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Photo by megabeth on Flickr.
New WH CoS not "allowed" to bike?: President Obama says his new chief of staff, Denis McDonough, would probably not be allowed to keep biking to work. (USA Today) ... The League of American Bicyclists lists the reasons to keep letting Denis bike.

Legalize cohabitation in VA: The Virginia Senate might repeal the state's ban on cohabitation by unmarried couples. The law hasn't been enforced, of course, but was used to threaten a Norfolk daycare provider in 1990. (Post)

VA reps don't want tolls: 10 Virginia delegates from both parties wrote a letter opposing plans to add tolls on I-95, starting at the North Carolina border. John Cox (R-Ashland) says the gas tax is a better way to raise money. (Potomac Local)

Passengers stuck on train: 44 passengers got stuck on a disabled Metro train for 2 hours when it broke down between Cheverly and New Carrollton, apparently due to cracks in the rail that come from the cold. (Post)

Add a signal at 16th and Colesville: The dangerous and messy traffic circle at 16th and Colesville ought to have a traffic signal for Colesville Road drivers, and DC and Maryland support it, but coordination problems have stalled it. (Post)

Hannity discovers old overgeneralizations: In a special, Sean Hannity attacks DC with most of the same tired half-truths as in that recent NYT magazine article, like confusing the District with the region or conflating defense workers and other government workers. Hannity even suggests DC should have more social services. (DCist)

Chicago will do BRT: Chicago plans to convert car lanes to BRT on a major avenue. Can Montgomery County, or DC, muster the fortitude to do the same? (wbez, Ben Ross)

And...: The Cafritz project in Riverdale Park is officially on hold. (Diamondback) ... Might CFO Gandhi not be around much longer? (Examiner) ... 17th St NE will get 26 solar-powered townhouses. (UrbanTurf) ... DC has a lot of green roofs. (WAMU)

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David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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People stuck on a train for two hours? Aren't people supposed to be able to evacuate and walk to a station if something goes wrong for that long?

by MLD on Jan 29, 2013 9:11 am • linkreport

Is it just me or is it not apparent that the president was being facetious about the new COS biking?

Anyway, if we're going to toll 95 why not toll it where traffic is heaviest? At the Wilson and Legion bridge.

by drumz on Jan 29, 2013 9:17 am • linkreport

I was assuming the COS gets a security detail or at least some secret service oversight so maybe he can't bike.

by Alan B. on Jan 29, 2013 9:26 am • linkreport

It just wouldn't be DC if there wasn't a dangerous traffic "circle" at 16th/Colesville/Eastern. All of the DC traffic circles, except for the grade separated ones downtown, are dangerous. DC/MD drivers fly through them aggressively and confused tourists/VA drivers make stupid, unpredictable maneuvers.

Crazy traffic patterns, including traffic circles and other things like light rail lines, make driving in Northern cities like DC, Baltimore, Boston, or NY..."interesting."

by K Street on Jan 29, 2013 9:37 am • linkreport

Good. Because that traffic circle at 16th/Colesville is absolutely awful. What a horrible road design that is.

by Justin..... on Jan 29, 2013 9:37 am • linkreport

Secret Service has bike officers--they use them to patrol the WH perimeter.

by Crickey7 on Jan 29, 2013 9:48 am • linkreport

Best answer for 16th and Colesville is probably two separate right angle intersections with traffic lights, one for Colesville Road, and one for Eastern Av
enue and North Portal, pushed about 60 feet further into the District.

by patrickj on Jan 29, 2013 9:52 am • linkreport

Other Cabinet officials have been able to bike to/from work with their security details, so any argument based on security is pure bull.

by Moose on Jan 29, 2013 10:16 am • linkreport

The Chief of Staff isn't allowed to bike for the same reason the President isn't allowed to fly commercial.

Are we really hung up over this? The Chief of Staff is nearly as valuable a kidnapping / target as the President and more so than cabinet members.

by DCr on Jan 29, 2013 10:17 am • linkreport

CoS: It may have to do with the person instead of the job title.

Denis McDonough: National Security Council's head of Strategic Communication.He also served as National Security Council Chief of Staff. McDonough was seen in photos of the White House situation room taken during the monitoring of the SEAL operation in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

by RJ on Jan 29, 2013 10:48 am • linkreport

EU building half-million standardized EV car charging stations:

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/28/europes-big-bet-on-evs-and-hybrids/?src=recg

by Tom Coumaris on Jan 29, 2013 10:49 am • linkreport

People stuck on a train for two hours? Aren't people supposed to be able to evacuate and walk to a station if something goes wrong for that long?

I'm wondering this too. It seems like one would follow those evacuation procedures printed and posted in every train. As I recall, there is a walkway alongside the track to allow passengers to evacuate in case of emergency. I think after about a half hour of waiting in a disabled train, I'd probably consider evacuation as a viable option.

by Scoot on Jan 29, 2013 11:11 am • linkreport

Also that story about the stuck passengers just shows the non-questioning attitude of the Post when it comes to WMATA. It took an HOUR for them to send a rescue train - given the two hours on the train I'm assuming it took an hour for the rescue train to just leave for the incident. And no questions about WHY it might take that long, or WHY this was the best course of action. Just reporting whatever the WMATA press office says.

by MLD on Jan 29, 2013 11:32 am • linkreport

Chevy Chase Circle is a "circle".

16th & Colesville is a Y-intersection with some landscaping in the middle.

