood the gist of my comment. I was not arguing the merits of basing public policy decision on the liquor store owners' concerns.

Instead, If you read my original comment you will see that I questioned someone's characterization of the liquor store owner's position as "nonsensical". As I have tried to explain, they seem to have a reason to oppose the change. Based on that, I don't think it is reasonable to say that their position is "nonsensical."

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 12:16 pm • linkreport

Non-sensical as in it's a stupid reason, not non-sensical as in its a coherent statement made by someone of sound mind.

Let's move on then.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 12:20 pm • linkreport

Alex B.

I think you may have your facts wrong. Minimum wage laws have many exceptions. One example was highlighted in the New York Times not too long ago. Quoting from the article: "Domestic workers are not covered by most states’ minimum wage laws.". Similarly there are exceptions to the 40 hour workweek for salaried employees and exceptions to child labor laws for minors working for their parents (in many cases).

Based on this, I do not think it is true that a regulation has to be applied uniformly across the jurisdiction to be valid.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 12:32 pm • linkreport

So if we were to ban commerce on sunday we could do so but then make an exception for everything except for liquor.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 12:36 pm • linkreport

Because owners don't have to have their stores open on Sunday if they don't want to.
- Because owners don't have to have their stores open on Sunday if they don't want to.

This seems like a scene from Nutty Professor where we all hold hands and sing, "I love you. You love me. We're a happy family." Ahhh. So refreshing.... :)

More seriously, the owner of Chick-fil-A decided not allow any of his restaurants to open on Sunday's. I'm sure most business establishments serving a Sun-Sat need would like the option of having the gov't mandate that they and their competition close for business one day a week.

by HogWash on Dec 7, 2012 12:39 pm • linkreport

Based on this, I do not think it is true that a regulation has to be applied uniformly across the jurisdiction to be valid.

I never said the regulation had to be applied uniformly to be valid.

But there has to be a valid public purpose. IF giving people their Sundays off is a valid public purpose, then that regulation should apply to more than just liquor stores.

The point is, giving people their Sundays off is not a valid public purpose. Ergo, citing that as a reason to support the regulation is invalid.

If it were valid, we'd see it apply more uniformly across all sectors of the economy. But we do not, and suggesting that we do so is ludicrously absurd. Ergo, the reason (e.g. the public purpose) we limit sales on Sunday has nothing to do with their days off.

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 1:16 pm • linkreport

Alex B.

I guess I misunderstood this statement "For them to be similar, you would have to regulate against all work on Sunday." My bad.

Anyways, another reason the liquor store owners' position may be justifiable is based on their reliance on existing regulatory environment when they made their investment. Many on this blog, in the context of parking for church attenders and residents, have stated that it is unfair to drastically change parking rules now because of the historical practice. For example, I am pretty sure I have read that DC should not change the rules in a way that makes it more difficult for residents to park near their house, because homeowners purchased the house with the presumption that they would be able to park near the house.

Someone else has argued, that the district should tread lightly before enforcing existing parking rules on Sunday because churchgoers have come to expect lax enforcement.

Similarly, liquor store owners invested in their business with the understanding that they would be prohibited from opening on Sunday. Changing the regulation undermines that and should be considered.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 1:39 pm • linkreport

Anyways, another reason the liquor store owners' position may be justifiable...

The position of the owners (as individuals) is totally justifiable. But that doesn't mean it makes for good public policy.

I, as an individual, would support a regulation that magically gives me a million dollars every year. But that would not be a good public policy.

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 1:48 pm • linkreport

Alex B.

So are you saying that:
1)it is not good public policy to maintain a predictable regulatory environment? Or

2)that liquor store owners' reliance on this particular regulation is so outweighed by consumers desire to purchase alcohol at a store on Sunday, that the goal of maintaining a predictable regulatory environment should be set aside in this instance?

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 1:57 pm • linkreport

A predictable regulatory environment is important. However, the regulations themselves still have to be good regulations.

Giving liquor store owners a day off is not a good reason to have the regulation. If someone else has a good reason for that regulation, let's hear it.

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 2:14 pm • linkreport

@Kyle-W: For W4 (where my wife and I live) you can look at our income, ages (25 and 25) and home ownership status, and figure out pretty quickly that the wife is going to convince me to have a baby in the somewhat near future.

Yes I get that you can predict the number of babies in the future based on the number of women in their late 20s and early 30s. Point is, they are projected for much further out -- 10 years -- which basically means they are assuming a certain demographic will move here, that is here yet.

Also, where are the error bars? "Up to 55%" suggests that lower increases are more likely, but the range was not stated. This makes me think it is a PR ploy for more money for DCPS.

by goldfish on Dec 7, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

^not here yet^

by goldfish on Dec 7, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

Maybe I missed this, but I don't think anyone has articulated why it is bad for the community to force liquor store owners to take a day off.

