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Breakfast links: It's Metro, just without the Metro

Photo by Rob Pongsajapan on Flickr.
Metro considering huge closures: Looming financial worries have caused Metro to propose drastic measures like hiking fares and closing stations for periods of the day (GGWash). Amidst the gloom, the DC Council unanimously voted to urge Metro to restore late-night service. (WTOP)

Bring back BRT: Maryland legislators sent a letter to Governor Hogan and Transportation Secretary Rahn calling a recent move to pull funding for a proposed BRT line on the I-270 corridor bad for growth and the economy. (Bethesda Beat)

Criminal justice changing in DC: The DC Council approved changes to the city's juvenile justice program, including a ban on solitary confinement. (DCist) The warden of the DC jail also retired at the end of September, the third major departure from the Department of Corrections in the past several weeks. (WCP)

September house hunting: More houses sold in the DC region this past September than in any September in the past 10 years. The area's median home price is the same as last year, but there are fewer new listings. (Urban Turf)

Seed money: Edgewood's Rhode Island Center could mean 1,500 new units (with over 100 being part of DC's affordable housing program) plus new retail. Mayor Bowser wants to use a special tax program to help finance the project. (BizJournal)

Closing the 7000 gap: There's a gap between cars on Metro's 7000 series trains, and people with low vision are at risk of mistaking it for a door. Metro is retrofitting the railcars with safety devices to keep people from falling between them. (Post)

Clueless about race and cities: Donald Trump recently said 45 percent of African Americans living in "the inner cities" are in poverty. Equating "black" with "inner city" is racial stereotyping, and besides, the poverty rate for black residents in metro areas is 26 percent, while it's 37 percent in rural areas. (Post)

Is the Mall broke?: The National Mall receives 30 million visitors a year and needs $4 billion in maintenence and repair work. It's unclear where that money will come from, though. (Roll Call)

Transit truths: The closer you live to transit, whether that's bus or rail, the more likely you are to use it, according to a recent report. Also, over 1/3 of people who changed jobs or homes last year took commuting into consideration. (TPB)

And...: A private tour of the National Zoo? Only for Adele (Washingtonian)...Local AirBnb rates have already tripled for inauguration weekend (DC Inno)...Poland is building a self-sustaining glow in the dark bike lane (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Schools fuel housing discrimination

Photo by Patrick Müller on Flickr.
Test scores and housing values: Lots of real estate services use school ratings as a gauge of an area's desirability. Does that qualify as housing discrimination? Some see it as a form of modern redlining that perpetuates segregation. (NPR)

Three strikes, you're out: The DC Council is considering a bill that would suspend the licenses of drivers caught using cell phones three times within 18 months. But DC police don't focus on traffic stops, so many say it wouldn't be effective. (WAMU)

A fix 'cause it's no fare: Metro wants to find a fix for its emergency exit "swing gates" so that it's harder for people to evade Metro fares by walking through. (NBC4)

Rockville Pike's transformation: Montgomery County is investing millions to remake Rockville Pike into a walkable, attractive business and residential district. Smart growth advocates hope planned development will revitalize the area. (NYT)

New subway line for NYC: New York's long awaited Second Ave subway line will begin carrying passengers along the east side of Manhattan by the end of December. It's the city's first new subway line to be constructed since 1932. (Gizmodo)

Gentrification, Soviet style: The Bolshevik revolution rapidly degentrified an elegant neighborhood in Moscow nearly a century ago. In the 1990s, wealthy residents again bought up the area, but now those residents are complaining as noisy hipsters are taking over the neighborhood and "ruining" its Soviet charm. (The Guardian)

Planning for climate change: In the Philippines, urban planning hasn't kept up with immigration or the rapidly changing environmental landscape. As the sea level rises, the existing infrastructure is struggling to support "environmental migrants." (NextCity)

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Breakfast links: Metro, just average?

Photo by taigatrommelchen on Flickr.
Metro in the middle: Metro ranks as average in safety and reliability when compared to other rail transit systems, according to a new report. However, Metro did score low marks in two areas: rider and employee deaths. (Post)

Keeping developers accountable: The District government does a poor job making sure developers are held accountable for promises made, like requirements to hire a minimum number of DC residents in exchange for loans or tax credits. (Post)

Long road to affordability: The new Beacon Center development in Ward 4 is an example of the new affordable housing projects made possible under DC's Housing Production Trust Fund, which hopes to serve 2,600 residents. (City Paper)

No new affordability in NoVa: The lack of affordable housing continues to be a dominant issue in Northern Virginia's housing market. Buyers looking for deals will find the most options in areas like Stafford and Prince William's counties. (Post)

The I-270 struggle: Montgomery and Frederick County leaders want to restart efforts to widen I-270 days after a plan to add BRT to the congested corridor lost funding. But they don't think commuters should expect changes anytime soon. (WTOP)

FBI building's replacement: The National Capital Planning Commission's guidelines for redeveloping the FBI headquarters land call for public space along Pennsylvania Avenue NW and building heights ranging from 135 to 160 feet. (Curbed)

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National links: Don't shame the transit riders

Uber took down some ads that shamed transit riders, Texas researchers are looking at how race, gender, and development intersect, and a new book explains that cities weren't always bastions for Democrats. Check out what's happening around the world in transportation, land use, and other related areas!

