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Meet the Ubertarian: DC's new political archetype, the Ubertarian, worries about income inequality but also eschews over-regulating businesses like Uber. Is this self-contradictory or not? (City Paper)

DC keeps fighting for rights: The Home Rule Act, which let DC elect a mayor and council, passed 40 years ago. Supporters had to first defeat a powerful Congressman who stood in the way. But 4 decades later, DC is still fighting for budget autonomy and a vote in Congress. (WAMU)

What's more dangerous?: Numerous legislators want to ban in-flight phone calls in case the FCC allows them, but hesitate to ban phone calls while driving even though the latter is far more dangerous. (TheWashCycle)

Broad Branch could get sidewalks, bike lanes: Broad Branch Road, a commuter route through Rock Creek Park, may get extensive rehabilitation that could include sidewalks and bike lanes. DDOT is examining 4 alternatives. (Post)

McLean's catalyst?: Fairfax County planners hope a proposed mixed-use residential development will be a catalyst for McLean's central business district. The McLean Citizens Association fears McLean will be "Tysonized." (WBJ)

Revenue share for DC United: DC United would owe zero sales or property taxes for 30 years under Mayor Gray's proposed stadium deal. In exchange, the city wants 50% of stadium revenue. (Post)

Development's best and worst: Is Brookland this year's most transformed neighborhood? Is "Save McMillan Park" the most misleading slogan? (City Paper)

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Kayla Gail Anthony is a project analyst in DC. She has a Masters in Community Planning from the University of Maryland and a BA in Communications from The University of Alabama. She lives in Mt. Pleasant. Posts are her own viewpoint and do not represent her employer. 

Comments

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Save McMillan Park was definitely misleading to me. What a revelation it was when I found out the actual history.

Call people ubertarians if you want. There's nothing intrinsically hypocritical about want regulation to solve some things and the market to solve other things. Nor is it hypocritical to use a car when one is car-free. That's the entire point of services like zipcar as well. It's about ownership, not usage.

Re: McLean,
Tysons is hardly the only example of taller/mixed use buidings being built on major commerical avenues. Falls Church may be more analagous anyway. It's taking a historic downtown and filling it out some by removing large parking lots and putting people and businesses closer to the main street. It's happening in a lot of places but Falls Church is the closest.

by drumz on Dec 26, 2013 8:57 am • linkreport

In this case I am completely on board with the NIMBYs and MCA (shocking I know) in the McLean story. The JBG project is a poster child for what residential neighborhoods fear when urbanization occurs next door, ie Urban Creep.

The idea is that adjacent land, which is just as marketable for the developer, is also a lot cheaper with less caveats to build on. So they push the limits of what is the "urban zone" in order to get the best of both worlds. This project reeks of it.

Now, the street they are putting it on is actually already developed with plenty of office space and isn't in a low density zone.

The problem though is that this residential building is not near good transit (only a single bus comes by it the, 23C). Putting residential units here, instead of Tysons, is the cheap way out for JBG, and they avoid having to pay the special Tysons tax for transportation on this property, despite this property likely generating more needs for transportation than those near the metro.

In order to reconcile that, they should have to contribute more towards proffers and volunteer for the special tax.

If FFX Co doesnt do this, then they are themselves undermining the effectiveness of the Tysons Comprehensive Plan.

by Navid Roshan on Dec 26, 2013 8:57 am • linkreport

I have to say, I find it pretty ironic (telling?) that Aaron ends his post with: "Got any more traits to add to the Ubertarian archetype? Share 'em in the comments." and then promptly ignores the fact that comments are messed up on that post, so no one can share anything.

by Dizzy on Dec 26, 2013 9:04 am • linkreport

FWIW, it felt like the 23 buses went by all the time when I lived in Ballston.

I wouldn't fear the developer's motives too much here. We've seen lots of development go up in similar historic downtowns that are further from metro than we'd like them to be. I already brought up Falls Church, but you also have Vienna and old town Fairfax as well.

