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Streetcar uncertainly slows development: The prolonged debate over where the Columbia Pike streetcar line may be built is causing potential developers along the route to hesitate. Despite uncertainty, Arlington County is prepared to move forward with the project. (ArlNow)
McMillan goes to Zoning Commission: Plans to redevelop the McMillan site will finally go to the Zoning Commission for approval. The proposal includes a seven parcel plan, combining medical facilities, housing, retail, and parks. (WBJ)
Lighter and faster trains en route?: The Federal Railroad Administration will likely allow lighter European train designs beginning in 2015. The trains would be faster and more fuel efficient, possibly making tickets cheaper. (Daily Beast)
Minimum wage in Montgomery to rise: The Montgomery County Council voted to increase the county minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017. Because the bill will only apply to firms operating within the county, some legal limitations remain. (Post)
Uncertainty after auction: A large chunk of Congress Heights recently sold at auction, but the sale went largely unnoticed and no one seems to know what the mysterious buyer will do with the property. (City Paper)
Next stop: Georgetown?: As WMATA considers expanding over the next 40 years, a metro stop in Georgetown is one possibility. The stop would be along a new blue line, running between H Street and Georgetown. (Urban Turf)
Put a lid on it: The Nationals approached DC about building a retractable roof over their stadium in July, but Mayor Gray refused to spend any tax payer dollars on the project. (Post)
And...: Police are looking for a woman who allegedly stabbed a man at the Van Ness Metro. (DCist) ... Ticketing of parked cars along the H Street streetcar tracks will begin in December. (PoPville) ... Chicago's innovative infrastructure bank is off to a slow start. (Next American City)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
M Street cycletrack delayed: Cold weather delayed the start of the M Street cycletrack construction. With temperatures needing to be above 40 degrees and more cold weather, delays could push back the 4-6 week project timeline. (The Georgetowner, DCist)
Fire Department upgraded: The DC Fire Department will hire even more paramedics and purchase new ambulances. This announcement is timed with a report showing the department made improvements but is still lacking. (NBC4, Post)
CSX trouble in Navy Yard: Eleanor Holmes Norton and Tommy Wells stand with Navy Yard residents to oppose CSX's plan to widen and deepen the Virginia Avenue Tunnel. Residents fear environmental and safety impacts on the community. (City Paper)
No federal grant for Greenleaf: The DC Housing Authority is seeking other funding sources to redevelop the 500-unit Greenleaf public housing complex near the Waterfront Metro station after DC was not selected for a $500k federal grant. (City Paper)
DC area ranks high for college: The DC region ranks as the 3rd best college destination among the nation's large metro areas, trailing NYC and Boston. The study, which assessed academic and professional opportunities, listed Baltimore in 8th place. (WBJ)
Thankful for more service: WMATA is adding extra bus service for Thanksgiving weekend on the 5A to Dulles and B30 to BWI. However, there won't be any extra service on the Yellow or Blue Lines for those flying out of DCA. (Post)
Car sharing comes to RPP: Zipcar users can now park the cars in RPP zones or at meters for free. Of course, they still have to bring the Zipcar back to its starting place at the end. (d.dish)
Detroit considers highway removal: Could Detroit follow a national trend and remove its I-375 freeway, or will suburban commuter convenience trump the possibility of stitching together disconnected communities? (Detroit Free Press, Geoff H.)
