Latest Comments

  • Another Nick on March 25, 2019 at 3:03 pm (Check out these historic train stations in the Washington region)

    though they were built by different railroads.

    This might not be entirely accurate.  For instance, the RF&P's Alexandria Union Station was actually designed by the Pennsylvania RR.  The drawings at the library are even stamped by the PRR chief engineer's office.  It sports the same Federal Revival style that Fredricksburg and a whole lot of PRR stations have (like Perryville!).  

    RF&P might have built Fredericksburg, but it has a PRR-designed station written all over it.  Without heading down to the Alexandria library to see if they've got the relevant part of the RF&P archives, it isn't easy to confirm if it was entirely in-house or a PRR product, but my gut says PRR.

  • Since the stations are/were served by commuter trains originating in Washington, I think it's fair.
  • On a related note, purchasing a home does not give you the right to insist/demand the surrounding neighborhood remain exactly the way it was when you bought your place for the rest of eternity.
  • Frederick and Baltimore are NOT the "Washington region".

    Let's get serious. 

  • Great post, but the Camden Station photo doesn't really represent what is still there. 

    Yes, I'm not sure why this post uses a different photo of Camden Station than the original post

  • Great post, but the Camden Station photo doesn't really represent what is still there.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camden_Station.

    Camden and Mt. Royal are connected by the Howard Street tunnel, which was originally used by both intercity and commuter trains.  So next time you get off the train at Baltimore Penn and wonder why you're so far from downtown, think about that.

     
  • @Chester B.

    Agree 100%.

  • I don't think they should sell it to DC either. They should just give it to DC instead. When DC earned home rule, the federal government gave the DC government lots of land, this should have been included in that. 
  • The typo in the Manassas caption just made my day, because I'm real mature.
  • I don’t think the federal government should sell RFK unless DC commits to keeping the vast majority of it as recreational or public space. We’re really not so hard up for money in this country that we need to sell our public spaces for private use. Frankly, even a football stadium barely qualifies as a “recreational” use. 
  • Rochester, and to a lesser extent Buffalo, continue to benefit from the legacy telecommunications backbone that flows through them just as insanely large internet traffic flows through northern Virginia.  Last I heard, Buffalo was also making solar panels, but that didn't seem to be going too well
  • Katelyn Gallagher on March 25, 2019 at 1:01 pm (Check out these historic train stations in the Washington region)
    The old train station in Sykesville is now a restaurant called Baldwin's Station!
  • I still hold the position no one has a "right" to live anywhere. If you cannot afford it, you cannot afford it.

    People should be able to afford living in a general metropolitan area, but I disagree with authors and commenters here who say people have a right to live in a specific neighborhood or city.

  • I've heard that this is a bad option because of flooding, contaminated soil and that the fill nature of the soil is difficult for large scale construction. I have no idea how true any of that is. 

    The RFK Site is big. Parts of it are on the high ground, and others are river fill. 

    Most of the parking lots are both within the floodplain and built on river fill (hence why they're in the floodplain). They're not going to be good options for housing development. 

    And yes, there are contaiminants in the soil used for that fill - the extent isn't truly known, but that's OK - again, not a great idea to build in the floodplain anyway. 

    The rest of the site is on the high ground and perfectly suitable for future development: the stadium itself, the areas between Constitution and Independence, and the parking lots across from the Armory. 

  • The supply and demand system works pretty well without the need for artificial "extra cheap housing because you have a right to live where you cannot afford to"

    The problem is the corruption. When developers, foreign investors and the wealthy are allowed to artificially inflate rent by buying up extra property and letting it literally sit there. I'm talking about the rich guy who has five homes in five different cities and he lives in each one a few months out of the year. 

    That's the problem. Limit how much property the rich can buy or rent out at once. Stop the artificial inflation. Then we will have "fare" housing prices that truely match supply and demand of regular people with average incomes. 

    I still hold the position no one has a "right" to live anywhere. If you cannot afford it, you cannot afford it. 

