Greater Greater Washington

Links


Breakfast links: Welcome


Photo by flickr-rickr on Flickr.
More tourists for DC: DC tourism increased 3% in 2012, setting a record high. The big draws were museums and memorials. DC fared better in the recession than elsewhere. (Examiner)

Robberies up on Metro: Crime has declined overall on Metro due to safer parking lots. But robberies, mostly people stealing phones, has increased. Transfer stations like L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place are the biggest targets. (Post)

DC ready for armed march: A radio host proposed marching with loaded rifles from Arlington Cemetery to DC. Police Chief Cathy Lanier plans to enforce DC gun laws. (Wash. Times) ... Side note: Both ends of the Memorial Bridge are actually in DC.

Raid affordable housing for summer school: The DC Council approved $4 million to keep summer school open to more kids. But the funds came out of the $51 million Mayor Gray pledged to increase the amount of affordable housing. (Post)

Route 1 urban or suburban?: A Costco with a huge parking lot and a dense mixed-use development are both coming to Route 1. Does Fairfax want it to be a walkable urban corridor or strip malls? (WAMU)

Transit union opposes Circulator: The WMATA workers' union isn't pleased about the Circulator expanding. They say it would cost jobs, but Mary Cheh says it means better service for the same number of jobs. (Circulator workers are also union.) (WJLA)

"Roll models" help women bike: WABA's program to help more women bicycle is starting to get results. They've picked 10 women "roll models" who can help friends and acquaintances overcome obstacles, like what gear they need. (Post)

Seriously, chill, NYC: Sommer Mathis, who covered CaBi's rollout extensively, patiently explains to New Yorkers that all of the complaints about Citibike stations are nothing new. Here, at least, they mostly vanished once the program opened. (Atlantic Cities)

And...: Arlington and Alexandria are increasing property taxes; Alexandria's will allow the city to fund Capital Bikeshare and libraries. (WAMU) ... David Catania's truancy bill received preliminary approval, without the part about imprisoning parents. (WAMU) ... Retail at Dulles and National airports could get a lot better soon. (WBJ)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Nick Casey is a Project Manager at the Center for American Progress. He and his wife live in Takoma DC. Nick is originally from the west side of Cleveland and attended Denison University. His posts do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer.  
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. 

Comments

Add a comment »

FWIW, the Costco is being built at the old Mt Vernon Multiplex site.

by selxic on May 8, 2013 8:55 am • linkreport

citibike needs to open asap to quell this media fascination with how it'll fail

by guest1 on May 8, 2013 9:36 am • linkreport

The more encouraging (and I think important) news about route 1 is the fact that the state is ready to really study a transit option. BRT would work great right now (and the REX bus is a good intermediary step) but some sort of rail option with good planning could totally transform the area.

by drumz on May 8, 2013 9:37 am • linkreport

It's hard to believe that an armed July 4th march will get a permit from the National Park Service, so Lanier is only talking about what she would do if they get that far.

by JimT on May 8, 2013 9:42 am • linkreport

What they mean is that ATU Local 689 jobs will be threatened.

by Michael Perkins on May 8, 2013 9:48 am • linkreport

@drumz - Exactly! The fact that they are about to study the transit options on the corridor is huge! The amount of development that is starting to happen (of which the Beacon of Groveton is the first), especially on the northern end of the corridor, will quickly stress the limited transit options through the corridor. Additionally, that development will be unlikely to spread south without increased transit (and other infrastructure).

Cheers!

by Thad on May 8, 2013 9:51 am • linkreport

is there room for a seperate ROW line on the surface (whether BRT or light rail)?

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 8, 2013 9:56 am • linkreport

JimT: They are not planning to get a permit. The Post story said that both MPD and Park Police are planning to meet them and stop them if they try to march, unpermitted and with loaded rifles, across the bridge.

by David Alpert on May 8, 2013 9:57 am • linkreport

Instead, perhaps the transit union could put pressure on wmata officials to improve routes (create express routes, run good headways, etc.) so that the circulator isn't needed.

by guest1 on May 8, 2013 9:58 am • linkreport

It's difficult figuring out exactly where the gun exhibitionists plan to march. If Memorial Drive is part of the cemetery, they won't be allowed there. Memorial Bridge and the island are certainly part of the District, so they won't be allowed there either. Maybe they can move this event to Loudoun County?