It all depends on the actual terms of what's worked out but I can see this project moving forward even if we weren't interested in re-doing Tysons. Count me as cautiously optimistic.

by drumz on Dec 26, 2013 9:06 am • linkreport

@drumz,

I'm looking into the CDP and FDP plans/justification the developer submitted. It's not looking good. Basically they skirted transportation obligations by arguing that their 1.76 FAR generates less traffic than the approved CBC 1.0 FAR dictated in the study. I don't believe there is anything magical about this siting that justifies that change in generation numbers. It's not near any major bike trails, its in a mixed use area but then again the CBC study already assumed that, and it provides the same parking numbers as the CBC study.

To me, someone has massaged the numbers as a justification (because the McLean Planning Commission requested a special proffer contribution towards bus service) in order to avoid a payment for transpo to the county.

The plan has some nice things, mixed use retail which I think people at the next door 10-story McLean House would appreciate, not to mention the office workers in McLean (of which I am one near to this project). But, if JBG wants to build, they should have to play by the same rules as other developers. Contribute to schools funds/transpo at the same levels as those in Tysons as they are in the same effected area.

I think fears of "Tysonization" are weak by Sally Horn and overblown. Afterall this building would not be the tallest in McLean (McLean House), is not next to any SFH (next to a similar height office use), and would not displace any businesses or residents (on top of a parking area).

My biggest reservations are simply that the Comp Plan not be underminded and that a fair playing field be made for all applications both within Tysons and in the Tysons periphery to avoid cop out development.

by Navid Roshan on Dec 26, 2013 9:21 am • linkreport

@Drumz

The 23C bus (the one that goes towards Langley) only comes every 30 minutes and only during peak times.

by Navid Roshan on Dec 26, 2013 9:23 am • linkreport

That's all ok. That's the reason we have the approval process to work out these issues. But like you said, fears over becoming Tysons is overblown with regards to what's actually proposed.

by drumz on Dec 26, 2013 9:33 am • linkreport

Even though I raised a very similar point two weeks ago - about the dangers of using tired libertarian tropes when arguing for some urbanist position - I don't think Aaron has done a very good job at all of highlighting examples or explaining why it is problematic. Since the comments don't work on the WCP post, might as well explain here why Aaron's examples are badly thought out and not the contradictions he makes them out to be:

1. They support government regulation—except when it inconveniences them.

This is the most ridiculous of the 'charges' - regulation is supposed to be a means to an end, not a good in and of itself! It is a pernicious caricature of liberals/progressives that they just loooove any and all government regulation of anything and everything. There is nothing libertarian-ish about opposing bad regulations.

2. They love public transit, especially the not-so-public kind. Build new Metro lines! Add more bike lanes! Create dedicated bus lanes! Except riding the bus is so slow sometimes. Better whip out the iPhone and hail an Uber. Thank God for car-free living.

I'm sorry, which of those modes of transportation is "not-so-public"? Is Uber not open to the public? Its price point is high enough to exclude segments of the public, sure, but the same is true of Amtrak and airlines. Are we to conclude that trains and planes are "not-so-public" and using them is somehow contrary to supporting public transit?

"Car-free living" is generally understood to mean not owning a car, not that you eschew ever getting into a personal motor vehicle like some sort of neo-Amish.

Also, the suggestion that "Create dedicated bus lanes!" immediately followed by "Except riding the bus is so slow sometimes." is somehow hypocritical is insane. The need for dedicated bus lanes is a direct result of the fact that the bus is so slow sometimes!

3. They hate meddlesome neighbors, but will eagerly meddle themselves when riled up. The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission is opposing new development in the neighborhoods? Myopic NIMBYs! they cry. What's that? A liquor license moratorium is up for consideration? Time to pay their first visit to the ANC, and start an online petition while they're at it.

A liquor license moratorium is a classic example of NIMBYism - nothing hypocritical about opposing that along with other forms of NIMBYism. One can also believe that ANCs/neighborhood groups should have less influence while simultaneously recognizing the need to work with/through them as they are, not as you wish they were. Opposing one particular aspect of their M.O. doesn't mean never engaging with them or forswearing their existence.

