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


Breakfast links: Violence about the roads

Photo by yeweni on Flickr.
Speed hump leads to murder: A Burke man who advocated for traffic calming on his street was murdered on Sunday by a neighbor who evidently didn't care for the speed hump. (Post, Gavin, Bossi)

3 pedestrians hit: Yesterday three pedestrians were apparently struck by vehicles and drivers, including a postal worker hit by an off-duty Prince George's police officer in his cruiser. The others were in Kensington and Fairfax. (TBD, Post)

Adams Morgan victim dies: Julia Bachleitner, one of the victims in last week's Adams Morgan crash, passed away yesterday. No news yet whether prosecutors will increase charges against the alleged drunk driver. (WTOP, TBD On Foot)

Ride the inaugural CaBis: Capital Bikeshare's launch is Monday the 20th. DDOT and Arlington are organizing an inaugural ride starting at USDOT near the Navy Yard at 10:30 and riding bikes for the first time to stations all over. Email to sign up to participate. David will be leading one of the rides. (CommuterPageBlog)

Estimate your transportation costs: Abogo, from the Center for Neighborhood Technology, estimates how much you'll have to spend on transportation living in any particular neighborhood. DC's rents look good when you consider that transportation in the District is a comparative bargain. (Eric Fidler via Planetizen)

Trans-Hudson tunnel halted: The Access to the Region's Core rail tunnel from New Jersey to Manhattan, the country's largest stimulus-funded project, was halted abruptly late last week, ostensibly to review finances. (Transportation Nation)

Build your own streetcar: Lego has come out with a Public Transport set, including light rail, bus, and stations. Perfect for those slow days at the office. (Human Transit, Matt')

Singing a new Metro song: The guy that brought us "Arlington Rap" has released his next opus, the "Metro Song." (YouTube, Gavin)

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. 


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We estimate total transportation costs for an average household from your region living in your neighborhood, including commuting, errands, and all the other trips around town. We count money spent on car ownership and use, as well as public transit use. For CO2 emissions, we count car use only.

Why don't they count emissions from busses? Do the power plants supplying electricity for mass transit have zero emissions?

by monkeyrotica on Sep 15, 2010 9:07 am • linkreport

Should probably put a date on that CaBi inaugural ride, it's on the 20th, next Monday.

by Michael Perkins on Sep 15, 2010 9:38 am • linkreport

Yikes. The trans-Hudson tunnel is a pretty big deal, and if cancelled will be disastrous for that region. Just more proof that these multiple-jurisdiction projects are horribly structured. Chris Christie is the latest in a very long line of appallingly bad governors of New Jersey.

by andrew on Sep 15, 2010 9:40 am • linkreport

Yeah I don't know about that Abogo site. While the colors on the map probably represent a good interpretation of how much people pay for transportation, it also assumes everyone owns a car and factors car ownership costs into the monthly "cost of living" I live in Ballston and it says my cost is over $700 a month! That's about $600 too much.

by Mark P. on Sep 15, 2010 9:40 am • linkreport

@ monkeyrotica The bus is going to run whether you're on it or not. The emissions marginal cost of a single bus rider is zero.

It's somewhat misleading, of course, because as demand increases, they have to add more buses and emissions increase, of course, but the affect of a single rider is a very small fraction of that.

by jcm on Sep 15, 2010 9:42 am • linkreport

Incidentally, the patent protecting Lego has finally expired this week. That means we can all make Legos now!

by Jasper on Sep 15, 2010 9:43 am • linkreport

Michael: I had it saying "Monday," but now added the date.

Jasper: People still can't call them Legos, since that's trademarked, but they can make "Snap-together toy bricks (Lego compatible)" or something.

by David Alpert on Sep 15, 2010 9:45 am • linkreport

"The patent protecting Lego has finally expired this week. That means we can all make Legos now! That means we can all make Legos now!"

