Cartoon by Tom Toles. Click for a larger version to read the text.

Our hosting provider experienced some problems with our server this morning. Sorry for depriving you of your regular dose of exciting livable and walkable communities news.

Darkness at the end of the tunnel: Tom Toles looks again at the irony of cutting Metro amid record ridership. Dr. Gridlock’s readers debate budget cuts and float conspiracy theories that Metro’s already cut service. Via Unsuck DC Metro.

Crowdsourcing in commuting: A Falls Church resident started MyCasualCarpool to help people create their own informal park-and-ride lots; Avego is trying to to create a market to fill empty seats in private cars on the daily commute.

Low parking enforcement? Deputize your citizens: Salt Lake City allows trained citizens to write parking tickets. The Salt Lake Tribune describes how a member of the “Mobile Neighborhood Watch” is allowed to take a photo and write a ticket for violations. The photo and ticket are sent to the local police for processing. By Michael Perkins.

Two wheels good, four wheels baaaaad? Bicycling to the Inauguration from Bethesda might have been the quickest way, though not the least sweaty; a rendering of a Wheaton apartment complex shows a Humvee driving around.

Huge parking garages worse: NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg, who gets it on congestion pricing and complete streets but not at all on land use, wants to build a huge parking garage for the Bronx Botanic Garden. Streetsblog suggests making the pedestrian access and bus drop-off areas more inviting instead.

Not just strip malls anymore: The Triangle worries about City Vista’s new corporate owners, who say they want to attract local retail like Busboys and Poets but otherwise only run “unambitious” strip malls in the suburbs.