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Breakfast links: 1991's Ferguson in DC

Photo by rockcreek on Flickr.
Is Mt. Pleasant Ferguson?: Former Mayor Sharon Pratt compared the 1991 Mt. Pleasant riots to the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri. In that case, a police offer shot a man who had been drinking in public, and days of unrest followed. (WAMU)

The circle of opposition: Some residents of Westover Place, a development near American University, are opposed to a new "east campus" dorm. Westover Place itself, ironically, was originally opposed by Wesley Heights residents. (City Paper)

No cars on new Portland bridge: A new bridge in Portland, due to open in 2015, will carry no private automobiles. The bridge will carry MAX light rail trains, Portland's streetcars, city buses, and have pedestrian and bike travel lanes. (CityLab)

FHWA delays CSX tunnel decision: The Federal Highway Administration is further delaying a decision on the Virginia Avenue CSX tunnel. At the earliest, a decision will be made September 15th. (Post)

Revitalization starts with Whole Foods: There's a new Whole Foods in downtown Columbia. The new grocery store is a first step into redeveloping Columbia's Town Center, an ongoing project. (Baltimore Sun)

Eden Center tenants sue landlord: Tenants at the famed Eden Center in Falls Church have sued their landlord over conditions at the shopping center. Shop owners complain of leaking walls, sewage backups, trash problems, potholes, and high rents. (Post)

Minimum service standards needed: Yonah Freemark argues that transit agencies nationwide are opening rail lines with service that isn't frequent enough. Many lines offer only two or three trains per hour at off peak times. (Transport Politic)

And...: Some Silver Line riders are giving mixed reviews for their new commutes. (WAMU) ... WMATA will have to pay the Federal Government $4.2 million because it awarded a contract non-competitively. (WBJ) ... Same-sex marriage was going to be legal in Virginia as of this morning, but the Supreme Court delayed the decision. (WTOP)

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Breakfast links: Home expensive home

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Cheap housing hard to find: New apartment buildings are springing up all over DC, but it can still be difficult to find a cheap apartment. There are a number of reasons why, including policies that make it complicated to use subsidies for low-income renters. (Post)

DC kids not cheap: It costs over $340,000 to raise a child in DC from birth to age 18. That makes it the eighth-most expensive place to raise kids in the US. (WAMU)

Brookland Metro developer chosen: Metro has chosen a developer for the Brookland-CUA station. The winning proposal included the highest number of residential units out of all the bids. (WBJ)

Loudoun locks development: In fast-growing Loudoun County, one couple ran into a roadblock on their plans to sell their property to a developer. The county says that it needs more commercial rather than residential development. (WBJ)

Delivery for the few: Uber is offering a new curbside delivery service in DC, but only to predominately white neighborhoods. Is this a new form of redlining? (Think Progress, Thad)

Metro ready for FBI: Whether the new FBI facility locates in Springfield, Landover, or Greenbelt, Metro says it's ready to handle the new passenger demand. Locating in Greenbelt would generate the highest number of new riders. (PlanItMetro)

Corcoran independent no more: A DC judge has cleared the way for the Corcoran Gallery to merge with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University. A group of Corcoran students, staff, and others had fought to stop the merger. (Post)

Restaurant gardens bear fruit: DC area chefs are saving money by cultivating rooftop gardens. The initial investment cost can be high, but restaurants see the benefits of freshness and access to rare ingredients. (WBJ)

And...: France's BlaBlaCar is making carpooling easy while not annoying taxi companies. (Bloomberg) ... To solve problems in Ferguson, should St. Louis City and St. Louis County consolidate? (CityLab) ... Famous works of art are appearing around the DC area. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Rails and trails

Photo by Matt' Johnson on Flickr.
Tysons growing up: Since Silver Line construction began in 2008, over 1.5 million square feet of commercial space has been built within half a mile of the new Metro line. Another 6 million is planned by 2018, a more than 35% increase in 10 years. (Post)

Advocating for grade separation: Without public notice, Montgomery County eliminated a plan to provide a grade separated crossing as part of the Capital Crescent Trail. Cycling advocates objected and now the plan will receive additional engineering evaluation and public input before moving forward. (WAMU)

A case for rails-with-trails: Railroads are hesitant to approve walking and biking routes next to rail because of liability concerns. But such trails reduce trespassing, improve transit access, and are simple to build. (Streetsblog)

Bus status anxiety: How much is rail transit fueled by status anxiety about riding the bus? There's evidence that people associate buses with the poverty and crime of the ghetto. But millennials don't seem to care about status, as long as a route is reliable. (NextCity)

