Latest Comments

  • GGW's headline here was exactly right.

    Whatever Elon Musk does or doesn't know about permitting and whoever he did or didn't talk to anywhere in the US government, this thing today isn't a real news story. There is no actual news development on any actual real project. It's a pr stunt. It's sad that not just the tech outlets, but even NYT, WaPo, Reuters, LAT and more ran pieces on this today (and probably got lots of clicks for doing it). Kind of embarrassing that they will get played so easily and declare this news. Musk might as well promise a time machine at this point and see what headlines he can get for fun.

  • I'm for speed cameras, and I've never gotten a ticket there, but the speed limit on I-295 near blue plains is crazy slow for an interstate and for the design of the road.
  • Musk made his first fortune as a founder of Paypal which is not subsidized. 

    He's been on record multiple times saying he favors the elimination of subsidies for solar and electric vehicles and instituting a carbon tax instead. It's not his fault politicians aren't able to get that done. Solar City and Tesla would probably be even more successful under a carbon tax regime.

    The Tesla Model 3 is an affordable EV that costs less than competitors such as the Chevy Bolt. So, not just for the rich. 

  • From David (in the article):

    "The only thorny spot is where Pennsylvania, 19th, and H come together; a new phase in that signal would become necessary to let westbound buses enter Pennsylvania."

    Not necessarily.  Just time it with the eastbound left turn phase from Pennsylvania to H.
  • He's basically a huckster who has benefitted from massive government subsisides to build cars (and only occasionally - in a decade Tesla has delivered fewer than 200k cars, a number which other auto manufactures - worth a quarter of Tesla's "value" - deliver in 90 days) for 1%ers, all the while riding a wave of hype produced by useful idiots to a stock price that isn't just absurd, it's absolutely psychotic.  Every single one of his companies is wholly dependent subsidies from the federal government.  The SEC should have opened a case on him for his tweeting a long, long time ago.

  • CrossingBrooklynFerry on July 20, 2017 at 4:55pm (Breakfast links: The Purple Line wins a significant victory)
    Er, no. Rte 1 is NOT a limited access highway. Its a street with traffic lights, that people cross on foot and on bikes (and turn into from side streets).  It is located at the southern edge of Old Town, one of the denser and most pedestrian oriented parts of the City.   Sorry some folks from Fairfax don't like it (and have unreasonably high speeds on their part of Rte 1) but we ain't changing that. 
  • spookiness on July 20, 2017 at 4:51pm (Breakfast links: The Purple Line wins a significant victory)

    This (second paragraph). The speed limits are posted for political reasons and revenue generation and have no relationship to the roadway design or the presence of pedestrians. I got a ticket near the DC border adjacent to Blue Plains. I don't speed any more either, but 60mph is a completely rational speed on a remote stretch of a limited access interstate highway.

    Alexandria's 25MPH immediately upon the Beltway exit at Rt1 North is equally dumb.

  • nuttree on July 20, 2017 at 4:49pm (The Ideal Cyclist)

    When you're riding your stationary bicycle in your basement, do you yield to baby ducklings?

  • michelle r on July 20, 2017 at 4:48pm (Happy birthday, VRE!)
    Correct me if I'm wrong -- is there some kind of logistical reason why Freddy (and Manny?) can't run more frequently than they do now? I remember reading something way back when about how they share tracks with a freight train and they can't increase the number of trains they run during the day.
  • Ridiculous band-aid for Georgetown Transit.  Run the streetcar across the river on it's own bridge after it reaches Georgetown or add a metro stop.  The gondola is a great idea for tourism and weekends, but I doubt people will use it heavily for commuting.  
  • First of all, cyclists don't weigh 4000 pounds and have a couple hundred horsepower available at the slight movement of their right foot.

    Second, these trails are actually multi-use paths intended for pedestrians, cyclists, families, dog walkers, horses (very common on the W&OD), etc...

