Greater Greater Washington

Posts about Links


Breakfast links: Taxi money

Photo by Monika Hoinkis on Flickr.
Driven out: Uber drivers are not making as much as they expected, causing some to protest or quit. Fare cuts, glitches, and fees are all cutting into the drivers' take-home pay. (Post)

Hailo for less-o: Hailo, an app which lets you request a regular taxi, is charging only half price for rides between 10 am and 4 pm. Drivers will presumably get less money, but will they make up for it in volume? (InTheCapital)

A freeway revolt in the making?: While DC officials are studying how to replace the closed segment of the Southeast Freeway, DDOT engineers still want to reopen it to traffic, at least temporarily. But will temporary become permanent? (City Paper)

Cycletracks can reduce car congestion: Although they take space away from cars, protected bike lanes can speed car travel when paired with dedicated turn lanes. New York has used this design on several avenues successfully. (CityLab)

Transportation is key to sustainability: Seattle has decreased household CO2 emissions, first by pioneering recycling, and recently by collecting food scraps. However, increases in transportation emissions threaten that progress. (Next City)

Will garden cities help housing costs?: A proposal to build new towns around Britain has won a prize for promoting affordable housing. Although the new towns would be compact and connected by transit, some are calling them sprawl. (The Guardian)

Memorial for freed slaves: After reading about an old gravesite near the Wilson bridge, two residents worked to preserve it. The effort uncovered 540 graves of former slaves and identified their ancestors, culminating in a new memorial. (Post)

And...: The median size of housing in American cities is similar to sizes in the suburbs, and is growing. (Citylab) ... DC and Prince George's police share data in real time to combat crimes near the border. (Post)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: DC's Olympic bid

Photo by JL08 on Flickr.
DC cements Olympic intent: DC unveiled a website, slogan, and logo in its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The bid, led by Ted Leonsis and Russ Ramsey, announced a support coalition of several prominent business leaders in the region. (Post, WBJ)

High-speed rail opportunity: A group of investors wants to build a high-speed maglev train between DC and Baltimore, using a $5 billion commitment from the Japanese government. The trip would take only 15 minutes. (Baltimore Sun)

Gunfire near DC schools: In the 2011-2012 school year, more than half of all DC public and charter schools recorded gunfire nearby during the school day, and many of these schools recorded shot within 1,000 feet. (CityLab)

New Eisenhower Memorial design: Architect Frank Gehry has removed two metal tapestries and two columns from his Eisenhower Memorial design. The National Capital Planning Commission seemed more receptive to the latest revision. (DCist)

Good marks for cycling: Four area cities made Bicycling Magazine's top 50 rankings. Compared to 2012, DC moved down one spot to #5, but Arlington jumped up to #19. Alexandria and Baltimore also made the list for the first time. (TheWashCycle)

MoCo vs. Uber: Montgomery County is demanding that Uber comply with its taxi service rules. Uber maintains they're providing an alternative service and that the regulations can't keep up with modern technology. (Post)

London's bike highways: London is planning to build two bike lane highways that will cross the city north-south and east-west. London will also build protected bike lanes around the city's most dangerous intersections (BBC)

Small town living: What can small towns in Sweden can teach us about livability standards? Strong and frequent bus service, even in the suburbs, and slow speed limits for cars in a downtown area are key. (Streetsblog)

And...: College Park is looking to add more visible crosswalks. (The Diamondback) ... Drivers are finding the new Wiehle Avenue station parking garage to be confusing. (Post) ... Montgomery County is overhauling its approach to bicycle planning.

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Movement in city hall

Photo by Evan Parker on Flickr.
Move city hall?: College Park may relocate its city hall away from the town center to encourage other development in the current location. Officials are currently seeking community feedback. (Gazette)

House(ing) committee: Councilmember David Grosso wants a separate council committee for housing issues. Grosso cited previous stalled initiatives as a reason for more focus on housing. (DCist)

JBG publishes its own paper: A newsletter called "D/City" is popular in the 14th Street and Shaw areas. The paper is actually published by developer JBG, which mixes in "subtle references" to its projects along with local stories. (City Paper)

Arlington draws residents for jobs: Why do young people live in Arlington County? 45% of respondents to a survey said that it was because of their work location. The second most popular reason to live in Arlington was "friends/social scene." (ArlNow)

What about Baltimore's alleys?: Amidst the renaissance of alleys in DC, a different movement is spreading in Baltimore. Some blocks are working to block access with locked gates to create more private spaces and reduce crime. (Baltimore Sun)

