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Breakfast links: Rosslyn gets a better bike lane

Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
Protected lane in Rosslyn: Rosslyn is getting a protected bike lane on Wilson Blvd. Arlington County said it made sense to reconfigure the existing bike lane into something safer during routine street repaving. (ArlNow)

Bowser wants answers from Metro: Mayor Bowser pushed Metro General Manager Wiedefeld to clearly explain why late-night service must go permanently in a letter sent Wednesday. She says the transit agency has failed to provide a plan or demonstrate the need to close the entire system. (Post)

Just kidding! on service cuts?: A Metro spokesman said the proposal to cut off-peak service to stations that primarily serve low income and minority riders isn't an "actual proposal" and was only intended to spark discussion about solutions to Metro's serious funding woes. (GGWash, WUSA9)

HPAP hiccups: The Home Purchase Assistance Program is meant to help low- to mid-income home buyers purchase a home in DC, but funding complications often leaves potential homeowners waiting months to close on a house. (WAMU)

Residential joins the BID: As downtown DC gains more condos and apartments, the DC Council is considering a bill that would allow, and in some cases, force them to pay a fee to join the downtown BID. The BID says they would then be able to focus more attention on residential issues. (WBJ)

2040 and no new Metro: Metro's plans for expansion weren't part of the region's recently released long-term transportation plan. Uncertainties surrounding WMATA's funding made it impossible to include Metro projects.(WAMU)

Bike trail =/= road: A car was recorded driving down the Four Mile Run Park Trail in Alexandria on Tuesday, sending bikers and pedestrians scrambling for safety. Police have yet to identify the driver. (Post)

And...: Here's what the new Walter Reed Medical Center will look like. (WBJ) ... A video shows what's planned for National Airport's $1-billion upgrade. (Post) ... Metro's new safety commission won't be able to fire employees, only move them out of safety-sensitive positions. (WTOP)

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Breakfast links: A new state of... Washington, DC

Photo by Todd Eytan on Flickr.
Statehood rebranded: One potential route to DC statehood is to petition Congress after adopting a state constitution. On Tuesday, the DC Council approved a final draft for voters to consider. It calls for a 21-member legislature and for the official name to be the State of Washington, DC rather than New Columbia. (DCist)

Redlining resurfaces: In trials where DC and Northern Virginia landlords received inquiries from both white and black women with identical criminal records, white women received unfair preference nearly half the time. (WCP)

What Wiedefeld wants: Metro GM Paul Wiedefeld says that of the options his agency has put forward, he prefers ending late-night weekend service at 1 am and weeknight service at 11:30. We're still unconvinced Metro needs to close early at all. (WTOP)

No love for Purple: The Purple Line opponents behind the federal suit to block construction are now lobbying to stop the project from receiving environmental approval. Officials say the project will still break ground this year. (Bethesda Beat)

Check your registration: A civil rights group is suing to have Virginia to keep voter registration open for longer, something the state claims it can't do, after problems with online registration caused some voters to miss this Monday's cutoff. (Post)

To live and die in DC: Most of the DC Council supports a bill that would let doctors provide life-ending drugs to terminally-ill patients, but even if it approves it, it's unclear whether Mayor Bowser will sign it or if Congress will veto it. (Post)

Improper club improperly zoned: The difference between naked dancing and "sexually-oriented" performances is at the root of a fight over whether DC's zoning laws permit a well-known strip club in Ward 5 to be there. (WAMU)

Passing the self-driving test: A coalition of transportation and technology groups are going to help sixteen American cities, including DC, study and prepare for next generation transportation, like driverless cars. (DC Inno)

Snapshot of transportation futures: You can comment on the region's long term transportation plan, which includes sections on a VRE extension, new bus and bike lanes in DC, express toll lanes on 395, and a new BRT route in Virginia. (TPB)

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Breakfast links: Arlington all in on pedestrian streets

Photo by William F. Yurasko on Flickr.
Say goodbye to skywalks: The Arlington County Board unanimously agreed to allow the creation of car-free streets under its master plan. There are already plans to convert some streets in Rosslyn to make the Metro more accessible. (UrbanTurf)

And the gondola goes to ... Exxon: The Exxon station near the Key Bridge has been identified as the ideal station location for the Georgetown-Rosslyn gondola. The full feasibility study for the gondola will be released in a few weeks. (UrbanTurf)

The Capitol says capital: With WMATA anticipating another big budget shortfall, Congress has warned that they'll decrease their $150 million contribution if WMATA dips into it to cover short-term needs again. The annual federal funding is intended only for preventative maintenance and capital improvements. (Post)

