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Breakfast links: More ups and downs

Photo by bigbirdz on Flickr.
Two slots at DCA up for grabs: When Republic Airways purchased Midwest last summer, USDOT decided to publicly rebid Midwest's two landing slots at DCA since Republic still controls several under its other subsidiary, Frontier. Industry analysts believe DOT will be looking for airlines planning to serve new destinations. (Post, charlie)

Virginia to raise speed limits: VDOT will raise the speed limit on many sections of limited-access highway through out the state from 65 to 70. None of these sections are anywhere within 50 40 miles of DC. See the full map here. (WTOP)

Height debate continued: Ryan Avent responds to Dan, arguing that undeveloped land in NoMa or Navy Yard might already have been developed into more diverse, low-cost use if not for the height restriction. Dan says that's a nice theory, but it doesn't work that way in the real world. (The Bellows, Rob Pitingolo)

Gray softens on lower parking rates: The presumptive mayor-elect at Tuesday's Ward 1 town hall continued to advocate lowering parking meter rates, but advised he would not do so until the city is in "better times." (DCist, Gavin)

Bethesda escalator repair nears end: The complete overhaul of all the escalator's moving parts is scheduled to be complete Monday. If all goes well, commuters will no longer endure forced two-way traffic on a single, stationary escalator. (Gazette, Cavan)

Arlington Trader Joe's to get parking: Arlington is expected to grant Trader Joe's access to dedicated parking, among other regulatory modifications, after which the chain will make a final decision on a lease for the Clarendon store. (ARLnow, Rob Pitingolo)

L'Enfant Plaza-Future Banneker Memorial Station?: ANC 6D declined to request adding Banneker Memorial to the L'Enfant Plaza station. It's probably for the best since supporters, NPS and the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission are still wrangling over the memorial's location. (Housing Complex)

Is there an answer to gentrification?: The Atlantic's Megan McArdle has moved into a "mixed" neighborhood in DC, but doesn't want to push anyone out of the neighborhood at the same time that she wants the better services new, higher-income residents inevitably seek. Not possible, she says.

And...: Google Maps ignores I-66 in Northern Virginia, probably because it's HOV only during rush hour. (WTOP) ... A cyclist crashed his bike on Monday in Judiciary Square, without the help of an errant automobile, and shares his story. (People-Powered Arlington, Rob Pitingolo) ... Capital Bikeshare passed the 3,000 member mark yesterday.

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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. 


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I've actually run into very few people who are "forced out" of their homes. Sure, there is the occasional 80 year old retired librarian who can't afford the increase in their property taxes, but most of the time it is someone taking advantage of the increased value in their house and cashing in.

by blogo on Oct 21, 2010 8:45 am • linkreport

"The Atlantic's Megan McArdle has moved into a "mixed" neighborhood in DC, but doesn't want to push anyone out of the neighborhood at the same time that she wants the better services new, higher-income residents inevitably seek. Not possible, she says."

Not true. Yuppie scumballs like me are finite in number. If there is more rehabilitated urban housing stock available than there are yuppies, gentrification will cease to push anyone out.

by Omri on Oct 21, 2010 9:01 am • linkreport

I think there needs to be a distinction between 'pushing people out' and seeing the neighborhood change.

There is no active pushing going on, just the evolution of the neighborhood. McArdle talks to a resident that has moved out and was returning to visit - yet that resident moved out on their own accord and left for a different place. This isn't displacement. Instead, someone like McArdle moved in, instead of someone more akin to that former resident.

There is natural turnover in any neighborhood - people move in, they move out, they are born and they die.

by Alex B. on Oct 21, 2010 9:05 am • linkreport

re: slots at DCA. Can someone explain why we don't auction landing slots at all airports every few years?

by SJE on Oct 21, 2010 9:08 am • linkreport

SJE: because all it would take is one or two airlines buying all the slots up to create a monopoly at that airport.

by Froggie on Oct 21, 2010 9:21 am • linkreport


The FAA tried to do just that with slot-controlled airports, but the GAO determined that they did not have the legislative authority to do so:

This Washington Post article from earlier this year gets at the crux of the issue:

While airlines often behave as if the slots are theirs and have enjoyed some limited ownership rights - for example, they've been able to buy, sell and lease these permissions - they admit that the slots probably aren't theirs in principle.

"A slot is nothing more than the right to operate a service at a particular time, and there is little certainty about who is the legal owner," concluded an editorial in a recent issue of the International Air Transport Association's magazine, Airlines International. "Airports own the runways and the terminals. Governments regard a nation's airspace as a sovereign right."

The government can't answer the question because of a pending lawsuit stemming from the Federal Aviation Administration's decision relating to the proposed Delta-US Airways slot swap. Among other things, the suit seeks to answer the question of slot ownership. A spokesman for the Transportation Department declined to comment on the matter.