  • There's no doubt that the region needs housing, but the city of DC has very few open spaces for active recreation that are not dominated by highways and/or parking.  The solution to our housing challenges is transforming transit and bike infrastructure as well as land use policy so that underused assets - the air rights over the Amtrak rail yards, Columbia Pike in Arlington,  Route 1 in Alexandria, much of the city of Baltimore - become attractive for large-scale investment.  The land under RFK is park land, and should be revitalized as park land, not developed.

    And, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, please tell Dan Synder to go buy whatever he wants from private parties with his own checkbook.
  • We definitely agree. It boggles the mind that most of those who tripped over themselves to get Metro to Reston are now NIMBY's and want none of the dense development and redevelopment that heavy rail always brings. 

    Yes, the Silver line stations are poorly designed and located, especially the soon-to-open Reston Town Center station with virtually no parking and located too far from the town center, but that's what we got for our six billion dollars.

  • If the plan is cyclists share the center lanes with buses I’m skeptical.  IMO some of the most aggressive drivers on the road are bus operators.  
  • I've heard that this is a bad option because of flooding, contaminated soil and that the fill nature of the soil is difficult for large scale construction. I have no idea how true any of that is. 

    If true, I'd like the area turned into recreation space. Robert F. Kennedy Recreation Center or something. We've been using the parking lots as the city's unofficial Fair Grounds for years, maybe we need a real fair grounds. And sports fields. 

  • The Post article unfortunately paraphrases DDOT as saying "The new design, also would use the road space more efficiently and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists" without asking or explaining how it would make it safer for cyclists. I don't think that it currently does. 

  • Except that we've already been "planning" a K street transitway probably 10 years now. 

    Not so much. We may have first put the K Street transitway in a plan more than 10 years ago, but we have not been planning it for that long. And more importantly, we haven't been actively designing it for that long. Maybe we put something in a planning document and then it sits there untouched for 30 years - that doesn't mean we've been planning it for that long.

    Planning is relatively easy. Constructing is harder, but it's basically a manner of doing the steps. Designing on the other hand - that's the hard part. We haven't been doing that for 10 years, and we're not done with it yet.  It's worth asking why we can't start construction until 2023 (the design process should not require 4 more years), but if it were budget constraints would that be unreasonable?

  • People who built a sprawling golf course country club on the furthest fringes of the DC area sprawl are talking about the need to preserve rural heritage. 

    [County Supervisor] doesn’t think the government should be telling a landowner what they can and can’t do with their property, as long as they’re not harming anyone.

    This is reasonable but don't you know that this doesn't apply when someone wants to add an ADU or subdivide or commercial business or something that might impact parking, views, congestion, or maybe make someone think about building a bike lane.

  • Solar is good, but it's not just solar.  A number of data centers have opened in the Buffalo, NY region for a variety of reasons - cheap electricity generated from the Niagara river (about half the water is directed away from the falls to generate electricity), cooler temperatures, skilled technical workforce, etc. The first two are helpful in preserving the environment if data centers must be built somewhere.
  • Yes, that was my point. And, it's not rail - it's just BRT.
  • Regarding the RFK site, build it out.  Extend the grid into it, create some great public spaces and build a really nice and environmentally sensitive water front.  There are countless opportunities in and around the city to build more and better housing.  This could be a showcase as to how to do it well.
  • Lawsuits and issues with acquiring property have resulted in multiple delays with construction of the Purple Line. No one is sure when it will open or how much the delays will cost, but contractors claim it could be as much as $300 million. (Katherine Shaver / Post) Twitter

    This is why I'm skeptical that the Boring Company or any other engineering firm will be able to get the costs of building transit down by a noticeable amount. A lot of these costs aren't really engineering or technical at all -- they're the cost of buying land in an expensive area and then wading through the gauntlet of lawsuits and appeals and new lawsuits and appeals, which can take an unpredictable amount of time to resolve (even if they lack merit). 

  • M&T Bank Stadium should suffice.  
  • As long as MD/VA has a decent Stadium to hold the World Cup 2026 near the Nation's Capital
  • And in the US, interstates are built with something like three feet.  I'm also skeptical that every major road that isn't the Autobahn isn't built to that level of effort.

    But the BW Parkway isn't built to interstate spec but sees loads on par with one.  That's the actual problem.

  • PL

    Send the bill to those jackholes in Chevy Chase. 

