VRE. Photo by J.H.Gray on Flickr.

Federal bread crumbs for a third VRE track: Virginia will spend $13 million to add a third track for VRE trains south of Fredericksburg to reduce delays from freight trains. In a big change for the feds, they are contributing; previously rail projects got no federal money. But they’re only kicking in $2 million of the $13 million total, as part of a mere $30 million for rail across the nation.

Dare we dream? The on-again, off-again bill to provide $1.5 billion for Metro (conditional on DC, MD and VA dedicating revenue sources as well) has finally gotten beyond the filibuster stage and crazy Tom Coburn. DC’s already dedicated the money needed, but Virginia is another matter.

District of Bollards: More security bollards are going up, this time around Union Station. Initial designs had a continuous row along the stations’ facade, but NCPC staff won the small concession of moving the ones in the center out to the second row of traffic, keeping the area right in front clear. Pedestrians going to and from the Metro station will still have to navigate around the bollards, breaking up the flow of people.

But can we photograph it? Union Station is celebrating their centennial this weekend. I wonder if officials will harass photographers who try to capture the festivities?

Not really less parking: College Park has approved UMD’s Starview Plaza dorm. But don’t let Rethink College Park’s headline fool you: the project’s reduced parking is only the automatic 20% reduction for transit from the already ridiculously high minimums. UMD will also contribute $200K toward a fund to pay for putting Route 1’s power lines underground in the future.