Airports think that the slots should belong to them. Deborah McElroy, a spokeswoman for the Airports Council International-North America, a trade group for the airports, saidthey own the land, so why not the landing rights?

Just a note - there are only 4 slot-controlled airports in the US - DCA and the three New York area airports.

by Alex B. on Oct 21, 2010 9:23 am • linkreport

I also imagine if DOT awards the slots to an airline other than Midwest, we may see the jurisprudence in this area advanced a bit further, since Republic has promised to sue.

by Erik Weber on Oct 21, 2010 9:26 am • linkreport

Why not allow only the Federal government to build tall buildings? They are the dominate employer and so this would reduce jobs sprawl. It would be politically acceptable because the government could trust itself. And we will be able to break through DC's glass ceiling (setting a good precedent).

by Madison on Oct 21, 2010 9:29 am • linkreport

No one can buy a house unless someone is willing to sell a house.

by ksu499 on Oct 21, 2010 9:30 am • linkreport

The story about Google ignoring I-66 is way old news. It's been like that for at LEAST 3 years, which is when I first moved to Arlington. WTOP must be having a slow news day...

by Mark on Oct 21, 2010 9:37 am • linkreport

"DC Strikes out on TIGER" gets an item, but "Grant To Spur Development Near Metro Stations" doesn't rate a mention? Even after Joe mentioned this in comments to yesterday's TIGER item?

So....Big ups to MNCPPC Prince George's County, which submitted an application to HUD that got an $800,000 award yesterday to accelerate TOD around four Green Line stations in Prince George's County!

And to DC for the St. E's project!

Hooray, right?

by Grumpy Metro Person on Oct 21, 2010 9:42 am • linkreport

Seriously, people? Yes, some people cash out during gentrification. However, renters, which a lot of poorer people are, are often forced out by rent hikes, condo conversions, etc.

by Nate on Oct 21, 2010 10:02 am • linkreport

Agreed with the BS on the gentrification narrative. It seems like most of the long-time residents of existing neighborhoods either own their homes (which they purchased back before housing prices exploded), or are rent controlled.

There's very little pushing going on, and in my neighborhood, at least, people get along just fine. They're mostly glad to have neighbors that keep the place clean.

In many cases, the new "high-end" businesses in these neighborhoods actually charge less for basic items and staples than the businesses that they displaced. Although they also sell some high-end items, for the items that they both sell, Harris Teeter is cheaper across the board than a Murry's.

by andrew on Oct 21, 2010 10:06 am • linkreport

Instead of ADDING more names to metro stations, we should be REMOVING them. How long will Waterfront Station have a closed University attached to it's name?

by Matt Glazewski on Oct 21, 2010 10:12 am • linkreport

I've been forced out of a couple of neighborhoods in my time, although I never blamed it on any group of people. I always thought it was the rent increase that did it. Last time I checked, this is America, and one can live wherever one likes if one can succesfully negotiate the local culture. While it's sad when older ethnic established neighborhoods dissapear, this is the story of most American cities, like New York. Many of those oldtimers worked their butts off to get their children out into the mainstream, so I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

by Thayer-D on Oct 21, 2010 10:14 am • linkreport


There is no doubt anecdotal evidence of that kind of 'push', but that's not proof - nor does it indicate displacement above and beyond the normal rate of neighborhood turnover. There has been research on the subject showing that the actual rate of displacement in gentrifying 'hoods isn't all that much greater than in those that are not:

Freeman's pilot study was supported with seed funding from the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) at Columbia and is published in the March issue of Urban Affairs Review. Freeman's results demonstrate that, contrary to popular belief, gentrification drives few low-income residents from their homes. Comparing mobility and displacement in gentrifying and non-gentrifying neighborhoods, he finds that a poor resident's chances of being forced to move out of a gentrifying neighborhood are only slightly greater than in a non-gentrifying one. Moreover, the overall mobility rates were similar across gentrifying and non-gentrifying neighborhoods suggesting that while there is a slight surfeit of displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods there may be other residents who are more inclined to stay in the presence of gentrification. The results of this study are a corollary to Freeman and Braconi's 2004 findings that in New York City poor residents of gentrifying neighborhoods were less likely to move. Both findings show that it is possible for gentrification to occur without widespread displacement. The findings also suggest that some residents of gentrifying neighborhoods may be motivated to stay due to the improvements taking place.

by Alex B. on Oct 21, 2010 10:14 am • linkreport

Google Maps used to avoid I-66 inside the Beltway, then didn't for a long time, then apparently relapsed--but when I tried getting directions from Courthouse to Tysons Corner just now, it properly routed me on 66.

