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Breakfast links: It's unaffordable


Photo by Images Money on Flickr.
Gray wants more affordable housing: Mayor Gray's proposed budget for 2015 includes an additional $100 million for affordable housing. The budget would also add $116 million to education. (DCist)

Will the next mayor agree?: Despite a divisive primary, the Petula Dvorak says we can all agree on one thing: DC housing costs too much. Should affordable housing be the first priority for DC's next mayor? (Post)

Condo supply low in DC area: The Washington region has too many apartments and not enough condos, a recent report says. Converting apartments to condos won't solve the problem because the overall supply is simply too low. (Urban Turf)

Streetcar yard under construction: DDOT is building a temporary yard for the streetcars at Spingarn High School to get service going soon. After that, the agency will build a larger, permanent facility. (WBJ)

Driver disobeys, then challenges law: A Rockville driver is challenging red-light camera laws after he received a ticket for coming to a stop completely past the stop line. He says the laws are more concerned with revenue than safe driving. (WTOP)

Maryland stalls marijuana decriminalization: Maryland won't decriminalize marijuana this year. A House committee voted to form a task force to study the issue instead of proceeding with a bill which had passed the Senate with bipartisan support. (WAMU)

AP disses DC on capitalization: The AP Stylebook says not to capitalize "district" when talking about DC after the first time it appears in an article. Martin Austermuhle argues that the associated press is wrong and this disrespects DC.

Do you Ride On?: Montgomery County is looking for people to serve on its volunteer Transit Advisory Group for the Ride On bus system. Want to help ensure Ride On officials hear rider concerns?

Why's CaBi's healthier than CiBi: While New York's Citibike system faces financial struggles, Capital Bikeshare has no such problems. Why? Part of the reason: nobody expects it to be 100% privately funded and break even from day one. (Post)

The science of 400 meters: Cities that developed before the rise of the automobile have main streets rarely exceeding 400 meters (about 437 yards), says a recent study. How can this human-scale pattern impact how we design our cities? (Huffington Post)

Thanks for the fooling: We want to thank Matt Johnson, Brian McEntee, Canaan Merchant, Ben Ross, Myles Smith, and Natalie Wexler for writing or collaborating on our April Fool posts this Tuesday. Thanks also to Stacy Cloyd, Neil Flanagan, Dennis Jaffe, Dan Malouff, Jim Titus, and Abigail Zenner for brainstorming Breakfast Links!

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Breakfast links: Public apathy


Photo by Kenn Wilson on Flickr.
Voter turnout hits a new low: Of the 370,000 people eligible to vote in Tuesday's contest, only 23% did so, for the lowest turnout in more than 30 years. (Post)

See results on a map: A map of DC's primary results reveals a city divided. Mayor Gray won in DC's mostly black precincts and in lower-income areas, but lost much of Ward 4 and areas like Southwest and North Capitol which he won in 2010. (Post)

Bowser won't "hold anything up": Between now and her possible term as mayor, Muriel Bowser says she has no plans to hold up any development project that "makes sense for the residents" of DC. She did not give specifics, but DC will likely face decisions on a soccer stadium and the McMillan site. (WBJ)

Bowser chummy with developers : Many developers in DC support Bowser, as some major development projects lie in her Ward 4 home turf. Even before her run for mayor, Bowser received more developer donations than other councilmembers. (City Paper)

Speak up on Courthouse Square: If you weren't able to go to last week's meeting about Arlington's Courthouse Square, you can weigh in with your views on an online survey.

Will DC enforce carless projects?: Several residential projects have little or no parking, with a promise to limit or prohibit residents from getting residential parking permits. The city's RPP program, however, can't enforce bans. (Urban Turf)

Sprawl could be worse: When it comes to sprawl, the Washington region isn't the best or the worst, but falls in the middle of the pack. People who live in less sprawling regions live an average of 3 years longer than in the sprawliest. (WBJ)

Who knew?: DC regulations require all single-stall public bathrooms to be gender-neutral, but many businesses are unaware of the law. The city hopes to increase the number of gender-neutral bathrooms with an awareness campaign. (DCist)

Anti-transit Tennessee: The Tennessee Senate passed a bill prohibiting any city from building transit which uses a dedicated lane. The bill, backed by the Koch-funded libertarian Americans for Prosperity, was specifically aimed at Nashville's proposed "The Amp" BRT line. (The Tennessean)

And...: The number of people biking has surged in DC's cycle tracks along 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. (Streetsblog) ... Free Wi-Fi comes to NoMa. (City Paper) ... Bikeshare expenses may become tax deductible. (Streetsblog)

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Breakfast links: Bowser, Nadeau beat incumbents


Photo by crystalndavis on Flickr.
Bowser is the nominee: Muriel Bowser won the Democratic nomination for mayor, beating out incumbent Vincent Gray by almost 12 points. Gray's campaign said Ron Machen is the reason for his loss. (Post, City Paper)

Nadeau beats Graham: Brianne Nadeau unseated 4-term councilmember Jim Graham, and it wasn't close: she got almost 59% of the vote to Graham's 41%. (City Paper) ... Charles Allen also beat Darrel Thompson in the open seat in Ward 6, while Anita Bonds won over 50% of the vote for the at-large seat against 3 challengers.