by aaa on May 8, 2013 9:59 am • linkreport

"The Post story said that both MPD and Park Police are planning to meet them and stop them if they try to march, unpermitted and with loaded rifles, across the bridge. "

Mayor Grey will be in the background, wearing a stovepipe hat.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 8, 2013 10:03 am • linkreport

RE the Atlantic

Best response I have seen is from the Bike Snob NYC's - FMC (or "Frequent Moronic Comment")

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2013/04/landmark-this-bikes-not-diapers.html

by Cap Hill Keith on May 8, 2013 10:03 am • linkreport

The loaded rifle protest scares me; it only takes one idiot to fire a random shot, and the DC police may be forced to defend themselves and draw their weapons... It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, especially considering Arlington National Cemetery and the National Mall will be crowed with tourists...

It also angers me that the loaded to file protestors are claiming their protest will be non-violent. Carrying a loaded weapon in public is an inherently violent action, in my mind, I.e. intentionally intimidating and threatening, and an intentional demonstration of power/force in violation of our city's laws. I hope the DC Police, National Park Police, and other relevant law enforcement coordinate closely and try to mitigate this developing situation.

Proposing moving the protest to Loudon County is ludicrous - these protesters WANT a confrontation, the laws of DC be damned.

by Adam on May 8, 2013 10:10 am • linkreport

@drumz: I don't really think there's room on Route 1 for any sort of dedicated bus lanes right now. Traffic's squeezed as it is. Even insofar as there's a service road parallel to the highway, it doesn't go all the way along the road. I don't see extending it all the way as a viable option because too many development parcels back up right against the highway. (Including the Beacon, actually.)

Honestly, fifteen years ago buses could have been part of any discussion. Route 1 has moved beyond that. I know nobody will listen to me because it costs too much, etc., but the only viable option right now is rail. And I'd take it underground; it'll be disruptive, but not as bad as tearing out an entire lane of the highway.

by Ser Amantio di Nicolao on May 8, 2013 10:10 am • linkreport

I suspect the "snob" thing is just an act to drive up page views, but that NY Bike Snob has to be about the worst advocate for cycling I've ever seen.

by Chris S. on May 8, 2013 10:10 am • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity, Route 1 is to be rebuilt with a 32' wide median strip reserved for a future transit line which could be BRT, LRT, Metro. The project was discussed on GGW last year: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/15727/route-1-widening-would-divide-fairfax-communities/. The corridor is a long way from having the density and job centers that would really support a Metro extension. The study may recommend light rail connecting to the Metro at Huntington. Transit in that corridor will be studied and argued over for 10 years or longer before any decision is made.

by AlanF on May 8, 2013 10:16 am • linkreport

Adam -- it only takes one idiot to light a firecracker or misfire his car muffler as well. The possibilities for accidental catastrophe are endless. These marches and the risks they bring to law enforcement personnel were a big reason why California banned open carry recently.

by aaa on May 8, 2013 10:18 am • linkreport

alan F

thats the portion south of Woodlawn. I was wondering about the section closer to Huntington Metro.

I agree that the existing (and likely near future) density is more compatible with BRT/LRT than heavy rail metro. I've been under the impression that there is not room in much of the northern part of the corridor for seperate ROW.

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 8, 2013 10:20 am • linkreport

@DavidAlpert: OK thanks. A small point, but if they start just outside the cemetary gates, I don't see how they could get anywhere near the Memorial Bridge (or even the short bridge over the channel/DC line) before being stopped by Park Police.

The circle is not a good place for a showdown safety wise or PR-wise.

by JimT on May 8, 2013 10:23 am • linkreport

I fervently hope no law enforcement personnel or innocent bystanders are injured if this "march" comes to pass. And yes, I chose those words carefully.

by dcd on May 8, 2013 10:24 am • linkreport

Ser,

It definitely won't be easy but I think there is plenty of ROW to work with. You already have a lot of people dependent on transit down there and more room than on Columbia Pike.

