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Breakfast links: Whether to build it


Photo by Raoul Pop on Flickr.
Tysons trees safe?: Fairfax's DOT has recommended dropping a highway exit ramp through Spring Branch Park in Tysons Corner. Nearby residents want to keep the forested area between their homes and the more urban Tysons. (Post)

TOD for New Carrollton?: The developer building TOD at Rhode Island Ave has announced plans for a major project at New Carrollton Metro, with 2 to 4 million square feet of office, retail, and housing on 39 acres Metro owns. (Post)

No bowling alley for Georgetown?: People living in condos above Georgetown Park Mall oppose a bowling alley and restaurant with outdoor patio, saying they fear it will create too much noise. The ANC voted to oppose the plan unless owners reach a binding agreement with the residents. (Georgetown Dish)

2013 critical for Purple Line: Rushern Baker says 2013 is "make-or-break time for the Purple Line." Maryland needs to find money to qualify for matching federal funds, but the state's Transportation Trust Fund is nearly empty. (WTOP, Ben Ross)

Silver Spring parking more pricey: Parking rates rose in Silver Spring and Bethesda. Some people say they'll now take the bus instead. That's probably good. (Gazette)

What's changed in Ward 3: Ward 3 Vision looks back at the development debates in the Connecticut and Wisconsin Avenue corridors last year, from the AU campus to Safeway, and predicts over a billion dollars in new development coming to the area.

Market answers for urbanism: Market Urbanism talks with GMU's David Schleicher about ways to help nearby residents benefit economically from new development, and whether smart growth and market urbanist adherents should be friends.

Thank lead for crime wave: More evidence suggests drops in crime since 1970 come mostly from less lead in paint, car emissions, and more. Lead removal coincided with crime's decrease, other theories don't seem to fit the facts, and lead indeed makes people more aggressive. (Mother Jones via Gothamist)

And...: Mary Cheh proposes a bill requesting President Obama put "taxation without representation" on his limo's plates. (DCist) ... Virginia considers allowing gubernatorial reelection. (WAMU) ... Metro reopens elevators at Bethesda station. (Examiner)

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Before allowing gubernatorial re-election, maybe Virginia should consider moving the gubernatorial election to even-numbered years first.

by MLD on Jan 4, 2013 9:31 am • linkreport

The ANC voted to oppose the plan unless owners reach a binding agreement with the residents.

Ah so the ANC blatantly refuses to do its job. It not the job of a representative body to defer work to those it represents.

Mary Cheh proposes a bill requesting President Obama put "taxation without representation" on his limo's plates.

Really? This is what the DC City Council waists time on after they debated the color of DCs cabs? All that while education is abysmal and unemployment still very high?

by Jasper on Jan 4, 2013 9:32 am • linkreport

Virginia considers allowing gubernatorial reelection.
From the link:
"If a governor comes up with a good idea in the second year of his term, it doesn't take much to just wait him out,"
"What we've done through consecutive governors is not been able to build up the consensus that we need in order to get long-range solutions to transportation,"

Euhm, that's a failure of the legislature to do its job fast enough. It is not the governor's job to twist the legislators arm into legislating, it's the legislation's job to pass legislation. It's the governor's job to sign and execute.

You see the same problem federally. Why is the president so involved in legislation that Congress needs to pass?

by Jasper on Jan 4, 2013 9:36 am • linkreport

Lol, at the georgetown park residents. They're living in a place being renovated of course there is noise. Also you're living in the middle of one of the busiest streets in DC.

The Market Urbanism link is very good and quite thoughtful.

by drumz on Jan 4, 2013 9:38 am • linkreport

Could the very high lead levels in water in the early naughts perhaps explain some of the increase in violent crime? I haven't read/heard much about the city considering the crime implications of all of those poor lead-poisoned children growing up...they should be adolescents now.

by Emcubed on Jan 4, 2013 9:39 am • linkreport

does "market urbanist" mean "libertarian"?

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 4, 2013 9:41 am • linkreport

"You see the same problem federally. Why is the president so involved in legislation that Congress needs to pass?"

because he is the only nationally elected figure, and has clout (and a "bully pulpit") as a result, because he has patronage and other things to trade that give him leverage in legislative negotiations, and because he is head of his political party.

