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Breakfast links: Ward 8 winners


Photo by Bob Simmons on Flickr.
Bike lanes in all 8 wards: Ward 8 should get its first bike lanes soon. The 3 lanes totaling about 1.5 miles will eventually connect to a planned off-road South Capitol Street bike trail. Or maybe they aren't the first after all? (City Paper, Twitter)

Wait, there's an election?: You probably don't know there's an election Tuesday for the Ward 8 State Board of Education seat. The DC Council could have moved it to November and saved about $300,000, but didn't. (City Paper)

Housing the homeless: DC will most likely replace its 1350-bed homeless shelter downtown near its current spot, but will there be room for everything? (DCist) ... Silver Spring will get a replacement homeless shelter in a land swap deal. (WBJ)

A small moratorium lift: New restaurants in Adams Morgan can now apply for a liquor license, though many other aspects of the 14-year moratorium remain in place. The move comes with the support of the local ANC. (DCist)

FBI to... AFRH?: Springfield and Poplar Point are probably out for the FBI headquarters, since GSA now wants even bigger security setbacks than before. The federal government also is apparently considering the Armed Forces Retirement Home on North Capitol Street and the Walter Reed campus. (Post)

Facelift for Upper Marlboro?: Upper Marlboro's business district could get a sprucing up if it wins a grant to improve storefront facades. Business owners would have to partially match any funds that would improve their stores. (Gazette)

Where are the stores?: Manassas Park hopes a recently-built mixed-use building near the VRE station will revitalize downtown, but that will only work if retail stores actually open up there. (Potomac Local)

Filmed in DC?: Can DC's new movie and TV office head woo more films and shows to shoot in the District? Do overlapping federal and local rules make it too daunting? And is it worth it to get into an incentives arms race with other states? (City Paper)

And...: Montgomery County is thinking about a 24 hour snow removal law. (WAMU)... What can you do with a shipping pallet and some wheels? Ride streetcar rails. (Pulptastic) ... A man says an Uber driver took him on a high-speed chase. (Post)

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Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  

Comments

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Glad ward 8 is getting some love, but it's absurd they nixed the MLK lanes between HA and CH. Hopefully that will be looked at again since St. E's has been delayed/changed. Though I will often bike downhill (CH to HA) you def. won't catch me puffing put that hill!

And what about the expansion of CaBi stations EOTR? They get solid use but the network out there is inadequate in terms of range and frequency.

by h st ll on Jul 10, 2014 9:14 am • linkreport

If they never get that trolley off the ground and running, be on the lookout for customized pallets running up and down H street

by Brett Young on Jul 10, 2014 9:15 am • linkreport

The Armed Forces Retirement Home on North Capitol Street and the Walter Reed campus are not ideal choices for the FBI. The Retirement Home grounds could be a wonderfull opportunity for a Central Park with ample room for developed edges and Walter Reed shoud be an open urban context. Security setbacks don't seem to lend themselves to these sites.

by Thayer-D on Jul 10, 2014 9:19 am • linkreport

If they can't fit the FBI in Springfield, land of huge warehouse complexes and highway interchanges then that really makes me wonder about anyplace suitable inside the District.

by drumz on Jul 10, 2014 9:26 am • linkreport

re FBI: the AFRH would be an awful choice for the city. While cordoned off to a degree, it is at least nice and green. This would completely close it off to everyone. It also hosts the annual DCCX race. That'd have to move. I don't know what else goes on there. And what about the retirees who live there? And I'd hate to see the redevelopment of Walter Reed get pushed out--isn't that supposed to be the entire campus? The article says the FBI would use the "eastern" part.

by RDHD on Jul 10, 2014 9:27 am • linkreport

The moratorium has hurt Adams Morgan. With the exception of the planned hotel, the area has remained largely unchanged.

The moratorium did not bring in retail (which was one of the hopes of the proponents), or substantially impact the number of late-night entertainment spots. But it has raised the cost of liquor licenses hurting the ability of new restaurants to open. The adjustments to the moratorium should help some.

