Greater Greater Washington

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Breakfast links: Vox populi


Petworth doesn't want to look like this for a Sunday. Photo by Ekey84.
Make no little plans for Summer Streets: The Petworth ANC and Northwest Current didn't like DDOT's idea of closing Kansas Avenue for a Summer Streets program later this year, despite very low traffic there on weekends and ample alternate routes. Richard Layman says we need more population density for Summer Streets. How about finding a suitable route through Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Dupont and Foggy Bottom, and then across the Mall to Near Southeast and Capitol Hill? Some people will complain no matter what, but that would hit many of the most bicycle-heavy neighborhoods. (RPUS)

Buses are confusing, what else is new?: We can learn a lot about what's confusing in our bus systems by the experiences of newer residents. Noah Kazis wanted to ride from Union Station to the ballpark but got tripped up by old maps which showed the N22 instead of the Circulator. Noah also suggests a more schematic bus map. (Here's one for Circulator.) (TheCityFix DC)

Is NextBus data proprietary?: One company calling itself "NextBus Information Systems" claims that SF Muni's arrival information is their own intellectual property. But that company isn't the same as the actual NextBus company, and Muni insists that the data is public. Nonetheless, at the first company's request, Apple took down a bus prediction app from the iPhone app store. (SFAppeal)

In search of an official modernist champion, you mean: Roger Lewis wants to see some American leaders really embrace architecture, like Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But he really wants one who loves modernism, criticizing Britain's Prince Charles for pushing for one design over another. (Post)

Rails and trails: Washcycle summarizes a Finish The Trail series rebutting anti-Purple Line forces' arguments about the Capital Crescent Trail. ... A growing number of Virginia organizations are petitioning the Commonwealth to include pedestrian and bike facilities along with future rail projects. (VBF, Gavin Baker) ... That might include high-speed rail to Richmond, the subject of another petition for high-speed rail on the DC-Richmond corridor, a project Virginia plans to submit for a competitive stimulus grant. (Joey)

And...: People are moving to the new development by the ballpark, but slowly (DCmud) ... On this date in 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which pushed the federal funding match to 90-10 and ushered in the modern interstate era (FHWA, Stephen Miller) ... FIFA's top issue to get ready for the World Cup in South Africa? Transportation; a park-and-ride system hasn't worked well during the Confederations Cup.

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David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. 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 loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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Wait, did Roger Lewis just compare Prince Charles to Stalin and the Nazis? WTF!?

And is Charles really all for neoclassical specifically, or what that just Lewis trying to shoehorn his whole if-you're-against-modernism-you-are-the-moral-equivalent-of-Albert-Speer. Hey Lewis, you can hate the failings and dominance of modernism without loving neoclassical design, facism, or the indiscriminate killing of puppies.

It's crap like that that makes me all the more happy to not listen to the crocodile tears of the modernists lamenting the destruction of train wrecks like the Third Church.

by Reid on Jun 29, 2009 9:47 am • linkreport

Lewis obviously has a pro-modernist agenda. He tots out Roger's Pritzker Prize credentials but doesn't give Charles' Athena Medal the slightest peep.

Prince Charles is a recipient of probably the urban planning world's highest award, but reading Lewis' article you'd think Charles were some poor uneducated boob who doesn't know any better.

by BeyondDC on Jun 29, 2009 10:01 am • linkreport

Lewis's claim that "Hitler and Stalin embraced neoclassicism" is deeply misleading as well. Notwithstanding the occasional fluted column, the ersatz classicism favored by the fascist dictators had much in common with modernism as well.

by Steve on Jun 29, 2009 10:46 am • linkreport

As long as architecture is varied and creative, I don't care whether it is beaux arts or neo-gothic or just a jumble of crap Getty design.

Why the heck aren't more people advocating for the Purple Line to be part of the Metro, buried underground to leave surface transportation options un-interrupted, to keep the Capital Crescent Trail intact, and to prepare for the coming years when Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton will be a lot more densely populated and will need Metro speed and capacity to serve them.

by lexslamman on Jun 29, 2009 11:10 am • linkreport

Why the heck aren't more people advocating for the Purple Line to be part of the Metro[?]
Because doing so would make the perfect the enemy of the good. Since an underground HRT purple line is a non-starter (in the present financial climate) people support the best available option which is LRT on the Georgetown Branch right-of-way.

by Steve on Jun 29, 2009 11:30 am • linkreport

... And because light rail is perfectly capable of handling the capacities expected and it would be a gigantic waste of money to build more capacity than we need, especially when there are so many places where we're short on capacity.

by BeyondDC on Jun 29, 2009 11:39 am • linkreport

the issue “at the top of the top of the list” for FIFA is improving the World Cup transportation system in a country without a reliable national rail network

Um... then how on earth did we manage to host the Cup in '94?

