Image by surrfred on Flickr.

Reinvigorate H Street with a parking lot? Owners of four old row buildings next to the Atlas Theater want to tear them down to build a surface parking lot. ANC 6a is not pleased. There’s a landmark nomination pending, and if the buildings are landmarked, HPRB will almost surely put the kibosh on the raze. But must we landmark buildings to keep them from turning into parking lots? (Not necessarily, but it’s easier right now).

Stimulus not stimulating after all: Most of the highway money, and a quarter of the total money, in the proposed stimulus won’t even get spent in 2009. Or 2010. To recap, the argument for throwing all this money at things, especially roads and bridges, was that we could create jobs and economic activity right away. Turns out, even that’s not true. If we’re budgeting for 2013, we have time to budget slower.

What if? NRDC created a series of “visions” showing existing cities and towns plus some pedestrian-oriented streetscapes and smart growth development. Voila, nicer cities!

Elsewhere: Philadelphia is raising meter rates; the UK health secretary doesn’t understand parking; Tel Aviv’s street designers overemphasize private cars, too.

Doneauguration: Metro’s final estimate for rail ridership: 1,120,000. (Some stations unlocked the turnstiles, so they have no precise count.) And the inaugural committee is really sorry about botching the crowd control.