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Breakfast links: Ticket to ride


Photo by Tommy Wells on Flickr.
Jack's back: DC Councilmember Jack Evans was unanimously elected chair of the Metro board, a role he's served in twice before. It ends a tumultuous year, when a group of new board members challenged what they saw as complacency from members like Mort Downey and Tom Downs. (Post)

Metro opens all doors: Metrobus and Metrorail service is back to normal today. But Metrorail is running only six-car trains because several railcars were damaged during the storm. (Post)

Parking tickets tossed: Mayor Bowser will pardon 2,829 parking tickets issued for cars parked on snow emergency routes on Friday. Like the sidewalk shoveling law, Mayor Bowser arbitrarily chose not to enforce another snow regulation. (City Paper)

Gondola goals: The Arlington County Board unanimously voted to give $35,000 to study a Rosslyn-Georgetown gondola. Some members were skeptical about the idea, but want to see the idea studied and have a say in the process. (Post)

Soft support for RFK stadium: 58% of DC voters support a new football stadium at RFK, but 25% might change their mind after seeing the price tag. Large majorities also support marijuana legalization, a higher minimum wage, and public financing of elections, according to a poll by the City Paper.

Tear down this treehouse: DC's public space committee denied a request to allow a controversial Capitol Hill treehouse to encroach 20 inches into a public alley. The owners say they'll keep the treehouse up, but move it out of the alley. (Post)

Sidewalk savior: Maryland won't clear sidewalks on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, but Richard Hoye will. He has machinery to clear the sidewalk, but that can't handle more than 18 inches, so he bought a $15,000 Swiss snow blower. (Bethesda Magazine)

Where VA grows: From 2010 to 2015, Loudoun County, Falls Church, Alexandria and Arlington were Virginia's four fastest growing localities, representing a shift toward urban growth. (StatChat, Hamilton Lombard)

Need more people to eat: It's proving hard to find a restaurant to go into a Hill East building. The owner says he needs more residents nearby; several new buildings are in the pipeline but not built yet. (WBJ)

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Links


Breakfast links: Fines and transit fights


Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
Back on track, sort of: All Metrobus routes are running on a light snow plan today. All rail stations are open, but trains are only running every 8 minutes. Federal offices are open on a 3-hour delay and many school districts are still closed. (WTOP)

Railroad is public: The homeowner who claimed he owned part of an old railroad right-of-way along the Purple Line route lost his case in Maryland's highest court, paving the way for Purple Line construction. (Bethesda Magazine)

Giant fines for snow fouls: DC has issued over one million dollars in fines for snow emergency parking violations since Friday. (Post)

Snowblind technology: DC's plow-tracking website was supposed to show the city's progress clearing streets. But it wasn't very accurate, as it only reported on the location of DC-owned plows and overstated how much salt the plows spread. (Post)

The Snojo Nnamdi Show: Today (Thursday) at noon, the Kojo Nnamdi Show will discuss traffic fines with Gabe Klein and Jessica Cicchino; then at 12:40, David Alpert and Petula Dvorak will grade the region's response to the storm. (WAMU)

Crime is crime: The DC Council debated and then shot down a proposal for higher penalties for crimes committed on public transportation. The debate centered around whether higher penalties deter crime and if transit crime is unique. (Post)

Maglev madness: The idea for a maglev train from DC to Baltimore, championed by Governor Larry Hogan, is a "white elephant," says an op-ed. It would be massively expensive, and Maryland could improve MARC for more benefit at less cost. (Post)

DC's streetcar past: A new book on DC's streetcar history explores Congress' endless meddling, how a streetcar company quickly restored service after a fire engulfed cable machinery, and the equivalent of "manspreading" in the early 1900s. (Post)

Bike to bicycle kicks: The renderings for the new DC United stadium show several bike lanes called for in the MoveDC plan. (TheWashCycle)

FHWA fickle on fonts: The Federal Highway Administration keeps changing its mind about the best font for roadway signs. Citing new legibility research following a major font change in 2004, new signs on US highways will revert to 1940s font. (CityLab)

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Links


Breakfast links: Back to work


Photo by kyle tsui on Flickr.
On track and en route: Metrorail service is fully restored and Metrobus routes return with "moderate" service plan today. Capital Bikeshare will stay closed and will reopen on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. (Post, DCist)

DC vs. NYC: snow edition: Why is it taking DC longer than NYC to recover from the same storm? NYC gets heavy snowfall more often, so it's more prepared. (TPM)

Snow toll: The blizzard will cost the region hundreds of millions, but it won't be worse than previous storms, partly because it happened to fall on a weekend. (WAMU)

