Breakfast links: Goodbye, Ray
LaHood leaving: US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is stepping down. LaHood defied early fears to be a strong advocate for high-speed rail, curbing distracted driving, and more. (Streetsblog)
Surplus salted away: The DC surplus came to $417 million; $50 million of that was in estate taxes from one single deceased person. Mayor Gray wants to put all of the money into the rainy-day fund. (DCist)
Chevy Chase sidewalk contentious: A proposed Wisconsin Avenue sidewalk in Chevy Chase will affect fewer trees than originally feared, but many residents still can't imagine why anyone would want to use a sidewalk. (Bethesda Now)
No mandatory helmets in Maryland: The Maryland House is considering a bill to make helmets mandatory. It's a good idea to wear one, but mandates just deter people from cycling, and more cyclists make cycling safer. (WABA, TheWashCycle)
Superhuman cyclists aren't most of us: Many profiles of cyclists in the press talk about those that ride super long distances every day, but that's not most cyclists' experience; does attention on extreme commuting deter others? (Atlantic Cities)
MoCo bag fee 1 year old: Montgomery County's bag fee raised double the expected revenue, which goes to water quality programs. Anecdotally, it seems to be reducing waste, officials say, but don't yet have hard numbers. (Gazette)
Lower benefit hurts bus ridership: Ridership on PRTC commuter buses dropped 2% in 2012; the agency blames the federal transit benefit, which declined just as the parking benefit increased. More people also started slugging. (Potomac Local)
And...: Tommy Wells is forming an exploratory committee to run for mayor. (City Paper) ... Valerie Ervin will run for county executive in Montgomery. (Examiner) ... A taxi driver tried to cheat a passenger, then punched him when he refused to pay. (City Paper)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- Are public spaces really public when not everybody can use them?
- Cell service in tunnels, junking old rail cars, getting finances in order. Here's what's in Metro's Back2Good plan.
- If racial inequities didn't exist, DC would look like this...
- The DC reps on the WMATA board might veto late-night closures
- WMATA recommended express bus service along 14th Street NW four years ago. Is it time to make it happen?
- Metro now has an official plan for getting better in 2017. It's called Back2Good.
- More on why buying your first home in the DC region is so hard