And : The Washington region has 4 of the nation's 25 "hipster-friendly" zip codes. (Post) DC's biggest hotel is set to open in May next to the Convention Center. (Curbed DC) Where could the new FBI headquarters go? (Post) An Amtrak train derails in South Carolina. (Herald Star)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Gentrification by the numbers: An analysis of metro areas across the country finds that recent gentrification correlates with higher income and wages, population, transit use, and high-tech industry. Contrary to common accounts, it doesn't correlate with income inequality. (Atlantic Cities, Sherwood, Post, Twin City Sidewalks)
Living wage debate restarts: The DC Council will begin debate on a minimum wage bill today. Meanwhile, Mayor Gray has expressed support for a $10/hour minimum without automatic increases. (Post)
Just tickets for cyclist death: An Anne Arundel County grand jury decided not to pursue criminal charges against a driver who killed a cyclist and mother of 3. The driver crested a hill while passing, saw an oncoming car, then swerved back and hit the cyclist. (Post)
DeBlasio plans to increase housing supply: The new mayor of New York City has pledged to add or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units through inclusionary zoning, discouraging speculation, and legalizing accessory dwellings. (Businessweek)
As base grows, so does Columbia: As Fort Meade expands to include a giant NSA data center and an Apple store, development is spilling over to nearby Columbia. (Post)
Loudoun contemplating Silver Line loan: The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will decide whether to seek a federal loan to help pay for the extension of the Silver Line. The loan would require the county to build parking garages. (WBJ)
NYC releases safe streets design guide: After several years of redesigning streets and tracking the results, New York City's Department of Transportation has created a guide for improving safety through order and simplicity. (Streetsblog)
And...: Environmentalists are suing the WSSC for discharging waste upstream of DC. (Post) ... Wizards center Martin Gortat doesn't use his car because he can walk. (Post) ... Is Metro making progress on repairs that we can't see? (WTOP)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Long commutes lead to political apathy: Research shows that commuting time is inversely correlated with civic engagement. The cause isn't a lack of time, as working long hours doesn't have the same effect, but the sheer misery of commuting. (NPR)
16th Street bus fixes: Buses aren't immune to the rush-hour parking lot that is 16th Street. A study of traffic signal prioritization is underway, but DDOT and Metro are also considering dedicated bus lanes and an extension of no-parking hours. (WAMU)
New bus line for National Harbor: Metro's board approved the addition of the new NH3 line to serve National Harbor. The move is intended to provide transit for workers whose shifts start too early or end too late for Metrorail to be an option. (Post)
Streetcar optimism, but rough debut: Mayor Gray made a new streetcar launch prediction: "not later than" early February 2014. Meanwhile, the first road test ran into a traffic snarl and took almost an hour to travel 5 blocks. (City Paper, NBC4)
Shoulder lane on 495: Beltway commuters will get an extra lane, but will it make a difference? The left shoulder of 495 will be a travel lane during rush hour for the 1.5-mile stretch south of the GW Parkway. Existing lanes will shrink by 1 foot. (WTOP)
Metrorail carpets, begone!: Metro will be removing carpets from all railcars and replacing them with a slip-resistant floor cover. Lighting in all stations will also upgraded. Both projects will be finished in the next two years. (DCist)
Transit app debuts in DC: Washington is ground zero for the launch of RideScout, a new app that allows users to compare a variety of transportation options by price and trip time. The service currently supports car2go, CaBi, Hailo, and others. (City Paper)
Is the party over?: With the federal workforce shrinking and sequestration fights ongoing, will DC's boom go bust? Or has the region's economy diversified sufficiently to stand on its own? (Atlantic Cities)
And...: Thanks to a tax seizure, the DC government now owns a strip club (Post) ... A Virginia driver racked up $200k in fines and fees on the Dulles Toll Road (WTOP) ... With eight new stations planned, Alexandria's CaBi network will soon double in size. (Patch) ... M Street cycletrack construction will begin next week! (DCist)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Discord in Brookland: Development in Brookland is no easy undertaking as residents battle over a vision for the neighborhood's future. Even the transformation of an abandoned building into a local restaurant draws divisions. (Post)
Affordable housing for DC: DC will create or preserve an estimated 3,200 affordable housing units. The $87 million increase in funding comes from local deed transfer taxes and federal money earmarked for affordable housing. (City Paper)
Height limit a home rule issue: Contrary to NCPC's recommendations, DC's Office of Planning says the city should have local control over building heights. Mayor Gray said NCPC's recommendation seems "contrary to our home rule desire." (City Paper, WBJ)
Fasten your seat belt: Passengers could have the option to buckle up on buses. USDOT is proposing that safety belts be installed on newly built motorcoaches and city-to-city buses, but would exempt inner-city and school buses. (TheHill)
Tysons outperforming DC: Tysons' office rental rate is outperforming DC, which had its slowest leasing period in more than a decade. With cheaper rentals and the Silver Line on its way, will businesses continue to choose Tysons Corner over the District? (WBJ)
