Greater Greater Washington

New Year's Eve links: Encourage cycling


Photo by jaymallinphotos on Flickr.
GW provides parking for bikes but not cars: A planned George Washington University 900-bed residence hall will have 132 parking spots for bikes but none for cars. (WBJ)

WABA seeks funds for woman riders: WABA is fundraising to encourage more women cyclists with a $4000 matching supporter. Today is the last day to donate and they are a little more than halfway to that matching goal. You can give here. (WABA, Certifried)

Brace yourself bicyclists, winter is coming: Winter weather can bring hazardous conditions but you can still bike in them as long as you stay safe by increasing your stopping distance and be aware of drivers who can't stop. (Patch)

Still not great for young black men: While the murder rate overall in DC was down, black men in their 20s had a 1 in 734 chance of being murdered this year. While that may be a record low, they are still not good odds. (R.U. Seriousing Me?)

Tops in 2012 transportation: The Post gives their top 10 transportation stories of 2012 which include Rush Plus and the L Street bike lane. Richard Layman responds and has his own list of top stories.

Not your typical day on Metro: Metro had an eventful Thursday evening and Friday morning with a woman going into labor, a train striking a deer, and a driver in a stolen car crashing into a Metrobus. All of this was in addition to the foiled bank robbery getaway. (Post)

How not to build light rail: The light rail line in San Jose has the fewest riders, relative to cost of construction and operation, of any in the country and the blame can be laid on the area's spread-out land use pattern. (San Jose Mercury-Times, Ben Ross)

Tea Party weakens: After suffering electoral defeats and seeing its political influence wane, the Tea Party will focus on narrower issues like opposing Agenda 21. (NYT)

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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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RE: The new GW dorm, seems like a slam dunk. This place has a walkscore of 98, and bikes are all you need to get anywhere on GW campus. They should not be spending money on parking, as this is well outside of the academic mission of this school.

by Kyle-W on Dec 31, 2012 9:50 am • linkreport

The reason the new GW "superdorm" has no car parking is that it's meant for freshmen and sophomores, who by GW regulations aren't allowed to have cars. That said, still good for them with all that bike parking.

by Phil on Dec 31, 2012 11:56 am • linkreport

Since the NYT is behind a paywall these days, does anyone have a quick recap of that Tea Prty/Agenda 21 article?

by Froggie on Dec 31, 2012 12:23 pm • linkreport

Do urban-setting dorms anywhere in the country actually have student parking attached? Maybe things are different than when I was in college, but even back then (at a midwestern land-grant university) if you lived in a dorm and had a car, you forked over the extra dough to put it in a super-remote storage lot.

by BO on Dec 31, 2012 12:25 pm • linkreport

I know at GMU I could have a car as a freshman but now that's not the case (or freshman have to park way way far away that requires a shuttle). The biggest change is that dorms have been replacing a lot of the surface parking lots and there are more garages now.

by drumz on Dec 31, 2012 12:50 pm • linkreport

@Froggie
I'm not sure if it was this article specifically, (though browsing the context I'm sure it is) I found a free link via a google search.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/us/politics/tea-party-its-clout-diminished-turns-to-fringe-issues.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

It doesn't really say much on how Tea Party activists are making Agenda 21 an issue 'til midway and even then it's simply about how Tea Party are using current strongholds in states like Florida to stamp down any policy that resembles it. Same old same old really, nothing new here.

by Another Andrew on Dec 31, 2012 1:13 pm • linkreport

@Froggie:

I don't think the NYT articles says that the Tea Party, such that it is, is really focused on anything at all, let alone Agenda 21.

According to the Times article, larger organizations within the Tea Party faction (like Freedomworks) are currently in disarray, and many moderate Americans don't currently support the Tea Party in significant numbers. Either because of these two developments, or despite them, "grass-roots leaders" and "activists" are talking about Agenda 21 (among other things), and seemingly ignoring the fiscal cliff. Meanwhile, at least some mainstream Republicans have begun to criticize these Tea Party elements (who, in truth, have never really changed) as "crazy, crazy" purveyors of "'tinfoil hat' issues."

Here's the Agenda 21 reference from the article:

"Grass-roots leaders said this month that after losing any chance of repealing the national health care law, they would press states to “nullify” or ignore it. They also plan to focus on a two-decade-old United Nations resolution that they call a plot against property rights, and on “fraud” by local election boards that, some believe, let the Democrats steal the November vote."

by Steven Harrell on Dec 31, 2012 2:28 pm • linkreport

@Another Andrew

You're right, that's the same article.

