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Breakfast links: Bye, FBI


Photo by HettieLP on Flickr.
Down to three for the FBI: The GSA narrowed the list of potential FBI sites to three: Greenbelt Metro, the Landover Mall, and Springfield, though Greenbelt still seems most likely. None are in DC; Mayor Gray called that news "kind of a win-win." (WBJ, DCist)

Gun ruling stayed: DC's ban on carrying handguns in public will remain for 90 days, after the District filed to stay a judge's ruling that the ban is unconstitutional. Tommy Wells' office created signs for businesses that don't want guns on their property. (City Paper, Post)

White Oak plan approved: The Montgomery County Council approved the plan for White Oak that clears the way for the "LifeSci Village" town center. The plan also calls for funding BRT on Route 29. (Post)

Silver Line anticipation: While the Silver Line is years away, Loudoun County got a new bus depot near where the Route 606 station will go. A video shows that the Silver Line's opening did not impact rush hour traffic on Monday. (BeyondDC, Post)

Projects that didn't make it: The Silver Line opened after decades of planning, but many other ideas never became reality, like a helicopter from Union Station to Dulles and BWI or a Ponte Vecchio-like bridge on the Southwest Waterfront. (Post)

Ducking debate: Muriel Bowser will not participate in debates until Sept. 18 when she will take part in an American University forum. Ward 4 ANC Commissioner Doug Sloan tried without success to reschedule a debate featuring Bowser. (City Paper)

Benches for Ballston: New benches are coming to Ballston, after the property manager modified planters near the Metro to prevent people from sitting on them. The company said people waiting for the bus were damaging plants. (ArlNow)

And...: Houston will use utility line corridors to create "bicycle interstates." (Streetsblog) ... When brownfield sites are cleaned up, housing values can rise dramatically. (CityLab) ... Michael Brown and Harry Thomas Jr. will end up in the same prison. (City Paper)

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Breakfast links: Riders make changes


Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.
The Silver Line's weekday debut: Over 24,000 passenger trips began or ended at the five new Silver Line stations on Monday and Wiehle-Reston East was the 12th busiest morning-commute station in the system. But it appears that many of those riders used to ride the Orange Line, with ridership at West Falls Church down 66%. (City Paper, Post)

Plenty of (car) parking: Fears that the Silver Line would cause a parking nightmare appear to be overblown, at least for now. Parking lots at stations didn't fill up, but bike racks did. Many people found bicycle routes to the stations, though Fairfax can do a lot more to make the area better for cycling. (Post, FABB)

Bus change woes: The Fairfax Connector changed nearly 40% of its service on Saturday. 16 new routes were added and others changed to accommodate new Silver Line connections. But many commuters struggled to adapt to the new routes. (Post)

McMillan will get tweaks, not more: The DC Zoning Commission still has a few concerns about the McMillan project, like height of one building and the amount of transit, but won't substantially cut back development as opponents wish. (WBJ)

St. Elizabeths needs direction: Five companies have expressed interest in developing St. Elizabeths East Campus, but it's not the expected, big development firms. Did mixed messages from the city hinder interest in the site? (City Paper)

New bill could help cyclists: A new bill from David Grosso would eliminate contributory negligence for automobile-bicycle crashes, meaning a cyclist could still collect damages even if he or she were a small amount at fault in a crash. (DCist)

Why so few black cyclists?: African-Americans are less likely to bike commute than other groups. This could be because of fears about driver hostility and a view of cycling as a sign of poverty. (Streetsblog)

Breakthrough for bikeshare: New York's REQX Ventures may acquire Alta Bicycle Share and expand Citibike (and raise membership prices). It could also break the logjam blocking expansion in Washington and elsewhere. (WSJ, Streetsblog)

Friendlier fed streets?: The Federal Highway Administration now supports an urban street design that features bike lanes, bus lanes, and narrower travel lanes. Could federal approval of these designs mean more city-friendly streets? (Streetsblog)

And...: Federal hiring is at its lowest level in ten years. (WBJ) ... DC's first food boat started serving boaters and kayakers this weekend. (PoPville) ... For now, the Silver Line makes a trip to Dulles Airport only a little more convenient. (UrbanTurf)

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Breakfast links: And we're off!


Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.
"The work of generations": The Silver Line began operation on Saturday, carrying passengers from Reston to Largo. The line will shorten travel for many while enabling transit-oriented development in Northern Virginia. Did you ride it? (Post)

All you need to know: Another guide to the Silver Line details how to get to the new stations and what buses may help Blue Line riders. (WTOP)

What next?: Will the Silver Line finally bring residents to Tysons and catalyze for new jobs? The line could also be a boon to bars and Google Bus-like employee shuttles as car-less visitors and employees arrive in droves. (Post, WAMU, WTOP)

Black homeowners fall behind: Despite stricter enforcement of discrimination laws, African-Americans are more likely to lose their homes. The Great Recession, foreclosure crisis, and predatory lending have reversed gains since the 1970's. (CityLab)

Two legs good, four legs better: In Fort Worth, multi-modalism also includes horses. Riders have the same rights as cyclists, but are also stereotyped as lawless. Could other cities also someday see a return of horseback riding? (WSJ, Dave G)

Catania opposes stadium deal: DC mayoral candidate David Catania spoke against the land swap that underlies the potential DC United stadium as undervaluing city property. With Bowser also skeptical, will the project move forward? (WAMU)

Katrina still stymies transit: It's been nearly a decade since Hurricane Katrina, but transit service has yet to recover. High operating costs and low revenue are helping prevent expansion. (Human Transit)

And...: Follow a New York Citibike over a day, as it carries 17 riders across the city. (The Guardian) ... A photographer asks Washington-area prisoners: "If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?" (NYT, Sam Feldman) ... Which DC building most symbolizes the city's revitalization? (PoPville)

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Breakfast links: Silver Line eve


Photo by Fairfax County on Flickr.
Metro says Silver Line is ready: Metro has been simulating service on the Silver Line since Sunday and says the new line is ready for service. Though without new train cars, how will the Silver Line hold up once passengers start riding? (Post)

Learn about the Silver Line: Each of the five new stops on the Silver Line will have something to offer even if you don't live or work there. Commuters who ride the bus to Metro will find new service patterns once the Silver Line opens. (Post)

Affordable housing squeeze: There is a serious lack of affordable housing for middle and lower class residents in the Washington region, says a new report. As a result, middle class residents are often squeezing out the lower class. (Post)

Why few food co-ops?: There are food co-ops in Takoma Park and Mount Rainier, but DC only has one food co-op open for limited hours on weekends in Mt. Pleasant. Why are there so few inside the District? (OPinions)

ANC sleeps on the job: Despite two violations, a bar on U Street will likely keep its license because ANC 1B couldn't muster a quorum two months in a row and missed the deadline to protest the license. (City Paper)

Meddling congressmen: DC residents poured into the office of Rep. Andy Harris with a message: Stay out of our local affairs. Meanwhile, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) proposed giving DC to Maryland and disbanding the DC Council when asked about statehood. (DCist)

Peddling advice: Looking for advice on bicycling? Brian McEntee is writing a new tongue-in-cheek advice column called "Gear Prudence," including advice on what to do is a newspaper columnist puts a broom through your spokes. (City Paper)

Best coast for pedestrians: What factors will most likely cause drivers to yield to pedestrians? Road width and pedestrian volume are important factors, but a new survey also says that West Coast drivers are more likely to yield. (Streetsblog)

Poor debate over "poor door": A new NYC building with a separate entrance for its affordable units has sparked outrage. But it's not actually new and perhaps even required by zoning. And is it worse than living in a gated community with no lower-income people? (Huffington Post, Gothamist, NY Post, Twitter)

And...: During a fit of road rage, a Florida man was run over by his own truck. (WTOP) ... Investing in housing in the area has not yielded a big payoff. (City Paper) ... Bethesda and Rockville are among the "Top 10 Snobbiest Small Cities in America." (Post)

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Breakfast links: Silver Line to-dos


