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Breakfast links: Late night service? Check yes or no


Photo by Photographer on Flickr.
Late-night backers dwindle: Virginia and Maryland members of the WMATA Board now support ending late-night service, though they don't agree on when the system should close. DC members still oppose the cut. The Board will vote December 15. (WAMU)

The state of SafeTrack: Metro is behind on reporting progress, radios don't work, cross-ties are crumbling, tunnel lights are out, and Metro started 24/7 work without a program management plan, says the Federal Transit Administration. (WTOP)

Penn Station revamp: Amtrak selected three teams that will compete to redesign Baltimore's Penn Station. Amtrak will pick a master developer next summer. (Baltimore Sun, Kristy C.)

Dial "C" for crime: Maryland now has a hate crime hotline for anyone who believes they have been the victim of a crime motivated by factors such as race, gender, or religion. The calls will be routed to law enforcement when necessary. (DCist)

Boost in cemetery security: Security is increasing at Arlington Cemetery, with armed guards replacing public safety aides and new screening measures. The Army ordered the changes after shootings in Tennessee and Canada. (WTOP)

Hospital expansion: DC's Children's National Medical Center will expand, taking almost 12 acres of the old Walter Reed campus. (Post)

And...: The Wizards' and Mystics' new practice facility is taking shape in Congress Heights. (DCist) ... African-American members of the American Institute of Architects call for the organization to design for social justice. (CityLab) ... Fairfax County police say pedestrian accidents are more likely at these 11 intersections (Fairfax County)

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Breakfast links: SafeTrack extends its stay


Photo by nevermindtheend on Flickr.
SafeTrack slower than expected: SafeTrack could last into June or longer and will cost twice as much as planned, according to a Federal Transit Administration report. SafeTrack was supposed to end in March, but coordination problems and worker fatigue have pushed the schedule. (Post)

Water taxis get real on service: Water taxis will start serving the Wharf next October, with 10 daily, scheduled stops in National Harbor, Alexandria, Georgetown, and Nationals Park. Could they finally become a commuter option? (WBJ)

Maryland might lose Uber: Uber says it won't serve Maryland if the state moves forward with a plan to fingerprint its drivers for background checks. Uber complies with fingerprint background checks in New York City, but pulled out of Austin for that reason last year. (WAMU)

Stadium redesign: The new DC United stadium will get more retail and a public park after nearby property owners complained about the site's limited access and lack of retail. (UrbanTurf)

New Communities slow to start: A new subsidized housing development, Deanwood Hills, is the first to break ground as part of the New Communities Initiative in nearly four years. The initiative is meant to replace dilapidated housing projects with larger mixed-income developments, but progress has been slow. (DCist)

Kaya's contractor commotion: DC's ethics board has formally reprimanded former schools chancellor Kaya Henderson for soliciting money from major school contractors, like food-service providers, for charity. (WTOP)

The plan is all about PPPs: President-elect Trump's plan for infrastructure spending likely won't help repair existing roads or bridges as its focus appears to be primarily on tax breaks for private investors in public-private partnerships. (Vox)

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Breakfast links: Protecting immigrants in the Trump era


Photo by J. Stephen Conn on Flickr.
Sanctuaries may not be safe: Donald Trump has vowed to crack down on undocumented immigrants, including withholding federal funds from "sanctuary cities" that promise to protect undocumented residents. DC, Baltimore, and Prince George's County are among them. Officials in Takoma Park and Montgomery County say they'll continue to be safe havens, and Muriel Bowser recently said the same. (Post, Twitter)

A sprawl tax in Montgomery: In Montgomery County, building farther away from transit could soon mean paying higher taxes to help offset the costs of sprawl. Also part of the new policy: incentives for building less parking. (Post)

Early warnings for track workers: After a train nearly hit track workers last month, Metro has started new safety trainings and hopes to roll out an early warning system where workers get alerts of approaching trains on an armband. (WTOP)

Tripartisanship: Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church officials want collaborate on issues that span all three jurisdictions. Working together could mean shared transit and land use plans as well as more influence at the state level. (Post)

Getting ahead of the weather: DC just launched a plan for combatting climate change called Climate Ready. There are 77 action items, including working to stave off Anacostia River flooding. (WJLA)

Get your plane tickets: Virginia is giving money to the agency that oversees Dulles International to help subsidize the per-passenger cost of flying out. The hope is that lower costs for travelers will mean more people using the airport. (WTOP)