    Third, cyclists aren't legally required to use bike paths. Cars are explicitly forbidden on trails.

    Finally, the cyclists you've seen on 395 were undoubtedly riding on the shoulder and not in the road, so not even comparable to a car on the trail.

  • I would also note that more often than not, there's a Howard University campus police or MPD cruiser sitting parked in the bus lane while the officers eat a Chipotle.
  • I'm sure Musk knows better but "verbal govt approval" is a laughable concept. If only because doing business via a spit-and-handshake is basically the exact opposite of how government works. The very notion of verbal govt approval makes you laugh out loud because the government requires documentation and due process to an absurd extreme. 

    I don't know why Musk tweeted that but he has a complicated relationship with the Trump admin. He recently quit the admin's business advisory council over the Paris Accord. Maybe the admin is patching things up with him and getting him to tweet something related to a vague promise of job creation in the distant future (as are the typical job creation deals from the admin such as the fake $110B arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the fake saving of jobs at Carrier). 

    What's really laughable/sad is the administration has zilch on their promised infrastructure bill. Instead, they resort to getting business leaders to announce vague initiatives that are absurdly large and have no bearing to reality. Sort of like how Trump got the CEO of Japan's Softbank to announce a $50B investment in the US that will create 50,000 jobs -- that's been widely debunked.

  • Bus lanes in theory help people avoid congestion, when implemented appropriately.  The bus lane on Georgia Avenue between Barry and Florida does not.  It causes massive congestion and in my many days commuting through there, have always sat it unnecessary traffic b/c cars lose a lane of traffic while almost never seeing a bus actually come through using the lane.  I know they do, but it really isn't frequent enough that a dedicated lane was necessary there.  
  • What's the deal with all of these identical comments?
  • It isn't the width of the lane that is attractive to drivers, it's the absence of traffic.  I try really hard every morning to not use that lane, but I won't lie - if I look back and there is no bus or biker coming, I'll drop into it early to make my right turn a few blocks down.  I really really do not understand it's utility between Florida and where it ends by that McDonalds.  The traffic congestion caused by cars having to merge into the left lane when heading Southbound on Georgia cannot save the buses any time overall.  And until the bus drivers learn to actually use the full bus area at the stops all the way up Georgia Ave instead of leaving the ass end of them in the lane to block traffic, they don't deserve a dedicated lane.
  • Needs many riders have identified: 

    1) we need a 2 dollar flat fare.

    2) the return of our late night service.

    3) a funded transit system that is funded by landowners and developers turning a profit on their real estate near metro stops.

    4) we need a reliable system that doesn't defer crucial maintenance

    5) we want fare evasion decriminalized and a system put in place that takes into account a riders ability to pay. 

    6) we want a system that takes street harassment seriously and puts resources into ensuring their staff are trained on the various types of harrassment that metros ridership may face (transphobia, transmisygny, sexism, racism, etc)

  • rrj on July 20, 2017 at 4:18pm (Happy birthday, VRE!)
    I used the VRE every day from Leeland Road for several months from August-November 2015 before moving up to Baltimore County and switching to MARC.  I loved it- the Fredericksburg line is a really beautiful route.  Weekend and evening VRE hours would have made staying in Fredericksburg more feasible, and I really hope they add them in the future.
  • I think that's backward. We've been laying down transit infrastructure on public and private land for a couple hundred years now, but an 800 mph vacuum tube train is the stuff of an undergraduate engineering thesis (if not a term paper), still highly conceptual.

    That's fair, but what I was trying to get at is that if you have a highly conceptual idea on the level of an engineering thesis, does it make sense to go out and start trying to bargain for public and private land? Shouldn't you determine if it's feasible and desirable from an engineering perspective first (or at least, in parallel)?

  • He bought an existing, used, TRB, and lowered it into a hole. That's as far as he's gotten.

