Posts about Links
Why a bus lane is politically hard: One resident of 16th Street who rides the bus and says buses are overcrowded still is skeptical about a bus lane, saying that it's more important to still have parking on 16th. (Post)
Mini Metro shows real pressures: For all its simplicity, the Mini Metro game shows real pressures that transit systems face to expand service geographically without increasing capacity at the core. (Human Transit)
The waterfront will change: The Wharf project on the Southwest Waterfront will build 20 restaurants, hotels, and apartments on what's now mostly boat parking lots. Unsurprisingly, some people think it's "too big and too tall." This isn't the fist time the area was redeveloped, but all hope this round will work out better. (Post)
Rejected again: The Old Georgetown Board, Georgetown's special federally-chartered preservation board, turned down another design for condos at the Key Bridge Exxon, because "industrial/modern design" doesn't fit with the traditional brick. (UrbanTurf)
They still like Gehry's Ike: Remember the controversial Eisenhower Memorial? Its backers haven't given up on the Frank Gehry design, but Congress has all but canceled the memorial. Time to start over? (Post)
Big concrete hot potato: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and challenger Doug Duncan spar over the Silver Spring Transit Center. Leggett says the county will only use it once it's safe, and won't give a more detailed timeline. (Gazette)
Successful cities are growing less: The nation's most desirable cities haven't added as much housing as many others. Perhaps that's why they are so expensive. Miami added the most housing: 24% in a decade. (Next City)
New bike mecca: Pittsburgh: The new mayor of Pittsburgh talks about how they've substantially grown bicycling, even while losing population. Also, here are ideas for selling and implementing bicycling around the country. (Streetsblog, RPUS)
And...: Speaking of games, there's a cool new one. (Streetsblog) ... Our region has always had plenty of grand plans, but never the leadership or funding to implement them. (WBJ) ... Here's the sculpture for the new Chuck Brown Park. (City Paper)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Fence offense: In a case of literal NIMBY-ism, the president of a group trying to save the Capital Crescent Trail from the Purple Line illegally built his backyard fence into the county's right-of-way. Purple Line proponents are crying foul. (BethesdaNow)
Skyland is coming: After a decade of eminent domain battles, the Skyland Town Center should break ground this month. The Walmart-anchored development will include 476 residential units, 20% of which will be affordable. (WBJ)
Moving toward autonomy: Along with ending congressional review, Obama's 2015 budget would allow DC to set its own fiscal year, which currently matches the October-September calendar used by the feds. Maryland and Virginia use July-June. (WBJ)
Arlington retail in good shape: Retail and real estate experts are bullish on Arlington retail, particularly the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, thanks to its urban, walkable, and mixed-use form. (ArlNow, Canaan)
Bikeshare is good for business: A study of the economic impact of bikeshare stations found most riders plan to spend money at their destination, and that business owners want more stations. (Mobility Lab)
Bottoms up: A new DC law loosens a number of alcohol regulations. Now restaurants can distill on site, and breweries and distilleries can hold tastings seven days a week. Tax revenue from liquor sales in the District has doubled since 2009. (City Paper, DCist)
Marijuana stumps DCHA : Now that DC has decriminalized marijuana, should officials evict public housing tenants for using pot? Federal laws may require it, despite lawmakers' desires. (WAMU)
How much house is enough?: The "tiny house" movement isn't for everyone, but there's a real trend toward smaller home sizes in the US. Old Greenbelt's New Deal-era housing stock may actually be ahead of the curve. (Greenbelt Live)
Photo enforcement, parking edition: A DC program launched in 2011 was supposed to provide ticketed parkers with photo evidence of their infraction. A new manager at DPW admits the program is not working and promises to fix it. (WTOP)
Discouraging driving: Most plans to increase non-car mode share focus on "carrots": more bike lanes, sidewalks, and bus stops. If taking the "stick" approach to drivers is politically impossible, how much can we reduce car trips? (Atlantic Cities)
