Bond(age) and Crap(o): Senator Christopher Bond (R-MO) plans to introduce two more amendments to strip transit funding from the stimulus and give it to highways. One would eliminate the high-speed rail corridor program entirely. The other, cosponsored by Senators Boxer (yes, Boxer again), Baucus, Cochran, Voinovich, Bayh, Brownback and Crapo, would cut all the money in the “supplementary transportation grants”, a pot of money that could go to new projects in roads or transit, and dedicate it completely to highways.
What Maryland needs is more cars: As JTS pointed out, Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski added an amendment to spend $11 billion on tax deductions for car purchases. Of course, she didn’t add any tax deductions for transit rides. If you live in Maryland, call Mikulski at (202) 224-4654 to ask her to stop furthering our society’s subsidy of driving over transit, and to oppose the Boxer and Bond amendments to remove transit funding and highway funding. If you live in Virginia, please call Jim Webb at (202) 228-5185.
How about tall brown bollards with leaves? According to the Hill Rag, the Architect of the Capitol plans to cut down ten 14-year-old elm trees to line 2nd Street NE with bollards. The ANC and bloomingdale, for now wonder why they can’t simply use the trees as bollards and put bollards in the gaps.
Rahm’s illegal rental: Rahm Emanuel’s basement apartment on Capitol Hill isn’t a legal unit. The home, owned by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, doesn’t have a Certificate of Occupancy for a second apartment. This is a dumb scandal. Unofficial basement apartments are common, and DC law should encourage them.
Needed: ice enforcers: The DC Council passed a law requiring drivers to clear ice off their cars. If they don’t, it tends to slide off and hit other people and cars. At least for now, police will only be able to give drivers a warning. Cary Silverman points out that we already don’t enforce the law requiring property owners to clear their sidewalks, which also carries no fine.
And: Denser, connected street grids are safer (tip: Michael); Toronto guerrilla artists modified the signs from “No Bicycles” rush hours (with a big red circle with a slash) to a green “Bicycles Allowed” except rush hours (via WashCycle; GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram tells everyone looking for big payouts from Google, from newspapers to WMATA, that Google Is Not Your Sugar Daddy (tip: John).