Posts by Steven Yates
|Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.|
MD spends on Prince George's: Maryland Governor O'Malley announced funding for a pedestrian bridge at Suitland, numerous pedestrian and bicycle projects, a new interchange at Greenbelt which he hopes will help land the FBI, and a study of light rail from Branch Avenue to Charles County. (Post)
What should Frederick do?: Besides a new $82 million interchange, Frederick residents suggest better pedestrian crossings, green buses, bus lanes, and even extending the Red Line as future transportation wish list items. (Frederick News-Post, Tyler G.)
Housing lost with no replacement: DC tore down the Temple Courts housing project on North Capitol Street in 2008, but plans for a replacement have stalled. Are big, government-run redevelopments just too complicated, or are all projects just hard to push through at a certain stage? (Post, City Paper)
Building bits: You can live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but that's SE, not NW. (Post) ... DC and Alexandria median home sales have reached $500,000. (WTOP) ... New condo inventory hits its lowest point in a decade. (UrbanTurf)
No train to the beach: Boston recently launched a train to Cape Cod, and New York has lots of trains to its beaches. It's too bad we don't have a train to the beach; there used to be, but no longer. (BeyondDC)
Support New Mexico Avenue bike lanes: ANC 3D will vote on bike lanes for New Mexico Avenue on Wednesday. The commission initially opposed the lanes, but DDOT has revised the design to address concerns. Go support them! (WABA)
Lawsuits slow development: The Hine school project has gotten historic, zoning, and other approvals, but a lawsuit from neighbors could delay it up to a year. (WBJ)
Amtrak gets stuck for 14 hours: An Amtrak train from New York to Miami broke down outside Richmond and stranded passengers for 14 hours. Passengers say the toilets broke down and air conditioning only worked intermittently. (WAMU)
And...: Arlington's board will likely approve new CaBi stations on Columbia Pike and in Buckingham. (ArlNow) ... The Washington Monument is lit up. (WBJ, Post) ... People generally prefer to live north of a city rather than south. (WSJ)Today, we are pleased to welcome a new class of Breakfast Link contributors. They will start gradually ramping up their contributions to Breakfast Links over the next few weeks. Please welcome today's new contributor, Chad Maddox!
And please help Chad and our other new contributors find the best links by submitting tips when you see a good article we should consider. Thank you!
Get around tomorrow: Have plans for the 4th? What you might want to know if you are traveling by the Mall or on Metro or by bike or if you have too much to drink. (NBC4, DCBAC, PoPville)
Zoning update moves forward: DC's Office of Planning will finally present the zoning update to the Zoning Commission at the end of July. David Grosso said more Council hearings are unnecessary, and Chairman Phil Mendelson said opponents should "focus on the proposals, not the process." (City Paper)
Alexandria reviews BRT station design: With their Route 1 BRT already well under construction and set to open by summer 2014, Alexandria's Planning Commission reviews the final designs of the new system's stations and amenities. (The Arlandrian)
Axe the hybrid tax: Two Virginia state legislators will introduce legislation to repeal Virginia's new tax on hybrids and electric vehicles that went into effect this week. Supporters say that these vehicle owners should not be punished for doing their part in reducing carbon pollution. (Post, Pam J)
Don't forget the parks: As Mount Vernon Triangle develops, it seems DC has not learned the lesson of NoMa to get parks into the plan early. But it might not be too late to include a park on one city-owned plot of land. (City Paper)
Less congestion forever?: Drivers are experiencing less congestion on area roads. Much of the area's new road capacity is tolled, will this mean induced demand won't act like we expect? (Post, RPUS)
Old bike box gets upgrade: First installed in 2010, the bike box at the difficult intersection of Commonwealth & Mt Vernon Avenues in Alexandria will be enhanced soon with new sensors and new pavement markings. (Del Ray Patch, The Arlandrian)
And...: Is part of the Rock Creek Trail about to fall into Rock Creek? (TheWashCycle) ... Political outsider Reta Jo Lewis joins the race for DC mayor. (WAMU) ... Anthony Foxx gets sworn in as Transportation Secretary. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Streetcars by end of 2013, probably: DDOT Director Terry Bellamy says there is a 2 in 3 chance that streetcars will be running in DC before the start of 2014. The streetcars still need to pass state and federal oversight. (WAMU)
Where'd you come from?: Since 2007, Metrorail ridership grew among DC, Arlington, and Alexandria residents but mostly stayed flat in other jurisdictions. About 1 in 10 riders come from outside WMATA Compact jurisdictions. (PlanItMetro)
