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Breakfast links: Remaining snow, coming storms


Image from City Desk.
Rock Creek branch storage path: The Rock Creek trail is still blocked by snow and branches. Thanks Park Service! (City Paper)

Speak up on the Fairfax budget: Here's how to provide feedback on the Fairfax County budget. County residents can sign up to speak at the hearing or submit comments online. Ask the County to restore Fairfax Connector service in the Dulles Corridor, contribute more to Metro, and preserve the bicycle program.

BLT or fries at White Flint?: The proposed CR zone for White Flint requires fewer "BLTs", payments to preserve part of the Agricultural Reserve, than other development areas. Instead, it it lets developers buy extra density in various ways, including BLTs but also other amenities. That's pitting some environmental groups against some Smart Growthers in a rare disagreement. (Post, Friends of White Flint)

Outer Beltway bill rises from the dead: The Virginia legislature defeated multiple Bob Chase bills designed to force construction of a sprawl-inducing Outer Beltway, but Governor McDonnell has revived one of them. It would let VDOT give a private builder all of the projected future tax revenue from development resulting from a road, even though much of that revenue has to fund schools and other infrastructure serving the new residents. (CSG)

Designs for Four Mile Run expansion: "Architects Anonymous" created designs for vacant lots that Alexandria purchased to add to Four Mile Run Park. (The Arlandrian)

Yummy soot: That dirt that covers the remaining snow piles along streets? You breathe it on a regular basis. Thanks trucks! (BeyondDC)

And...: Amtrak is launching free Wi-Fi on Acela trains and in 6 stations including Union Station ... Montgomery County buses some bus drivers in from Hagerstown and Charles Town, WV because they can't afford to live in the County (Examiner) ... Airlines are gearing up to fight California high-speed rail (BNET) ... The DC Council is expected to censure Marion Barry today. (Post)

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David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. 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 loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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I am going to call BS on BeyondDC "Yummy soot". The discoloration in the snow piles is the result of the dirt and debris that was on the pavement that mixed with the snow when it is plowed.

Over here on the Eastern Shore the plow blades riped up pavement and scraped off the lane striping in some areas.

The piles of snow dumped behind the Wal*Mart in Salisbury are just a dirty as the pile shown in the picture. Never mind the fact that the traffic behind the store is minuscule compared to road in front of the store.

by Sand Box John on Mar 2, 2010 9:27 am • linkreport

Speaking of things that are still blocked, Arlington brought a front-end-loader into my neighborhood on that Friday night a few weeks ago when the snow finally stopped (after the white-out storm). It cleared the roads for several blocks and deposited a pile of snow on the sidewalk between the neighborhood and the main road (where the Metro bus stops). The pile was at least 15 feet tall and probably 20 feet across, half in the road, half on the lawn. Dead center on the sidewalk. It's still probably 9 feet tall, and the sidewalk will not be clear for another two weeks I'm guessing. Everybody has to walk in the street to get around it. Still. Absolutely idiotic.

by Lou on Mar 2, 2010 9:57 am • linkreport

The Rock Creek trail is still blocked by snow and branches. Thanks Park Service!

If Lance is out there reading, I was planning on riding by bicycle out to Rockville later today, and was wondering if it would be okay to ride on Beach Drive until the trail has been cleared. It's not super-urgent, but I do need to know by early afternoon.

Thanks!

by oboe on Mar 2, 2010 10:39 am • linkreport

@oboe

I'm not sure if it's as authoritative, but I think you have the permission of Former Staffer. :-}

by Matthias on Mar 2, 2010 11:44 am • linkreport

@ Sand Box, ...and can you explain the layer of black covering the snow on my front lawn?

by Bianchi on Mar 2, 2010 12:12 pm • linkreport

@ Sand Box and Bianchi,

It’s all of the above. Most of it is sand and roadway dirt which is really oil rubber and other particulates. It looks worse and worse as the white melts the black stays. The real bad stuff is what we don't see. I do think that someone somewhere would have gone and did analyst by now, and put it on the 11pm news and call it the "Killer Melt!". To compare a snow pile to what we are breathing in is the equivalent of rubbing an air filter in the dirt and then pointing out all the nasty stuff the air. It is not a true representation, since most of the grim is not, or would ever been, airborne. Better is to say, “See all that, it will be in the Chesapeake soon”.

by RJ on Mar 2, 2010 1:02 pm • linkreport

"Yummy soot: That dirt that covers the remaining snow piles along streets? You breathe it on a regular basis. Thanks trucks! (BeyondDC)"

Ah! The tyical 'new urbainist' snobbery against the suppliers of foods to cities (oh wait- cities do not need these outsiders, as the food just magically appears in people's stomachs as done in the movie 'The Day After Tommorrow').

Perhaps they are better off a century ago when they could eat the dried horse turds that used to be in such abundence before the arrival of 'the automobile' and its ownership by the many.

by Douglas A. Willinger on Mar 2, 2010 1:17 pm • linkreport

@ RJ, I assure you there is no roadway dirt and oil rubber on my front lawn. There aren't even footprints. I was looking at the surface before this post and wondered what portion was attributable to airborn fallout and what to the trees above. I'd like to know.
@ Douglas, just b/c we get some benefit from a type of technology (trucks) doesn't mean we have to ignore the negative impacts of the same technology.

by Bianchi on Mar 2, 2010 1:38 pm • linkreport

Beyond DC blames SUVs as well, but let's be honest: it is diesel engines. Trucks and Buses. The natural gas ones aren't creating the soot either. Most SUVs are gas engines and produce negligible particulate pollution.

That being said, the majority of the nasty stuff is from the road. It would be an interesting study on microclimates to see how far particulate air pollution travels from the road. Washington is pretty clean on particulate matter but urban areas with heavy street traffic might have some heavier pollution.

by charlie on Mar 2, 2010 1:51 pm • linkreport

Metro has also posted a sign asking commuters to refrain from feeding the animals. Additionally, the transit agency said it is planning to capture and relocate the raccoons "as soon as possible," said Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/01/AR2010030103682.html?hpid=newswell

Are you frakin' kidding me? The riders are somehow at fault here? We have employees on tap encouraging these vermin!!!

by Michael on Mar 2, 2010 2:33 pm • linkreport

Regarding the raccoons; how about not building a station in the middle of woods.

People should not get mad at wild animals when your build stuff in there habitat, heck there are probably snakes, deer, skunks, lizards, eagles etc around that station.

At-least this is not as bad as the deer on the platform at Addison Road a few years ago.

Wonder how many times have squirrels have there been getting food at stations before the raccoons came through.

by kk on Mar 2, 2010 9:04 pm • linkreport

@kk,

You don't feed raccoons, period. They won't have any trouble finding something to eat, those are smart little buggers. You don't want them getting accustomed to humans, because they can carry rabies and can also bite humans - not so much a problem with squirrels.

by Alex B. on Mar 3, 2010 9:20 am • linkreport

I agree w/ kk about Ft. Totten. It didn't need to be cut from the stand of trees. There's a big building that appears to abondoned right on the corner of Riggs and the road down to the station, across from Food and Friends. The station could have been situated right there on the corner. It would have been more accessible to pedestrians and would have been a much better location regarding economic development in the immediate area. For pedestrians Ft. Totten is a terrible station. Waiting for busses there in the summer is awful. There's no shade, no place to get water, no bathrooms. Waiting for 40 mins in the blazing sun when it's 95 F is downright dangerous. They cut down all the trees next to the bus stops.
I also agree raccoons shouldn't be fed for their own protection as well as peoples'.

by Bianchi on Mar 3, 2010 12:34 pm • linkreport

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