Greater Greater Washington

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Links


Breakfast links: Changes to and from Silver


Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
Bus Fairfax: After a major overhaul to accommodate the Silver Line, Fairfax will take another looks at its bus service. The county will be looking for input from the public at meetings and online. (Post)

Silver bows to stormwater : The MWAA voluntarily decided to make the second phase of the Silver Line comply with more stringent stormwater runoff regulations. The decision could increase costs and cause delays. (WAMU)

Rising waters: By 2100, rising sea levels from climate change could make big floods much more common in DC and surrounding areas. This could make building even more expensive. (Post)

Hearing DC statehood: The Senate held the first hearing on DC becoming a state in two decades yesterday, though only two senators showed up. While it likely won't go very far, would DC statehood be Constitutional? (Post)

Bikelash a good thing?: Could opposition to bikers, or "bikelash," actually be a sign of progress for cyclists? Opposition can be an indication that real change is being made in the streets. (CityLab)

Too many choices?: Could there be too much choice when it comes to schools in DC? Some students are going to 5 different schools in 6 years and schools that don't attract enough students risk losing funding. (Post)

Sidewalks everywhere: Sidewalks have come back into fashion. While building them with new development is easy, retrofitting them to existing streets can be difficult and expensive. (Bacon's Rebellion)

And...: Today is the first anniversary of the Navy Yard shooting. (WBJ) ... Metro picks a developer to bring housing and retail to Grosvenor-Strathmore. (WBJ) ... BART undergoes the long, detailed process of designing new rail cars. (CityLab)

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Links


Breakfast links: Growth patterns


Photo by urbanfeel on Flickr.
Inner-ring suburbs lose residents: After decades of decline, the nation's downtowns are experiencing growth while areas 2-5 miles from the center lose population. How can these areas be brought back without gentrification? (Urbanophile)

Families avoid coastal metros: Families with children aged 5 to 14 overwhelmingly moved to metro areas in the South and Intermountain West, driven by cheaper housing and more jobs. Will new families help these regions sustain growth? (Newgeography)

Can't always get what you want: How did Capital Bikeshare manage to install 25 stations this summer even while the manufacturer is bankrupt and other orders are delayed? It bought used stations from Ottawa along with 250 bikes. (Post)

Cash crunch at Metro: WMATA will need to take out a loan to avoid running out of capital money for repair work. That's because the federal government won't give it funds until after the money has been spent, thanks to past contracting irregularities. (Post)

DC's Grand Central: The proposed Union Station expansion could double the number of passengers in 20 years and ignite a building boom, similar to Grand Central Terminal a century ago. But with demand for office space dropping, who will pay for it all? (Post)

It's too crowded: Residents in Manassas often drive an hour and 45 minutes to work, thanks to heavy traffic. Some say "no one wants to live" there because of it. (Post)

DC mayoral choices "uninspiring": Despite an impending election, few District residents are excited about the choices. Meanwhile, the candidates are working to distinguish themselves through their platforms. (Post)

Cleaner rivers not clean enough: A study tracking pollution in rivers found much lower risks to humans, as regulations cut the use of toxic pesticides. New generations of pesticides, especially for pets, continue to cause harm to fish. (NYT, charlie)

One stop for homeless help: Denver's new homeless shelter not only provides a place to stay, but also total healthcare and social services. Could such a novel complex work in DC? (Denver Post, Neil)

And...: A streetcar connection could make or break the 11th Street Bridge Park. (CityLab) ... District officials will argue for statehood today despite slim chances. (Washington Times) ... An active commute is a happy commute. (CityLab)

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Links


Breakfast links: Four thousand problems


Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
4000-series drags down Metro: The 4000-series cars continue to break down at a much higher frequency than any other Metro car. With 7000-series cars not running until 2015, WMATA says it will do more to keep these reliable. (DCist)

Taxi discrimination: Last month, the DC Taxicab Commission and the DC Office of Human Rights made it easier to file discrimination complaints against taxi drivers. Since then, complaints have gone up, and outreach efforts have hardly begun. (WAMU)

Too big for Brookland: The DC Court of Appeals rejected a Zoning Commission-approved plan to build a mixed-use development near the Brookland Metro, citing concern that the project was too large for the community. (WBJ)

Contributing to change: DC is among a handful of jurisdictions that follow contributory negligence standard, which could prevent recovering damages from a crash if you do anything wrong. But proposed legislation could change that. (WABA)

Approaching a wrong-way cyclist?: What should you do if you're cycling in a bike lane and someone is riding the wrong way toward you? Brian McEntee tackles the issue in his latest "Gear Prudence" column. (City Paper)

Low-stress bike networks: Cities across America are successfully building bike lanes. For transportation planners, the next step is shifting focus from isolated bike lanes into creating "low-stress" bike networks. (Streetsblog)

And...: A DC group is planning a lawsuit to block the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel. (Post) ... Candidates for DC's at-large council seat oppose the DC United stadium swap. (City Paper) ... DC falls one spot in a tourist destination ranking. (WBJ)

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Links


Breakfast links: DC gets pricier


Photo by Ian Freimuth on Flickr.
Million dollar sales boom: In DC in July, 108 of 395 single-family homes sold for over $1 million. Over the last twelve months, nearly one in five homes sold for over that price. (City Paper)