And...: U Street residents are furious that the city is dragging its heels on redeveloping a historic school building (WCP)... There isn't scaffolding on the Capitol dome anymore (DCist)... Montgomery County braces for a rate increase from PEPCO expected to average $7 a month (Bethesda Beat)

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Breakfast links: Commuting in slow motion


Photo by Kathleen Tyler Conklin on Flickr.
Perpetual slowdown: The speed restrictions that Metro enacted after two track inspectors were nearly hit are here to stay for the time being. Passengers say the slowdown adds significant time to their commutes. (WAMU)

Metrobus assault: A passenger threw hot soup on the driver of a 96 bus this weekend. Police are asking for help identifying the suspect. (DCist)

Paid leave to get a vote: The first of two votes on a paid family leave bill will be December 6. Although details of the bill are yet unknown, it would give District employees some amount of their usual pay for some period of time under certain circumstances. (WAMU)

Rental opportunism: Unsurprisingly, Airbnb hosts are already piggybacking off of the Trump win, enticing renters to make traveling great again. Some DC hosts are charging as much as $2,000 per night for inauguration rentals. (Washingtonian)

How to make a basement apartment: Considering building a basement apartment? Here's a helpful guide to navigating the bureaucratic process & converting your storage space into sweet, sweet cashflow. (Petworth News)

Creating the train experience: In San Francisco, designers have spent the last 7 years carefully creating train interiors to give riders a very specific experience. Sixty of the redesigned train cars will roll out next year. (Wired)

Prison town boom?: Stock in private prison companies have already gone up since the election, which could mean big changes coming for prison towns, though some localities have already started work on criminal justice reform that could impact the business. (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Onward, Bikeshare!


Photo by drumsandwires on Flickr.
Bikeshare's growing popularity: More and more Metro riders are turning to Capital Bikeshare as either a temporary alternative to Metro in Safe Track-affected areas or as a complete replacement that offers more reliability. (Post)

Paratransit problems: MetroAccess is performing at its worst in years with a growing number of late trips. WMATA said it's struggling to keep up with record-high ridership, and things might improve once MetroAccess starts transferring some responsibilities to ride-hailing services next year. (Post)

Bus cuts bite hard: Metro's proposed budget calls for cutting some underutilized bus routes but lacks alternatives for the riders that regularly rely on the routes and have no other economical options for getting around. (WAMU)

Helping Mosaic move: A new private transportation program called Mosaic Green Commute is helping residents in and around the Mosaic District find transportation options beyond driving or Metro such as biking and car-sharing. (Post)

NVTC's cautious approval: The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is in support of Metro's proposed late-night service elimination because they see the cuts as necessary to improve safety. But they're still concerned about the lack of alternatives for affected riders such as more bus service. (WTOP)

Big changes in MoCo: The political landscape in Montgomery County could change a lot thanks to new term limits that will open up four seats on the council in 2018 and a new public-financed campaign system. (Post)

Hogan hopeful on FBI: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan thinks the Old Line State has a better chance of securing the new FBI headquarters under a Trump presidency. Otherwise, Tim Kaine might have pushed for a Virginia location. (WTOP)

Shine on, 495: Some stretches of the beltway appear to shine at times due to a type of "liquid asphalt" that helps roads last a few years longer than those with other types of asphalt. (Post)

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Worldwide links: Is the future in Finland?

The future of urban transportation may live in Finland, Berlin is taking cars off of its most famous street, and light rail won't run from Norfolk to Virginia Beach. Check out what's happening around the world in transportation, land use, and other related areas!


Photo by Raimo Papper on Flickr.

"Mobility" has a new meaning Is Helsinki, Finland the home of the future of transportation? The city is testing self-driving buses on increasingly difficult routes and is at the forefront of the "mobility as a service" movement, which essentially would make buying your mobility like buying a phone plan: you'd pay by the month (rather than by the call) for a spectrum of options. (New York Times)

Pedestrians coming soon: Berlin will be taking cars off of its most famous street, Unter Den Linden, which used to be the city's major parade route and is its current museum strip. The move away from automobiles began with the construction of a new subway segment under the street. The route once carried 30,000 cars a day but is now down to 8,000, and it's likely to be one of the first pieces of the car-free central city that leaders envision happening by 2019. (CityLab)

Stop that train: A measure to build a light rail extension in Virginia Beach failed Tuesday evening, leading the state's transportation secretary to ask local transit planners to stop working on the project. The $155 million already set aside for the project will be redistributed to projects based on the state's new transportation investment scoring system. (Virginian-Pilot)