It would be helpful to know where people are driving to/from in the mornings/rush hour. Are a lot of people going to places that are metro accessible? How many are getting on the beltway? A light rail line combined with a scenario where the yellow line could be made to run up to rosslyn and then out to the Silver Line would be huge.

tl;dr I wouldn't say its too late. There are a lot of ways to get creative still.

by drumz on May 8, 2013 10:27 am • linkreport

Bike Snob NYC has been around awhile. Did a great review of a non-biker bike that I just bought. The FAQ responses are spot on.

by spookiness on May 8, 2013 10:27 am • linkreport

The protesters carrying loaded weapons is very disturbing. They should also not protest at the Arlington Cemetery. I support the First Amendment but this group should use better judgement in this (although their judgement seems to be lacking althogether). Can you imagine the outrage from conservatives if Code Pink protested at Arlington Cemetery on Independence Day?

by 202_cyclist on May 8, 2013 10:28 am • linkreport

I think one kinda steps outside the accepted frame of "civil disobedience" when aforesaid disobedience involves loaded weapons. States' rights, except when I don't like them!

by worthing on May 8, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport

Note: Plenty of Row between Beacon Hill and when you get closer to Belvoir. But at least at Beacon you start getting a better secondary street network to work with, or a much more radical option of a tunnel through beacon hill somehow. I'm just spitballing here.

by drumz on May 8, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport

I suspect the "snob" thing is just an act to drive up page views, but that NY Bike Snob has to be about the worst advocate for cycling I've ever seen.

I don't think he ever claimed to be a cycling "advocate".

by oboe on May 8, 2013 10:32 am • linkreport

Any transit on Route 1 needs to connect Huntington Metro to Fort Belvoir. I drive this stretch everyday, and I see many drivers in military uniform and even more with military plates/bumper stickers. Not all of them may be going to Belvoir, but I'd guess a good portion are.

by Colleen on May 8, 2013 10:41 am • linkreport

I support the First Amendment but this group should use better judgement in this

That's like asking my cat to learn Greek. (There's nothing in her history to indicate even the remotest capacity for such an action.)

by dcd on May 8, 2013 10:47 am • linkreport

Can we just set up a reservation in Wyoming or something where all these nutjobs can happily (ignorance is bliss after all) spend their lives waving their rifles around and doing whatever else they do all day?

by Alan B. on May 8, 2013 10:53 am • linkreport

Alan B. they already do.

by spookiness on May 8, 2013 10:54 am • linkreport

Right, good point. How much would a large, electrified fence cost, you think?

by Alan B. on May 8, 2013 10:56 am • linkreport

Mayor Grey will be in the background, wearing a stovepipe hat.

So who's gonna yell at him, "Get down, you fool!"

by aces on May 8, 2013 11:20 am • linkreport

As a (former) Route 1 resident, I've beat the drum several times before on this forum about the road. Here's the quick-and-dirty:

- The County's Comprehensive Plan envisions a right-of-way width that accommodates multi-use paths, 6 lanes of traffic, and space in the median for dedicated transit, whether it be BRT or LRT.

- A majority of residents as well as the Mount Vernon Council of Community Associations, support and have a preference for rail transit on Route 1.

- MVCCA (at least the Transportation Committee, which I was a member of) supports denser, mixed-use development along Route 1, so that it stays out of the neighborhoods....kinda similar to what Arlington's policy has been along the Orange Line.

- VDOT has not been helpful, and has been agonizingly slow with even the new sidewalks that were promised and funded.

- The county talks a good talk, but has not been very active in its support.

- While residents support changes to Route 1, local business owners have been against it, especially the right-of-way needed to build out the transportation improvements.

- Nothing will happen unless and until there is a huge financial infusion from either the state or the county.

by Froggie on May 8, 2013 11:21 am • linkreport

Going along with what @Michael Perkins' said, if transitioning the nonregional Metro bus routes in the District leads to more service, better service, or an imporoved route network... so be it. I am more concerned with a bus agency providing the safest and most efficient bus service vs. a bus agency/union wanting to run service for the sake of preserving Local 689 jobs.

Maybe if WMATA got out of running the nonregional bus routes they could focus more resources on the rail system, which is why WMATA was created in the first place.