Parking bully: This DC man says if you park in "his" space, he'll bury your car in snow, and many have put up signs calling dibs on spaces they shoveled out. But clearing part of the street around your car doesn't mean you own the space. (Post)

Igloo not up to code: A listing for a Snowzilla igloo in Brooklyn was removed from AirBnB for not meeting company standards. At $200 a night, the igloo appears to have generated real interest. (KC, NYBJ)

Jack's the man?: WMATA will likely make DC Councilmember Jack Evans its next board chairman. Evans has criticized the board's size, fractiousness, and lack of oversight, and says he would push for more federal money for Metro. (WAMU, Post)

Return of the gondola: A Rosslyn to Georgetown gondola might be slightly closer to becoming a reality. Arlington County officials are considering joining Georgetown and DDOT in a partnership to study whether the project would be feasible. (WTOP)

Dig it...: Businesses relied on carpools and nearby employees to stay open during the storm. (Eater DC)... Crews from Boston looked right at home clearing snow in Anacostia. (Post)... Watch a video of McLean neighbors shoveling out an entire block. (YouTube)

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Links


Breakfast links: Priorities


Photo by oatsy40 on Flickr.
Creeping back to normal: The dig out continues. Schools and the federal government remain closed, while the DC government is open. Modified Metrorail service is restored on all lines except the Silver Line today. Commuting options remain limited as transportation systems attempt to return to normal service. (Post)

New Olympic sport: Walking in the snow. The lack of shoveled sidewalks forced pedestrians to walk in the streets or traverse near impassible street corners, as many businesses and residents failed to shovel sidewalks. (Post)

See something, shovel something: Despite laws requiring businesses and residents to shovel sidewalks, many local governments are refraining from issuing fines. (WTOP)

Bikes are not a priority: DDOT released a letter that confirms clearing bike lanes and sidewalks is not a priority due to the amount of snow. Cyclists are encouraged to share the road. (TheWashCycle)

To the skies: Airports in the region are resuming limited service, but expect long lines and delays as they continue to dig out. (Post)

The sharing economy digs out: Car-sharing company Car2go enlisted the help of its members in exchange for 60 minutes of drive-time. Zipcar took a different approach, as staff dig out the most popular areas first. (DCist, WBJ)

Where does all the snow go?: Ideas abound for RFK Stadium's future, but it currently serves as DC's dumping ground for snow. (WaPo, WTOP)

Where's the beef?: Grocery stores raided in preparation for the blizzard still await shipments of fresh food. While some stores have restocked, others have not received a shipment in nearly one week. (ARLnow)

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Links


Breakfast links: Time to dig out


Photo by James Hale on Flickr.
Snow's aftermath: Local officials aren't quite sure how long it will take to get things back to normal after the storm left behind at least two feet of snow. Schools, local governments and the feds are closed today. Metro is running minimal trains and buses. It will take days to clear the snow. (Post)

How much snow? \_(ツ)_/: National Weather Center observers at DCA lost a tool for measuring snow and had to use an alternative method to calculate totals. The official snow fall for DC seemed much lower than what other locations measured. (Post)

At least the power's on: The region largely survived the storm with fewer power outages than expected. A lighter type of snow, rather than the wetter, heavier kind forecasters predicted, put less strain on power lines. (Post)

Uber through the storm: Why would anyone drive in the storm? One Uber driver figured people would need to get around so he kept on driving. Not only did he make some money, but he helped a doctor and two nurses get to work. (Post)

Storm's financial toll: The economic impact of the snowstorm could total hundreds of millions of dollars for local governments and businesses across the region. (WBJ)

Build affordable or pay up: For a newly-proposed residential building in Tysons, the developer wants to give Fairfax Co. cash instead of offering below-market housing units. County planners are recommending that supervisors say no to that idea. (WBJ)

I-66 debates: Some Virginia General Assembly members are between a rock and a hard place. They are considering bills to create HOT lanes on segments of I-66. Some might feel pressure to vote for unfeasible options from anti-transit constituents. (Post)

And...: Here's a comprehensive list of all weather-related closures in the region today (Post) ... District residents can check out this interactive map to see if a street has been plowed (PoPville) ... The blizzard was directly related to 3 deaths in the region. (NBC4)

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Development


Worldwide links: Bernie knows housing

A program for making housing more affordable is among Bernie Sanders' proudest achievements; 16 different graphics point to one conclusion: Toyko is mind-blowingly big; A Texas town got creative with a shut-down Walmart. Check out what's happening around the world in transportation, land use, and other related areas!


Photo by Michael Vadon on Flickr.