Photo by jas_on on Flickr.
Pedestrian access still to come: Over the last year, Tysons Corner has gained many new sidewalks. Some intersections, however, still lack pedestrian facilities. County officials will be monitoring pedestrian traffic next week. (WAMU)

Same route, higher cost?: Many Fairfax Connector routes that previously terminated at West Falls Church will now terminate at Wiehle-Reston East. With the switch from bus to rail, some riders will pay more to travel the same route. (WAMU)

No parking here: Tysons Corner Center will be installing electronic gates at its parking lots to prevent commuter access. The gates will allow employees to park before business hours while preventing early commuter parking. (WBJ)

Lanier Heights battles over pop-ups: A particularly bitter debate over pop-up additions to rowhouses is heating up in Lanier Heights. Some residents want to downzone the area to prevent additions, others want to "grow up." (City Paper)

Streetcar steps: DC's four streetcars are moving to H Street where they will stay until the line opens, which officials still hope to do this year. (DCist) ... DDOT is still working on planning future lines, though funding is uncertain. (WBJ)

Arlington board backs taxis: Arlington Board members expressed sympathy for county taxi drivers in their battle for business against Uber and Lyft. Mary Hynes noted that they are hard to access for customers without smartphones. (ArlNow)

Longer terms in PG: Prince George's Council members have placed a measure on the November ballot to extend their term limits to three 4-year terms. The County is the only in the region with term limits. (Post)

And...: Washington officials will meet with the US Olympic Committee in a "low key" meeting about the 2024 Olympics. (WTOP) ... Hyattsville will keep its library's flying saucer, but lose the building itself. (Gazette) ... Donald Trump has broken ground on his redevelopment of the Old Post Office Building into a luxury hotel. (DCist)

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Breakfast links: Drive safe


Photo by IntangibleArts on Flickr.
The stats on crashes: A new report on traffic crashes from DDOT found that distraction is a major source of crashes, and speed makes people much more likely to die. Many types of crashes have increased, but injuries have not. (Post)

The crashiest intersections: The intersection with the most crashes in DC is at New York and Bladensburg; the most crashes adjusted for vehicle traffic, 14th and U. (Post)

Make one-way two: An advisory group will recommend eliminating one-way streets in downtown Bethesda. The current one-way streets force drivers to circle to reach destinations and encourage speeding. (Bethesda Now)

Check out no parking: A new hotel in Chinatown will be built without parking. Instead, the hotel will provide Capital Bikeshare memberships to guests and employees, bike parking, and car sharing memberships to its employees. (District Source)

Heliport or not?: A moving CEO wants to build a heliport to fly from his 540-acre Purcellville farm (which he also will protect against future development) to Gaithersburg and other locations. Some neighbors are organizing to oppose it. (WBJ)

Andy Harris, fix my pothole: Supporters of DC budget autonomy will bring everyday DC constituent service issues to Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) to protest his efforts to overturn DC's local law decriminalizing marijuana. (DCist)

Construction kills fish: A contractor for CSX killed hundreds of fish in the Anacostia River's Northeast Branch, according to Maryland state regulators. The contractor was working to expand a freight rail bridge near Hyattsville. (Post)

The Bike Lobby brainwashes reporters!: The satirical Bicycle Lobby Twitter account, which arose after Dorothy Rabinowitz attributed Citibike to an all-powerful "bicycle lobby," tripped up reporters at the AP and Daily News who mistook a joke tweet about white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge as serious. (Streetsblog)

And...: What happens when The Wire creator David Simon encounters Martin O'Malley on a train? (Post) ... The region is the worst in the nation for late mail delivery. (Post) ... Could DC soon get a bike factory? (City Paper)

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Breakfast links: Home improvement


Photo by DDOT DC on Flickr.
Anacostia flips: A non-profit organization is flipping historic homes in Anacostia and using the profit to restore other run-down properties. Some residents welcome the transformation, but others fear it will push out long-time residents. (Post)

The right to sunlight?: Residents of a street in Columbia Heights are lobbying to restrict pop-ups near homes with solar panels. They argue that the one-story additions block sunlight, increasing utility bills and decreasing the value of their investment. (Post)

