Photo by Daquella manera on Flickr.

Better buses too: Matt Yglesias suggests better bus service as a transit improvement we should have included in our 2009 wish list. For an easy change, he suggests updating the schedule cards to a more state-of-the-art design.

Yes, stealing bikes is illegal: MPD has been deploying “bait bikes”, unlocked cycles left out to attract thieves. According to the MPD, some thieves don’t think taking an unlocked bike is even wrong. (City Paper)

Hopefully not just a golden triangle: The Golden Triangle BID (the downtown area between Farragut and Foggy Bottom) is holding a contest to design new, artistic bike racks for the area. I hope they pick something more creative than the fairly obvious design, a gold-colored triangle. (WashCycle)

Call them live/shop lofts? Yglesias discusses the trend toward building housing in malls as a strategy to revitalizing the ailing places. Unfortunately, many efforts to date, like the Natick Mall in Massachusetts, just create an even more isolated condo tower and private park on top of the mall amid the existing giant seas of parking lots. That’s unlikely to create a real walkable place with shared public spacee.

NoVa Columbia? Richard Layman calls attention to November’s Washingtonian cover feature, about whether Northern Virginia ought to (or could) secede from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginian municipalities can only regulate what the state allows them to, and Richmond frequently denies them needed powers (like drive-thru hours?)

Maybe, asks Washingtonian, including DC in the new state could give DC representation in a way more palatable to Republicans. On the other hand, since both of Virginia’s Senators live in NoVa, the new state might end up with two Virginian Senators and add two new Republicans from the South, not to mention the electoral college implications. Practically, it’s totally unrealistic (not to mention still probably undesirable for DC), but it’s an interesting idea.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.