The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Dinner links: Save the planet

Image from Philips.
Streetlights of the future: Streetlights make up 2% of nationwide electrical demand. Some cities have started experimenting with innovative new streetlight designs. Some turn themselves off in bright moonlight or power themselves from nearby rivers. Others totally rethink the classic streetlight shape (which would never fly in most of DC). (Infrastructurist, Jaime)

30-plus years behind the times: NPS of course: The National Mall will start "studying" instituting a recycling program, which would be their first ever. (Post, Gavin Baker)

DC gets a B on trees: Casey Trees issued a report card on DC's trees, giving the city a B. It fared worst on tree protection, and best on the overall health of trees. (Washington Business Journal, Gavin Baker)

Have Obama’s first 100 days greened DC?: The Obama administration has now passed 100 days. City Renewed looks at his environmental impact so far.

Energy efficiency stimulus will go to solar panels and bags: DC will use its energy efficiency stimulus money for two projects: solar panels on schools, and free reusable bags. Chris C isn't so sure those are the best priorities, wishing for weatherization, green building, and private solar panel grants. (Green Building Law Update)

U Street hotel gets a little shorter: The developers of the proposed hotel on U Street, which I kept meaning to write about but never got a chance, have cut one story off the top. 14th and You liked it better taller.

5th and Mass gets a little safer: DDOT is expanding a triangular pedestrian refuge at 5th and Massachusetts, NW, taking a lane away from a tiny piece of I Street. (The Triangle)

1904 book promotes Columbia Heights: The booklet discusses ways to attract "home-seekers of the desired class" by promoting the neighborhood's advantages, including schools, churches, transportation, and having a cooler climate thanks to its higher altitude than downtown. (Red Sky at Night)

Hugs and helmets: Danish police stop bicyclists and offer a couple of surprises. (Lynda) Update: the video is fake.

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David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. 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 now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Well, we could certainly avoid the need for a streetlight tax (fee?) with some of these ideas. The aimable LEDs sound like a no-brainer, and the dimmable/timable ones seem like a pretty simply idea to implement. How about motion detectors with the lights on low until it detects motion?

by ah on Apr 30, 2009 4:29 pm • linkreport

It sucks they're lowering that hotel. It looked a lot better before despite the somewhat subtle change. Nimby's are so dumb sometimes, really, does this change reflect some big gripe that they had. The building looks a lot more ordinary for DC and less dramatic now. It's still a good development, but the one story makes a big difference.

by Vik on Apr 30, 2009 5:04 pm • linkreport

No mention in these lamp designs to direct light downward to enhance dark sky/reduce light pollution.

by Bianchi on Apr 30, 2009 5:15 pm • linkreport

If DC cops did that to me, I'd say thanks for the hug, you can keep the helmet. Not for me.

by Boots on Apr 30, 2009 5:39 pm • linkreport

Bianchi -- I took the aimable LEDs to do just that, although it isn't specifically mentioned.

by ah on Apr 30, 2009 5:44 pm • linkreport

10 stories ... 9 stories ... I don't see a big difference in how it looks ... or in how it functions. But I'm also not an adjoining neighbor. It's easy for us to criticize others who'll suffer the actual consequences of adding in what is a lot of building, where there currently is very little building. And yes, while it's nice to have a larger building there, for the rest of us ... if shaving 1 story makes it easier for the immediate neighbors to accept this massive change to their area, I'm okay with that. After all, shouldn't we do our best to accommodate ALL the interests? ... The developers apparently thought so.

by Lance on Apr 30, 2009 5:52 pm • linkreport

ah - oh yes. "aimable" does imply that. I read that as "amiable", like they were extra friendly or something.

by Bianchi on Apr 30, 2009 5:54 pm • linkreport

@Boots really? i'd say, thanks for the helmet, but no hug, please.

also... link for the 1904 CH book:

by sam on Apr 30, 2009 6:00 pm • linkreport

Hmmm...seeing as how Fenty's environmental platform in the last campaign revolved around protecting and promoting trees, can we chalk this up to another failure of his administration? Is Dan T going to axe someone over this?

by jeff on Apr 30, 2009 6:21 pm • linkreport

The taller hotel looked very much better than the lower one. Silly nimbyism. That one floor would not make much difference overall to the neighborhood, and they took a lovely building and made it much less nice to look at.

Why do none of those lights make allowance for aiming the light down to create/protect dark skies, i wonder.

by dcseain on Apr 30, 2009 6:39 pm • linkreport

Actually the Columbia Heights Streetscape design will include some of these streetlights of the future especially around the civic plaza. I'm not sure if the final selections have been made.

by W Jordan on Apr 30, 2009 6:42 pm • linkreport

Lance, it's merely a critique of the design. If that's what people want, I accept it but I have the right to criticize and that's all I was doing.

by Lance on May 1, 2009 10:46 am • linkreport

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