Google created a real-time Census participation rate tool for the Census Bureau. Iowans seem to be doing a particularly good job of responding. About 25% of DC households have responded, compared to 29% nationally. Fairfax and Loudoun are at 34%. Mail your form back! (Lynda) (Tip: Lynda)Twitter
More development happening in cities
A new EPA report shows that infill development in urban neighborhoods continues to grow. Compared to the early and mid 90s, urban construction today makes up a much larger portion of regional building permits issued across the country. (Erik W) (Tip: Erik W)Twitter
Exurbs on the rebound or a dead cat bounce?
The latest home data shows a recent rise in home values in DC’s exurban counties, but that’s still a little bounce after a huge decline. Median sale prices in DC have risen since the start of 2009 and are stable over 5 years, while prices for the metro area as a whole are way down. (The City Fix) Twitter
Better cars better, but not salvation
Electric cars would be nice, but they’re not the answer to all problems, argues Rob Pitingolo. They could reduce emissions, but wouldn’t do anything for traffic, parking, and sprawl (Extraordinary Observations) ... The same goes for driverless cars, which Randal O’Toole recently exalted in the WSJ; they could increase throughput, but you’d still have to park them. Actually, the best effect of driverless cars could be to make buses much cheaper to operate. Twitter
On Page 1: After Kwame Brown scored political points with River East by suggesting a Circulator there, DDOT is studying the broader potential for Circulator expansion but “pausing” actual growth. Maybe turning the 30s into a Circulator would satisfy both Mary Cheh and Kwame Brown and make DDOT prioritize H and I Street bus transit?
Also on page 1, MWCOG isn’t about to study tearing down the Whitehurst as the Foggy Bottom Association reported, though Carol Buckley quotes me saying it’s not a bad idea to discuss what we’ll do in 10 years when the road needs major maintenance. This was just on COG’s list of projects, from which ideas (good or bad) never actually get deleted.
The above-the-fold story covers the proposed “N Street Follies” hotel. Architect of the Capitol representative Michael Turnbull seemed to express his agreement with some of the points I made, that the hotel should have less parking (since the N Street dead-end alley couldn’t possibly accommodate parking traffic), and that the shadows cast on the Tabard are specifically disallowed by zoning.
Page 3 discusses the great streetcar wire debate. Dupont Circle Conservancy President Rauzia Ally talks about the organization’s decision not to sign onto the anti-wire resolution, instead choosing to ask questions about power systems but being open to the hybrid approach if wireless is more expensive. Buckley quotes me again in the page 7 continuation where I actually praise the Committee of 100’s efforts, insofar as they seek to get information to the public about the various options. Twitter