And...: Alexandria police think Ron Kirby's murder may be linked to 2 other high-profile killings, including one a decade ago. (City Paper) ... A man seems to have intentionally jumped in front of a train at Waterfront. (Post) ... Jeffrey Thompson, the architect of Gray's 2010 shadow campaign, is in the final stages of a plea negotiation. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Ped deaths up in DC and MD: Pedestrian fatalities rose in DC and Maryland during the first 6 months of 2013. Virginia saw a decline, as did the US. The report guesses that more people walking and more distracted driving were to blame. (WAMU)
Don't text and walk: Is distracted walking more dangerous than distracted driving? A University of Buffalo doctor says he now sees more injuries from pedestrians on their cell phones than from distracted driving. (WTOP)
After the snow: Mary Cheh introduces a bill to fine properties $25 for not shoveling snow. (DCist) ... The council defeated a similar bill in February 2012. ... DC towed more than 1,400 cars during Monday's snowstorm. (Post)
Bike legislation fails: The Virginia legislature killed several bicycle safety bills. The Republican-controlled House and some Senate Democrats both played a part. One bill did survive, to require drivers to leave 3 feet when passing rather than just 2. (Post)
City Center gets fancy: High-end specialty stores are flocking to downtown DC's CityCenter. A critical mass of shops combined with increased residential development and a more affluent population make downtown DC attractive to retailers. (City Paper)
Wage gap in DC is growing: DC's economic recovery isn't benefitting everyone. The gap between high-wage and low-wage workers is at its widest since 1979. District workers without a bachelor's degree continued to fall further behind. (DCist)
Nonprofits lose tax exemption: Nonprofits with a national or international mission shouldn't receive property tax exemptions, according to DC's Office of Tax and Revenue. One nonprofit is facing a bill on its $5.8 million building on 16th Street. (WBJ)
The Sorry Service: The Secret Service apologized for not coordinating better with DC officials before closing 14th Street entirely for one day. The move, around a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, created huge traffic jams. (WTOP)
Upper NW, boil your water: Some residents in upper Northwest DC have low water pressure after the Fort Reno pumping station failed, and now have to boil their water before drinking it or using it for cooking. (Post)
Help the stayers: As cities struggle to find the balance between protecting neighborhood character and welcoming newcomers, many are reducing or freezing property taxes for homeowners threatened by gentrification. (NYT)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Best blossom bet: DC's cherry blossoms will likely peak April 8-12, the Park Service predicts. (WBJ) ... Metro ridership usually rises during the Cherry Blossom Festival. (PlanItMetro)
Tax base boom: DC's property tax assessments rose significantly thanks to rising property values, growth, and more. In 13 neighborhoods, the tax base grew by more than 10%. (WBJ)
Marijuana is less of a crime: Consuming marijuana in a private home will no longer be a criminal offense under a bill the DC Council passed Tuesday. Smoking pot outside is still illegal. (Post)
Metro door mayhem: A frozen door on a Red Line train left commuters waiting for more than 25 minutes on a frigid outdoor platform Tuesday morning. (WAMU)
Protection creates jams: The Secret Service "paralyzed" DC traffic for several whole days recently around hotels housing visiting dignitaries. Mayor Gray sent a letter asking the Secret Service to be more sensitive to locals' transportation needs. (Post)
Elevated super train?: A maglev builder is hoping to convince Virginia Beach to construct an elevated maglev train, rather than its current light rail plans. The builder says it's cheaper, but that seems extremely unlikely. (BeyondDC)
Less building for Clarksburg: The Montgomery County Council tentatively voted to impose new building limits along Clarksburg's Ten Mile Creek watershed. (Post) ... Here's more on why this is important.
And...: President Obama's budget could give DC more legislative autonomyHave a tip for the links? Submit it here.
