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Breakfast links: Development past and future


Photo by dan reed! on Flickr.
A complete Clarksburg: Clarksburg's roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure will be completed by 2015, according to an agreement between Montgomery County and the original developer. Work stalled in 2005 after building violations and a lawsuit. (Post)

Down to two: The four alternatives for the proposed Potomac Yard Metro station have been pared down to two. Federal officials determined that two options were too expensive, leaving an alternative next to Potomac Greens and another to the east of North Potomac Yard. (WBJ)

Permits for pub crawls: Arlington pub crawls may soon need a permit and have to pay for police at their events. Event organizers argue that crawls bring in enough tax revenue for the county to cover costs. (ArlNow)

Columbia Heights development leader dies: Bob Moore, a key figure in Columbia Heights' rebirth, died on Monday. Moore helped bring the Nehemiah Shopping Center and DC USA mall to the neighborhood. (City Paper)

So long, Baier: Alexandria's director of transportation and environmental services, Richard Baier, is leaving his post at the end of August. Baier led the department since 2000, and did much for transit and active transportation in the city. (Post)

Induced demand is real: Writers from Cato and the Weekly Standard have argued that "induced demand" doesn't exist on the roads, or isn't a reason to reexamine highway construction. Here are four myths that underlie most of the pushback. (Urbanist.co)

Replace the gas tax?: Singapore pays for its excellent infrastructure by constantly tracking and taxing its drivers. Could a vehicle mileage tax be implemented here, where people are more concerned about privacy? (ThinkProgress, Thad)

And...: Is Arlington the suburb of the future? (Salon, Helen D.) ... A falcarius, narwhals, and others have appeared in Capitol Hill. (DCist) ... Can you name all the Metro stations? (Sporcle)

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Breakfast links: Bills, bills, bills


Photo by drpavloff on Flickr.
Marijuana bill blossoms: It looks like there are enough signatures to put a marijuana legalization bill on the DC ballot in November. One congressman vows to block it, citing safety of children above DC home rule. (WTOP)

Primary results: Democrat Richard Sullivan and Republican David Foster won a special primary on Sunday for the Virginia House. If elected, Foster vows to push for a referendum on the "impractical and unaffordable" Columbia Pike streetcar. (Post)

Dead zebras: The experiment with zebras meant to discourage u-turns across the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes is over. The zebras will be removed and replaced with park-its. (WAMU)

BIDs on roads: A new bill means BIDs could take over some road maintenance in DC, amidst poor 311 response to potholes. Mary Cheh believes that the BIDs can translate success with public spaces to roads. (DCist)

Charter school "cannibalism"?: Plans to open a charter across the street from a comparable public school have led Chancellor Kaya Henderson to call for better coordination in school planning to avoid "cannibalism". (Post)

Another blow: The US House proposed to cut all funding for St. Elizabeths in 2015, further fueling fears that the project will not be completed. But will the surrounding Congress Heights neighborhood actually miss the project if it doesn't happen? (WBJ, City Paper)

Spinning wheels: Are cyclists engaging in more dangerous activities than other road users or is this perception based in a lack of familiarity? Would getting more people on bikes help with this perception? (Gizmodo)

Maglev merits: Japan is looking to build a $90 billion maglev line between Tokyo and Osaka. But are 310 MPH speeds worth the price worth when both cities will be getting smaller when the line opens? (CityLab)

And...: Retail is already changing to meet new demand around Silver Line stations, kicking out some low density businesses. (Post) ... Did construction projects inconvenience drivers in Copenhagen so much that it led to a 5% increase in cycling? (Streetsblog) ... A primary race for the Prince George's County Council was decided by 6 votes. (Post)

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Breakfast links: Countdown to opening


Photo by Charles Atkeison on Flickr.
Blue Line frequency cuts cause frustration: On the eve of the Silver Line's opening, Blue Line riders are protesting service cuts. Metro officials cannot do much, but advise that taking a Yellow Line train and transferring at L'Enfant may be faster. (Post)