Obama for statehood: When asked if he supports statehood for the District, President Obama said "I'm for it" but also acknowledged it will be "difficult" to get Congress to agree. Obama had not stood up strongly for DC rights during his first term. (WAMU)

Express Lane predictions: Carpooling only accounts for 9% of travel on the 495 Express Lanes. Will the new 95 Express Lanes boost ride sharing or end up like the 495 Express Lanes, which largely just created faster lanes for single occupancy vehicles? (WAMU)

Nixon-era biking: The DC Council's transportation committee clerk in the 1970s, Carl Bergman, pushed for better bicycle laws that allowed bike racks on cars (they weren't) or bringing bikes into buildings. DC's highway department head opposed encouraging bicycling. Also, Carl Bernstein got, and fought, a ticket for running a red light. (Post)

Lanier on bike lanes: DC police chief Cathy Lanier, who once had a bike hit her car, thinks bike lanes are a "double-edged sword" and actually seems to misunderstand how to correctly turn right from a road with a bike lane. (WashCycle)

How the ramp could look: A ramp connection for the Metropolitan Branch Trail to L Street could be wider than just a simple ramp. This matters because the NoMa BID wants to put some "playable art" in the easement, which won't block a narrow ramp but might interfere with a better link. (WashCycle)

Positive externalities of cycletracks: UK residents who lived less 0.6 miles away from new, high-quality bike and pedestrian infrastructure exercised 27 minutes more per week than people 2.5 miles away. (Streetsblog)

And...: Eight Northern Virginia taxi companies are suing Uber and Lyft. (ArlNow) ... The Arlington board approves the streetcar with the expected opposition. (WBJ) ... Prince George's approved the National Harbor casino which should open in 2016. (WAMU)

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Breakfast links: Silver is coming


Photo by Michael Galkovsky on Flickr.
The simulation begins: Metro is running simulated Silver Line trains this week. There will be fewer Orange Line trains west of East Falls Church and east of Stadium-Armory. (Post)

Parking lot owners prepare for commuters: Since the Tysons Corner Silver Line stations do not have Metro garages, some owners of adjacent private parking lots are welcoming commuters, while others, like the Tysons malls, are taking steps to ensure commuters don't use their lots. (Post)

Edgy redesign for Franklin Park: Among the three options for Franklin Park, "The Edge" seems to have the most support from officials. That would put a pedestrian plaza along I Street, redesign the fountain, and add a playground. (WBJ)

The seven worst guards in DC: Even though it's legal to take pictures of federal buildings from the public sidewalk, when Buzzfeed's Benny Johnson tried it around DC's seven ugliest buildings, security guards repeatedly hassled him.

National Harbor casino on the way: The Prince George's County Council will likely approve MGM's casino project at National Harbor today. But neighbors and their councilmember are demanding a transportation management plan. (Post)

Why not large condos?: Although neighbors often ask for larger, family-sized condos when a new project is built, developers say not many families actually want them (preferring townhouses or detached houses), and the profit per square foot is lower. However, larger condos may make sense in some areas like Capitol Hill. (UrbanTurf)

Cities turn contracting upside down: Rather than specifying exactly what they want to buy, Barcelona and Philadelphia are outlining the problems they want solved and letting entrepreneurs devise creative solutions. (CityLab)

RIP Ed Tennyson: Edson Tennyson, a long-time rail advocate, died last week at age 92 his home in Vienna. He was of Metro's original planners and remained an advocate to the end, with his most recent letter to Dr. Gridlock in March. (Railway Age, thm)

And...: A water-wheel pulls trash (including a tire) from Baltimore's Inner Harbor. (WTOP) ... This map shows the condition of roads and bridges by state. (Bacon's Rebellion) ... More details emerge on the freight container apartments going up in Brookland. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Future transit options?