Streamlining trade: Prince George's applied to make the entire county a Foreign Trade Zone, a designation that would defer or eliminate duties and other customs procedures on products manufactured or assembled in the county. (WBJ)

Distracted driving: A new app projects images from your phone onto your windshield to prevent distracted driving. But does the app really limit distraction, or just make it easier to be distracted? (Streetsblog)

1980s gentrification: "Has your neighborhood become 'upscale'?" A quiz that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1985 shows that the public perception of gentrification has changed very little in the past three decades. (CityLab)

And...: A local cyclist injured in a hit-and-run accident writes an open-letter to the driver. (WTOP) ... Buskers can solicit tips near Metro, for now. (DCist) ... The Custis Trail bikeometer has counted 200,000 trips since April 1. (ArlNow)

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Breakfast links: Why cities?

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Cities for everyone: Joel Kotkin writes that planners cater to the rich and "luxury cities" are not where most Americans can or even want to live. Instead, they find what they need in Sunbelt boomtowns. Should other cities adopt the Sunbelt model? (Post)

For affordable housing, change zoning: Will changing zoning laws to allow denser development bring more expensive condos? Maybe, but it will also allow other types of housing, as argued over decades by advocates for social justice. (Post, Dizzy)

Cities made for walking: People know that living near a highway is unhealthy, but what about cul-de-sacs? Disconnected streets correlate with less walking and could lead to more obesity and diabetes for the poor as they leave cities. (The Atlantic, charlie)

Bike around construction: DDOT has proposed that a protected path must be provided if construction blocks a bike lane. This can be done by closing a parking lane or general-use travel lane or, as a last resort, rerouting cyclists to another street. (WBJ)

Tunnel delays: Some neighbors oppose an expanded Virginia Ave. train tunnel, but delaying the decision is also delaying development. New routes around the bottleneck would be very costly and controversial. (Post)

Takoma Park saves energy: Takoma Park is a semi-finalist in a nation-wide competition to reduce energy waste. The competition, sponsored by Georgetown University, seeks to promote new thinking and $1 billion in energy savings. (Gazette)

Save South Capitol for pedestrians: With plans underway to design a new bridge across the Anacostia, the current one could be retained and repurposed for walking and bicycling, encouraging active transportation east of the river. (RPUS)

Transit and food deserts: One cure for food deserts is more and better-stocked grocery stores; another is frequent transit. It will not only keep food from spoiling, but can also connect the poor to other opportunities. (Human Transit)

If you build it . . . ?: Santa Clara county in California has seen over $13 billion of new investment within 1/2 mile of its light rail system, but ridership remains abysmal. The problem is lack of walkability and buildings that continue to favor driving. (NextCity)

And...: Greater Washington business leaders are supporting funding for eight-car trains. (8CarCoalition) ... There is still no opening date for the Silver Spring Transit Center. (Post) ... You can expect some changes to bus service, including on the 30s lines. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Bike lane frenzy

Photo by Paul Krueger on Flickr.
Pop-up bike lanes sweep the nation: This summer, several U.S. cities have set up temporary protected bike lanes using simple barriers for a single day to encourage cycling. (Streetsblog)

Bike lanes safer for all: Protected bike lanes make cyclists and pedestrians safer. Their addition in DC and cities across the country led to an increase in cycling with fewer cyclists on sidewalks. (CityLab)

Court OKs Hine development: Development plans for the Hine School site got the OK from the DC Court of Appeals. The court pointed to substantial community and ANC support. (City Paper)

Bowser won't commit to debate: Mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser stated she would not enter a debate until the final ballot was set in early September. However, Bowser is unwilling to commit to a debate on September 17th in hew own Ward 4. (Post)

Real estate touts transit: Real estate companies are focusing on proximity to transit service to entice new tenants. As a result, a DC startup that displays real-time transit information is seeing a boom in business with local real estate companies. (Post)

Booze by phone: Companies in DC can now deliver alcohol sold online or by phone. The new rule from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board requires all online orders to be processed by a licensed alcohol dealer. (DCist)

Not quite 26: Metro can squeeze 26 trains per hour on a set of tracks going one direction. But occasionally they miss that mark due to breakdowns, crowding, and inefficient manual operation. (WAMU)

Light rail success in Phoenix: Light rail in Phoenix is only six years old and is already surpassing ridership expectations for 2020. With new developments going up around stations, the mayor wants to triple the size of the network. (Streetsblog)

And...: Only 37% of DC residents were born here, and out-of-town residents were most likely to come from New York state. (NYT) ... DC is looking for a new developer to rebuild St. Elizabeths. (WBJ) ... Alexandria wants to add bike lanes on two roads in Old Town. (Alexandria Times)