I will be e-mailing Ms. Cheh's office voicing my support for this move for the nonregaional/DC-local routes.

by Transport. on May 8, 2013 11:24 am • linkreport

I would bet the threat of a criminal gun possession charge upon entering the District with a rifle, and the consequences of a permanent felony record, will deter the marchers.

by jyindc on May 8, 2013 11:26 am • linkreport

I expect that once the Purple Line gets closer to becoming real that it will trigger a more substantive look at Purple Line class LRT in Northern VA. One design goal should be, if feasible, to have the LRT connect to Metro or other transit at more than 1 stop. A light rail line along Rt. 1, connecting to Huntington Metro on the northern end (or going beyond that) should run to the Lorton VRE stop on the SW end. If the Blue Line is extended south of Springfield (after a Blue Line reroute in DC to address the core capacity issues), then the light rail line could run from a Lorton Blue Line & VRE station to Huntington (and perhaps across the Wilson bridge to National Harbor to connect to a MD side LRT line).

One could come up with a number of possible light rail lines filling in the gaps in the Metro coverage around the periphery. 8-)

by AlanF on May 8, 2013 11:26 am • linkreport

@Alan B:

Can we just set up a reservation in Wyoming or something where all these nutjobs can happily (ignorance is bliss after all) spend their lives waving their rifles around and doing whatever else they do all day?

Too late:

http://www.iiicitadel.com/

by oboe on May 8, 2013 11:31 am • linkreport

The headline "Raid affordable housing for summer school" is deceptive. This isn't a cut to affordable housing funding -- it's just a slightly smaller increase.

by Rob on May 8, 2013 11:31 am • linkreport

The thing to keep in mind about the Rt. 1 corridor south of the Beltway is that it is a multi-decade thing. Its state right now is probably what Potomac Yard was about 15-20 years ago. There is plenty of room to grow and it can be done very efficiently a couple of miles at a time.

I have no problem with a CostCo being built at Mt. Vernon just like I have no problem with the strip mall currently occupying Potomac Yard. The one in Potomac Yard will be gone by the end of the decade. The one at Mt. Vernon will probably be there 20 years. It will serve its purpose. Heck, I might get a membership again. I stopped largely because the one at Pentagon City is such a logistical nightmare.

by movement on May 8, 2013 12:01 pm • linkreport

@Froggie - As a Lee district resident, I'd add in that the area residents are all in favor of rail on Rt. 1 and redevelopment right until it will impact them. As was seen during the Penn Daw comp. plan fight, everyone wants to get to heaven, no one wants to die. It's going to be a tough sell to many communities to get the densities required to bring heavy rail to Rt. 1.

by Chris22303 on May 8, 2013 12:04 pm • linkreport

I don't think I can agree with your comparison between Potomac Yard and the rest of the Route 1 corridor, movement. Potomac Yard was a rail yard. Much of the Route 1 corridor is already developed.

by selxic on May 8, 2013 12:44 pm • linkreport

@movement - Why is Potomac Yard going away, and what is planned to replace it? They have a great movie theater there - it would be a shame to see it go.

by Chris S. on May 8, 2013 12:48 pm • linkreport

Chris S - The big box shopping at Potomac Yard was always planned as a placeholder, for eventual dense multiuse. Its quite possible the new development will have a multiplex.

http://alexandriava.gov/PotomacYard

by AWalkerInTheCity on May 8, 2013 12:51 pm • linkreport

Kokesh seems like a publicity hog. What are the odds that he can even scrape up 1000 people dumb enough and dedicated enough to do this? A lot of people talk big and that's all. In any event, there's the sociology principle where in-your-face deviance actually reenforces social norms.

If the open carry movement is successful in anything, it's likely to be a stronger and more visible police state that people will support to balance out these looney tunes. That would just justify their paranoia so we'll end up with a feedback loop arms race. Pure non-violence is the only way for sustainable change because everything else is just escalation of violence.

by Mark on May 8, 2013 12:53 pm • linkreport

In Alexndria capital costs for Capital Bikeshare are funded by federal grants, and the operations are funded through the City’s Transportation Improvement Program, which is a reserved 2.2 cents on the real estate tax rate and a continuing annual cash capital contribution for improvements to the City’s transportation infrastructure and services. The reserved 2.2 cents was approved in the FY 2012 budget and was not increased in this year’s budget. Tony Castrilli, Director of Communications and Public Information for the City of Alexandria.

by Tony Castrilli on May 8, 2013 2:10 pm • linkreport

Tony thank you for clarifying that. There is a lot of misinformation regarding Capital Bikeshare in Alexandria.

