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Christmas Eve links: Coal

Photo by dissolved on Flickr.
Boathouse suddenly kicked out: The Park Service abruptly canceled the lease for Jack's Boathouse in Georgetown, which has rented boats since 1945. Jack's has to close by January 31, but NPS has publicly given no reasons. (Georgetowner)

MoCo competing for FBI: Montgomery County is making a play for a new FBI headquarters. The move surprised statewide officials who had been hoping Marylanders would unify to push for a Prince George's Metro site. That county has only 3.9% of leased federal office space but 25% of federal workers. (Post)

No CaBi at the Pentagon: Capital Bikeshare stations near the Pentagon would be a great way to connect the Rosslyn-Ballston and south Arlington clusters, but the Pentagon isn't open to it. Arlington is considering a station at the airport. (TheWashCycle)

More express: WMATA will expand express bus service with more hours for the S9 on 16th Street and Maryland's first MetroExtra route on New Hampshire Avenue. (Post)

No curbs for Alexandria street: Alexandria wants to build a "shared street" (or "woonerf"), where pedestrians and cyclists have equal priority to cars, in its waterfront development. Some residents who've never seen one think it's a bad idea. (WAMU)

Parking garages go mobile: Some commercial parking garages are using smartphone apps to help customers find garages with space for short-term parking needs and at off-peak times. Some new garages will also allow paying by phone. (Post)

Emissions kill: Thanks mainly to rising car ownership in China and India, air pollution is one of the fastest-growing causes of death in the world. (Motherboard)

A few cars have big impact: A study of Boston and San Francisco traffic showed that getting as few as 100 cars from specific neighborhoods off the road could dramatically reduce commute times. (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.  


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The Montgomery County bid for the FBI HQ is a little surprising, especially since there's no obvious location for it (near a Metro station anyway). Greenbelt station in Prince George's is nearly perfect, with plenty of available land and connections to MARC, Metro, I-495, I-95, and the B-W Parkway practically adjacent. Either way I hope Maryland gets it, which is highly likely now thanks to Sen. Mikulski being chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

That 3.9% figure seems a little questionable. The vast majority of federal office space outside of DC is in Maryland (excluding military installations like the Pentagon, Andrews AFB, and Fort Belvoir). The Greenbelt/College Park area alone is already home to NASA, the National Archives, and Dept. of Ag.

by King Terrapin on Dec 24, 2012 11:56 am • linkreport

From my signature: "This is the only facility I am aware of that is readily accessible to the public for access to the urban stretches of the Potomac. It is a wonderful amenity to Georgetown for locals and tourists alike. With the recent completion of the waterfront park, there is a fun social aspect to the waves & greetings shared between those on land and those floating by on water. Losing this long-lasting family-owned business will be a great impact to all of us. The Potomac MUST remain accessible to everyone; not just the few."

by Bossi on Dec 24, 2012 1:39 pm • linkreport

In terms of outreach instead of planners comparing a woonerf to its examples in Europe just use examples here.

A. Suburban streets that currently don't have curbs or sidewalks
B. a grocery store. People have carts and there is only courtesy to determine right of way between carts and people and so on.

by Drumz on Dec 24, 2012 4:17 pm • linkreport

The Park Service also kicked out the National Yule Log.

Why? That was a wonderful part of the National Christmas Tree site.

by Frank IBC on Dec 24, 2012 4:30 pm • linkreport

The fact that Prince George's County was surprised that Montgomery County would express an interest in the FBI HQ makes it clear that PG has not done its homework on this project, and should prompt questions as to whether they are truly interested in it. There is no reason for the other players in the state and the region to simply let this go to Pr. George's because of some poorly defined fairness issues; to assume that they would is absurd. Pr. George's needs to be able to win this project on the merits of site and amenities. If it can only win by convincing the others to stay out, that also needs to be negotiated in advance. No one owes Pr George's anything; they better start working a lot harder to win this competition.

by Anon20748 on Dec 24, 2012 4:54 pm • linkreport

@King Terrapin

The GSA rents gobs of office space all over NoVa, particularly for, erm, "confidential" uses. I think there is far more federal office space in NoVa than suburban MD. Also, Andrews is in Maryland...