Infill stations are good for transit: A new infill station on Boston's Orange Line will open next week. Infill stations can be a cheap way to increase transit ridership compared to expensive line extensions. (Transport Politic)

Urban parents struggle with expenses: 54% of urban parents said that they just meet or don't have enough money to cover basic expenses, compared to 38% of non-urban parents. (CityLab)

Walking and thinking: There's evidence that walking helps you think and be more creative, especially walking among greenery like a forest or park. (New Yorker)

And...: MPD officers will start wearing body cameras. (Wash. Times) ... Loudoun County may be a data center hub, but cellular coverage in the county is very poor. (WTOP) ... Uber, which had been rapidly expanding in Europe, is now banned in Germany. (BBC)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Winter is coming

Photo by zachstern on Flickr.
Homeless numbers increase: DC will see a 16% rise in the number of homeless families, meaning more may be placed in makeshift shelters like motels this winter. The city also saw an increase in homeless families this summer. (City Paper)

All men must age: We've built many suburbs for people who can get around easily, but what happens as the population ages? Transit and accessory apartments could help. (Post)

You know nothing, Muriel Bowser: Muriel Bowser spent a morning working with housekeepers at the Marriott Marquis. The housekeeper's union, UNITE HERE Local 25, invited her to find out what a hotel worker's day is like. (Post)

Alleyways to fun: DC's alleys are shedding their unsafe image and increasingly getting a facelift. Alleys now hold parks, restaurants, and community play spaces. (Post)

Don't litter in DC: Police are now enforcing littering laws across DC. A recent report found that littering tickets often go unpaid, and that violators will have little interest in complying with the law. (DCist)

Pipeline coming to Virginia?: Governor Terry McAuliffe is backing a natural gas pipeline that would pass through Virginia. He touted the energy and economic benefits of the pipeline, but environmental activists oppose the project. (Post)

Arlington students walk: Students in Arlington took a walking school bus on the first day of classes. The county is encouraging students to walk more often, and has begun a safety initiative with county police focusing on pedestrians and bicyclists. (ArlNow)

Walk the DC boundary: Take a walking tour of DC's original 40-mile boundary. See a few of the remaining boundary stones as well as other sites along the way. (Post)

More highway spending?: Vehicle-miles-traveled have increased just 1.4% since last June, yet the Federal Highway Administration used the slight increase to call for more highway spending. (Streetsblog)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Bike on

Photo by Ken_Mayer on Flickr.
Silver line biking: Bike parking at Wiehle has increased steadily since the line opened in July. Current counts would make it one of the most popular stations for bike parking, even though information on available parking is unclear or unavailable. (FABB)

Streetcar details: The H Street streetcar could provide a valuable connection to Metro for bar-goers. New proposed regulations suggest the line will run until 2 am on weekends. And, like Metro, bikes will be banned during rush hour. (DCist)

Cycle tracks for children: A cycle track in Austin helps kids bike safely to their elementary school. The project provides a safe connection from a wide neighborhood street to a new pedestrian and bike bridge. (Streetsblog)

Pedestrian error: Baltimore County has one of the highest incidences of pedestrian traffic fatalities in the US. Is "pedestrian error" or the county's design, with missing sidewalks and high-speed suburban roads, to blame? (NextCity)

After rent subsidies: Rapid Re-Housing provides temporary rental assistance to families facing homelessness in DC, but does it do enough? Subsidies end after one year and families are often placed in apartments where the rent is too high for them. (Post)

RFK plans: Are Washington's NFL team and the Olympic exploratory committee working together to build a new facility at the RFK site? Both have expressed interest in the site, and Olympic venues have been converted to team stadiums in the past. (Post)

Taxi times: In San Francisco, wait times for ride services like Uber are significantly shorter than wait times for taxis. Are ridesourcing apps' ability to connect passengers with the nearest driver driving their popularity? (CityLab)

Not there yet: Google's driverless car technology is far from ready for general use, and the remaining issues, like adapting to temporary conditions not in the system's database, may prove to be the hardest to solve. (MIT Technology Review, jimble)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Purple Line lawsuits

Photo by eddie welker on Flickr.
No lawsuit from Chevy Chase: The Town of Chevy Chase has chosen not to file a lawsuit to stop the Purple Line. However, the town said it could still file a brief in support of the lawsuit filed earlier this week. (Post)