— if it passes. (City Paper) ... The U Street ANC's transportation committee supports lower parking minimums. (SALM) ... Harsh winter storms are decimating snow removal budgets across the region. (WTOP)
Metrobus (kind of) back in operation: Metrobus will be operating on a moderate snow service plan with some detours around problem areas. Metrorail, VRE, and MARC trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule. The Circulator and Ride On are running normally. (Post)
Bury the power: Mayor Gray signed a bill to bury DC's power lines. It will spend $1 billion over a decade to bury lines, starting with the 60 most vulnerable. (WTOP)
Think DC’s bidding wars are bad? : A house in San Francisco sold for $530,000 above asking price. San Francisco's housing supply cannot support the influx of highly-paid young professionals. Are bidding wars like this in DC's future? (UrbanTurf)
E-bike CaBi?: Tired of pedaling your CaBi bike? A new portable electric motor drive designed especially for bikeshare systems instantly makes the bicycle an e-bike. The ShareRoller starts at $995 and has a 12-mile range. (Atlantic Cities)
More roads though we drive less?: As vehicle miles traveled (VMT) drop in the region, is it time to focus less on building roads (WAMU) ... The US DOT's forecasting still assumes VMT will grow at a fast clip, despite recent trends.
Washington vs. DC in film: The portrayal of DC in House of Cards is an example of how movies and TV miss the reality of everyday life in the District, instead choosing to show the city solely as a seat of politics and power. (The WheelHouse, Ryan M)
Support for BRT in Montgomery: According to a new poll, over 70% of Montgomery County voters support the county's BRT plan after hearing arguments for and against the system. (BethesdaNow)
Instant runoffs for DC?: DC councilmember David Grosso plans to introduce a bill to use instant runoff voting in DC elections system. Voters rank preferred candidates, ensuring the ultimate victor wins with over 50% of votes. (WTOP)
Safeway’s suitor: That Safeway near you may become a Kroger's. Kroger Co. is one of the companies expressing interest in purchasing Safeway, the second largest grocery store chain in the Washington area. (WBJ)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Another winter storm is here: DC and surrounding counties have declared a snow emergency, and local and federal governments are closed. Metrobus service has been cancelled, while Amtrak is following a snow schedule. There is no parking along emergency routes. (WTOP, DCist)
Just don't call it "Silicon _____": The Gray administration has designated 7th Street and Georgia Avenue NW a "tech corridor." Will the move undermine other initiatives? More details will be revealed at an event on Wednesday. (City Paper, WBJ)
But the Post won't be a part: Jeff Bezos is hiring programmers and designers for the Washington Post, but he won't be hiring and training people in the Washington area; instead, the jobs will be in New York. (Capital New York, Ken Archer)
Re-timing DC's traffic lights: Over 200 signals in Wards 6, 7, and 8 are being adjusted to improve the experience of both pedestrians and drivers. The project will address other parts of the city through 2016. (DCist)
How can we get to "Vision Zero"?: How should agencies reorganize to implement Vision Zero? After years of incremental progress on safety, WABA will call to effectively protect vulnerable road users at an oversight hearing.
The many causes of crime: A recent study expects violent crime to rise due to higher temperatures from climate change. Meanwhile, eliminating parking can reduce some other crimes. (Atlantic Cities)
De Blasio pushes for affordable housing: The New York City mayor is demanding that a large redevelopment project include 9% more affordable housing units. But how much is too much? Even advocates are wary lest the project is delayed. (Next City)
Fewer urban highways?: Urban freeways can do great damage to the cities they're in, but which ones should we focus on getting rid of? The Congress of New Urbanism identifies 10 candidates. (NPR)
And...: Can a recently completed rail tunnel in Pittsburgh serve as a template for Virginia Ave in DC? (Railway Age) ... In DC, community helps cycling growth. (Post) ... Financiers demand less parking for a residential building in downtown San Diego. (RPUS) ... What would be on your list of best movies about urbanism? (Next City)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Bus lanes aren't easy: A dedicated 16th Street bus lane makes a lot of sense, but it's really hard to make a bus lane happen. Still, bus service improvements may be the best and most cost-effective way to enhance transit. (Post)
Build your own Circulator: Everyone's getting in on the Circulator action. Park View DC proposes a Circulator route from Petworth Metro to Dupont. What do you think?
