Breakfast links: Roadblocks and mental blocks
Room and Board not on board: Room and Board's financing fell through to buy the vacant commercial building at 14th and T. In December, an exciting proposal by Tryst, Diner, and Open City owner Constantine Stavropoulous to share the building among a diner, comedy club, yoga studio and dance company lost out to Room and Board. Will Stavropoulous be able to resurrect his original plan and bring more food and arts to 14th Street? (Tip: Scott G.)
Brown dreams of a DC covered in parking lots: New at-large Councilmember Michael Brown told the Kalorama Citizens' Association he wants to use public money to build municipal parking like Montgomery County's, the Current reports. Why is DC's newest member of the WMATA board eager to spend public money to make DC even more car-centric? As we learned from my interview with Brown before the election, Brown's heart is in the right place on transit, but he doesn't understand the relationship between subsidizing parking and discouraging transit use. Maybe that's because he can't remember the last time he rode Metro? (Tip: Reid.)
Would it have been the iPod wing? The U.S. Commission on Fine Arts has rejected a glass-box addition to the historic Mount Pleasant library. Anti-preservation Marc Fisher calls opponents the "taste police". What do you think?
Dueling Compact bills both pass: The Virginia legislature has passed both versions of the WMATA compact amendments, the "you get the house anyway" version and the "you get it as long as you pay for it" version matching DC's. Governor Kaine could sign Maryland Delegate Anna Sol Gutierrez (D-Mongtomery) has introduced the latter version in the Maryland House; the no-strings version is also in play there. All three jurisdictions have to pass the same one for anything to take effect.
How about some transit, PG? The Post's Get There is enthusiastic about Maryland's plans to widen MD-5 (Branch Avenue) south of the Beltway. It's too bad they doesn't recognize the problems in Prince George's headlong rush to sprawl. However, the Post does recommend toll or HOT lanes with transit. That's a step.
How about some transit, eastern shore? Maryland is thinking about adding a third span to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, since so many people drive across it in summer. BeyondDC points out that if so many people are driving from DC to Ocean City, Route 50 BRT could move them all in much less space and much lower cost.
Why no Brookland deck: Richard Layman explains why decking over the railroad tracks around Brookland, as some neighbors want, is really not feasible.
Whither dead big boxes? Infrastructurist looks at reuse opportunities for empty big-box retail sites. Over in Brookland, residents have been discussing possibilities for the empty National Wholesale Liquidators store, the central anchor of a very suburban strip mall on Rhode Island Avenue.
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