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Breakfast links: Kaya calls it quits

Photo by US Department of Education on Flickr.
Kaya Henderson leaving DCPS: Kaya Henderson, chancellor of DC's public school system since 2010, will step down from her position later this year. Many have praised her for her efforts to reform schools and to build a system that can continue reform, but there is quite a bit of criticism of her tenure too. (WAMU)

Streetcar going strong: The DC Streetcar has exceeded expectations for weekday ridership by 20%, on average, since the line opened in late February. (City Paper)

Hogan fights for roads: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says he'll keep fighting the General Assembly for more road funding. The General Assembly recently passed a bill, and overturned the governor's veto on it, that calls for the state to grade transportation projects before funding them. (WBJ)

Library relocation: A much smaller space on K St will serve as the District's central library while the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library undergoes a 3-year renovation. (WBJ)

What's in a name?: As part of the current push for DC statehood, a commission settled on the name New Columbia for the state. It has a history, but many are not fond of the moniker. (Post)

Flow or foe?: A new Google service, Flow, combines Google Maps and Google Street View to make parking easier and more lucrative for city governments, and to push low-income transit users to ride hailing services. (Guardian)

And...: A pregnant woman was denied access to the restroom at the Shady Grove Metro station. (NBC4) ... A cyclist on Capital Bikeshare is in critical condition after a crash near Dupont Circle on Tuesday. (DCist) ... Most Americans think we're still in the middle of the housing crisis. (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Raising the rent

Photo by Craig Sunter on Flickr.
More rent than income: Incomes for DC residents have gone up 33% over the last 34 years, but that doesn't keep up with a corresponding 86% increase in rent. Rents have increased much more than inflation, and across the US nearly half of renters are considered "cost-burdened." (DCist)

Space > preservation: Alexandria is tearing down its historic Ramsey Homes, and will build 52 mixed-income apartments in their place. Removing all existing homes, versus keeping one for historic preservation, will create more open space for residents. (Post)

SafeTrack solution?: You might be able to take an express bus from Franconia-Springfield to Pentagon during the next SafeTrack surge. The Yellow and Blue Lines will shut down from National Airport to Braddock Road from July 5 -11. (Post)

Make way for drones: Flying drones can't make deliveries in DC because it's a no-fly zone. But starting this fall, DC will allow companies to test sidewalk drones to make deliveries. No other US city has permitted sidewalk drone testing. (Urban Turf)

Blame for the blaze: Monday night's electrical fire at the Gallery Place Metro happened because a loose rail fastener led to electrical arching. Metro has sent the equipment off for lab testing. (WTOP)

I-66 expansion, go: Virginia has the Feds' green light to expand I-66 outside of the Beltway. That means HOV lanes, new commuter lots for ride sharing, high frequency bus service, and express toll lanes by 2020. (WTOP)

Baltimore ships that: Bigger ships can now pass through the Panama Canal, and Baltimore is one of only 3 east coast ports that can handle the biggest among them. That could mean new jobs are on the horizon. (WTOP)

Maryland's fork in the road: With the economy pushing cities to be more dense, Maryland's cities must decide how to best meet the demands of residents young and old. Some will prosper, and it's quite possible some will collapse. (VA Pilot)

Walmart's new use: Nationwide, big box stores are becoming obsolete. But some places are turning the buildings into schools, churches, and office spaces. The 99% Invisible podcase goes in-depth on "ghost boxes." (99% Invisible)

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Breakfast links: Metro fire(d)

Photo by Victoria Pickering on Flickr.
Fire in the hole: A track fire shut down the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station for nearly an hour during evening rush yesterday. The fire department said smoldering debris was the culprit. (Post)

Lots of layoffs for Metro: WMATA will cut 500 jobs in the coming months. General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says the positions, including some vacant ones, are no longer necessary for Metro's mission. (DCist)

Blame it on mode share shift: Metro points to the rise of teleworking, biking, and walking to explain the 5 to 8% decrease in ridership since 2009. Although the region has added a lot of jobs, more people seem to be working closer to home. (WAMU)

Renters' rights for Montgomery: Renters could soon have more rights in Montgomery County. The county council is working on a bill that would increase county property inspections and standardize lease terms. (WTOP)

DNC on board for DC statehood?: Statehood advocates may have the Democratic National Committee on board. A draft of the national platform shows support for DC statehood. (DCist)