I think this is the hurdle that regulators must pass before changing an existing regulation that the business community has relied on to make their investment in the first place.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 2:31 pm • linkreport

Because I'd like to purchase alcohol on sunday isn't a good reason?

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 2:33 pm • linkreport

Maybe I missed this, but I don't think anyone has articulated why it is bad for the community to force liquor store owners to take a day off.

I think this is the hurdle that regulators must pass before changing an existing regulation that the business community has relied on to make their investment in the first place.

Status quo bias. Just because the regulation exists doesn't mean it's a good regulation. The onus shouldn't be on the public to say why the regulation is bad, the onus should be on the proponents to say why the regulation is necessary.

We know (historically speaking) why blue laws exist - they exist because of religious influence. It has nothing to do with giving liquor store owners a day off.

And, as I asked before: If it's not bad to force liquor stores to close on Sundays, would you support a regulation that forced all stores to close on Sundays? Why or why not?

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 2:48 pm • linkreport

I wonder why the Washington Post didn't report the attempted murder of the driver by that cyclist - AFTER he vandalized the man's car then fled like a coward.

Let me play devil's advocate here: let's say the driver did in fact cut off the cyclist. How in the world does that justify smashing the driver's mirror then stabbing him when he gets out and objects?

Anyone who excuses the cyclists' behavior with the "cyclists are more vulnerable" and/or "drivers are worse" canard should be OK with pedestrians doing the same thing to any cyclist they consider to be a "threat". After all, pedestrians are at the bottom of the food chain on the streets.

by ceefer66 on Dec 7, 2012 2:52 pm • linkreport

"I'd like to purchase alcohol on Sunday" is a reason.

But I don't think it is a sufficiently good reason to disrupt the regulatory environment that liquor store owners' relied on when making their investment. Especially because with a little planning most individuals' alcohol needs can be satisfied with a run to the store on Saturday. Meaning the burden of the existing rule on Sunday alcohol consumers doesn't seem that onerous.

I will grant that this is something that reasonable minds could disagree on. But I think it is unfair to characterize the liquor owners' position as "nonsensical" or "stupid."

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 2:52 pm • linkreport

I will grant that this is something that reasonable minds could disagree on. But I think it is unfair to characterize the liquor owners' position as "nonsensical" or "stupid."

So, all of this is based on you reacting to a vaguely phrased comment?

The policy is nonsensical. As in, the stated public purpose for the rule does not make any sense.

That doesn't mean the opposition from current store owners isn't rational - it is. It's also rent-seeking behavior, and that alone isn't enough of a basis for good public policy.

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 2:57 pm • linkreport

But, it is stupid to have the government ban the sale of one item for one day a week.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 3:03 pm • linkreport

Let me play devil's advocate here: let's say the driver did in fact cut off the cyclist. How in the world does that justify smashing the driver's mirror then stabbing him when he gets out and objects?

Good thing no one has made that argument.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 3:06 pm • linkreport

To clarify, the only reason this story is of note is because the assailant happened to be on a bike. There's nothing else in the story to really identify the perp. Cyclists as a class don't adhere to a general ethic. It's not like being part of a religion (and certainly we don't impugn entire religions on the actions of one person).

The only thing to infer about the stabbing cyclist is that he was riding a bike when he stabbed someone.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 3:11 pm • linkreport

@ceefer66:

Anyone who excuses the cyclists' behavior...

Yes, I wish you'd put this at the top of your comment so that we'd know your contribution doesn't apply to anyone here on GGW or anywhere else for that matter.

by Oboe on Dec 7, 2012 3:27 pm • linkreport

I really think the merits of being able to buy liquor on Sunday is a minor point. It makes things a little more convenient for consumers. But having to operate a store for nearly 15% more time is fairly expensive. The owner has to hire employees, pay for lights, etc. Furthermore, based on my behavior and that of my peers, I don't think the increased sales would offset the increased operating costs. This is because currently, if I am planning to drink on Sunday, I will buy what I need on Saturday. Now I can be lazy on Saturday and head to the store on Sunday. Based on this scenario, the gross income of the store would stay about the same, but the net income would decrease.

This means either 1) liquor store owners will make less money, or 2) liquor store owners will charge more for alcohol. Most likely, it would have an impact on both, the degree of which is based on the elasticity of demand. Nevertheless, this will hurt liquor store owners to some degree and most liquor consumers. It will only help the small percentage of Sunday liquor consumers that do not plan ahead.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 3:33 pm • linkreport

If the burden of the regulation is to inconvenience the consumer meanwhile the burden of lifting the regulation falls on the propieter then the government should generally go with the consumer.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 3:44 pm • linkreport

Drumz

Your last comment doesn't even make sense in the context of this conversation. As I explained, lifting the prohibition conveniences liquor consumers that do not plan at the expense of those that do plan.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 4:02 pm • linkreport

Having to plan a day in advance isn't an inconvenience? Or forgetting to plan and being out of luck (purely because of legislative fiat) isn't an inconvenience?