The future of DC retail: It's on Georgia Avenue, according to a panel of developers. Residential developers need retail to make their projects vibrant, and unconventional uses like maker spaces may fill some of the gap in demand. (ElevationDC)
Creepy condo: Some Georgetown residents who oppose a condo building next to the "Exorcist steps" say it's because of the view entering the city along the Key Bridge. But isn't that view of a gas station today? (WTOP, @sharrowsdc)
College Park bikeshare delayed: With the Montreal-based manufacturer of Capital Bikeshare equipment bankrupt, plans to roll out 10 stations and 62 bikes in College Park are "in a holding pattern." (Post)
Blades of steel: The District will be replacing the Fort Dupont Ice Arena with a new $20 million skating facility on the same site, next to the recently completed Youth Baseball Academy. The current structure, built in 1976, is DC's only indoor ice rink. (WBJ)
Black soot: DC's trash transfer stations are located in the poorest, most heavily minority parts of the city. Will DC leaders consider environmental justice when deciding where to place another station? (Energy Justice)
Greenbelt gardens: The original design of Greenbelt included community gardens in wooded areas, but forests have grown up around them. Local gardeners are facing off with preservationists on boundary and management issues. (Gazette)
And...: The average price of a DC home may hit almost $1 million by 2018. (WBJ) ... Simultaneous construction of multiple buildings could overwhelm one street in Bethesda. (BethesdaNow) ... DC's annual "Potholepalooza" will kick off in March. (Examiner)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Chipping in for Metro: WMATA will get $75 million total from DC, Maryland, and Virginia for its 2025 plan, but that's only half of what it needs. Upgrades and improvements could be delayed if the funding isn't available. (DCist)
Funding transportation with tax reform: Will the US pay for transportation with corporate tax reform? Both the Republican and Democratic plan would prioritize transit projects and repairing current infrastructure over new road construction. (Streetsblog)
Down on the corner: DC has over 500 corner stores from Deanwood and Anacostia to Georgetown and Bloomingdale. Chevy Chase residents love their corner market, so why do many of them oppose the zoning rewrite that could bring more? (City Paper)
No fly list: A DC resident was stopped by a TSA agent who thought her license was not a valid state-issued identification for boarding a plane. The incident has roused supporters of DC statehood. (Post)
No parking for these U Street residents: A developer wants to build 19 small apartments without parking near U Street. There is no alley, and residents would not be eligible for RPP stickers. The ANC dislikes the design, however. (SALM)
Stop pop-ups vs. stop NIMBYism: There's a battle of signs going on around pop-ups in Lanier Heights. Some people posted "stop pop-ups" signs, which prompted one person to post a "stop NIMBYism" rebuttal. (PoPville)
Gentrification angers Spike Lee: During a lecture in Brooklyn, Spike Lee went on a provocative rant about gentrification. Lee later retorted he isn't against new people moving in, but to respect the neighborhood's history and culture. (NY Mag, CNN)
Fort Belvoir's spillover effects: After base realignment, Fort Belvoir now boasts twice the number of employees as the Pentagon. How should Fairfax County respond to the increased demand for its municipal resources as the post continues to grow? (Post)
Arlington roads in poor condition: Residents in Arlington are concerned about road conditions after a report showed 30% are more susceptible to potholes and damage. The county plans to repave 72 miles of road this year. (ArlNow)
And...: It's still cheaper to buy a house in the area than rent, but that may change this year. (Trulia) ... Are DC parking officials exempt from "No Parking" signs? (PoPville)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Does DC need a new sports complex?: The DC Council held a hearing on a bill by Vincent Orange to study redeveloping RFK stadium, Langston Golf Course, and the Armory into a massive sports and entertainment complex. It has support from 5 other members, almost half the council. ANC commissioner Brian Flahaven is not impressed. (WTOP)
Transformation of Barry Farm: DC wants to redevelop Barry Farm with up to 1,879 new, mixed-income residential units as part of the struggling New Communities Initiative. But will Barry Farm be different? (WBJ, City Paper)
Bowser gains on Gray: A new poll right around the time of the Washington Post endorsement puts support for Mayor Gray at 28%, Muriel Bowser at 20%, Jack Evans at 13%, and Tommy Wells at 12%. (NBC4)
The boom moves outward: DC's housing price boom has been moving farther out to neighborhoods like Anacostia and Fort Totten, according to the Washington DC Economic Partnership's annual neighborhood profiles. (City Paper)
Silver Line fine: The contractor building the first phase of the $5.6 billion Silver Line Metro extension faces a hefty fine if it fails to complete the project by April 9. (Post)
Worst Metro escalators of 2013 and 2014 (so far): Metro lists the system's worst escalators during the 2013 fiscal year and 2014 year to date, in a 50-page document answering questions before a DC Council oversight hearing. (City Paper)
The problem with tech buses: The New York MTA's director of sustainability says the real problem with tech firm shuttle buses is that the tech companies keep building office campuses in the suburbs, far from transit. (Future Cities)
Tragic: A dump truck driver sideswiped a minivan, killing an Arlington mom who was securing a child in the backseat. (WUSA) ... Does it sound to you like AAA's John Townsend is blaming the victim?
