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Image via DCmud.
Good and bad news for Ward 7 development: After 10-year saga, the Skyland Town Center project in Ward 7 has cleared the Zoning Commission (Housing Complex), but another Ward 7 project, Parkside Residential near Benning Metro, looks about to fall apart due to lack of financing. (DCmud)

Germantown ghost bike, investigation: A ghost bike is up in Germantown where an SUV and its driver killed a cyclist last month. Police are still investigating the driver, who refused a breathalyzer at the scene and fought against police taking a blood sample. He was initially charged with resisting arrest and assault of an officer but those charges were dropped. (Gazette)

Judge's ignorance used against cyclists: It's not just drivers and cyclists who don't understand correct procedure about merging into each other's lanes, it's judges too. A federal judge in New York upheld restrictions on bicycle demonstrations partly because he saw a video clip of a cyclist merging into a regular traffic lane, to go around an SUV that was blocking the bike lane, and thought it was unsafe. (Streetsblog)

Moses' legacy alive at NY state DOT: New York State DOT officials seem to be slanting the EIS for the Sheridan Expressway in a way that will justify keeping the little-used blight by ignoring all impacts other than to traffic directly. Here's more about how officials can slant EISes in a cars-only way if they choose. (Streetsblog)

More in New York: The High Line park has been so successful officials from cities around the world want to replicate it (NY Times, Andre) ... The NYPD cop who pushed a cyclist to the ground, then said the cyclist assaulted him, will not get any jail time (NY Post) ... the Brooklyn DA will investigate a fatal crash after the NYPD refused to and assumed there was no crime. (Brooklyn Paper via Streetsblog)

Our artiest, decoest building: Streets of Washington looks at the history and architecture of the old art deco Greyhound bus terminal on New York Avenue. Thousands of travelers used to pass through every day. (Streets of Washington)

Councilmembers Michael Brown?: If you thought having two Councilmember Browns on the DC Council was confusing, what about two Michael Browns (plus the one in Arlington)? Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown is running for Council at-large to elevate the issue of statehood, plus maybe he thinks he'll get votes from people who think he's existing at-large Councilmember Michael A. Brown. (Examiner)

Way too hot: That MARC "hell train" is nothing compared to a Deutche Bahn express train which left Berlin without working A/C and windows that can't be opened. Temperatures reached 50°C (122°F) and 9 people went to the hospital. (The Local, Jeff)

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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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The High Line park story just makes me want to slam my face into my palms. If the lesson that other cities are getting is, "hey, let's take these dumb old railroad tracks and turn them into sky malls!," then we are all doomed to decades of crappy urban transportation worldwide.

by tom veil on Jul 15, 2010 9:50 am • linkreport

I'd argue that the old Hecht's warehouse on NY Ave is a better art deco building (and has by far the most *awesome* turret I've ever seen on a building). I'd love to see it fixed up and used well, as it's a gorgeous building that has the misfortune of being located in the buttcrack of the District.

by andrew on Jul 15, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

Quinzy Fraser, the SUV driver who struck and killed the cyclist in Germantown, had a long list of prior charges including DUI, Failure to Control Speed to Avoid an Accident, Motor Vehicle Bodily Injury. He also apparently failed to appear for sentencing and a warrant was issues for his arrest. This is a classic example of someone who should have had their driving privileges revoked and should not have been on the road. This death was entirely preventable.

by ontarioroader on Jul 15, 2010 10:03 am • linkreport

@tom veil,

Perhaps that lesson could be recast as "let's take those unusable pieces of highway and turn them into parks or otherwise livable urban spaces" which could apply quite nicely to several locations around our region.

by intermodal commuter on Jul 15, 2010 10:07 am • linkreport

@Tom The High Line wasn't much use to NYC. The area's already accessible to lots of transit, and chances are good that the 7 Line will eventually be extended down there as well.

by andrew on Jul 15, 2010 10:08 am • linkreport

Sigh. The NY cop was ACQUITTED of the shoving part, and was CONVICTED of lying. The prosecutor wanted jail time. The judge was probably thinking jail time was too much for a non-violent offender. Jail time costs us money, remember? Life isn't always about non-car transportation issues, and the great boogeynan of "car-biased thinking" doesn't run everything.

