Breakfast links: Transit, Kwame, and Prince George
Government now allowed to consider livability: USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced new criteria for transit funding that move beyond the narrow and widely-criticized "cost-effectiveness index," now considering livability as well as raw people-moving. It's likely to increase the Purple Line's and K Street's chances of getting funded.
Ashley Halsey does a good job getting balanced perspectives; Bob Chase naturally opposes the change, oddly advocating for projects that "move the most people at the most reasonable expense" while lobbying for expensive rural freeways. (Post, Andrew)
Softer side of Catoe: Bloggers sat down with John Catoe to talk about WMATA budgets, safety, customer service, and more. They'll be giving people stickers at the public hearing to identify their preferred budget choices. We Love DC liked Catoe more after the talk, seeing a more human side and hearing sympathy for riders' frustrations.
Circulator to River East?: The DC Council passed the Circulator extension to Rosslyn out of committee, but rejected a last-minute attempt by Kwame Brown to require it to also go east of the river along Pennsylvania Avenue. (Examiner) ... Brown isn't giving up; commenters on his site like the idea of more River East service but suggest we should plan Circulator routes more comprehensively instead of as transparent appeals to voters.
Sidewalks still not assured: The Sidewalk Assurance Act is still on hold after originally being scheduled for markup Tuesday. Jim Graham said it's because the fiscal impact statement from the administration got delayed. Kwame Brown says he's still undecided on the bill, as is Muriel Bowser after initially opposing it. (Examiner)
PG Council displeased with camera reversal: Prince George's County Council members are frustrated that County Executive Johnson has abandoned speed cameras after they pushed hard for the state legislature to authorize them. Johnson's spokesman said he's concerned that vendors would get a lot of money instead of the County, but isn't the point to improve safety, not revenue? (Post)
Sun setting on Westphalia?: The walkable yet remote and not transit-oriented Westphalia Town Center in Prince George's is facing a $47.4 million foreclosure. Cavan notes that this is one weakness of single-developer megaprojects. (Post)
The High Cost of Free Parking: the movie: Two New Zealanders have created a video discussing the problems with mandatory parking minimums and other "hidden parking subsidies." (Human Transit, Michael P)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- I don't care what some people say: DC has great transportation options.
- DC has almost no white residents without college degrees. (It's a different story for black residents.)
- The biggest beneficiaries of housing subsidies? The wealthy.
- Clearly we need to have more happy hours in Prince George's
- Metro badly needs culture change, everyone agrees. Can it pull it off?
- VRE's map keeps getting more diagrammatic
- How five local businesspeople would tackle gentrification on 14th Street