- RP

by Rob Pegoraro on Oct 21, 2010 10:23 am • linkreport

Is there an answer? yes. affordable housing for all by eliminating the height restrictions.

by Redline SOS on Oct 21, 2010 10:40 am • linkreport


Or you can get a higher-paying job.

by MPC on Oct 21, 2010 10:54 am • linkreport

@Alex B:
There is much more than 'anecdotal' evidence available. Displacement through gentrification is a longstanding consensus view, and what you are describing is an emerging literature which doesn't even seek to deny the displacement narrative, but rather to suggest that it's more complicated than that. I also question whether some of what that study terms "turnover" isn't more accurately termed displacement. If residents want to move, and previously would have moved within the neighborhood, but no longer can afford to do so, is that more accurately turnover, or displacement? The study says it's turnover.

by Nate on Oct 21, 2010 11:04 am • linkreport

"Displacement through gentrification is a longstanding consensus view,"

That sounds suspiciously like "everyone knows it's true." Now it may very well BE true, but support like this puts you in the company of the Flat Earth Society.

by dcd on Oct 21, 2010 11:09 am • linkreport

Actually, I'd say you sound a lot like the people questioning anthropogenic global warming.

by Nate on Oct 21, 2010 11:16 am • linkreport

I'd have to agree with dcd, although not to the extent of lumping you in with the Flat Earth Society. I agree that is the consensus view, but I'm not seeing much of it personally on the far reaches of Capitol Hill where I live. The neighborhood is slowly and steadily turning over to younger, whiter, and presumably more affluent residents, but in the two or so blocks that I've been tracking the overwhelming cause of this is the death or incapacitation of elderly residents. As they pass away, their children have established lives elsewhere and don't want to uproot their families to move back.

In fact, a problem we're starting to see is that several houses are remaining vacant. The heirs can't come to an agreement or for whatever reason don't want to sell, and myself and the other neighbors want to give them time to come to a decision. But after eight years (in one case) the house has fallen apart.

We have lost a few folks who couldn't afford rent, but from what I've seen, those people's lives where severely dysfunctional. Rent was but one of a myriad of problems they were ill-equipped to deal with.

by TimK on Oct 21, 2010 11:26 am • linkreport

Really? That's your response when asked for support for what you call a "longstanding consensus view?" Duck the issue, fail to provide a substantive response, and question the motives of the person pressing you? Well played.

You claim that "there is much more than 'anecdotal' evidence available" - OK, what is it?

by dcd on Oct 21, 2010 11:30 am • linkreport

It also helps to remember that Gentrification seems to be a symptom rather than a cause of larger things happening. Likewise there isn't a single solution, it seems like the DC gov't has done fairly well to mitigate some of the effects for residents who want to stay but wouldn't otherwise be able to afford to.

by Canaan on Oct 21, 2010 11:34 am • linkreport

Since I bought my capitol hill house in 1998, I have had three children. I'd like to move to larger house nearby, so my kids can stay their school, but I cannot afford to because the real estate has appreciated by 300%. In fact, I could not afford the house I presently live in if I bought it today. That is gentrification: you need to move but cannot stay in your neighborhood.

by goldfish on Oct 21, 2010 11:40 am • linkreport

Yeah, google maps has been I-66 adverse for many, many years. Why this is an item is beyond me.

by Josh S on Oct 21, 2010 11:50 am • linkreport

Do you have some cites to suggest otherwise? Maybe start by searching Google Scholar on relevant terms and see if you draw the same conclusions I have about the literature. Asking for proof of what the literature generally says about a topic is kind of ridiculous. I could just start bombing you with links, but I'd rather you actually do some reading and see if you can give me a specific reason you think I'm wrong about the consensus.

To start, here's a Brookings report from 2001 where gentrification is essentially defined as displacement:

by Nate on Oct 21, 2010 12:05 pm • linkreport

re: slots. If there is a concern about a monopoly, or oligopoly, just limit the number of slots on which an airline can bid, or charge for unused slots.

by SJE on Oct 21, 2010 12:50 pm • linkreport

No need to get snippy. I don't actually think you're wrong, although I have not done an exhaustive study of gentrification. I was merely pointing out that sputtering, "but, but, everyone knows it's true!" is not the best supported argument ever posted to these pages.

Thanks for the link.

by dcd on Oct 21, 2010 12:51 pm • linkreport

@ Virginia to raise speed limits:

Wohoo, legalization of a speed that everybody drives anyway.
Wohoo, you can now drive through Virginia in 10 minutes less!

Did VDOT check the statistics on increased traffic deaths and injuries for higher speed limits?

@ I-66/Google: Perhaps David can comment on the difficulties of implementing time restricted access on roads. And why does Google ignore I-66 also outside the Beltway?

by Jasper on Oct 21, 2010 1:17 pm • linkreport


Excellent comment--you've saved me from typing. I propose we all adopt this as the new "longstanding consensus view"!

by oboe on Oct 21, 2010 1:19 pm • linkreport

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