Really?: People on a Post online chat were incredulous at Metro's high satisfaction numbers. But the high marks really came from riders, not just non-riders, and were similar across riders of all of the lines. (Post)
The quality of buses: In the debate between BRT and streetcars, ride quality matters. If it didn't, then we would just use school buses instead. (BeyondDC)
Should FBI go?: A report from CFO Natwar Gandhi found that the FBI moving out would mean more revenue but fewer jobs for DC. A move to Poplar Point would mean both more jobs and more revenue for DC, but does that make it a good idea? (City Paper)
ANCs not audited: Each ANC is supposed to be audited every 2 years, but no audit reports have been posted since September 2011. What is taking so long? (CHOTR)
BART not going anywhere: A transit strike shut down BART service yesterday, leaving 400,000 to find other rides. Buses were still running, but many commutes were significantly slower. (Atlantic Cities)
NYC taxes hurt renters: New York City's taxes end up taxing renters more than owners. DC's apartment taxes are 80% lower than New York's. (Business Insider)
And...: Some of Pepco's greenest customers must get paper bills. (City Paper) ... Drivers can now be pulled over for texting in Virginia. (WAMU) ... See more pictures of Silver Line construction and future sites of Phase II stations. (Sand Box John)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Republican for speeding: A GOP House freshman, Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) wants to ban speed and red light cameras in DC, and is drafting a bill in Congress to try to override DC's power to enforce its own traffic laws with cameras. (Post)
TIGER endangered: While the Senate wants fund TIGER grants to the tune of $550 million in its 2014 budget, the Republican-controlled House has set aside no funding for it. The two bills will eventually have to be reconciled. (Next American City)
Foxx populi: Anthony Foxx wins unanimous approval from the Senate to become the next Transportation Secretary, replacing the departing Ray LaHood. (Post)
Vote for the road, or else: Loudoun County officials are threatening to withholding transportation money from Leesburg unless the town supports the North-South Corridor/
Bi-County Parkway/ Outer Beltway plans. (Leesburg Today)
Late night track work gets later: Starting next week, Metro's weeknight track work will start at 10 pm instead of 8 pm. General Manager Richard Sarles also said that the pace of track work should continue through 2017. (Post)
DCPS violating Title IX?: A new lawsuit alleges that girls at DCPS high schools do not get the same athletic opportunities as boys, which would violate Title IX. (Post)
Park complex: Alexandria's Hensley Park could turn into a large sports and entertainment complex which would include several sports facilities, retail, and restaurants. (WBJ)
Less default near public transit: Owners of walkable, mixed-use, transit-accessible homes near parks are less likely to default on payments than the average homeowner. People close to a highway were more likely to default. (Atlantic Cities)
And...: Howard University cancels its Howard Town Center deal. (City Paper) ... DC has selected 9:30 Club owner IMP to operate the Lincoln Theatre (WTOP) ... Chicago's Divvy bike sharing system starts today. (Chicago Sun-Times)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Higher wages, lower taxes: The DC Council passed a living wage bill for large retailers like Walmart and voted to lower the sales tax to 5.75%. (City Paper, Washington Times)
Funding battles restart: Debate on dueling transportation and housing funding bills starts today in the House and Senate. The House bill seeks to cut funding for affordable housing programs nearly in half. (Next City)
What's "AMI," anyway?: Kenyan McDuffie wants affordable housing programs to be more forthcoming about income levels, not just say "80% of AMI" without explaining how many dollars that means for a family. He also wants such programs to explain how area median income compares to DC's median. (City Paper)
Lawsuit to stop lawsuits: The American Public Transportation Association is suing to stop patent trolls which have filed hundreds of lawsuits against the country's transit agencies for setting up real-time vehicle tracking technology. (Streetsblog)
Park the park and rides?: Should we stop building park and rides, particularly free ones? They cost money to build and may not ultimately take cars off the road. (Seattle Transit Blog via Steetsblog)
Seeing is believing: Metro has said they are on an "aggressive" schedule to repair the system, but passengers haven't seen progress and WMATA claims timelines for completion are hard to define. (Post)
Next stop: Kennedy Center?: The Kennedy Center could have had a Metro station, but builders thought it would be too costly and complicated. (Ghosts of DC, Geoff H.)
