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Breakfast links: Streetcars on a roll


Photo by greauxe on Flickr.
Streetcars live: How did the streetcar do on its first day of testing? Obstacles it encountered included a fire truck, a jutting side view mirror, and some skeptical cyclists. (WAMU)

Mayor for life fined: Marion Barry was faced with over $2,800 in parking and traffic tickets when his car was towed after a crash. He negotiated to have over $1,000 reduced from his bill, and his car was released. (Post)

Candle mural too religious?: An Adams Morgan cafe may remove a mural it says is a "spiritual or religious" symbol that might turn away customers. But the mural's creator disagrees, saying it sends an inviting message. (WAMU)

Catania files ballot petition: David Catania submitted 7,000 signatures to D.C.'s elections board to become an official mayoral candidate. He took the opportunity to counter criticism of his personality and draw contrasts with Muriel Bowser. (DCist)

Traffic camera comes home: DC removed a traffic camera that was actually sitting in Maryland. DC originally argued that the camera was looking for people speeding within the District. (WTOP)

City staffer in restaurant tiff: A former staffer for Mayor Gray threatened a restaurant manager with a fine while he was working for the administration. He now works for Muriel Bowser's office. (City Paper)

Trolley Trail section completed: Another section of the Prince George's Trolley Trail that connects Hyattsville and Riverdale Park is now open. The trail includes railroad symbols to show intersections. (TheWashCycle)

A better electric bike: DC start-up Riide is building an innovative electric bike. The company's co-founders were inspired by electric bikes in China. (Post)

Keeping gentrification positive: The Greenmount West neighborhood in Baltimore is ripe for gentrification. But residents and community leaders hope it can avoid negative effects of rising property values. (Next City)

And...: The number of poor people was slightly down in the region's core but up 42% outside of it. (DCist) ... The traffic light celebrates 100 years. (Post, JimT) ... Could the National Mall Reflecting Pool host the NHL's annual outdoor game? (PuckBuddys)

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Breakfast links: Slow change


Photo by Justin Swan on Flickr.
Mayoral meddling: DC's United Medical Center is finally financially self-sufficient, but the aging structure still needs a private partner. Potential partners seem hesitant to act until after the mayoral election as candidates propose wildly different approaches to maintenance. (Post)

A "pop-up" pause: One developer in Logan Circle is postponing closing on a property until the the Zoning Commission makes a decision on the "pop-up" recommendation. The property was slated for a four-unit addition but the developers are unable to secure project permits while the code revision is pending. (UrbanTurf)

The future of Tysons: What kind of development will the new Tysons stations bring? The wide streets in the area make a lively streetscape difficult, so are pedestrian bridges the answer? (Transport Politic)

Teaching parents: A charter school in DC teaches both parents and students. Parents can gain English skills, earn a degree, or take job training while their children attend a preschool program. Children have made significant gains while in the program. (Post)

Litter enforcement: DC police will begin to issue tickets for littering. Litterers will receive warnings until September. After that, the offense will result in a $75-$100 fine. (WTOP)

Purple line procurement: Despite nearly 2,000 public meetings to address community concerns, Purple line opponents are demanding more specific requirements for reducing train noise, limiting substation visibility, and supporting area businesses. (Post)

Poverty and pedestrian deaths: Pedestrian deaths occur much more frequently in low-income neighborhoods. These areas have less pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, even though a higher percentage of residents walk or use public transportation. (Governing, Stephen Oesch)

Meaningless buttons: Dallas and many other cities across the country have disabled their crosswalk buttons and instead have gone with a timed system to help the flow of traffic. The non-working buttons, however, remain. (Dallas Morning News, ABC)

And...: The Skyland Town Center development has seen many delays and still has not secured a lease with Walmart. (WBJ) ... Residents in Loudoun oppose a neighbor's application for a special exemption for a residential helipad. (Post) ... Slug lines have popped up around the country and remain a viable form of commuting for many DC area residents. (WTOP)

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Breakfast links: Ding ding


Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
The streetcars are coming!: Operator training begins tomorrow, which means that (non-revenue) streetcars will travel down H Street for the first time in 50 years. (WAMU)

Steets closed due to summit: The US-Africa summit this week will impact travel in downtown DC as streets are closed or narrowed. Some federal workers are telecommuting to reduce impacts on themselves and others. (WTOP)

Georgetown encourages lingering: A new initiative by the local business improvement district seeks to help business by promoting lingering, through murals and distributing chairs throughout the neighborhood. (Georgetown BID, @ElevationDC)

Hurry up and wait: As the competition for the new FBI headquarters between Maryland and Virginia intensifies, it is worth remembering that Federal building projects move slowly. Here is a recent history of large federal properties in the area. (Post)

Does your app know Silver?: One previously reviewed transit app has been upgraded to include the Silver Line. Will a lack of updates of other apps leave some riders stranded? (iTunes store, John B.)

