Greater Greater Washington


Breakfast links: Share the success

Photo by ep_jhu on Flickr.
How CaBi went from dream to hit: Capital Bikeshare is such a success, but once it was just a dream until DDOT and Arlington officials made it happen. But before the big success, there was SmartBike. (Slate)

CaBi still tops, for now: Capital Bikeshare still tops the list of largest US bike sharing systems as New York and Chicago saw delays. 10 small new systems opened in 2012. (BeyondDC)

Where's the crashiest: DDOT released a list of the 10 intersections with the most bicycle crashes. Number 1 is 16th, U, and New Hampshire NW. (WashCycle)

WABA looks to close gender gap: WABA raised $11,000 to encourage women to bike. The group plans to use that money for dinners and group rides that will hopefully allay some fears about bicycle safety and cost. (Examiner)

Skyland rolling, now with less parking: The Skyland Town Center development will get a Walmart and apartments in 2016. An underground parking lot was removed, leaving the site with 1,400 above-ground spaces. (Post)

Damascus dry no more: Damascus, Maryland has banned the sale of alcohol for 132 years, but a pizzeria will soon serve beer and wine. Some residents lament losing something that made the town different from others. (Post)

Education bombshells: Were teachers cheating on students' standardized tests? (Post) ... Some parents say school closings will push them to charter schools. (Examiner) ... Charter schools expel far more students than traditional schools (Post).

How divided is DC on income?: Mapping tools let you see how concentrated is a city's poverty. DC looks quite divided, though not as badly as Philadelphia. 16th Street forms a stark demarcation line. (City Paper)

What's up in 2013 transportation: The Post's top transportation projects to watch in 2013 include the Silver Line, streetcars, Capital Bikeshare, and 495 Express Lane buses, as well as highway projects like the ICC and I-66 widening.

And...: One pretty neat infographic shows Boston Green Line ridership as length of station tick marks. (Transit Maps) ... Many New York apartment buildings are offering free shuttle service to subway stops as an amenity. (NYT) ... See a picture of workers installing a streetcar switch at the testing area in Anacostia.

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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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Many New York apartment buildings are offering free shuttle service to subway stops as an amenity.

Which is terribly inefficient and undercuts regular transit. Why don't those apartments just lobby or sponsor a stop on the regular bus system in front of their building and work with transit authorities to get a bus from their apartment to metro? More buses will ride, and more people can be served.

by Jasper on Jan 7, 2013 9:05 am • linkreport

How divided income is through out the city is one of the best reasons to allow ADU's. If we recognize the liabilities this kind of division creates in our larger community, why not use zoning to allow for a greater income mix with-in neighborhoods? We need to see eachother to know eachother, despite how "connected" technology makes us.

by Thayer-D on Jan 7, 2013 9:30 am • linkreport

Very cool picture showing the streetcar switch installation. Anyone know what will be filled in? Ballast (gravel)? Concrete? soil and grass? (I can dream, right?)

by Desire on Jan 7, 2013 9:47 am • linkreport

I looked up that apartment in particular and its a shorter distance to a subway stop (no idea if its express or not) than the walk to mine is.

To quibble with Jasper I think the presence of these shuttles do show the desire for more express bus transit in addition to local service. That was a huge help when at GMU they added a direct shuttle to the metro in addition to the regular CUE bus service. There's got to be a way to add that to other communities as well.

Re: Damascus
Good lord, and if I ever complain about "transients" in my neighborhood (which means they've lived here less than I have) please make me be the one who has to move out and away.

by drumz on Jan 7, 2013 9:47 am • linkreport

RE: This specific shuttle service in NYC

I don't really think it's cannibalizing or undercutting current transit service. Buses are slow enough in Manhattan and subway service common enough that they don't really work as feeder services, especially not over 3 blocks.

by MLD on Jan 7, 2013 10:04 am • linkreport


The tracks along the exclusive right of way in Anacostia are imbedded in concrete.

by Sand Box John on Jan 7, 2013 10:04 am • linkreport

The intersection at 16th and U has been much worse ever since the left-turn light was installed from westbound traffic on U Street. Because the light starts at the beginning of the green cycle instead of the end, it encourages drivers to blow through the intersection before opposing traffic starts to go but often paying little attention to pedestrians already in the crosswalk.

by Adam L on Jan 7, 2013 10:14 am • linkreport

If you think the private shuttles in NYC are bad, you should go take a look at the massive private bus networks in SFO and Seattle.

