Thursday, April 01, 2010

WMATA woes in the hood

There are a few things WMATA is proposing that will reduce service to Shaw residents, one of them dangerous.
1. G2 bus service will be reduced. All you people partying in Georgetown will have to take a taxi when it gets close to midnight.
2. Closing the R Street exit of the Shaw metro station after 8pm. That to me is dangerous. The intersection at RI Ave and 7th seems to have more eyes on the street and my path from the other exit home is a little too dark and deserted for my tastes. Would be different if the Wonderbread warehouse wasn't a heaping mass of decay.
There is a meeting tonight if you want to voice your concerns at All Souls Unitarian Church, Pierce Hall (1500 Harvard St. NW) at 7pm. You can also mail your concerns to:
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
or public-hearing-testimony@wmata.com
by April 6th.
More info at the CCCA blog

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Friday, February 05, 2010

As a pedestrian I find this disturbing

Some blogger got hit by some SUV. Nobody died but the pedestrian did wind up with a broken knee. However the disturbing factor, the struck pedestrian was charged with jaywalking and presented with a ticket in the hospital. From the pedestrian's telling of it, he was not jogging and seemed to have the right of way as the countdown said he still had time to cross and was in the crosswalk. However the State Dept Security person driving the black SUV seems to have reported it differently saying the pedestrian was a jogger and not in the crosswalk.
As a pedestrian, I find it very disturbing, particularly because I walk in areas where black SUV filled with feds, zip around all the time. If there are any witnesses to this event who can challenge the State Dept's PR Orwellian release please do.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

1883 Bicycle mishap

While looking for something I came across the following in the "personal" section of the classified page of a newspaper:
"The party who drove a buggy into a bicycle on the 14th-st road yesterday will please send his address to this office. By doing so he will learn of what is thought of one who is not man enough to stop to see the extent of the injuries inflicted by his unmanly conduct."

-- "Display Ad 3 -- No Title. " The Washington Post (1877-1922) 2 May 1883 ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1993), ProQuest. Web. 14 Jan. 2010.

Don't need a car to be a jerk.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Well I guess that was a robbery

Kids hold on to your iWhatevers.
I ran into one of my neighbors in the metro and we decided to walk and chat. Now it being winter, my head (including ears) were bundled up so I concentrated on listening to my neighbor. However, I did hear some ruckus behind me, but didn't see anything as we headed to the escalators. Then this guy, bald black male, average height and build wearing a very new looking red and white jacket (primarily white with a bold red design) ran by us very quickly and hustled up the escalator. I didn't put two and two together until a white guy came running up about 10 to 15 seconds later. The red and white jacket guy stole his iPhone.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trend of Troubling Incidences on Metro

I mentioned before about the terrorizing teens on the metro here and here. Checking the other blogs around Prince of Petworth has a report of an incident on the Red line, with many comments following. What got me was one of the comments of a woman who was targeted by two teenage girls who reached into her bags, and got a "what you want me to do about it" from the station manager when she reported it.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The sidewalk report

Sunday afternoon the people on the other side of the block decided to shovel their sidewalks. To be fair it was still snowing the day before, but that didn't stop us on my side. We shoveled while it was still coming down, so when it stopped there wasn't much to do, and the salt dried up the walk quickly. On my side of the street most of the sidewalk shoveling was done by 4 individual homeowners. With about 2 owners shoveling more than just the sidewalk in front of their own homes.
Africare the non-profit in the old Morse School on the 400 block of R is a good neighbor. The brick sidewalk had a nice wide and clear path along their vacant lot and building grounds. Unfortunately the end of the block is a block of ice in front of the individual houses that hug 5th and R. The northern corner of the 500 block of R is good until you get near the corner of 6th. That little park between Rhode Island, 6th, and R is nothing but an island of dirty snow mountains and ice. Which sent me out into the street. Along the Asbury Dwellings there is a thin clear path, where as across Rhode Island it appears to be one big glacial sidewalk, as it is after every snowfall. WMATA seemed to put down a minimal amount of snow melt around the station, but I did notice that many bus stops where shoveled enough so a couple people could stand on solid ground.
It's too spotty for people in wheelchairs or motorized chairs to get around. Too many curb cuts have mountains of dirty snow or sheets of ice to escape the block. Brown slush, should a wheeled person decide to take it to the streets, is another hazard. I can imagine the slush, pockets of black ice and the regular motorized traffic (with limited swerving options) *might* keep the wheelchair bound off the streets.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teenage Train Terrorists Part II or You gotsa be startin' somethin'