This has been the case since the 1790s, when the Washington administration, via Treasury Secretary Hamilton was involved in the negotiations over the debt. It continued in the early 19th century when Madison, JQ Adams, Jackson, etc had legislative agendas.

In fact BHO has stood back from legislative negotiations rather more than most presidents, with mixed results.

The seperation of powers has never been as seperate as in a junior high civics textbook.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jan 4, 2013 9:46 am • linkreport

Also re: Tysons road

It's probably for the best thought that eastern section could use a connection to Gosnell that doesn't require getting on 7. That could help even out the distribution a bit though I'd agree that the highway exit is a bad idea.

Also the post has one of the better maps I've seen of tysons and redevelopment.

by drumz on Jan 4, 2013 9:46 am • linkreport

does "market urbanist" mean "libertarian"?

Somewhat, but not if "libertarian" means O'Toole/Kotkin/Cox. I think most of what Market Urbanism stands for is a counterpoint to the O'Toole/Kotkin/Cox brand of suburban sprawl-ism.

http://marketurbanism.com/about/

by MLD on Jan 4, 2013 9:52 am • linkreport

> does "market urbanist" mean "libertarian"?

It should, but currently does not. Most libertarian work on land use has not been market-friendly. MU is a very useful blog for this exact reason. See my link below if you're interested in the current state of libertarian land-use policy.

http://www.unitedliberty.org/articles/12163-land-use-policy-needs-to-rely-on-markets

by Michael Hamilton on Jan 4, 2013 10:01 am • linkreport

Good news for New Carrollton (and Prince George's County) with the development deal at the station. Despite what should be a bustling area (especially with Amtrak), it's a total wasteland around the station.

by Adam L on Jan 4, 2013 10:10 am • linkreport

@Adam L

Something is better than nothing, but I would like to see some site plans for this development. New Carrolton's biggest drawback is in the layout and lack of any walkable streets to connect a decent amount of stuff. It's got all the drawbacks of a suburban office park - it's Tysons Lite on the walkability side of things.

by Alex B. on Jan 4, 2013 10:15 am • linkreport

@Alex B.

Definitely want to see site plans. But at $1B, I'm guessing they've got some type of plan to deal with those issues.

by Adam L on Jan 4, 2013 10:16 am • linkreport

The Georgetown mall case is certainly an interesting approach to encouraging mixed-use development: allow the residents to veto any 'mixed' use that they don't like! That should do wonders for encouraging such development elsewhere.

I have to say, I long thought that Georgetown residents who moved next to the University and then were shocked and dismayed by the presence of students were the epitome of ridiculous. But now another group of Georgetowners has gone and proven me wrong - people who moved directly on top of a mall, adjacent to two major commercial thoroughfares, and are complaining about the possibility of noise from people actually using the commercial space below them.

Why do I get the feeling that these residents much prefer Georgetown Park in its decrepit, half-abandoned state, rather than being anything like a useful commercial space?

by Dizzy on Jan 4, 2013 10:16 am • linkreport

No doubt - and the developers involved have a great track record at such things.

The key will be in how a good walkable development impacts the other surrounding properties as they redevelop.

by Alex B. on Jan 4, 2013 10:19 am • linkreport

@Emcubed: Probably not. Lead affects the youngest children (i.e., infants and toddlers) disproportionately because that is when the nervous system is growing most. A bump in crime is 20 years behind a bump in lead exposure, after the exposed babies have grown up and are in the most energetic, and more prone to taking risks, part of their life. In terms of crime, we won't see the results from the high lead in the water for another 10 years or so.

A good place to start: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/07/AR2007070701073_2.html

by goldfish on Jan 4, 2013 10:21 am • linkreport

I do agree that New Carrolton has major issues. When visiting the Metro station by car, one has to traverse a lots of intricate roads and exits. The area is bounded by RT. 50, I95, and Rt 450. Then there are the rail tracks for both metro and Amtrak. Add more traffic and people to the mix and I don't see how walkable they can make New Carrollton. How will it connect with existing neighborhoods? Pedestrian bridges? Or will it be an island unto itself like National Harbor where you have to drive, or in this case, catch the train or bus.

by adelphi_sky on Jan 4, 2013 10:29 am • linkreport

+10 In fact BHO has stood back from legislative negotiations rather more than most presidents, with mixed results.