Photo by Doug Kerr on Flickr.
Time to fix I-66: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe wants to spend $2-3 billion to ease congestion along I-66 between the Beltway and Haymarket. State Options include a Metro extension, light rail, BRT, more lanes for cars, and other options. (Post)

Columbia Pike to roll forward: The Arlington County Board will authorize building the Columbia Pike streetcar faster and without federal funding tomorrow, thanks to the state's contribution. The two streetcar opponents remain opposed despite state funding. (ArlNow)

Gondola funding hits roadblock: The idea for a gondola from Georgetown to Rosslyn won't get funded for a study from the Council of Governments, but the Georgetown BID still hopes to get the money elsewhere for a study by the end of 2015. (InTheCapital)

Marijuana in public housing?: The DC Housing Authority is funded primarily by the federal government, which considers marijuana possession to be illegal. Now that marijuana is decriminalized in DC, how will DCHA adjust? (City Paper)

No new CaBi bikes: New bikes and docks are not likely this year for any Bixi-based bikesharing systems. This will halt Capital Bikeshare's expansion and move Charm City Bikeshare's launch into next year. (Streetsblog)

DC's Scooby-Doo Ghost Town: L'Enfant Plaza and the cluster of concrete federal buildings around it seem quite ugly. Buzzfeed mocks the area, which it calls "DC's Scooby-Doo Ghost Town," and its architecture.

Will driverless cars encourage sprawl?: A Toyota scientist thinks that if driverless cars making driving easier, people will just live farther away. Tolling could help, but will face political opposition. (Streetsblog)

Schools or transit, not both: A bill in North Carolina would ban counties from adding local sales taxes for both education and transit. This would likely make education advocates oppose any transit funding proposal and vice versa. (NewsObserver)

And...: Can Arlington and Alexandria agree on the future of their transitway? (WAMU) ... How is it "privatization" to set aside spaces for Zipcar-like services while parking your private car on the street is not? (Streetsblog) ... It's legal, and increasingly popular nationwide, to build apartments out of shipping containers. (WBJ)

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Breakfast links: Democracy in action and inaction


Photo by teakwood on Flickr.
Speed cameras all the time: In the wake of yet another pedestrian death on Route 1, the College Park city council has opted to allow its speed cameras to operate 24 hours a day. (Post)

No democracy at Eastern Market: Eastern Market officers stopped people from circulating political candidate petitions last weekend. Mayor Gray overruled that, but market officials said they may require a fee to petition. They later dropped that idea. (NBC4)

Slow down Maryland Ave: To make a safer Maryland Avenue NE, DDOT has installed temporary traffic calming like flex posts and extended curbs. But historic preservation concerns are slowing more permanent fixes like removing lanes. (WAMU)

Gas delays green street: A $2.3 million "green street" project for Flower Avenue in Takoma Park has been in the planning stages for two years, but may now take until 2016 as Washington Gas wants replace a gas line first. (Gazette)

Hillandale yellin' over Yellen guards: The security detail for Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who lives in the gated community of Hillandale in Burleith, is upsetting neighbors by dripping oil from vehicles, having "doughnut bellies," and wearing "ridiculous blue uniforms." (WSJ)

Georgetown could lose gas stations: Besides the station at the end of the Key Bridge which will become condos, development may replace two other gas stations, at Pennsylvania and M and Wisconsin and Q. They could fill in pedestrian-hostile spots, but also will make getting gas more difficult. (Georgetown Dish)

Where do the embassies go?: In neighborhoods with a lot of chanceries, residents don't want more, but the government doesn't want to restrict embassies much and possiblyinvite retribution abroad. DC wants to steer many to the Walter Reed complex, which will have a chancery cluster. (City Paper)

More tickets in bike lanes: DC police handed out 4,200 tickets for parking in a bike lane last year, and are on track to give out about 17% more this year. (Post)

Crashes are deadlier than war: Traffic crashes cause over twice the number of deaths worldwide than murder and war combined. (Progressive Economy, Rich 'n Alexandria)

And...: You can check out the bike station and parking garage in the Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line station on Saturday. (Post) ... The DC Library will digitize several of its old maps. (DCist) ... Where can you walk to in 7 minutes? For one Greenbelt blogger, it's quite a few places. (Greenbelt Live) ... Marijiana is a little less criminal in DC. (Post)

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