In any event, Adams Morgan is no longer a go-to spot for young people. Areas such as south of Dupont Circle on Connecticut seem to be getting a lot of interest, and then there's 14th/U and H St.

The reduction in restrictions should help. If restaurants don't have to pay what amounts to a moratorium tax for a license, perhaps that will make the area more appealing to new types of restaurants that aren't dependent on drunk college kids.

by kob on Jul 10, 2014 9:39 am • linkreport

The moratorium has hurt Adams Morgan.
Agreed.

With the exception of the planned hotel, the area has remained largely unchanged.
Disagree - there are plenty of new places in Adams Morgan. Taan, Mintwood Place, Donburi, Mellow Mushroom, Sakuramen, Smoke & Barrel are some of the places that have opened in the past few years. There are many better restaurants than there used to be.

Agree too that easing the moratorium will help new and better places succeed instead of propping up the same-old places that already have licenses.

by MLD on Jul 10, 2014 9:52 am • linkreport

@ MLD; if you believe the purpose of the moratorum was to drive up the value of liquor licences and therefore turn over bars serving college students (not much money) into restaurants (smaller product, higher margins) then the evidence you are suppling suggest it is working well.

Also, you've got to measure yourself against peer groups. All food in DC is beter than 10 or 15 years ago -- well, at least the foodies think so.

Another measure is whether real estate prices have gone up there. I don't know, and again they've gone up everywhere, but the majority of people who bought there that I know saying ("It is only bad on weekends") have hightailed out.

With the BIXI bankruptcy, the lack of any new bikes+stations being produced, and the medium-strong possibility that we may never see new bikes produced, I'd say it is time to start pulling those bikes and stations EOTR and using them where they will be used.

by charlie on Jul 10, 2014 10:10 am • linkreport

Ward 8 State Board of Education should read Ward 8 City or Municipal Board of Education.

by Sand Box John on Jul 10, 2014 10:18 am • linkreport

Adam's Morgan just got caught in the undertow of our changing city. Just when they went for their big make over, 14th street and H street took off. In many ways, this is what Adam Morganers wanted, to minimize the bro crowd. Now it feels kind of sleepy with gorgeous sidewalks, but it's still a wonderful neighborhood.

by Thayer-D on Jul 10, 2014 10:21 am • linkreport

@charlie MLD is correct that some good restaurants have opened. But Adams Morgan has always had a number of restaurants; the new ones are an improvement and, you're right, it reflects a city-wide trend. But what hasn't changed is the still significant number of clubs that cater to the very late night crowd. I don't think the mix of restaurants to clubs has changed all that much. The clubs are anchored-in like rocks thanks, I believe, to the moratorium.

by kob on Jul 10, 2014 10:25 am • linkreport

@Brett Young, "customized pallets"... be cautious, my friend, WAPO may think this is a serious idea, like the bike elevator, and we could have another Courtland "responsible journalism" column about "caucasian, wealthy vagrants on customized pallets" overtaking our city, after the swarm of Biblical locusts first (snark).

by Gabriel on Jul 10, 2014 10:31 am • linkreport

I disagree a little about AFRH. Neither North Capital or Irving lend themselves much to urbanism. On the other side the rest of old soldiers home could be incorporated into the buffer. While it's not ideal in terms of potential development there, it could be fit into the context without tremendous disruption. Plus it is close to Ft Totten and Brookland so while not as transit accessible as downtown, it's better than most options and may actually spur improved service levels around there. And it would be convenient for most people living in DC and or encourage people to move into the area. The people commuting from NOVA would suffer a bit though.

by BTA on Jul 10, 2014 10:38 am • linkreport

There's pretty widespread acceptance that new restaurants but not new nightclubs are desirable. The problem is that ABRA rarely if ever enforces the distinction. If there were strict enforcement there wouldn't be opposition to changes like Dupont Circle and Adams-Morgan have made.

