The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.


Breakfast links: Park it

Photo from Arlington County
Who runs the Circulator: The City Paper asks Vince Gray if he'd turn over a future streetcar system to WMATA to run. He fairly rightly answers that he'd hesitate to put a DC-specific transit system under the control of a regional entity. (David Alpert)

The wheels on the bikes: CommuterPageBlog features a photo set from the Capital Bikeshare warehouse, including bikes under assembly and station components. (BeyondDC)

Stuck in park: The District will hold a ceremony today to celebrate the empty fields that will some undetermined day, supposedly in late 2011, be the "centerpiece" of Near Southeast, Canal Park. Nevermind that the Yards Park on the Anacostia waterfront is actually opening in two weeks. Still, the design and amenities of Canal Park are intriguing. (The Internationalist, JDLand, Jeff1248)

Reap what you sow: While most Dulles Corridor commercial real estate languishes in the recession, Reston Town Center is a noticeable outlier. They might be onto something with that "urban living" thing. (Post, Cavan)

Original art in transit: New York City's MoMA is displaying "Underground Gallery: London Transport Posters 1920s-1940s," a collection of the subway's beautiful, and in many cases informative, early branding campaign. (Slate, Jaime Fearer)

Making the grade: The EPA and Department of Transportation are looking to revamp vehicle window stickers for 2012 new car models. One proposal would give cars grades, from A+ for fuel-sipping hybrids and electrics to a D for gas guzzlers. Apparently even the auto industry has grade inflation. (

It's high time: Typically beholden to highway interests, AASHTO this week featured articles about driving-reduction programs and LA's 30/10 plan. (The Express Stop)

No more free parking: San Francisco's Muni will start charging all employees to park at the agency yards, after drivers refused to forgo their legally mandated pay raises. The parking fees will be charged to all employees, not just drivers. Now if only WMATA could get their employees to even park in real spaces. (SF Gate)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Erik Weber has been living car-free in the District since 2009. Hailing from the home of the nation's first Urban Growth Boundary, Erik has been interested in transit since spending summers in Germany as a kid where he rode as many buses, trains and streetcars as he could find. Views expressed here are Erik's alone. 


Add a comment »

The other reason to not turn over the streetcar system to wmata is that under mayor gray we're unlikely to have one. We'll maybe get h st and anacostia.

by jcm on Aug 31, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

@JCM; very unfair. Gray's answer is representative of why people are liking him, he not only says the right thing, but understands why -- WMATA governance is very broken.

by charlie on Aug 31, 2010 11:10 am • linkreport

No it's quite fair. Gray's spineless leadership goes beyond WMATA. The "cronyism" we see in Gray's attack ads involves one specific incident where the Council was being just as childish as the mayor may or may not have been. He saw a path to a result and took it. Politically it was a boneheaded move, but you have to realize that Fenty is about results, not talk. He allowed himself to be outmaneuvered by the council, and it is no political coincidence the results of Gray's investigation won't be out until after the primary.

Gray always says the right thing and does nothing. He will plan the streetcar project, as well as any other project to death. He will say he's for it, but allow a vocal few NIMBYs to justify all sorts of stupid concerns until it just dies a quiet death because he's really against it. Gray is a policital coward and won't have the guts to be for, or against, anything. He will talk so prudently about all the proper planning that went into the projects that will never move off paper, because he's too damn scared to piss anyone off.

Progress will always have its opponents, and true leadership involves standing up to them. Fenty shook up the old power blocs, and made a lot of enemies. Look who lost the most, see who they support now, and see if you find any positive result from them regaining their influence and returning us to the way things were.

by FN on Aug 31, 2010 11:53 am • linkreport

I fear Gray didn't give a definitive answer on whether the circulator should be run by WMATA because he has to check with the unions first.

by keithdc on Aug 31, 2010 12:09 pm • linkreport

@ charlie I don't see why it's unfair. Gray already cut streetcar funding once, and reestablished it only because he was running for office and the furor was a distraction. Gray's advisors are against the streetcar. Why would you expect him to aggressively pursue it when he can starve it and backburner it for years?

I'll bet you $10 that in four years David will be writing an endorsement for some other candidate that will focus on Gray's DDOT's lack of movement on streetcars. We might have an H St line, because Tommy will really push it, and we might have an Anacostia line to balance the money out. Probably lots of meetings, planning, and process, too. We certainly won't be on our way to having a system, though.

by jcm on Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm • linkreport

-The car grades seem to be directly modeled after the european system. Europeans have a much more comprehensive energy grading system for everything, from toasters to cars.

-It is unfair to criticize metro employees for driving to work. Without 24 hour transit, those on the first and last shift have no choice but to drive (or of course walk or bike if they live close enough). The first bus driver of the day cannot take a bus to the yard.

by JJJJJ on Aug 31, 2010 4:08 pm • linkreport

Just so the record is clear: The FCEDA reports (June 2010) that commercial office space vacancy rates in Reston are HIGHER than the average County-wide. Indeed, including sublets, they are the worst.

by Terry on Feb 24, 2011 12:53 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

You can use some HTML, like <blockquote>quoting another comment</blockquote>, <i>italics</i>, and <a href="http://url_here">hyperlinks</a>. More here.

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.


Support Us