The seperation of powers has never been as seperate as in a junior high civics textbook.

by HogWash on Jan 4, 2013 10:43 am • linkreport

How will it connect with existing neighborhoods? Pedestrian bridges? Or will it be an island unto itself like National Harbor where you have to drive, or in this case, catch the train or bus.

In part it will be an urban island with a radius of about 1/2 mile. In part, it will connect to neighborhoods north of 450 and west of 410. 410 and 450 will become more walkable over time as New Carrollton is developed and once the purple line station at 410/450 is built. The urban area will likely never connect over the beltway and Rt. 50 borders.

by Falls Church on Jan 4, 2013 11:08 am • linkreport

In terms of crime, we won't see the results from the high lead in the water for another 10 years or so.

Perhaps, but the presence of lead in even the region's worst water is still several orders of magnitude less than what kids were exposed to during the days of leaded gasoline.

While the research also shows that pretty much *any* amount of lead exposure is terrible for young children, I don't think that we're going to see a huge bump in crime 10 years from now.

by andrew on Jan 4, 2013 11:19 am • linkreport

The Forest City group was widely assumed to be a likely bidder for the relocatIon of the MD
Dept of housing and community development. Interesting that they announce plans to proceed before that competition.

I believe that they have purchased one of the garden apartments nearest the station.

The medium term connectivity challenge for New Carton will be the two sides of the tracks. Two bridges are on the plan.

The transit district plan has some vision of connectivity accross the beltway, though at best it will be like the SE/SW freeway. New Carrollton city hall is in the part of town outside the beltway. The old Lanham Station area has lots of room for expansion on that side if and when the land inside beltway is urbanized. Here I am talking about what can happen after the 4th track is added to the Penn Line.

by JimT on Jan 4, 2013 11:46 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by [Someone impersonating C. Milloy] on Jan 4, 2013 12:34 pm • linkreport

The medium term connectivity challenge for New Carton will be the two sides of the tracks. Two bridges are on the plan.

There's also the existing ped tunnel underneath the tracks.

by Falls Church on Jan 4, 2013 12:59 pm • linkreport

The lead thing is interesting but I feel obligated to make the cliche correlation=!causation comment.

by Alan B. on Jan 4, 2013 1:36 pm • linkreport

@Jasper

The City Council is reversing the Bush administration's actions.

by Watcher on Jan 4, 2013 7:35 pm • linkreport

@andrew: Perhaps, but the presence of lead in even the region's worst water is still several orders of magnitude less than what kids were exposed to during the days of leaded gasoline.

Mr andrew, I am must say that depends on who you are talking to. There were houses testing at 300 ppb Pb (or greater; that is 20 times the EPA action level) that were using this water to make formula, pasta, and oatmeal for children under 3 years old. That is *direct* ingestion, far more efficient that breathing lead paint dust or car exhaust, in which some or most of the lead particulate are exhaled without any effect. In certain houses and schools, the lead concentration in the drinking water was so high that by EPA regs the water should have been disposed of as toxic waste.

(Incidentally, the parents that unknowingly fed their kids this water found themselves mired in astounding levels of guilt and anger. They banded together and got the senior management at WASA fired. Took about 6-7 years. Never mess with parents.)

There was at least one lawsuit in which serious harm to children in a certain house was directly attributed to lead exposure -- developmental delays, loss of IQ. This is not something to be dismissed out of hand, as the Washington Times did. This is an insidious toxin that due to the lack of obvious symptoms that people get lulled in thinking that there really is not a problem. That is what happened in the 1930s, about 10 years after lead was first introduced in gasoline, when people were first made aware of this problem.

So if you were one of those people exposed to lead-laden car exhaust in the 60s and 70s, think of how much smarter and more amiable you would be if you had not been exposed? I know that it trips me up all the time.

by goldfish on Jan 4, 2013 8:49 pm • linkreport

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