Add some color: What can you do with an abandoned, near-windowless office building that's set to be torn down in a few months? How about turning it into public art? That's what's happening to one building near Nationals Park. (WTOP)
And...: DC's winter plan draws attention to homeless youth and children. (DCist) ... WMATA is upgrading train arrival signs so riders can make more informed decisions. (Post) ... The Silver Spring transit center should open in 2014. (WNYC)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Keep it short: NCPC voted to strip the height limit recommendations back to the original proposal of just tweaking rules for mechanical penthouses. Earlier, all DC Councilmembers except Marion Barry cosponsored a resolution to keep the height limit, essentially asking Congress to deny more local control. (City Paper)
Pay-by-phone arrives in Alexandria: The City of Alexandria joins DC and Montgomery County by launching a new pay-by-phone smartphone app, allowing residents and visitors to pay for parking via their personal smartphone device. (WBJ)
Huge gains in DC biking: Cycling is growing fast in DC, with the number of bike commuters up 445% since 1990. DC's rapid bike-culture growth is 3rd in the nation, only behind Chicago and Detroit. (Streetsblog)
Vote on a living wage?: A coalition of local clergy, union leadership, and other activists are pushing to get the minimum wage hike on the ballot for November 2014. The group must collect 23,000 signatures to accomplish this goal. (Washington Times)
A better bike map?: A biking and mapping enthusiast in San Francisco created a set of maps to help cyclists get around San Francisco. The maps look a lot like a map of transit infrastructure, intentionally. (Atlantic Cities)
A new Shaw: The Shaw neighborhood has seen big changes around the O Street Market since a high-profile shooting in 1994. Crime is down and rents are up, but what of the old neighborhood will remain? (Post)
Deeds stabbed, son shot: The son of former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds stabbed his father and killed himself, news reports are saying. Gus Deeds had been hospitalized Monday, but "released because because no psychiatric bed could be located across a wide area of western Virginia." (NBC4, Richmond Times-Dispatch)
And...: Despite not meeting GSA requirements, Louduon County still wants the FBI. (WBJ) ... DC is issuing warning tickets to educate people to not park in the H Street streetcar lanes. (Hill Rag) ... How much will the Silver Line help with traffic? (PlanItMetro)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
The GOP's Virginia hopes: Would lifting DC's height limit help Republicans stop Virginia's recent blue trend? DC may have already lost some blue-leaning residents to the Virginia suburbs but housing pressures could turn Virginia solidly blue. (New Republic, Amber)
Conservatives take on transit: A Republican bill would eliminate dedicated federal funding for biking, transit, and pedestrian projects. The bill calls for drastic reduction of federal gas tax and placing all spending decisions at the state level. (Streetsblog)
Japan's big maglev offer: Japan has offered billions of dollars in finance costs to build a maglev line, capable of over 300 mph, in the Northeast Corridor. The offer includes free maglev guideway and propulsion systems between DC and Baltimore. (NYT)
Instant biking cities: Lego-style instant bike lanes could allow reluctant cities to try out cycling without building permanent biking infrastructure. These snap-in-place bike lanes cost a tenth of permanent cycle tracks. (Fast Company, Dave Murphy)
Where are the fed jobs?: The Washington region is 4th for federal workforce concentration after Colorado Springs, Virginia Beach, and Honolulu. Ironically, red states are more heavily tied to federal employment than blue states. (Atlantic Cities)
Monday night derailment: Amtrak and MARC's Penn Line trains between Baltimore and DC were halted after Amtrak's Silver Meteor train derailed in the B&P tunnel on Monday night. The train was carrying 158 passengers but no injuries were reported. (Post)
Pentagon City Mall improvements: Arlington moves forward with Pentagon City Mall expansion plans, which include bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements. New additions will be adjacent to Pentagon City Metro Station. (ArlNow)
Bike lanes planned for North Bethesda: New bike lanes along North Bethesda's Woodglen Drive will link to the Bethesda Trolley Trail, Metro stations, and retail in the area. At least one lane will use sharrows while another path will be off-road. (Gazette)
DC approves licenses for the undocumented: DC becomes the latest of 10 states to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. DC will start issuing the licenses in May, but they can't be used for federal purposes. (WAMU)
Around the world: Transit news roundup highlights a German city's insanely cheap tram line, Hong Kong's MTR expansion into Sweden, Houston's re-emphasis on bus ridership over coverage, and Manchester's possible tram-train network. (Next City)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
No height increases in L'Enfant City: The National Capital Planning Commission recommends against allowing higher buildings in central DC, but possibly allowing taller buildings through the Comprehensive Plan process elsewhere. The recommendations make little mention of affordability, a key issue to residents. (City Paper, GW Hatchet, Pooya)
Inner Harbor improvements: A floating swimming pool and a footbridge across the harbor's mouth are just some of the proposed improvements to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The harbor's redevelopment began 40 years ago. (Baltimore Sun)
