Author Archive for Alex Baca

Five Feelings About the Anacostia Streetcar

Yesterday, Greater Greater Washington reported that the Federal Transit Administration is requiring the District Department of Transportation to remove the installation of streetcar rails from its plans for the 11th Street Bridge. This is serious: It's yet another setback for a transit project that's seen its fair share, and puts a serious dent in the [...]

Substantive Streetcar Discussion! Is Anacostia Done Saying ‘No’?

The District Department of Transportation has has whittled down its original ten options for the Anacostia streetcar line to a more manageable four since its last public meeting in the neighborhood—and may have tamped down some of the skepticism east of the river as well.
Gone is the option of a double-track on Martin Luther King [...]

Next Wave of D.C. Cycling Infrastructure Will Be Pushy

To hear the District's biggest bike boosters tell it, cycling is on the right track—and four-wheeled road users are going to have to share a lot more of it soon.
Here's the background: infrastructure tailored specifically for cyclists has grown exponentially since 2001, when then-Mayor Anthony Williams set out to make D.C. a bike-friendly city. The [...]

D.C. for People: Jan Gehl Says Old Folks Should Ride Bikes Too

Jan Gehl and his wife, who have been married 45 years, regularly ride their bikes 15 miles or more to get dinner. Quite a feat for a 75-year-old, even considering that he's the world's leading voice on creating walkable, bike-able, and pedestrian-friendly urban spaces.
But that, Gehl said at the National Building Museum last night, is [...]

Barry Not Helping With DDOT Streetcar Charm Offensive

Saturday morning's Phase 2 public meeting on the Anacostia streetcar line began with a message from Councilmember Marion Barry, relayed by staffer Brenda Richardson.
"The councilmember wants you to know that he supports whatever the community wants," said Richardson.
"But," she continued, "he doesn't want to see the streetcar go past the Anacostia Metro station. He'd rather see [...]

Fun With Pie Charts: Vacant Property Edition

It's data time! In case you needed yet another reminder that our fair city is vastly divided economically, Housing Complex assembled some pie charts for your viewing pleasure.
On the right, population per ward (numbers via Neighborhood Info DC, as of 2000, the latest year for which figures are available) is fairly equal.Below that, registered vacant [...]

In the Battle of Barney Circle, Could There be a Middle Ground?

Despite the work of a dedicated preservationist contingent in the tiny southeast neighborhood of Barney Circle, it just wasn't in the cards for the Historic Preservation Review Board to designate the area an historic district on June 24.

This house has been conserved, not preserved–and it still looks good (San Jacinto Neighborhood Association).

Housing Complex covered the [...]

Far Southeast Will Gladly Take Your Sidewalks

Livability is one of those oft-used phrases that seems to exist primarily in the context of press releases. But DDOT’s latest study initiative, under the Livability Program, is trying to bring it to, well, real life.
Tuesday saw residents of Wards 7 and 8 meeting in the Anacostia Library to discuss transit-specific improvements they’d like to see [...]

Putting Substance Over Spectacle to Help DC Residents Understand the Market

The press release promised free credit reports, a motivational speaker, foreclosure counseling, and a DC United player.* An odd combination to be at the Washington Convention Center on a Saturday afternoon, perhaps?
Not really: The occasion was the Department of Housing and Community Development's second annual DC Housing Expo & Foreclosure. The free, five-hour event saw [...]

Storytime with George Hawkins: Lead Scares, Boiled Water Alerts, and DC Water as More Than a Utility

You may have heard by now that the body formerly known as the Water and Sewer Authority has a new look: D.C. Water, signified by a cute little raindrop. But behind the revamped image, has anything actually improved?
General manager George Hawkins made the case to a group of bloggers yesterday that it’s more than just [...]