Photo by MC MasterChef on Flickr.

Close a road, reduce delays? We know that reducing lanes for cars can improve pedestrian safety, help a neighborhood, and lead to less traffic in the long run. But even Level of Service-minded traffic engineers can get behind closing certain roads. As the Economist reports, researchers studied Boston’s road network and determined that too many alternatives create more delay than fewer roads would; closing one of six streets (out of 240

246) sped up traffic even in the most traditional traffic-modeling view of the world. (Tip: Allen).

Baltimore funding free shuttles with parking tax: Parking taxes will rise in Baltimore, under a plan approved this week by the City Council, with the revenue funding free circulator-type shuttles to get people around downtown and to and from the parking garages. Despite making downtown more desirable, garage owners predictably oppose the idea. Via Richard Layman.

“Right to enjoy her property”: Upset about a pending teardown and building of a new “McMansion” near her Chevy Chase (MD) home, one woman is threatening to sue. Chevy Chase had a moratorium on teardowns from 2005 to 2006. According to the Gazette article, “she will defend her right to enjoy her property, as well as the tree canopy and green space in the neighborhood.” I’m all for enjoying property, trees and green space, but the right not to have a big house next door is not a legal right courts ought to invent. (In fairness to the potential plantiff, reporters get legal issues wrong all the time, so this might not be her actual grounds for a suit.) If Chevy Chase does’t want McMansions, they can pass zoning laws against them.

Bloomingdalians debate new tavern: At this week’s Bloomingdale Civic Association, residents discussed the liquor license application for a new restaurant/bar at 1st and T. Bloomingdale (for now) is enthusiastic (and not just for now) about more commerce coming to Bloomingdale; some others are not. But all agreed that the owners need to better engage with the community to build support for their project.