Posts Tagged ‘wonkery’

The Republican Office Space Premium?

Via GlobeSt, broker CBRE's research arm has put together a chart of how quickly Washington-area commercial real estate gets absorbed under Republican and Democratic rule. The results are pretty clear: The market does awesomely when the GOP's in charge.
Pinning down the reason for that is more difficult, though. The report's authors suggest, logically enough, that [...]

D.C. Still Can’t Help You Get a Mortgage

Among the D.C. Housing Finance Agency's many functions is providing long-term mortgages at affordable rates, mostly to first-time homebuyers, funded through city bonds. That came to an abrupt halt last November, when DCHFA's master servicer Bank of America got out of the servicing business, and the agency hasn't yet found anybody to replace it.
Still, DCHFA [...]

And Now Let Us Witness Excellent Maps And Charts

For a recent Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force meeting, the Office of Planning put together some visuals that capture what's getting built in the city, and how it's changing. Here are some of my favorites.
1) Didn't believe we're in an apartment boom? The District issued more permits for buildings with more than five units in [...]

Graph of the Day: Suburbanites Pollute More

You've already heard this: People who live in cities pollute less and waste less than people who live in the suburbs. Not because they're better people, necessarily, but because their surroundings just allow them to be more efficient.
But how do we know, really? It's reasonably easy to track things like energy, water, and garbage—all those [...]

Wondering About the Zoning Update?

Last week, the Washington Post's ombudsman relayed his conversation with a group of activists from the D.C. Federation of Citizens Associations, who—super-blogger Mike DeBonis excepted—are none too happy with the paper's coverage of local issues lately (the Federation's chairman, Robert Brannum, has used more extreme means to voice his displeasure with the Post before). Among [...]

When Will the Streetcar Get its Own Agency?

My column this week describes the tough spot in which the District Department of Transportation finds itself, trying to connect the H Street trolley line to Union Station while at the same time completing a credible NEPA study for the K Street extension. Part of the difficulty, some longtime streetcar watchers figure, is that the [...]

Thought Experiment: What If Only Registered Voters Counted In Redistricting?


Every year, a certain section of D.C.'s population gets very upset about redistricting. Sometimes, the people who yell loudest and collect the most petitions get what they want, even with no formal vote or other impartial way of measuring who wants what across the entire population. But isn't that what democracy is all about? That [...]

Nerds Rejoice: The CaBi Dashboard is Here!

If you're the kind of person who gets off on having lots of data about how systems work, you'll want to futz around with the District Department of Transportation's latest toy: A graphing application for dozens of metrics about Capital Bikeshare, from ridership to membership to servicing.
In the future, I'd love to be able to [...]

Warped Area Median Income to Stay Put

Okay, we all know what area median income is, right? For the purposes of this blog, it's the measure by which we set rent levels at affordable housing projects. The area median income for the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area is a little over $100,000, so if the city works out a deal to build housing [...]

Just How Badly Off is the District, Comparatively Speaking?

Being a capital city, as any long-term resident of the District knows, is both a blessing and a curse. You get the grand buildings and hoopla that accompany the seat of government, and sometimes more cheese than usual from the feds. But you also often have little say in your own governance, and herds of [...]