The Times' paywall is a useless mess. I have a paid subscription but always seem to have trouble with the dang paywall, yet it's apparently really easy to get around the thing if you don't want to pay.

by Steven Harrell on Dec 31, 2012 2:38 pm • linkreport

BO:

One of American University's most recent residence halls (Centennial) has a student parking garage attached to it (at least students could get parking there when I went there). Though it's setting is more suburban than GW.

by Steven Yates on Dec 31, 2012 3:55 pm • linkreport

Even going to college in an area where a car was not just a nice luxury for rich kids (you could *kind* of get away without one, but only kind of and only if you had parents or friends who were willing to retrieve you/take you for visits and holidays), parking was scarce. Just to put it in perspective, we had a Greyhound contractor that serviced the city, but it would have taken me *14* hours and cost over $100 to get to my hometown, a decent-size city a 2.5 hour drive away; or I could have gotten to a grocery store, between 8 AM and 6 PM WEEKDAYS ONLY, on the bus, but it only ran 4x per day, so I'd have to dedicate over 3 hours to do it round-trip. Freshmen were not allowed to have cars on campus, and even sophomores had some trouble renting an expensive spot from the university (you had about a 50/50 chance of getting a spot, and it was likely to be pretty far away from your dorm). With numerous bus lines, airports, and public transit/non-car transit options within and accessible to the city here, plus convenient shopping necessities, not spending money and wasting space on parking spots seems like a no-brainer. But I agree, kudos on the bike parking. Sends a message, at least.

by Ms. D on Dec 31, 2012 4:32 pm • linkreport

Re Wash Post Top 10 Trans portion stories for 2012: I love the photo of the complicated exit mess looking down I-495 created by the HOT lanes, Jones Branch drive, the Dulles Access and Toll roads. Not quite the mixing bowl, but close.

I think the fight over and the agreement on the extension of the Silver Line to Dulles & Loudoun should have been a top 10 pick by the Post. That and the related flap over the MWAA board were bigger regional stories than the Apple iOS6 vs Google map story which will be ancient history in a year or two.

Now that the I-496 Express lanes have been open for over a month, any word as to whether the toll revenue is meeting initial projections? My bold prediction for a top 10 2013 story, although the company running the Express lanes might be able to gloss over actual toll revenues for a couple of years, is underperforming toll revenue for the Express Lanes. Which will become a serious problem in making debt payments a year or two after that.

by AlanF on Dec 31, 2012 4:37 pm • linkreport

Froggie, you get 10 free articles a month. More, if you clear your cookies on a regular basis.

by Frank IBC on Dec 31, 2012 10:54 pm • linkreport

The VTA light rail's real problem is that it is overbuilt and laid out poorly.

The First Street spine works pretty well and has pretty decent ridership (in spite of pretty low speeds and signal priority that doesn't seem to work very well.) The development patterns are pretty urban and densifying. The suburban office park land towards the end of the line has some office buildings that are aging and I believe getting replaced with mixed use apartments.

Some of the inner segments of the branches also have OK ridership. The Tasman line is the most egregious offender, but the central segment of that line does OK enough (approx. Great Mall to Santa Clara Convention Center.)

by orulz on Jan 1, 2013 8:38 am • linkreport

Off topic now, but should be in the links tomorrow:

Sec. 203 of the Senate compromise on the fiscal cliff provides that the parity for employer-provided mass transit benefits and parking benefits is extended through the end of 2013 (from the end of 2011).

See p. 26 of http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/01/01/american.taxpayer.relief.act.pdf

by rock_n_rent on Jan 1, 2013 2:29 pm • linkreport

There are multiple ways around the NYT paywall

The legit way: Copy article title into google, then enter article that way.

Less legit ways: Clear your cookies, or even easier, delete the part at the end of the url that adds that paywall.

by JJJJJ on Jan 1, 2013 7:06 pm • linkreport

The SJ Lightroom article is mistaken. A few years ago local politicians, influential community brokers and developers were accused of prioritizing putting stops at low income and far flung locations (for politicsl votes and developer profit) at the expense of data driven locations that would taken the most cars off the road and moved the largest number of people. It's a shame because it accurately reflects bus routing decisions in this region.

Having lived there for 2 years I can definitely say the system feels like one designed without much commuter thought. It serves the major business centers very poorly in a region, like ours, favorably disposed to public transportation.

by Name on Jan 2, 2013 4:55 am • linkreport

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