New York City
1. A while ago I wrote about how Manhattanville’s blight, and therefore Columbia’s ability to use eminent domain, was the fault of bad zoning. The nearby neighborhood of West Harlem looks like it’s learned that lesson, and is seeking to protect itself against encroachment from Columbia by upzoning itself. Unfortunately it’s not a pure upzoning – there’re also affordable housing mandates, regulations against “sliver buildings,” and some unspecified protections for existing structures. The massive 100-block rezoning is the first in half a century.
2. A handful of buildings in Downtown Brooklyn may get historic district’d.
3. A massive parking garage in Jamaica, Queens is receiving huge tax breaks, ostensibly for reducing congestion. Why am I not surprised to see that it’s owned by an organization with “development corporation” in its name?
4. Janette Sadik-Khan wants to expand the “pop-up cafe” program that essentially lets businesses use parking spaces as seating areas. I personally think that anyone who’s willing to pay more than the current metered parking rates should be allowed to do whatever they want with the space.
1. Security expert Bruce Schneier suggests closing the Washington Monument “as a monument to our fears,” and Matt Yglesias wants terrorists to blow it up – something I’ve suggested before. Maybe if that boring obelisk were gone, people would give up on DC’s height restriction and consider turning the Mall into a place that’s actually pleasant to be.
2. Unsuck DC Metro on why the Metro’s escalators suck – it’s the unions!