What took so long?: Election watchers wonder at the Board of Elections' slow counting speed every election, but this year it was far worse. Elections officials said that some poll workers didn't shut down new electronic voting machines properly. (Post)

Transit center in 2014?: Despite uncertainty around what repairs are needed, the star-crossed Silver Spring Transit Center could open as in late summer or early fall. (Post)

Circulator extends hours: Starting April 1, the Circulator will extend hours and offer Saturday service on the Union Station-Navy Yard and Potomac Ave-Skyland routes until September 30. Those routes had shorter hours than other routes. (Post)

Transit partnership will save money: Howard and Anne Arundel counties will create a new transit agency, called RTA, mainly to save money (around $2 million). Howard, at least, will use its share to add service. (Baltimore Sun)

Congress discussing transit benefit again: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced a package of tax extenders, including a provision to raise the maximum transit benefit back to to $250, the same as with the driving benefit. The finance committee will consider the package Thursday. (Streetsblog)

Too many tickets amid blossoms?: AAA decries the parking tickets some get during the Cherry Blossom Festival, and says there should be municipal garages. Ben Freed notes that people could park at Metro lots and ride to the Mall. (Washingtonian)

DC region is a flop for investors: The Washington region was recently named one of the worst areas for return on rental property investments, due to the high cost of residential property and the relatively low amount investors can collect in rent. (WBJ)

No snow day exception: Montgomery County Public Schools got turned down for a waiver from the requirement to make up snow days. There were 10 this year, and they may need to add 6, though they can still re-apply for the waiver. (WTOP)

And...: Is Walk Score's food desert map lacking? (NextCity) ... An Arlington County board candidate calls affordable housing sinful. (ArlNow) ... The 11th Street Bridge Park competition has raised $800,000 of its $1 million pre-campaign goal. (ElevationDC)

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Breakfast links: Is the bar tender here?


Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
This article was posted as an April Fool's joke.

Termites: the new face of gentrification?: Angry neighbors in Woodley Park argued with zoo keepers at a public meeting last night, saying that the African Termite mound at the zoo's new insect exhibit is taller than what existing zoning allows.

Silver line encounters another setback: Officials have discovered that the Silver Line does not meet the current Virginia fire code and construction will have to start over from scratch. A MWAA spokesperson says the estimated opening is now the year 2525, "if man is still alive."

A religious need for speed?: One motorist sect seeks a religious exemption from traffic laws. The Supreme Court will hear a case that followers of the Futurist Manifesto, who must "sing the beauty of danger" and exalt the "roaring motor-car which seems to run on machine-gun fire," are unfairly burdened.

If this bus is rockin' then it's probably full of passengers: The DC Commission on Human Rights has officially ruled in favor of recommending changing the name of WMATA's H8 bus line to something more friendly like L0V.

Streetcar opponents agree: Skeptics of the Columbia Pike streetcar had asked for a new study comparing the return on investment of streetcars versus enhanced bus on Columbia Pike. When the study, tailored to their specific requests, showed huge benefits to streetcars, at least two skeptics admitted they were wrong.

Takoma Park residents discover station: Some in Takoma Park were surprised to find out that adjacent to the Takoma Green, a park mostly made up of asphalt with some trees around the edge, there is also a Metrorail station. One surprised resident said, "Now I can tell my neighbors they can take the train when I see them walking on the sidewalk while I'm driving to my job near Union Station."

What rhymes with "No Parking"?: A new developer has joined the ongoing debate on the controversial parking lane on Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park, submitting a plan to redevelop the road into a 35-yard hopscotch course. Proponents who want to see the lane kept for parking are, naturally, hopping mad.

DC to hold election: The District of Columbia will select nominees for mayor, DC Council, and federal races today, over 7 months before the general election and 9 months before any new winners would take office. If Mayor Gray does not win renomination, the DC government may achieve absolutely nothing of note for ¾ of a year while staff have no idea who will run their agency come 2015.