How to save Baltimore's alley houses: Baltimore wants save its historic alley houses, but has trouble getting developers to invest in the small, narrow properties from the 1800s. So in one neighborhood, the city fixed up the houses themselves. (Next City)

Two tough crashes in Maryland: A cyclist died after a driver struck him as he crossed Little Falls Parkway on the Capital Crescent Trail. (WTOP) ... Police are looking for the driver who struck and severely injured a pedestrian in Rockville on Sunday. (Post)

Mapping discrimination and architecture: These maps from across the US show where housing discrimination happened through the practice of redlining. (NatGeo) ... Here's a guide to all the brutalist architecture in DC. (DCist)

Airbnb touts its benefits: Airbnb is pushing hard to convince DC regulators that the service is distinct from hotels. A new report touts how the company has increased tourism and economic investment in neighborhoods across DC. (City Paper)

A piece of old Washington: The Rockefeller Mansion near Rock Creek Park is a rare display of old money still left in DC. A road exclusively for the 16-acre estate actually cuts across Rock Creek Park. (Architect of the Capital)

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Breakfast links: Is Metro getting better?

Photo by Peter Roome on Flickr.
Any progress yet?: Even after months of SafeTrack work, Metro officials say it will still be months more before we can clearly see progress. Meanwhile, only some things, like rail ties, are being fixed at a faster rate. (WTOP)

Not enough for affordable housing: While Mayor Bowser plans on spending $100 million a year to preserve affordable housing, it's probably not enough as solving the problem will likely cost billions of dollars. (WAMU)

Metro wants to enforce: Metro is suing its union over penalizing workers for violating policies. Metro would like to be able to punish workers without the union's approval. (Post)

Staying really late at work: Metro's shorter hours are forcing some service workers to sleep at their jobs overnight until Metro reopens in the morning. (WAMU)

Union Station back up to snuff: Union Station's Main Hall is back to its 1907 splendor after five years of renovation and repair following the 2011 earthquake. (Post)

And...: Arlington County is moving toward regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb. (Post) ... A new apartment building coming to Shaw will include shared living spaces and kitchens. (Washingtonian) ... Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett won't seek a fourth term. (BethesdaBeat)

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National links: Fair housing in Arizona

Arizona is cracking down on racial discrimination in housing, there's lots we don't know about how people get home from transit stations, and in Chicago, old pipes and telegraph lines at excavation sites may no longer be a problem. Check out what's happening around the country in transportation, land use, and other related areas!

Photo by kmaschke on Flickr.

A win for fair housing: In Yuma, Arizona, developers can sue the city if they think reasons for blocking affordable housing projects are race-based, and the Supreme Court recently declined to hear arguments to overturn the decision that allows that. The case in question found that residents in a historically-white neighborhood were, in effect, organizing to keep Latinos from living nearby. (Arizona Daily Star)

The first last mile: Even if the trip isn't that far, lots of people have to figure out how to get between their homes and jobs to where their nearby transit network is running—this is called the first/last mile problem, and people in transportation talk about it all the time. But there's really not much research has on the subject. David King, a professor at Arizona State, says we need to know more about how much riders will tolerate fare changes, whether they're ok transferring, and how much people budget to cover the last portions of their trips. (Transportist)

Mapping Chicago's underground web: Underneath Chicago, long-forgotten wood pipes and telegraph lines make digging or tunneling an undertaking in bravery. But a 3D modeling company has created a way to map all of the underground pipes and wires so excavating a site is far less dangerous. (Chicago Magazine)

A subway in downtown Dallas: The Dallas City Council is supporting major transit projects downtown, including reorganizing the bus system and building a new subway line. This focus on the urban core means not prioritizing a suburban subway line that was competing for funds, which is a big shift for the council. (D Magazine)

A new approach in Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh hopes to add BRT and more bike lanes soon, and to better coordinate transportation projects between all of its departments, the city is opening a new Department of Mobility in Infrastructure. The hope is that the department will make it easier to make things like signal priority for buses and solar-powered autonomous vehicles happen. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Quote of the Week

"'Suburbs feel the same everywhere you go. All the same streets. All the same trees. All the same houses. It's a way of living. I'm not saying it's bad. I enjoyed it.' ">Brooklyn, though, has character, he said—the parks, the architecture, the people, the shops. 'You walk to the stores, and you talk to the people there. He knows you, and you know him. Every place has a story behind it.'"

