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Breakfast links: More bikes in more places


Photo by katiecampbell on Flickr.
More are biking: DC bicycle counts show that peak ridership is up 175% since 2004. Cyclists are about 77% male, 75% wear helmets, and CaBi makes up 1-12% of bikes depending on location. (d.ish)

Fairfax gets friendlier to bikes, peds: Fairfax will add clear bike and pedestrian paths to its new Silver Line stations and might even bring bike sharing surrounding areas, though they haven't necessarily settled on using CaBi. (WTOP)

Stuck in park on parking: Despite many possible improvements to the residential parking program, DDOT is not likely to make major changes for a year. Any reforms before then would likely have to come from the Council. (DCist)

Pick a tagline: DDOT wants your input on which one of six taglines the DC streetcar should use. The choices include "Make Your Next Connection", "District at Your Doorstep", and "Let's Go!" You can take the online survey here. (WAMU)

Yes! changes: It turns out that Ward 8 won't be losing its Yes! Organic Market. The store will get a name change to Healthy Gourmet Market in hopes that dropping "organic" from the name will help dispel the perception of high prices. (Post)

Why Intelsat picked Tysons: Intelsat, which is moving from Van Ness to Tysons, considered the Capitol Riverfront but thinks it's "not there yet." A Bethesda building had too few restaurants nearby and wasn't car-accessible enough. Metro Silver Line proximity and retail options made Tysons appealing. (WBJ)

Corporate incentives don't work: Using economic studies, Richard Florida argues that economic incentives for companies like tax breaks rarely improve economic conditions in cities or regions. (Atlantic Cities, Michael P)

And...: Is Columbia Road the best part of DC? (OPinions) ... Would self-driving cars be an ideal solution to Tysons congestion instead of more highway lanes? (Post) ... Drivers hit and critically injure pedestrians in Sterling and Annapolis. (Post, WTOP)

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Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  

Comments

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I'm not sure why "organic" means higher prices, but "gourmet" doesn't?

by Watcher on Dec 10, 2012 8:58 am • linkreport

Can the District do the things in parking that they're already required by law to do? Such as release a new report on the ballpark and barracks row performance parking areas, and adjusting the meters based on the actual occupancy measured? Last report released was two years ago.

by Michael Perkins on Dec 10, 2012 8:59 am • linkreport

75% of cyclists wear helmets? That's news to me...

by MJ on Dec 10, 2012 9:03 am • linkreport

Have a good friend who works at Intelsat. She is not thrilled with the move, and there are plenty of others not happy either. By the numbers, over 85% of current employees live in MD/DC, so not sure why Tysons won out. I do know one of the reasons why the 4500 East West Highway location failed is because there will be a McDonalds in the first floor of the building. CEO felt that that wasn't fitting of his company to share space with a McDonalds.

by Friend at Intelsat on Dec 10, 2012 9:05 am • linkreport

from intelsat:

"As to shedding the company’s longtime business address in D.C., Bryan said that was not so much of an issue given the global reach of the Luxembourg-based company. In Tysons Corner, the company’s new home will be closer to Dulles International Airport."

And I suspect that is the kicker.

by charlie on Dec 10, 2012 9:11 am • linkreport

Not covered - Metro ridership down, something I feared would happen when many bloggers repeatedly advocated for fare increases.

I am not an expert but is each municipality competing their hearts out against each other the way to go? Commutes to places like Tysons and even some Maryland to Maryland commutes are bears.

If Dan T is so into lowering costs why does he want to move the FBI?

Oh and another story - how about those Redskins? Football fans here? Hello, anyone?

by Jazzy on Dec 10, 2012 9:12 am • linkreport

re: Intelstat picking Tysons. Speaking solely from my own experience working a contract job out there, I would be bitter if I was an Intelstat employee with that choice. The gridlock on the roads during rush hour was incredible.

by I. Rex on Dec 10, 2012 9:13 am • linkreport

from the NoVa POV

that Intelsat specifically cited the Silver Line, is a win for NoVa transit advocates. One more step toward the transformation of Tysons.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 10, 2012 9:16 am • linkreport

What does the Intelsat move mean for the greater Van Ness area?

by William on Dec 10, 2012 9:19 am • linkreport

Good question William! I live in Van Ness and am interested to see what will happen to the spaceship that is currently docked on the corner of Conn. Ave. and Van Ness St. I would love to see Intelsat's building torn down and replaced with mixed-use transit-oriented development, but my guess is that it will house embassy related activities.

by Van Nessy on Dec 10, 2012 9:28 am • linkreport

Does GSA want to move the FBI? I thought it was the FBI that wants to move the FBI.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 10, 2012 9:39 am • linkreport

@Van Nessy

That would be an expensive piece of real estate for the Feds to buy just to house embassies (which traditionally pay for their own chanceries). It's especially unlikely that they'll use more of it because the State Department is already getting property at the old Walter Reed site to house new embassies.

