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Breakfast links: We like Mike

The new Michael Brown. Not the other ones.
Too many Michael Browns: Savannah City Manager Michael Brown will be the new Arlington County Manager. (WBJ) ... This makes the third local official named Michael Brown, in addition to the DC Councilmember and shadow Senator, not to mention that former FEMA head. Why do Brown parents like the name Michael so much?

2 bus drivers arrested: Two separate Metrobus drivers were arrested in the last few days, a U2 driver for pulling a knife on a driver, and a D12 driver for soliciting prostitution. (WMATA, Examiner)

Mt. P library patrons not going quietly: Activists protested closing the Mount Pleasant Library for renovation Saturday. They say DCPL's plans will replace treasured interior historic features with "cookie-cutter" and lower-quality new ones, destroys a treasured sunroom, forces wheelchair users to enter in the back, and more.

Water taxis?: A company plans to launch a water taxi connecting Georgetown, Southwest, the ballpark, Alexandria and National Harbor. They will start with 2 boats and hope to grow to 6, and say the prices will be "reasonable and affordable." (SWDC Blog)

Silly merchants: A market-based parking pricing system in Brooklyn created more turnover and more parking space availability. Nevertheless, the local BID complained about the program because business is down. News flash: It's not because of the parking. (How We Drive)

Sillier merchants: Lawrence, KS merchants want to let their employees park in prime spaces in front of their stores, even though there are garages a few blocks away. They say it's unsafe to walk the few blocks, but then why is it safe for shoppers? (PT's Parking Blog, Michael P)

Our brains make no sense: People tend to think it takes longer to travel north than south and overestimate walking times while underestimating driving times, among many other psychological geographic errors. (Slate)

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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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What about DC's Era of the Vincents? From 2005 - 2007, the DC Council had a man named Vincent Orange and another man Vincent Gray. Continuing the rainbow, we now have two men by the last name Brown.

I nominate Rose White for council. Maybe Redd Foxx, too. Can they sing along to Pink Floyd?

by Eric F. on Apr 5, 2010 9:23 am • linkreport

And then there was the metro driver who was arrested for soliciting a prostitute while driving his route, on Easter Sunday.

by Neil Flanagan on Apr 5, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

Similar to the phenomenon described in the Slate article, I find myself taking different routes between two places based upon which one I start at.

For instance, if from point A it seems like point B is mostly to my west and only slightly north, I'll start heading west first. If, for whatever reason, when I get to point B, point A now seems more to my south than to my east, I'll start walking back to my south first, even though nothing is different about the relationship of point a to point b.

by Reid on Apr 5, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

Isn't there already a water taxi service? I seem to recall that there's a service between Alexandria and National Harbor and Georgetown Waterfront. Competition can't hurt though...

by Teo on Apr 5, 2010 10:06 am • linkreport

I think the bigger question is why MPG was running undercover officers dressed as prostitutes over easter weekend.....

by charlie on Apr 5, 2010 10:32 am • linkreport

Saw on several sites over the weekend where the five cent bag tax receipts will be used for street sweeping under the new proposed Fenty austerity budget.

Hmmm. Also noted that Tommy Wells isn't happy about that. But didn't note anyone saying they told you so.

Let me be the first. Told you the folks in the Wilson Building would bag the "save the river" thing and use those nickels for whatever suited their fancy. Just didn't think it might happen this quickly.

by Mike S. on Apr 5, 2010 10:37 am • linkreport

@Mike S. - You weren't the first!

by Fritz on Apr 5, 2010 10:40 am • linkreport

Mike & Fritz: I recommend putting this discussion in the Friday thread about the bag fund:

by David Alpert on Apr 5, 2010 10:45 am • linkreport

Michael Brown should be one of the most common names in the country. Census has "Brown" as 5th most common surname (@ 0.62% of population) and "Michael" as 4th most common male name (2.63%)...

by SZ on Apr 5, 2010 11:39 am • linkreport

The Water Taxi will not make to next summer. It will never make a profit. I'm actually amazed that in this economy they found a bank willing to give them credit.

Water Taxis in New York can't survive without a heavy government subsidy, so what makes anyone think they will be profitable here?

A fool and his money...

by urbaner on Apr 5, 2010 12:21 pm • linkreport

The plans for the Mt. Pleasant library really are messed up. The disability access ramp issue seems like the most egregious to me--the length and grade of the ramp would increase drastically, and people would indeed have to enter in the back. Not only does that make people less visible from the street (and thus more susceptible to mugging and less visible if they should fall), but the symbolism of moving people to the back of the building--when there's currently a ramp in the front--is an insult to people with disabilities who have to hassle and fight for access to public spaces every day.

by Mister Goat on Apr 5, 2010 1:17 pm • linkreport

Well, for regular service, I would think that the water taxi is facing long odds - but for special events, like Nats games, I think it can and will work quite well.

by Alex B. on Apr 5, 2010 1:55 pm • linkreport

What is proposed isn't a water taxi, it's a ferry. If it follows a set schedule, it is not a taxi.

by J on Apr 5, 2010 3:47 pm • linkreport

Of course it takes longer to travel north than to travel south! When you're travelling south, you're going downhill!

For some reason, that tidbit reminds me of this classic clip from The West Wing:

That, and Treebeard from The Two Towers (at least the film), of course.

by Haley on Apr 5, 2010 6:30 pm • linkreport

@Reid-- There's actually a good reason for behaving as you do. Let's say you need to go seven blocks north and two blocks east. Periodically, you will face a situation where a traffic light requires you to wait, but you can save time by going in the available direction-- when you hit a red light walking north, you turn and walk a block east, then turn north again if possible at the next intersection. However, this no longer works when you've gone all you need to in one of the directions.

By starting in the direction you will need to pick more often, you preserve your limited number of east-moving blocks for the times you can't go north without waiting. This gets you to your destination as fast as possible.

by Josh B on Apr 5, 2010 7:23 pm • linkreport

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