The last entry reminded me of an another incident that happened on the Green line involving a teenager who was trying to start something with people minding their own business.
I was on the Green Line to Greenbelt on Sunday morning to meet the Help in College Park to go to his church. I had my newspaper and was more than likely listening to something on the iPhone (sometimes I just leave the headphones on with nothing playing), minding my own business. The train was sparsely occupied and I was in the center so I could see three other people seated and two or three standing at the doors. The people near the doors got off except this one guy, I think. The guy got my attention, I can't remember if he tapped my shoulder or waved me and said something. I took one head phone off and said, "What?" He said something, with a big smile on his face, sort of laughing. Whatever he said did not register in my mind as English. I probably said no thank you and "Good-bye" and put my headphone back on. He moved on and I saw him get off the train. Well a few more stops he was back on my car. This time he was getting into people's personal spaces. He leaned over to one large woman seated and she leaned back then he moved over to a man about 50 something, maybe South Asian or Latino or Arabian origin, and really got into his face. I mean the young man put his face about 5 inches from the face of man sitting near the door minding his own business. The man responded and started yelling and cursing at the young man with an accent. The young man cursed at the man in clear English, started grabbing his crotch and making threatening gestures. When the train pulled into West Hyattsville they both got off.
He was looking for trouble and we metro riders minding our own business are easy targets. Him and the gang of teenage girls are creating an environment ripe for the next Bernie Goetz.

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Teenage Train Terrorists

I have a friend who lives about as far from the PG Plaza metro as I do from the Shaw metro. He drives to the metro, parks in the garage and takes the metro into the city. One (but not his only) reason for doing so was to avoid the Northwestern High School kids. When I was commuting into Maryland I would encounter some Northwestern boys who I swear were trying to see how obnoxious or how ignorant they could be, loudly. Occasionally an adult, who wasn't the bus driver*, would turn around and rebuke them. Very occasionally, because most of us just wanted to get to our destination and tried drowning out the degrading sex talk, the ignorant racism, and glorification of violence. Currently, my commute rarely has teenagers, and the offensive chatter regarding Latinos, the Plan to keep the Black man down and other theories, is at a lower volume.
Yesterday, I had some Christmas related shopping to do and was heading home around 6pm on the Green Line to Greenbelt. At Mt. Vernon Sq. three screaming yelling teenage girls boarded onto a crowded car. They remained loud and decided it would be fun to bang hard and loud on the Plexiglas partition during the ride. I'd been finding the ride home weary 2 stops before since I transferred at Gallery Place, and couldn't wait to get the heck out of the system. Doors open and apparently the girls decided to strike out at everyone disembarking. They called the tall black man in his 30s or 40s and 'old man' and the thin 20-30 something woman behind him one of them snatched at the woman's midsection.
I don't know if they were trying to poke the woman in the stomach, or snatch something off of her person or what, but I turned around on the platform and verbally confronted the two girls who were on the door side of the partition.
"What is wrong with you!" I asked.
*giggle* giggle blah blah something. Probably an insult in there.
"What is wrong with you? Are you all right? You know what you did was wrong!"
"What you gonna do about it? Hit me?" one of the girls responded.
"No, I'm not going to hit you, I'm telling you, you did wrong."
"Psycho!"
"You did wrong."
*Door chimes*
One girl made a lame attempt at a kicking motion, but I was a good 4-5 feet away. The door closed with them still giggling. My heart went out to the poor people stuck on the train with them on the way to U Street and points beyond.
In practice metro riders tend to tolerate even the most obnoxious verbal abuse, no matter how racist, classist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, or hateful. However, don't you think that when it turns even slightly physical it should be called out?


* I have long ceased to belive Metro drivers will stop people from doing anything obnoxious or illegal, except when they have to move people to get a wheelchair on.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Where I went wrong

I had a not so great experience with a cab this week and I keep thinking back to what I could have done to make it a nicer experience. The feeling I have about the cab ride is anger, because the cabbie must have gotten his license out of cereal box or was covering for his brother who normally drives. The other problem was it wasn't a straight shot. The Help and I had just left a jazz club nowhere near a metro and it was a little before midnight. The Help left his car at the College Park metro and the metro shuts down early on weeknights, so he had to get to the Green line and I had to get home.
So upon hopping in the cab, I ask that we go to the Shaw/Howard metro station (1.75 miles away) then my house. Maybe it was very wrong of me to think that the cabbie would know where the Shaw metro was. Fine. I told him to just go to 7th and R St. This is when the cabbie decided to argue with me and tell me there is no metro there. Gaaaaaah! Trying to explain where the friggin metro was it became clear to me that our cabbie had a basic knowledge of NW DC, he knew Connecticut Ave, and U Street and suggested those locations for dropping the Help off at those locations.
I think where I went wrong was mentioning the metro. Note, I will not do that again. I'll just state the intersection and not even mention what's there.
He did drop the Help off at a Green line station and I did get home, as I am very experienced in giving cabbies exceedingly clear & calm directions to my house, noting which streets he will need to turn down.
The cab system around here is sad, particularly when I think of London. I don't just mean the cuteness of the black cabs, I mean cabbies who have the knowlege. Even the mini-cab drivers have a better clue, but then again, the mini-cab drivers have GPS.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Scott Montgomery Student Hit by Car on NJ Ave

From the Shaw Neighborhood Listserv-
A female student from Scott Montgomery was hit on New Jersey Avenue after school. She was taken away in an ambulance but was still conscious.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