4. They vote Democratic, but they kind of love Pat Mara. Don't confuse the Ubertarians for libertarians—they're as bleeding-heart as the next Washingtonian. But they're born contrarians, which can be congitively dissonant in deep-blue D.C.

One could devote some thought, research, talking to people, etc. to figure out why it is that a not-inconsiderable number of young progressive-types voted for Mara (hint: it has something to do with the corruption and opacity of the old guard D.C. Democratic establishment, which is frequently not very progressive at all and produces grifters like Orange, Evans, Thomas, the Messrs. Brown, etc.). But it's much easier to declare these folks "born contrarians" and move on.

5. They hate the Height Act. Government regulation that hinders the free market and makes housing less affordable to the poor? It's an Ubertarian's nightmare. Scrap it altogether, and while we're at it, get rid of zoning, too. Cities are built on density and money, not viewsheds and sunlight.

Wait, are cities NOT built on density and money? I mean, density is pretty much the distinguishing characteristic of a city, as opposed to a suburb or a rural area. And, yes, building things costs money, and building lots of things costs lots of money. Does the Height Act somehow change that?

Again, the Height Act and zoning are regulations and should be judged on their merits at solving some particular problem(s), not as inherent goods.

by Dizzy on Dec 26, 2013 9:34 am • linkreport

LA police crack down on jaywalkers seen as anti-pedestrian:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/us/in-a-car-culture-clash-its-los-angeles-police-vs-pedestrians.html?hp&_r=0

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 26, 2013 10:52 am • linkreport

Next on tap are the Confusearians. These are folks who, for instance, believe "car-free living" and "cat-free living" are the same thing.

by kob on Dec 26, 2013 11:02 am • linkreport

@Tom
I read that article this morning. All I can say is Wow! $197 for stepping onto the crosswalk after the light starts blinking? That's insane. Talk about heavy-handed.

by dc denizen on Dec 26, 2013 11:18 am • linkreport

Isn't at least part of the point of going car-free or car-lite to reduce your carbon footprint? Or perhaps to reduce congestion and make the city more livable for everybody? If you're calling a gas-guzzling Uber car to come get you every time you need to go somewhere you're not exactly achieving either of those objectives, are you?

by jimble on Dec 26, 2013 11:23 am • linkreport

@Tom Coumaris

The Times piece was interesting, and the nearly $200 ticket for jaywalking incredibly punishing.

Something is driving the police effort. That wasn't explored in the piece or was, surprisingly, the safety record of peds vs. cars.

http://www.laweekly.com/2012-12-06/news/los-angeles-hit-and-run-epidemic-4000-dead-injured/#livefyre

by kob on Dec 26, 2013 11:25 am • linkreport

Is an Ubertarian a modern limousine liberal or a conservative who wants government out of all decisions except the ones other people make in their bedrooms?

Hard to say because that opinion piece was poorly written and confused. What's the main critique, that people are sometimes hypocritical? Really? Shocking.

By highlighting Uber it might be the main critique is an old one, that by supporting the provision of transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure (urban density is another facet of the same concept) you're really waging a "war on cars" - by which the writer means the ability of the striving middle class to seal themselves away from dark and poor people. Live in a subdivision and drive to work without delay, that's the way to avoid those folks. Hence the anger at anyone who implies that subsidized exclusionary living and subsidized single occupant vehicle travel should be phased out in favor of open and efficient places and systems while occasionally being willing to pay an unsubsidized premium for a premium service.