Virginia is for pensioners: Arlington came in first on a list of best places to retire, ranking highly on low crime, walkability, culture, and low taxes. (DCist)

Housing or hotel?: Airbnb and similar services consume 10% of available housing in New York City, according to one study. The study also found that more than 55% of listings are illegal. (Guardian)

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Breakfast links: Metro memories

Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
Goodbye, paper fare cards: If you still have a paper fare card lying around, be sure to transfer any credit to a SmarTrip card before it officially becomes obsolete on July 1. (WAMU)

Comstock on Metro: To improve Metro's work and safety culture, and to defray costs, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock said WMATA should reform its pension system and contract out some services, like paratransit. (WTOP)

Plain old buses for the Pike: Transit plans for Columbia Pike include more frequent buses and enhanced bus stops, but longer, articulated buses will have to wait until Metro expands its fleet and Arlington County finds a place for storage. (ArlNow)

No housing in MoCo office space: An idea to convert empty Bethesda office space into housing or schools isn't financially feasible, according to a Montgomery County report. Vacancy in some office parks is approaching 30%. (Bethesda Beat)

Cranes with creativity: A DC developer is livening up its construction sites by commissioning local artists to bring murals and other art to cranes, parking garages, and building walls. (WTOP)

Metro riders switch it up: Metro riders are finding alternatives during SafeTrack, like switching to other Metro lines or giving bike commuting a shot. Overall system ridership has decreased 12% during this second surge of SafeTrack. (WAMU)

Metro is still the best choice: Metro has its problems, but it's still the best, or only, choice for many commuters. (Post)

Regional ride-hailing stats: More than half of the region's 18- to 34-year-old residents have used a ride-hailing app at least once, and it's becoming a more popular choice for all age groups. (Washingtonian)

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Worldwide links: London's less stinky

The engineer behind one of London's greatest architectural achievements deserves serious props, Beijing's residents aren't into the idea of driving down congestion through charging people to drive into the city, and in Italy, a work of art suggests a way to deal with rising sea levels. Check out what's happening around the world in transportation, land use, and other related areas!

Photo by Adrian Snood on Flickr.

An engineering hero: London's Thames Embankment changed the city forever by creating a sewer system to wisk away waste after the 1858's "Great Stink." The engineer responsible, Joseph Bazelgette, should be revered for this—and our noses and health should thank him. (London Lens)

Beijing blowback: Beijing has some of the worst traffic and air quality in the world. Some have proposed congestion pricing—charging people to drive when the most people are on the road—but many drivers have pushed back hard because they see mobility-by-car as a right. (The Economist)

Lake Floating: Christo's Floating Piers installation on Lake Iseo in Italy connects small islands to the mainland. It is a beautiful piece of art, but also an opportunity to test pedestrian infrastructure in a world faced with climate change and sea level rise. (Gizmodo)

Portland streetcar expansion: Portland has completed the Tilikum Crossing, a bridge for bikes and walking but not cars, and it recently finished its streetcar loop. If the streetcar is going to grow, expansion will now need to go outwards along major commercial corridors. (Portland Oregonian)

Unconventional Blockage: Barricades are made from all types of materials. Traffic cones and caution tape can create informal, protective architecture, but they can become a form of art. While we typically see these barriers as symbols of authority, we might think of them differently if we saw them in a gallery. (Places Journal)

Quote of the Day

"Columbus's win allows a city in the Midwest—which is much more car-dependent in general than the coasts—to illustrate how auto-oriented places can develop a new blueprint for moving around a city." Mobility Lab's Paul Mackie on Columbus winning the Smart Cities Challenge, a planning contest whose first place award is $50 million. (Mobility Lab)


Breakfast links: New name, same taxi game

Photo by Matthew Peoples on Flickr.
Taxicab commission changes: The DC Taxicab Commission has a new name: District Department of For-Hire Vehicles, but not much else will change. The group is now a regulatory agency, and its appointed commission will instead serve as an advisory council. (WAMU)

Fairfax ups FAR: Taller buildings can now come to areas near Metro and in aging commercial zones in Fairfax, after the Board of Supervisors changed zoning requirements to allow higher density. Many say they're worried about increased traffic congestion under the new rules. (Post)

Plans to hold back the floodwaters: After impressive flooding at the Cleveland Park Metro station this week, DDOT will design a new drainage system with better stormwater retention for the area. (Post)