I 'heart' the Nextbus App

I've been using the NextBus iPhone app for little over a week now and I just love it, love it, love it, LOVE IT. Mainly because it saves me that precious thing called time.
Here's the thing, I don't have a car. So I depend on public transit, walking, friends with cars, or biking to get around. Most of the time I use the bus, especially when I think there is a possibility of rain. The problem with the bus is for some routes the posted timetable is a work of fiction or wish list. I've encountered buses that showed up early, late or not at all.
Anyway, I've been using the NextBus app to figure out how fast I need to walk to the bus stop. It takes me 7 to 10 minutes to get to the Shaw metro station to pick up the 79, if I see the bus is going to show up in 9 minutes I keep my walk brisk, any more than 13 I take the train to the mess a station that has no stairs and only one stationary escalator. This weekend I used the NextBus app to run errands in upper NW, get back home, go to the Florida Ave/ Capital City Market and so on.
Knowing when or if a bus is going to show helps me decide if I should hoof it, take a cab, take another bus to get me closer to a metro station or wait. It also helps me decide if it is time to go or if I should stick around somewhere a little longer for shopping, watching, etc.
Another great feature is the "Nearby Stops" which uses the phone's GPS to tell me where the nearest stop is and what buses stop there and then when those buses are going to show up. I have my favorite stops bookmarked but when I'm running around other parts of the area, I have no clue of where the nearest stops are. Luckily the phone figures that out for me.
It isn't perfect. This weekend I was up near the Washington Cathedral waiting for the 96, trying to decide if I should find lunch, catch a 30 bus to connect with the G2 or wait 50 minutes according to NextBus. The posted schedule said the next 96 was coming in 10 minutes, so I waited. Lo, the NextBus was wrong. Apparently the bus I caught didn't have NextBus.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Thoughts on Parking

I few years back I was with my friend Nora and we were going to go visit a common friend in one of those condos on Clarendon Blvd in Arlington. If you know the area, there isnít a boatload of open parking there. You gotta hunt for it. It was pretty much, understood that when you bought or rented one of these condos you ďmightĒ get one parking space for your car, and any guests youíd have would have to compete with the other residentsí visitors for the 4 visitor parking spots in the garage (if you can get into the garage). Or your guests will have to hunt for a spot on the street with the hopes of finding something 3 blocks away. When I was living in an apartment complex in Rosslyn each apartment could get a permit for the lot, but the permit wasnít a guarantee of a space. Working in Old Town Alexandria, the place where I worked subsidized transportation, I got a check for my metro use and some co-workers got a check for parking in the garage across the street. The checks didnít always the full cost or transit.
Closer in the District in some Ďinformationí sessions Iíve attended about new condos or developments the understanding was that new residents would use the metro or other public transit and a small number of residents would have cars. Well thatís the line to get current residents to agree to the development and grant the variance. Noticeably, condos, apartments and other things getting built around here in the last decade donít seem to make having a parking spot for every resident a goal.
So thatís where Iím coming from. A world where a parking space is a luxury and sometimes a job benefit. Where getting rid of your car or cutting down on the number of vehicles a household owns is encouraged. However, that world is coming in serious conflict with another world where those values donít count. We've seen the conflicts come out in the double parking problems in the Logan Circle area (which moved over to the TC and morphed into something else) and now recently with the dog park. Our employeers tell us to use Metro and our own blocks encourage us to weigh the burdens of car ownership. I would ask all my fellow Shaw citizens to weigh the burdens and even out the weight.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Take the 70 or 79

First, my prayers are with the families and victims of those who lost their lives on the Red Line, and with those injured. Please keep all the riders of the Red Line in your thoughts or prayers as WMATA deals with this tragedy.

Now, how are you going to get to work tomorrow? There is the 70 bus. The long accordion bus that rides up 7th Street. You can take that to Silver Spring. You can also take the 79 Express bus, that also gets you to Silver Spring. You can catch both of them at the corner of 7th and Rhode Island at the Asbury Dwelling building.
Buses will be packed if WMATA has the tracks between Fort Totten and Takoma Park are shut down. It is possible they'll have trains sharing a track, maybe not.
There is a bus the J2(?) that goes to Silver Spring from College Park Metro, which is on the Green Line. The the the C2(? Sorry I'm guessing the WMATA site is overloaded so I can't check my bus info, I'm working from memory) that goes to Wheaton from College Park.
If anyone has any other info about buses that get to the north part of the Red Line?

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday Misc.

I'm going to go down in order of importance-
USHMM
I'm still in shock hearing this morning over the radio of the attack on the Holocaust Museum yesterday evening. My first DC job, was at the Holocaust Museum as a Visitor Services Rep. We worked with the security guards, as both teams dealt with the public. So my prayers are with the slain guard Steven Tyrone Johns' family and co-workers.

Car Break In
There is a black car, Florida plates, on the 400 block of R St, Ward 2 side, with a busted rear passenger window. Thieves did not steal the water bottle in the front seat. That portion of road, the part nearest the AfriCare lot, I swear every other month, a car or several cars parked along that portion of street, get broken into.