Seriously, I can't believe that there is still no light there.

by Frank IBC on Jan 29, 2013 11:33 am • linkreport

Legalize cohabitation in VA

Welcome to the 20th century VA!
Are those sodomy laws still on the books?

10 Virginia delegates from both parties wrote a letter opposing plans to add tolls on I-95, starting at the North Carolina border. John Cox (R-Ashland) says the gas tax is a better way to raise money.

I assume John Cox is working hard to get a gas tax increase passed the the legislature? Or is he cheaply talking about the federal gas tax, so he won't have to vote for a tax increase?

The dangerous and messy traffic circle at 16th and Colesville is not a proper traffic circle. In stead of advocating for a traffic light, which creates traffic, why not advocate to make it into a real traffic circle?

by Jasper on Jan 29, 2013 11:53 am • linkreport

drumz, I think maybe he was. But the League is being a little bit facetious with making this an issue. It's a good opportunity for publicity. There's no actual outrage.

by David C on Jan 29, 2013 1:07 pm • linkreport

Although the article doesn't suggest such, I hope the league is only being facetious because very little else about their "recommendation" makes sense.

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 1:37 pm • linkreport

And you just have to love the comments on that blog. They only make it easy for others to ridicule them.

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 1:38 pm • linkreport

I assume John Cox is working hard to get a gas tax increase passed the the legislature?

Of course not. He just doesn't want a toll on 95 because it runs smack through his district. He's part of the long line of politicians and voters who want to improve transportation but don't want to pay for it.

That said, the Del. makes a reasonable point in saying that the tolls will fall disproportionately on those closest to the highway. For that reason, a disproportionate share of the money raised by the toll should be spent on transportation in the area local to the toll plaza (or future additional plazas). Kind of like how DTR tolls are being used to fund the nearby silver line.

by Falls Church on Jan 29, 2013 1:50 pm • linkreport

@Scoot-Evacuation is the VERY LAST Option. Even if the third rail isn't electrified, there are plenty of other hazards on the tracks. I'll agree that it took far too long to "rescue" those passengers, but there's no need to evacuate w/o an imminent threat. In the absence of immediate danger a passenger who evacuated the train would probably be subject to prosecution, and ordering the train evacuated while customers were not in any immediate danger would open up WMATA to lawsuits in the event of subsequent injury. Holding customers on the train was the right move.

by thump on Jan 29, 2013 2:11 pm • linkreport

I hope the league is only being facetious because very little else about their "recommendation" makes sense.

The League post is clearly written with their tongue in their cheek. How do you not get that? Although the last "reason" (not recommendation) is "didn’t you sign an Executive Order on Sustainability that encourages this sort of thing"

That makes sense right? The President should personally encourage the kind of behavior his executive orders encourage, right?

I don't see anything wrong with the comments. Do you have an example? You're comment can be re-written as:

"I hope that blog post that is a joke is, in fact, a joke because otherwise it is silly. And also, some people think differently than me and should be ridiculed for that."

by David C on Jan 29, 2013 2:13 pm • linkreport

David C,
Fair enough.

by drumz on Jan 29, 2013 2:50 pm • linkreport

The League post is clearly written with their tongue in their cheek. How do you not get that?

I don't think anything is "clear" about it.

That makes sense right? The President should personally encourage the kind of behavior his executive orders encourage, right?

Well sure, it does make sense. About as much sense it made for the NRA for attacking his decision to support "guns" for his daughter's schools but not the rest of the country. There are lots of Executive Orders that he and his cabinet don't necessarily follow.

"I hope that blog post that is a joke is, in fact, a joke because otherwise it is silly. And also, some people think differently than me and should be ridiculed for that."

I don't have an issue w/your paraphrase. People are ridiculed for their positions all the time...especially me.

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 3:18 pm • linkreport

very little else about their "recommendation" makes sense.

Usually a comment like this is followed by something like, "for example...". So, for example...what?

And you just have to love the comments on that blog. They only make it easy for others to ridicule them.

So people wrote some silly things responding to a blog post. NO WAY! I guess that makes ALL the comments there silly? Seems like there are some well-reasoned ideas for why it would be good for him to bike, including mine "That it will be tough for him to fit in a workout while working such crazy hours. Might as well do it on his commute." Ridicule away...

There are lots of Executive Orders that he and his cabinet don't necessarily follow.

Again....for example?

by thump on Jan 29, 2013 4:00 pm • linkreport

@Frank IBC

Exactly! Locals have told me that one reason the intersection is so badly designed is because neither DC nor MD really wants to deal with it.

by gooch on Jan 29, 2013 5:21 pm • linkreport

Seems like there are some well-reasoned ideas for why it would be good for him to bike,

Well-reasoned for those who don't have security at the front of their minds. There are well-reasoned ideas for why they should put their daughters in DC public schools. But then there's that pesky security thing again....

by HogWash on Jan 29, 2013 6:19 pm • linkreport

a recent chief of staff attended from time to time a house of worship I attend.There are no metal detectors there, and I do not recall a security detail. A would be assasin could easily have walked in and killed him.

I don't think the CoS is treated like a member of the presidential family.

by Oh dear on Jan 29, 2013 7:47 pm • linkreport

I don't think anything is "clear" about it.

I guess some people miss these things. The Chinese occasionally cover stories in the Onion as though they are true.

Well sure, it does make sense.

I'm glad you've changed your mind.

by David C on Jan 29, 2013 8:06 pm • linkreport

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