Blog Category

Bribing Biz is the Old Economic Development. Building Bike Infrastructure is the New Way.

It didn’t feel right when I heard via the Washington Business Journal that Arlington County, Virginia paid energy company Opower $2M to remain and not move away (Opower to Remain In Arlington, February 8, 2016; Daniel J. Sernovitz). This goes against years of policy of not paying companies in money or tax breaks to stay or come to the County. Arlington […]

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How To Get Stuff Done In the Face of Bureaucracy

Thank goodness this book is out. Start-Up City – Inspiring Private & Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun is sorely needed right now. Cities are at the forefront of taking on addressing issues at the intersection of demographics, technology, transport, climate, housing, equity, and health, but are largely ill equipped to respond. Entrepreneur, […]

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A Dozen Easy Principles for Organizational Success

This post is adapted from a memo I prepared for my department’s management back in 2013. At the time, the Department of Environmental Services (DES)‘ new Director engaged the services of Denison Consulting to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. DES is Arlington County’s second largest department, with 15 Bureaus and nearly 1,000 […]

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Streets and Sidewalks Should Be Used To Improve Our Health

Streets and sidewalks take up 25 to 50 percent of a typical U.S. city’s land. New York City, for example, is on the lower end of that scale at 28 percent and Chicago (42 percent), Washington D.C. (43) and Portland, Oregon (47) are at the higher end. This, believe it or not, presents a huge […]

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Chris Hamilton to speak at Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health (UD/MH)

Meet our speakers: Chris Hamilton Chris Hamilton is the President of Active Transport for Cities. Previously Bureau Chief of Commuter Services for Arlington Department of Transport, he has been called an ‘active transport guru’. He will be speaking at our launch event on 7/7/15. Learn more and register here. Where are you originally from, and […]

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10 steps to take 100,000 cars off DC’s roads

Originally posted on the Greater Greater Washington blog on May 6, 2015. Want to reduce the number of cars driving around DC each day? The fastest way to do it may be a relatively cheap and non-controversial set of marketing and incentive programs, collectively called Transportation Demand Management (TDM). Image from Mobility Lab. TDM isn’t […]

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Cities Must Understand Bikeshare Is Transit

Mayor Vincent Gray

Bikeshare systems either have to make it on their own or be subsidized like the rest of the transportation system.

This difference of opinion within the bikeshare industry was recently brought to light by an article at NextCity.orgentitled San Antonio Bikeshare Threatens to Close Without Major Sponsor. But it isn’t such a black or white issue.

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Infrastructure Money Tight? Do Better Bus Marketing

Cross posted on on March 6, 2015. If cities want to reduce the need for expensive infrastructure improvements, they should brand and market their buses better, according to New York Times conservative commentator Josh Barro. Citing a 2009 report from the Federal Transit Administration, he notes there is evidence to believe that transit agencies […]

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Flying Cars Instead of Bikes? Let’s Talk Real Solutions. Now.

Photo: Foxx and Garcetti

I really enjoyed this week’s “Fix My Commute,” the inaugural forum in the Washington Post’s America Answers series. It was a first-class event that brought together a fascinating array of national experts and progressive mayors focused on solving the problems of increasing traffic congestion. TDM Takeaway Cutting-edge, affordable transportation programs focused on people must play more […]

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Demand Side Strategies Are Secret to Arlington’s Success

Cross posted at on July 7, 2014 Two recent headlines really sum it up nicely for Arlington County, Virginia. As Arlington Booms, Traffic Drops was written by Canaan Merchant in Greater Greater Washington and The Suburb of the Future is Here – How one city avoided the worst of suburbanization and revealed the path […]

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