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Afternoon links: Ending the year, beginning construction

Twinbrook Metro parking lot. Photo by M.V. Jantzen.
MARC explains why not: Michael Dresser gets an explanation from MARC on why they don't allow bikes, which he considers persuasive: they looked at vertical racks near the ends of cars, but that would have required removing some seats. (Baltimore Sun, David A)

Top ten for transit: Dr. Gridlock runs through his picks for the top transit stories of 2009, from the June Red Line crash to NextBus to ICC tolls. (Post)

Killed in Columbia Heights, injured in Rockville: Last night shortly before 1:30 AM, a female pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run at the intersection of Park Road and 16th Street NW. Less than eight hours later, just before 9:00 AM, two female pedestrians were seriously injured on Champman Avenue in Rockville. The women, ages 20 and 63, were in a crosswalk near the Twinbrook Metro station. Police blamed driver distraction, but it remains unclear what exactly that distraction might have been. (, WJLA)

Great Streets construction: Construction on Pennsylvania Avenue was scheduled to begin this morning, covering two miles from 27th Street to Southern Avenue in Southeast. Among other improvements, one of the avenue's lanes will be turned into a median. View DDOT's Pennsylvania Avenue Great Streets project page for more information. (DDOT)

Free speech on the Metrobus: Stand for Marriage DC, the group headed by Bishop Harry Jackson, has placed ads on Metrobuses that call for a referendum on same-sex marriage in the District. This has led to a split within the city's GLBT community, with some calling on WMATA to remove the ads and others arguing for protection of this speech. (DC Agenda, Post)

Metro and the federal government, together forever: In a Post op-ed, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton notes that last week's snowstorm demonstrated the close relationship between the federal government and Metro, and the importance of ensuring that the federal government lives up to its obligation to fund $1.5 billion of capital costs for Metro.

Tax abatements for Donatelli: As turmoil continues in the real estate market, Ruth Samuelson notes that the DC City Council is set to give final approval on January 5 to tax abatements for apartment and condo developments by Donatelli Development in Petworth and Columbia Heights. (Housing Complex)

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Stephen Miller lived in the District from 2008 to 2011 and is now a student at Pratt Institute's city and regional planning masters program. 


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Gotta love how some people are staunch defenders of free speech, up until said speech is something they disagree with.

by Ron on Dec 28, 2009 3:10 pm • linkreport

I doubt Metro would approve an advertisement asking for interracial marriages to be banned. So why the difference for homosexual marriage?

On the other hand Metro needs all the money it can get, so maybe any advertisements that aren't explicitly hateful or otherwise illegal should be allowed.

On a side note apparently reCAPTCHA doesn't like this website, it wants "Development stop" to be entered.

by Joshua Davis on Dec 28, 2009 3:11 pm • linkreport

vertical bike racks are always a bad idea, so we should not even put them on the table. it's just too much of a hassle, they get in the way, some people aren't even physically capable of lifting bicycles in this awkward fashion, etc. MARC just needs to take out some seats and accommodate some bikes. get with the 21st century.

drivers who hit people need to plan on going to jail. these incidents should be treated like domestic violence calls -- as soon as the call is made, someone is going to jail. similarly, as soon as a pedestrian/biker is down, the driver is going to jail. they'll have the opportunity to explain what happened to a judge. we need some tougher laws. of course, that will make more drivers run, but they're running right now anyways, since many of them are drunk when they're mauling innocent people.

"I understand it was an accident, I understand you didn't see them until it was too late, or they just walked out into the middle of the road, or whatever, but you, as a driver, have the responsibility not to injure anyone, and I don't have a choice in a matter -- so please get in -- watch your head."

by Peter Smith on Dec 28, 2009 3:28 pm • linkreport

Last line of the WJLA article on the Rockville-distracted driver-crashes-into-pedestrians article: "A crisis counselor was on the scene, consoling Bouopda [<--that's the driver] after the incident." I guess that would be necessary since she was probably going to have to get it together to find another way to her destination since one of the pedestrians went through her windshield?

by Eileen on Dec 28, 2009 3:29 pm • linkreport

MARC thinks it has a good explanation of why it should not allow bikes on MARC trains. It does make sense, but it is irrelevant, since the law does not give them such latitude: it mandates that they allow bikes on trains. MARC can only determine when and how it will allow such bikes. This is ripe for a lawsuit.

by SJE on Dec 28, 2009 3:47 pm • linkreport

I was just talking about what a dangerous stretch 16th street is to cross around that area. I sugested a metro entrance to the Columbia Heights Station West of 16th to provide an alternative to crossing this street which functions as a downtown expressway. Can someone refresh my memory why the citys plans to inact pedestrian improvements at this stretch were ultimately shelved?

by John on Dec 28, 2009 3:49 pm • linkreport

Coincidentally, there were two lane closures on Pennsylvania Ave SE this afternoon, though it didn't look like they were related to the Great Streets initiative. Nevermind that they made an absolute mess of traffic. 30 minutes just to get from Branch Ave to Kenilworth...

by Froggie on Dec 28, 2009 3:56 pm • linkreport

Funny to see the passive voice in a blurb about auto-pedestrian collisions on GGW.

by Lucre on Dec 28, 2009 5:51 pm • linkreport

The commuter railroads around NYC allow bikes and have no racks or any provisions in the train for them at all. The MBTA commuter rail is the same. In their case, it's just a matter of restricting bikes to off peak hours when the trains are less crowded and you can let the cyclists block a few seats. I don't actually have a MARC schedule handy, but does MARC run enough off peak service to even bother trying that?

by anonymouse on Dec 28, 2009 7:21 pm • linkreport

Most transit agencies allow folding bikes during rush hour. There are all sorts of folding bikes available from $150 new to $2000. Some of them are VERY capable commuter bikes. Mine is a ton of fun to ride.

by Rob Halligan on Dec 29, 2009 6:32 pm • linkreport

Consistent with our obligations under the First Amendment, Metro accepts advertising on a content-neutral basis. We permit advertisements of opposing views or positions to run simultaneously. Metro makes no implied or declared endorsement of any product, service, event or ideology. We simply provide the medium for an advertiser to use.

Please note that the campaign for this advertiser has ended, and the ads are no longer in the Metro system.

by WMATA on Dec 30, 2009 8:05 am • linkreport

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