In any event, it will likely be replaced by something. As it is, only half of the building's million square feet is actually usable space. What a waste next to a Metro station.

by Adam L on Dec 10, 2012 9:41 am • linkreport

@Van Nessy

I wouldn't be surprised if at least part of the Intelsat campus is purchased by the District. It'd be a great opportunity for UDC to expand its campus.

Additional retail w/ residential units on upper floors would also be appropriate, given the proximity to Metro and the already-existing business districts in Van Ness and Cleveland Park.

by Adam on Dec 10, 2012 9:50 am • linkreport

"Organic" = yuppie food. Gourmet = food made by someone who knows what they're doing. One has more 'universal' appeal than the other.

Streetcar taglines:

A Streetcar Named Gentrifier (stress on the third syllable in "gentrifier")

DC Streetcar: Activating the Urban Core with a Vibrant Brand of Traffic Jam Since 2028

DC Streetcar: More Projectile Rock-Proof than the Bus

DC Streetcar: Move b***h, get out the way. Get out the way b***h, get out the way.

As for Intelsat, which is a stone's throw away from where I live... given that it abuts the Chinese Embassy, chances are that State and the Secret Service will not allow anything without massive setbacks and walls.

by Dizzy on Dec 10, 2012 9:51 am • linkreport

organic is usually certified, and has to meet certain standards - including foregoing use of chemicals in farming, which comes with costs.

Anything can be "gourmet"

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 10, 2012 9:56 am • linkreport

Fairfax ... haven't necessarily settled on using CaBi.

They're idiots if they don't.

DDOT wants your input on which one of six taglines

All 6 suck, but I could not answer that.

The store will get a name change to Healthy Gourmet Market in hopes that dropping "organic" from the name will help dispel the perception of high prices.

Wow. The customers don't see (and then avoid) high prices. No, the perceive them. Oddly, it must be caused by some spell...

Corporate incentives don't work

Can GGW please cite this study every time we discuss a corporate tax break?

by Jasper on Dec 10, 2012 9:58 am • linkreport

Adam L and Adam: my guess was based on the fact that I believe part of the Intelsat building already houses multiple embassies.

An expansion of UDC is an interesting thought, but isn't that institution struggling with significant structural problems that would make such growth prohibitive?

I definitely agree that the property is not the best use of land so close to the Metro. On a related matter, it was a real shame to see the old gas station on the corner of Veazy Terrace and Conn. Ave replaced with, sigh, a two-story Walgreens.

by Van Nessy on Dec 10, 2012 10:19 am • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity

The FBI wants a better building. GSA doesn't want to pay for what it would cost to upgrade the current one, so moving is the remaining option to meet the current requirements.

by Mike on Dec 10, 2012 10:25 am • linkreport

@AWITC

Actually the FBI move is something GSA is doing under the President's directive to reduce real estate costs:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-business/post/gsa-proposes-trading-hoover-building-for-new-fbi-campus/2012/12/03/5b8c94b8-3d5e-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_blog.html

Re: Intelsat

Not mentioned is whether lower taxes played a role. All other things being equal, if the cost of doing business is less in one place vs. another, that's going to be an advantage.

Also, not mentioned is that Tysons has many other satellite related businesses. That would certainly increase Intelsat's potential labor pool.

by Falls Church on Dec 10, 2012 10:35 am • linkreport

They should've renamed Yes! to "P. Emerson Tittleworth, Esquire's Fancy-Pants Comestibles Market", which avoids either "organic" or "gourmet". Just to dispel any impression that it might be expensive.

by oboe on Dec 10, 2012 10:57 am • linkreport

Florida telegraphs his growing irrelevance. State and local govt still feel compelled to offer subsidies despite literally decades of research going back to the 60s that have suggested negligible if any benefit.

by Rich on Dec 10, 2012 11:07 am • linkreport

@Jazzy: We mentioned the decline in Metro ridership on Thursday.

@Jasper
Also on Thursday there was a link that compared prices between Yes! and Anacostia Grocery Warehouse and found they weren't that different. Now I would guess Yes! would suffer in price comparison to Giant or Safeway but I think the perception of price differences is greater than the reality. Though I'm not sure how much using "Gourmet" in the name helps that.

by Steven Yates on Dec 10, 2012 11:07 am • linkreport

The FBI wants a better building. GSA doesn't want to pay for what it would cost to upgrade the current one, so moving is the remaining option to meet the current requirements.