The story so far: For those who are just tuning in, here are some common questions and answers about the soon-to-open Silver Line. (Post)

Travel delays prevalent around the region: Drivers returning from the beach following the holiday weekend led to traffic jams along area highways. What did you do to avoid the congestion? (WTOP)

Dealing with the racial wealth gap: Differences in wealth rather than income cause greater inequality, and so it is with racial inequality. Housing is the leading cause of this, and eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would help. (New Republic, charlie)

Don't ban apps, price parking correctly: Apps that let people sell an on-street parking space have caused outrage. But they solve an inefficiency that cities could eliminate by pricing parking at market rates. (Market Urbanism)

Bike sharing for work and pleasure: About half of Capital Bikeshare trips are commutes, one study finds. Meanwhile, it is still far from seamless to use bike sharing as a tourist in another city. (CityLab)

Bikeshare deal in the works: An investment group is looking to buy a majority of Alta, which operates New York's CitiBike and Capital Bikeshare. The group wants to raise prices and expand in New York, so will we see the same here? (Mashable)

Congestion grows less quickly with rail: Residents of the St. Petersburg, FL, area are debating the merits of a proposed light rail line. One result: although light rail may not reduce congestion, it does keep it from increasing as quickly. (PolitiFact)

And...: Washington is the world's leading walking city. (Human, charlie) ... The National Park Service is the prime suspect for cutting down a popular tree. (M.V. Jantzen) ... Metropolitan growth and density help poor neighborhoods. (Strong Towns)

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Breakfast links: Adjust your plans


Photo by dpbirds on Flickr.
Leave your car at home: Driving and parking will be difficult near the Mall for July 4th. You could try a different spot to view the fireworks, or bike or take Metro. (Post)

Everything longer on the Blue Line: WMATA will add more 8-car trains to the Blue Line. This will make up just a bit for the fact that when the Silver Line opens there will be fewer Blue Line trains. (Post)

Housing beats offices: Most early buildings in the Capitol Riverfront/Navy Yard area were offices, but residential now dominates in more recent buildings as the market has shifted. (City Paper)

How to make housing affordable: A new report identifies six strategies for dealing with the housing affordability crisis, including: Build more subsidized housing, build housing on vacant lots, exempt fewer properties from inclusionary zoning, and "granny flats" or accessory apartments. Which DC's Office of Planning just backed down on. (Post)

What happens in Tenleytown: Why were the Fort Reno concerts canceled, and then reinstated? The Park Police wanted officers at the events, but organizers balked; however, other events in NPS parks do require police. Who's right? (City Paper)

Trashy work: Gray administration officials said they "look[ed] like idiots" after the botched new trash can rollout. (City Paper) ... Arlington's former trash pickup contractor claims cronyism was behind losing the contract to another. (ArlNow)

Senator leaves big shoes to fill: Chuck Colgan, president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, will retire. He pushed hard to get transportation funds (usually for big road projects) in Prince William County, and its clout may now decline. (Potomac Local)

Crosswalk enforcement: Chicago police are doing crosswalk enforcement, but not just to ticket pedestrians like many such stings: they are chasing down and ticketing drivers who don't stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. (Chicago Tribune)

Bike in a skirt: With just a penny and rubber band, women wearing (loose and flowing enough) skirts can ride a bicycle without flashing anyone. (Slate)

And...: DC voting rights leaders suggest spending the holiday weekend somewhere other than Maryland's Eastern Shore to protest Rep. Andy Harris' meddling. (Post) ... Montgomery County will put solar panels on its garages. (Gazette) ... Were Ft. Myer Constructions' political connections behind a suspiciously lucrative deal? (City Paper)

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Breakfast links: Look out for drivers


Photo by A is for Angie on Flickr.
Look both ways: A new pedestrian advocacy group, All Walks DC, aims to draw attention to safety issues and to put pressure on DDOT to enforce existing laws, like the one that bans construction companies from blocking sidewalks. (WAMU)