Free parking drives driving: Free parking at work encourages driving quite a bit. So much so that it even when there are transit benefits are offered as well, people are more likely to drive than if there are no benefits offered. (Citylab)

Mapping Vision Zero: NYC has a website where you can submit tips on dangerous intersections and other conditions that can endanger road users. If the DC area did something similar, which streets or intersections would you report?

And...: More national homebuilders are building apartments and condos, doubling their growth rate compared to single-family homes. (WSJ, charlie) ...The most successful transit systems are in the Northeast and West, and in college towns. (538, Pinkshirt) ... GGW contributors are not the only ones who find walking in Tysons difficult. (WAMU)

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Breakfast links: Trusty transportation


Dollars in pipe image from Shutterstock.
Transportation funding until May: A battle between the House and Senate over extending transportation funding went down to the eleventh hour. The Senate ultimately acceded to the House's version after the House left town, leaving little choice. (Streetsblog, Politico)

Eight-car Blues: One week into Silver Line service, and Blue Line riders are already experiencing the pinch. With only five Blue Line an hour at peak, riders are wondering why more eight-car trains aren't in service to make up the difference. (WAMU)

Silver doesn't sparkle?: Post architecture critic Phillip Kennicott reviews the Silver Line stations. He finds them to be overly value-engineered and lacking in the grandeur of the original Harry Weese-designed stations.

Lots of advice: Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope, who supports holding a referendum on the Columbia Pike streetcar, will ask Attorney General Mark Herring for an advisory opinion it's legal to hold one. (InsideNOVA)

Cabbies unionize: Montgomery County taxi drivers have decided to unionize with the National Taxi Workers Alliance. The drivers are demanding changes to credit card transaction fees they pay to the county, among other regulations. (Post)

Food trucks have changed: Have food trucks killed food trucks? The industry was once a hotbed of experimental entrepreneurs; now, as it's matured, it's gotten more stable but also perhaps less interesting. (Post) ... Maybe the new frontier is on boats: The Potomac River has its first floating food truck. (City Paper)

Two new Corcoran proposals: While a judge considers the Corcoran's merger with GWU, the University of Maryland and a wealthy philanthropist have proposed two alternatives to save the financially-troubled art museum. (Post, WTOP)

Eastern Markets lease woes: The majority of merchants at Eastern Market are not currently operating under a lease with DC. DC is working to reach agreements, but merchants say issues other than money are getting in the way. (WBJ)

And...: The search has begun for a temporary home for the MLK Library. (WBJ) ... TV ads in Missouri argue more highway spending will make people safer even though reduced driving would make everyone safer. (Streetsblog) ... PETA has called on WMATA to stop using traps to capture rodents. (City Paper)

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Breakfast links: Hot ideas


Photo by AlbinoFlea on Flickr.
HOT on I-66?: Virginia officials are considering changing the HOV lanes on I-66 to tolled HOT lanes outside the Beltway. But the evidence that these lanes ease traffic and/or raise enough money is mixed at best. (Post)

Transportation showdown: The House and Senate have not yet agreed on how to keep federal transportation money flowing. The Senate plan funds the system to December, while the House plan uses controversial accounting tricks to fund through next May. (Streetsblog)

Save the Hoover?: With the FBI gone, is the Hoover Building worth saving? Maybe it's ugly and street-deadening. Or, Kriston Capps argues, maybe it's beautiful and downtown is doing fine without life on that block. (CityLab)

Consensus on the water: Previous Alexandria waterfront redevelopment plans have been battles, but one developer's plan is receiving widespread support, even from opponents of plans for other areas. (Alexandria Times)

Springfield gets its mall back: The old Springfield Mall, now Springfield Town Center, will reopen this fall. The first phase of development mostly consisted of mall rehabilitation, with the town center project still to come. (Fairfax Times)

Buffered bike lanes are better: A narrower but buffered bike lane is better at keeping cyclists outside the door zone than a wider lane without a buffer. (Streetsblog)

Driver at fault: A driver who hit and killed a cyclist outside Annapolis, on a sunny day with no visibility problems, appealed the four tickets and $2,000 fine she received (after a grand jury rejected more serious charges). A judge found her guilty. (Post)

Background checks discriminate?: WMATA policy bars hiring anyone with two drug possession convictions or one conviction for a "crime of violence." Civil rights groups brought a lawsuit, saying it is "overly broad and unnecessarily punitive." (City Paper)

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Links


Breakfast links: Bye, FBI


Photo by HettieLP on Flickr.
Down to three for the FBI: The GSA narrowed the list of potential FBI sites to three: Greenbelt Metro, the Landover Mall, and Springfield, though Greenbelt still seems most likely. None are in DC; Mayor Gray called that news "kind of a win-win." (WBJ, DCist)