Some estimates show that SFO's private shuttle buses are beginning to rival the size of the public transportation network.

by andrew on Jan 7, 2013 10:25 am • linkreport

Another good way to tell when the images were taken is to open the Google Earth application, click on the "Show Historical Imagery" button, and check the dates on the slider that appears.

by Ron on Jan 7, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport


What's interesting is that in both the case of NY and SF, the shuttles are filling a gap in the transit service where there is plenty of demand, but no supply. In NY, the shuttles mentioned over by East Harlem will go away once the 2nd Ave Subway comes in.

In SF, the problem is unfortunately a lot more complicated, with no obvious solution. A lot of people want to live in the city, while many of the Silicon Valley jobs are 40+ miles away. The job site campuses were built for cars only, far from the caltrain stops, making public transportation to these locations very impractical. To make matters worse, the caltrain stops in SF itself are also poorly located.

by alex on Jan 7, 2013 10:53 am • linkreport

Those census-tract incomes notoriously lag. And because many business decisions re: retail are made from those tables many businesses won't go into neighborhoods that have in fact already become higher income.

example: Dupont/Logan is still low-to-moderate income.

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 7, 2013 11:07 am • linkreport

As I've said elsewhere, the problem with that census tract map is a modifiable area unit problem.

In other words, it's based on artificial lines, so it's not actually that instructive. Draw the tract lines one block further over and you'd say 15th or 14th streets are the dividing line.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Jan 7, 2013 1:51 pm • linkreport

@ drumz: the presence of these shuttles do show the desire for more express bus transit in addition to local service.

What is shows is that many people are uncomfortable in regular transit, while comfortable in their own private transit because, well, fill in the prejudices.

If express service is required, I bet transit agencies are willing to talk about that. But even that should just be part of the regular system.

Simply put: Why does Georgetown U run its own Dupont Shuttle in stead of sponsoring WMATA to let the G2 run more often, with some express buses throughout the day, and around rush hour a lot of express buses? As the G2 goes to Howard, Howard could join the fun and get express service on their end of the line. Everybody wins! Including the neighborhoods, because they get rid of all the so-hated private shuttles. [Or they have to admit they're just against everything, which is fine too].

by Jasper on Jan 7, 2013 4:22 pm • linkreport


All it shows is that in this case there is a specific need (door-to-door service from the apartment building to the train station) that is not served by existing transit. Take a look at an MTA bus map - there is no bus route that goes by this building. Apparently some people do not feel comfortable walking through the neighborhood so the building has provided this service. It no doubt costs less than having the MTA provide the same thing.

Simply put: Why does Georgetown U run its own Dupont Shuttle in stead of sponsoring WMATA...

Because they can get what they need (service from campus to the Metro) at a MUCH lower cost than WMATA can provide service. And it's hardly private, pretty much anybody can hop on the GUTS bus.

by MLD on Jan 7, 2013 4:32 pm • linkreport

"Which is terribly inefficient and undercuts regular transit. Why don't those apartments just lobby or sponsor a stop on the regular bus system in front of their building and work with transit authorities to get a bus from their apartment to metro?"

The editorial line of this blog hates that too

by Kolohe on Jan 7, 2013 6:25 pm • linkreport

Kolohe: There is no "editorial line," as different people have different views on many issues, but as the one who wrote that article, I can say the issue wasn't that National Harbor sponsored a bus, it's that there was a bus that went through neighborhoods where their employees worked, yet NH lobbied PG to move the bus to the freeway so visitors wouldn't have to go there, and the county is paying for the bus rather than NH.

Jasper is suggesting the building work with the MTA to get an existing bus, one that stops other places besides just this building, to go to the building. That would be fine and equivalent to the original NH1 bus.

The analogue to the NH case is if they asked the MTA for a bus, the MTA extended a bus that also stops at some other nearby blocks, and then the building management lobbied the MTA to reroute the bus so that it only stopped at that building and the subway, nowhere else, yet the public kept paying for the bus.

by David Alpert on Jan 7, 2013 6:31 pm • linkreport

^^^Yeah, What David said ^^^

by Jasper on Jan 8, 2013 9:29 am • linkreport

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