Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Danger all around


Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.
Navy Yard is "dangerous"?: Crunching 2008 FBI data, NeighborhoodScout produced a list of the 25 "most dangerous neighborhoods" in the US. DC's Navy Yard makes number 9, though the "predicted annual violent crimes" is more than double the total number of crimes in 2009. Residents aren't buying the numbers. (WalletPop, Steve S)

Failing US transportation system endangers future growth: A bi-partisan panel of 80 transportation experts, chaired by former Transportation Secretaries Norm Minetta and Sam Skinner, released its report yesterday. Findings indicate that the state of repair of US transportation assets will hamper economic growth in the future. (Thomas, Post)

Hit and run in Mt. Rainier: A black SUV and its driver hit an elderly man on Queens Chapel road in Mt. Rainier on Sunday. The driver was later apprehended in Landover. The victim is in critical condition. (TBD)

DoD makes a BRAC mistake: Pentagon officials aren't going to be able to fill their brand-new, $1.4 billion, 6,400-seat Alexandria building because it has insufficient public transit and parking is limited from an agreement designed to blunt traffic impacts. Of course, most of us knew this would happen. (Federal Times, Brad)

"Mosquito" officially killed: The anti-loitering noise maker installed a month ago at Gallery Place to combat rising adolescent mischief has been removed. (NBC Washington)

Feds encouraged to use CaBi: The Office of Personnel Management, the General Services Administration and the Department of Transportation are offering employees corporate memberships with Capital Bikeshare. (Post, Gavin)

Uline Arena plans pushed back: Douglas Jemal has plans for his Uline Arena, the site of the Beatles' first US show, but last week was granted a two year extension, meaning it's unlikely we'll see any movement on the property in the near future. (DCmud, Eric Fidler)

And...: Tommy Wells follows his constituents (and GGW) on Twitter to stay abreast of Ward 6 happenings. (DCist, Eric Fidler) ... A regular bus rider praises Metrobus drivers for their friendliness. (People's District, Eric Fidler) ... Alexandria Mayor Euille remains hospitalized after knee surgery stemming from an accident at the Braddock Road Metro. (Alexandria News) ... Montgomery County spent $2 million to buy and restore a cabin that turned out not to be Uncle Tom's (Post).

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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. 

Comments

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I have to second that article on bus drivers. Every once in a while I her people complain about rude bus drivers. As a daily bus rider I just have to wonder whether these complainers even ride the bus. I have found metrobus drivers to be almost always very polite and friendly.

by Reid on Oct 5, 2010 9:29 am • linkreport

Agree about Metrobus drivers; a few bad apples, but a generally friendly and pleasant group of people in my experience.

As for the feds encouraging Cabi use, that's great. Too bad NPS is not on board...

by rg on Oct 5, 2010 9:44 am • linkreport

Well, I'm a bit confused about that CaBi article...

"Going on the Red Line from here ... to the Senate takes a lot longer than if you just biked to it. And at the same time it's making an employee healthier," he said.

From where to the Senate? The closest CaBi station to the Senate will be at Union Station, directly adjacent to the Metro escalators (and it isn't open yet. what gives?). Did he make that comment simply because OPM's offices are themselves a bit far from the Red Line? I don't get his choice of landmark here....

by andrew on Oct 5, 2010 9:50 am • linkreport

If the Army's transportation plan is approved, that means even longer traffic jams on 395. I hate to see a nature preserve buldozed for traffic, but is there a better option to handle the thousand of bulding occupants? Theshuttle buses are an option, but a poor one.

by Thomas on Oct 5, 2010 9:50 am • linkreport

Perhaps the Mark Center will set off some discussion about building a (Pink?) metroline on top of the HOV lanes of I-395. It could start at the Pentagon and go down all the way I-395 & 95 to Quantico. At Franconia-Springfield it crosses the Blue line that will be extended along the 7900-7100-123 to Faifax City/GMU and then hook up to the Orange and Silver Lines. Meanwhile the Yellow Line gets extended to Ft Belvoir along US-1, meet the new (Pink?) Line at Occoquan or Woodbridge and then swing on the Prince William Parkway, passing by Potomac Mills and going towards Manassas.

by Jasper on Oct 5, 2010 9:59 am • linkreport

@andrew

I think he's talking about from OPM's office to the Senate. considering how far OPM is from the metro I bet it's true.