Gun ruling stayed: DC's ban on carrying handguns in public will remain for 90 days, after the District filed to stay a judge's ruling that the ban is unconstitutional. Tommy Wells' office created signs for businesses that don't want guns on their property. (City Paper, Post)

White Oak plan approved: The Montgomery County Council approved the plan for White Oak that clears the way for the "LifeSci Village" town center. The plan also calls for funding BRT on Route 29. (Post)

Silver Line anticipation: While the Silver Line is years away, Loudoun County got a new bus depot near where the Route 606 station will go. A video shows that the Silver Line's opening did not impact rush hour traffic on Monday. (BeyondDC, Post)

Projects that didn't make it: The Silver Line opened after decades of planning, but many other ideas never became reality, like a helicopter from Union Station to Dulles and BWI or a Ponte Vecchio-like bridge on the Southwest Waterfront. (Post)

Ducking debate: Muriel Bowser will not participate in debates until Sept. 18 when she will take part in an American University forum. Ward 4 ANC Commissioner Doug Sloan tried without success to reschedule a debate featuring Bowser. (City Paper)

Benches for Ballston: New benches are coming to Ballston, after the property manager modified planters near the Metro to prevent people from sitting on them. The company said people waiting for the bus were damaging plants. (ArlNow)

And...: Houston will use utility line corridors to create "bicycle interstates." (Streetsblog) ... When brownfield sites are cleaned up, housing values can rise dramatically. (CityLab) ... Michael Brown and Harry Thomas Jr. will end up in the same prison. (City Paper)

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Links


Breakfast links: Riders make changes


Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.
The Silver Line's weekday debut: Over 24,000 passenger trips began or ended at the five new Silver Line stations on Monday and Wiehle-Reston East was the 12th busiest morning-commute station in the system. But it appears that many of those riders used to ride the Orange Line, with ridership at West Falls Church down 66%. (City Paper, Post)

Plenty of (car) parking: Fears that the Silver Line would cause a parking nightmare appear to be overblown, at least for now. Parking lots at stations didn't fill up, but bike racks did. Many people found bicycle routes to the stations, though Fairfax can do a lot more to make the area better for cycling. (Post, FABB)

Bus change woes: The Fairfax Connector changed nearly 40% of its service on Saturday. 16 new routes were added and others changed to accommodate new Silver Line connections. But many commuters struggled to adapt to the new routes. (Post)

McMillan will get tweaks, not more: The DC Zoning Commission still has a few concerns about the McMillan project, like height of one building and the amount of transit, but won't substantially cut back development as opponents wish. (WBJ)

St. Elizabeths needs direction: Five companies have expressed interest in developing St. Elizabeths East Campus, but it's not the expected, big development firms. Did mixed messages from the city hinder interest in the site? (City Paper)

New bill could help cyclists: A new bill from David Grosso would eliminate contributory negligence for automobile-bicycle crashes, meaning a cyclist could still collect damages even if he or she were a small amount at fault in a crash. (DCist)

Why so few black cyclists?: African-Americans are less likely to bike commute than other groups. This could be because of fears about driver hostility and a view of cycling as a sign of poverty. (Streetsblog)

Breakthrough for bikeshare: New York's REQX Ventures may acquire Alta Bicycle Share and expand Citibike (and raise membership prices). It could also break the logjam blocking expansion in Washington and elsewhere. (WSJ, Streetsblog)

Friendlier fed streets?: The Federal Highway Administration now supports an urban street design that features bike lanes, bus lanes, and narrower travel lanes. Could federal approval of these designs mean more city-friendly streets? (Streetsblog)

And...: Federal hiring is at its lowest level in ten years. (WBJ) ... DC's first food boat started serving boaters and kayakers this weekend. (PoPville) ... For now, the Silver Line makes a trip to Dulles Airport only a little more convenient. (UrbanTurf)

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Breakfast links: And we're off!


Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr.
"The work of generations": The Silver Line began operation on Saturday, carrying passengers from Reston to Largo. The line will shorten travel for many while enabling transit-oriented development in Northern Virginia. Did you ride it? (Post)

All you need to know: Another guide to the Silver Line details how to get to the new stations and what buses may help Blue Line riders. (WTOP)

What next?: Will the Silver Line finally bring residents to Tysons and catalyze for new jobs? The line could also be a boon to bars and Google Bus-like employee shuttles as car-less visitors and employees arrive in droves. (Post, WAMU, WTOP)

Black homeowners fall behind: Despite stricter enforcement of discrimination laws, African-Americans are more likely to lose their homes. The Great Recession, foreclosure crisis, and predatory lending have reversed gains since the 1970's. (CityLab)