Photo by Anthony Easton on Flickr.

Uber's advertising effect: Uber and Lyft often have run ads that belittle transit riders. Transit planner Jarrett Walker recently decided he'd had enough, calling Uber out for an anti-transit stance that he says promotes congestion and social stratification. Soon thereafter, an Uber executive saw to it that the ad came down. If ads like this keep running, Walker says, it signals a tacit agreement that we should starve cities of the transportation options they need and deserve. (Human Transit)

Race, gender, and the built environment: The University of Texas at Austin will launch a first-of-its-kind program to study the intersection of race, gender, city planning, and development. In this interview, Professors Anna Brand and Andrea Roberts discuss why they are keen to expand the definition of planning and preservation and how Austin is a great place to be thinking about these issues. (Metropolis Magazine)

How cities went blue: During the time of the US' founding, pretty much everyone in politics disliked cities, as they were seen as places of corruption and vice. But now, as cities are becoming more and more popular, cities have become a stronghold for Democrats. Read about the history of anti-urbanism and the move toward our current landscape in a review of Steven Conn's Americans Against the City. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

White House vs. parking: Last week's White House paper about why we need more housing and how cities can make it happen was the talk of the urbanism world. A major part was its push for less required parking, as parking drives up housing costs and stresses the transportation network. While the White House's toolkit has no teeth to enact reform, it is refreshing to see ideas like these from the top. (Wired)

Look Mom, no signals: The first Dutch-style unsignalized intersection in the United States just went in near the campus of Texas A&M University. The hope is that moving cyclists in front of car traffic at the intersections and painting the lanes green with solar luminescent paint will make vulnerable road users will be more visible, meaning drivers will be less likely to hit them. (Texas Transportation Institute)

Connecting Boston's 2 halves: Boston's commuter rail network is split in two: a north and a south half. Advocates have long been working to connect the two so the entire system functions more efficiently, but haven't had any luck. Now, there's a greater sense of urgency, as a plan to expand a key station would effectively kill hopes of a north-south rail link. Activists hope that building the connection will take precedent. (Boston Magazine)

A new ride hailing service in town

Since Uber and Lyft left Austin, new companies have filled the void. One of them is RideAustin, which is now one of the leading ride hailing providers in the city. Co-founder Andy Tryba sat down to talk about why they started the company, while Jerry, a driver for RideAustin, discussed the new city fingerprinting requirement. Check out what they had to say on Episode 7 of my show, Transit Trends:


Breakfast links: The battle for late night service

Photo by Victoria Pickering on Flickr.
Are buses enough?: Metro released a plan for supplemental bus service as it moves forward with late-night rail service cuts. As other groups speak out against the cuts, the DC Council will soon vote on a mostly symbolic resolution to keep late-night service. (WAMU)

SunTrust saga continues: For the second time, the Adams Morgan ANC has voted against a developer's plans for the SunTrust building. The ANC chairman says the plans still show a building that is "too damn big." (Borderstan)

Uproar over engine roars: Montgomery County residents are joining DC, Alexandria, and Arlington in complaining about the increased noise from planes traveling to and from National Airport. New technology has lead to more concentrated flight paths along the Potomac River. (WTOP)

River Road improvements: After a fatal crash in February, a group of Maryland leaders is pushing the state to designate a section of River Road as a school zone in order to lower the speed limit. (WTOP)

Another sit-down for Anacostia: After a long wait, the fifth location of Busboys and Poets broke ground in Anacostia yesterday. The restaurant will include a culinary and hospitality job training center. (Dcist)

Emergency evaluations: Miscommunication left DC firefighters to deal with a woman with a knife without police support. The police department is reviewing its protocols to ensure it doesn't happen again. (Post)

And...: Will self-driving carpools replace transit service? (CityLab) ... Dogs are now allowed to play in the fenced inner circle of the Logan Circle park. (Borderstan) ... Where are the new FBI headquarters going? We'll know for sure by December. (WTOP)

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Breakfast links: Go for the (bike + transit) goal