And...: Alexandria outlines 7 possible spots for new CaBi stations. (Patch) ... Which of these 10 neat pieces of bike infrastructure should we build here? (Atlantic Cities) ... Metro says power outages and disabled trains combined to delay the Red Line Tuesday. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Newspapers are a security risk!: The Architect of the Capitol suddenly wants to remove all newspaper boxes near the Capitol South Metro. They say it's for "security." (Roll Call)
Some crime is secret: MPD's online crime information only includes some categories of crimes; the assault on the Met Branch Trail wasn't among them, meaning residents won't necessarily know about similar assaults. (ToT) ... WABA trail rangers will start patrolling the trail. (WAMU)
Feds could cut Metro funding: A bill before Congress would cut $25 million per year from the Metro repair funding, which Congress started providing in 2008 after the Red Line crash. (Post)
Silver Line funded and on time?: Loudoun County hopes to pay for its part of the Silver Line with a federal loan and parking revenues. Meanwhile, the MWAA says the Silver Line's opening isn't delayed, at least not yet. (WAMU)
Parking minimums vs. green space: The Masonic temple at 16th and S doesn't want to replace its rear lawn with parking,
but when it renovates, parking minimums say it must, or get a variance. (Borderstan) Update: The architect told the ANC they needed a variance, but apparently were mistaken. ... A 392-unit walkable housing development in Clarksburg will have to cut acres of trees for 1,000 required parking spaces. (Gazette, Ben Ross)
Sick leave hasn't driven business out: DC's law requiring many businesses to provide paid sick leave hasn't made them want to move out of the District, say 87.5% of businesses in a recent audit. 91% are complying with the law. (Post)
Gray talks education: Mayor Gray's first speech focused on education emphasized continuity rather than drastic change. Gray outlined some successes and strategies for making more progress in the future. (City Paper)
Show your bike papers: Alexandria still requires bike owners to register with the police department; DC repealed a similar rule in 2008. (Alexandria Times) ... @sharrowsDC ironically points out, "Can't have a gun registry, but bikes!"
And...: The old NPR headquarters gets torn down. (DCist) ... Union Market will add drive-in movies, but you don't have to drive. (DCist) ... The Washington Monument might not really be "the world's tallest free-standing masonry structure." (Post) ... Check out Aimee Custis's pictures from the #nerdtrain.Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Heard there was a problem: Metro train intercoms have had problems for years, but WMATA hopes to fix the problem by separating 1000- and 6000-series cars into different trains. (Post)
Make the MBT safe: Each summer brings a spike in crime on the Metropolitan Branch Trail. The police warn cyclists not to ride alone, but that could scare people away and mean even fewer eyes on the trail. (City Paper)
8+ people struck yesterday: An SUV driver sped through an intersection, jumped the curb, and hit 3 pedestrians yesterday at North Capitol and Massachusetts. (Post) ... @struckdc lists at least five other people struck just yesterday.
Church must have stained glass: When one congregation took over a historic Capitol Hill church, they wanted to remove stained glass from its windows, but the preservation board said no. The Mayor's Agent just upheld that decision and rejected the church's religious liberty claims. (RPUS)
No shuttle for Chevy Chase: The Town of Chevy Chase, MD voted down a proposal to set up a shuttle bus to Bethesda, just every 30 or 60 minutes for 4 hours around lunchtime. It also rejected a proposal to reimburse seniors for taxi fares. (Patch)
Too much burden on small business?: Should DC ease its regulations and fees on small business? While these obstacles are easy for larger business to handle, they can cripple a small start-up. (Patch)
Tech companies isolate: The high-tech industry may have fabulous offices, but those offices are completely insulated from their surroundings. Silicon Valley even sports several private bus systems. (Gizmodo)
And...: DC opens up 70 affordable housing units on Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. (NBC4, h st ll) ... National Harbor gives shuttle bus access to guests, but not workers. (RPUS) ... Gehry takes another stab at the Eisenhower Memorial (WTOP)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
MBT cameras not helpful: The recent assault on the Metropolitan Branch Trail happened in sight of one of the trail's three cameras, but it wasn't working, and even if it were, no one actively watches them and they don't work well at night. (City Paper)
MD bike and ped update: Maryland updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan will help determine which projects for cyclists and pedestrians get funding. (Gazette)
Future of Georgetown: The Georgetown BID has a lot of ideas for transforming the neighborhood over the next 15 years, including a gondola to Rosslyn and even a Metro station in hopes of attracting more people to the neighborhood. (UrbanTurf)
IZ update: Inclusionary zoning units are starting to get rented and sold and more IZ units are on the way. A recent change to how the units are handled in foreclosure makes them more attractive for banks to finance. (City Paper)
Goodbye Examiner: Today is the last day for the Examiner in its current form as a local paper. The publication will switch to an online publication with a weekly magazine focusing on national politics.
