Greater Greater Washington

Dinner links: Some other great cities do great things


Photo from Streetsblog.
Public space much better without cars: Last weekend, New York City closed parts of Broadway to traffic. Residents suddenly discovered that Times Square could be a nice place. (Streetsblog)

How London is greater: 14th and You visits London, and brings back some examples of what the Brits do better in their national capital. Their zoning isn't so draconian, allowing for more pubs on the corners in residential areas, and they allow more development around Tube stations. They keep streets and parks looking nice, and continually improve the Tube.

Who's your Virginia governor candidate?: McAuliffe and Moran both make plenty of statements for smart growth and transit, and against sprawl and coal power plants. Deeds, not so much. What's the reality behind the rhetoric? (Sierra Club)

Fenty ignores law again, is sorry: Continuing his streak of not really worrying about laws, Mayor Fenty let some friends drive him around in official vehicles, even though only city employees are allowed to operate them. When pushed on the issue, he reversed course and said he'd stop.

Not so hot on Metro food: Dr. Gridlock's letter writers generally oppose proposals to explore packaged food vending in Metro stations. One letter writer, however, thinks Metro should just let people eat on the trains.

Chilling traffic on Wisconsin: Some residents along Wisconsin Avenue in "Chevy Chase West," including Michael Replogle (the one from the Environmental Defense Fund?) suggest some more pro-pedestrian practices on Wisconsin Avenue between Friendship Heights and Bethesda.

New York Avenue TMP presentation short on answers: DDOT presents their plans for managing traffic during construction of various projects around New York Avenue, but aren't able to answer many questions. They're also planning to make the roads around the New York Avenue/Florida Avenue intersection into a one-way triangular loop, and (thanks to the Wendy's nearby) calling it Dave Thomas Circle. (WashCycle)

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David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. 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 daughter in Dupont Circle. 

Comments

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Let me be the first one to say that I'm thrilled that there's finally a DC scandal involving a friend of the mayor doing something without pay rather than vice-versa.

by Reid on May 26, 2009 5:06 pm • linkreport

How are DC's zoning laws different from Baltimore's? In most Bmore residential neighborhoods, there's a bar/tavern on almost every street corner at almost all hours. The one's in the industrial areas east of Fell's Point are open at 8am to serve the bakery night shift folks who need a drink.

by monkeyrotica on May 27, 2009 7:23 am • linkreport

That particular stretch of Wisconsin Avenue is bordered on the east by a Chevy Chase Country Club. With bad urbanism like golf courses inside the Beltway, don't forsee the drivers slowing down on stretches like that one.

by Dave Murphy on May 27, 2009 10:14 am • linkreport

I sure hope the WMATA Board scraps this food-vending idea. I've lived in NYC and DC, and the ban on food is the major reason our trains are so much cleaner. The ones in NYC are just nasty! It's one thing to have newspapers lying around, but food wrappers and actual food is much worse.

If anything, Metro needs to increase its enforcment of the ban. It could begin stopping people at the turnstiles when they bring drinks and fast food onto trains. I'd be OK with exceptions for groceries, provided they're in a bag.

by JB on May 27, 2009 10:31 am • linkreport

@ JB

So what qualifies as groceries; I can get fastfood at a grocery store and not everybody eats on the train some people may purchase fast food say at a resturant that is beside the train station (pentagon city, galleryplace, union station etc) and eat it when they get home I have did that before so you would be blaming all instead of the one eating on the train.

by kk on May 27, 2009 1:49 pm • linkreport

I am so confused by this food ba in metro. America is the country where fast-food and the drive-through were invented. In the US, the number of cup-holders is a make-or-break point in the sale of a car. But no eating or drinking in the DC metro, while metro stations are excellent places for a quick snack.

What makes DC-metro-riders so different from the rest of America that they do not want to eat while riding metro?

I think it just shows a streak of conservatism in that people don't like change, and cling to what they have.

by Jasper on May 27, 2009 3:08 pm • linkreport

@ Jasper

I wouldnt go as far as saying that people dont want to eat there has never been a poll on metro riders that targets every type of rider old, young etc to get a realistic view of would they want to eat or not eat most of the debates on the issue have been on blogs and not in the real world where you would get unbiased views.

Marc allows eating how does it compare to other places that allow eating, plus lots people are chewing gum on metro lots of the time anyway so why would they be doing that if there not hungry or something.

by kk on May 27, 2009 3:17 pm • linkreport

@ kk: please learn the function of punctuation your post is now pretty unreadable but from what i understand you are arguing that there has never been a realistic poll i am not sure about that i think it's mostly an attitude thing foreign railway systems live from the snacks they offer and try really hard to keep people in their stations as opposed to getting them out as soon as possible

by Jasper on May 27, 2009 5:10 pm • linkreport

London has neighborhood pubs on almost every corner on neighborhood high streets but public houses are there to provide low cost meals to neighborhood residents and workers, whole families go there, and pubs have to close at midnight in most towns. The liquor sales subsidize the low cost meals.

London is hardly an excuse to put nightclubs in residential zones. (London actually regulates nightclubs, which open at midnight very severely.)

That said, as in Baltimore, bars that are open in the daytime serve a function in neighborhood business zones and zoning should encourage ones that are closed in the daytime to occupy as little sidewalk frontage as possible.

by Tom Coumaris on May 28, 2009 11:01 am • linkreport

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