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Breakfast links: More Catoe perspectives

Photo by michaelgoodin.
Make the Board more visible and elected: Former Virginia Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer is disappointed Catoe stepped down, and advocates for having the WMATA Board chairmanship stop rotating and take on more of the public face of Metro as well as electing or otherwise "having a say" in the selection of Board members. (Post)

Clean house before resigning: Jack Corbett and Kevin Moore wish Catoe had delayed resigning long enough to really clean up the bureaucracy, especially in safety, and criticize the WMATA Board for not pushing harder for more jurisdictional funding. (Post)

A better rebate: Metro plans to improve its rebate program for rail riders who've been unusually delayed. The details haven't been worked out yet. (Examiner, Michael P)

Your environment has been canceled: The ICC has damaged fewer acres of streams, wetlands and forests in Montgomery County than originally planned (good), but as a result, the highway builders are canceling other promised projects in Prince George's County. (Post)

RPP rates rising, not here: San Francisco is raising their residential parking permit fee from $74 to $96 a year. Many residents are unhappy though others note it's just $8 a month. DC is still only $15 a year, or $1.25 a month. (SF Examiner, Michael P)

Angles morts: A French video discusses the hazards of cycling in Paris, like drivers making turns without looking, delivery trucks blocking lanes, and the other issues cyclists also face in the U.S. (Americablog, Steve S)

Obama gets an A- for infrastructure: As part of a series on assessing Obama's first year in office, Brookings experts give the Obama administration an A- for increasing infrastructure spending and initiating policy reforms in his first year, but his work so far is incomplete.

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David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. 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 now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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@ the ICC. I know PG County is upset and feels they are getting the shaft on the ICC as it is anyway but money needed to be cut somewhere and its clear the ICC team are doing a good job environmentally as it is.

I am all for environmental cleanup but many of the ICC cost overruns were due to extra environmental work they were required to do.

Think of it this way, if the president on all major transportation projects is to require excessive environmental projects then any future mass transit project will have the same requirements basically killing them in the budget phase.

by Matt R on Jan 19, 2010 9:09 am • linkreport

I wouldn't give Obama an A- on infrastructure. C+ at best. Yes he's made infrastructure a priority, though not as much a priority as he has health care. Not to mention that the "increases in funding" have come at the cost of the National Debt and not a truly dedicated source of stable funding.

by Froggie on Jan 19, 2010 9:28 am • linkreport

How can you possibly put a grade on Obama's infrastructure performance at this point? Maybe more of a mid semester parent-teacher conference...

by Alex B. on Jan 19, 2010 9:30 am • linkreport

Yeah, I think Obama should get an incomplete for infrastructure at this point. I wouldn't give him an A- though, either. Infrastructure spending is one of the few things that would get wide support in this current economic climate and I think he could have been bolder. Not just transportation but all forms of infrastructure like power and telecommunications. As much money was spent trying to rescue the banks and financial services community and time w/ healthcare, I think a lot more could have been done to help us modernize our infrastructure. I don't care if that's considered socialism.

by Vik on Jan 19, 2010 10:06 am • linkreport

Pierce Homer's piece on WMATA suggesting that WMATA be down sized to be a rail only company is off base. It's a clear example though of how far away from a regional approach to transit the area has gotten. WMATA bus service provided the resources is every bit as good as local service. Local service also is successful only because of WMATA. It is critical that the Region continue to coordinate all it's efforts to provide safe, reliable, and affordable service. Perhaps, Mr. Homers county Prince William should join the local compact area and begin to cover some of the costs of operating the Metro system.

by interested on Jan 19, 2010 10:36 am • linkreport

I think it is notable that VDOT pays little toward Metro (which is largely subsidized by Northern Virginia jurisdictions) and has no role in its govenence. It has been Homer's opposition to establishing bus lanes on state roads as well as other bus priority measures that have crippled efforts to improve Metrobus and othe providers' service in Northern Virginia. I think it says more about his prejudice against the bus mode of transportation than any meaninful proposal for WMATA.

by kreeggo on Jan 19, 2010 10:53 am • linkreport

PG is way out of line with the ICC complaints. Only a couple miles of the ICC are actually in PG. Virtually no community impact becuase of the undeveloped nature of the area. And maximum benefit. Better access to jobs in the I-270 corridor. And the ICC opens up the massive Konterra to development. PG couldn't have gotten off better with the ICC. Stop complaining.

by Cyrus on Jan 19, 2010 11:34 am • linkreport

Patent # N654681912643654981328.3215165
On a voting infrastructure for WMATA board members, and a way to make input proportional to ridership. For six candidates, have six interactive touchscreens showing their campaign points in a display next to the fare machines & escalators, and six SmartTrip readers underneath. On spending money, each SmartTrip card accrues points in the central database, which also stores the last candidate selected at a voting booth. On election day, the last candidate selected is given all the points on a card, which is then wiped of candidate preference and points. The candidate with the most points wins.

by Squalish on Jan 19, 2010 11:41 am • linkreport

maybe someone else can verify this- but I do not recall seeing any kinds of dedicated auto-protected bikeways in Paris when I last visited the city. No wonder they have problems with traffic. Anytime that cyclists are forced to "share the road" with auto traffic, accidents are the inevitable result.

The Parisians can take a cue from the Dutch, the Germans, the Danes, the Belgians and the Chinese, all of whom have dedicated separated bikeways in all of their towns and cities.

by w on Jan 19, 2010 12:12 pm • linkreport

@interested, I think what he is getting at is Metro could run more efficiently if it focused on rail and was unburdened from bus. Think about San Francisco. Think about Metro(rail) as BART, and bus and future light rail in this region as the Muni. It's a model worth looking at. Both still operate under a regional authority, but can focus better on limited modes.

by Lou on Jan 19, 2010 1:56 pm • linkreport

@ Lou

Thats a good idea about WMATA the only thing I would worry about is if it did happen would the discounts between bus and rail stay; I got a good feeling that would be the first thing dropped then a rate hike on both.

by kk on Jan 19, 2010 9:49 pm • linkreport

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