DC and Maryland drivers worst?: The majority of drivers involved in car crashes in DC were from DC and Maryland in 2012. DC drivers were involved in 37% of crashes, Maryland drivers in 33%, and Virginia drivers in only about 14% of collisions. (DCist)

Parking under the Mall?: The proposal to build a parking garage under the National Mall is back, this time with an irrigation system and visitor center. The National Coalition to Save Our Mall is seeking Congressional assistance for the project. (DCist)

Trail connected to bridge: The Suitland Parkway Trail will now connect to the new Frederick Douglass Bridge with a tunnel. Advocates have urged DDOT to include this connection in the project since January. (WABA)

Trash bin case dumped: DC prosecutors have withdrawn charges against a pair accused of stealing old District trash bins. Officials were criticized for the arrest and their mishandling of procedures to replace and recycle the bins. (Post)

Managing Tysons transportation: Tysons Corner's new transportation management association will use transportation demand management strategies to encourage workers to use transit as well as take other steps to reduce congestion. (Post, WBJ)

Highway Trust Fund dwindles: As the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money, US DOT Secretary Foxx says the agency may have to slow down payments to states for road and transit projects. (WAMU)

And...: Take a climb to the top of a crane in Reston. (WBJ) ... What does the Supreme Court ruling on homecare unions mean for cities? (Next City) ... More casinos opening in the region means casinos closing in Atlantic City. (CityLab) ... A 13-year-old in Silver Spring was killed when a student driver ran off a parking lot. (NBC4)

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Breakfast links: Follow up


Photo by Holley St. Germain on Flickr.
Reno's back on: The Fort Reno concert series will go on. NPS finally issued permits, though it will require increased security. Organizers want to find a way to keep police presence from distracting from the community-oriented feel of the concerts. (Post)

Higher wages: The minimum wage in DC increases today from $8.25 to $9.50 per hour. This is the first several increases that will affect up to 40,000 workers. The minimum wage will eventually rise to $11.50 and then be tied to the inflation rate. (City Paper)

Longer days?: DC teachers voted no on extending the school day, despite promises of extra pay. While DC schools with longer days have seen gains on standardized tests, the teacher's union wants the discussion to be part of contract negotiations. (Post)

St. Elizabeths stalled: DDOT has delayed work on St. Elizabeths' east campus until 2015 at the earliest. The setback comes amid funding uncertainty for the Department of Homeland Security's redevelopment of the west campus. (WBJ)

New York's "pop ups": A map shows where developers can build upward as a matter of right in New York City, regardless of existing neighborhood character. (CityLab)

Rental demand: Demand for rental units has gone up across the country since 2009. But supply can't keep up and rents keep going up. In some areas, more houses in the outer suburbs are becoming rental units. (CityLab)

Accessible rideshare?: Ride sharing services face another legal battle on whether they have met the standard of "reasonable accommodations" for wheelchair users. How can they encourage their drivers to serve this demographic? (NextCity)

And...: A Metro official answers rider questions about the Silver Line. (Post) ... DC's zoning update will also change bicycle parking rules. (WashCycle) ... Many of New York's most expensive apartments are not occupied for most of the year. (Quartz)

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Breakfast links: On the rise


Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
Fares. hiked: The long-awaited Metro fare increase kicked in yesterday. Train fares are up 5-10¢ a ride, with larger increases for Metrobus. MetroAccessrules will stay the same, but with a slightly lower maximum. (DCist)

Study the lane now!: At the MoveDC hearing, Mary Cheh urged DDOT to start a study of a bus lane on 16th Street already, "for heaven's sake!" A study is funded but still has no start date. (Post)

MoveDC draws AAA ire: AAA blasted the MoveDC plan, charging that congestion tolls will make driving into DC more difficult. When Mary Cheh asked if spokesman Lon Anderson has another idea to reduce congestion, he had none. (WAMU)

