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


Weekend links: Different views on buildings

Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.
MLK library not so bad?: Kriston Capps defends the MLK library, "a soaring Mies skyscraper ... cut off at its knees" which could benefit from a good renovation and alternatives to housing the homeless in the library. (Housing Complex)

Brooks' a part of Brookland evolution: The owner of Colonel Brooks' Tavern plans a 6-story mixed-use building to replace his struggling restaurant. This would bring more activity to the area right around the Brookland Metro station, but some neighbors, not surprisingly, are opposed. (Post) ... Brookland Avenue has more details of the project from a December public meeting.

Cyclist loses driver license for getting hit by driver: After a minor cyclist-driver crash where the driver admitted fault, the officer wrote the cyclist a ticket anyway, saying "because you don't have an insurance company to fight." Then, after accidentally contesting the ticket too late, the cyclist got his driver license suspended. (PoP)

Walking to school at all-time low: In 1969 only 15% of school children were driven to school; the vast majority of students walked or took a bus. Today, 75% of households drive their children to school, even though half of all children live within 2 miles of their school. (Dallas Morning News)

Safety bills die, sprawl bills advance in VA: A Virginia House subcommittee rejected a number of bills strengthening laws against open alcohol containers, texting, or driving without a seatbelt (Roanoke Times) ... Another panel advanced the two bills that require moving cars faster to be the only factor in transportation spending decisions. (NVTA)

Back to the future on H Street NE: A great 1926 photo shows H Street NE with the streetcar tracks that will again be operational in less than 2 years. (Shorpy, Mark Jordan) ... The DC Sierra Club will host a streetcar happy hour on H Street next week. (TheCityFix)

DC gap $600 million: DC's budget gap estimate has risen to $600 million, which would mean "drastic" budget cuts. (WBJ)

And...: Six reasons why parking is a waste of every kind of resource (Grist) ... A Minneapolis bus shelter ad also warms riders (MediaPost, Eric Fidler) ... DC isn't the only northeast city whose fiscal affairs are partially controlled by another legislature. (NYT)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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I wouldn't go so far as to describe DC as a "northeast city." Even though the Washington Post presented some intriguing linguistic evidence that Washington is no longer Southern, it's still firmly situated culturally and geographically in the Mid-Atlantic.

by David Rotenstein on Jan 22, 2011 1:23 pm • linkreport

the cyclist who was ticketed because "he doesnt have an insurance company to fight" should appeal this, and ALSO write to the Chief of Police. The driver admitted fault, yet the police officer wrote the cyclist a ticket to give the driver a break: there is no legal basis for this, and it is essentially punishing the cyclist to help out the motorist.

by SJE on Jan 22, 2011 1:47 pm • linkreport

I would love to see that 1926 photo of H St. NE! how about a link to it? :)

by Nitin on Jan 22, 2011 2:01 pm • linkreport

Did I miss the link to the 1926 photo of H Street?

by mattCampy on Jan 22, 2011 2:04 pm • linkreport

Oops, fixed.

by David Alpert on Jan 22, 2011 2:04 pm • linkreport

@SJE, We've only heard one side of the story. And that side is the one which got the ticket and says they shouldn't have gotten a ticket because the other party/ side of the story admitted they were wrong. Last I heard, cops don't issue tickets based on who is willing to take the blame, but based on the facts of the incident ... and the law.

by Lance on Jan 22, 2011 2:08 pm • linkreport

"Then, after accidentally contesting the ticket too late, the cyclist got his driver license suspended."

Um, no. Read the story more closely instead of only reading the cyclist's side of things, as usual. The cyclist didn't "accidentally" contest the ticket too late. There was absolutely nothing accidental about it. The cyclist simply didn't read the ticket closely enough, as was his/her responsibility. That's not an accident, not when it's clearly the cyclist's fault.