by spookiness on May 8, 2013 2:34 pm • linkreport

Rt. 1 South is developed only in a loose sense of the term. It is filled with decaying strip malls that could easily be razed and replaced with something denser.

by movement on May 8, 2013 3:24 pm • linkreport

I have a basic question. who are these 70,000 families that are on an affordable housing waiting list? They can't all be homeless! Do we have any data about how most of these 70,000 are currently living? And how will giving them vouchers or free housing help them and help the community? I'm curious, since there is no way there is suddenly going to be money to house 70,000 families!

by Tom A. on May 8, 2013 5:48 pm • linkreport

Chris: from my experience (also as a 22303'er but in Huntington proper), Jefferson Manor (and possibly Gum Springs) residents are the exception to the rule. Huntington residents are clearly in support of redevelopment, even (and especially) along Huntington Ave itself.

movement/selxid: I think a better analogy for Route 1 would be the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor pre-Orange Line.

by Froggie on May 9, 2013 2:11 am • linkreport

@ Chris & Froggie: You can add Fair Haven to the list of communities that is supportive of development along the corridor.

by Thad on May 9, 2013 8:48 am • linkreport

@Adam: Carrying a loaded weapon in public is an inherently violent action, in my mind, I.e. intentionally intimidating and threatening, and an intentional demonstration of power/force in violation of our city's laws.

Within the confines of our capitol city there are jillions of police, in dozens of flavors, all carrying loaded weapons. You yourself point out that DCPD and the Park Police will respond in kind to any loud noise issuing from the marchers, with the loaded weapons they carry every day. How are they not intimidating?

I agree that the march is provocative, but apparently the participants want to take the risk among the jumpy police. As all involved claim to be "law abiding" to the highest degree, this should be interesting.

by goldfish on May 10, 2013 9:15 am • linkreport

I can't imagine why someone would feel less threatened by trained police officers with guns than by a group of rights-promoting yahoos with guns!

They're all "law-abiding" because they don't accept as legitimate the laws they seek to break. And that's what scares some people - they don't seem to accept the fact that they may be stopped/arrested.

by MLD on May 10, 2013 9:24 am • linkreport

@MLD: rights-promoting yahoos with guns

Interesting characterization.

You should get out of DC more, and visit the hinterlands. You may be surprised at what you find.

by goldfish on May 10, 2013 9:29 am • linkreport

I grew up with many people who owned guns and I know many people now who own guns. Getting into the middle of a tense situation like a protest march with a bunch of loaded guns is not something any of those people would participate in.

To imply that this behavior and rhetoric is typical of people "in the hinterlands" or gun owners in general is incorrect and I clearly was speaking of this particular group.

by MLD on May 10, 2013 9:34 am • linkreport

"This is now a call for mass civil disobedience on July 4th anywhere in Washington, DC," Kokesh writes on his march's Facebook event page. "Break whatever unconstitutional law you choose."

This is the kind of rhetoric I'm talking about. Or this:
https://twitter.com/adamkokesh/statuses/330283098048700417
When the government comes to take your guns, you can shoot government agents, or submit to slavery.

by MLD on May 10, 2013 9:36 am • linkreport

MLD: The point of the march is to exercise rights. The people doing so are going to be serious about that, and will traveling long distances at high personal expense. I doubt that they will be "yahoos".

I agree that this is a touchy problem. But labeling them with pejorative terms adds fuel the fire.

by goldfish on May 10, 2013 9:42 am • linkreport

But labeling them with pejorative terms adds fuel the fire.
Then in the future express that sentiment instead of invoking an (incorrectly) perceived lack of personal experience on the part of another. Thanks for your contribution.

by MLD on May 10, 2013 9:53 am • linkreport

invoking an (incorrectly) perceived lack of personal experience on the part of another. Thanks for your contribution.

As the marchers are clearly not from DC, you're welcome.

by goldfish on May 10, 2013 10:01 am • linkreport

No, if you think armed civil disobedience in the nations capital on the 4th of July is what this country really needs then I'm going to feel comfortable in my assessment that you're crazy.

by drumz on May 10, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport

Wow... really disappointed with all the comments here about this planned march. I for one wish the participants the best and respect their courage if they indeed go through with it.

by Doug on May 16, 2013 11:56 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)

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.

or

Support Us