Driving is down: Maryland is among some states adjusting traffic predictions to better reflect stagnant driving trends. Washington and Illinois are the other states acknowledging a decrease in driving. (Streetsblog)
And...: Should we elect the WMATA Board? (RPUS) ... A Canadian artist makes crosswalks beautiful. (Atlantic Cities) ... Dozens of Marylanders joined a state Senate hearing to debate legalizing marijuana. (Post)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Dooring still legal: An anti-dooring bill died in Virginia's House of Delegates Transportation Committee again. Scott Garrett, the subcommittee chairman, was unwilling to allow drivers to be at fault for dooring a cyclist unless they intended to cause harm. (Post)
Tough on snow?: Montgomery Councilmember Hans Riemer believes the current 24-hour snow removal law isn't enough and wants the county to create a Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan. Council president Craig Rice doesn't think new laws are necessary. (WAMU)
MD and VA drivers owe DC big bucks: A DC DMV report shows Maryland drivers owe a whopping $15.4 million to DC in unpaid traffic citations while Virginia drivers owe about $7 million. (DCist)
Community garden or parking?: Developers of a condo building on H Street NE may soon pave over a community garden to get 5 parking spaces, because neighbors fearful about street parking asked for more parking as part of the project. (City Paper)
Getting the vote: How can DC get voting rights? Expert suggestions include amending the Constitution, generating international pressure, and giving up. (City Paper)
Another try for gas station condos: Eastbanc will try again to propose condos at the site of the Key Bridge Exxon. Should residents be able to veto a building below them which might block part of their view? (Georgetown Metropolitan)
Don't count on the feds: WMATA might not be able to count on federal dollars to solely fund capital improvements. The federal share of its capital budget is declining, and there's less money nationwide available for transit. (PlanItMetro)
Third Church coming down: After a long historic preservation battle, the Brutalist Third Church of Christ at 16th and I is actually coming down with demolition starting yesterday. A new office building will includes meeting space for the congregation. (PoPville)
Is Google for distracted driving?: Does using Google Glass constitute distracted driving? Some state lawmakers think so, but Google is lobbying to stop proposed laws against driving while using Glass. (NYT)
And...: Union Station's bus pavilion will open this spring with Death Cab for Cutie lyrics in Morse code. (DCist) ... Ben's Chili Bowl will open in Rosslyn in March. (ARLNow) ... DC's buildings are some of the most energy efficient in the country. (City Paper)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- Fun on Friday: Play the Mini Metro game
- Adding 15-minute Circulator routes would dilute the Circulator brand
- Comparing Metrobus and Metrorail farebox recovery is apples and oranges
- Where will DC's next 200,000 residents go? The mayoral candidates weigh in
- Topic of the week: Walking in unexpected places
- Metro FAQ: Why does Metro run express trains in one direction during single-tracking?
- Mayoral challengers criticize the Gray administration's streetcar progress
Tue Mar 11
7:30 pm ACT meeting
Wed Mar 12
Fri Mar 14
Sat Mar 15