DDOT is encouraging DC schools to start a “Walk and Roll Club,” a “Frequent Walker & Bicyclist Reward Program.” Kids get a card with a number of icons for walking and biking, which looks like the punch cards at some lunch places where you get a free soda after ten purchases. Students are eligible for some prizes (the page doesn’t specify), and the school with the highest participation gets a smoothie party. (“The smoothies will be made in a bicycle-powered blender.”) (DDOT Facebook Page) Twitter
Soft on sidewalks?
DDOT has postponed work on street reconstructions in the Palisades because some residents don’t want sidewalks. Mary Cheh has remained steadfast, but DDOT is holding off because there “wasn’t a clear consensus.” Hopefully this delay just will give DDOT time to persuade residents and design sidewalks that minimize impact to property owners instead of ditching them entirely. (City Desk) Twitter
CTA goes open
Another transit agency decides to embrace the open source philosophy. The Chicago Transit Authority will offer up all its data, including schedules, service outage alerts, and real-time bus tracking through APIs. “Sharing our investment in technology will help to create innovative tools more quickly and in a broader range than what the agency will be able to provide on its own,” they said. “The bottom line is to provide the best experience for customers by enabling those who can create new and varied applications with the means to do so.” Hello WMATA? Twitter
AAA OK: Bikes are OK
The spokesperson for AAA Oklahoma writes an op-ed emphasizing that bicycles have the right to use the road. “When you see bicyclists, give them room and remember how tremendously vulnerable bike riders are,” he writes. I’m still waiting to see anything like this, or any other statement about being considerate toward non-drivers, from AAA Mid-Atlantic and their quote machine, Lon Anderson. (NewsOK.com) Twitter
Hawkins to lead WASA
I missed this from last week: DDOE Director George Hawkins, who did a chat here on Greater Greater Washington, is the new head of the Water and Sewer Authority. WASAwatch is optimistic that he will do more to ensure quality drinking water than WASA has in the past. Also, maybe they can finally fix the problems with my bill. (City Paper, WASAwatch) ... DC Housing Authority Director Michael Kelly will be stepping down at the end of the month. (WBJ) Twitter
Let the market decide except in parking?
The Pacific Northwest has five “free market” think tanks, but none of them have criticized minimum parking requirements, despite the strong market distortive effects of such policies. One, the Cascadia Center, has advocated repeatedly for spending more public dollars on public parking. (Northwest News that Matters) Twitter
Houston does have zoning
An oft-repeated canard is that Houston is what a city would look like without zoning. But while it has no formal zoning laws, other laws do mandate certain land uses and building forms. Municipal spending on things like very wide roads and superblocks also distort market choices in development and transportation. (Marginal Revolution, David C) (Tip: David C)Twitter