And why is the chance to buy a bottle on sunday "at the expense" of those who planned ahead? Why should someone else care when you or I buy my liquor?

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 4:09 pm • linkreport

People who plan ahead should care because it increases the operating cost of running a liquor store. This based on my assumption that opening on Sunday will only shift sales from earlier in the weekend to Sunday, not increase sales substantially.

These increased operating costs, to a certain degree, are passed on to the consumer. That means those that are willing to plan ahead are paying more so those that do not plan ahead can purchase liquor on Sunday.

by sk on Dec 7, 2012 4:15 pm • linkreport

Ok, lets lift the restriction on sunday liquor sales and if any business shuts down because they couldn't afford to be open on Sundays I'll buy you a drink the following Monday.

by drumz on Dec 7, 2012 4:20 pm • linkreport

People who plan ahead should care because it increases the operating cost of running a liquor store.

No it does not. No one is requiring stores to open on Sunday.

We don't force fast food to shut down on Sunday, either - yet Chick-fil-A still does their thing.

These increased operating costs, to a certain degree, are passed on to the consumer.

Then new entrants to the market will undercut them on cost.

This is something for the market to work out, not for regulators to decide.

by Alex B. on Dec 7, 2012 4:26 pm • linkreport

People who plan ahead should care because it increases the operating cost of running a liquor store. This based on my assumption that opening on Sunday will only shift sales from earlier in the weekend to Sunday, not increase sales substantially.
These increased operating costs, to a certain degree, are passed on to the consumer. That means those that are willing to plan ahead are paying more so those that do not plan ahead can purchase liquor on Sunday.
I'm going to go out on a limb with an assumption that I believe is far more reasonable: the vast majority of the costs of running a liquor store are fixed, not variable. Things like rent wouldn't be affected by being open another day, so all the owner would have to pay is just enough to cover additional employees and some electricity. Even if you assume that almost all of the sales are merely time-shifted (which I doubt is true), then surely the new sales would be enough to generate $20/hour or so to cover any additional costs.

And if not, they'll close down. But I;m with drumz on this: I'm pretty sure these stores will find it worth their while to be open on Sundays.

by Gray's The Classics on Dec 7, 2012 4:42 pm • linkreport

But having to operate a store for nearly 15% more time is fairly expensive.

They have to open on Sunday? Why?

by dcd on Dec 7, 2012 5:41 pm • linkreport

I will grant that this is something that reasonable minds could disagree on. But I think it is unfair to characterize the liquor owners' position as "nonsensical" or "stupid."

No, it is rational.

So is the desire to agree with competitors on price fixing or other anticompetitive acts. In this case, getting it blessed by the state (or district) makes it legal instead of illegal.

by ah on Dec 7, 2012 6:09 pm • linkreport

Balancing regulatory uncertainty with the general desire to buy liquor on Sunday is possible if the new policy takes effect (say) ten years after being enacted.

Liquor is different than all other products ecause of the 18th and 21st amendments. States can ban outright the same of liquor or not, unlike most products, without many of the constitutional constraints. Not that businesses have any right to expect steady government policy--the industry was outlawed for awhile

by JimT on Dec 7, 2012 7:32 pm • linkreport

@AlexB We know (historically speaking) why blue laws exist - they exist because of religious influence. It has nothing to do with giving liquor store owners a day off.

Truly superb irony! Best of the thread

by JimT on Dec 7, 2012 7:37 pm • linkreport

Those of us who went through the last comedy of trying to fit a stadium for Cooke in DC don't relish a repeat of that stupid controversy.

A footnote then was that the C of 100 had an excellent proposal to rebuild RFK with additional height moving the top up and providing the extra seats and skyboxes. Sort of like the way Dulles was expanded laterally with the same architecture. But it made too much sense and was too inexpensive.

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 7, 2012 11:40 pm • linkreport

@JimT 7:37:
+1!

by pinkshirt on Dec 8, 2012 5:32 pm • linkreport

This is something for the market to work out, not for regulators to decide.

"Market" -- ha! It sure is funny when economists run amok.

When alcoholic beverages may be sold is regulated in billions of ways. Tavern hours are dictated; restaurants are allowed to sale only during certain times as well. Some states allow beer and wine sales on Sundays, but not hard liquor (not to mention regulating what beer, wine, and hard liquor is). Mandating when liquor store can be open is a small part of this story.

If anyone needs a drink on Sunday, they can always go to a tavern.

by goldfish on Dec 10, 2012 12:29 am • linkreport

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