I think it's that the FBI needs a bigger building, perhaps larger than can be housed in their current space (even with expansion), and that the opportunity cost of office space there is well beyond what GSA has authorized federal agencies to pay for space.

So the better option is to sell the Pennsylvania space for development, and use that money to buy a much larger building outside of DC where costs are cheaper.

by ah on Dec 10, 2012 11:33 am • linkreport

Intelsat's HQ was actually a State Department facility originally, so it wouldn't be surprising to see it revert to some kind of government use.

by Phil on Dec 10, 2012 11:33 am • linkreport

@Jasper

I think the argument that people avoid it based on price is a bit of bunk. Plenty of people of lower income shop at corner stores, which are quite expensive.

I tend to agree, they likely lost business due to the fact it is perceived to be more expensive/yuppy etc.

@Van Nessy
The Intelsat building was sold to a private company. Not certain of plans, but I would love to see it torn down and rebuilt. They have a huge campus, in a terrific location. Could be put to so much better use than "Silos" with huge wasted space in the middle of each.

by Kyle-W on Dec 10, 2012 11:37 am • linkreport

Look forward to reading another article (maybe next year) as to why this rendition of Yes Organic also failed.

Organic, Gourmet or whatever you want to call it. The "name" of the store is the very last of its problems.

Wrong Store in an even worse location. No need to try to figure things out beyond that.

by HogWash on Dec 10, 2012 11:42 am • linkreport

Streetcar slogan:

You got to ride it, it's electric! (Boogie woogie woogie woogie)

by Jack Love on Dec 10, 2012 11:58 am • linkreport

How tall is the J. Edgar Hoover building? Just wondering how close the current building is to maxing out the current height restrictions for Pennsylvania Ave. I figure that the FBI building will be replaced with a building or buildings that will go right up to the height limit.

by AlanF on Dec 10, 2012 12:03 pm • linkreport

RE: Intelsat

As for too few restaurants near 4500 East-West in Bethesda, that's 101% bull*%^t. Downtown Bethesda probably has more restaurants per square mile than any neighborhood in the entire DC Area. Maybe there isn't a huge selection right at the front door, but walk a block North, South, or West and there's plenty of diverse restaurants to satisfy any individual.

As for car accessibility...First of all, who cares? It's an urban area and the building is nearly right on top of the Red Line station. There's also a huge public garage literally on the same block, not to mention underground parking options that are sure to be built.

Okay so they basically think that the Riverfront is still a ghetto. Fair point. However, the only advantages of the Tysons location over the Bethesda and Arlington locations is that its closer to Dulles, and people who like to commute to a sprawling, un-walkable, traffic-choked (even in the middle of the day), poorly planned, over-sized office park won't be disappointed.

by King Terrapin on Dec 10, 2012 12:43 pm • linkreport

Capital Riverfront is not at all "ghetto" but it is also still lacking in retail and restaurants.

by MStreetDenizen on Dec 10, 2012 12:48 pm • linkreport

@AlanF: J. Edgar Hoover is 160 feet tall.

That building doesn't fill all of its space, though. Besides the moats, only half of Hoover rises to its full height, and-- mirroring Main Justice across the street-- it has a large interior courtyard. I'd like to think that any development that replaces the Hoover building will use much more of that space, but will use it more efficiently, and will seem less massive. I suspect, however, that it will only end up being less dramatic.

As for the streetcar slogan, I would suggest "At Last!"

by Steven Harrell on Dec 10, 2012 12:53 pm • linkreport

As for car accessibility...First of all, who cares?

Intelsat and its car commuting employees care and in this instance, that's all that matters. Bethesda is simply not as highway accessible as Tysons nor is it as auto-oriented (for better or worse).

people who like to commute to a sprawling, un-walkable, traffic-choked (even in the middle of the day), poorly planned, over-sized office park won't be disappointed.

Either your description of Tysons is inaccurate or there are huge numbers of people who like what you've described. Obviously, something must explain why Tysons attracts far more companies than Bethesda.

The viewpoint that the only reason Intelsat could possibly choose Tysons over Bethesda is that they are idiots sounds like companies who think that anyone who doesn't buy their product is an idiot. Not a winning strategy.

by Falls Church on Dec 10, 2012 2:12 pm • linkreport

Tysons is close to Dulles, close to other space oriented companies in the Dulles corridor. It is located right on the beltway and on the DTR. By the time they move it will have rail transit access. Its moving in the direction of a more walkable place, even if its got a ways to go to match bethesda. And its got what I guess is the most important shopping mall in the region.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 10, 2012 2:16 pm • linkreport

@MStreetDenizen
'Capital Riverfront is not at all "ghetto" but it is also still lacking in retail and restaurants.'