How to broaden CaBi?: Capital Bikeshare's users are still disproportionately white and wealthy. Transportation officials are trying to reach out across financial and language barriers, but even giving away free memberships can be a challenge. (Post)

Spies like us: An unassuming cluster of stone buildings near the Kennedy Center that once housed the OSS (the CIA's precursor) had been planned for redevelopment, but some agency alums have partnered with local preservationists to save it. (Post)

Give tours freely: DC's rules requiring all tour guides to pass a test and pay for a license are unconstitutional, a court found. There isn't much evidence the test actually improves tour quality. (DCist)

Mile high transit: The transportation plan approved by Denver voters in a 2004 referendum is finally bearing fruit. With 121 miles of new light rail and BRT going as far as Boulder, the city may soon have the best transit system in the west. (CityLab)

Dream of the 1890s: Bicycles took off in popularity in the late nineteenth century, and the freedom they granted women may have been instrumental in expanding women's rights (and upending fashion trends), despite warnings of Bicycle Face. (CityLab)

Don't stop for ducks?: A Montreal woman stopped at the side of the road to help a group of ducklings. A motorcyclist slammed into the car. A jury then found the woman guilty of causing the deaths. (WTOP)

And...: What Metro riders say about their experiences and frustrations today is very similar to what they said 14 years ago. (Post) ... Virginia's new law requiring 3 feet of clearance to pass a bike starts tomorrow. (FABB) ... Who needs a getaway driver? Bank robbers take the bus (or subway) more often than you'd think. (CityLab)

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Breakfast links: Build for bikes


Photo by neilfein on Flickr.
Trail rebuild gets OK: Plans to rehabilitate the Rock Creek Park Trail passed a major hurdle after clearing environmental review. DDOT now has to finish the design and engineering, both of which are funded. (WABA)

Bike lanes mean more space: Drivers give cyclists more room when passing if there is a bike lane painted on the street. This may help explain why cyclists feel safer with dedicated infrastructure. (Streetsblog)

Bikes are the real menace!: The Georgetown ANC finally supports traffic calming... for bikes. The ANC and Jack Evans want raised crosswalks on K Street to slow bike traffic. Yet 4 pedestrians died in collisions with drivers in the past 10 years. (GM)

Support for stadium?: Will the DC Council support a new stadium for DC United? It's not really clear after a hearing. Many expressed concern over whether DC was getting the best deal in the land swap, but few opposed it outright. Tommy Wells says he'll only support it if there is better transit. (City Paper)

No liquor delivery?: A service that offered deliver liquor to people in DC is breaking the law by taking money for alcoholic products without a license, say regulators, and will stop immediately. Could services like LivingSocial also be breaking the law? (WBJ)

A bigger Circulator?: The Bethesda Circulator might expand from its current 19-stop route. While many have called for expansion, funding and maintaining frequency remain obstacles. (BethesdaNow)

Check out affordable housing: Libraries can often serve as de facto homeless shelters, so now librarians are taking up the cause of affordable housing. Libraries are also hiring social workers and sometimes hiring the homeless outright. (Post)

And...: Virginia is starting to ticket Uber and Lyft drivers. (Post) ... Chinatown will get a women's shelter instead of high-end condos. (WBJ) ... To celebrate the National Zoo's 125th anniversary, Metro will offer 4 animal-themed SmarTrip cards. (DCist)

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Breakfast links: All the colors


Photo by @Doug88888 on Flickr.
Finance buildings for green cards: A lot of the financing behind DC's biggest new developments, like the Marriott Marquis, comes from foreign investors who get green cards in exchange for their investments. (City Paper)

Purple Line draws suit: Some Chevy Chase groups will bring a lawsuit to try to block the Purple Line, ostensibly over some endangered shrimp. Even if they lose, they might be able to delay the project and make it cost more. (Post)

Yellow cabs vs. black sedans: Hundreds of taxi drivers tangled up traffic in DC yesterday by effectively shutting down Pennsylvania Ave. The cabbies were protesting services like Uber and Lyft. (WAMU)