  • RFK could be a new home for Washington's football team

    Fortunately DC's XFL team is going to play at Audi Field :-)

  • Except that we've already been "planning" a K street transitway probably 10 years now. 
  • I know I'm off topic but I love the realism of the taxi driver turning too close to a pedestrian at 3:36. 
  • Re: Spotsylvania County

    Solar power augmented data centers are a must. The good news is corporate data centers are downsizing as firms shift to cloud-based services. The large cloud providers have the means, expertise and incentive to build alternative energy supported and efficient data centers, as Microsoft is planning in Spotsylvania.

    The bad news is that much of America has yet to realize how catastrophic climate change will be. If they did, the people of Spotsylvania will realize that Microsoft's solar plan will help preserve their environment not destroy it. 

    Were not there yet. Until people understand the full scope of the problem, they aren't ready to pay the bill. 

    Our response to climate change will be too late and desperate and probably hopeless.  

  • Not ridiculous at all.  These things take quite a bit of time.  From the time we started with the initial round of planning for the Detroit streetcar to when it opened was almost ten years, and there was nothing unusual about that.  Six years is actually pretty ambitious.
  • "as soon as 2025" - that is not soon, not soon at all. 2021 would be 'soon'. That's more like 'as ridiculously far off as 2025'.

  • With more metro stations opening soon, this area will soon be Ballstonized. Get over it & get used to it - it's a world capital, it's supposed to grow and densify. There are plenty of shrinking places in Ohio with dirt cheap real estate - maybe some of these folks can move there.
  • Richard B on March 25, 2019 at 7:26 am (Arlington tests the future of protected bikeways)

    @David C

    Stealing bikes is not cool. Get off Ausburg’s bike and turn yourself in. 

  • Kudos and applause for The Emory Fellowship in Brightwood.  More non-profit churches and agencies could make better use of their land (upon which they pay no tax) by re-developing their property to accommodate both their own organization and functions along side of (or beneath) affordable housing units. 

    The Emory Fellowship already had experience providing housing and other community services.  They combined their own land with an experienced non-profit housing developer, public funds, low-interest loans and tax credits.Of course, while charity is important, charity alone cannot correct our housing problems.  There are many other approaches worth pursuing such as amending overly-restrictive zoning regulations.  Another approach that is often overlooked, but which has been successful where it has been used, is to reduce the property tax rate on privately-created building values while increasing the tax rate applied to publicly-created land values.  The lower rate on buildings makes them cheaper to construct, improve and maintain.  Surprisingly, the higher rate on land helps keep land prices more affordable as well.  Thus the District could make both buildings and land more affordable by shifting the property tax off of buildings and onto land.This won't solve all our problems.  But cheaper land and buildings will help many residents and businesses.  And, to the extent that housing subsidies attempt to fill the gap between 30% of people's income and the market price of housing, reducing the market price of housing allows limited subsidy dollars to help more people.Several articles about this approach were recently posted on the Strong Towns website at www.strongtowns.org/landtax?rq=Land%2... .

  • David C on March 24, 2019 at 11:11 pm (Arlington tests the future of protected bikeways)

    I also ride a lot of bikes and I ride them to a lot of places. I am the world's most experienced cyclist and have ridden all bikes at all places.  In fact, I'm riding your bike right now. To be correct, I'm riding your bike and my bike and your other bike all at the same time. I do that. So I think we can agree that my opinion is therefore the only correct one in the world because of my vast and unparalleled experience. 

    I have found that my upright, definitely not racing, bike will fit into every single bike lane in the entire world. So does my e-bike. So does my bike with a trailer. My cargo bike doesn't, but when it doesn't, I just take it in the road and am no worse off for the existence of a demarcated bike lane. 

    I find it incredible to believe that a delivery truck would just plow over these wave demarcations to park in the bike lane. I don't even see them do that with flexposts. Where THIS wave has been used, I never see garbage cans or recycle bins in the bike lane and there are no mailboxes at the curb, so I don't see how that's relevant. That sounds like a residential area, and no reasonable person would use these in such an area. 

    Sounds like the bike lanes in the area where you bike are terrible and badly maintained. Ours are less bad.

