Sunday, February 18, 2018
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A Siegel


DC streets most clogged in nation: what can we do?

The Texas Transportation Institute of Texas A&M University recently released TTI's annual traffic study.   Not surprisingly, it made the front page in the Washington, DC, area since DC tied with Chicago for the nation's worse traffic congestion. Putting aside not-minor methodological issues (see here as well), the simple reality is that it gets much (MUCH) harder to move around DC in an automobile year-after-year.    This then leads to a simple question as to 'what to do about this'.  Do we simply need more roads?  Is public transit the only answer?  Or, can a variety of efficiencies provide a significant part of the answer?

Holiday Lighting … scrooge or savior? (an annual refrain …)

Considering that Lowell put up pretty Arlington lights the other day ...

Do you love those displays of Christmas (or Hannukah or Kwanza or ...) lights?  Are you awed by those so impassioned that they string up 1000s of lights in awesome displays worthy of a city center? I once did, pausing on cold winter nights, white clouds issuing from my mouth, enjoying being in the glow of beautiful displays.  And, in a way, I was inspired that they would spend $1000s (or $10,000s) on displays and the electricity to power them so that others could enjoy the sight on those cold winter nights.

But ... no longer ... not for awhile. Far too often nowadays, my winter evenings I can wear short sleeve shirts rather than bulky coats and gloves. And, energy is no longer a question simply of money. I've reached the point of feeling like a Scrooge; feeling outrage over the tons of C02 going into the atmosphere via neighbors' 10,000 light displays rather than feeling 'joyous'.

But, a compromise does exist; a path to cut sharply those CO2 emissions while still putting out those lights:  LED lights.  But, far too many are unwilling to spend the money upfront to cut their electricial use, reduce their pollution, and -- actually -- save quite a lot of money.

An open letter to Senator Webb: Where is your passion for income inequality...

Dear Senator Webb,

Put bluntly, it was people like me who got you elected.  I participated in (as a minor cog) Draft Webb. I, at my own expense, printed a two-page Jim Webb biography and put it on 1000s of windows. I donated, raised money, and otherwise work to get you elected.

Having been exposed to you for decades, through your professional activities and your writing and otherwise, I had incredible respect for you and swelled with pride at the potential that you would be representing me and my fellow Virginians in the U.S. Senate.

And, well, I am feeling increasingly betrayed.

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