Riders needn't be blue over Silver: People who ride the Blue Line between Pentagon and Rosslyn will have fewer trains once the Silver Line opens, but new bus service should ease some of the pain. (PlanItMetro)

(Not) seeing red: A signal problem at Silver Spring and a train malfunction at NoMA snarled the Red Line yesterday. (Post)

Dulles losing out?: Dulles' domestic traffic has dropped as more people use DCA. Officials in Loudoun worry this activity moving east will hurt their economy, but MWAA wants to keep Dulles growing. (WBJ)

Riemer defends Met Branch: Among all the elected officials who weighed in on the EYA project at Takoma Metro, Hans Riemer is the only one who mentioned making sure the Metropolitan Branch Trail can continue through the site. (TheWashCycle)

Harris legalized marijuana?: The House voted to block funding for DC to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. But if it's no longer a crime, and DC can't write regulations for a lesser offense, did Andy Harris accidentally legalize it entirely? (Post)

Detroit loses its grid: In 1949, Detroit had a nice street grid. But a series of photographs shows how over time it got hollowed out for expressways, stadiums, and parking. (Streetsblog)

And...: Baltimore is using a trash-skimming machine powered by runoff to clean the Inner Harbor. (NPR) ... Eleanor Holmes Norton stops her driverless car ride before it even starts. (Post) ... Why did so few voters turn out in Montgomery County for Tuesday's primary election? (Post)

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Breakfast links: Primary results


Photo by mdfriendofhillary on Flickr.
Brown wins primary: Anthony Brown won Maryland's Democratic primary for governor. Turnout was low, and Brown won with a wide margin. Larry Hogan won the Republican primary, while Brian Frosh won the Democratic primary for attorney general. (Post)

Incumbents win in MoCo: In Montgomery County, Tom Hucker has won the District 5 open seat narrowly over Evan Glass. Sidney Katz came out on top in District 3, while Roger Berliner (District 1), the four at-large councilmembers, and County Executive Ike Leggett held off their challengers. (Post)

Silver Line solves your problems: Metro released new Silver Line ads. The commercials claim that the line, expected to open on July 26, can help you find a date, get a job, and spice up your previously-boring life. (City Paper)

"Yoga tax" survives: The DC Council rejected an effort to repeal the "yoga tax." Both candidates for mayor on the council voted for repeal. An Anacostia developer has offered to pay the tax for any gym that opens in the neighborhood. (WTOP, Post)

Some soccer land is extra pricey: DC will contribute $119 million for the DC United stadium deal. Two Buzzard Point parcel owners will get significantly more money for their property than independent appraisers say they're worth. (City Paper)

Taxis vs. ridesharing: Taxi drivers in DC are organizing to oppose transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, saying more regulation is needed. But are ridesharing services even more disruptive in cities with taxi medallions? (WAMU, Post)

Comment without leaving the house: DC councilmember David Grosso and OpenGov partnered to create MadisonDC, a tool that lets residents track and comment on pending bills. Other councilmembers have joined in to post their bills there. (DCist)

Pay for parking by phone: Drivers will soon be able to use Parkmobile to pay for parking in Arlington. The mobile app is the same one DC uses. EasyPark, which uses a device hung from the driver's window, will also be available and will replace iPark, which went out of business. (ArlNow)

Can't sell on-street parking: An app let people who had parked in a public spot auction it off to someone else. But San Francisco has ordered it shut it down. Selling one's own stuff is one thing, but selling public space may go too far. (Wired)

Bikes on the rails: Amtrak is adding new baggage cars with bike storage on all of their long-distance trains. Passengers will be able to roll on their bikes and will no longer have to disassemble them. (Streetsblog)

And...: Here's what Ballston may look like when the mall is redeveloped. (WBJ) ... Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is trying to block DC's decriminalization of marijuana. (Huffington Post) ... Capital Bikeshare temporarily ran out of keys for new members. (Post)

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