    Finally, these are TEMPORARY bike lane demarcations so the other concerns aren't really valid.

  • I never said roads should last "indefinitely". I don't know where people got that from. I said more resilient than they are now. Sheesh. 
  • Augsburg on March 24, 2019 at 10:35 pm (Arlington tests the future of protected bikeways)

    Hi, I ride both protected and unprotected bike lanes all the time.  My wife and I each put about 100 miles a week on our bikes.  I ride with a conventional bike, an e-assist cargo bike, and a 3-wheel recumbent trike (due to physical limitations).  I've learned first hand that many bike lane designs do not accommodate anything other than a narrow racing road bike - even though most states classify 3-wheelers as legal bikes.

    To get to your question, of course, a protected bike lane is a great improvement, but I do see regular abuses on a daily basis.  Delivery and service vehicles constantly park in the bike lanes to save the driver a couple of steps - forcing cyclists out into high speed traffic.  Broken glass and road debris litter the bike lanes and any protection for the lane results in less frequent street sweeping.  Similarly, garbage and recycle bins are placed in the bike lanes on garbage day and mail boxes are often placed at the curb, resulting in USPS "driving" the bike lane to deliver mail.  

    I agree it is more difficult for service vehicles to park in a protected lane, whether it has the typical plastic pylons, or the plastic wave as shown in this article.  That said, the drivers of service and delivery vehicles know they can drive right over the plastic protection and do so.  Garbage and mail service to properties abutting the bike lane is another problem that the plastic wave design will face.  

  • David Cranor on March 24, 2019 at 10:09 pm (The District's streets are dangerous, and unjust, by design)
    Of the 36 traffic fatalities in 2018, how many do you think would have been prevented if jaywalking events dropped to zero?
  • David C on March 24, 2019 at 10:03 pm (Arlington tests the future of protected bikeways)
    How exactly would a delivery or service vehicle park in this lane?
  • JD on March 24, 2019 at 7:39 pm (Arlington tests the future of protected bikeways)
    Sounds like you won’t use it, were you to ever visit the Arlington area. You are free to bicycle in the regular traffic lanes, as some cyclists prefer to do. But please recognize that there are other cyclists who prefer a lane which is separated from auto traffic in some way. 
  • Augsburg on March 24, 2019 at 7:13 pm (Arlington tests the future of protected bikeways)
    Conventional pylons remarking a bike lane allow one cyclist to pass another if they are riding slow, or pulling a trailer or riding a 3-wheel recumbent.  The plastic "waves" make it very difficult to pass.  The problem is made worse when the bike lane is full of broken glass or debris from crashed cars, or a parked delivery or service vehicle, etc.  Sure, you can stop and lift your bike over the waves to go around an obstruction, but what a hassle!
  • I agree with others that this is a nutty exercise.   A lot of these places attract business because they have parking - I know that's why whey attract mine.  Go ahead:  redevelop the parking lots, and try to keep the same level of commercial activity.  I'm glad the bus works for Gary Fischer and others, though.  The only one of these lots I find egregious is RFK, because there's no real current use demanding that the lot be there, and we can all think of better uses for the space (as witnessed in threads here over the years). 

  • "...skeptics are concerned it encourages a surveillance state."

    So basically the same kind of data that your cell phone and Google Maps and Uber and Lyft and Metro card and EZ-Pass and every bikeshare already collect one way or another.
  • On learning BRT was a studied option, I must suggest BRT has produced few new concepts and working systems applicable to where rail is impossible, impractical or dreadfully high impact as is Barbur MAX proposal, supposedly a done deal. An independent BRT study for Barbur Blvd as a compromise to address matters regarding high impact, dubious claims of safety, accident prevention, productivity, etc, with street running light rail. Just give it some thought, so says this ardent rail and better bus old Portlander advocate, and don't blame me for lousy Seattle streetcar design, even 1st Ave Connector mess in the making.     

  • Pierre1993 on March 24, 2019 at 7:53 am (The District's streets are dangerous, and unjust, by design)
    In order for Vision Zero to work effectively, The District needs to strictly enforce jaywalkers who illegally cross the street where they are not supposed to. Everybody has to play there part to achieve this goal by 2024.

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