There's never an intelligent discussion because the local libertarian/tea party gaggle always screams that there should be no restrictions and drowns any discussion nazi-like.

As an alternative our 50%-per-block limit on 14th is helping us get a lot of community retail. (There was a lot of outrage when Fenty raised it to 50%). So far 50% seems to work in preventing the downward spiral A-M went through but only time will tell if the licences turn to sleazy bars and clubs.

by Tom Coumaris on Jul 10, 2014 10:45 am • linkreport

Ward 8 State Board of Education should read Ward 8 City or Municipal Board of Education.

No, it should not. The State Board of Education is named for the role that it fills; DC is considered a state-level entity by the Federal Government for the purposes of adminstering funds and programs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_department_of_education

We can quibble about the branding, but the state-level functions are indeed different from city/municipal functions, and the name is meant to reflect that.

by Alex B. on Jul 10, 2014 10:45 am • linkreport

Adams Morgan has changed for the better in 10 years. It suffered when U st surged in the 2005-2010 period but its coming into its own as a more local rather than regional nightlife area. I don't spend a lot of my time there but I love a lot of places like Doner Bistro, Donburi, Amsterdam Falafel, Smoke & Barrel etc. I think its more demographic than liquor license related though.

by BTA on Jul 10, 2014 10:51 am • linkreport

John it is actually called the State Board of Education, strangely enough. I suspect it's something bureaucratic based on how it interacts with the federal government.

by BTA on Jul 10, 2014 10:52 am • linkreport

These security demands get ever more ridiculous. If the FBI was willing to locate in the middle of DC in the 1960s when the Cold War was raging and everybody thought the city was bound to be nuked eventually, it's absolutely absurd that they think they need some remote fortress in the 21st Century.

by iaom on Jul 10, 2014 11:08 am • linkreport

Just put the FBI in Greenbelt and call it a day. I think they like Greenbelt and are just making it seem like they tried to look at all other alternatives. I agree that both Walter Reed and the AFRH could be better used by the city. Sure, the security requirements won't help Greenbelt look any prettier, but there are larger benefits to Greenbelt and the surrounding areas. Namely by people looking for homes closer to work, lunch time crowds, and those who wish to hang out after work to shop, eat, or drink, etc. And let's not forget shots in movies and TV shows!

But anything is better than what's there now, which is nothing.

by adelphi_sky on Jul 10, 2014 11:15 am • linkreport

put the FBI in a cornfield in Nebraska if they want to have an enormous buffer.

by Birdie on Jul 10, 2014 11:50 am • linkreport

The moratorium probably has had less impact on Adams-Morgan than the Eastward movement of population, entertainment, etc. In many respects it's in better shape than one would expect given the rise of U Street, 14th Street, etc.

by Rich on Jul 10, 2014 11:58 am • linkreport

I'm so sick and tired of District elected officials acting like starry-eyed rubes chasing after movie stars over and over. The city's pedestrian environment is already trashed constantly by construction sites and by federal officials going around in their 50-block-long vanity motorcades; we don't need to make it worse with film crews made up of the most insufferable people on earth who block up whole neighborhoods with ten thousand trucks and trailers and display absolute withering contempt for the residents of the neighborhoods they're ruining.

Is there any kind of organized opposition movement I could join?

by iaom on Jul 10, 2014 12:08 pm • linkreport

It's good to see the fed'l gov't considering the AFRH.