- Brooklyn Nets basketball player Luis Scola describes living in Brooklyn after the team moved there from New Jersey. He sold his minivan because he couldn't find parking often enough! (New York Times)


Breakfast links: Show Metro the money

Photo by Thomas Hawk on Flickr.
Governors balk at paying for better transportation: DC Mayor Bowser supports a 1-cent regional sales tax to fund Metro, but Governors McAuliffe and Hogan say Metro needs to improve before they'll consider it. (WTOP) ... The governors also argued over who should pay for a new Potomac River crossing. (BethesdaBeat)

Will Metro riders return to save the day?: WMATA Board Member Malcolm Augustine said Metro's budget shortfall shows a "downward spiral," but General Manager Wiedefeld says he's confident ridership will bounce back once service is safe and reliable. (Post)

Find the missing (bike) link: The Washington area has a lot of bike trails but they don't all connect. A new coalition, including members like WABA and the National Park Service, is partnering with REI to build connecting bike paths. (WTOP)

Buzzard Point buzzkills: Buzzard Point landowners say they will fight DC United's stadium plans because they don't have enough retail or street access. At the same time, the landowners are pressuring the team to sell them their retail space. (Post)

"Stop work" must be shared: Under a bill the DC Council is considering, people selling houses in DC would have to disclose any "stop work" orders issued during construction or repairs to potential buyers. (CityPaper)

Parking meter pilot meets Chinatown: Parking meter prices in Penn Quarter and Chinatown will change based on demand in a new pilot program. DC hopes the program will help drivers find parking faster. (DCist)

History in your gas tank: Ever find yourself in need of gasoline and stop by the iconic "stone cabin" gas station right next to the Watergate, only to find the costs exorbitant? There was a reason for that. (Architect of the Capital)

Nationals boost short-term rentals: Airbnb says bookings in DC were up 18 percent last weekend at the start of the Nationals' playoff run against the Dodgers, and increased 33 percent around Navy Yard. (CityPaper)

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Breakfast links: Churches fight to build housing

Photo by Lawrence OP on Flickr.
A little denser in Little Rome: Several Catholic institutions in Brookland, Edgewood, and Michigan Park are starting to sell off their big, open spaces to stay afloat. Residents argue that the denser residential developments taking their place will ruin the character of DC's "Little Rome." (WAMU)

Fort Stevens' war of affordable housing: After a decade battling Civil War buffs, a church that abuts the historic Fort Stevens finally broke ground on a new multipurpose building with 99 affordable housing units and a vistors center for the fort. (WAMU)

Derailed because they didn't inspect: Inspection reports for a section of track near East Falls Church where a train derailed in July are incomplete and grossly inaccurate. Several of the monthly reports are missing crucial supervisor signatures and dubiously report that track conditions stayed exactly the same for years. (WAMU)

No ride to victory: Since Metro won't stay open late for tonight's Nationals playoffs game, fans are organizing carpools over social media. Some hope the inevitable traffic will bring attention to the importance of reliable transit. (Post)

Better biking for MoCo: Montgomery County is becoming more bike-friendly with new protected lanes in North Bethesda and plans for more protected lanes around White Flint and Silver Spring. (BethesdaMagazine)

How to bid BRT: Bus rapid transit is popping up around the DC area, but to make it work planners need to refocus how they sell it to the public. Riders really just want to know it's more reliable, not that buses will get a fancy new paint job. (MobilityLab)

CaBi's grand opening in Fairfax: Capital Bikeshare's Tysons and Reston stations will officially open next Friday with two ribbon-cutting ceremonies. (FABB)

WiFi around the White House: The Golden Triangle BID will provide free public WiFi downtown near the White House starting next week. It's part of a bigger technology initiative to make Pennsylvania Ave more inviting. (Borderstan)

RVs take on Silicon Valley: RVs are taking over Silicon Valley's Mountain View as more and more people can't afford housing. A new city initiative will provide RV dwellers with portable restrooms and showers, but many residents aren't happy. (SFChronicle)

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Breakfast links: It's Metro, just without the Metro

Photo by Rob Pongsajapan on Flickr.
Metro considering huge closures: Looming financial worries have caused Metro to propose drastic measures like hiking fares and closing stations for periods of the day (GGWash). Amidst the gloom, the DC Council unanimously voted to urge Metro to restore late-night service. (WTOP)

Bring back BRT: Maryland legislators sent a letter to Governor Hogan and Transportation Secretary Rahn calling a recent move to pull funding for a proposed BRT line on the I-270 corridor bad for growth and the economy. (Bethesda Beat)

