Greater Greater Washington

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Breakfast links: Public housing redevelopment

Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
A new neighborhood in Brentwood: The Brookland Manor area of Brentwood, which is now mostly Section 8 housing and a shopping complex, could become a mixed-income neighborhood with a new street grid and more density. (City Paper)

Empty in Anacostia: While the private sector owns some vacant and blighted properties in Anacostia, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development owns many of them but few have any redevelopment plans for the near future. (City Paper)

FBI not near the Metro?: The Lerner family is pushing to locate the FBI at Landover Mall. It could cost the GSA tens of millions less, but transit riders would have to take a shuttle bus from Metro, versus being right on Metro at Greenbelt. (Post)

Flat is where it's at: A K Street building expansion will feature another flat roof. It originally had a more interesting "embellishment," but some zoning commissioners rejected it; others now lament the flat look. (WBJ)

Cheh wants Uber legal: The DC Council's transportation committee marked up legislation yesterday that will fully legalize Uber and similar companies. The legislation requires insurance, background checks, and fingerprints for drivers. (Post)

Minimum wage to $8.40: Yesterday in both Montgomery and Prince George's County the minimum wage rose to $8.40. Local business owners have differing opinions on the impacts, but some activists are already calling the raise not enough. (Gazette, Post)

Purple Line OK in Bethesda?: Though the building atop the future Bethesda Purple Line station won't be razed, the station won't be as "cramped" as some feared. However, there still isn't room for a bike path in the tunnel. (BethesdaNow)

Buses to the curb, please: A new twitter account, @DCBullyBus, is calling out buses for not pulling totally against the curb, which can block travel lanes. Of course, obstructions such as parked cars may prevent drivers from pulling over fully. (DCist)

And...: Be sure to check out this enormous art installation near the reflecting pool. (Post) ... David Catania is only eight points behind Muriel Bowser in a newly released poll. (City Paper) ... Living near a large highway makes high blood pressure more likely. (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Stay safe

Photo by Tim Kelley on Flickr.
"Intersection of Doom" improves: The dangerous intersection of Lee Highway and Lynn got some safety upgrades, and more improvements are coming soon. Traffic lights and walk signals have been retimed, and county police are stepping up enforcement. (ArlNow)

Streetcar safety for students: Middle school students received a streetcar safety lesson from DDOT. The students asked some questions about the streetcar that officials were not willing to fully answer. (WAMU)

FBI for statehood: An advocate for DC statehood has filed a lawsuit to keep the FBI from leaving the city. He argues that the federal government promised that all agencies would be located in the District, in exchange for residents' voting rights. (WAMU)

DHS HQ a go: Construction is moving ahead on DHS's new headquarters at St. Elizabeth's. The GSA announced its award of a $139 million design-build contract to renovate the building that will serve as the secretary's office. (WBJ)

Public finance for MoCo campaigns: Local campaigns in Montgomery County will soon be eligible for public financing. Candidates who accept public funding will not be allowed to take contributions from PACs or corporations. (Post)

Penn Ave, AdMo are great: Adams Morgan made the American Planning Association's list of ten "Great Neighborhoods in America" for 2014 thanks in part to the 2012 streetscape project, while Pennsylvania Ave. won a spot on the ten "Great Streets."

MARTA on the upswing: How did MARTA's general manager turn the agency around after years of budget shortfalls and declining ridership? He managed to improve its public image, cut costs, and work productively with the state legislature. (Governing)

Preposterous Purple Line posturing: While Maryland's Purple Line faces opposition over the fate of some small, shrimp-like creatures, in LA, opponents of the subway say it's a bad idea because ISIS might blow up a train right under a school. (Post)

And...: Joshua Bell had a much larger audience when he returned to play to a Metro station crowd (Post) ... Economists agree that consumers will benefit if Uber and Lyft can compete with taxis equally. (Post) ... Is home rule the key to affordable housing? (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Getting to sports

Photo by Kevin Harber on Flickr.
Clawed pays for Screech: American University will foot the bill for late-night Metro service if Nationals playoff games run late; the Nats themselves have continued to refuse to pay. In the 2012 postseason, LivingSocial agreed to cover it. (City Paper)

What about soccer?: A stadium for DC United at Buzzard Point could draw 46 events per year and have higher transit use than RFK, says a transportation report. There would also be 1,300 parking spaces nearby. (WBJ)

Silver lining for bike parking: Metro has added parking for 20 additional bicycles at McLean Station. The 72 existing spaces had been filling up daily, while 600 motor vehicle spaces remained unused. (PlanItMetro)

Less money from cameras: Traffic camera revenue in DC unexpectedly declined thanks to it taking longer than expected to roll out new cameras, higher speed limits, and more people obeying the law. This could create a $50-70 million hole in the budget, but a Gray spokesperson said it's "not a bad thing." (Post)

Charter school turnaround: A third of all DC charter schools have shut down, often leaving families to search for new schools. New operators, who have taken over many, keep the school community together but can bring culture shock. (Post)

Stop for the hand: Post columnist John Kelly asks pedestrians to stop crossing streets against the light or entering intersections once the red hand starts flashing to keep traffic running smoothly and to limit emissions.

