The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Breakfast links: Alternatives

Photo by msspider66 on Flickr.
The other approach to the gas tax: While Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell wants to eliminate the gas tax, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley wants to raise it to help fund $700 million in transportation. (WBJ)

Yet another way to fund transit: Massachusetts' former transportation secretary proposes a tax on parking spaces to fund transportation projects like public transit and improvements to bike and pedestrian facilities. (Governing, jnb)

Traffic and pedestrian deaths hit new low: DC saw the fewest pedestrian and traffic deaths last year since such data was initially recorded over 80 years ago. (Examiner)

Rents go down?: Rents in the DC area for high-end new apartment buildings are now dropping in certain areas like NoMa and Upper Northwest as increasing supply catches up with demand. (UrbanTurf)

Up in the sky, it's a Purple Line station!: As to not interfere with MARC tracks below, the MTA wants to build one proposed Purple Line stop 80 feet in the air and encase it in a tube to shield riders waiting for the next train from wind. (Examiner)

The future of car sharing: While Zipcar's acquisition by Avis could let Zipcar get back to its innovating roots, do new, small scale peer-to peer services represent a threat to the traditional, larger car sharing companies? (Next City)

Where to grow: Regional planners have identified 139 "activity centers" mainly around Metro stations where job and housing growth should be concentrated. (WAMU)

Parking plugs Pgh project: Developers want to renovate a historic old Pittsburgh building, but it has no off-street parking, and the zoning code requires it. There's plenty of parking nearby, and lots of transit and bicycling. (Post-Gazette)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  


Add a comment »

Conservatives in MD made what I thought was a fair comment on the radio yesterday that placing the burden of mass transit projects in the DC area on the entire state is somewhat unfair via the gas tax method.

They suggessted raising the gas tax in just the DC region since they would benifit form the purple line, or in the baltimore reagion for the red line.

by Matt R on Jan 10, 2013 9:02 am • linkreport

Sounds fine to me, as long as none of the tax revenue generated in the Metro area makes it out to Frostburg or Grantsville.

by Col. Brentwood on Jan 10, 2013 9:16 am • linkreport

@Matt R

That is not how it works. The state is one. The state needs to build the Purple Line, and the Red Line. As the Purple Line and Red Line lead to increased revenues, are those monies going to be lockboxed to just MoCo, PG, and Baltimore County?

In addition, is there nothing unfunded in the more rural parts of MD? Is the entire 800 million dollar extra raised going to MoCo, PG, and Baltimore County? I HIGHLY doubt it. Certainly these other counties will see additional spending as a result.

That argument is just bunk, much like the anti-gambling "the money won't go to schools!" and is simply what they see as going to be the most effective to turn their constituents against any sort of tax increase. Here is hoping it fails this time.

by Kyle-W on Jan 10, 2013 9:21 am • linkreport

Bringing this back,

Sure, the states as they are today are kind of arbitrary and disconnected in terms of different regions but its already much more expensive to live in Montgomery vs. Garrett county (including higher gas prices).

by drumz on Jan 10, 2013 9:29 am • linkreport

Except that the arguement by conservatives is that gas tax should be spent on road related improvements since drivers are the one who are paying it. They were not aginist the money being spent in the dc area just that they were using it on mass transit

I just wanted to play devil's advocate on the issue since it is a fair comment.

by Matt R on Jan 10, 2013 9:34 am • linkreport

It's a fair comment but we have a fair answer. People riding the purple and red lines benefit road users by not driving when they're on the trains.

Transportation is a network and has network effects. Moreover the red and purple lines aren't the whole of what would be paid for with this.

by drumz on Jan 10, 2013 9:43 am • linkreport

Grantsville could use a traffic light.

(I kid)

by Andrew on Jan 10, 2013 9:43 am • linkreport

If the O'Malley Administration is serious it will soon produce a statewide list of proposed transportation improvements with a geographical distribution roughly comparable to the proposed gas tax revenues.

It's obvious that PG, MoCo, and City of Baltimore benefit from the planned rail lines, Charles Co from the Nice Bridge, and planned widening of I-95 benefits Baltimore and Harford Counties. The benefits to others needs to be made explicit.

I hope that the early reports of a penny per gallon are wrong and that he really has in mind a 1% sales tax.

by JimT on Jan 10, 2013 10:05 am • linkreport

UrbanTurf-The rents article is way mis-headlined. The headline says rents "drop" but the story is that they weren't rising quite as fast in 2012 as 2011. The quarterly 1% drops in NoMa and NW are probably blips since they followed previous quarter 14% increases there.

NextCity- Evidently Philly doesn't have car2go which has become more revolutionary in major US and European cities. I'd imagine Avis's ZipCar buy will make it another Hertz-On-Demand. Nothing to see there.

The story does discuss Peer-to-Peer sharing, which would be wonderful if laws and insurance could make it safe. We need to check how SF does it so well.

The stat that each shared car replaces 9 to 13 personal cars is why we should be doing everything possible to encourage car sharing.

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 10, 2013 10:14 am • linkreport


Rents did decrease in two areas - NOMA one of the "hottest". yes, 4thqtr 2012 looks different from 3rd qtr 2012 there - but weren't a couple of new rental buildings (archstone and trilogy?) completed in NoMa in qtr4?

Delta is now forecasting a region wide decrease in rents in 2013, based on the amount of product in pipeline, IIUC.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jan 10, 2013 10:27 am • linkreport

Conservatives in MD made what I thought was a fair comment on the radio yesterday that placing the burden of mass transit projects in the DC area on the entire state is somewhat unfair via the gas tax method.

Suburban MD already subsidizes the rest of the state. If this tax decreases this cross subsidy by a tad, seems fair.

by Falls Church on Jan 10, 2013 10:44 am • linkreport

With regards to the MD gas tax, I wondered how how much revenue an increase in the excise tax would generate. Found this useful FY2011 annual report on fuel taxes ( from the state.

The MD gasoline excise tax of 23.5 cents per gallon generated $626 million in revenue. The Special Fuel tax (diesel, kerosene, biodiesel) of 24.25 cents per gallon generated $114 million. So a 1 cent increase in the gax excise tax would generate around $27 million in 1 year. How much additional annual funding does MD need to pay for the road maintenance & upgrade and transit projects?

If the excise tax on both gas and special fuels were increased by 10 cents, it would generate around $317 million per year. Useful, but it does not go that far when spread across the state for road and transit projects.

by AlanF on Jan 10, 2013 11:31 am • linkreport

Like JimT, I really hope the reports are wrong and it is a 1% sales tax, rather than a 1 penny increase. A sales tax increase to fund transportation is a novel idea. A 1 penny gas tax increase would be a drop in the huge bucket of capital and system preservation needs.

by Murn on Jan 10, 2013 2:45 pm • linkreport

How much did rents decrease maybe a few hundred dollars; every apartments Downtown DC and in NOMA is still over $2000 unless you want a studio

by kk on Jan 11, 2013 10:51 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

You can use some HTML, like <blockquote>quoting another comment</blockquote>, <i>italics</i>, and <a href="http://url_here">hyperlinks</a>. More here.

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.


Support Us