It's a shame our mayor and council just threw in the towel in its efforts to keep the FBI and its many high-paying jobs in DC.

by Brett on Jul 10, 2014 12:35 pm • linkreport

@kob

You know that restaurants can function perfectly fine without alcohol right ? You are there for food not drinks!

by kk on Jul 10, 2014 12:51 pm • linkreport

@kk - Many restaurants rely on alcohol sales to survive, with it making up between 30% and 75% of a restaurants income (the high end at places like Tao Las Vegas, see: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/01/the-most-profitable-restaurant-in-america/68862/)

by Thad on Jul 10, 2014 1:21 pm • linkreport

@Birdie - actually it's too bad the entire Federal Government wasn't moved to Nebraska or Kansas after the Civil War so as to be centrally located within the US (lower 48 at least).

by DaveG on Jul 10, 2014 1:32 pm • linkreport

kk, I disagree. I rarely if ever go to a dinner and don't have at least a beer. I don't mind BYOB but for the most part I wouldn't just pop into those places especially when there are alternatives.

by BTA on Jul 10, 2014 1:34 pm • linkreport

OK, That being said let's call it, for reporting purposes the District Board of Education for the simple reason that it preforms the tasks of both a state Board of Education and a City or Municipal Board of Education.

by Sand Box John on Jul 10, 2014 1:46 pm • linkreport

There's never an intelligent discussion because the local libertarian/tea party gaggle always screams that there should be no restrictions and drowns any discussion nazi-like.

I strongly believe we should not use the word "Nazi" to describe people who are not at least advocating genocide. Dominating the discussion of nightclub regulations is not Nazism.

by alurin on Jul 10, 2014 3:45 pm • linkreport

@Brett, who cares whether the FBI's high-paying jobs are in DC? What matters in a cost-benefit analysis to the city is where the people pulling down those salaries live, and it ain't DC.

by cminus on Jul 10, 2014 5:11 pm • linkreport

I originally felt the District should compete to keep FBI, but given these ridiculous security demands I'm now with the others saying they belong in a cornfield somewhere. Hell, they can move in next door to the creepy NSA facility in Utah for all I care.

They definitely don't belong at the AFRH. DC should be looking to boulevardize that part of North Cap. We don't need a 6-8 lane highway there. The road is 4 lanes on either side of that stretch.

by dcmike on Jul 10, 2014 5:21 pm • linkreport

@cminus

"who cares whether the FBI's high-paying jobs are in DC?"

I care because it affects DC's economy.

by Brett on Jul 10, 2014 6:12 pm • linkreport

If they can't fit the FBI in Springfield, land of huge warehouse complexes and highway interchanges then that really makes me wonder about anyplace suitable inside the District.

The reason the Springfield site was nixed is that it's partly on a CIA "training facility". By training facility, I'd guess they mean it's an entrance to the massive network of secret tunnels that exists from DC all the way to Mount Weather in VA.

As for moving to Nebraska, there's nothing at FBI HQ that's sensitive enough to need that. Nebraska, Kansas, etc. are for bunkers housing far more sensitive operations.

I'm guessing they go with Greenbelt.

by Falls Church on Jul 10, 2014 6:53 pm • linkreport

@Brett, how? FBI employees already generate relatively low levels of spillover benefit for neighboring businesses because they don't want to deal with the hassle of getting in and out of the existing security cordon; it's going to be far worse if the FBI gets a bigger and more involved cordon in an area with almost no local businesses nearby. DC's economy would be far better served by using the space for pretty much anything else, whether residential, commercial, parkland, or even a government facility that doesn't require the heightened security.

by cminus on Jul 11, 2014 10:15 am • linkreport

With the BIXI bankruptcy, the lack of any new bikes+stations being produced, and the medium-strong possibility that we may never see new bikes produced,..

Everyone I've talked to at DDOT, Arlington County and Alta is far more confident that new bikes will be produced.

by David C on Jul 11, 2014 2:04 pm • linkreport

@DavidC; new bikes, yes. the new french ones ALTA are using in seattle. I don't know if they are compatible with existing docks. From the picture I've seen, the docking mechanism on the bikes looks different.

ALTA is clearly moving away from the former suppliers, and even if they get an arrangement to make more it is unclear who owns the rights. Rumor has it that the IP rights were stripped from BIXI and given back to the city of montreal. Again highly unclear.

It is a cluserf***, and Alta doesn't have a great track record of being forthright.

by charlie on Jul 11, 2014 2:42 pm • linkreport

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