Photo by Seth Sawyers on Flickr.
Bike it like Beckham: Transportation plans for the new DC United stadium include a protected bikeway on 2nd St, bike parking with a valet, new Capital Bikeshare stations, and a new sidewalk leading to the Metro. (WBJ)

Wasted time, wasted money: The FTA says an incident in May highlights Metro's "tremendous waste of resources." Poor communication with the operations control center kept over 100 trackworkers waiting around for over two hours before they could access the tracks to do maintenance. (Post)

Farewell along the C&O Canal: Georgetown's historic mule-drawn boat made its final ride down the C&O Canal so that the National Park Service can begin making repairs to the canal's leaking locks. The new locks and boat will be ready in 2018. (WAMU)

Reston gets bikeshare: New Capital Bikeshare stations have been spotted at Reston Town Center, Reston Regional Library, and the Wiehle Ave Metro station. 26 more stations will come to Reston and Tysons soon. (FABB)

Safety for all on the 7000 series: Metro will replace the rubber between-car barriers on its 7000-series railcars with chains after Federal safety officials and blind Metro riders raised concerns about inadvertently falling into the gap. (WAMU)

Bike playground: Seattle will soon open a bike park where kids can learn the rules of the road when it comes to bike safety. The park features stop signs, traffic signals, and even a roundabout. (NextCity)

And...: After a massive flood in July, Ellicott City's Main Street will reopen today. (WTOP) ... A woman is in critical condition after a driver hit her as she crossed the street near the Rockville Metro Station. (Bethesda Beat) ... Metro tunnels outside of Pentagon City filled with smoke yesterday, but Metro was able to quickly resolve the problem. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Legalize Main Street!

Photo by Kaizer Rangwala on Flickr.
Return of the Main Street: Last week, the White House said that to end the nationwide housing shortage, we need to allow more density and cut back on building regulations and parking requirements. In other words, the United States needs to bring back Main Street, where we build retail at the street level with people living above it. (Post)

Setback and slowdown: Maryland governor Larry Hogan's new budget doesn't include funding for the Corridor Cities Transitway, a long-planned bus route designed to ease the dense traffic of the I-270 corridor and connect the Metro and MARC in Montgomery County. (Post)

Zoning czar: Montgomery County has a "people's counsel," but the position has long been vacant. One county council member wants to replace it with a zoning and land use officer to help with master plans and zoning decisions. (Bethesda Beat)

Eyes on Metro: A new agency called the Metrorail Safety Commission will soon handle Metro oversight. The DC Council wants to add guidelines to ensure transparency via things like giving the public access to agency meetings and documents.(WTOP)

Pulling the trigger: Tax revenues in DC are higher than expected, but a rule known as a "trigger" policy says most of that money has to go toward tax cuts rather than government services and programs like schools, housing, and health care. (DCFPI)

Parking red alert: Right now, anyone can use DC's red-top parking meters, which are supposed to be for people with disabilities. The city will soon will soon crack down to make sure only those with the required tags and placards use them. (WTOP)

More affordable housing in DC: Construction on a new affordable housing complex in Ward 5 is underway. It'll swap two vacant homes for 30 units, and is happening thanks in part to financing from DC's public housing funds and tax credits. (WCP)

And...: Car2Go now has 2 million users worldwide (Post)... DC residents save $7,000 a year on rent by living with a roommate. (DCist) ... City council hopefuls in Manassas want residents to help update the city's strategic plan (Potomac Local)...Developers and community members are trying to reinvent Rockville (NYT)

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Breakfast links: Welcome to fabulous Prince George's

Photo by Bill on Flickr.
MGM's big moment: Prince George's County leaders hope the MGM National Harbor, which is set to open on December 8th, will be an economic boon for the county. Meanwhile, some residents are worried about extra traffic and question how much the county will reap the casino's benefits. (Post)

Strike out on late-night service: Ever since Metro suspended late-night service with the start of SafeTrack, it hasn't made any exceptions, and it's unlikely to do so for any potential Nationals playoff games that could end after midnight. (WAMU)

A new paratransit model?: Transport DC, the District's paratransit taxi service, is back after summer funding problems. Supporters say it's much more convenient than MetroAccess and is a strong model for low-cost paratransit. (WAMU)

Bad traffic in SafeTrack: Since SafeTrack started in June, there has often been no clear pattern for how trains should pass through work surge areas. That's according to a new FTA report, which says the lack of planning has led to more problems for customers. (Post)

Development halted: Residents of Ward's Brookland Manor, a public housing complex, filed a motion to stop a planned redevelopment. They're unhappy about the size of the proposed units, which have fewer bedrooms and are less family-friendly. (City Paper, WBJ)

DC has small houses: The District is bucking a nationwide trend towards larger houses. Due to the increasing number of apartments being built to handle a growing population, DC has the fourth smallest average home size. (Washingtonian)