Move, Get Out The Way
I'm going to guess they are interns and don't know better.... Will the EPA interns from Howard University please move to the center of the train and not block the doors for 3 whole stops. A gaggle of 6 students with shiny new EPA stuff apparently are oblivious to the fact that near the doors, people get on and off the train. They blocked the doors for people getting off at Shaw and they continued to hover at the station side of the train for several stops until their destination at L'Enfant.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

How I'm Going to Die

One day a car is going to hit me, I swear.
Yesterday, riding the bike to work I'm in the f'ing bus/bike lane, and it doesn't help that the stretch of 9th St is pockmarked and uneven, when a car swoops up behind me. IN THE BUS/BIKE ONLY LANE! The bloody thing could have hit me as I was trying deal with the bumps and dips in the road.
A few days before that when on foot, I was crossing Rhode Island along 7th Street and a car turning on to RI doesn't even pretend to slow down. I was in the crosswalk and I had the light, though the little red hand was flashing. But still.
Once again I say, I'm more likely to get hit by a car than shot. Despite the shooting spree that has popped up around here, the four wheeled monster is still my greatest danger. I've been here now for eight years and the sound of random gunfire has gone down while my near misses with cars have gone up.
And while I'm ranting, wear your bike helmets people! Stop at the light and look both ways before crossing.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

7th & RI- only a matter of time

Blocking off the sidewalk on Rhode Island & 7th St is an accident waiting to happen. There is a bus stop there and the bus lets people off. Those few traffic barriers are an island unconnected to safe passage. Okay, say the bus lets you off at the stop there and you're in the barricade island. How do you get to the metro station? You have to walk out into traffic.
Today I spotted the G8 stopped at the corner of 7th and RI to let people off, blocking cars coming north on 7th. It looked like a safer course of action than deserting them in the barricade island.
Its only a matter of time before someone gets hurt as long as that sidewalk is blocked with no connection to a safe path.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Old Streetcar route: The Fourth Street Line

From Rider's Washington, 1924.
Fourth Street Line: operates between Steamboat wharves (M and Water Sts., S.W.) and W St. and Georgia Ave., N.W. Route: northwest on Water St. to 11th St., north on 11th St. to Virginia Ave., northwest on Virginia Ave., to B St., west on B St. to 14th St., nort on 14th St. to G St. N.W., east on G St. to 5th St., north on 5th St. to New York Ave., northeast on New York Avenue to 4th St., north on 4th St. to Florida Ave., east on Florida Ave., to 3rd St., north on 3rd St. to Elm St., west on Elm St. to 4th St., north on 4th St. to W St. to Georgia Ave.
Car signs: northbound, "LEDRIOT PARK"; southbound, "WHARVES."

Is it just me or does that sound like a screwy route?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Old Streetcar Routes

Well I'm back from the annual trek to Florida to see the family, and since I'm catching up on what's been going on, here's some history.

From Rider's Washington, a tourist guidebook from the 1920s, there is a description of the different streetcar lines. I'll mention a few here.
Florida Avenue Line: operates between Stephenson Monument (Pennsylvania Ave. and 7th St.) and Navy Yard Gate. Route: north on 7th St. to T St., east on T St. to Florida Ave., southeast on Florida Ave., to 8th St. N.E., south on 8th St., to Navy Yard Gate (M St. S.E.). Car signs: north and eastbound, "NAVY YARD"; west and southbound, "7TH AND PA, AVE. N.W."

New Jersey Avenue Line: operates between Rock creek Bridge (20th and Calvert Sts. N.W.) and Navy Yard Gate (8th and M Sts. S.E.). Route: east on Calvert St. to 18th St., south on 18th St. to U St., east on U St. to Florida Ave. to New Jersey Ave., southeast on New Jersey Ave. to Massachusetts Ave. to Union Station, thence southwest on Delaware Ave to B St. N.E., east on B St. to Pennsylvania Ave., southeast Pennsylvania Ave. to 8th St., south on 8th St. to Navy Yard.

The Washington Railway and Electric Company was another (I don't have it in my notes who operated the above lines) streetcar company in DC. Their Georgia Avenue-Ninth Street Line had four lines. Line A went from Forest Glen to Water St. going down Georgia then down 9th. Line B went from between the Wharves to Ga Ave and Eastern Ave. Line C went between Water St to the Soldiers Home. Line D went between Takoma, Anacostia and Congress Heights. It started at Butternut St in Takoma to GA Ave and went along the same southern route as Line A to 4 1/2 St to Maryland Ave to B St and Canal Sts. then east on E, south on 4th, then east on G, then south on 11th to Anacostia Bridge, then south on Nichols Ave to a terminal at Talbert St. From Talbert on Nichols Ave to Congress Heights and west on Portland St to Steel Plant, The names of the streets may have changed because the directions seems odd once you get past the Anacostia Bridge, which could be (I dunno) the Fredrick Douglass Memorial Bridge.