    Meanwhile over at Team Hyperloop, they've managed to launch a small rail car to 70mph using magents. You can see the same technology in action at Six Flags Great Adventure on the Kingda Ka.
  • Hey I know a guy who is great at buying properties, branding hotels, and drawing TV ratings. So good, in fact, that he's become a global name and a billionaire.

    I'm sure he'll be a great president. He has clearly demonstrated the ability to succeed!
  • That's the plan. The Boring Company is trying to blow away the old tech in that arena.
  • And deep tunnels could be different from surface transportation. If the Boring Company makes the efficiency gains in tunnel-boring they're aiming for, it's conceivable they'll be burrowing deeper and straighter than anything we currently have. Would the federal government be able to claim sole jurisdiction under a certain depth? Probably not. But surface transport hurdles could be streamlined or eliminated.
  • 1) we need a 2 dollar flat fare.

    2) The return of our late night service.

    3) a funded transit system that is funded by landowners and developers turning a profit on their real estate near metro stops.

    4) we need a reliable system that doesn't defer crucial maintenance

    5) we want fare evasion decriminalized and a system put in place that takes into account a riders ability to pay. 

    6) we want a system that takes street harassment seriously and puts resources into ensuring their staff are trained on the various types of harrassment that metros ridership may face (transphobia, transmisygny, sexism, racism, etc)

  • There probably is but you yourself asked if this is about fewer cars/less congestion. Wanting that certainly isn't anti-car I don't think.

    Bus lanes help people avoid congestion. Simply making the road not so wide may help with congestion (plenty of road diets around here have shown that). Turns out that just driving more and more doesn't ease congestion anyway.
  • CrossingBrooklynFerry on July 20, 2017 at 3:38pm (A bus lane on H Street NW and bikeway on Pennsylvania Avenue would kick ass)
    I think addressing details at specific locations is far more informative.
  • CrossingBrooklynFerry on July 20, 2017 at 3:36pm (Sorry, Elon Musk. "Verbal govt approval" for the Hyperloop is not a thing.)
    It looks like Matt Yglesias is reading here.
  • There is a difference between wanting less cars and being anti-car/roadlanes

  • As far as that whole area goes it really is a cluster  They should eliminate all left turns which is mostly done but do so for buses as well, and then for people trying to turn right limit the pedestrian flow with some sort of barn dance hybrid.  As it is now with many metro stops and high pedestrian traffic nearby people can barely turn right.       
  • Why would saying that be at all controversial?

    Everyone wants less cars on the road. Especially people driving.
  • Yo David can you just go on record and say that you want less cars/roads in DC and more bike/bus lanes with condo/tower/apts TOD at metro with some percentage of AH. Just put the issue to rest Thanks
  • @Vramin

    Fair enough. 

  • @michelle r: Precisely.

    @richardb: Actually, I strongly believe that people who have demonstrated a propensity to drive unsafely should be prevented from driving. I believe that your driving privileges should depend on your behavior, not your ability to pay.

    Furthermore, one of the reasons that it's difficult to keep bad drivers off the road is that, in most places, there are no alternatives. If you take away someone's license in present-day America, they are likely to drive anyway, because otherwise they cannot get around. If we change our transportation system so that people can get around without cars, this will also make it less likely that people with suspended licenses will keep driving. 
  • The statutory requirement was on the books, and the implementing regulations were in final form at the time that the zoning order was issued.

    That may be, but the effective date is a bright-line rule. And PUD amenities are judged by a comparison to a by-right development proposal. IZ was not in force at that time. 

    If you want to argue it was bad faith, fine. But rules go into effect on a particular date for a reason. 

    Do you have any other examples of statutorily required affordable housing counting as a public benefit under the PUD regs? Any examples that aren't edge cases due to the timing of IZ implementation? 

  • I'm sure he knows what he's talking about from an engineering standpoint, but I don't think you can really nail down anything about funding, ROW, etc. when the technology is itself still being developed.

