Posts about District of ColumbiaRSS

  • Post streetcar map

    The Post has a good map of proposed streetcar and BRT routes, modeled off the ones from DDOT and others that I use in my map. Via Richard Layman.  Keep reading…

  • The Master (Re)builder

    The NYT writes about DC’s Capitol Quarter project, which is replacing the failed Capper/Carrollsburg housing projects with new mixed-income townhouses. It includes enough low-income units to accommodate all residents of the old projects, but also has its critics.  Keep reading…

  • The un-urban Marriott Wardman Park

    Woodley Park sits right atop a fault line between walkable urbanism and the dense sprawl-style architecture you get when architects and developers simply transplant suburban forms onto smaller city lots, like the Hilton in Dupont. Despite having a Metro station, most of the larger apartment towers follow the Le Corbusier-style form of large islands in a sea of parking set far back…  Keep reading…

  • Kojo on density

    On today’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, Post architecture critic Roger Lewis discusses good and bad design for density, analogies of Washington to Paris, transit-oriented development, Smart Growth controversy in Tenleytown and Annapolis, and the architectural and political sides of density.  Keep reading…

  • A taxi, Leon Swain, and me

    My car got towed last week (for accidentally violating a Pepco temporary no-parking notice). When I got back today I immediately went to get it out of the impound lot, at 2nd and Q Southeast Southwest. I got into a cab, but upon hearing the destination, the driver claimed not to know where that was (bogus) and refused to transport me. This is my first direct experience with this (taxis…  Keep reading…

  • Convention center plans nice except for skybridges

    DCMud summarizes plans for the new development at the old convention center site. They look good, with mixed-use, street level retail, public spaces… but what’s that? Skybridges?  Keep reading…

  • A DC Planning Commission?

    Does DC need a citizen Planning Commission to oversee planning decisions, the way the HPRB oversees historic preservation or the National Capital Planning Commission governs the use of federal property? The Post’s Roger Lewis is skeptical. This week’s Current quotes various members of influential neighborhood groups who are disappointed with an interim report…  Keep reading…

  • Church exemption from historic designation?

    While I was debating parking zoning regulations, Councilmember Jack Evans announced a new bill that would exempt religious institutions from being designated as historic sites against their will. This is clearly aimed at the Third Church landmarking.  Keep reading…

  • Blank wall of the day

    Just what the Penn Quarter needs: another blank wall building with no retail, right next to the MLK Library. The architects even drew in a relatively dead street, with only a few scattered pedestrians and more parked cars than people. At least they know what they are going to get. Via DC Metrocentric.  Keep reading…

  • DC & Rockville residents: get involved in local planning!

    There are a lot of good meetings happening this week in DC and Rockville around local planning, from encouraging the arts and retail through DC’s zoning to improving Rockville Pike. I highly encourage all of you, readers, to attend these meetings in your city or neighborhood. Many of them, especially the DC Zoning Update and the Pike planning, are significant opportunities…  Keep reading…

  • What about the local businesses?

    Tomorrow’s Post has a letter from the owners of Busboys and Poets and Boundless Yoga, arguing that in its economic development work DC is neglecting small local businesses while spending lavishly to attract big box stores.  Keep reading…

  • Streetsblog gives Wells some love

    Streetsblog tells New Yorkers and readers around the country about DC’s new performance parking program and its Shoupista author, Councilmember Tommy Wells.  Keep reading…

  • “Bike Rack Raising” 11 am at DC USA

    Responding to the surprising lack of bike racks at the new Target, WABA found some unused racks at RFK Stadium and DDOT has agreed to move them. WABA is organizing a public “bike rack raising” at 11 am today (Friday, March 14) to help install the racks and “highlight the lack of amenities for cyclists at the new development.”…  Keep reading…

  • Induced non-demand

    Should we really convert freeways to boulevards? In my quick link Saturday about boulevardizing the Southeast-Southwest Freeway, TJ wrote, “the volume day and night is pretty heavy, so a street conversion would just make it a nightmare.” What’s the reality? We can’t know for sure about this case, but in other cases where cities have removed freeways…  Keep reading…

  • Historic preservation: a blunt instrument for design review

    Is historic preservation truly about preservation, or about design review for new and modified buildings? In DC, the historic preservation process has become a little of both. We want to avoid ugly renovations, pop-up eyesores, and awful new buildings, and historic preservation has become the forum for this review. But there is collateral damage. We’ve landmarked numerous…  Keep reading…

  • Bike parking scarce at DC USA

    Friends and Smarter Growthers tell me that the new Target in Columbia Heights has been a rousing success, except for the bike situation. According to reports, there were bicycles locked up all over the place this weekend because, when spending $42 million for a parking garage, our government didn’t build enough bike parking.  Keep reading…

  • Donatelli builds what investors will fund

    Prince of Petworth interviews Chris Donatelli, developer behind the Ellington on U Street, Highland Park in Columbia Heights, and the upcoming Park Place in Petworth. Many of Donatelli’s decisions have been constrained by what he can and can’t raise money for. This supports Christopher Leinberger’s assertion that the real estate finance market inhibits…  Keep reading…

  • Boulevardize the SE/SW Freeway

    Ballpark and Beyond brings up the on-again, off-again idea of replacing the Southeast-Southwest Freeway with a boulevard. Its hulking form makes people feel unsafe walking from the Capitol South Metro to the ballpark. A wide Virginia Avenue with timed lights wouldn’t be so much worse for drivers and much better for everyone else.  Keep reading…

  • DC versus New York

    New York on baseball: Gave away the only park in a poor neighborhood so the Yankees could build a stadium next to their old one instead of replacing the old one. Spent $400 million in public money on the stadium,   Keep reading…

  • No Office Monoculture Area

    Richard Layman is concerned that NoMA is developing with too much office space and too little residential. Right now, office space is more valuable for developers to build, and with the housing market cooling, that’s not about to change. Layman and Ryan Avent suggest raising the height limit. Extra floors could make it feasible to build a mix instead of all offices. On the other…  Keep reading…

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