The Jack's Boathouse thing is strange. Either it has something to do with the ongoing Boathouse Zone study, although I don't understand how, or else there's something else going on...

by Dizzy on Dec 24, 2012 6:03 pm • linkreport


I believe that most of the (clandestine) federal space is NoVa (especially in Crystal City) is for Pentagon/DoD support staff and includes agencies like DARPA. I did forget about the Patent Office in Alexandria though, which is a huge employer.

As for Andrews, I was listing military bases in both MD and NoVA.


I think everyone was surprised by Montgomery's (late) entrance. PGC and Fairfax have really been the only jurisdictions to show interest. PGC is also still hurting from losing out to MoCo for the HHS headquarters. Alexandria (for some reason) is considering a bid for the FBI hq as well, which would probably cause a similar reaction from Fairfax officials.

As far as I see it, only Prince George's and Fairfax stand a chance at winning the bid. Both Greenbelt and Springfield (to a lesser extent) are excellent locations. Hopefully the GSA selects the site next year.

by King Terrapin on Dec 24, 2012 6:40 pm • linkreport

King terrapin, all of the agencies you listed in PG county actually have their headquarters and the majority of their employees elsewhere. There is no major agency that's headquarters is in PG, every other jurisdiction has a couple.

by nathaniel on Dec 24, 2012 9:32 pm • linkreport

It's great that WMATA is expanding the S9 service period, but they're not doing anything for bus service after 9:30 on 16th which is a huge problem.

by MLD on Dec 24, 2012 10:37 pm • linkreport

census bureau is HQ in PG. @ suitland

by agencymapper on Dec 25, 2012 12:28 am • linkreport

I misread the first headline and thought, "Not the Crew Club!!"

by LHomonacionale on Dec 25, 2012 12:57 am • linkreport

@nathaniel pointed out As agencymapper pointed out the Census Bureau is headquartered in Suitland.

Also, the IRS has 5,000 employees in New Carrrollton. NASA's Goddard Flight Center in Greenbelt is also home to more than half of the agencies 18,000 employees.

by King Terrapin on Dec 25, 2012 2:13 am • linkreport

It would be a stretch, but there's empty property and lots of space deveoted to an access road near Shady Grove that could be redeveloped for the FBI. I think it's meant for County service facilities, but only part of the land seems ocuoied. Most likely, the FBI will want a secure space that won't have much interaction with its surroundsings. A location like that would be perfect yet Metro accessible. With a decent purchase price, the County could relocate their facilities elsewhere.

by Rich on Dec 25, 2012 2:48 pm • linkreport

That's too bad about Jack's boathouse. No more Canoe happy hour!

by Thayer-D on Dec 25, 2012 8:33 pm • linkreport

If we are still talking about the 3.9% figure, the source article said that PG Co has 3.9;% of the leased federal office space. That sounds believable since USDA, NASA, Andrews, etc. are on land owned by the government.

Merry Christmas!

by Jim Titus on Dec 25, 2012 8:53 pm • linkreport

The complaints about the woonerf proposal in Old Town come as absolutely no surprise. The two quoted in the WAMU piece are reliable leads in the regular cast of characters that always shows up to any Alexandria public meeting or workshop. It usually doesn't matter what plan or topic is at hand, they will oppose or criticize it, especially if the idea originates from city staff.

by spookiness on Dec 25, 2012 10:42 pm • linkreport

That traffic study is interesting. getting those 100 drivers onto sharing or alternative transport seems feasible.

by SJE on Dec 26, 2012 12:09 pm • linkreport

@ Rich

The GSA requires the location of the FBI to be less than two miles from a metro station and I believe it mentioned 495. Which means locations such as Shady Grove wouldn't be a consideration.

by adelphi_sky on Dec 28, 2012 11:03 am • linkreport

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