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Breakfast links: Planning places


Photo by Payton Chung on Flickr.
Happy Birthday, Reston!: As the town turns 50, its founder reflects on its growth and stumbles. A stepping stone between Garden Cities and New Urbanism, Reston sought to build community through design of public places. (Post)

Greens fore housing: Neighbors have approved a plan to transform a bankrupt golf course near Gaithersburg into 1,000 new housing units. The project will also include a new 80-acre park. (WBJ)

Landscaping's good, bad, and ugly: Some landscape experts list the area's best and worst public places. The worst are desolate places like Franklin Park, Freedom Plaza, and in Rosslyn; among the best are Yards Park, the sculpture garden, and one apartment building on 16th Street. (WBJ)

How tomorrow doesn't move: CSX has changed its mind about sharing its right-of-way for the Capital Crescent Trail near Silver Spring. That will likely force a detour for the trail, but it would be flatter than the original route. (Silver Spring Trails)

Feats of strength up next: A trade association of taxi drivers has launched a campaign to air grievances about the ride sharing industry and push for regulations. Sidecar calls the effort protectionist. (Post)

If biking were a pill...: Doctors in Boston are now prescribing bikeshare to low-income patients suffering from obesity. The prescription comes with a helmet and a big discount on membership. (Streetsblog)

"Is the dog included?": With almost 40,000 apartment units in the pipeline, competition for high-end renters is heating up. Rents in this segment fell by 3% last year, and landlords continue to add amenities, even a communal dog in one building. (Post)

Robocop II: Dogwalkercop: Los Angeles police are asking neighbors to walk by crime hot-spots in the course of their day. People's mere presence may deter crime at these locations, which are identified by a predictive algorithm. (Atlantic Cities)

Towers rise in London: Londoners are alarmed at high-rises that threaten views, create discord, and may sit empty. Sound familiar? The proposed solution includes renderings, a mayoral design review, and more rules to guide development. (Guardian Cities)

And...: How can transit agencies make their data accessible? (Kurt Raschke) ... Streetcar lines in DC and a western access highway to Dulles are new additions to long-term transportation plans. (Post) ... A Prince George's proposal to tie permits to local contracting could delay construction on the MGM casino at National Harbor. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Muriels and murals


Photo by crystalndavis on Flickr.
Bowser won't name legislative achievements: In an interview with DCist, Muriel Bowser balked when asked to name two pieces of signature legislation other than the ethics bill, saying, "What does that have to do with being mayor?"

Old-timers resent mural, process: Ward 7 residents Maceo Thomas and GGW's Veronica Davis pushed for a mural on a restaurant's blank wall on Pennsylvania Avenue. But some long-time residents resented the newer residents advocating for it without consulting them first. (WAMU)

Stroll through abandominiums: GGW contributor John Muller and William Alston-El take WAMU on a tour of Ward 8's "abandonminiums," and find not just empty buildings, but an entire empty neighborhood.

Stand up and be counted: The east coast's first "bikeometer" will be deployed on the Custis Trail in Rosslyn next week. The device will measure ridership, and the data can help with future planning for bike projects. (ArlNow)

Trail will connect 9/11 sites: A group is planning a 1,000-mile September 11th memorial bike trail linking the Pentagon, the World Trade Center, and the Flight 93 crash site. They've made a map of the local segment. (Post)

Crescent Trail getting plowed?: Montgomery County has announced a pilot program to plow its part of the Capital Crescent Trail. Montgomery Parks says it could cost less than $60,000 to keep this vital commuter route open. (BethesdaNow)

Georgetown booze opportunity: Thanks to a liquor license moratorium, it's big news when a tavern license becomes available in Georgetown. Only six are allowed in the historic district, and one of them could now be yours. (WBJ)

Senator pushes autonomy: Mark Begich, the chairman of the relevant Senate commit­tee, will introduce bills giving DC legislative and budgetary freedom. With a companion bill already in the House, backers are hoping for action before the midterms. (Post)

Going where DC cannot: Facing sharply rising rents, Berlin has proposed a radical approach: Building high-rise housing near the city center. (Atlantic Cities)

And...: The end is nigh! DC is getting a cupcake ATM. (WBJ) ... New DC legislation will give condo boards more power and more responsibilities. (Post) ... A letter writer defends Chevy Chase's lobbying efforts against the Purple Line. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Eat nearby


Photo by epSos .de on Flickr.
Fancy food for St. Elizabeths: Besides his plan for a hospital, Mayor Gray also announced that Whole Foods will operate a monthly pop-up store in the Gaeway Pavilion. Will it bring healthy food to residents or will prices be too high? (City Paper)

Graham throws dirt, hits self: Jim Graham accused Brianne Nadeau of using her ANC status to help get a city-backed loan (which she says was by the book), but he used his council status to help her when she was just a constituent. (City Paper) ... A Post editorial writes this episode "says more about the accuser than the accused."

