The almost always barren Freedom Plaza. Photo by FredoAlvarez on Flickr.

Safety up as gas prices up: Traffic deaths were already down 4.2% year over year around the beginning of the year, and dropped about 20% more for March and April, reports the Post, though the drop hasn’t yet reached Maryland’s stats.

Improving barren public squares: Downtown BID, one of DC’s most progressive on transportation, organized a workshop on improving downtown’s public spaces, like Freedom Plaza and 10th and F. Tommy Wells’ staffer Leila Mogharab Nia summarized the discussion on Wells’ blog. Via Richard Layman.

Sidewalk cycling isn’t always so bad: WashCycle responds to recent discussion (like this) criticizing riding on the sidewalk. Obviously you have to be more careful and ride slower, but there are times and places where it’s safer and better for everyone to ride on the sidewalk.

Go Connolly: The Post profiles the VA-11 Congressional race between Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly, the Democrat, and Home Inspect founder Keith Fimian, the Republican. Connolly is favored due to his name recognition and NoVa’s growing Democratic lean, but the race may be close.

The article reiterates some of Connolly’s Smart Growth credentials that led me to recommend him in the primary:

“He has emphasized school quality and such progressive initiatives as expanded public transit, storm water protection and “green” building standards. He also has earned broad support among business leaders, in part by advocating for a Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport and pushing for a dramatic redevelopment of Tysons Corner.”

Connolly also co-chaired the COG Climate Change report steering committee.