Criminal justice changing in DC: The DC Council approved changes to the city's juvenile justice program, including a ban on solitary confinement. (DCist) The warden of the DC jail also retired at the end of September, the third major departure from the Department of Corrections in the past several weeks. (WCP)

September house hunting: More houses sold in the DC region this past September than in any September in the past 10 years. The area's median home price is the same as last year, but there are fewer new listings. (Urban Turf)

Seed money: Edgewood's Rhode Island Center could mean 1,500 new units (with over 100 being part of DC's affordable housing program) plus new retail. Mayor Bowser wants to use a special tax program to help finance the project. (BizJournal)

Closing the 7000 gap: There's a gap between cars on Metro's 7000 series trains, and people with low vision are at risk of mistaking it for a door. Metro is retrofitting the railcars with safety devices to keep people from falling between them. (Post)

Clueless about race and cities: Donald Trump recently said 45 percent of African Americans living in "the inner cities" are in poverty. Equating "black" with "inner city" is racial stereotyping, and besides, the poverty rate for black residents in metro areas is 26 percent, while it's 37 percent in rural areas. (Post)

Is the Mall broke?: The National Mall receives 30 million visitors a year and needs $4 billion in maintenence and repair work. It's unclear where that money will come from, though. (Roll Call)

Transit truths: The closer you live to transit, whether that's bus or rail, the more likely you are to use it, according to a recent report. Also, over 1/3 of people who changed jobs or homes last year took commuting into consideration. (TPB)

And...: A private tour of the National Zoo? Only for Adele (Washingtonian)...Local AirBnb rates have already tripled for inauguration weekend (DC Inno)...Poland is building a self-sustaining glow in the dark bike lane (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Schools fuel housing discrimination

Photo by Patrick MŁller on Flickr.
Test scores and housing values: Lots of real estate services use school ratings as a gauge of an area's desirability. Does that qualify as housing discrimination? Some see it as a form of modern redlining that perpetuates segregation. (NPR)

Three strikes, you're out: The DC Council is considering a bill that would suspend the licenses of drivers caught using cell phones three times within 18 months. But DC police don't focus on traffic stops, so many say it wouldn't be effective. (WAMU)

A fix 'cause it's no fare: Metro wants to find a fix for its emergency exit "swing gates" so that it's harder for people to evade Metro fares by walking through. (NBC4)

Rockville Pike's transformation: Montgomery County is investing millions to remake Rockville Pike into a walkable, attractive business and residential district. Smart growth advocates hope planned development will revitalize the area. (NYT)

New subway line for NYC: New York's long awaited Second Ave subway line will begin carrying passengers along the east side of Manhattan by the end of December. It's the city's first new subway line to be constructed since 1932. (Gizmodo)

Gentrification, Soviet style: The Bolshevik revolution rapidly degentrified an elegant neighborhood in Moscow nearly a century ago. In the 1990s, wealthy residents again bought up the area, but now those residents are complaining as noisy hipsters are taking over the neighborhood and "ruining" its Soviet charm. (The Guardian)

Planning for climate change: In the Philippines, urban planning hasn't kept up with immigration or the rapidly changing environmental landscape. As the sea level rises, the existing infrastructure is struggling to support "environmental migrants." (NextCity)

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Breakfast links: Metro, just average?

Photo by taigatrommelchen on Flickr.
Metro in the middle: Metro ranks as average in safety and reliability when compared to other rail transit systems, according to a new report. However, Metro did score low marks in two areas: rider and employee deaths. (Post)

Keeping developers accountable: The District government does a poor job making sure developers are held accountable for promises made, like requirements to hire a minimum number of DC residents in exchange for loans or tax credits. (Post)

Long road to affordability: The new Beacon Center development in Ward 4 is an example of the new affordable housing projects made possible under DC's Housing Production Trust Fund, which hopes to serve 2,600 residents. (City Paper)

No new affordability in NoVa: The lack of affordable housing continues to be a dominant issue in Northern Virginia's housing market. Buyers looking for deals will find the most options in areas like Stafford and Prince William's counties. (Post)

The I-270 struggle: Montgomery and Frederick County leaders want to restart efforts to widen I-270 days after a plan to add BRT to the congested corridor lost funding. But they don't think commuters should expect changes anytime soon. (WTOP)

FBI building's replacement: The National Capital Planning Commission's guidelines for redeveloping the FBI headquarters land call for public space along Pennsylvania Avenue NW and building heights ranging from 135 to 160 feet. (Curbed)

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