Eminent Domain for Purple Line?: A Montgomery Circuit Court is hearing a case over whether a homeowner can keep a fence on the shoulder of the Georgetown Branch Trail. The outcome will determine whether the MTA will need to use eminent domain to build the Purple Line. (Post)

Fannie Mae selling headquarters: Fannie Mae will sell its iconic headquarters on Wisconsin Avenue, along with two other buildings, and consolidate within DC. The three properties are worth $172 million, according to DC property records. (City Paper)

A new Ward 5: Ward 5 has long complained about being DC's dumping ground. A plan unveiled this week envisions a new future for the ward while recognizing the needs of the industrial businesses in the neighborhood. (City Paper)

Stop blocking the streetcar: Parked cars on H Street are proving to be a problem along the streetcar route. Since streetcar testing began, the Department of Public Works has issued 143 tickets and towed eight cars for blocking the tracks. (WAMU)

Howze outlines streetcar improvements: Alan Howze, the Democrat running for Arlington County Board, outlined five ways that he would improve the Columbia Pike streetcar. Howze reiterated his support for a referendum on the streetcar. (ArlNow)

Bike lanes over car dependence: Downtown Pittsburgh has very little room for more car traffic. Instead of catering to cars, the city will begin building bike lanes to reduce car dependence. (Streetsblog)

Massive sprawl in Belgium: How did Belgium become the most congested country in Europe? Massive sprawl, a poor road network, and auto-centric policies in general are to blame, and there are few feasible solutions to fix the problem. (The Guardian)

And...: Former City Council candidate Jeff Smith will serve 60 days in jail for a false campaign finance filing. (DCist) ... The Memphis Airport is attempting to become an aerotropolis. (CityLab) ... To improve air quality, India's Health Minister wants to build bike lanes. (Streetsblog)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: RFK 2.0 coming?

Photo by sidewalk flying on Flickr.
New NFL stadium coming?: Dan Snyder mentioned in an interview that his organization has begun planning a Fedex Field replacement. He hopes to evoke RFK with a "retro" design, but gave no indication of a location for the new stadium. (WBJ)

More FBI workers in MD: A previously unreleased Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development report found that 43.2% of FBI employees reside in Maryland. Could this send the new headquarters to Maryland? (Post)

Purple Line not a threat: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service believes the Purple Line will not impact any endangered or threatened species. This is contrary to the opinion of a group of citizens who sued the Federal government this week. (City Paper)

"High rise" elementary opens: Significant crowding at a Fairfax County elementary school meant expansion was necessary, but county officials moved half the school to a nearby office building, instead of a traditional elementary campus. (WTOP)

Woodbridge to Tysons bus a goner?: The Tyson's OmniRide bus may not survive a transition to county funding. Ridership was lower than expected, with an average of 18 riders per bus each day. (Potomac Local)

Use the poor door, please: Officials in New York are demanding an end to the so-called "poor door" policy. The "poor door" refers to a separate entrance for income-controlled units in luxury buildings. (NYTimes)

Balancing bikeshare boggles brains: As many as thirty researchers are investigating the problem of how best to balance bikeshare stations for optimum usage. Even using various algorithms, the problem is extremely complex. (CityLab)

And...: A Kennedy is running for office in DC, for ANC in Foggy Bottom. (Post) ... Alexandria's retired planning director looks back on her time in office. (Alexandria Times) ... Eight new bikeshare stations opened in Alexandria last week. (WashCycle)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Big money

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr.
Baltimore's big gamble opens: The Horseshoe Casino opened on Tuesday. It is Maryland's fifth casino, and state and local leaders hope to use gambling revenue to revitalize the city and ease unemployment. (Post)

Metro settles suit: Metro will pay $5 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit, which revealed that the agency awarded a $14 million no-bid contract and fired an employee for speaking out. Metro did not admit wrongdoing, however. (WAMU)

DASH bus improvements: Besides the Metroway, Alexandria is seeing many new improvements to its DASH bus system. Among them are a new crosstown route, better Saturday service, and extended King Street Trolley hours. (Red Brick Town, Scott A)

Let kids walk: Petula Dvorak lets her kids walk to the corner store and go unsupervised for other summer activities. Unfortunately, not all kids in the DC area live in neighborhoods with wide sidewalks and easily accessible amenities. (Post)

A council divided: The DC Council is divided on what to do with the reconstruction of the Virginia Ave. CSX tunnel, particularly whether the project should be postponed until a completed comprehensive rail study. (Post)