I was bluntly translating their "not there yet" excuse.

@FallsChurch
"Intelsat and its car commuting employees care and in this instance, that's all that matters. Bethesda is simply not as highway accessible as Tysons nor is it as auto-oriented (for better or worse).

Either your description of Tysons is inaccurate or there are huge numbers of people who like what you've described. Obviously, something must explain why Tysons attracts far more companies than Bethesda.

The viewpoint that the only reason Intelsat could possibly choose Tysons over Bethesda is that they are idiots sounds like companies who think that anyone who doesn't buy their product is an idiot. Not a winning strategy."

Well Bethesda is definitely a huuuge step up in highway-accessibility from the present HQ in Van Ness. Plus, most employees already live in MD and DC.

I'm not saying they're total idiots. As I mentioned, close proximity to Dulles (especially for a foreign-based company) is a legitimate (albeit weak) reason to move to Tysons.

I also suspect that their original intention was to move to Tysons anyway. The Maryland move was a ploy to draw incentive packages from the state, forcing Virginia (which is well known for bending over for big business) to provide a better counter-offer. Northrop Grumman and Hilton did the same thing even though a move to Maryland made for sense, not least because their biggest competitors (Lockheed Martin and Marriott respectively) were already located in Bethesda.

by King Terrapin on Dec 10, 2012 3:23 pm • linkreport

Did Virginia even offer a better incentive package, King Terp?

by selxic on Dec 10, 2012 3:37 pm • linkreport

Once again, GGW refuses to report on information that reflects poorly on the Columbia Pike streetcar. This blog has long ignored the public tranport advocates, cyclists and affordable housing advocates who oppose the project. Now it also refuses to report on a serious conflict of interest allegation against Chris Zimmerman.

Balanced reporting/posting would make this blog...greater.

by Sad on Dec 10, 2012 4:12 pm • linkreport

Sad,

You realize that the breakfast links are user submitted right? Did you submit it? Why not post it in the comments? I'm certainly intrigued.

by drumz on Dec 10, 2012 4:27 pm • linkreport

Well Bethesda is definitely a huuuge step up in highway-accessibility from the present HQ in Van Ness. Plus, most employees already live in MD and DC.

Not really, no. Yeah, Bethesda is a little closer to 495, but not that much. Plus, with the clusterphudge around NIH, it might be just as quick to go up Connecticut from Van Ness as the crawl up Wisconsin from downtown Bethesda. The mile between the 2 roads on the Beltway can be pretty clogged up, but it doesn't add that much to a commute to/from the west.

by Fischy (Ed F.) on Dec 10, 2012 4:44 pm • linkreport

@Fischy

As someone who does the reverse commute, from Bethesda to Petworth via Connecticut, I can certainly attest to the fact that Connecticut going north in the evenings is an absolute mess. Just as bad as Wisconsin going north tbh.

by Kyle-W on Dec 10, 2012 4:57 pm • linkreport

The NYT article mentioned by Florida also shows that DC spends only 1% of budget on biz subsidies while MD spends 6% and VA 8%.

Most likely Intelsat could get more $ from VA to move there.

As payback, DC just paid $7M "moving expenses" for United Negro College Fund to move from Fairfax to DC.

Entities make a lot of money taking incentives from different competing jurisdictions every few years.

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 11, 2012 12:06 am • linkreport

@Fischy

I agree that Wisconsin between Jones Bridge Rd and Cedar Ln through the Medical Center/NIH campus is horrible in rush hour, even more so now thanks to BRAC. However, Connecticut through Chevy Chase is just as bad, especially since a lot of drivers trying to avoid the Wisconsin traffic take that route.

Distance wise, it's not even comparable. The distance between Bethesda/East-West and the Beltway is half the distance between the Beltway and Van Ness and that doesn't take into account the 10 million traffic lights along Conn. Ave in DC. Also, commuters coming from I-270 have direct access to Wisconsin. To get from I-270 to get Connecticut you have to get on the Beltway, albeit only for a short distance (which can seem pretty long in rush hour though).

by King Terrapin on Dec 12, 2012 4:21 pm • linkreport

@ selxic

Gov. McDonnell offered a $1.3 million grant which matched or bettered Maryland's offer.

by King Terrapin on Dec 12, 2012 4:24 pm • linkreport

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