Breakfast links: Houses and cars
Washingtonians spend too much on housing: Despite the relative affluence in the DC area, many people are burdened by housing costs, particularly renters. The problem is almost as great in many outer counties as in DC, even before accounting for transportation costs. Tellingly, people are losing their homes to hold on to their cars. (Post)
New suburbanites struggle without cars: As urban poor are forced to become suburban poor with rising city housing costs, they are finding surburban life difficult without a car, which they didn't need before. (WAMU)
Shoo, parties: Mike DeBonis says DC should switch to nonpartisan elections, which such similarly stalwart Democratic cities as LA and Chicago have done. (Post) ... It should include Instant Runoff Voting as Topher Mathews recommended here. Could Congressional Republicans give DC a House seat in exchange for nonpartisan local elections, as some Twitterers suggested?
Local design criteria have value: Protracted design review gave Georgetown a more Georgetown-like Apple store rather than the company's off-the-shelf minimalist facade. Edward McMahon argues that replicating chains' standard architecture diminishes a neighborhood's unmatched value as a unique shopping destination. (PCJ, Eric Fidler)
Start of a new cycle in Rosslyn?: Rosslyn real estate tycoon Anthony Westreich is betting on low interest rates and construction costs to usher in a new era for Rossyln. He is building a new office tower without any committed tenants, hoping to entice a high-end occupant across the Potomac. (Post)
Virginia has a lot of aging bridges: Some 1,800 of Virginia's bridges and culverts, or 9% of the state's inventory, are structurally deficient. VDOT says it would cost $4 billion to repair them all. (WTOP)
Former DOT secretary prioritizes roads: Former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta stressed the need for the federal government to make a major investment in transportation infrastructure, but said the priority should be road and highway maintenance. (Transportation Nation)
Detroit fills grocery void with independent markets: Since no major supermarket chain has a store in Detroit, independent grocers fill in the void. Can the same happen for the area's food deserts? (CNN Money, Eric Fidler)
Demand for 2BR apartments growing: New York City is seeing a revival in its 2 bedroom apartment market. The recession forced some into smaller homes, while those unfazed by the downturn took advantage of lower prices and traded up for larger homes. (NYT)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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- Are public spaces really public when not everybody can use them?
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