Bernie's housing model: When he was the mayor of Burlington, Bernie Sanders set up the land trust the city still uses today. The government owns the land but the residents own the house, which supporters say lets people build wealth faster than renting. (Slate)

Tokyo is gigantic: The greater Tokyo area dwarfs other big cities from New York and Los Angeles to Sydney and London. Tokyo isn't that much smaller than all of Great Britain, and its subway maps might make your head spin. (Buzzfeed)

Walmart transformed: After a local Walmart shut down, a Texas town turned the building into a farmers market, indoor winter shopping center, and the largest single floor library in the country. (Daily Kos)

A fight for BRT in Indianapolis...: In Indianapolis, proponents of a BRT project say the 35-mile line will garner 11,000 daily rides and provide new connections to jobs. Opponents are worried about lost parking space and more congestion on side streets. (Indianapolis Star)

...and a goodbye to BRT in Dehli: Dehli is doing away with its BRT line because residents blame it for congestion on the road it runs along. Officials say BRT was a good idea that they implemented poorly, and that they are planning to bring it back with a new design. (India Today)

Mimicking Minneapolis: Minneapolis freezes over in winter, but it's still a top spot for cycling. Former Mayor RT Rybak told leaders in (relatively) nearby Des Moines that "expressway trails" that connect bike lanes, as well as inexpensive tools like paint and flex-posts, are keys to building a bike-friendly city. (Des Moines Register)

Angry but effective: Some call Lansing, Michigan mayor Virg Bernaro the "angriest mayor in America." But he's very popular, and he has succeeded at both attracting new development and improving parks and trails. (City Pulse)

Quote of the Week:

"We don't force [developers] to build the right number of bedrooms for people! We just force them to build the right number of bedrooms for cars" - Nelson\Nygaard's Jeff Tumlin speaking with Mother Jones on how self driving cars will affect parking.

We're signing off for the day. Stay warm and safe, and please please post snow pictures in our Flickr pool or email them to snow@ggwash.org!

Did you enjoy this article? Greater Greater Washington is running a reader drive to raise funds so we can keep editing and publishing great articles every day. Please help us be sustainable by making a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution today!

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Links


Breakfast links: Snow daze


Photo by Geoffrey Dudgeon on Flickr.
Winter is coming: Snow should start falling today around noon to 2 pm. Schools are closed, though DC and federal employees must work until noon. (Post)

Transit shutting down: Metro will shut down at 11 pm today, and stay closed on Saturday and Sunday. Most Metrobus routes are already suspended, and the few that run today will end at 5 pm. Other local rail and bus services are running today and will shut down later in the day. (GGWash, Post) ... Taxis will cost more. (NBC4)

Bowser will stomp this snow: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser apologized for the poor preparation for Wednesday night, but said the city is prepared for the big one. (City Paper) ... DC will, however, not fine anyone who doesn't shovel sidewalks. (WAMU)

How 1 inch of snow was so bad: A perfect storm of problems on Wednesday made Washington area roads terrible, despite only 1 inch of snow. One of several contributing factors: bad suburban road design. (Vox, GGWash)

Paid leave in limbo: It's hard to predict how much DC's paid family leave bill would cost. The DC Council is now tweaking the bill to try to better balance benefits and costs for employees, employers, and the city. (City Paper)

I-66 HOT mess: A recent traffic study illustrates just how complicated traffic along I-66 is. Existing HOV lanes do a lot to increase carpooling but single occupancy vehicles still make up a sizable amount of commuting vehicles. (Post)

Alexandria's transportation funding: In 2011, Alexandria increased property taxes to help pay for transportation projects, but only 11% of that tax revenue is going toward those projects. Instead, the funds are covering transportation operations and Alexandria's contribution to WMATA. (Alexandria News)

New building at UDC: The University of the District of Columbia finally opened its new student center, its first new building in building in 40 years. The building is slated to become one of only two LEED Platinum student centers in the country. (DCist)

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Links


Breakfast links: Snowlock


Google Maps image by Dan Malouff.
No salt, no service: Yesterday's commute was really bad. There was more snow than expected, and untreated roads caused several crashes and gridlock so severe people abandoned their cars. (Post)

Snow status: Metrobus routes are running on a light snow plan schedule this morning. Several school districts are on a two hour delay. (NBC4)

Metro steadies for snow: Metro is gearing up for a "severe-weather response" for tomorrow's snowstorm. While Metro will try to keep transit running, expect delays and outright closures of some stations and services. (City Paper)

No veto for I-66: Tolling on I-66 inside the Beltway is a top priority for VDOT, but Virginia Governor McAuliffe says he won't veto bills that block the tolling plans unless that's what the representatives from Northern Virginia want. (WAMU)

