Warming up Metro

Metro’s signature indirect lighting scheme is getting a little brighter. Over at GGW, Matt Johnson notes upgrades to the Judiciary Sq Station mezzanine as a means of better illuminating the darker areas of one of the darker stations.

Judiciary Sq Station

I haven’t yet checked out the new mezzanine lighting in person, but Matt’s

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More ideas for the Eco-City Beautiful

I’ve been meaning to say something on some more water + city issues raised by mammoth a short time ago, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Mammoth points us to another entrant in the design competition for Toronto’s Port Lands (following up on some of the discussion about McMillan Two). The project, called River+City+Life,

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Plenty of Parking

DCist takes note of a great photo of the Mt. Vernon Square area from 1992, looking south towards the Portrait Gallery and what’s now the Verizon Center:

It’s amazing to realize how much the area has changed over the past 15-20 years. Looking back at the historical images available from Google Earth, you can

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Links – All the pieces matter

Brands matter

JD Hammond looks at the importance of rail liveries in the transit brand. GGW looks at Metro’s proposed redesign and unification of bus stop signage. Multiple sources (GGW, BDC, DCist, PoP) noted the shipping of DC’s first streetcars from the Czech Republic to DC.

A common theme amongst the streetcar commentariat – Hey!

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Around the horn


Back in my hometown, yesterday marked the first day of revenue service for the Northstar commuter rail line between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis. This is Minneapolis’ first heavy rail commuter line, which will look for a quick expansion to the originally planned terminus of St. Cloud, MN.

Yonah Freemark offers his assessment

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Building partisan cities (?)

Following up on the current Republican assertion that what is urban cannot also be local, there’s been a lot more discussion today concerning cities and their political leanings.

The Overhead Wire asserts that building cities “shouldn’t be a partisan issue.” There’s certainly something to be said for that – as adding density is probably one

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Local cities and regions

From luca5 on Flickr

Jarrett Walker highlights a rather disturbing turn of phrase from David Brooks’ recent profile of Senator John Thune (R – South Dakota). Walker notes:

David Brooks gives urbanists a velvet-gloved insult:

His populism is not angry. … But it’s there, a celebration of the small and local over the big

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In a musty old hall in Detroit…

Wednesday of this week marked the 34th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, lost with all hands in a Lake Superior storm in 1975. The iron ore freighter has always held a special place in my thoughts (and those of many Midwesterners) due to many summers spent along the shores of the Great

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Any Colour You Like

From mindgutter on flickr

(Post title with apologies to Pink Floyd)

Matt Johnson, over at Track Twenty-Nine, noted that with MARTA’s official conversion over to a color-based naming system for their rail system, more than half of America’s rapid transit systems (including Metro) use a color-based system.

Starting in 1965, Boston started referring to

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Image from Rakka

Car Sharing

Yonah Freemark and Ryan Avent have some discussion on the urban benefits of car sharing services.


The end result, at least theoretically: fewer cars on the road, more efficient use of each automobile, and fewer parking spaces needed. It has proven a cheaper alternative to taxis and car

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