Re: Mark Center

Why the hell is the DoD allowed to build billion dollar enormous office projects in the DC metro area NOT on the metro?! And how come people who actually could have had a say over where this thing is built weren't screaming about this earlier?

by MLD on Oct 5, 2010 10:09 am • linkreport

MLD,

The decision was called BRAC 133 and people did have a voice and they did voice it; DOD didn't care. The two other options were an already build building next to Van Dorn and the GSA warehouses right next the Franconia Metro station and VRE.

http://www.tetratech-ffx.com/belvoir_braceis/133ea.htm
http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=320416&paper=61&cat=110

http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/article.asp?article=320416&paper=81&cat=110

by RJ on Oct 5, 2010 10:40 am • linkreport

Yeah, out of Mark Center or Victory Center they really chose poorly...

by NikolasM on Oct 5, 2010 10:44 am • linkreport

Agree on the CaBi comment. There are no stations near the senate. And what is up with Union Station? That should have been a priority.

Starting to wonder whether I wasted my $50 with CaBi. After the flush of excitement I took a closer look at the "proposed" stations (remember when they were "planned"?). Lots of gaps that undermind the program. The Anacostia stations are useless as they are so far apart and obviously were just put in for political reasons.

I really hope I am wrong, but when I see actual stations pop up in locations that were not on the "planned" list, it says they are having troubles with siting these things in areas where people actually want to go.

by beatbox on Oct 5, 2010 11:20 am • linkreport

out of Mark Center or Victory Center they really chose poorly

They chose the low bidder.

by jim on Oct 5, 2010 12:56 pm • linkreport

I'm sure DDOT and CaBi would love to put stations right at the Senate and on the Capitol grounds. I'm not so sure that all of DC's Federal friends would agree. I gather federal review has been one of the major hold-ups in DDOT's roll-out of many Downtown stations as well - Gabe Klein just said so in his live chat.

I would target your frustrations accordingly.

by Alex B. on Oct 5, 2010 1:30 pm • linkreport

jim,

This is the gist of the decision on Brac 133:

Springfield GSA location couldn't have been selected because it would take too long to relocate current warehouse operations, demolish and build new buildings. BRAC law says that relocations must be completed by 9/15/2011.

Victory Center: Failed to meet minimum set backs. In fact the Army Material Command used to be located there, but moved because of the new set back requirements.

If the deadline of 9/15/2011 wasn't in place or was extended, Springfield location would have won hands down. Everyone except Alexandria politicians wanted the GSA site. Basically Mark Center won by default because of the 9/2011 deadline.

by RJ on Oct 5, 2010 2:12 pm • linkreport

@AlexB. I think the frustration with DDOT is deserved. Any zoning issues could have largely been anticipating in planning phase. Instead they put out "planned" stations map that turns out to be a wish list.

by bubalu on Oct 5, 2010 2:47 pm • linkreport

@AlexB Senate grounds would likely fall under the jurisdiction of the AOC, who I imagine would actually be generally supportive of CaBi (they recently converted a few parking spaces in the Senate garage to bike parking, and have undertaken numerous other "green" initiatives around the capitol). Of course, I'm not sure how this jives with the fact that the Capitol is built on NPS lands...

It's not like there isn't PLENTY of space to put a station unobtrusively. Even if you wanted to avoid the parks, there are huge sidewalks all around the Russell building.

It also goes without saying that BRAC is a huge, expensive boondoggle.

by andrew on Oct 5, 2010 3:16 pm • linkreport

Of course there's plenty of space. Space is never the problem. It's navigating their arcane approvals.

by Alex B. on Oct 5, 2010 3:34 pm • linkreport

RE: Mark Centre

I'd like to see an investigation of how the owners of that property were connected to the DOD decision makers.

by Karl Rove on Oct 5, 2010 5:26 pm • linkreport

@Jasper
+1 Pink Line

by Amber on Oct 5, 2010 7:40 pm • linkreport

@RJ: Actually Springfield was never a settled matter for those who work for DoD, not the politicals and the people who are long gone. Lots of people who live in MD would not have gone to Springfield and even though I live in DC, I'd probably look for somewhere else to go. When you're already facing a brain drain you don't want to make things worse; the planning also took place during an upcycle when everyone was going to retire tomorrow if you irritated them. Victory was an obvious no-go since AMC moved out of there specifically because it failed the requirements.

That said the Mark Center will be a disaster. We all know the DOD bus system won't be able to handle the people, nor will their special shuttle buses, or 395. I really wish Moran's bill would pass. So many agencies tried to get exemptions because they knew this would be a disaster and the Army granted itself some (NC1 & 2 and Taylor buildings in Crystal City don't meet the setback requirements but they got an exemption) but screwed everyone else.

On the transportation survey they included a question with something like "I ain't gonna be working for you people by the time I move so screw you!". Those numbers were rather high.

by copperred on Oct 6, 2010 12:58 am • linkreport

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