Georgetown connects the bike trails: Georgetown will get a protected bikeway between the Capital Crescent Trail and the Rock Creek Park Trail, with plans for upgrades when the streetcar is extended to the area. (TheWashCycle)

Still stuck on SunTrust: Plans to redevelop the SunTrust building in Adams Morgan are up in the air again after DC's historic preservation board said the design is still too big, needs to fit better with the surrounding neighborhood, and should make the much-contested plaza more inviting. (Borderstan)

More residential for Woodley Park: Plans are in the works to replace a hotel in Woodley Park with more than 1,600 residential units. (UrbanTurf, Bess)

Bike theft doesn't discriminate: Tommy Wells, director of the DC Department of Energy, had his pricy folding bike stolen off a bike rack on H St yesterday. (Post)

Hit and run: A person riding a bike was struck and killed on Minnesota Ave yesterday. The driver fled the scene before police arrived. (DCist)

Bike commuter benefits: The bike commuter benefit has a convoluted legislative history, but long story short, you still can't use it for bikeshare or get a tax break, unlike the transit and parking benefits. (TheWashCycle)

And...: Several Metrobus service changes take effect this Sunday. ... Severe train delays in London yesterday may have kept some people from voting on the EU Referendum. (Evening Standard) ... Uber driver pay isn't all it's cracked up to be, with drivers in some cities barely making minimum wage. (BuzzFeed)

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Breakfast links: Metro's big bite of the Big Apple

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York on Flickr.
NYC subway safety leader joins Metro: WMATA has hired Joe Leader, formerly of the New York subway, to start as Metro's Chief Operating Officer in August. He replaces Jack Requa, who will become Metro's Executive Managing Officer. (WTOP)

Mort Downey on the "death spiral": WMATA Board member Mort Downey discussed the challenges facing public transportation in the US, and particularly Metro, in the inaugural podcast of London Reconnections, a London-based transportation blog.

Fairfax City does a 180 on homeless support: Five years ago, Fairfax City fought a homeless shelter with zoning ordinances. After losing their case in the Supreme Court, the community now embraces the shelter as part of its future. (Post)

CaBi flourishes in Alexandria: Bikeshare in Alexandria is growing fast. From 2014 to 2015, ridership increased by 50%, and Alexandria recovered 63% of its operating costs via fares, more than double the 30% goal. (TheWashCycle)

Safety after the Fort Totten crash: Seven years after the Metro crash that killed nine outside of Fort Totten, two safety recommendations - to add blackboxes to all railcars and to retire the 1000-series cars - still remain unresolved. (WAMU)

Historic "shotgun house" plans: 120 apartment units could come to Capitol Hill on the site of a historic "shotgun house." Prior plans to redevelop failed after the Historic Preservation Board said no to razing the home. This time developers intend to relocate the home elsewhere on the lot. (Capitol Hill Corner, J.R.)

The skywalk is the factor: The skywalks that sprung up across cold-weather cities were all the rage in the 1970s. Now cities with skywalks are finding they may have inadvertently killed their own downtowns as businesses struggle because no one walks the streets anymore. (AP, Adam S.)

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Breakfast links: Waterfall

Photo by @JordanUhl
Metro chasing waterfalls: Flooding from intense rain temporarily closed the Cleveland Park Metro station. Metro says the water did not damage the tracks or third rail, however. (Christin Fernandez, Post)

Battle in the sidewalks: Neighbors in the DC neighborhood of Hawthorne are battling over sidewalks. This happened in 2009, and those on a street which got a sidewalk say it didn't destroy the neighborhood. (Washingtonian)

FBI will not come cheap: Maryland and Virginia are both committed to shelling out millions of dollars to bring the new FBI headquarters to their state. The money would pay for transportation and infrastructure improvements at each site. (WBJ)

Garvey on the Pike: Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey says she wants to "fix the transportation" and "slow down a bit" on the pace of building of affordable housing along Columbia Pike in her State of the County address. (ArlNow)

Wanting more in NoMa: A proposed NoMa development doesn't include enough benefits to the community, say zoning commissioners. Offered so far: streetscape upgrades, affordable units, and partial funding of a new Metro entrance. (WBJ)

Where the bikes go: DDOT put GPS trackers on some Capital Bikshare bikes and found regular members tended to take much more direct routes than casual users who tended to take meandering routes and stayed near the Mall. (Mobility Lab)