Two legs good, four legs better: In Fort Worth, multi-modalism also includes horses. Riders have the same rights as cyclists, but are also stereotyped as lawless. Could other cities also someday see a return of horseback riding? (WSJ, Dave G)

Catania opposes stadium deal: DC mayoral candidate David Catania spoke against the land swap that underlies the potential DC United stadium as undervaluing city property. With Bowser also skeptical, will the project move forward? (WAMU)

Katrina still stymies transit: It's been nearly a decade since Hurricane Katrina, but transit service has yet to recover. High operating costs and low revenue are helping prevent expansion. (Human Transit)

And...: Follow a New York Citibike over a day, as it carries 17 riders across the city. (The Guardian) ... A photographer asks Washington-area prisoners: "If you could have a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?" (NYT, Sam Feldman) ... Which DC building most symbolizes the city's revitalization? (PoPville)

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Breakfast links: Silver Line eve


Photo by Fairfax County on Flickr.
Metro says Silver Line is ready: Metro has been simulating service on the Silver Line since Sunday and says the new line is ready for service. Though without new train cars, how will the Silver Line hold up once passengers start riding? (Post)

Learn about the Silver Line: Each of the five new stops on the Silver Line will have something to offer even if you don't live or work there. Commuters who ride the bus to Metro will find new service patterns once the Silver Line opens. (Post)

Affordable housing squeeze: There is a serious lack of affordable housing for middle and lower class residents in the Washington region, says a new report. As a result, middle class residents are often squeezing out the lower class. (Post)

Why few food co-ops?: There are food co-ops in Takoma Park and Mount Rainier, but DC only has one food co-op open for limited hours on weekends in Mt. Pleasant. Why are there so few inside the District? (OPinions)

ANC sleeps on the job: Despite two violations, a bar on U Street will likely keep its license because ANC 1B couldn't muster a quorum two months in a row and missed the deadline to protest the license. (City Paper)

Meddling congressmen: DC residents poured into the office of Rep. Andy Harris with a message: Stay out of our local affairs. Meanwhile, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) proposed giving DC to Maryland and disbanding the DC Council when asked about statehood. (DCist)

Peddling advice: Looking for advice on bicycling? Brian McEntee is writing a new tongue-in-cheek advice column called "Gear Prudence," including advice on what to do is a newspaper columnist puts a broom through your spokes. (City Paper)

Best coast for pedestrians: What factors will most likely cause drivers to yield to pedestrians? Road width and pedestrian volume are important factors, but a new survey also says that West Coast drivers are more likely to yield. (Streetsblog)

Poor debate over "poor door": A new NYC building with a separate entrance for its affordable units has sparked outrage. But it's not actually new and perhaps even required by zoning. And is it worse than living in a gated community with no lower-income people? (Huffington Post, Gothamist, NY Post, Twitter)

And...: During a fit of road rage, a Florida man was run over by his own truck. (WTOP) ... Investing in housing in the area has not yielded a big payoff. (City Paper) ... Bethesda and Rockville are among the "Top 10 Snobbiest Small Cities in America." (Post)

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Breakfast links: Silver Line to-dos


Photo by jas_on on Flickr.
Pedestrian access still to come: Over the last year, Tysons Corner has gained many new sidewalks. Some intersections, however, still lack pedestrian facilities. County officials will be monitoring pedestrian traffic next week. (WAMU)

Same route, higher cost?: Many Fairfax Connector routes that previously terminated at West Falls Church will now terminate at Wiehle-Reston East. With the switch from bus to rail, some riders will pay more to travel the same route. (WAMU)

No parking here: Tysons Corner Center will be installing electronic gates at its parking lots to prevent commuter access. The gates will allow employees to park before business hours while preventing early commuter parking. (WBJ)

Lanier Heights battles over pop-ups: A particularly bitter debate over pop-up additions to rowhouses is heating up in Lanier Heights. Some residents want to downzone the area to prevent additions, others want to "grow up." (City Paper)

Streetcar steps: DC's four streetcars are moving to H Street where they will stay until the line opens, which officials still hope to do this year. (DCist) ... DDOT is still working on planning future lines, though funding is uncertain. (WBJ)

Arlington board backs taxis: Arlington Board members expressed sympathy for county taxi drivers in their battle for business against Uber and Lyft. Mary Hynes noted that they are hard to access for customers without smartphones. (ArlNow)

Longer terms in PG: Prince George's Council members have placed a measure on the November ballot to extend their term limits to three 4-year terms. The County is the only in the region with term limits. (Post)

And...: Washington officials will meet with the US Olympic Committee in a "low key" meeting about the 2024 Olympics. (WTOP) ... Hyattsville will keep its library's flying saucer, but lose the building itself. (Gazette) ... Donald Trump has broken ground on his redevelopment of the Old Post Office Building into a luxury hotel. (DCist)

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