Me? I don't take Uber and rarely take a cab. But, I respect these "ubertarians" more than Aaron Weiner, I can tell you that much.

by Paul H on Dec 26, 2013 11:37 am • linkreport

@kob
Thanks for sharing that article. Now that's just downright scary and sad. I wish these police departments would make a concerted effort to start putting together teams to investigate collisions and put into place the sort of processes and investigative protocols that they do for car collisions and other crimes. It's like "huh, whadda I do?" kind of reaction from the police and no one takes ownership.

by dc denizen on Dec 26, 2013 11:41 am • linkreport

Sorry, @Tom - Thanks for sharing!

by dc denizen on Dec 26, 2013 11:42 am • linkreport

Yeah the uberterian article is pretty silly. Excellent rebuttal Dizzy. I would also add:

You can use Uber to call a normal cab. Its nice to know the precise location and time etc of your cab. Hardly a frivolous service.

by h st ll on Dec 26, 2013 12:47 pm • linkreport

+1 Dizzy, it's why I read the comments here.

jimble, I think reducing carbon footprint may be 1 reason for some people to go car lite. But there are probably other reasons. For my wife and I, the main reason is to safe lots and lots of money. Even if there are people who do so primarily or solely to reduce their carbon footprint (and I doubt there are), using Uber can help you do that. Because even then it becomes really expensive car sharing. Fewer cars need to be created and less space can be dedicated to parking; so even if gasoline use remains constant, your carbon footprint would go down a bit.

Of course, your premise is totally flawed. No one uses uber "every time [they] need to go somewhere." Heavy uber users, like my wife, walk and take transit a lot too. Uber is too expensive for every trip.

by David C on Dec 26, 2013 12:54 pm • linkreport

@ NR

I agree with some of your statements on the CBD in McLean and disagree with others. First, the Comp Plan for McLean states that no significant changes are appropriate for the Ashby site, as both the McLean House and Ashby have existing FARs that are much higher than any other part of the CBD. The Elm Street site (JBG) has been planned for higher density with more retail and underground parking. The Ashby owners refuse to address this issue.

JBG has been working with the community at all levels for several years. And is continuing to do so. Just like the Tysons Task Force, the REIT is trying to use "smart growth" to justify Tysons-like density outside Tysons. They argue adding density will add to McLean, but cannot address the concerns of anyone. The residents of McLean House are adamantly opposed to the Ashby proposal, even as they are generally supportive of JBG. And as you suggest, the REIT doesn't want to make proffers and pay taxes at Tysons levels to get Tysons density.

Keep in mind that the BoS promised McLean and other communities near Tysons that, if Tysons is built as an urban center, the County will protect nearby communities from similar densities. Sally Horn is just holding the County to this promise.

FC DOT has presented traffic study information to the MCA. It shows crushing increases in traffic volumes on McLean streets coming from, and going to, Tysons. Even with the added state and regional transportation funding, there is insufficient funds to address this additional traffic through McLean. And this is before the County completes the traffic studies that model the additional density approved by the BoS in June 2010. DOT essentially confirmed that development in the McLean CBD is effectively preempted by Tysons. Most members of the McLean Planning Committee, which reports to the Dranesville supervisor would admit this.

McLean is between lots of locations and this "betweeness" undermines the quality of life in McLean. The MCA and residents simply won't accept additional development that creates even more traffic. Density belongs in Tysons at the four rail stations.

by tmt on Dec 26, 2013 1:07 pm • linkreport

@TMT,

I'm not sure what parts you "disagree" with me on. I too said that growth of this type outside of Tysons, without the types of concessions which would help pay for the infrastructure it would need, is inappropriate. JBG owns land in Tysons, thats where it should be putting its density, not in McLean.

As far as the "crushing traffic", I know you have seen this on B.R., http://www.baconsrebellion.com/2013/12/the-laughable-fiction-of-travel-demand-forecasts.html

Tysons is a protypical case of where traffic engineers will get it wrong, because when you change the actual dynamics of how an area works with such dramatic modifications to multi-modal options as well as how the land use is being diversified, you get massively different realities to the worst case scenario trip generation non-sense they espouse for subdivision plans.