It's yet another example of the one-sided reporting from the writers on this site, who delight in screaming bloody murder when they find examples of such reporting in other publications.

by anon on Jan 22, 2011 2:20 pm • linkreport

As 'anon' said the cyclist's license was likely suspended for failure to pay the ticket, not from the infraction. A PoP commenter also pointed out the relevant code (see below). Not sure if that still justifies losing your license. What he should do now is what he should have done in the first place- CALL AN ATTORNEY. There's two that I know of that handle cycling related cases in DC. While he's at it I hope he appears at Mendelson's hearing to testify how the officer dealt with the crash.

Peter M Baskin
2300 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 700
Arlington, VA 22201

Thomas G. Witkop
27 West Jefferson St.
Rockville, MD 20850

1200.3 Operators of bicycles have the same rights as do operators of other vehicles and in the additional rights granted by this chapter.

1200.4 No operator’s permit shall be required for the operation of a bicycle or personal mobility device.

1200.5 No person shall be subject to the loss or suspension of his or her motor vehicle operator’s permit for violation of any regulation under this chapter.

1200.6 No points shall accrue toward the loss of or suspension of a motor vehicle operator’s permit by reason of a violation committed while operating a bicycle, sidewalk bicycle, or a personal mobility device.

by jeff on Jan 22, 2011 2:28 pm • linkreport

"What he should do now is what he should have done in the first place- CALL AN ATTORNEY."

I was the person who posted the relevant code. He doesn't need an attorney; he needs to read that back of the NOI next time he gets one. He can try to complain to an attorney all day long, but the only thing that's going to happen is that the attorney is going to charge him $250 for a consult to tell him that he should've contested it on time. The original poster might think he's special and doesn't deserve to have his license suspended, but his case is no different or special than the countless number of people who get their licenses suspended in D.C..

by Boomhauer on Jan 22, 2011 2:52 pm • linkreport

Is the automatic suspension for failure to pay also applicable to speed cameras?

The real answer is to remove the ability of DMV to suspend licenses for non automotive tickets.

by Charlie on Jan 22, 2011 2:59 pm • linkreport

The cyclist may have done something illegal and may have deserved a ticket but to give him one based on the fact that he doesn't have a car insurance company to deal is wrong. Either the cop gives a ticket b/c he believes he broke the law or he doesn't.

by Canaan on Jan 22, 2011 3:29 pm • linkreport

"The real answer is to remove the ability of DMV to suspend licenses for non automotive tickets."

They can't suspend your license for tickets received on a bicycle. In this case it was suspended not for the ticket but for the underlying failure to answer the ticket. The solution surely can't be to make cyclists immune to traffic enforcement laws by removing penalties for failure to answer a ticket.

by Boomhauer on Jan 22, 2011 3:39 pm • linkreport

Lance and Anon: I'll agree that this is only one side of the story. If it is true, it should be contested and reported to the Chief: that was my point. I also agree that he does not need a lawyer, but does need a clue: he should just read the damn ticket not only for the date, but for the fact that he can appeal his mistake.

by SJE on Jan 22, 2011 6:03 pm • linkreport

Re POP: Councilmember Phil Mendelson is holding a hearing on related bike/ped issues:

Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety
Public Oversight Hearing scheduled for Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. in Hearing Room 412

Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary, announces a public oversight hearing on the enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety. The public oversight hearing will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, February 4, 2011 in Hearing Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building. The purpose of this hearing is to hear testimony from the public on the issues of pedestrian and bicycle safety in the context of enforcement. This includes specific issues that pedestrians or bicyclists have experienced with regard to the enforcement of traffic laws, including distracted driving and its impact on pedestrians and bicyclists. The Committee has heard concerns regarding the public and law enforcement’s understanding of pedestrian and bicycle laws, and the disproportionate impact or enforcement of those laws.

Those who wish to testify should contact Ms. Jessica Jacobs, Legislative Counsel, at (202) 724-8038, by fax at (202) 724-6664, or via e-mail at and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Wednesday, February 2, 2011. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written

by bikevigilante on Jan 25, 2011 10:33 am • linkreport

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