Posts about Quizzes
Several of you sent in a great post on Toxel showing "unusual and creative bus stops" from around the world. Each of them seems to reflect some element of its environment, from the design sensibility of the area to the weather to the cutural quirks. Can you guess the country or city where each of these is located?
Yesterday, I posted about this horrendous project that would create a blank-wall type building at 11th and U with a big green barricade a few feet high.
Why would they elevate the lawn, further reducing its usefulness as a potential public space? The answer is on the architect's project page, which is unavailable (maybe they are cowering from the bad press of this blog?) but still available in Google cache:
By raising the level of the front yard, an English basement level was created allowing for additional levels above.Here's what I think is going on: there's a loophole in the height rules for zoning. The height of a building is measured from the "natural grade", but in some situations, artificially built-up land around a building may allow it to measure its height from a higher point. I believe that is what they are trying to do here, raising the yard so that the building could be a little higher and they can fit in another floor. Anyone know more specifics about this quirk in zoning?
Congratulations to inlogan who came pretty close to guessing the reason.
As part of the Zoning Update process, the Office of Planning is clarifying the rules around height. Their draft recommendations are more specific about where buildings measure their height (the midpoint of the building's frontage) and require that it use the same street for the height measurement that it uses for the maximum allowable height under the Height Act.
This would particularly affect buildings like Washington Gateway at New York Ave and Florida Ave, which used the curb on the elevated New York Ave for its height measurement to get three more stories than it would normally be allowed.
We should close these loopholes, both because they evade the intent of the zoning regulations, and more importantly, because they lead to anti-urban monstronsities like this. Too many developers build blank walls and landscaped barriers as it is; we don't need to give them a financial incentive to do so.
Here's a particularly egregious example of street-deadening architecture, via DC Metrocentric. This drawing shows a proposed building at 11th and U, one block from Metro. The silver lining: this project is "on hold" at the moment and not actively moving forward. With luck, the developers or regulators will come to their senses in time.
Not only does this building have no cafes or shops in an area that's very full of pedestrian traffic. Not only does it contain only a single entrance, leaving the rest of the block blank. Not only does it put the garage entrance in the front of the building. Not only does it put the building behind a landscaped buffer zone (like the apartment buildings on Mass Ave), making it impossible to add ground-floor retail in the future.
All these transgressions against good design pale next to one: it also raises the landscaped buffer up a few feet, creating a wall along the sidewalk that further isolates pedestrians. And then, along the building's edge, the buffer drops back down in front of the windows.
Everyone got the last quiz wrong. Believe it or not, according to the National Household Travel Survey, "Work trips account for a larger percentage of transit trips in more populous areas
All the stats from the quizzes are here. Thanks for playing!
The answer to Saturday's quiz: Of transit riders who used transit as their primary mode of travel, 87 percent walked to transit. Everyone guessed on the low side, but Greg Sanders came closest. Good job Greg!
Moving on to a different topic: 34% of transit trips were to or from work. But the survey compares metropolitan areas of 500,000 people or more with those under 500,000. Which group had a larger percentage of transit trips being for work, the larger or smaller areas? How big of a gap is there between them?
The answer will likely surprise you.
The answer to yesterday's quiz: 64.5% of transit riders nationwide start their trip within five minutes of their transit. 19.9% are 6-10 minutes away (meaning 84.4% are within 10 minutes). 8.9% are 11-15 minutes, 2.5% 15-20 minutes, and 4.1% more than 20 minutes.
Laurence Aurbach came in with a last-minute winning guess of 65%, which was 99% accurate. Great guess Laurence!
Here's the next quiz: of all the people who used transit as their primary mode of travel (regardless of whether they were 5 minutes from transit or not), what percent walked to transit (versus driving or something else)?
The answer to yesterday's quiz: among one day's transit riders nationwide, 44% come from households that don't own a car. 33% come from one-car households, 14% two cars, and 9% have more than one.
The closest guess was Matt' who guessed 40%. Good job Matt'!
Now for today's transit quiz: according to the same survey (of transit riders nationwide, using all modes, on a particular day): what percentage of transit riders took only five minutes or less to get from the start of their trip (i.e. home) to the place where they boarded the transit (whether they walked, drove, etc.)?
Post your guesses in the comments. Answer here.
Tim Torma of the EPA sent me a great site with lots of interesting stats on transit ridership. Here's a quick quiz to test your intuition: according to a survey of people in the United States who
ride transit at least occasionally used transit as their principal mode of travel for a trip on the date of the survey, what percentage come from households that do not own a car?
Post your guess in the comments.
Answer is here.
- Long-term closures: A solution to single-tracking?
- Metro policy for refunds after delays falls short, riders say
- Judge denies injunction against closing schools
- M Street cycle track keeps improving, draws church anger
- Cyclists are special and do have their own rules
- Bikeshare is a gateway to private biking, not competition
- O'Malley announces first projects using new gas tax money