Lunch links: Feel the power
It runs on STEEM: Alstom has introduced yet another non-overhead-wire streetcar power system. STEEM uses large batteries inside vehicles, which charge when they brake (like a Prius) and when they're sitting in stations. Paris will be testing the system, which can also use regular catenary in some sections. It wouldn't work for long-distance light rail, but might be ideal for DC's streetcars, as long as the systems have enough juice to allow air conditioning, which Paris doesn't have. (The Transport Politic via City Block)
House not so into sharing: Almost nobody is using the US House of Representatives bike sharing system. Richard Layman says the stations aren't in the right places, like the Metro station, and that the House should instead join DC's bike sharing system. (RPUS)
Loudoun cyclists get lower fines: Some of the cyclists ticketed by Loudoun police for slowly running stop signs during a recent organized ride appeared in court yesterday. Local lawyer Doug Landau represented two of the cyclists pro bono, and worked out a deal where they pled guilty to not having sufficient reflectors on their bikes. They paid a smaller fine and got no points on their licenses. Unfortunately, another cyclist decided to represent himself (despite the offer from Landau), and got four points on his license and the larger fine. (TheAthletesLawyer)
Virginia's 15th Beltway, 2135?: Will Virginia remain stuck in a perpetual loop of raising taxes to expand roads, which expand sprawl, which means more roads and higher taxes? Or will Virginia wise up and start looking more at Smart Growth to stop the financial woes plaguing VDOT's current balance sheet? (Your Piece of the Planet, Joshua D)
Zero texting tolerance: After a Metrorail operator was caught texting while operating a train and officials called for Metro to fire the employees, Metro has instituted a new policy allowing them to do just that.
Barclays-Atlantic-Pacific: New York will rename the Atlantic-Pacific subway station to include the name of the Barclays Center, the new NBA area planned for the area. Barclays will pony up $200,000 a year for 20 years to rename the station, and the MTA is interested in renaming additional stations. Last year, Jim Graham insisted that DC would not be entertaining the same concept for the Navy Yard Metro. (CNN via Americablog, Steve)
And...: ReBurbia is a design competition to imagine the future of suburbs, as more limited natural resources make large-scale low-density living less practical (Jaime) ... Some Metro staff are still abusing parking privileges at Takoma Metro (Unsuck DC Metro) ... A CB2 store might join the burgeoning furniture district on 14th Street, at the former Central Union Mission site at 14th and R. (WBJ via Borderstan).Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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