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Breakfast links: Underground spaces, above-ground fights

The 395 trench (during the Inauguration). Photo by thisisbossi.
Center Leg gash to heal: A deal is almost done to deck over the I-395 trench from Massachusetts Avenue to E Street. Louis Dreyfus would build 3 buildings and some green space to fill the current "gash" in the area and reconnect F St. across the site. (Capital Business)

Dupont tunnels: Public money or not?: Roger Lewis thinks DC should make the Dupont trolley tunnels a great civic amenity using some public and private money, as New York did with the High Line, instead of requiring an all-private project as they are in the current RFP. (Post) ... The arts coalition bidding for the space thinks they can fund a rehab on their own, and is raising money right now.

UMD backs down halfway: Following pressure from students, Prince George's leaders and Rethink College Park, UMD has offered to partly modify their planned Campus Drive summer closure to ban transit vehicles for only half the summer and private vehicles the entire summer. There's also a forum tonight on the Purple Line and UMD sponsored by SGA and Purple Line advocates. (Rethink College Park)

Fighting over VRE: VRE is about to switch from having Amtrak operate its trains to French company Keolis Rail Systems, but Keolis is not ready on schedule. The VRE Board is accusing Amtrak of interfering with the transfer, like offering bonuses to employees to not switch to Keolis and raising qualification standards. (

Commission opposition: DC Councilmember Phil Mendelson is objecting to Mayor Fenty's newest Zoning Commission nominee, a developer, saying the nominee should have closer community ties like Commissioner Anthony Hood, who he is replacing. (WBJ)

Lawyers on bikes: Law firm Nixon Peabody launched a bike rental program with three bikes employees can check out. Even better would be for this or other firms to create their own stations in the new bike sharing program. (Post)

Down with opaque windows: Philip Kennicott's latest column laments the covered-up storefront windows in many urban stores, especially CVSes and grocers. (Post)

And...: Alexandria cabbies say they need higher rates, especially with rules requiring them to spend some time outside airport runs (Examiner) ... Middle schoolers try designing the Anacostia waterfront (Housing Complex) ... UrbanTurf asks what the new hot neighborhoods will be in 2015 ... A mixed-use apartment building is moving Arlington's Columbia Pike one step closer to the walkable vision. (DCmud)

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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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Hmm, what about F Street through the Georgetown Law campus and the little church sacristy on the far side?

by Steve S on May 24, 2010 9:13 am • linkreport

If - and that's a huge IF - the Center Leg plan ever comes to fruition, that will be a great development spur for that area.

by Fritz on May 24, 2010 9:22 am • linkreport

I went over that first blurb a few times before figuring out that it didn't say "from Massachusetts Avenue to East Saint Louis"

by Lucre on May 24, 2010 9:24 am • linkreport

@Steve S,

I don't think you'd have to completely re-connect F Street for all traffic, just restoring the right of way over the trench and re-connecting that area for bikes and peds would be a huge improvement. I'd imagine they'd include cars, too - but there's no real need to un-do the Georgetown Law park, as it still maintains the right of way. You can see from the aerials, however, that the curbs along both 1st and 2nd streets have the requisite cuts to restore F Street through the law campus.

The church is another matter, as that portion of the structure isn't historic and is within the F Street ROW.

by Alex B. on May 24, 2010 9:26 am • linkreport

This looks like a real win-win for everyone.

traffic will be a bear when/if construction starts.

by charlie on May 24, 2010 9:42 am • linkreport

While I disagreed with the opposition to Griffis for the Zoning Commission, I actually think I agree with Mr. Mendelson on this one.

by Andrew on May 24, 2010 9:44 am • linkreport

Lucre: I've expanded the "St." there for clarity. Good point.

by David Alpert on May 24, 2010 9:46 am • linkreport

It's nice to see the Post take an actual interest in the city, but comparing the DuPont tunnel to the highline or riverwalk is just ridiculous. It's a neglected space, in part because it's underground and doesn't take people very far (literally).

by Rich on May 24, 2010 11:59 am • linkreport

Let's see how that vegetation thrives in a tunnel underneath Dupont Circle. It is just like the outdoor High Line, after all.

by aaa on May 24, 2010 12:03 pm • linkreport

I'm not so sure that shielding passersby from the depressing innards of the typical CVS is such a bad thing.

by Paul Product on May 24, 2010 12:12 pm • linkreport

I am watching this Keolis takeover saga with rapt attention and getting popcorn ready. The mudslinging from Amtrak is great. What do people think is actually going to happen?

by Aaron on May 24, 2010 1:11 pm • linkreport

If you want to track the Purple Line's progress, e-mail Michael Madden, PM for MD transportation projects, at

by C. R. on May 27, 2010 12:14 am • linkreport

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