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Breakfast links: More metro development

Photo by christaki on Flickr.
Few development bids: WMATA received a total of two bids for development at three WMATA stations. There was no interest for development at Huntington, and College Park and Capitol Heights each received one bid. (WBJ)

Uber vs. Lyft: Lyft alleges Uber ordered and cancelled more than 5,000 rides since last fall, ostensibly to hurt Lyft drivers. Uber calls the charge "baseless." (WAMU)

A safer Route 1: There are now new pedestrian signs and lower speed limits on Route 1, where four pedestrians died this year. (Gazette)

Politico stays in Rossyln: DC has had recent success in attracting media offices, but Politico has decided to remain in Rosslyn. The company cited lower rents due to higher vacancies, and excellent transit accessibility as reasons for its choice. (City Paper)

Better access in Arlington: A promised access road, with bicycle and pedestrian access, is coming by 2022 to the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington. The road will allow easier and safer access between the Columbia Pike and Pentagon City areas. (ArlNow)

Why can't we build high speed rail?: Why can't the US build high-speed rail? Lack of commitment and poor planning from the federal government, maybe. (CityLab)

All night in Philly: Philadelphia's SEPTA is testing all-night weekend train service and so far it's been a rousing success with big increases in ridership. But continuing the program will require more money. (Philadelphia Weekly, Richard)

And...: Walmart will not be coming to Aspen Hill. (Post) ... Prince George's will buy out residents of Piscataway Hills whose homes suffered in a landslide. (Post) ... Record-breaking rains on Tuesday swamped cars in BWI parking lots. (WTOP)

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Breakfast links: More money, more problems

Photo by Steve Rhodes on Flickr.
Million dollar candidate: Muriel Bowser has over one million dollars in campaign funds. She has the biggest war chest in the DC mayoral race, far ahead of David Catania's less than half a million in funds. (Post)

Housing on a budget: More than 40,000 DC residents will see their pay rise with the new minimum wage. Two new reports find, however, that this won't be enough to make a big difference in most residents' standard of living. (City Paper)

A crude conundrum: More crude oil shipments are making their way through populated areas in the DC region, raising safety concerns for local officials. Experts and the railroads say there are few easy solutions to these issues, however. (WAMU)

Baker goes to China: You can join Prince George's Executive Rushern Baker on his trade mission to China. Prices range from $5,000 to $7,000. Baker will be touting economic development opportunities in a number of county businesses. (WBJ)

Seat Pleasant mayor not pleasant: The Seat Pleasant City Council has barred their mayor from his office after reports that he abused city staff. He remains mayor and vowed to work out of a tent. (Post)

App fights blight: The winner of Prince George's Teen Summer Faceoff technology competition is an app called Renovo, which that lets users locate vacant and available housing in the Kentland and Palmer Park areas of the county. (Gazette)

Better grids mean better health: Cities in California with dense, connected street networks are much healthier. Shorter blocks and more intersections correlated with lower rates of obesity and diabetes. (Science Daily, Herb S)

And...: Omaha's mayor eliminated the city's bicycle and pedestrian planner position, but hundreds of people turned out to protest the decision. (Streetsblog) ... The MTA put a "comfort train" in place for riders waiting for shuttle buses due to a shutdown of Baltimore's Light Rail line. (Post) ... How common are Silver lines in subway systems around the world? (Post)

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Breakfast links: Transit trials

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Plans for BRT: Montgomery County showed off a new articulated bus at its county fair to promote future BRT service. Studies are underway for an initial Georgia Avenue route, though there is currently no financing for the planned 98-mile system. (Post)

Study first: 16th Street NW won't be getting a bus lane soon. DDOT wants to study alternatives to improve service, including a dedicated bus lane, starting next year. (Post)

Should busking be allowed?: A local musician sued WMATA for impinging on his free speech last month. He argues that performing while soliciting donations outside of Metro stations is a form of expression; WMATA views the act as an impermissible commercial activity. (City Paper)

Less transit regulation?: Should we deregulate mass transit to keep costs down? "Lean transit" would limit environmental reviews, excessive safety standards, and ADA compliance. (Bacon's Rebellion)

Faster transit projects: Transit planning and construction takes much longer than it did in the 1920s. To fix it, California will exempt transit projects from environmental review while Anthony Foxx is urging for more efficient review. (CityLab)

A city without slums: Hanoi provides electricity and sanitation services to any structure that meets minimum standards, which has kept slums away and encouraged owners to improve their homes. (Guardian)