DC's just roads and parking to you?: A list of 5 reasons suburbanites should care about DC's mayoral election has 3 reasons about driving into the city, but nothing about Metro (let alone bicycling). Is DC simply a place to store your car? (WUSA9)

Train goes up stairs: Security footage shows the Chicago 'L' train which recently derailed at O'Hare jump the tracks and run up a set of stairs. The train's operator has admitted to dozing off prior to the crash. (Gizmodo, Post)

Silver Line too bureacratic?: Is bureaucracy to blame for the problems plaguing the Silver Line? With multiple agencies overseeing construction, placing blame is murky. MWAA's Tom Davis blamed inspectors, calling them "ornery" and "sticklers." (WAMU)

Crash victims get memorial park: A park to memorialize victims of the 2009 Red Line crash will feature a "sacred grove," a stone wall, and one granite sculpture for each person killed at New Hampshire and North Dakota Avenues near Fort Totten. (WBJ)

Kids lose out: Friendship Heights Village in Maryland will combine 2 playgrounds into one after neighbors complained. Original plans called for one playground for very young children and one for older children; now, they will just design one. (Gazette)

People are happy with DC: Newcomers and long-time residents feel good about changes in DC. White residents were actually less likely to think their neighborhoods had improved than other groups, according to the City Paper's poll, but people east of the river also feel left out. (City Paper)

Build for cars, transit costs more: Transit's detractors say we spend more on transit than the "fair share" of people who ride it. But that's because a lot of transit has to run inefficient service thanks to car-dependent development patterns. (Streetsblog)

And...: Candidates suddenly really want to do things for DC's Ward 8. Could Tuesday's election have anything to do with it? (CHOTR) ... Councilmembers want DC to keep sheltering the homeless as the weather improves. (City Paper) ... Texting while driving in San Francisco could get you shamed on a billboard. (SFist)

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Breakfast links: Neck and neck


Photo by Tommy Wells on Flickr.
Bowser and Gray lead poll: Muriel Bowser is tied with or maybe slightly ahead of Mayor Gray for the Democratic nomination for mayor, 2 new polls find. The Washington Post found Bowser at 30% to Gray's 27%, with Tommy Wells 3rd at 14%. NBC's poll places Bowser at 28%, Gray 26%, Wells 11%.

A hospital at St. Elizabeths?: As a replacement for the money-losing United Medical Center, Mayor Gray will propose a new $3 million $300 million medical center on the St. Elizabeths campus in Ward 8. (Post)

Takoma likely moving ahead: The WMATA Board, including Muriel Bowser, will likely approve the Takoma Metro development, which Cheryl Cort called a good compromise but which still has some strong resident opposition. (City Paper)

Which Metro stations to develop?: Maryland leaders aren't all unified about putting the FBI at Greenbelt; some would like to see it at the Landover Mall (which isn't as close to Metro). ... Developers want to build mixed-use at Navy Yard and Morgan Boulevard and residential at Grosvenor, but nobody wanted to build at Fort Totten. (WBJ)

College Park bikeshare on hold: Capital Bikeshare stations planned for the University of Maryland campus and College Park are on hold indefinitely: since Bixi declared bankruptcy, it's not possible to buy new bikes and stations. (The Diamondback)

Bus service fit for a king: Are intercity buses not luxurious enough for you? One entrepreneur will launch a new high-end intercity bus service between DC and NYC using posh, custom-outfitted Mercedes Sprinter buses. (WBJ)

Boat club battle is over: The Old Dominion Boat Club will sell its ½-acre parking lot and clubhouse at the foot of King Street for $5 million, allowing Alexandria to build a park as part of its redeveloped waterfront. (Post)

Youth Center is history: The Wheaton Youth Center isn't historic, says the Montgomery County Council, contrary to Dan Reed's opinion. It will be torn down to build a new library and community center. (Post)

Metrobus schedule changes: Metro will changes schedules for dozens of routes across the region beginning on Sunday, plus a new route in DC's Ward 8 and bigger changes around McLean, North Capitol Street, and Laurel. (Post)

Metro thefts increase: Metro is seeing more electronic devices stolen, and is warning riders to watch out. There were 643 thefts in 2013, compared to 491 in 2012. (Post)