Top millenial zips in Arlington: Two Arlington County zip codes have the largest share of 25-34 year olds in the US, at 44%; these zip codes include most of the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor. (ArlNow)

Buses a boon for business: Econonomic development officials in Alexandria are excited about the new Metroway corridor, which they say has attracted new developers and business tenants to nearby locations. (Alexandria Times)

Frm fire station to mixed-use?: The Bethesda-Chevy Chase rescue squad wants to redevelop their property into a new station, apartments, and retail. That would require a zoning change, which some neighbors oppose. (BethesdaNow)

A few speeders are still bad: Mary Cheh will hold a hearing on allegations that DC's traffic camera program can be unfair. But she also thinks the Inspector General went too far in suggesting cameras are misplaced where relatively few speed; in many neighborhoods, 15% speeders is still too many. (Post)

Rockville is crucial for BRT: The city of Rockville could potentially host three BRT routes, making it a crucial junction in Montgomery's system. The city's plan for the Rockville Pike will need to mesh with the county plans for BRT. (Gazette)

And...: A mobile market brings fresh food market to food deserts in the area. (WTOP) ... Fairfax Times interviewed Navid Roshan about the future of Tysons Corner. ... The DC Council asked the the Senate to vote on statehood before the midterm elections. (DCist)

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Links


Breakfast links: CaBi lives


Photo by thisisbossi on Flickr.
CaBi moving forward: The Capital Bikeshare system will continue to expand, despite issues with equipment suppliers. DDOT is planning locations for ten new stations, and the system's software manufacturer is producing a new station design that will work with the old ones. (d.ish)

Arlington soulless?: New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called Arlington a "soulless suburb" in her new memoir. She and her husband moved to Capitol Hill and found it a better fit. Gillibrand has now apologized in response to criticism from Arlingtonians. (ArlNow)

Metro fares by phone: Metro will soon launch a pilot of a new fare and parking payment system at ten Metro stations. The new system will allow riders to pay using their smartphones and contactless credit cards. (City Paper)

Greenbelt redevelopment: Metro is planning to redevelop Greenbelt station, although the site could still host the new FBI headquarters. Metro is working with its development partner to build a parking garage with new bus bays and kiss-and-ride spaces. (WBJ)

Children's National at Walter Reed?: Children's National Health System could get a chunk of land at Walter Reed. Thirteen acres would come out of land set aside for the State Department and would host a new research facility. (WBJ)

DC rail safety scrutinized: DC's first responders haven't conducted any rail emergency exercises recently, and DDOT doesn't have authority to oversee railroads in the city. DC Council members criticized city officials during a hearing about the Virginia Avenue Tunnel, focusing on rail safety. (Post)

New Communities needs overhaul: DC's New Communities program has largely failed to produce new affordable housing, according to a new report. It was not fully planned out, and building housing for displaced residents proved challenging. (City Paper)

No more polystyrene: Montgomery County could follow DC's lead and ban polystyrene food containers, as well as packing peanuts. Under a proposed law, county restaurants and cafeterias would have to use recyclable containers, trays, and cups. (Post)

Wheelchair-accessible cabs in Arlington?: A new taxi company will aim to have a have a completely wheelchair-accessible fleet. Located in Arlington, All Access Taxi still needs to obtain the necessary licenses, which the county may not issue. (ArlNow)

A better Memorial Circle: The Memorial Circle area could soon get safer for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers as the Park Service kicks off a new study. (WABA)

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Links


Breakfast links: More or less


Photo by Michael Galkovsky on Flickr.
Less crime on Metro: Serious crime has decreased on Metro bus and rail. More vigilant passengers, better deployment of police, and cold weather all helped. (Post)

More and less parking needed: There's lots of parking available at the new McLean Silver Line station, but only for cars. While 600 car parking spots sit empty almost everyday, the 72 bike parking spots fill up each weekday. (WAMU)

We're the most expensive! Or least!: Washington area residents spend the most on housing and related expenses like utilities and furniture. But if you count transportation costs, the area is actually more affordable than others. (City Paper, Post)

Scrutiny for traffic cameras: A new report finds problems with photo enforcement in DC, like not knowing which of several cars is speeding, or what to do when a car's license plate isn't on the car it's registered to. (Post)

Who killed Kirby: Alexandria police think they have the man who killed Transportation Planning Board director Ron Kirby last November and two others: Charles Severance, a 2-time candidate for mayor. A grand jury indicted Severance yesterday. (City Paper)

Hear, hear statehood: The US Senate will hold a hearing on DC statehood next week. While a victory for statehood activists, any statehood measure would have to pass the Republican-controlled House, which is unlikely. (City Paper)

A sign of the times: New York uses different street signs for its historic districts, so why not DC? In neighborhoods like Georgetown, they could also incorporate the historic names of the streets. (Georgetown Metropolitan)

And...: You can now use ParkMobile in Clarendon and Ballston. (ArlNow) ... DC doesn't plan much bike infrastructure in Buzzard Point. (WashCycle) ... Condos at Navy Yard Metro will include office space and parking for WMATA staff. (WBJ)

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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)

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Links


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.

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Links


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)

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Links


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)

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