Housing Complex

D.C. Area Is Losing Population to the Rest of America

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.29.57 AM

We already know that D.C.'s population growth has slowed sharply in the past year, bucking the earlier (and much-touted) trend of gaining more than 1,000 residents a month. But breaking down the population changes by type reveals just how drastic the shift has been in one regard.

Between 2010 and 2011, the D.C. region's population growth was fairly balanced, with growth in all three of the major categories: natural increase (births minus deaths), net domestic migration (people moving from other parts of the country minus people moving to other parts of the country), and net international migration (people coming from abroad minus people heading abroad). Over the next two years, two of these three categories remained relatively constant, but one began to drop. Net domestic migration shrank from 22,678 people in 2010-2011 to 5,418 in 2011-2012 and 4,375 in 2012-2013.

And then, in the past year, it tanked. Between 2013 and 2014, net domestic migration was deep in the negative. There were 24,741 fewer people moving to the D.C. area from the rest of America than leaving the D.C. area for elsewhere in the country. That alone was enough to pull the region's annual population growth down to just 1.1 percent, from 2 percent three years earlier.

The chart below, from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, shows the drastic change in the region's domestic migration:

Read more D.C. Area Is Losing Population to the Rest of America

Morning Links

capH Street NE restaurants and bars (mostly) urge the city to complete the streetcar project. [District Cuisine]

OSSE accidentally sent students' personal information to BuzzFeed. [Post]

Post-breakup, tiny houses face an uncertain future. [UrbanTurf]

What one parent learned about D.C.'s ultra-competitive preschool lottery. [GGW]

The exurbs are rising again. [Post]

Anacostia's reputation is on the upswing, at least on Twitter. [CHOTR]

Move over, SimCity: There's a better computer game for urbanists. [GGW]

Today on the market: Capitol Hill 1BR—$479,900

At Long Last, New Metro Railcars Set to Debut

The new railcars feature wider aisles and digital displays.

The new railcars feature wider aisles and digital displays.

Early-morning Metro riders on the Blue Line on April 14 the will be treated to an unfamiliar sight: brand-new railcars.

Shortly after 7 a.m. on April 14, the first 7000-series Metro train will depart the Franconia-Springfield station. The event marks the culmination of a five-year process to introduce the newest series of railcars and replace some of the system's badly outdated cars.

Metro has ordered 528 of the 7000-series cars, enough to replace all of the oldest railcars, the 1000 series, and the 4000 series, as well as expand the size of Metro's fleet by 128 railcars. Metro also has an option to buy 220 more cars if it can secure funding by mid-year—a hurdle Metro says it expects to overcome, with the regional jurisdictions indicating they're inclined to support the purchase.

The 1000 series has been around since Metro started running in 1976. A federal investigation into the deadly 2009 Metro Red Line crash found serious safety risks in the 1000-series cars and urged Metro to replace them. The first 7000-series cars will reportedly add Silver Line capacity, before additional cars begin to replace the 1000 series.

7K arrival 1

While the current series of railcars are often mixed and matched, the 7000 series will exist only in trains made up entirely of the new cars.

Read more At Long Last, New Metro Railcars Set to Debut

Morning Links

gloverGet excited: A big self-storage facility's coming to New York Avenue NE. [WBJ]

DDOT chief says WMATA needs to change. [GGW]

Georgetown church-turned-condos could deliver this fall. [UrbanTurf]

Dentists extract a small piece of Capitol Hill. [WBJ]

The 202 area code could run out of numbers by 2019. [Post]

Today on the market: Glover Park studio—$218,000

D.C. Overtakes L.A. as Nation’s Energy-Efficiency Leader

1900 K St. NW is one of D.C.'s Energy Star buildings.

1900 K St. NW is one of D.C.'s Energy Star buildings.

Take that, L.A.: For the first time, D.C. has topped the five-year leader in energy-efficient buildings to take the Energy Star crown.

The Energy Star program, launched by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1999, rewards energy-efficient commercial buildings, which on average use 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and have carbon emissions that are 35 percent lower. The EPA has given the rating to more than 25,000 buildings across the country.

Since 2009, the EPA has ranked metropolitan areas by the number of Energy Star buildings they have. Every year, Los Angeles has come out on top.

This year, L.A.'s reign came to an end. The D.C. area is now the national leader, with 480 Energy Star buildings, topping L.A.'s 475 and third-place Atlanta's 328.