However, their lawyers are still on retainer.

by RJ on Sep 15, 2010 10:03 am • linkreport

As I understand it, the Trans-Hudson Tunnel wasn't designed very well to begin with. I recall hearing something about poor station placement or not allowing through-trains or something of the like...

by Froggie on Sep 15, 2010 10:09 am • linkreport

Has anyone received their CaBi welcome packs yet? I'm still waiting on mine (and hoping I signed up early enough for a shirt!).

by Steven Yates on Sep 15, 2010 10:22 am • linkreport

The CNT web site on transportation costs is just as much B.S. as the walk score.

Given what it says about me ($700 month) I have to think they are trying to factor some sort of depreciation into the equation, although I can't find that on their explanations.

They are aware those census-block figures are rather imaginary.....

by charlie on Sep 15, 2010 10:23 am • linkreport

Are there any stats on DC's Drunk Driving sentencing? I actually know a guy who crashed his car driving drunk and killed his passenger. I blinked and he was out of jail. I don't expect this drunk driver in Adams Morgan to be spending much time behind bars either. How does DC rank among other states of tough sentencing?

by Anon on Sep 15, 2010 10:24 am • linkreport

The USPS employee struck by the PG officer has died.

by Tina Jones on Sep 15, 2010 10:25 am • linkreport

>Has anyone received their CaBi welcome packs yet?

I don't have mine yet.

by BeyondDC on Sep 15, 2010 10:33 am • linkreport

My understanding is that most of the packets with the keys went in the mail on Monday, and should be arriving soon.

by Alex B. on Sep 15, 2010 10:37 am • linkreport

Have not received the CaBi pack yet, but after inquiring last Friday, I received an e-mail on Saturday, 9/11 that said,

"We are now preparing all our members' packages. You should receive yours by the end of next week."

by dcd on Sep 15, 2010 10:41 am • linkreport

@Froggie Yes. The station placement was awful in the project as it was designed, although my understanding was that construction would essentially progress linearly from the New Jersey side into New York.

By the time the tunnel reached New York, people had hoped that the Penn Station people would have gotten their act together to allow through-running, and integration with the existing station.

Still: A bad tunnel is heavily preferable to no tunnel. The orange line crunch is nothing compared to what happens when one of the two Hudson tubes is forced to close.

by andrew on Sep 15, 2010 11:02 am • linkreport

Capital Bikeshare tweeted this yesterday (Tuesday):

Membership packets are in the mail! Majority went out today, rest go out tomorrow.

by BeyondDC on Sep 15, 2010 11:09 am • linkreport

@ charlie They aren't saying it costs you $700 a month for transportation. They're talking about a typical regional household. It's explained on their website.

And of course they're counting the cost of the car's depreciation. Cars aren't free, and they don't last forever.

by jcm on Sep 15, 2010 11:32 am • linkreport

DC transport costs are a bargain compared to what? I entered my capital hill address, and my former upper west side, NYC address. DC came up much more expensive.

by beatbox on Sep 15, 2010 7:16 pm • linkreport

@andrew, New Jersey intends for its Federally-funded tunnel to dead-end 180 feet underground. The depth precludes through connections to Manhattan's existing tracks, which are near the surface.

This is of concern to GreaterGreaterWashington because the New Jersey bottleneck delays our trips to and from New York. And the $9 billion "tunnel to nowhere" might not help. It's not for us, and it might not even get NJers off the old tracks if they prefer keeping their Manhattan connections.

The big, mysterious disappointment is that the Feds approved the project.

by Turnip on Sep 15, 2010 7:55 pm • linkreport

Yes--the THE/ARC tunnel dead-end design is extremely stupid. Spending that amount of money to run more tracks into Manhattan, then dead-end deep underground without good connections to existing transit, or even the surface, would be incredibly dumb. NYC desperately needs another tunnel, but it should connect to Penn Station so that it will actually increase capacity/redundancy on the NEC. The National Association of Railroad Passengers has long been advocating for this. They could use our support.

by Matthias on Sep 21, 2010 6:00 pm • linkreport

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