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Breakfast links: Arlington streets made for walking


Photo by Thomas Cizauskas on Flickr.
Pedestrian only in Arlington: A few streets in Arlington could soon be exclusively for people on foot. The County Board is considering changes to its transportation plan that would devote space to people and slow traffic. (ArlNow)

Metro blues: Despite a decline in overall Metro ridership over the last year, overcrowding has increased on the Blue Line. For all but two months since the Silver Line opened in 2014, Blue Line trains have exceeded Metro's "optimal crowding" standards. (Post)

SunTrust's new treatment: Developers have once again adjusted their plans for the SunTrust Bank in Adams Morgan. The new plans have a less imposing facade on 18th St, but there will be 6 fewer residential units and a smaller plaza. (UrbanTurf)

Don't forget to hit record: After a DC police officer failed to turn on his body camera during a fatal shooting of a motorcycle driver, officers must now confirm to dispatchers that their body cameras are on every time they respond to a call. (Post)

More money for city dwellers: For the first time since the 2008 recession, median incomes are on the rise, and particularly so in cities. Poverty rates declined by 1.5% in metro areas, but remained mostly unchanged in rural locations. (NextCity)

Density or sprawl? How about both?: Cities that have sprawled are growing denser more quickly than cities with less sprawl. Why? (Bloomberg)

Next stop, Margaritaville: Bar cars, that is rail cars dedicated to serving alcohol, will make a return to Metro-North trains. They will be the only bar cars in the nation. (Hartford Courant, Fitz L.)

And...: On Wednesday, Carla Hayden became the first non-white, non-male Librarian of Congress. (DCist) ... A 77-year-old cyclist was killed in College Park after a driver hit him in a crosswalk. (DCist) ... Alexandria's city manager says they can't and won't deny a permit to the man who wants to build a garage right next to his neighbor's kitchen window. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Housing market hot streak


Photo by Violette79 on Flickr.
Housing is hot: In the DC region, more houses have sold this year than in any year since August 2006, and the area's median house price is up as well. The actual number of houses for sale is down, though. (Post)

Neighbors say no: Residents of Westbard, where Montgomery County has OK'd plans to redevelop a group of old strip malls into new housing, shops, and parks, are suing the county. They say the plans didn't get proper approval. (Bethesda Beat)

Phishing season: DC residents have recently fallen victim to 2 scams: one an email asking for payment on old traffic tickets (WJLA), and one a flyer asking public housing residents for personal information as part of a giveaway.

No choice for Metro?: In response to backlash from elected officials about his proposal to make late night service cuts permanent, proposed cut to operating hours, Metro GM Paul Wiedefeld insists that the system cannot have both late night hours and proper maintenance. (NBC4)

Changes to flight paths: The Federal Aviation Administration is changing the flight paths out of National Airport in response to noise complaints. The proposal is to have planes fly more directly over the Potomac River. (WTOP)

Bridge dreams burnt: Maryland transportation secretary Pete Rahn says there will be no new bridge linking Northern Virginia and Maryland. Instead, he wants to focus on making changes to the American Legion Bridge. (WTOP)

The dangers of digging: The standard precautions don't always help Arlington contractors from breaking utility lines. In 2015, 63% of gas main breaks during construction happened after calls the state's utility mapping service to plan around pipes. (ARLNow)

Rent my bike: In Oxford, a new app allows people to rent bicycles directly from others for short time periods. The direct bike sharing service has 1,000 users, and will expand if the model is successful. (CityLab)

And...: See plans for new condos and apartments in Buzzard Point and on H Street. (WBJ, WCP)... Car2Go is swapping out 250 of its cars in DC. (Post)... After a police officer was injured near the White House, an ambulance took 14 minutes to arrive. (NBC)... High school architecture students helped design the new Woodridge branch DC library, which is slated to open at the end of the month. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Rollback on Walmart


Photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr.
Walmart, not a Prince George's savior: Residents are saying "no" to a proposed expansion to the Landover Hills Walmart. They say that the economic development Walmart promised when they moved in hasn't been delivered. (Post)

Preserve Emerald Street?: Residents of a short, one-way street in Capitol Hill will push for it to become a historic district. The street, originally built to pack more homes into a smaller area, is now a battleground for developers who want to build condos and residents who want it to stay the same. (WAMU)

Turf wars in Alexandria: An architect who helped write Alexandria's zoning laws is fighting with his neighbors about a garage he's building, legally, two feet from their house. (Post)

WMATA's labor problem: Nearly 75% of WMATA's operating costs are labor. With a multi-million dollar budget shortfall and labor union negotiations on the horizon, how will workers fare? (WAMU)