And...: The Washington Monument will reopen on May 12. (DCist) ... A Metro worker illegally pocketed $60,000 from selling surplus equipment. (Post) ... Mayor Gray signed a bill that exempts some senior, long-time residents from property taxes. (UrbanTurf)

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Breakfast links: Stay out, new residents


Photo by rachfog on Flickr.
NYC power politics: New York's Assembly speaker blocked development in the Lower East Side for 47 years, as the area's Orthodox Jewish population worried new affordable housing would bring in black and Latino people and dilute their power. (NYT)

Bethesda worries, too: One of many arguments residents have made against building some new housing in Bethesda is that it will "reduce the political power of the existing residents in future decisions." (Robert Dyer@BethesdaRow)

Pols pander on parking: Mayor Vincent Gray says he doesn't like new residents calling parking enforcement against churchgoers who park illegally on Sundays. Tommy Wells calls the issue a "metaphor" for other tensions. (City Paper)

Renewed FBI push: Maryland lawmakers team up to push for the FBI headquarters to relocate to Greenbelt. Economists say that the relocation could bring in $180 million in annual tax revenue for Maryland. (CBS, Baltimore Sun)

Judge says no to recreation centers: A DC Superior Court judge ruled that the city cannot house homeless families in recreation centers on freezing nights. DC must provide a private room if there is not an apartment-style shelter available. (DCist)

You can park inside: Buildings would have to provide secure indoor bike parking if any tenant or unit owner requested it, under new proposed regulations. Assisted-living facilities, nursing homes, and senior housing would be exempt. (WBJ)

Cheap parking pushes driving: Cities with more expensive downtown parking also had 2.3 times as much public transit ridership, a Drexel University study found after looking at data from 107 US cities. (Phys.org)

And....: Tim Krepp publicly shames ShamrockFest revelers (possibly NSFW) who used his alley like a toilet. (City Paper) ... Sen. Marco Rubio criticizes over-regulation in a talk at Uber's DC office. (MarketWatch) ... Dan Snyder creates an organization to help Native Americans rather than change his team's name. (WTOP)

And and...: A DC woman takes Metro to the hospital after EMS and Fire Department responders have an argument. (NBC4) ... A Chicago train derailed, injuring 32, possibly because the operator worked too much overtime. (US News) ... Why your grandma is moving to Denver rather than Miami. (Sustainable Cities Collective)

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Breakfast links: Less driving


Photo by Marc Haserodt on Flickr.
Californians drive less: Biking, transit, and walking now comprise 23% of all trips in California, doubling over the past decade, a statewide survey found. This confirms the trend in the 2009 National Household Travel Survey. (Streetsblog, h st ll)

But the nation drives more: Despite recent reports of high national transit ridership, the percentage share has actually fallen in recent years as the population has increased. The problem is not a lack of funding for transit, but rather the low cost of driving. (Post)

Sea change for Virginia: New Virginia transportation officials will change the state's methods of evaluating transportation projects, stopping outdated methods that forecast ever-increasing amounts of driving and moving away from the controversial Texas Transportation Institute's "Travel Time Index." (Bacon's Rebellion)

Transit or social service?: Is the struggle to keep Metrobus fares low confusing WMATA's mission with a social service agency? Dr. Gridlock thinks so as WMATA Board members debate how much to raise bus fares versus rail. (Post)

Coast Guard brings few benefits: Touted as a catalyst, the new Coast Guard complex at St. Elizabeths West Campus provides few opportunities for contact with the surrounding Ward 8. Will the East Campus have better results? (City Paper)

NY's bikeshare hits bumps: Citibike faces financial shortfalls thanks to Superstorm Sandy, fewer profitable short-term memberships, and a lack of public money. But will things improve when spring comes? (WSJ, Circle Thomas, Next City)

Drive fast, ride free: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wants devices in cabs that stop meters when a taxi is speeding to improve safety. Some taxi drivers and residents are opposed, saying "everybody speeds." (NY Post)

Housing affordability or higher incomes?: Philadelphia's city council president recently offered a plan to address housing affordability. But in a city where housing is already relatively inexpensive, should politicians focus on raising incomes instead? (Next City)

What's it called? Maglev!: Virginia Beach is intrigued by a maglev company's proposal to help fund a line there instead of extending the light rail, but the technology is totally untested, lacks federal approvals, and may cost more than promised. (Virginian-Pilot)

And...: Amid falling demand, developers are converting former office buildings to apartments. (Post) ... Seattle puts a cap on UberX, Lyft, and Sidecar drivers. (Next City) ... Rochester's lost subway. (Atlantic Cities)

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