"Rail to trails" does seem pretty stupid when you have a real need for more rail transit in cities. That being said, having more spots for exercise in extremely dense cities is nice. I love having the Glover-Archibald trail, which I think was saved partially because they wanted to run an expressway up it.

by charlie on Jul 15, 2010 10:18 am • linkreport

Not to be nit-picky, but it's Deutsche Bahn not Deutche Bahn.

by Kay on Jul 15, 2010 10:36 am • linkreport

The High Line would have been better used as a portion of the "subway" system.

I would have liked seeing it connected to the 7 line extension.

And the park was supposed to be on landfill with an extension of the street grid with new development and property taxes with the WSH placed underground in the most cost effective fashion- yet NY got hoodwinked, and stuck with a narrow park.

by Douglas A. Willinger on Jul 15, 2010 1:14 pm • linkreport

The perspective on the video clip mentioned here is fascinating. I just watched it and, indeed, I think what he did was dangerous.

The cyclist did not "go around an SUV blocking the bike lane." The SUV was clearly moving ahead and returning to the driving lane, and was clearly in the bike lane as a result of the truck to his right in heavy traffic.

The cyclist just didn't want to slow down, and instead chose to weave through heavy car and truck traffic exactly as it was beginning to move forward, presumably because the light was changing.

You can argue about whether the SUV should have been in the bike lane in the first place if you want, but there are legal, legitimate reasons why he could have been there, such as dropping someone off. The bike clearly weaved between two moving vehicles, and passed the SUV on the right as it was clearly moving right into the driving lane.

If a car did something like this, it would be insanely reckless.

I don't think that watching a video of an anecdotal incident should have any bearing on the judge's decision, but I can't possibly imagine why anyone would defend the cyclist's behavior. This is exactly the kind of thing that results in accidents -- moving in an unpredictable manner, in car's blind spots, and even when they are moving off from a stop and changing lanes.

by Jamie on Jul 15, 2010 1:16 pm • linkreport

Parkside is nowhere near Benning RD Metro and is not really close to anything named Benning it is directly across Kenilworth Ave/295 from Minnesota Ave Metro

by kk on Jul 15, 2010 1:19 pm • linkreport

@Andrew - I'm with you. I really like the Hecht's bldg, although I am a huge fan of the Greyhound terminal as well. Art deco is so much better than any architectural crap they came out with in the 60s and 70s - anyone who tries to argue otherwise is just fooling themselves.

by Matt Glazewski on Jul 15, 2010 3:11 pm • linkreport

@ Matt, It's impossible to be unbiased about any style that came about in your or your living relatives lifetimes. Intergenerational rivalries etc. come into play. You probably don't like mid century because it represents your parents or grandparents achievements and lives and can never represent yours. You children and granr stndchildren will think likewise of the styles that will end up defining your life era. There's a reason 90% of Victorian structures got torn down by the grandchildren of the people who built them ... to be replaced by mid century modern architecture ...

by Lance on Jul 15, 2010 10:58 pm • linkreport

*Your children and grand children will likewise

(sorry, was using a smartphone for that last one ...)

by Lance on Jul 15, 2010 11:02 pm • linkreport

RE: Judge vs. Bikes

I'm inclined to agree w/ Jamie... I'll agree that the SUV shouldn't have been in the bike lane, but I also feel that the bicyclist's response was not the safest action.

And the last part of the clip I'm a bit iffy on... the bicyclist should've taken heed that everyone was stopping & done so accordingly per the officer's instruction, though I'll concede that if I were in a similar situation: I'd probably just assume people were stopping for a signal or something as per usual; not noticing the officer until too late.

Disregarding an officer: yes, it's an offense... but whether or not if justified a ticket, noting that the bicyclist came no where near the motorcycles: tough to say... I probably wouldn't if I were the officer, but certainly something I could understand in an officer decided it justified a ticket.

by Bossi on Jul 16, 2010 8:06 am • linkreport

Parkside Residential is right near the Minnesota Avenue Metro, via a tunnel now, and a planned new bridge in the future.

by mtp on Jul 16, 2010 10:38 am • linkreport

Kay is correct that the spelling is "Deutsche".

For once I'm inclined to agree with Douglas Willinger--as cool as the park is, it would be ideal to keep the high line in use as a railroad with the 7 train extension, although I'm not sure how feasible that is. I believe that the line passes directly through some old warehouses, which may be condos by now. The most important thing, though, is that the rights-of-way are preserved. Some of these old lines have enormous potential to serve as transportation arteries for pedestrians and bicycles.

by Matthias on Jul 16, 2010 3:00 pm • linkreport

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