@Drumz, the problem is the Planning Commission gearing to suggest approval to the Board for the project. So those contributions for transpo and other concerns look like they wont be addressed, and over all sets a bad precedence for big developers to just buy cheaper land on the periphery.

by Navid Roshan on Dec 26, 2013 1:51 pm • linkreport

Navid,

You are the only traffic engineer I have heard who believes Tysons development will not generate massive increases in traffic volumes. That certainly does not mean you are incorrect in your predictions. Obviously, I cannot disprove your prediction, but even the traffic experts for the developers forecast major increases in traffic volumes. Fairfax County and VDOT found "The percentage of 2030 work trips using transit is anticipated to be in the order of 17% in Tysons.” In contrast, Bethesda, MD is around 19% today; the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is 26%; and K Street in downtown D.C. is 51% transit. As Tysons grows, so does SOV traffic.

And the citizens, including the MCA, were able to persuade the County and VDOT to make decisions based on the forecasted increase in traffic volumes and congestion. That seems very prudent to me.

If they are wrong and you are right, I would expect some of the road projects to be deferred even though more density is added. Likewise, if growth at Tysons slows, so too should the accompanying road projects.

I think we are in basic agreement that urban density should be in Tysons at the rail stations and not in outlying areas such as Vienna or McLean.

by tmt on Dec 26, 2013 3:17 pm • linkreport

@dc denizen and kob: It's not really a new thing in LA. They've always been very harsh on jaywalking. 10 years I was crossing a street there at 2 am with not a car in site for a half mile and a parked LAPD car pulled up on me with lights going and gave me a $150 ticket.

DC is probably too easy on jaywalkers but LA is exceptionally harsh.

by Tom Coumaris on Dec 26, 2013 3:19 pm • linkreport

At TMT, I'm not saying more development doesn't mean more vehicles. I'm saying the amount of new vehicles and how they are distributed both spatially and with regard to time, when studying a 30 year time span is a fools errand.

Whether it be myself, another engineer, or a whole fleet of engineers (what is the plural grouping for engineers anyways?) the point being clairvoyance be damned; there is no way to predict habit and culture and transportation engineers are the last people on earth who would be capable of determining sociological, political, and land development patterns of a region.

Empirically speaking the "must build or doom" scenarios of many transportation studies of yore have been proven to be nothing but bogus panic to create more funds for pet projects (coming to an arterial road near you!).

I do agree that negotiating on the basic premise that growth should be a transit capable hubs is a step backwards, and therefore density such as that suggested by JBG (and the REIT proposal for Ashby) should not come without major concessions for improved bus circulation equivalent to the psf concessions made by developments in the smart growth districts.

In fact let me go a step beyond this and say, ALL development should follow a basic premise of pay for the infrastructure you use (including SFH in the further burbs).

by Navid Roshan on Dec 26, 2013 4:06 pm • linkreport

dcunited.com/schedule

All that money and hoopla for 17 home games? Who else gets to play there? Do other orgs have to pay rent?

Is there a good reason district residents should foot the bill for a futbol stadium?
http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/12/02/the-king-of-sports-gregg-easterbrook-tac

by Perseus on Dec 26, 2013 9:51 pm • linkreport

Great rebuttal to the WCP article by Dizzy and others. I'm sure Aaron was mainly trying to generate page clicks by coining a new word, and in that sense it was probably a success, but he couldn't put forth an even marginally coherent argument in support of it. Hard to take anything he writes seriously after reading that.

by dno on Dec 27, 2013 2:19 am • linkreport

Watch yo back, Dizzy... Some o' dem good ol' boyz aint lock'd-up.

"the corruption and opacity of the old guard D.C. Democratic establishment, which is frequently not very progressive at all and produces grifters like Orange, Evans, Thomas, the Messrs. Brown, etc."

by @ShawingtonTimes on Dec 27, 2013 8:11 am • linkreport

"ALL development should follow a basic premise of pay for the infrastructure you use (including SFH in the further burbs)."

Bingo! I agree fully. Development of all types exhausts infrastructure capacity and must contribute to its enhancement. When this occurs, I see a variety of development as providing more choices and not imposing unfair, heavy burdens on the rest of society.