More Metro data: Metro released another set of origin and destination rail ridership data, this time including entry hour, media type, fare class and fare instrument type. What can you do with the data? (PlanItMetro)
More neighbors against mixed-use Safeway: Safeway wants to build some housing atop a new store in the Palisades; some residents think it's a good idea, but one group already passed a resolution of opposition even before seeing more details. (Current)
Nerds on the train: GGW editors Matt Johnson and Aimee Custis made the Amtrak blog for their annual "nerd train" ride, where a group of transit nerds takes a long-distance train together. Now they're on the Sunset Limited from LA to New Orleans.
Metro morsels: 5 Metro trains ran red signals since April, all of which were due to human error. (Examiner) ... Crime at Montgomery County's Metro stations is down overall, but robberies are up. (Examiner) ... Metro outfits 1000-series cars with Kevlar to help prevent fires like the one that happened in Silver Spring in May. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Silver delayed to 2014: Officials are now saying that the Silver Line won't open until January, a delay from the expected December opening. Construction is 94% done, with some cosmetic work to be done before WMATA can start its review. (WTOP)
Silver surcharge?: Since most riders aren't going to Loudoun County, Supervisor Matt Letourneau wants to institute a surcharge at the future Dulles Airport Silver Line station to pay for maintenance. But then shouldn't there be a surcharge at DCA as well? (Examiner)
Commuter buses escape fee: A $5 surcharge for commuter buses entering the District likely won't make it into the final DC budget after 10 Congressmen from Maryland and Virginia objected. (Post)
Storm brewing: Severe thunderstorms are on their way, and it might even be another derecho. The federal government is even allowing unscheduled leave and telework in anticipation of the storm. (Post)
Houses without owners: Blighted properties with no obvious owner can rack up huge tax bills for more than the property is worth, making them difficult to sell. DC has other processes to offload the properties, but doesn't use them much. (City Paper)
MBT attack was a big group: The cyclist assaulted on the Metropolitan Branch Trail may have been attacked by as many as 15 youths. In response to the attack, WABA will hold a safety walk of the trail on Friday. (Post)
How the population grows: DC is getting younger and more white, Hispanic, and Asian. DC also has a higher percentage of women than any full state. (Post, Examiner)
Hands-free is still distracted: Voice-controlled access to text messaging and phone calls still represents a dangerous distraction that should be limited, says AAA. But car makers are unlikely to change course, with half of all cars predicted to have this technology by 2019. (NPR, NYT, Ben Ross)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Be careful accepting gifts: Former Councilmember Michael Brown will plead guilty to federal bribery charges that he accepted improper personal loans from undercover agents posing as small businessmen who wanted lobbying help. Meanwhile, Marion Barry may have accepted improper personal gifts from city contractors. (Post)
Pay your way: Fairfax and Loudoun Counties agreed to pay for some Silver Line expenses to ease tolls on the Dulles Toll Road, but now Fairfax wants to get state money to pay their share, and Loudoun County officials are not happy about it. (Examiner)
Penn Ave update: DDOT says they wanted to find new bollards for the Pennsylvania Ave. bike lanes but when they couldn't, they just put the old ones back. They also hope to have Zebras or a similar device installed within a few months. (d.ish)
Fare gates: The next generation: Metro unveiled prototypes of new fare gates they are considering. They would allow paying by credit card or smartphone. (Post)
Wiener doored: Housing Complex writer Aaron Wiener recounts being doored while riding his bike. He had to spend 8 hours in the Howard University Hospital ER and reflects that many incidents like this aren't counted in safety statistics. (City Paper)
Libertarians for lighter trains: The libertarian-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute is urging the Federal Railroad Administration to drop regulations that force US passenger railroads to buy unnecessarily heavy and expensive equipment. (jimble)
Night service: After walking from National Airport to Capitol Hill late on a Sunday night, Richard Layman thinks the area should offer Night Owl service, where buses replace Metro trains after Metro closes. (RPUS)
And...: One consequence of the restaurant boom: it's hard to find good workers. (City Paper) ... Citibike struggles with software problems. (Reuters) ... Virginia's Republican Lt. Gov. nominee, E.W. Jackson, says yoga lets Satan invade your soul. (NY Mag)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- More roads won't solve traffic on I-95 in Northern Virginia
- Metro maps out loop line between DC and Arlington
- The reason cyclists love green bike lanes
- How does DC's proposed Metro loop compare?
- Ask Congress to give DC self-rule on building heights
- Alexandria board rejects King Street bike lanes
- Can motorcycles fit in an urban context?