Later the Fourth Street Line.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Armstrong, New York Ave, and neighborhood charity

Those two have nothing to do with each other except they are the emails I have flagged in my inbox.
First Armstrong. I guess I'm on the mailing list for this subject because I attended the BACA meeting that covered it and I guess this is the 'getting back with the community' part of that discussion. Anyway here was the notice that was sent out:
Dear Community,
On Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Armstrong School, Kent Amos, founder of the CAPCS education campus, will met with community for follow up discussion on his recent decision permitting Metropolitan Baptist Church use of the school for Sunday services. Senior Pastor Beecher Hicks also plans to attend. Please make every effort to come out and bring your questions and alternative ideas for addressing this community dilemma.
Light refreshments will be available. For further information, please contact me at 55O-O619* or by e-mail at adbonds g mail com*.
I'm looking forward to seeing you,
Anita Bonds

There have been a couple of 'reply all' emails concerning the upcoming meeting. One, going on the separation of church and state thread is a fruitless one. The relationship between the charter school and the church is that of landlord and tenant and not unusual. My best friend's church rents out a PG County high school gym while they wait for their building to be done. Difference? High schools have way more parking than middle and elementary schools. And it is the parking that has raised the immediate resident's ire. Second, sticking to the point of the matter, parking, and using the threat of strong parking enforcement may prove fruitful.
This weekend being so nice I rode my bike to church, taking my old route by the old location of Metropolitan Baptist. I could see the difference. When Metropolitan was on R Street, the streets were congested and there was almost ALWAYS someone blocking the bike lane. And the Washington Post newspaper vendor dude used to be on the corner. But no more. The streets around 13th and R were 'normal', no more crowded than 9th and R.
New York Avenue. It is websites like Stimulus Watch that make me think that the net was made for democracy. Apparently, the intersection at Florida and New York Avenue is to take up 8 millllllllyon dallahs. There is another New York Ave project also included but no detail of what NY Ave bridge. Anyway, I need someone to define 'shovel ready.' Seriously there must be a treeful of paper of studies on New York Avenue NE and NW and it's various intersections that have never gotten past 'oh look we have a study.' After looking at the guts of some road studies (not New York Ave but other DC roads), the info in them goes bad quicker than a gallon of milk, which means after a few years...... you do another study (and the contractors who do studies say yay!). Seriously define 'shovel ready' because if it involves a study and community buy in and the other things that take up time and effort, it's only shovelin' manure.
Lastly, something good from the Eckington listserv:
Hi Neighbors,

Thank You!!! When members of our community were in need of support their neighbors stepped up to help out. The Stancil family has found an apartment to live in until repairs to their home are completed. Our efforts to raise funds and provide clothing was a great success. The community members, area churches and strangers that happened to read about the Stancil family at the Big Bear Cafe contributed $2,000 in cash, checks and gift cards. I had to make daily trips from the Big Bear to Emery with my Outback stuffed full of clothing donations. The Stancils were overwhelmed by the out pouring of support when they needed it the most. Any clothing the family can't use will go to area clothing banks. We all face uncertainties with the economic crisis yet this community opened their hearts to help. Thank You!

we all work together, ted


*I made changes here.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More than just transportation

Yesterday I got an email about something I heard about on the radio this morning. The Terwilliger Cost Calculator is part of the Urban Land Institute's Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing with the Center for Housing Policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology report "Beltway Burden: The Combined Cost of Housing and Transportation in the Greater Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area."(PDF)
I played with the calculator. I had to use the Internet Explorer version despite being in Firefox. I plugged in different areas, Shaw, Riverdale, Arlington, and the far reaches of Alexandria. Except for Arlington where the income was higher, most other places had the transportation/housing costs to income around 50% or higher.
Yet in past conservations with co-workers, though housing costs are cited as one reason for moving far out, there are other factors at play.
These factors include spouses/partners who don't work in the metro center, but out in far reaches of Fairfax, Bowie, and Baltimore. They include large dogs, whom the owners believe need a large yard. A desire for a school system you don't have to think about. And a desire to live in a setting like the one they left back home. Problem is with this area, the house with lot that is average in St. Pete, FL is expensive in Rockville. The other problem is a lot of us aren't from here and trying to re-create the familiar here is pricey.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inaugural WTF?-Truxton Circle Lockdown


Buses Only Jan 20
Originally uploaded by In Shaw
Please, someone say this sign was erroneously placed. This sign is at 3rd and R Streets NW.
I did find a new map (PDF) at the DC government's inaugural site that gives the impression that there is charter bus parking up here, which may or may not explain the sign. But if it were for charter bus parking then there aren't any no parking signs, which makes me think this may restricted to buses (ie excluding cars).

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Inauguration Musings- Intra/Inter-city mobility

I was chatting with an older woman who lives in SW and she was planning on visiting an elderly bedridden friend in upper NW to watch the inauguration on TV. Question is, how easy, or hard will it be to get there?
--
Spoke with the Aunt. She will be having guests over for the inaugural weekend and Shiloh Baptist is having a slew of activities, some of which they'll be attending. I asked how was she going to get there. Drive. Well it will be the weekend, and not the day of, so maybe that will work. Asking about the actual day, she'd rather be home, but, she's got guests. I suggested dropping them off at the PG Plaza station, handing them a map and wishing them the best. No, not an option. She plans to drive in on New York Avenue, and either travel along P or Rhode Island to get to the parking garage at her work not far from Dupont. Yeah, I don't know how that's going to work out. I did tell her that the City and everyone else is discouraging car travel and suggesting the metro. Nope, not an option. Argh!

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Inauguration Musings- Blocked Streets in Shaw?