    I think that's backward. We've been laying down transit infrastructure on public and private land for a couple hundred years now, but an 800 mph vacuum tube train is the stuff of an undergraduate engineering thesis (if not a term paper), still highly conceptual. 

  • David Alpert's ghost on July 20, 2017 at 2:54pm (Sorry, Elon Musk. "Verbal govt approval" for the Hyperloop is not a thing.)

    GGW is going down the road of sensationalist click-bait territory to try to be more relevant to a larger base of readers who cue in on trigger names like Elon. Great connection with the old article! 

  • If you're bored than you're boring  
  • I board at 14th Street, either on an S-series or the 42/43 as well. It's amazing how 2/3 of my trip home is just on those 3 blocks of I Street, and then my trip up 16th or Connecticut is basically perfect. That turn from I Street onto 17th/Connecticut is just brutal.
  • NASA doesn't have to deal with right of way or submit environmental impact studies to the folks on the moon.
  • It just might be possible to work on several parts of the tunnel at the same time.  

    And boring machines can bore faster, 200 ft in some soils is not unheard of.  

  • I agree with the thinking, but with the movement and addition of cameras, it's hard to get a good comparison. A better metric is the number of crashes (fatal or otherwise) where speeding is cited as a cause. Especially since safety is the primary goal. 
  • Isnt this the attitude in most middle-class/upper-middle class [and up] suburban communities?

    Pretty much, but then you look at the Purple Line, which wouldn't have gotten this far without the political support of wealthy suburbanites. 
  • I think you're projecting some other kind of argument here and your lack of punctuation and grammar scream of the same kind of logical ability as some of your MAGA friends. This article isn't fake, it's non-news. How many more articles need to be written about a tweet and counter responses to a tweet?
  • Re: Purple Line

    In the draft transportation budget, every transit project that doesn't have a Full Funding Grant Agreement in place has been dropped.  And the DOT / FTA decided not to sign a FFGA because of the litigation.

    So the DC Circuit would have to reverse the Judge Leon's ruling first.  Then it goes to DOT / Secretary Chao to sign the FFGA.  Secretary Chao could refuse to sign the FFGA, or a Congress could pass an amendment that would prohibit her from signing the FFGA.  I imagine that the FFGA is what Maryland and PLP are waiting for to begin heavy construction.

    I may be missing a step.

  • During the last public meeting, concerns were raised from a hotel on H Street where the Buslanes would block access and queueing to it. Interested to see how that was solved.

    The protected lanes are a solid improvement but it only reaches its potential if Pennsylvania Avenue at the White House is opened. Otherwise, people will use H Street, which likely isn't designed to accommodate bicycles.
  • These are hardly "trivial details" we're talking about. The magnitude of what Musk is proposing is unprecedented bordering on impossible.
  • Here in Alaska, drivers turn onto the railroad too. Amazingly enough, this is July and the driver reported part of the problem was darkness at 2am. Fortunately, she got out of the SUV before it was hit by the freight train. SUV accidentally stuck on South Anchorage tracks struck by train

  • I'm sure he knows what he's talking about from an engineering standpoint

    I wouldn't count on that... remember that Musk has only written a very vague, unsourced white paper on Hyperloop. He left the actual engineering to other firms. Some of them seem to be making progress toward a working prototype, but there's no telling if or when the tech will ever actually be feasible for  human passengers for long-distance trips.

  • michelle r on July 20, 2017 at 2:12pm (Breakfast links: The Purple Line wins a significant victory)

    I think one aspect that is being missed here is that we should be seeing results from these initiatives. If the number of speeding tickets issued each year remains the same year after year, then to me that would suggests that the fines are too low or that there are other conditions that may need to be adjusted (such as increasing the number of cameras, or stationing a cruiser at problem intersections, etc.)

    It'll be hard to really measure this until DC works out the kinks in their program though, but in general we should seeing year over year decreases in the number of speeders in the  District.

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