Inspectors shall not pass: On a few occasions over the summer, Metro employees denied FTA inspectors access to tracks. The FTA doesn't need permission to carry out inspections, and Metro says the issue has been addressed. (Post)

Self-driving cars vs. transit: Autonomous vehicles could draw passengers away from rail systems, making it even harder for systems with high fixed costs and declining revenues to keep up with maintenance and service. (CityLab)

Better biking laws: Bike infrastructure like dedicated lanes can be expensive. When they aren't doable, useful tools for cities could include adopting bike-friendly laws like the Idaho Stop and enforcing existing laws to keep drivers accountable. (LA Times)

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Breakfast links: Happy people

Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.
Diverse neighborhoods: People living in the DC region's most diverse neighborhoods say they're the happiest and their neighborhoods are better than others. An American University survey of these diverse neighborhoods asked about happiness and attitudes about safety. (Post)

ADU lands in NW: Cleveland Park is getting DC's first accessory dwelling unit. A garage on Rodman St NW will be transformed into a tiny guest house. (UrbanTurf)

Big homes in Brookland: An empty lot near Catholic University is getting 78 new townhouses. Each house will have three or four bedrooms. Family homes are in high demand and short supply in DC. (City Paper)

Eight-car crunch: Although the Blue line is consistently Metro's most crowded, it's still missing its targets for 8-car trains. The lack of longer trains combined with longer headways create frustration for Blue line riders. (WAMU)

Woodley Park stop sign: Woodley Park residents were angry when DDOT covered up a stop sign on Cathedral Ave NW to keep traffic moving while Beach Drive is closed. DDOT listened to their fears of fast moving traffic and reinstated the sign.(Post)

Purple Line move along: Officials overseeing the Purple Line are waiting for the federal judge to reconsider his decision on Purple Line project's environmental impact. Meanwhile, they are still preparing to start construction. (Bethesda Magazine)

DC United done deal: DC officially handed over ownership of the Buzzard Point site to DC United this weekend. The team will break ground on its new stadium early next year, and hopes to play their fist game there in June 2018. (DCist)

The Fed does housing: The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank is looking into the connection between affordable housing, mass transit, and the economy. (Bloomberg)

Fixing Penn Station: NYC's Grand Central Terminal is an ostentatious entryway to one of the world's great cities. Penn Station? Not so much. But Governor Cuomo (and others) have a lot of ideas about how to improve the traveler experience. (NYT)

Bike share in Vegas: Sin City launched its new bike share system last Friday. With 180 bikes spread across 21 stations, the system is starting out small but the city hopes that it will enable last mile connectivity to existing public transit. (NextCity)

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Breakfast links: Less money, more problems

Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.
Poverty rising in the east: Residents east of the Anacostia River haven't seen the economic growth that residents west of the river have. Poverty rates are rising and DC's poverty is becoming more concentrated in Wards 7 and 8. (City Paper)

Service cut snapshots: These visualizations show how Metro's proposed cuts to service would affect riders, based on current ridership trends. (PlanitMetro)

DC workers left behind: A developer that agreed to hire at least 342 DC residents to build a hotel in Adams Morgan hasn't held up its end of the bargain. DC says it's ready to rescind the developer's tax benefits if it doesn't comply. (City Paper)

Circulator buses safer: Circulator bus safety is improving, partially thanks to new buses, but DDOT head Leif Dormsjo says they need to work harder to ensure poor oversight and maintenance failures don't doom the fleet again. (WTOP)

Arlington acts on Airbnb: Arlington County is drafting a zoning ordinance to regulate Airbnb properties as residents who are upset about noise and residents who run Airbnbs both look for guidelines. Arlington has almost 1,000 Airbnb listings. (WTOP)

Keeping housing affordable: DC is dedicating $7 million to preserve affordable housing in Wards 6 and 8. The city will rehabilitate 105 apartments in two buildings for residents making below 50 percent and 80 percent of the area median income. (CityPaper)

SelectPass success: SelectPass sales keep growing as Metro's new monthly pass is now offered at seven different price points. (PlanItMetro)

Teen riders speak: WMATA hopes its new monthly youth advisory meetings will help them better understand the needs of teenage riders and find strategies to address teenage crime in the system. (Fox5)

Derailment in Hoboken: A commuter train in Hoboken, New Jersey crashed as it pulled into a station on Thursday, killing one and injuring at least 100. (Post)

And...: The National Gallery's East Building is reopening to the public after three years of renovations. (Observer) ... A petition asks Mayor Bowser to keep pushing forward with the Maryland Avenue NE safety project. ... How and why have urban demographics shifted to change US downtowns over the past 15 years? (CityLab)

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