I'm looking at the press release put out by the inaugural people (PDF) and on page 8 it says that 13th St NW from K to Logan Circle and 6th Street from K to P Streets NW will be pedestrian-only for the parade. But I don't see any time stamp for parade only stuff. So.... how long will cross streets, and I'm going to guess that the 600 to 1200 blocks of O, N, M and L Streets are going to be blocked? Because if those North-South routes are going to be pedestrian only per the press release, what of the East-West Streets that intersect them? Also those pedestrian only routes don't show up on any of the maps I've been looking at.
-UPDATE-
From the DC.GOV inauguaration site I noticed:
The following roadways will be closed to traffic from Tuesday, January 20th, 12:01am through Wednesday, January 21st, 12:01am, to implement and remove the Charter Bus Parking zones. The Road Closure areas will be limited to charter buses, metro buses, taxis, postal vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, emergency vehicles and residents with government issued identification or vehicle registration showing residency inside the restricted area.

I've picked out the ones of interest to Shaw residents:
I-395/3rd Street Tunnel from SE/SW Freeway to New York Avenue
13th Street, NW from K Street, NW to Logan Circle, NW
6th Street, NW from K Street, NW to P Street, NW
13th Street, NW from Logan Circle to K Street, NW
14th Street, NW from R Street to K Street, NW
15th Street, NW from K Street, NW to Rhode Island Avenue, NW
New Jersey Avenue, NW from K Street, NW to Florida Avenue, NW

I've bolded the streets of great interest to me. It looks like a bit of the Logan Circle area is going to get caught up in this. Why aren't these northern parts being shown on maps?

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

A few useful things

MPD has a crime mapping thing, that as of this morning the map feature does not like Firefox or Macs. You too can get the same thrill the police get when looking at statistics that say that crime is down. However, you are tempered by the fact that the latest victim of the theft from auto was your neighbor and the fact that there are fewer thefts from autos is of little comfort. I went down to the level of my block and discovered crime is down in almost everything, except one thing where it is up by several hundred percent.

If you didn't notice it on the right hand side of the blog I have links to find when the next 96, or G2 is coming, which sometimes is operational. There is a NextBus for the 96, the 90, the G8, the G2, the P2, and others. Poking around I found Nextbus for PG Co.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Inauguration Musings- No bikes on Metro

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read in the Post that bikes won't be allowed on metro trains during the inaugural weekend. I totally understand no bikes on the 20th, but for four whole days? So I went to WMATA's website and there it was "Bicycles also will be prohibited on the rail system from Saturday, Jan. 17 through Tuesday, Jan. 20."
At least there is still the bus to put your bike on.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Inauguration Musings- Neighborhoods get f'd

I'm reading the Post article about transportation and the inauguration, and it looks like some close in neighborhoods are going to get screwed for three days. When I read "Neighborhood parking rules and meter enforcement in the District will be suspended Saturday through Inauguration Day," I see a nightmare for everyone who parks on the street living within 1-2 miles of the Capitol. Tell your friends who will be crashing at your place, to carpool.
So far no one knows what streets will be closed off, and when, and how much driver chaos will seep onto neighborhood streets. Hopefully, the closures will be short lived, for a few hours. Who am I kidding? Several hours. Stock up on stuff before the crowds arrive because it will be like a marathon, Sunday church parking, and rush hour rolled into one.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Florida and R

Sean over at the Bloomingdale Blog has a post about this intersection. Sunday mornings when the BFM was in front of the Big Bear, I would cross. But any other time, Florida Ave has too much traffic and people don't seem to use their turn signals.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thanks metro

I would like to thank the metro employees at the Shaw/Howard this station for dealing with the man laying on the platform this morning. The guy may have been very, very sleepy and drunk, but coming off a train to some guy just laying there is disturbing. It would have been one thing if he decided to nap on one of the benches, but turning himself into one big ole trip hazard is unacceptable.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

My greatest danger is anything with a motor

Once again, I am nearly run down by a SUV. If I hadn't read my paper I would have communicated to the driver of the SUV that I was much displeased by his nearly mowing me down by flinging my plastic wrapped newspaper at him. Instead I used my words. I had the right of way, he was making a right on to 7th, and the crossing sign had just lit up and was counting down when I stepped into the crosswalk of DEATH.

A week ago I was 10 seconds away from getting hit. At New Jersey Ave and R the light had just turned green for R, and I was still a ways on the sidewalk, and thought of running for it, but I was carrying something heavy and didn't. If I had I might have been in the way of the sedan speeding north on New Jersey that didn't seem to think that red light was meant for him. He did stop a few feet past the crosswalk to keep from hitting the car, travelling west on R, and the cyclist, also travelling on R.