Shipping container complex: The shipping container apartment building in Brookland is almost complete. The developer claims the units are ecologically friendly and is looking to develop more units in Northeast and on the Potomac waterfront. (UrbanTurf)

No bar here: A proposed bar at 18th and Swann in Dupont got turned down for a liquor license. Unlike most liquor fights, many pro-bar people came out against this particular one. (Barred in DC)

Transit strife: Jerusalem's light rail system seeks to serve all residents of Jerusalem, but has faced adversity through vandalism and a 70% decrease in ridership during this summer's war. The city has begun using drones to police the infrastructure. (CityLab)

And...: DDOT may make streetcar rides free for the first year. (City Paper) ... The McMillan projeect won approval from the Zoning Commission, but opponents will likely appeal. (WBJ) ... Richard Bradley will step down as head of the Downtwown BID. (WBJ)

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Breakfast links: Changes in the neighborhood

Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.
To pop or not to pop: DC row houses are getting pop-ups and pop-backs to add housing and accommodate more individuals. However, longtime residents worry these additions could affect the neighborhood character. (WAMU)

Navy Yard a hit: Nats Park is a central part of life in Navy Yard, but the area has evolved as a liveable, family-friendly neighborhood. Will new construction push out older businesses or can they benefit from newcomers? (Post)

Play place DC: As more families choose to live in downtown DC, they are finding limited playground space for children. One parent is trying to build her own. (Post)

Benefits for Buzzard Point: Neighbors of the proposed soccer stadium at Buzzard Point want a community benefit agreement to address area needs such as affordable housing, job creation, and a community fund. (DCFPI)

Redeveloping Grimke: All three redevelopment plans for DC's Grimke School include a museum and residences. The site is well located across from the U Street Metro, but restrictions from DC have limited what the site could be used for. (UrbanTurf)

Lake of debate: Lake Manassas could reopen to the public for recreational uses such as fishing and boating. Reopening the lake has caused concern for the threat to drinking water and cost to residents. (Post)

Dining outside gets easier in DC: The number of sidewalk cafes in downtown DC has nearly doubled since 2009. The Downtown BID confirmed the area has experienced 8% growth in outside dining just in the past year. (DCist)

And...: Streetcars will begin simulated service today on H Street. (WTOP) ... Happy 124th Birthday, Rock Creek Park! (Post) ... Will Cathy Lanier stay on with the next mayor? (Post)

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Breakfast links: Busy street bike lanes

Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
Bike lanes on Branch Avenue: Maryland announced plans to add bike lanes and two miles of sidewalks on a stretch of Branch Avenue that handles 50,000 cars every day. (Post)

Bike lanes on highways: Highways are generally not accommodating for bicyclists, but a pilot program in Florida has found that bicyclists will ride on four- and six-lane highways if the proper infrastructure is in place. (Streetsblog)

7000s soon: Metro says you can expect to see its new 7000-series rail cars in service in early January. It will only be one train at first, but once testing is done, the manufacturer will start mass production. (Post)

IG overstepped on camera report?: In a hearing on the inspector general's report on traffic cameras, DC councilmembers criticized the inspector general's office for what they said was an overly political stance instead of a focus on the facts. (WTOP)

Circulator change bad for Georgetown?: Topher Mathews argues that Georgetown would lose out under proposed Circulator changes which would split the east-west line into two pieces. Residents along Wisconsin Avenue would lose a one-seat ride east of McPherson Square. (Georgetown Metropolitan)

Dominion mum on power line: Dominion Virginia Power wants to build a new transmission line through Potomac Yard. Despite pressure from residents and Alexandria leaders, Dominion will not discuss its preferred route for the line. (Alexandria Times)

What do Millennials want?: A new study claims Millennials want to live in the suburbs instead of in urban areas. However, it's clear that Millennials also want these suburban neighborhoods to feel more urban. (Bacon's Rebellion)