A new social contract with the residents of Fairfax County was made when the Tysons Plan was approved in 2010. Urban density would be created at the four rail stations and not elsewhere. Development would be phased with infrastructure and the development would be required to make substantial contributions to pay infrastructure costs.

I do disagree on the need for roads for Tysons. While things will change over time, the FC DOT and VDOT engineers have nailed what is needed. Should behavior change, those road plans should be revisited. But unless and until the behavior changes, no growth without the road additions.

by tmt on Dec 27, 2013 8:18 am • linkreport

A new social contract with the residents of Fairfax County was made when the Tysons Plan was approved in 2010. Urban density would be created at the four rail stations and not elsewhere.

That's a bit of a stretch. Even if the county was explicit in that reasoning its hard to see how the county could ever hope to abide by it. The county and region is urbanizing by virtue of the fact that the population is growing. If the normal commercial properties are going to redevelop in McLean anyway (because of renovations/whatever) then the county should emphasize good urban design anyway (street fronting, ground floor retail, form based codes).

by drumz on Dec 27, 2013 8:32 am • linkreport

@Drumz, this is part of the CBC McLean Revitalization plan already. At issue is the developers pushing the master plans levels of density without wanting to pay for the impacts that increasing that density create. Either way, all new developments in McLeans CBC are going to have better streetscape design, open space requirements, etc.

I don't think TMT (or the MCA) are against new projects in McLean, just properly scoped ones that if they need special exceptions offer concessions to the community that make it digestible (IIUC)

by Navid Roshan on Dec 27, 2013 8:37 am • linkreport

That's fine. Thats part of the process then. Though that's not what I understood from the point about "all urban density will be at tysons".

And in previous experience I've seen many people confuse form with density anyway.

It's just that the issues you and TMT bring up hardly seem insurmountable, especially when I can point to similar projects in similar locations in Fairfax that have worked very well.

by drumz on Dec 27, 2013 8:45 am • linkreport

I mean, unless you have some fear that the BOS is going to cave to their every demand and add even more but thats a different problem than what's actually being presented in the orignal article.

by drumz on Dec 27, 2013 8:51 am • linkreport

Actually, Aaron is right on target. It's anti-democratic position that ignores the complexity of markets and the need for real civic involvement.

by Rich on Dec 27, 2013 8:52 am • linkreport

@ShawingtonTimes

Watch yo back, Dizzy... Some o' dem good ol' boyz aint lock'd-up.

And they won't be. That's what separates the small-potatoes grifters like HTT and Fully Loaded from the higher class of For $ale political player like Grahamstander, Evans, and the Citrus Man. They are too smart and know the rules of the game too well to get jammed up. Barry was like that too - as he likes reminding people, he's never been convicted of anything corruption-related.

If Mara had been more politically astute, he would've pulled a Catania and dumped the toxic GOP brand.

by Dizzy on Dec 27, 2013 9:13 am • linkreport

Dizzy: "There is nothing libertarian-ish about opposing bad regulations."

I take it only regulations you agree with are "good". This is why your "rebuttal" falls apart and validates Aaron's article.

by Bob See on Dec 27, 2013 10:03 am • linkreport

It's not regulations that are good or bad. It's their effects. I think having a cleaner environment is good. That's why I like regulations that declare how efficient an engine must be.

I don't like living in a city that has an extremely expensive housing market. That's why I support removing some regulations that prevent housing from being built.

by drumz on Dec 27, 2013 10:06 am • linkreport

Because of course we like the laws we like. And we don't like laws that we don't like. I hardly see how that is controversial.

by drumz on Dec 27, 2013 10:08 am • linkreport

Dizzy's point is that it is not libertarian to oppose regulation that one believes are bad. What he thinks is good or bad is irrelevant. A philosophy of opposing some "bad" regulations while supporting other "good" ones is not libertarian. Why do you have do go on the attack and make it nasty and personal?

by David C on Dec 27, 2013 10:28 am • linkreport

@Bob See

Dizzy: "There is nothing libertarian-ish about opposing bad regulations."

I take it only regulations you agree with are "good". This is why your "rebuttal" falls apart and validates Aaron's article.

