Posts about Transit

Adopt-A-Tag

Allison Davis is this month’s sponsor for posts about Transit. Learn more »

  • Three projects to watch

    All over the region, consulting organizations are going through the legal requirements for Environmental Impact Statements, necessary for any major project: convening public scoping meetings, collecting input, evaluating alternatives, and so on. They’re doing this in downtown Columbia, along Rockville Pike, and on both sides of the 14th Street Bridges, used by I-395,…  Keep reading…

  • Conservative won’t vote for McCain partly because of rail

    Paul Weyrich, the leading conservative proponent of rail transportation, wouldn’t vote for John McCain in the general election in part because of McCain’s opposition to rail investment. McCain “would fight us on everything,” Weyrich said, including shutting down Amtrak and opposing projects like the Dulles extension, where he vehemently disagrees…  Keep reading…

  • Making streetcars work

    Second of a two-part series. Read the first part. If, years from now, DC successfully builds and funds a streetcar line, it needs to make sure the line really does encourage people to ride it, people who wouldn’t have ridden just another bus. If it generates additional traffic to the neighborhood, and induces more people to take transit than to drive, it will prove right those…  Keep reading…

  • Streetcars are coming back to DC

    DC’s attempts to bring back streetcars popped back into the news last week as DDOT broke ground on a streetscape reconstruction on H Street Northeast. While the street is already torn up, they will include build streetcar tracks for future service, though it will be years before a streetcar could run, and there are no cars or operational funding yet. But it’s a big step forward,…  Keep reading…

  • Presidential candidates on transit, cycling and walking

    Streetsblog’s LA correspondent Damien Newton researched the Presidential candidates’ positions on transportation. For the Democrats, both Obama’s and Clinton’s platforms hold a great deal of promise. Obama is the most pro-cycling candidate, extols the virtues of walking, and supported Chicago’s transit system while in the Illinois legislature,…  Keep reading…

  • Optimal bus waiting strategy

    Mathematically, it’s best to simply wait for a bus once you arrive at a bus stop, rather than giving up and walking if it’s taking too long, according to Harvard mathematician Scott Kominers. Freakonomics’ Stephen Dubner is disappointed the analysis didn’t consider walking backward to a previous stop. (Lots of interesting comments about more nuances…  Keep reading…

  • Dulles rail decision from a backroom deal?

    Is the DOT and FTA trying to force Virginia to sell the Dulles Toll Road? Did the FTA work out a deal with private investors ahead of time to reject public financing? BeyondDC picks up on an interesting angle from the Post’s report that private investors are floating an idea to finance the Dulles rail extension by privatizing the Dulles Toll Road (which will require raising tolls).  Keep reading…

  • Monday morning links

    San Francisco is considering a bill to reform parking requirements, removing the requirements forcing developers to build parking in certain types of housing developments, “unbundling” parking so condo purchasers can choose whether to pay for a parking space or not, and allowing mechanical or valet parking to save space if the building wants it.  Keep reading…

  • Sen. Wyden’s favored economic stimulus: road resurfacing

    Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a progressive Senator from America’s most Smart Growth-oriented city of Portland, apparently feels that the best economic stimulus would be more money for road resurfacing. No wonder America has such a hard time weaning itself from road-building. According to Bloomberg, Oregon’s senior Senator thinks “infrastructure spending—specifically…  Keep reading…

  • Chicken, meet egg on Dulles rail line

    Yesterday, many wrote about the FTA and DOT Secretary Mary Peters’ decision to deny funding for the Metro extension to Dulles, at least unless the project meets a new set of criteria over and above the many hurdles it’s already surmounted. Some are livid. Others doubt the project’s wisdom. But Peters and FTA chief James Simpson advance unreasonable chicken-and-egg…  Keep reading…

  • Ed Glaeser: transit attracts poor people?

    Richard Florida has a post about a new article by Harvard economist Ed Glaeser that “the income elasticity of demand for land is too low for urban poverty to come from wealthy individuals’ wanting to live where land is cheap (the traditional explanation of urban poverty)… The urbanization of poverty comes mainly from better access to public transportation in central…  Keep reading…

  • Building over Union Station rail yards

    One of the best ways for cities to improve the often-forlorn areas around major infrastructure is by building on air rights. When a street crosses over a major highway, why not put buildings over the highway on either side, turning an empty bridge into a city street with activity along the sidewalks, like they are doing in Boston and Columbus.  Covering a big rail yard near a major…  Keep reading…

  • SmarTrip will link to credit cards

    Among other improvements coming next year to Washington DC’s fare card is the one I most wished for when I first arrived here: the ability to link it to a credit card and automatically replenish it as it gets low, like E-ZPass does.  Keep reading…

  • Racial politics kept College Park Metro far from campus

    It may be an urban myth that racism kept Metro out of Georgetown (while many residents did oppose a station, Metro planners hadn’t included the neighborhood in initial plans in the first place), but according to a graduate paper from 1994 that Rethink College Park found and put online, it played a significant role in the decision to locate College Park’s Green Line stop…  Keep reading…

  • Metro actually works (sometimes)

    Reading the Washington Post and local blogs, it’s easy to think that Metro hardly works, with numerous reports of delays when trains must single-track due to equipment failures or sick passengers. And I’m sure these things do happen, and are very disruptive (this weekend, a train we were riding waited for ten minutes at Dupont Circle for some unknown reason, without…  Keep reading…

  • Visualizing different modes of transportation

    Driving down a busy street, a bus seems to be about twice the size of another car, and a little bit harder to pass. But that bus is also carrying about the same number of people as all the other cars for several blocks combined. In other words, you could replace all the traffic with just two buses. If the whole lane were replaced with light rail, it could carry 18 times as many people per hour.  Keep reading…

  • The federally tilted playing field on transportation

    The Washington Post recently ran an article exploring the impact of the Federal Transit Administration on transit projects. Fierce competition for the FTA’s limited transit funding and strict criteria mean that states are forced to make many changes, wise or unwise, to their projects to qualify. Virginia had to drop plans to put the Tyson’s Corner segment of the planned…  Keep reading…

  • Island Plan for new villages?

    Martha’s Vineyard’s regional land use agency, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, is conducting a broad participatory planning proccess, Island Plan, to solicit input and devise a long-term plan for the future of the island over the next 50 years. Still in its early stages, it covers topics such as housing affordability, year-round employment opportunities,…  Keep reading…

  • The Triboro RX

    In the heyday of the railroads, rail lines crisscrossed the country and ran right through major cities. Some lines are commuter railroads today, others were turned into transit lines or highways, but many were abandoned. A few still exist, relatively unknown to most people, because they were either abandoned but never completely turned over to other uses, or because they carry some…  Keep reading…

  • Georgetown never blocked a Metro stop

    Conventional wisdom says that the Washington DC Metro was supposed to go to Georgetown (after all, it barely misses it between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom), but NIMBY residents in the 1970s blocked the station. But it’s not true.  Keep reading…

Browse by month

GGWash is supported by our members, corporate supporters, and foundations.

See Our Supporters Become A Member