And...: Muriel Bowser has agreed to join a "mayoral forum" next month but won't call it a debate. (Post) ... Arlington schools buses will install cameras to catch drivers who illegally pass buses. (WTOP) ... What does author Jeff Speck look for in a house? (Post)

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Breakfast links: New service

Photo by Matt' Johnson on Flickr.
Strong start for Silver: Metro says the Silver Line is performing well, and is currently running at 60% of projected end-year ridership. The Tysons Corner station in particular has strong off-peak and Saturday ridership. (City Paper, PlanItMetro)

Streetcars around the corner: DDOT officially announced that the H St. Streetcar will run pre-revenue service starting next week, which could mean a November opening. Expect to see empty cars running at a normal schedule, every day. (City Paper, Post)

DC police to wear body cameras: Over 160 MPD officers will start wearing body cameras on October 1st. This is part of a six month pilot program, and Chief Lanier expects all officers to have cameras within three years. (WTOP)

Who is Peter May?: The Park Service's Peter May sits on a plethora of important boards where he has a lot of say in local planning and zoning. But as federal overlords go, he lives in the city, bicycles everywhere, and cares about urban places. (City Paper)

Alexandria bike lanes opposition: Planned bike lanes along two streets in Old Town Alexandria are drawing criticism from residents. City planners are trying to get ahead of criticism, noting the lanes will take away no parking. (Alexandria Times)

How to make Ward 5 bikeable: A new land use plan for Ward 5 calls to aggressively include bike lanes on major arteries and more CaBi stations. (TheWashCycle)

How to build a cycletrack: The US DOT will write a detailed manual on how to build cycletracks, which will help states and cities build them. New rules also will make cycletracks and other bike facilities eligible on federally-funded roads. (Streetsblog)

And...: Arlington County has awarded a streetcar design and engineering contract to HDR Engineering, which worked on the H St. Line. (NBC Washington) ... Arlington planners don't want a bank in a new flagship office building in Courthouse. (WBJ) ... Montgomery County now has drones but isn't using them yet. (WAMU)

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Breakfast links: Big projects

Photo by Arlington County... on Flickr.
Why "superstops" were halted: A new report on Arlington's "$1 million bus stop" details poor communication between the county and WMATA, which was building the prototypes. The county is taking over future stop construction. (Post)

Bethesda Metro getting new escalators: Work will soon begin on the three escalators in the Bethesda Metro station. Over two and a half years, the second-longest escalators in the Western Hemisphere will be completely replaced. (Post)

Car-free every day: Lots of DC residents go car-free every day by biking or using transit. The AAA reminds you that many commuters drive long distances to work, however. (WAMU, TheWashCycle)

DC homebuyer tax credit returns?: A new bill in the DC Council would reintroduce a first-time homebuyer tax credit to the District. The proposed legislation would reduce the tax rate, as opposed to the $5,000 tax credit law that lapsed in 2011. (UrbanTurf)

Parking lot to retail: A parking lot in Georgetown will become new retail including an underground parking garage with more spaces than the current lot holds. (WBJ)

Pedestrian-friendly Prince George's: Prince George's is working on a plan to make the area around Prince George's Plaza Metro station more pedestrian-friendly with more traffic signals and bike lanes, along with more development. (Gazette)

Cap the price: The DC Council is working to fix situations like the Museum Square Apartments, where tenants were told to pay $250 million to buy the building or be evicted. Two proposed bills would cap the price owners can ask. (City Paper)

Equal rights for DC: DC statehood got its hearing last week, but legislation will not likely move forward. Should activists frame the issue around civil rights? (CityLab)

This genius doesn't drive: 71-year-old historian Pamela Long, who lives near the Zoo and just won a MacArthur "genius grant," does not have a car. She travels by Metro, Capital Bikeshare (which she'd do more if she felt safer) and walking. (City Paper)

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Breakfast links: In and out of Arlington

Photo by Jason OX4 on Flickr.
Housing or parks?: Arlington is considering converting some public land, including a community center, into affordable housing. But some residents think that the county should keep the land for a community center or park. (ArlNow)

County flight: A poll claims that two out of five Arlington residents are likely to move out of the county within five years due to high housing costs. The current rental stock poorly serves those with incomes below 60% of the area median. (Post)

Vacant in Virginia: Many office buildings in Northern Virginia are going empty. A lot are along Route 28, which is too car-centric and far for the talent companies want to attract. But Rosslyn has high vacancies as a lot of employers move into DC. (Post)