New development may fund housing: New tax revenues from development along Columbia Pike could go to fund affordable housing. Could a similar strategy help bridge the divide between New and Old Washington? (Post)
Microsoft is coming to St. Elizabeths: Microsoft has confirmed that it will open an office at St. Elizabeths bringing "startups and researchers together with government and industry" and joining the recently-opened Gateway Pavilion. (City Paper, PoPVille)
Further details emerge on FBI site: The GSA released further specifications for the future FBI headquarters site, including a minimum size of 50 acres and a maximum distance of 2 miles from Metro. (WBJ)
Opposition threatens King Street bike lanes: Continued outcry by residents demanding street parking may force Alexandria to propose sharrows instead of continuous bike lanes along King Street, a key connection to Old Town. (TheWashCycle)
The future of retailing: To compete with on-line retailers, brick-and-mortars are focusing on customization and experience. But are all the new concepts leaving out older residents? (Post)
HOT lanes's first birthday: One year after they debuted, the I-495 high-occupancy/toll lanes in Virginia continue to confuse drivers. Travel-time signs comparing the lanes to regular lanes could help inform potential users. (Post)
And...: The DC United stadium deal will likely be delayed. (City Paper) ... New bills introduced in Congress would improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. (Streetsblog) ... Is a historical beer garden impossible? (WBJ)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Metro apologizes: After two days of delays on the Red Line, Metro GM Richard Sarles apologized to customers and offered refunds. Meanwhile, Mayor Gray took to Twitter to steer criticism toward WMATA board member Muriel Bowser. (Post, City Paper)
Traffic deaths rise: For the first time since 2005, traffic deaths increased last year. Unfortunately, regional trends followed suit: the Post has a breakdown of the local data.
Who uses the 495 Express Lanes?: The operator of the dynamically-priced toll lanes has released new usage data. Among the findings: women and drivers under 45 are heavy users, and despite the "Lexus Lanes" moniker, Toyotas are most common. (WTOP)
Not your father's Beltway commute: Changes in job growth patterns are pushing traditional rush-hour commuting congestion further from the urban core as more commuters live and work in the outer suburbs. (WBJ)
DC area as Millennial magnet: Thanks to low unemployment, members of Generation Y flocked to the region in the post-crash years from 2010 to 2012. This age group had actually been leaving metropolitan Washington prior to the recession. (WAMU)
Is community organizing a jobs engine?: A new study suggests that community organizing can be a powerful boost for local economies by leveraging spending toward transit and infrastructure projects that create jobs and boost GDP. (Rooflines)
And...: What do foreign embassies tell their citizens about visiting Washington? (Post) ... Significant improvements are on the way for the Lee Highway and Glebe Road intersection. (ARLNow) ... The Latitude apartments won recommended approval from Arlington County planning staff, despite a conflict with the sector plan. (WBJ)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Taxi Commission meeting gets rowdy: A Taxicab Commission meeting turned into chaos after hundreds of taxi drivers began yelling at Chairman Linton. Drivers' frustrations turned to anger as Linton tried to control the testimonies. (DCist)
A chicken fight: A hotly-contested issue among Arlington County residents is whether to allow urban hen-raising in backyards. Currently, 15 properties qualify, but the County Board could extend that right. (ArlNow)
Drivers misuse Dulles Access Highway: Drivers who use the Dulles Access Highway to avoid paying on the Dulles Toll Road will soon be ticketed. Could a name change or added tolls to the Dulles Access Highway fend off backtracking drivers? (Post)
Shutdown hurt low-wage workers most: Low-wage federal contract workers such as security guards and food-service workers face financial hardships as they were not part of Congress' deal to give back pay to federal employees after the shutdown. (Post)
Do subsidies steer supermarkets?: Tommy Wells hopes to expand a supermarket tax credit to cover Ward 6. Is the recent supermarket influx near H Street and Capitol Riverfront due to subsidies or the emerging market? (City Paper)
Saving one abandoned building at a time: Cities with high vacancy rates struggle to rehab thousands of abandoned properties, but microdevelopers in Buffalo are saving houses from demolition one property at a time. (Switchboard)
More Red Line delays frustrate riders: Riders on Metro's Red Line experienced major rush hour delays Wednesday morning due to a dangling cable at Woodley Park. A surge of recent incidents suggest Red Line improvements are critical. (Post)
Walmart plans for Oxon Hill: Walmart changed the site design and added parking for a proposed Oxon Hill store in Prince George's County. Residents are concerned that increased traffic will present safety issues for children in nearby schools. (Gazette)
And...: Taxi drivers serving National Airport may face new permit fees. (Post) ... MedStar Washington Hospital Center cut 300 jobs. (WBJ) ... A rare tavern liquor license is available in Georgetown after the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board cancelled another. (WTOP)Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
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