FCC says keep the WiFi: The Federal Communications Commission is questioning Metro's plan to turn off free WiFi at six stations at the end of a 45-day pilot. They say Metro should be able to evaluate data without shutting the service down. (Post)

Beach Drive takes a vacation: Starting next Monday, 20,000 drivers will have to find a new route as Beach Drive will be closed between Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway NW and Tilden St NW for six to eight months. The closure is part of a three-year road and trail improvement plan. (Post)

Housing insecure, still: 75% of Americans worry that they would lose their home in a crisis, according to a new survey. 80% of respondents say they'd welcome more affordable housing. (CityLab)

And...: Here's how REI's historic space is shaping up in NoMa. (Washingtonian) ... Home sales in Bloomingdale are up 50% from last year. (UrbanTurf) ... You're 90% less likely to get into a crash if you choose public transportation over driving a car. (APTA)

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Breakfast links: Find the 9/11 memorial; imagine one for climate change


Photo by marabuchi on Flickr.
Have you heard of this memorial?: Few seem to know about the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, which is elegant but hard to reach in its odd location. A planned visitors center could help draw more visitors. (City Paper)

A climate change memorial for DC?: A proposed memorial at Hains Point would spread awareness about climate change in an interesting way: a sloped grove would gradually be submerged by the rising waters of the Potomac. (CityLab)

Is the SunTrust plaza "sacred"?: Adams Morgan's SunTrust bank plaza may be ugly and "horrible," but amid plans to redevelop it, activists are calling it a "sacred site" where people once stopped a gas station from replacing the bank. (Post)

Purple Line appeal begins: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed an appeal against Judge Richard Leon's flawed ruling blocking the Purple Line based on declining Metro ridership. Leon has 60 days to respond to the appeal. (Sentinel)

Evans says no fare hike: WMATA board chairman Jack Evans says he will block any fare increase in this year's budget, saying they are already too high. Instead, he thinks local and federal governments need to provide the funding Metro needs. (WTOP)

Get your Tubman & Douglass SmarTrips: New limited-edition SmartTrip cards feature Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, to help celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. (DCist)

Loudoun, bike mecca?: Loudoun County could become more bike-friendly, thanks to a planned "Leesburg Loop" and a number of other projects that will add bike lanes and trails and even remove car lanes from some roads. (LoudounNow)

What Amtrak will buy with $2.45B: A $2.45 billion loan will let Amtrak buy new Acela Express trains, rehab Union Station, rebuild platforms in Baltimore and New Carrollton, upgrade track in Maryland, and much more. (Post)

Students versus homeless tenants: Some Foggy Bottom residents want to see landlords house the homeless in exchange for subsidies, instead of renting to students. Landlords who commented seem unenthused, and students worry it would rob them of housing options. (GW Hatchet)

And...: Here are five things to know about SafeTrack work this week. (WTOP) ... The name "Washington, DC" just celebrated it's 225th birthday. (DCist) ... Some Montgomery County teachers want elementary schools to start earlier after the school board implemented later start times last year. (Bethesda Beat)

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Links


Breakfast links: Unfair alquiler


Photo by Steve Fernie on Flickr.
Weasel around rent control: DC landlords force out Latino residents living in rent-controlled apartments by keeping buildings poorly maintained. Residents who have limited funds or English language skills have few resources to fight back. (WCP)

Little levees for Metro: Metro wants to build mini walls to keep the Shaw, Cleveland Park, and Capitol South Metro stations from flooding during severe storms. Here's what happened at Cleveland Park during a recent flood. (WJLA)

It's not just Metro's closing time: Metro needs a better solution for maintenance than just closing earlier. Leaders must decide what kind of city they want DC to be, as early closures could change the very fabric of the city for many who depend on late-night service. (WCP)

More green for the Greenway: Tolls on the Dulles Greenway can keep rising each year until 2020, thanks to a Virginia court ruling. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, who filed the lawsuit, believes the tolls are excessive. (WTOP)

Making the grade by opting out: An Alexandria school used a new state law to get low-performing students to opt out of taking standardized tests in order to inflate the school's overall performance. (Post)

Haven for homeless youth: A DC church is opening its doors for homeless teens as part of a pilot program run by the downtown BID. Every Monday the church offers food, HIV testing, counseling, and a safe place to gather. (WCP)

A Brompton is not a bike: A DC law meant to allow kids to bike on sidewalks inadvertently also means that many folding bikes are not street legal, because they're not technically bikes. (WashCycle)

Race in rentals: A new Airbnb policy aims to fight discrimination against people of color, but there are still no clear penalties for hosts who discriminate. Meanwhile, similar services that cater to people of color are starting to pop up. (CityLab)

