Breakfast links: Have plans, need money
Region brimming with streetcar projects: There are a number of streetcar and light rail proposals in the region all potentially vying for limited federal funds. Also, leaders haven't really figured out how, if at all, the systems will interconnect, taking a parochial approach that represents "the antithesis of the Metro system." (Examiner)
Virginia needs rail money: Virginia needs $629 million to achieve its rail plans, including higher-speed service to Richmond and running the new Amtrak service to Richmond and Lynchburg. The state's Department of Rail and Public Transit also must anticipate the 2013 shift of Amtrak operating costs to the states, when Virginia will have to support 6 of 13 daily trains. (Examiner)
Fenty wants to surplus Franklin School: The outgoing mayor last week introduced a resolution to the Council to surplus the 150-year-old Franklin School building on Franklin Square, so that the city can sell it off to be redeveloped. Councilmember Cheh will get to consider whether to take the Fenty Administration's recommendation in the new year. (WBJ, Steven Glazerman)
Shaw Library draws accolades: The Wall Street Journal has named the new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library one of the best buildings of 2010 in a year when the recession has prompted all but the most prominent architects to vie for even the smallest commissions for civic buildings. (WSJ)
Affordable housing saves more than money: Arlington's affordable housing program has allowed more people to live near their jobs, also reducing families' commute costs and durations, cutting congestion and pollution. (Under One Roof)
Frederick bridges in great shape: Frederick County has an excellent bridge maintenance record, as one of a select few counties to have an in-house inspection team. The inspectors reveal that the term "structurally deficient" is not as meaningful as many infrastructure doom-sayers make it out to be. (The Frederick News-Post Online)
Big box retail moving into cities: NPR takes a look at the growing trend of big box retailers trying out smaller stores in urban areas. The new Walmart in Fairfax on Route 1 is a first step in this move—
a "middle-ground" store less than half the size of a normal Supercenter sporting a reduced inventory.
From ballpark to snow park: The Cleveland Indians have built a small winter amusement park inside their stadium, hoping to draw fans in the off season. Sports teams around the country are watching carefully, contemplating similar strategies. (NYT, Rob Pitingolo)
And...: The DC region dodged the brunt of the winter storm while the rest of the northeast and mid-Atlantic got pummeled. Trave delays still abound. (TBD) ... Virginia will add 15 new historic landmarks, including several in the greater DC area, to its Landmark Register. (WAMU) ... New FHA rules could make buying or selling a condo both more complicated and more expensive. (WTOP)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- 9 things people always say at zoning hearings, illustrated by cats
- The Northeast Corridor carries more rail passengers than anywhere else in the country. What could it look like in 2040?
- The National Zoo has clarified its safety concerns. Turns out you're the problem.
- Montgomery will go ahead with BRT, but at what cost?
- WMATA's new general manager is listening before he even takes the reins
- Zig zag road stripes can get drivers to pay more attention
- What if Montgomery County gave BRT a temporary test run?