Breafast links: More sustainable practices
5 cents for a bag here and elsewhere: The DC Council unanimously passed the 5-cent fee on carryout bags. The New York State legislature is one step closer to letting New York City do the same, the Baltimore City Council is considering a 25-cent fee, and a California editorial endorses a similar measure there. Connecticut will wait a year.
DoD budget includes Medical Center Metro entrance: The Department of Defense budget submitted by President Obama includes $20 million for a new, second entrance to the Medical Center Metro on the east side of Rockville Pike. This would significantly facilitate transit access to the key BRAC facility. (Gazette)
BaltWash SmarTrip: Maryland MTA and WMATA have worked out an agreement to allow the same smart cards to work on MTA's Baltimore area transit facilities as well as WMATA's around Washington. (
Bicycle DC Transportation Examiner)
Metro challenges include ridership crunch, "reputation deficit": Understanding Government reports on WMATA. Rising ridership amid aging infrastructure in need of maintenance will be a big challenge for WMATA, as is a "reputation deficit" stemming largely from a history of poor communication internally and with riders. The report says Catoe took major steps to bring in new blood and reduce the military-style, chain-of-command method of sharing information within the agency, but has a ways to go yet.
DDOT will also improve 6th and Florida: 15th and W Streets, NW isn't the only location where DDOT plans pedestrian safety improvements. Florida Avenue at 6th Street, in LeDroit Park, is another danger spot. DDOT and MPD have agreed to an action plan for this intersection. (EdgewoodDC Listserv, Stephen Miller)
Police under pressure to write tickets: Police departments nationwide are writing speeding tickets at a higher rate at the behest of elected officials, and drivers are unhappy. Of course, those traffic laws all have really good reasons for existing, and it is simply a good idea to enforce them. It is too bad that many elected officials turn a blind eye to violations until they need more money. One driver quoted in the article might provide the reason: he argued that tolerating illegal driving promotes tourism. Right or wrong, that could persuade many lawmakers. (Car and Driver, Cavan)
Highway fund out of money, again: Once again,the Highway Trust Fund will go broke in August without major project cutbacks or another infusion of funds from Congress. This also matters for transit since the fund pays for Federal transit funding. Notably, one Republican Senator, George Voinovich, now agrees the gas tax must be raised. (Yahoo, Froggie)
Rethinking the mall, or not: A jurist on a "Design the Mall of the Future" contest writes about some of the plans and how they envisioned cities and urbanism. Many disregarded pedestrian needs, especially outside of malls, but one of the best simply describes the mall of the future as a mixed-use urban neighborhood like many being built today. (NY Times, MarkM, Chris R)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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