Guns are the least of my worries when every other day I have to take care that I don't get hit by some jackhole behind the wheel.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Billard hall circa 1958



From the DDOT files showing 9th and Florida Avenue. Traffic looks kinda light.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The bus- not all that, nor a bag of chips

Levels of Public Transit Stops
Underground metro station
Semi-exposed metro station (Ft. Totten-Green line)
Exposed above ground metro station
Sheltered-enclosed bus stop
Bus shelter with roof
Stick with bus sign

I read another blogger's rant about how we need to get over our biases about the bus, but you know, after riding the buses in the DC Metro area for over a decade, and whatever biases I have about the bus, are based on experience. I still ride the bus, but I have no romantic notions about it. It is, what it is.
I've been stuck in unpleasant weather, late for something, exposed to the elements, wearing something not suitable for standing still in a puddle or ice pack for more than 10 minutes, while waiting for a bus that either came 5 minutes early or is 1/2 an hour late, enough times to know what its limits are. Because some routes are so unpredictable, despite a bus schedule, I cannot count how many times I have chased down buses, run across several lanes of traffic (yes, not safe, yes I could get killed that way...) to beat the bus to the next stop, and in some situations fail and only be out of breath and have a pained side to show for my trouble. Thankfully, places where I've worked have a flexible schedule so my inconsistent arrival to work won't cost me my job. I don't know know if all bus riders have that luxury.
I lived in PG County where the bus service on the weekend seemed non-existent. When I lived there The Bus did not exist and neither did many sidewalks. It didn't help matters that even the taxi service seemed useless too. So until I moved closer to a metro station, the District and anything else further than where I could bike to was unavailable to me. It was too much of a hassle to wait 15 minutes before the scheduled arrival for a bus that would most likely show up late on the off chance it might show up early. And woe if a transfer to another bus was needed.
However, living in the city the bus is part of my transportation system. If I need to be somewhere on time, I take the train. Or, if the route is a trustworthy one, where the buses are typically consistent, I'll take the bus. The center part of the city is dense enough that I can come across another bus, or in some cases just walk to the nearest metro station, or bite the bullet and take a cab provided I'm within 2 zones of my destination. In PG and some parts of Arlington, those other options weren't always there.
The bus is useful, but in some cases you have to ask how much is your time worth, and is it worth spending in wait.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What is it about the bus that attracts the nutters?

When I first got on the bus I just figured the guy was having one of those animated loud conversations with another passenger, that men have. It took about 2 minutes for me to realize that he was talking to himself, as no one answered back to his statements. The rest of the bus ride was 'concerning' as he talked about going into hand to hand combat with his enemy (with body movements to illustrate), his enemy being evil in general. Then there was the cursing and insulting of foreigners, but really that paled in comparison to the Kung-Fu moves.
Couldn't get off that bus fast enough.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Your Privacy is in Your Hands

In a professional seminar sometime back when I was working for an association and not the govt. the topic was keeping confidential and company secrets. One of the main things about keeping company or organizational secrets is identifying what those secrets are and having a system in place that keeps private things private. It basically boiled down to you are in charge and you have to take charge in keeping your secrets. So to the young man on the bus today, the reason why everybody knows your business is because you keep broadcasting private things in public.
For one Mr. Brown (I think that's the name you said), keep your voice down. Yes, it is a bus, and you got to compete with the noise. The problem is though, although you are talking to your buddy who may be in the seat next to you or on the other side of the aisle, those of us a few seats up could hear you quite nicely. Second, try to be uninteresting or vague. The story of your arrest this weekend on a violation of a stay away order, the failure of the police to find whatever it was that you wanted to smoke and or sell after several searches, and the cops failure on other occasions to find either a gun or clips on you, does perk up the ears of strangers. Your storytelling is quite engaging. Thirdly, leave out some details. Your story included your age (18), your school (I didn't recognize the name so it didn't stick with me), where your stay away order was, your court date, the fact that you have a CO (whatever that it) and possibly your last name.
Maybe the reason everyone knows your business, is you. I didn't go looking for this info. You put it out there. Don't feel bad, there are others who complain about people being up all in their business, who also, for their own reasons also broadcast their business.
This is just an illustration. Considering the city hasn't acknowledged my real estate relief program for dead people find, I highly doubt MPD will bother reading this, check their records for an 18 yr old (you have an alto voice, and at first I thought you were a woman, but your details say male) who was arrested and held this weekend for violating a stay away, to get a warrant to check your dad's house for an unregistered weapon.
For anyone about to suggest I call 911 to report this, I say, no. It doesn't have enough to pass the 'is it worth getting into an argument with the dispatcher' test. No, I'm saving up my future 9111 call for where I can get into a discussion with the dispatcher where I am questioned if a crime is really actually taking place, or just my imagination or misinterpretation of the law.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Richardson Place

I've been getting the odd email from Karl and others in the Richardson Place area (1700 blks of 4th & New Jersey, Richardson, R & FL) about some "Streetscape Improvements". Richardson needs the improvement. The short bit of road and the linking alleys look like a big lot. That road isn't really looking paved. The residents who have spoken up would like brick, or concrete, but not asphalt. Brick is preferred.
Jim Berry, BACA Prez, in a letter to the Richardson Place focus group suggested meeting prior to the next BACA meeting to talk about it. Okay people BACA meeting is at Mt Sinai Baptist, Monday, starts at 7, but for this email Jim (JBerry ayt PDSDC daht ORG) as it was a suggestion and not a firm date.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Spanish for living 'round here