by Adam S on Jun 29, 2009 11:43 am • linkreport

Hypothetically, how easy is it to adapt LRT like the purple line into HRT like Metro? You'd have to lengthen the platforms and perhaps modify the power system, but is the track gauge the same?

by Steve on Jun 29, 2009 11:53 am • linkreport

It seems that Lewis is not "pushing modernism", but rather pushing variation. I'd like to see more postmodern buildings in the region.

by MatthewMc on Jun 29, 2009 12:08 pm • linkreport

Steve: You'd also have to completely grade-separate (that is, either bury or elevate) the line. Grade crossings are incompatible with third rail power, which is what Metro uses.

by Adam S on Jun 29, 2009 12:26 pm • linkreport

The Navy Yard Circulator was a mistake, when it was the N22 every bus was full during a typical weekday, now most are empty because of where the stops are and doesnt serve the area good.

First thing people don't want to have to go all the way to the garage to catch the bus doing so waste time, not everbody is going into Union Station so if someone is coming off the street and not already inside of building why would they go all the way up to the garage to catch a bus while others stop on the street. Transfering to another bus is not easy, the bus has no stops with any Metrobuses when leaving Union Station your only choice is to walkup to the garage to catch it. When it was the N22 all you had to do is go across from Union Station on Mass Ave and catch the bus there which was quite easier and made from way better transfers.

It has just become a shuttle from Union Station to the Stadium and nothing else, they could have atleast kept weekend service now anyone wanting to go from Union Station to anywhere from Capitol Hill, Eastern Market to Navy Yard has to jump through hoops to get there: such as catching a 96/7 + 90/2 or 32/4/6 , X8 + 90/2

As for the map it is not hard to figure out take the damn time and try to learn the map, instead of wanting it now it is not a train map where there are only a few lines there are dozens upon dozens of bus routes they all can not fit onto a map such as the metrorail or underground maps.

Doing so would leave out many of the routes which would cause more problems. A bus map can never succeed as a map similar to the underground unless it is for non local bus service; how would you find out what streets a bus passes if it was similar to the underground map you wouldn't.

A better solution for this is get a damn map and learn the city first then get a bus map and learn the bus routes or otherwise don't take the bus.

by Kk on Jun 29, 2009 3:39 pm • linkreport

"You'd also have to completely grade-separate (that is, either bury or elevate) the line. Grade crossings are incompatible with third rail power, which is what Metro uses."

@ Adam

Doesn't metro have some at grade crossing at the maintenance facility between NY Ave & Rhode Island Ave station?

I have seen a car drive over the tracks before following a path that lead across a portion of track before and the third rail stopped for a moment and picked up on the other side of the crossing.

by KK on Jun 29, 2009 3:44 pm • linkreport

Re: bus maps. I think at the very least WMATA needs better maps online. Dealing with pdfs is a huge hassle. Particularly if you want to get them on a smartphone (and this applies to schedules too). And so long as you're using a pdf, there's no reason to have the whole downtown/outline split; you could just make the pdf bigger. It's really annoying having to drag the pdf document back and forth trying to trace buslines through the downtown.

But really, they should have a google maps-like usability. They're still living in the stone age and it really reflects a callous attitude towards busriders, namely that they don't really need that much information (hence the inscrutable schedules with information for a fraction of the stops).

by Reid on Jun 29, 2009 5:00 pm • linkreport

@ Reid

I agree

On a computer the pdfs are fine but could be updated more often. I remember the old bus maps that WMATA sold for $1.50 they listed each route on the site and where it goes perhaps that could be added to the pdf's

WMATA site almost never gets updated besides the index page.
If you search through the site you can find old ass info about service that is no more.

Drop the damn Adobe Flash, it is horrible on all platforms

I understand the problem with smartphones and WMATA they also have problems for the site working with regular mobile phones which the majority of mobile phone users have.

WMATA needs two separate sites with the same exact info posted at the same time; one regular version and one mobile version and perhaps apps for blackberry, iphone, windows mobile, android and webos

WMATA has a damn problem with updating anything.
It seems that they only update info on the site once per quarter, the bus schedules and maps are never up to date on the site.

I have witnessed bus route changes and nothing on the site about them until after I've called and asked about it.

I've seen bus stops that still list buses that have been discontinued almost a decade ago such as the N7, V4, X4, X9, 40, 44

Some of the signs seem to have the orginal lines listed covered up with tape like how it was done with some red line stations that list the original names of stations. Just repaint the s**t or put new one on how much does it cost for about a 8x10inch sheet of metal.

by Kk on Jun 29, 2009 6:27 pm • linkreport

Oh, those evil Modernists and their wicked obsessions with clean lines. Next thing you know the kids are going to be wearing turtlenecks and it'll be mass hysteria.

by Daniel M. Laenker on Jun 30, 2009 11:47 am • linkreport

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