Building more earth: Humans are constantly shifting the earth below them, both as they build and destroy. For example, after WWII, 75 million tons of rubble from bombed out buildings in Berlin was collected and taken to a dumping site that now forms a not-insignificant hill called Teufelsberg. Anthropologists are studying these man-made base levels of cities, referring to them as an earth layer called the Archaeosphere which, in Sweden's case, can mean extracting raw materials left behind. (Places Journal)

Direct route delayed: A rail tunnel linking the current Caltrain terminus to the new Transbay Terminal in downtown San Francisco will not be complete until 2026. Lawsuits related to the Millennium Tower in San Francisco, which has started to lean, are holding up money for new tunnels. The tunnels are expected to be used by Caltrain and High Speed Rail once they're finished. (SFist)

Quote of the Day

"Regionalism is a Trojan Horse term right out of the lexicon of the 1970s. So-called regionalism was never a compromise. It was always a stealth tactic, an abandonment of the city, which was considered half dead anyway by the city's own leadership. Regionalism was always a ruse to shift resources to the suburbs."

- Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze discussing whether the city's long term health is better off building more suburban transit, or focusing on the core with a new subway line. (Dallas Observer)

Links


Breakfast links: On your MARC, get set, go


Photo by Austin Cross on Flickr.
New digs at Camden Yards: Baltimore's Camden Yards will get a new MARC station, courtesy of a $7.5 million federal grant. The current station was built in 1992 and meant to be temporary. (Baltimore Fishbowl, DJP)

Area transit gets a boost: The region voted for transit funding on Tuesday, with Prince George's voting to borrow money to build the Purple Line, and Fairfax and Arlington voting to pay for WMATA capital improvements. (WAMU)

Light rail limbo: The Purple Line waits as a Maryland judge sits on a request to reconsider allowing federal funding for the Purple Line. But advocates are hopeful, and say the next presidential administration is unlikely to have an impact. (Post)

Warp speed on sewage study: Alexandria will study the most significant source of sewage flowing into the Potomac now, instead of in 2032, as federal and state officials and environmental groups pressure the city to fix the issue. (Post)

The road better paved: The Montgomery County Council approved $8 million to resurface its worst roads, about 21 miles in eight neighborhoods throughout Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Gaithersburg and Potomac. (WTOP)

Power to the people: Nonprofit organizations now have more power and influence in representing low-income neighborhoods in cities around the country, as cities rely on them to help keep programs afloat when funding is cut. (CityLab)

Office space boom or bust: The region's office space real estate market could improve or get even worse under Trump's presidency, depending on policies related to federal workforce hiring and de-regulation. (WBJ)

And...: Check out the abandoned steam tunnels running under Capitol Hill. (AoC) ... DC hotel managers say business has been slow for Inauguration Day bookings (Post) ... DC libraries will extend hours next year when the MLK Jr. branch closes for renovation (DCist)

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Breakfast links: Act locally


Photo by Mrs. Gemstone on Flickr.
Statehood stalled: DC residents overwhelmingly voted to become a state on Tuesday, but Mayor Bowser now says that's a dream that will have to wait as local leaders shift focus to anticipated attacks on city policies by an emboldened Congress. (Post)

Council calls: Montgomery County voted to limit the terms of the county executive and council members to three four-year terms or partial terms. Prince George's residents voted to add two at-large members to their council. (Post)

Big wins for transit: Tuesday night was a big win for transit-related initiatives on ballots across the country. Among others, LA voters elected for a half-cent sales tax to fund transit operations and construction, Bay area residents said yes to property tax increases to improve BART infrastructure, and Atlanta will fund the expansion of MARTA with a half-cent sales tax. (TransportPolitic)

How it shook out in DC: In DC, Robert White and David Grosso won the seats for at-large council member. Vincent Gray came out ahead in Ward 7, and Markus Batchelor and Ashley Carter won two very tight races for spots on the State Board of Education. (City Paper)

Fund it all in Arlington: Arlington voted for all four bond measures on the ballot. The bond measures will provide funding for parks, community centers, fire stations, schools, and Arlington's contribution to Metro's capital program. (ArlNow)

How will housing fare?: Will the transition to a new administration affect the local housing market? Usually it doesn't do much, but some real estate executives say it might be different this time, given Trump's unconventional campaign. (UrbanTurf, WBJ)

What's in it for Metro: What do the election results mean for more Metro funding? Some are hopeful, as Trump talked about plans to rebuild infrastructure in his acceptance speech and Congress' biggest critic of Metro, John Mica, was ousted from office. (Post)

Mini Metro on mobile: Need a distraction from the election results? Mini Metro, the game that simulates building a transit network, is now available as a mobile app. (Curbed)

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Breakfast links: Have you voted yet?


