City Desk

The Needle: Rolling Deep Edition

Potential Circulator Cuts and Reallocation Looms: The District Department of Transportation is considering whether to cut the Smithsonian-National Gallery of Art Circulator bus route in order to provide more service on the Union Station-Capitol Hill line. While it's too bad we can't have endless transit funding to do both, cutting the Mall route wouldn't drastically impact D.C. residents—and might get tourists to walk more! Exercise is good. +1

Mr. Postman: Kwame Brown has a new set of wheels these days: Mike DeBonis reports that the D.C. Council chairman is rolling up to the Wilson Building in a vintage mail truck. Of course, the lease on the much-maligned Navigator is presumably still costing taxpayers some money. No word on whether the mail truck is "fully loaded," but since it dates to the early 1980s, it's probably safe to assume there's no DVD player in the backseat. -1

Food Truck Furor: Like brick-and-mortar restaurants, D.C.'s food trucks can capitalize on foot traffic, which is why there's often more than one hanging out during lunch at Franklin Park or Farragut Square. This afternoon, U.S. Park Police—agents of the National Park Service, who control and manage the majority of D.C.'s parkland—shut down and threatened to arrest several mobile vendors gathered at the square. Food Truck Fiesta, which organizes and promotes when food trucks gather, indicated that there's no clear reason why the U.S. Park Police took action. -2

Marryland: Despite Del. Sam Arora's bewildering flip-flop-flip earlier this afternoon, the Maryland House of Delegates' Judiciary Committee approved the state's same-sex marriage legislation. The bill has been beleaguered by elected representatives who have gone absent in order to gain support for pet projects, and by an amendment that would have allowed for same-sex civil unions, rather than marriages. Still, it's progress for Maryland. Not so much for the first-term lawmaker, who has essentially lost any political capital he once had with the gay community. +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 36 Today's score: 0 Friday Bonus Points: +2 Today's Needle rating: 38

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  • Blake W.

    The Park Police really are the worst kind of cops. Rude, arbitrary, bullying and never willing to explain their capricious enforcement of arcane regulations that protect no one while they allow real safety hazards to go on unchecked. I'm quite sure that after nearly a year of food trucks lining up along Franklin Square, a sudden empanada-related security threat did not actually materialize and merit decisive action.

    My experience with every other officer from the umpteen other departments with jurisdiction in DC has been overwhelmingly positive. The Park Police, however, have generally left me with the impression of small-town cops with federal salaries.

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