A better bus stop: A Pittsburgh suburb built a bus "super stop" with the goal of attracting new riders. Surveys indicated rider concerns about fast vehicular traffic so a 10-foot setback from the curb was included in the design, along with tables, benches, and shelter from the elements. (Streetsblog)

And...: WABA pushes for protected bike lanes on Suitland Road to connect DC and Suitland employment centers. (TheWashCycle) ... Arlington is installing Fixit stands throughout the county that have tools for bicycle repair. (ArlNow) ... Baltimore gets a unique and unmistakable bus stop. (City Lab)

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Breakfast links: What we learned about bicycling

Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.
Milloy rides: GGW contributor and Black Women Bike founder Veronica Davis took Courtland Milloy on a bike ride. He brought a friend, who agreed with the pro-bike lane side of the debate, and thinks there need to be better signs. (DCist)

"We don't ticket our own": A DDOT van parked in the L Street bike lane. When a resident reported it to 311, the request was closed as "no violations." Why? The government says, "We don't ticket our own." (Post, Andrew D)

Transformation and affordability: As DC continues booming, reporters, filmmakers, and others reflect on the city's transformation. Some worry that the change has squeezed out spontaneity and affordability. Or is there still plenty of affordable housing, just in less-trendy areas? (BBC, CHotR)

Inner Harbor 3.0: Baltimore's plan to update the Inner Harbor would widen some of the raceway-like streets around it. A planner offers another solution that would human-size the streets. And best of all, it could be tried immediately. (Batlimore Brew, Fern S)

One step closer to ridesharing: Uber and Lyft have launched new services that allow multiple riders to share one car, potentially reducing congestion. But this still not true ridesharing: there's still a paid driver, making them shared taxis. (Streetsblog)

Designing for mental health: City planners and engineers have long ago learned to plan cities to prevent diseases such as cholera. But can we build cities to prevent stress and loneliness? The evidence is inconclusive. (

Vancouver's baby boom: Unlike most North American cities, Vancouver has retained residents with children by requiring developers to offer dedicated family housing units and build community centers and parks. What else can cities do? (CityLab)

DIY toll road: After a landslide in England caused a 10-mile detour, a local entrepreneur rented a field and built his own road, providing a 340-yard shortcut. (Daily Mail)

And...: Despite obstacles, streetcar operators continue their training on H Street NE. (Post) ... WABA asked local jurisdictions to adopt modern bike lane design standards. ... If you see a good place for a lane in Fairfax County, you can request it. (FABB)

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Breakfast links: Housing progress or failure?

Photo by Milko Romero on Flickr.
Halfway to affordable housing goal: Mayor Gray says DC is more than halfway to meeting its goal of building 10,000 new affordable housing units. Critics say the Mayor is acting too slowly and that new units are not being built west of Rock Creek Park. (Post)

Luxury over affordability: Downtown apartment buildings that offer affordable housing are spurning government subsidies in favor of luxury condos and apartments. Tenants are faced with doubled rent or eviction and have few affordable options nearby. (Post, City Paper)

Pot enforcement highest in SE: Since DC decriminalized marijuana, nearly half of all citations occurred in MPD District 7, which is east of the Anacostia River. The highest number of arrests took place in District 6, also east of the Anacostia. (City Paper)

No LOS in California: California has always valued car dependency when assessing transportation projects. Thanks to new legislation, California will now value other goals such as reducing emissions instead of Level of Service. (Streetsblog)

Bike lanes free up sidewalks: A study of bicycling in DC has found cyclists don't ride on sidewalks when a dedicated bike lane is available. On the 15th Street cycletrack, bike traffic jumped 47% while bike traffic on the sidewalk fell 70%. (Post)

Who commutes by bike?: In general, lower-income households bike more to commute and higher-income households bike more for fun. However, some of the lowest levels of bike use are in the lower-middle income range. (Streetsblog)

Bored at BWI? Go bike!: A new bikeshare program at BWI airport allows passengers with a long layover to go for a bike ride along a 12.5 mile trail that circles the airport. (Airline Business)

How Singapore seniors cross the road: In Singapore, senior citizens can swipe a card to receive extra time to cross an intersection. Can such a program succeed, or do timed stoplights and possible system abuse make such a program unworkable? (Gizmodo)

Chocobo-oriented development?: In the Final Fantasy XIV online role-playing game, players need housing for themselves. But there's limited space and now, possibly even zoning laws that limit supply, driving prices way up. Sound familiar? (Citylab)

And...: Drivers should not block the bike box at intersections. (WTOP) ... Dulles airport has the second-highest domestic airfares in the United States. (WBJ) ... See how often Capital Bikeshare users cross the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. (DCist)

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