CaBi signs in Bethesda: Montgomery County has installed new wayfinding signs for cyclists in downtown Bethesda with icons for CaBi and Metro stations. (TheWashCycle)

McMillan building trimmed: A medical building at the McMillan site will be shorter, along with other changes based on concerns from the Zoning Commission. The revised site plans also include transportation improvements and community benefits. (WBJ)

And...: It's a Metro tradition to give away pennants at new station and line openings. (Post) ... Fortune tellers in Front Royal may soon be able to operate legally. (WBJ) ... Scientists are hoping to connect with people emotionally on climate change. (CityLab)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Back to school

Photo by Jirka Matousek on Flickr.
Welcome back: School began in DC and Maryland on Monday. DCPS enrollment has increased steadily since 2008, though charter school enrollment has increased at nearly 5 times the pace. (City Paper)

Catania against school reassignment: David Catania vows to delay implementation of school boundary changes until at least 2016. He argues that the plan moves students to lower performing schools without support for school improvement. (City Paper)

Silver linings: Ridership is down 6% on Fairfax Connector compared to last August. But Fairfax Metrorail boardings are up 28% and park-and-ride usage is up 15%, suggesting a shift toward the Silver line rather than a decline in public transit use. (Post)

Driverless in DC: Driverless cars are often touted as the future, but how does one handle DC-area streets? While some features could come to cars in a few years, a completely automated car is probably a decade or so away. (Post)

Tree removal tiff: Pepco wants to remove several 100-year-old trees from private properties in Potomac, citing an agreement made with the city in the 1950s. Residents are fighting it, but Pepco says it's necessary to maintain reliable service. (

Tiny homes in DC: Proposed zoning regulations to limit camping in alleys threaten three tiny homes on trailers in Edgewood. The OP says concerns with sanitation led to the recommendation. (UrbanTurf)

Engaged renters: As home ownership declines, a survey in Philadelphia found that renters are more engaged in their communities than previously thought. Some city officials think the shift toward rentals is a sign of the city's increasing desirability. (Streetsblog)

Storage for the homeless: Vancouver and San Diego maintain storage units for the homeless. The units allow individuals to attend to needs, like medical appointments and job interviews, without the burden of protecting their possessions. (CityLab)

And...: Metro is adding five articulated buses per hour on the crowded 16th Street lines. (WAMU) ... DDOT funded signpost animal art that can be found around Capitol Hill. (Post) ... Dupont Circle residents with sound meters get the ABC board to limit one bar's music. (CityPaper)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.


Breakfast links: Know your history

Photo by Mr.TinDC on Flickr.
The day the city burned: British forces invaded the District and burned the Capitol, White House, Navy Yard and other buildings 200 years ago, after an inept defense at Bladensburg. Renewed patriotism later built support for the capital. (Post, JDLand)

The Beltway's golden: The Capital Beltway had its grand opening 50 years ago, with the ceremony causing a traffic jam. Though some things have not changed, there are many fewer deaths, even as the number vehicles of has risen dramatically. (Post)

More affordable than we thought?: A new study finds that DC is the second most affordable city for low-income earners, after San Francisco. The study takes into account transportation costs, putting older, denser cities ahead in the rankings. (Post)

Historic districts are not the problem: Do historic districts increase the cost of housing by limiting development? In one case where older houses just outside a historic district were replaced with an apartment building the resulting rent was still high. (RPUS)

The show will go on: A judge is allowing musicians to continue performing outside Metro entrances, while a lawsuit on the legality of playing for tips on Metro property continues. WMATA bans the practice, labeling it a commercial activity. (Post)

Subway bag check: Hong Kong allows air passengers to check in their bags at downtown subway stations, rather than hauling them to the airport. Would you use such a bag check if it accompanied Phase 2 of the Silver Line? (CityLab)

Scaling up urban farming: Although urban farms are closer to consumers, distributing the food has not been easy. However, several new companies are using technology to cut waste and beat the supermarket on convenience and cost. (CityLab)

And...: Is UNESCO's World Heritage City designation petrifying cities by stifling new developments and driving out locals (Domus) ... DDOT has proposed a minor change to the visitor parking program. (City Paper) ... The H Street streetcar derailed as part of an emergency drill. (WTOP)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
Support Us
DC Maryland Virginia Arlington Alexandria Montgomery Prince George's Fairfax Charles Prince William Loudoun Howard Anne Arundel Frederick Tysons Corner Baltimore Falls Church Fairfax City