And...: DC issues about 16 tickets per day to people who park in bike lanes. That's probably not enough. (WABA) ... The majority of black mothers in DC (87%), Maryland (80%), and Virginia (78%) are the breadwinners for their families. (DCist) ... Lyft has a new luxury service that uses only high-end sedans and SUVs. (DCist)

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Breakfast links: Pause on paid parking


Photo by Payton Chung on Flickr.
Parking still free in Reston: Paid parking for Reston Town Center won't come until 2017 at the earliest. The new paid parking policy was supposed to start this month, but the developer postponed after getting a lot of negative feedback. (WBJ)

SafeTrack slips on quality: Federal inspectors have caught many problems with the quality of SafeTrack repairs, like loose fasteners and poorly installed bolts, but also praised Metro for progress. (Post)

Protected bikeway to Foggy Bottom: Plans to extend the Pennsylvania Ave protected bikeway to Washington Circle and add bus lanes to H St downtown are in the works as part of a new DDOT study. (TheWashCycle)

More units than occupants, lower rents?: Rents keep going up in the region but an influx of 13,000 new units next year might help keep rents down as experts expect only 10,000-11,000 of those units to be filled. (Washingtonian)

DC house prices boom and bust: In some DC neighborhoods home prices have more than doubled since 2001, even after adjusting for inflation. Areas east of the Anacostia and along the District's borders still haven't recovered from the recession. (District, Measured)

Lessons from 40 years of Metro funding woes: For 40 years, Metro has struggled to secure dedicated funding. Here's what four decades of grand ideas have taught us: there's no silver bullet. (PlanItMetro)

Fewer job seekers in the region: The Washington region's labor force growth has slowed to a crawl over the past few years, with growth of only 0.5% this year. Could the high and ever-increasing cost of living be the cause? (Post)

Lookout to dorm to luxury apartments: A hotel known for its role in the Watergate scandal will become luxury apartments after serving as a GW dorm for many years. The complex will feature 250 apartments, retail space, and a bike share program. (Post)

A less vague "Share the Road": Many places are switching out "Share the Road" signs for more direct "Bikes May Use Full Lane" signs. (NextCity)

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Breakfast links: DC's new zoning code is here


Photo by rockcreek on Flickr.
DC retools zoning laws: The first major changes to DC's zoning code since 1958 went into effect on Tuesday. Under the new rules, more people can rent out their basements, new buildings won't be required to come with as much parking, and corner stores can open in residential areas. (WCP)

Metro has fewer riders, wants shorter hours: Metro ridership dropped 11% since April, with a total of 8 million fewer trips taken than during the same period in 2015. (Post) The agency has proposed 3 options for shorter hours, which it says will mean more time for track maintenance. (NBC4)

A mixed report for Metro safety: According to the Federal Transit Administration, Metro is making progress on its track and electrical problems but isn't out of the woods yet. Also, crime and injuries have increased slightly since last year. (WTOP)

Not enough fire trucks: DC has sixteen fire trucks, but 2 are out of service until the end of the month (one is on standby in case of an emergency at the White House). There aren't any reserve vehicles, but the fleet will grow in coming years. (NBC4)

Smaller hospital, bigger hospital: While Prince George's County has downsized a proposal for a new medical center at Largo, neighborhood groups recently approved plans for a new hospital building at Georgetown University. (BizJournal)

Beyond bike-friendly: A new apartment complex in Malmö, Sweden will be exclusively for people who commute by bike. The building will have bike storage and maintenance programs and no parking spaces for residents. (CityLab)

And...: This map shows which Northern Virginia homes are best positioned for solar panels (WTOP)... New York's Port Authority may sell One World Trade Center (NYMag)... West End buildings garner the most money per square foot in DC, at is $799 per square foot. (UrbanTurf)... DC's government has awarded over 200 business grants since 2012, with restaurants receiving the largest portion. (DCist)

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Breakfast links: Middle class drowns in mortgages


Photo by Matthew and Heather on Flickr.
Underwater in Prince George's: Despite living in one of the wealthiest majority-black counties in the country, many Prince George's homeowners owe more on their homes than they're worth. Recovery from the housing crash has come more slowly for black middle class neighborhoods. (NPR)

DC's broken policing: DC's "criminal justice system is broken" says outgoing Police Chief Cathy Lanier. She says it's impossible to police when the rest of the system continues to put repeat offenders back on the street, but prosecutors say they have to follow a process. (Post)

More reliable, less punctual: Metro and Metrobus service has been more reliable this year, but only 82% of trains are on-time. Metro blamed SafeTrack and other track work for the delays in its latest report card. (WAMU)