Know thy neighborhood: Residents and a business owner agree that they want a family-friendly restaurant for a space in Petworth. But poor communication and mistrust lead to residents protesting the liquor license for the new restaurant. (Petworth News)

Trail for Fort Lincoln?: Could a bike trail connect Fort Lincoln to the Anacostia River? A new study considers how to connect the neighborhood, near DC's northeastern edge, to the rest of the city for walking and biking. (Gateway to the City DC)

Online underground: Should expanding underground mobile phone service be one of WMATA's top priorities? It's important to safety, and it would provide welcome distraction for passengers as they wait. (CityLab)

Middle-sized housing is missing: Meet America's "missing middle" housingunits smaller and more affordable than houses with their own backyards, driveways, etc. but not high-rises, either. Much of what does exist is 75 years old or more. (Next City)

And...: Martin Austermuhle talked to David Alpert about the DC's new zoning code. (WAMU) ... Is Shaw bike lane opposition about gentrification or just parking? (WashCycle) ... Between falling gas prices and rising real estate prices, being carless is getting financially harder. (Slate)

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Links


Breakfast links: Ride a mile


Photo by Alyson Hurt on Flickr.
In riders' shoes: WMATA GM Paul Wiedefeld rode the Orange Line in rush hour Tuesday, which was messier than usual. He said Metro did a better job telling passengers about delays Tuesday than it had earlier in January. (WTOP, Post)

Metro-oriented development?: WMATA expects development near Metro stations and ridership to go hand in hand. Foggy Bottom had little activity 10-15 years ago and low ridership; now, it's thriving and a lot of people ride. (WAMU)

VA's transportation priorities: Plans to add HOV toll lanes on I-66 are a top priority for Virginia's transportation secretary. He also wants a second entrance to the Ballston Metro and to widen Route 1 and Route 28. (WTOP)

Vision Zero in Montgomery: Montgomery County will develop a Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities. Strategies could include more speed cameras, lower driving speeds on roads, and higher fines. (Bethesda Beat)

Too much trash: Public trash bins are overflowing, and some residents say it's because apartment landlords aren't paying for private trash pick-up, which the law requires. One ANC asked DCRA to step up enforcement on landlords. (WJLA)

Soccer schemes: DC United's architects just released 3 possible designs drawings of a design for the team's new soccer stadium, which will go up at Buzzard Point. The stadium is slated to open for the 2018 season. (Washingtonian)

Affordable in Virginia: Governor McAuliffe is stepping up funding for affordable housing in Northern Virginia, to the tune of 550 apartments across 5 new projects.

The risk of walking: On average, one pedestrian died each week of 2014 in our region. Overall, 53 people on foot died in car crashes, up from 45 in 2013. (WTOP)

And...: A second bathroom adds a whole lot of value to DC homes. (WTOP)... Mark your calendars for these twenty-three events that will cause congestion. (Post)

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Links


Breakfast links: What's in store?


Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.
No more Walmarts: Walmart won't build locations at Skyland or Capitol Gateway as originally promised. DC leaders are not happy. (City Paper, Post)

Harris teetering?: A conservative Republican who supports looser marijuana rules, Michael Smigiel, is leading incumbent Andy Harris in a poll. Harris led the fight to block DC's marijuana decriminalization in Congress, which made 59% of constituents less likely to vote for him. (Washingtonian)

Where's the bridge?: The company that damaged the Berwyn Heights pedestrian bridge has delayed its replacement. The bridge will likely be replaced in the spring, meaning pedestrians will have to deal with a 20-minute detour for several more months. (Post)

Waiting on Purple: The Maryland MTA initially said it was going to announce a firm to build the Purple Line last Friday. But now it looks like a winner won't be announced until February. (Bethesda Magazine)

Hail drunk driving declines: The head of Virginia's DMV thinks ride hailing apps are part of the reason for a decline in drunk driving deaths last year. (WTOP, KC)

Map the crashes: Major routes saw a number of bicycle crashes in Northern Virginia. The Northern Virginia Regional Commission compiled a map of bike and pedestrian crashes from 2012 to 2015. (FABB)

Stand on the left?: Could walking on the left on escalators actually lower escalator capacity? The London Underground is experimenting with asking passengers to stand on the both sides of the escalator to find out. (Guardian, James S.)

And...: What if a station manager took it upon himself to dig the tunnel between the Farragut stations? (Rock Creek Snark) ... Check out the progress on the Silver Line, Phase II. (Sand Box John) ... DDOT outlines the options for linking Fort Lincoln to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. (WashCycle)

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