It's time for me to take a refresher course in Spanish, because trying to give directions to a little Latina grandma I forgot the word for "Yellow". I was trying to point out the yellow line on the metro. All my brain could give me was the German word for yellow, "gelb".
Apparently she couldn't speak a lick of English and it didn't help matters when another non-Spanish speaker tried to help out. A quick scan of the Shaw/Howard platform, there were no other people who might, might have a stronger command of Spanish.... and my train was coming so, I left her, feeling really bad. But She didn't speak English and I don't know enough Spanish to gove useful directions and there really wasn't any more I could do.
So thus it was a reminder that my Spanish is rustier than my bike, and I need a tune up. I mentioned the whole incident to some friends who reacted negatively to the Spanish speaking woman, "if you're going to come to my country illegally you should learn the language," blah, blah, blah... To which I say, while she's on the waiting list for the ESL classes, that I hear are backlogged, I can try to meet her halfway and learn some Spanish.
However, what I need is Spanish for my world, my hood. I don't need to know how to tell Maria that Jose is having a party or ask how Carlos is doing. No, I need Spanish for trying to give directions on the Metro or Metrobus. While we're at it I need cleaning and construction crew Spanish. I need the following phrases:

Could you please not dust while I'm still sitting at my cubicle.

This counter is a 1/2 inch too short, can it be fixed?

You need to cross the street to catch the 70 bus to Silver Spring.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

My fellow pedestrians

Don't jaywalk at night wearing dark clothing, sauntering across the street like cars going 10+ miles over the speed limit are actually going to stop for you. Yes, you people on Rhode Island Avenue NE. We can barely see you. You are an oddly shaped shadow. Are you a trick of the light or a human target?

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Battle hate with love

There was a scene on the Metro that I need to relate to y'all, mainly because there are certain situations that pop up and you wonder what to do.
Okay its around about 3 or 4 something on a weekday on the Green line to Greenbelt and the train is packed. There is a hodge podge of DC humanity in the car of black, Latino, Asian and others as office drones heading back home, students heading somewhere, the odd touristy looking folk, all squished, not Orange line squished but it is crowded, on the train. Hanging near the doors are three or four black teenagers, doing what teenagers seem to do on trains between 2-6pm, talk loudly and cut up. The train pulls up to either U Street or Columbia Heights and the doors open. People push out, past the teens, and then a few people push in. The teens, being obnoxious say "no more people on the train" and then block a short Latino mother who has a baby strapped to her chest and a toddler in tow. She pushed herself and child onto the train. Once on, one of the boys looks the woman in the eye and just insults her. Something about 20 babies and starting to have kids when she was real young. I throw the boys the skunk eye. But then they go into some stupid rant about the "Color Purple" and "Massa" and still sent more derogatory comments towards the Latino mother.
Then something happened, possibly the right thing. A young man, one of the well dressed office drones, got up and asked the mother if she would take his seat. Then another person got up and offered their seat so the toddler could sit by his mother and there was this outpouring of kindness going out in the direction of the mother from the other commuters. The attention went away from the hateful teens and loving charity went towards the little family.
Confronting the teens was not really an option. They seemed to want conflict. And I wouldn't call them ignorant, as ignorance is defined as being uninformed. I'm sure they got the diversity message that's out there and I believe they knew that they were wrong, it's just that they didn't care.
So the lesson learned? Confronting the wrong doer doesn't get me very far, healing the wronged does. So hopefully, next time there is a train with obnoxious teens who lash out on some poor soul, I can think of a way to show kindness to that soul.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

[Insert offensive yet snarky title involving death & metrobuses]

I nearly got run over by the Georgetown Circulator walking home from work.
Lady, there are people on the street, in the cross walk with the right of way!
The driver had stopped for the light and I began to cross Mass Ave, when the driver decided to inch up two feet, bringing the front of the bus into the crosswalk. She (the driver) was looking north as she inched up. She was had moved the two feet before she bothered looking south, and saw me.
Lady, there is a big friggin line before the crosswalk lines, stay there!
The lights are on a timer. Your inching up ain't gonna make the light change any faster.
Also.
There are pedestrians running around on the street. Some of them are in the crosswalk. Where, I suppose, pedestrians are allowed to walk. But considering what's been going on lately....

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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

G2 bus & 3rd Street.

According to rumours, which may or may not be true, the contractor doing 3rd Street between P & Q Streets, dropped the job and has left the street screwed up. This street has been under construction for months and months. Currently you can only go south on 3rd, not north as well. For the longest there was no travel on this portion of 3rd at all.
Along a patch of 3rd street the G2 (Georgetown U/ Howard U) bus travels. The G2 hits 3rd at R st, Q St and P St. Due to the contruction, the Georgetown bound bus had turned on R, continued on New Jersey and then turned on P. But now that the southbound lane is open confusion has occurred. Some drivers go back to the old route of going down third. Some drivers turn on R and go down NJ. Sucks to be you if you waited at P. Guess where I was waiting? Lucky I run fast and there wasn't any traffic on New Jersey.
Anyway, in honor of this rant I am adding to my sidebar, two metro related links. First, is the Washington Metro Riders Union a yahoo group. Second, is DC Metrorider, a Live Journal community. Post, bitch, rave, observe.

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