Minimum wage not enough: Disparate minimum wages across the region mean that a lot of folks can't make ends meet. Someone making the minimum wage in Fairfax would have to work 137 hours per week to afford the average apartment. (Post)

DC's coolest playground: A playground in Shaw once had real old airplanes, a tank, a tugboat, a train locomotive, and streetcars. But DC couldn't maintain it and the vehicles were eventually removed. Now it's just a regular playground. (Post)

Manspreading is not a new phenomenon: Subway posters from all the way back in 1947 show that "manspreading" has always been a problem on trains. Check out these vintage PSAs on subway etiquette from around the world. (Hyperallergic)

Smarter bridges: A new bridge in Germany will include sensors that track wear and tear on the bridge. Experts will to use the data to discover damage and order repairs faster. (Readwrite)

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Breakfast links: Tenant v landlord


Photo by Rich Renomeron on Flickr.
Landlords get around rent control: DC landlords skirt rent control laws by offering discounts, like a month of free rent, and then raising rents in the following year based on what the rent would have been without the discount. (CityPaper)

TOPA gone too far?: A renter in Capitol Hill is using DC's Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) to auction off her rights to purchase the house she rents, rather than purchasing it herself. Is this an abuse of TOPA? (UrbanTurf)

The sky is falling: The Rhode Island Avenue Metro station will remain closed for inspection through Friday after debris fell from the station ceiling twice in two days. (Post)

Realtime tracking for Loudoun's commuter buses: A new realtime bus prediction service will track Loudoun County's commuter buses that serve Arlington, DC, and the West Falls Church and Wiehle-Reston East Metro stations. (WTOP)

Fewer Metro riders in Virginia: Metro ridership in Virginia is down 6.7% from last year, though ridership actually increased at Silver Line stations around Tysons. The end of the Orange Line saw the biggest drop. (WTOP)

No teens alone at the mall: Towson Town Center is the latest of several Maryland malls to bar unaccompanied teens on Friday and Saturday nights. Residents have complained about large groups of teens congregating in the mall. (Baltimore Sun)

Billboard bullies?: A number of LED billboards popping up around downtown DC don't have the right permits. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit to get the media company responsible for installing the signs to remove them. (DCist)

More carpool competition: Google is rolling out its own carpool service, Waze Carpool, with a pilot in San Francisco. The service aims to match up commuters, and will reimburse drivers only for the cost of gas and wear-and-tear. (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Lary Hogun doznt want u in skool


Photo by Roel Wijnants on Flickr.
Hogan stretches out summers: Starting in 2017, Maryland schools must start after Labor Day under a new executive order by Governor Larry Hogan. He is trying to help the tourism business, but school officials say it will make it difficult to fit in the 180 days of instruction required. (Post, WUSA9)

How schools use federal funds: New rules would push school districts to use federal money for poorer schools on top of state and local funding rather than a replacement for it. States and teachers unions say the changes are impractical. (Post)

McMansions make way for townhouses: "McMansions" are becoming less and less popular. Builders are shifting to smaller homes and townhouses because first-time buyers cannot or don't want to pay the premium for a bigger house. (Post)

Alexandria keeps brewing: Port City Brewing will stay in Alexandria thanks to a state agriculture grant. The brewery had a hard time finding affordable industrial space to expand into in Alexandria, but will now build its own. (WBJ)

Will your store close?: Macy's is closing 100 stores. Which ones in the Washington region are most likely to go? Will struggling suburban malls lose out? What about the downtown DC store? (Post)

Bike red light running epidemic?: Cyclists have triggered red light cameras 1,500 times in DC since 2015, but get no tickets. DC police say it's a safety problem, but WABA's Greg Billing notes that drivers cause almost all roadway deaths and triggered the cameras 60,000 times over the same period. (NBC4)

SEX BARBERSHOP a landmark?: DC Councilmember Yvette Alexander wants a Florida Avenue NE barbershop to fix its partially broken sign which reads "SEX BARBERSHOP." The owner says the sign (which should read "UNISEX BARBERSHOP") broke after a fire, and now nearby businesses use it as a landmark. (City Paper)

Prince George's smaller hospital plans: To win funding, Prince George's County downsized its plans for a new regional medical center at Largo. The project has been waiting for state approval since 2013. (Post)

And...: These apps are the best for navigating through SafeTrack disruptions. (Post) ... Due to August's heat, Metro only completed 86% of the work planned for SafeTrack surge 7 on the Red Line. (WTOP) ... House prices in the Washington region are rising more slowly than other large metro areas in the country. (WTOP)

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