Photo by pinelife on Flickr.
Go vote!: It's Election Day! Zipcar and Lyft are offering deals to help you get to the polls. Don't know who to vote for once you get there? Check out GGWash's endorsements. (Post)

Condo madness: The sales office for a new West End condo building opened at 9:00 am yesterday. Interested buyers started lining up Sunday night for a chance to buy one of 71 luxury units. (UrbanTurf)

Bikeshare for plants: Some Meridian Hill homeowners are not pleased with DDOT's plans to install a new bikeshare station in their neighborhood. The maximum 37-foot station would take the place of an existing planter. (Borderstan)

Tax credit for renters: Is there a way to incentivize renting the way we do homeownership? Researchers at Berkeley think there may be, and it looks very similar to the Earned Income Tax Credit. (City Observatory)

Metro safer, says FTA: The FTA says Metro is safer under its oversight despite a number of high-profile safety incidents. The NTSB wants the Federal Railroad Administration to assume oversight. (WAMU)

Fairfax City, the city: The City of Fairfax, a small enclave surrounded by Fairfax County, resisted urban development for years. But now the suburban community is starting to redevelop, and it's looking more urban. (Curbed)

Keine Autos: Beginning in 2019, private automobiles will no longer be allowed on Berlin's famous Unter den Linden. The street will serve busses, taxis, and cyclists, and the move will hopefully encourage more pedestrian-friendly venues. (CityLab)

Forward-thinking parking: A new development in Seattle wants to build a parking garage that can convert into living space in the future. As cities add more density and people move away from car ownership, it's a logical next step. (UrbanTurf)

All about alleys: A new pilot program in Phoenix is letting residents make alleys more fun to hang out in. The program allows for beautification projects on the light end of the spectrum and food and beverage service on the heavier end. (NextCity)

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Breakfast links: Election eve


Photo by Ted Eytan on Flickr.
Not sold on statehood: A sizable minority of DC voters have a few reasons for opposing statehood - they feel the measure is too expensive, politically unfeasible and unconstitutional. Plus, they don't like the proposed name. (WAMU)

GOP out of cities: Today, Democrats tend to be from dense areas, while Republicans come from more rural ones. But that hasn't always been the case. Race is the biggest factor that made the GOP abandon cities and urban policies. (NYT)

What inner city?: Donald Trump is attempting to appeal to African Americans by focusing on "inner cities". But inner cities are poorly defined and African Americans live across metropolitan areas, not just central cities. (Urban Institute)

Transit on the ballot: It's election day tomorrow and there are a number of transportation ballot items around the country, including $120 billion for LA's transit system and Seattle's light rail network. (Transport Politic)

Metro's need for less speed: Speed restrictions have become more common thanks to a growing list of track sections in need of repair. It's a sign that WMATA is taking safety more seriously, although many riders think Metro could do more to communicate when and where trains are slowing down. (Post)

More Purple Line jitters: One Montgomery County councilman is worried that permanently eliminating late-night Metro service could jeopardize the Purple Line by giving Judge Richard Leon another reason to delay its construction. (WBJ)

Real estate to the rescue?: Despite all of Metro's problems, commercial real estate developers continue to value proximity to stations more than ever. Could they help to save the system? Developers have already partially funded Metro initiatives like the construction of the NoMA-Gallaudet U station. (Post)

Walkable future in Tysons?: Pedestrians have no safe options for crossing the Route 7 and Route 123 intersection in Tysons. Fairfax County wants to change this and is reviewing a series of plans that would inject some much-needed walkability to the commercial district. (In Tysons)

Historic preservation discord: Some owners within the Florida Avenue Market aren't happy about about its new status as a historic district. They say the process was rushed and worry that they won't be able to add density. (UrbanTurf)

And...: President Obama might become a Metro rider after he leaves office. (The Hill) ... DDOT will host a public meeting on November 17th about the possibility of expanding the streetcar from Union Station out to Georgetown. (Borderstan) ... The Transportation Planning Board is looking for people to serve on its Citizen Advisory Committee.

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