Here's the full list of the top 50 metro areas:

Rank     Metro Area            2014 Building Count

1          Washington, DC            480

2          Los Angeles                  475

3          Atlanta                          328

4          New York                      299

5          San Francisco               292

6          Chicago                        251

7          Dallas-Fort Worth          248

8          Houston                        235

9          Denver                          195

10         Boston                         176

11         Phoenix                        165

12         Philadelphia                  158

13         Seattle                          149

14         Riverside, Calif.             127

15         Minneapolis-St. Paul      122

16         Charlotte                       95

17         San Diego                    92

18         Miami                           90

19         Sacramento                  89

20         Virginia Beach               81

21         Detroit                          80

22         San Jose                      70

23         Austin                           65

23         Portland, Ore.               65

24         Louisville                      59

24         Tampa                          59

25         Salt Lake City                55

Photo from energystar.gov

Metro Claims X2 Overcrowding’s Been ‘Virtually’ Eliminated


If the District's pastime is complaining about Metro, then surely the minor-league equivalent is griping about the X2 bus. For residents of the H Street NE and Benning Road corridors who depend on the bus, it usually takes the form of bemoaning overcrowding and long waits. For the rest of the city, it's more anthropological, with hyperbolic claims about the rare species of miscreant that rides the bus. In reality, of course, the X2 and its passengers are no different from a dozen other bus lines in the city that pass through neighborhoods with a mix of incomes, ages, and races. And yet the X2 generates a strange sort of lore, recently encapsulated in a Washington Post collection of fascinated tweets about the colorful characters on the bus.

But it's reliability where the X2 could use the biggest boost. And according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which runs Metro and Metrobus, that issue has been substantially resolved.


In a post on PlanItMetro, WMATA's planning blog, the agency says it's taken steps to make the X2 more dependable in recent months. The bus has more than 13,000 daily riders, making it more heavily trafficked than the Silver Spring Metro station. It's also been deeply unreliable, with just 65 percent of buses arriving on time for most of last year.

In December, WMATA made a few changes to improve reliability on the X2. Those changes include increasing the frequency of X2 arrivals so that they come every eight minutes on weekdays, deploying supervisors to help ensure even bus spacing, and adjusting scheduled running times by about 15 percent to make them more realistic.

The result, according to WMATA, has been a 14 percent jump in ridership, from 12,700 riders a day in October to 13,800 in February. The on-time rate has increased to 83 percent. And, WMATA claims, "overcrowding (particularly during the midday) has been virtually eliminated."

Read more Metro Claims X2 Overcrowding’s Been ‘Virtually’ Eliminated

Morning Links

anacostiaNational Park Service plans to use dogs to chase geese off the Mall. [AP]

Muriel Bowser hints at eminent domain for Akridge land at soccer stadium site. [LL]

Where Metro train cars go to die. [GGW]

The evolving design of a big residential project at Union Market. [UrbanTurf]

After a long and tortuous process, a dog daycare center at 14th and Florida NW can move forward. [SALM]

In 1927, a tornado caused major damage in D.C. [Ghosts of DC]

Today on the market: Anacostia rowhouse—$390,000

Morning Links

kaloramaA trimmed Portals plan for Southwest gets a thumbs up. [WBJ]

Six paragons of multi-modalism to emulate. [CityLab]

A bill would require compensation for blocking solar panels. [WBJ]

So long to an Adams Morgan mainstay. [Y&H]

How to rescue WMATA. [GGW]

You can live in a former Georgetown chapel, for $4 million. [UrbanTurf]

Today on the market: Kalorama 1BR—$399,000

Exorbitant Condo of the Week, Don’t Throw Stones Edition

DC8577379 – Interior (General)

This is probably not a condo for young children. Then again, dropping $2.5 million on a one-bedroom would be a curious choice for families with kids anyway, quite apart from the constant risk of shattering. It's also not a place for privacy, given that the bathtub, and just about everything else, is plainly visible to all through the glass.

But for a well-heeled buyer seeking a Georgetown address with the feel of an art gallery and the impossible geometry of an M.C. Escher, this condo could be just the thing. Have a look around:

DC8577379 – Interior (General)

DC8577379 – Interior (General)

DC8577379 – Interior (General)

Read more Exorbitant Condo of the Week, Don’t Throw Stones Edition

Morning Links

woodridgeA sneak peek at the northern sections of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. [WashCycle]

EastBanc buys Georgetown gas station, plans restaurant topped by hotel or apartments. [WBJ]

A nearby condo project is drawing opposition from Georgetown neighbors. [UrbanTurf]

The D.C. area's most expensive house right now: a Forest Hills mansion for $22 million. [WBJ]

More speed cameras are on the way. [WJLA]

The area under the D.C. United stadium site will require lots of cleanup. [WBJ]

Bike lanes coming to... Tysons. [GGW]

The Office of Planning explains the status of rooftop penthouses. [OPinions]

Today on the market: 3BR house in Woodridge—$525,000