Taxicab share decreasing: Taxicab companies and drivers claim that business is down more than 20% in the past year due to services like UberX. The Taxi Commission claims the shift is closer to 10% thanks to fewer taxis. (WAMU)

Cycle law enforcement: MPD is increasing enforcement of cycling laws this month. The campaign intends to catch cyclists and vehicles that are not properly yielding, including cyclists riding on sidewalks downtown. (City Paper)

Transit as a social good: While 74% of people support mass transit spending, only 5% commute via mass transit, suggesting that many see transit as a community benefit rather than a means of transportation. (CityLab)

And...: Jack Evans wants to reinstate a Pennsylvania Avenue development organization with DC leaders and citizens. (WBJ) ... Metro will use federal aid to address flooding issues in the system. (Post) ... A Dupont Circle construction site's portable toilets are disguised to look like London telephone booths. (PoPville)

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Breakfast links: Car-freedom

Photo by Sam Javanrouh on Flickr.
Car-Free Day is today!: Did you try a new way to get to work or school for Car-Free Day? Capital Bikeshare is offering $1 memberships, while pledging could win you a prize. (Post)

Put the phone down: Pedestrian deaths started increasing for the first time in 2010 and analysts believe using cell phones while crossing may be the reason. Can cell-phone lanes on sidewalks and awareness campaigns help? (Post)

The future of clean transport: A UN report finds that with better public transportation, transport emissions could be cut in half by 2050 while saving $100 trillion worldwide. Development banks can fund the necessary investment if politicians allow it. (BBC)

Fairfax County bicycle plan almost ready: Developed over 3 years, Fairfax's bicycle plan plan intends to provide safe and convenient bicycle facilities and increase trips, which are currently at 0.4% of commutes. (WBJ)

Two birds, one stone: A group of architects proposes to use the large parking lots that surround public housing for more apartments, stores, or senior centers. The parking would be put into garages or eliminated altogether. (NYT)

River flows change MD/VA border: When the Potomac River exposed new land on the Virginia shore, a Maryland company claimed ownership. Now a court has decided that Maryland ends at the river's edge, even when the edge shifts. (Wash. Times)

And...: The DC Board of Elections has yet to deliver a report on what caused delays in the April primary elections. (WJLA) ... A Phoenix company has successfully 3-D printed a car. (Post) ... After a long streak without bicycle fatality in the area, a cyclist was struck and killed in a hit and run near 8th and S, NW. (WashCycle)

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Breakfast links: Let the debates begin

Debate image from Shutterstock.
Mayoral candidates spar in debate: The first of 4 scheduled DC mayoral debates took place last night. The debate quickly became nasty as the candidates took jabs over ethics, campaign finance reform, and education. (Post)

Pot legalization likely: A new poll shows DC voters support Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana by a 2-to-1 margin. Full legalization will put DC in direct conflict with federal drug laws on the doorstep of the federal government. (Post)

More bike commuters: Thanks to new bike lanes and Capital Bikeshare, the number of bike commuters in DC has more than doubled since 2009. At 4.5%, DC is second only to Portland for the percentage of people commuting by bike. (Streetsblog)

Income inequality is high: In 2013, the Washington region had the highest median household income among the top 25 largest US metro areas. However, 115,000 DC residents, nearly 19%, were living below the poverty line in 2013. (WBJ, DCist)

Support for school boundaries: A majority of DC residents support Mayor Gray's new school boundaries plan. Both Muriel Bowser and David Catania oppose the plan, but the school lottery opens in December before a new mayor will take office. (City Paper)

Bethesda blues: Montgomery County could not reach a development deal around the Purple Line station in Bethesda. The county hoped a development could make room for a larger station, but the deal fell through. (Post)

No Silver Line payment runoff: After stating that the second phase of the Silver Line will comply with stormwater runoff regulations, the MWAA said the decision will not impact taxpayers or Dulles Toll Road drivers. (WAMU)

Long Bridge replacement: The USDOT will provide funding to help to replace the 100-year-old Long Bridge. A new bridge could handle more trains, including high-speed rail, along with bikes and pedestrians. (Post)

Fully automated transit coming to Hawaii: To alleviate terrible congestion, Honolulu is constructing a 20-mile rapid transit system. The rail line will be the first in the country to be completely autonomous. (CityLab)

And...: More millennials are moving to Alexandria and Arlington than anywhere else in the country. (WBJ) ... A new Instagram account exposes city council members who park illegally. (City Paper) ... DC won't get an extended stay on a ruling that overturned its handgun ban. (WAMU)

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