Afternoon links: Getting it done
Teenager gets hometown onto Google Transit: Two years ago, a 15-year-old transit aficionado wanted his hometown of Lexington, Massachusetts to join Google Transit. So he joined the town's transit advisory board, persuaded officials to go along, and helped out himself. According to the article, Boston's much larger MBTA will be joining Google Transit in July. (The Boston Globe, Jaime)
What happens when you park in a bike lane: A bus took the turn a little too tight at Thomas Circle, hitting a utility truck that looks to have been illegally parked in the bike lane. The Circulator drivers are going to have to get used to their routes, and maybe utility employees can get used to not blocking bike lanes.
Smart Growth bill passes Maryland house: "The measure, which was approved Monday on a 95-42 vote, is designed to encourage local governments to steer development to areas that already have infrastructure." It will take effect in 2012. You can read the bill here. Will it work? Maryland seems to have a history of passing Smart Growth laws that accomplish little. (ABC7, Jaime)
The wheels on the bus go... away: To fight obesity, pollution, and traffic, an Italian town has replaced its school buses with volunteers and paid staff leading groups of schoolchildren along the old bus routes. Could this program even work here in the States, what with the abysmal pedestrian conditions along many school bus routes? (New York Times, Adam S.)
BRAC getting more expensive, governments can't afford to keep widening roads: BRAC's massive shift of defense jobs to auto-dependent exurban locations is moving quickly, despite rising costs. Meanwhile, local governments' tight road budgets mean they can't afford all the intersection widenings they'd planned, deepening fears of a traffic apocalypse thanks to poor transit to Forts Meade, Belvoir, and the other regional BRAC sites. (Post, Jess H.)
Why all you can do at a Virginia rest stop is rest: Marc Fisher writes more about the reasons Virginia rest stops can't sell food, which would make back their costs and much more. As several commenters noted, a federal law prohibits this outside toll facilities, with Maryland using some creative loopholes. The best solution would be to just make Virginia's main freeways toll roads and market price them.
Suburban mansions going up in Foxhall: DCmud profiles a new development of "'estate homes' with sprawling 9,000 to 17,000 square foot lots" starting at $1.5 million in the Palisades. Ryan Avent wishes we could better utilize the scarce land so close to downtown.
You've totally wished you could do this: Today's xkcd draws out a fantasy that's flashed through many parkers' minds:Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
It'd have been an even better comic if Hat Guy had been on a bus or bike that was stuck behind a double parker.
- Are public spaces really public when not everybody can use them?
- What happens when people without cars move to places built for driving?
- Cell service in tunnels, junking old rail cars, getting finances in order. Here's what's in Metro's Back2Good plan.
- Metro now has an official plan for getting better in 2017. It's called Back2Good.
- WMATA recommended express bus service along 14th Street NW four years ago. Is it time to make it happen?
- More on why buying your first home in the DC region is so hard
- The DC reps on the WMATA board might veto late-night closures