Where the trains go: VRE is looking to build additional train storage along New York Ave. But could this facility stymie development in the area? (Gateway to the City)

Desegregating deductions: Black middle class homes have not appreciated as quickly as their white counterparts. Could restricting the mortgage interest deduction to only houses in integrated neighborhoods reverse that inequality? (Post)

For all the infrastructure in China: In 20 years, China has spent almost 9% of its GDP on building infrastructure to move people and products vs. 5% of Western Europe, the US, and Canada. (BBC)

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We are looking for a new curator to put together the Breakfast Links on Wednesday mornings. Do you want to help make Breakfast Links great, become an expert on the news, and see your name in lights once a week? Email with "Breakfast Links" in the subject line!


Breakfast links: Surge 2, smooth sailing

Photo by Mike Licht on Flickr.
First work day for second surge: Metro ridership was down 65% east of the Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road stations yesterday as the first work day of SafeTrack's second surge kicked off. Roadway traffic wasn't too much worse, and there were no long lines for Metro's shuttle buses. (DCist, Post)

Section 8 overhaul: A planned change to federal rules on rates for low income housing vouchers could open new neighborhoods to voucher holders. Right now, people using vouchers often can't afford wealthy neighborhoods but overpay (often to slumlords) in poor ones. (Post)

Homes for grandfamilies: DC broke ground on a new affordable housing development in Mount Vernon Square that includes 50 units for families headed by grandparents making less than half the Area Median Income. (City Paper)

Paid parking for Reston: As Reston Town Center prepares to start charging for parking, some are looking to Rockville as a cautionary tale. Businesses in the area worry that paid parking will hurt their bottom line. (Reston Now)

Bike lane cheers and community: To build up the bike community, a group of about 50 cyclists spent a recent Friday evening cheering on fellow bike commuters as they rode down the 15th St protected bikeway. (Post)

Olympic Metro woes: Rio's massive project to build a subway extension that connects the city to the suburb where the Olympics will be held may not open in time. Beset by delays, it is now scheduled to open only four days before the games begin. (NYT)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.

We are looking for a new curator to put together the Breakfast Links on Wednesday mornings. Do you want to help make Breakfast Links great, become an expert on the news, and see your name in lights once a week? Email with "Breakfast Links" in the subject line!


Breakfast links: Get around the shutdown

Photo by NCinDC on Flickr.
SafeTrack shutdown starts: The Blue, Orange, and Silver lines are now shut down from Eastern Market to Minnesota/Benning until July 3. Traffic projections estimate heavier traffic than usual, but not terrible, while Metro riders will face big delays. (NBC4, WTOP)

Get around the shutdown: Prince George's will run shuttle buses from Largo to Suitland and New Carrollton to Greenbelt, giving riders of the shut down lines a way to reach the operating Green Line. (WTOP)

Deal or no deal?: Montgomery County plans to sell county-owed land at White Oak to a developer and jump-start growth in a part of the county with little growth. But some councilmembers are skeptical about the low price. (Post)

McMillan development roadblock: Opponents of the McMillan Sand Filtration site redevelopment won a victory when DC's appeals court forced the DC council to release hundreds of pages of documents under a FOIA request. (City Paper)

Greater without the Olympics: DC wasn't selected to host the 2024 Olympics, but that won't stop Washington 2024 from thinking of ways to promote cooperation among various jurisdictions and advance the region's economy. (WBJ)

Affordable housing for Rosslyn: Rosslyn residents played a key part in supporting a new mixed-use plan for 250 affordable apartments in a 12-story tower that will stand apart from the largely low-rise neighborhood. (WBJ)

Only in Chevy Chase: Chevy Chase residents have gotten mysterious, anonymous phone calls complaining about the quality of their shrubs and bricks. (Bethesda Magazine)

Think you're wealthy?: $2.7 million is a lot of money, but that's how much a Charles Schwab study says it takes to be considered wealthy in the region. (Post)

And...: This 40-second video shows how construction at Capitol Crossing progressed in a year. (Curbed DC) ... The Human Rights Campaign paid tribute to Orlando victims by posting their portraits on eight stories of windows. (Washingtonian)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.

We are looking for a new curator to put together the Breakfast Links on Wednesday mornings. Do you want to help make Breakfast Links great, become an expert on the news, and see your name in lights once a week? Email with "Breakfast Links" in the subject line!

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