As opposed to what, exactly - all regulations being "good?" Yes, it's pretty tautological that I consider regulations I agree with to be "good" and those I don't to be "bad." I think the same is true for pretty much everyone else as well.

The weighing and consideration of specific regulations is, as a concept, apolitical, since pretty much everyone does this. Where politics, and in this case libertarianism, comes in is where the weighing gets influenced by political and philosophical beliefs. Libertarianism as a rule falls strongly on the side of non-regulation; it by-and-large treats economic freedom as a good, regulation as a sometimes-necessary evil, and imposes a very high burden of proof for imposing regulations.

The notion that 'Ubertarians' subscribe to this sort of libertarian philosophy is unsupportable. Aaron even says that they're not libertarians, but rather "they're as bleeding-heart as the next Washingtonian." But if the distinguishing characteristic of Ubertarians is that they don't simply accept all economic regulations and restrictions as inherently good, instead choosing to judge each one on their merits, then Aaron's piece ends up being an unfair hit piece on those "bleeding-hearts." Because the implication would be that they ARE simply reflexively in favor of all regulation just for the sake of regulation.

You have to go pretty far to the left - significantly beyond DCFPI or even Naderstan - to get to an ideological place where all government restrictions on commerce are ipso facto good. It's the kind of place where commerce and capitalism are usually seen as inherently bad.

This is all aside from the glaring fact that the attempted outlawing of Uber has nothing to do with consumer protection or other valid regulatory goals and everything to do with rent-seeking by incumbent business interests (cab companies) seeking to restrict competition through regulatory capture.

by Dizzy on Dec 27, 2013 10:42 am • linkreport

In My Backyard DC, in looking at the 'Ubertarian' piece, does a nice job of explaining the need to distinguish real and pecuniary externalities: http://inmybackyarddc.com/you-might-be-an-ubertarian/

by Dizzy on Dec 27, 2013 10:52 am • linkreport

As regards Broad Branch Rd., why not instead have a 10-12 ft. wide side path, then just two general purpose lanes? Why does alternative 4 only have one bike lane? Or is that for uphill only? Which would make sense...

by DaveG on Dec 27, 2013 10:54 am • linkreport

Its sad and amusing that so many journalists, especially on the left, paint libertarians with some cartoonish brush that Fox paints the Democrats, and MSNBC paints the Republicans.

For example, charter schools are a long standing libertarian theme, adding competition to public schools, without abolishing public schools. Libertarians long advocated for HOTT lanes, which combine a common good (roads) with competition to reduce cost and improve service. Libertarians are well known for abolishing drug laws. Libertarians have long criticized government surveillance.

Each of those issues are consistent with limiting laws that are not working or counterproductive, and adding market solutions to reform them. So far, each of those issues now have a wide constituency that is neither exclusively libertarian, GOP or Democratic.

Treating libertarians as Koch-funded Ayn Rand-acolites is not just wrong, its stupid and disingenous.

by SJE on Dec 27, 2013 2:29 pm • linkreport

"That's a bit of a stretch. Even if the county was explicit in that reasoning its hard to see how the county could ever hope to abide by it. The county and region is urbanizing by virtue of the fact that the population is growing. If the normal commercial properties are going to redevelop in McLean anyway (because of renovations/whatever) then the county should emphasize good urban design anyway (street fronting, ground floor retail, form based codes)."

As long as Tysons is not built out, the promise referenced above is basically "free" for the BoS. That is, the implicit assumption is that growth in McLean, Pimmit Hills, Dunn Loring, etc would largely cannibalize growth in the Tysons Urban District. Add to that other locations the county wants growth - Merrifield, Seven Corners, Baileys, Annandale, Rte 1, etc.

The "promise" only really becomes relevant as Tysons (and at least the closer of the redevelopment districts I list above) come close to build out under the current plan. By that point few members of the 2010 BoS will still be in office. And the County electorate will be different in many ways.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 28, 2013 9:20 am • linkreport

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