Breakfast links I: Park and ride
No parking including city employees: DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services employees regularly park personal vehicles in front of a hydrant near their offices at T and Vermont, NW. Officials were belligerent when a neighbor complained, despite a FEMS policy that employees have to park legally. There's a Metro station just across the street. (City Paper)
Enforcing on the enforcers: A Prince of Petworth reader got a picture of a parking enforcement car being towed. Was parking enforcement parking illegally, or did the car just break down? Probably the latter.
Parking tickets aren't taxes: A Philadelphia columnist calls parking tickets a "curb tax." A tax professor reminds people that fines and user fees aren't taxes, and explains the wisdom of pricing parking to reflect the market. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Mauled Again) ... Relatedly, @RegBazile tweeted, "Want to protest parking enforcement? Obey the rules. Zero ticket revenue for government! That'll teach 'em!" (Abbreviations removed).
Pay to valet: From the "news I meant to write about in more detail but didn't" file: DC has implemented new valet parking regulations requiring businesses to pay (50 cents per hour) to reserve street space as valet staging zones. (Post, Michael P)
Krugman looks where Samuelson doesn't: Ryan Avent, Matt Yglesias, and others have been beating up on Robert Samuelson all week for essentially comparing the average population density of the entire U.S. to Europe's, and concluding high-speed rail is therefore impractical. The fallacy: most people don't live in Montana. Paul Krugman looks more intelligently at Census data and finds that about ¼ of the population lives in areas as dense as his home near Princeton, where trains are a major form of transportation, and where European-style HSR could be quite successful. And that doesn't even consider the future land use potential of HSR. (Times, Cavan)
What's really inefficient is freeway building: Saint Louis Urban Workshop modifies Samuelson's op-ed to replace "high-speed rail" with "endless highway and road building." All of a sudden the arguments make more sense. (Via @NewUrbanism)
Baltimore testing smartcard: Do you ride the Baltimore Metro subway? MTA is testing their smartcard, called the CharmCard, and looking for volunteers to participate in a 60-day beta. It will eventually work with WMATA, too. (MTA, Baltimore Sun, Matt')
If you're happy and you know it ride the train: VRE riders are "somewhat happier" with their service, with 75% of riders giving the service an A or a B, up from 71% last year. On-time performance has improved, too, though some of that came from fixing schedules to allow more time when trains were regularly late. (Examiner)Lots of links today. Stay tuned for part II.
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- Metro policy for refunds after delays falls short, riders say
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- Cyclists are special and do have their own rules
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money
- ICC losing bus service in classic bait and switch