Friday, June 13, 2008

what's up the pike: friday the what?

MTA's proposed transit center at University and New Hampshire in Takoma Park would collect several local bus routes and the Purple Line into one consolidated facility.

We're a little all over the place at JUTP this week. Here's a look at what going on as we head into the weekend:

- The MTA promises that a proposed transit center at University and New Hampshire can boost development in the Takoma-Langley Crossroads, but ridership numbers aren't enough to convince the Taco Bell currently at that corner to give up its location.

- Today, I'll be interviewed on Rockville Central Radio, an online radio show hosted by Brad Rourke from Rockville Central, representing the other Pike in Montgomery County. The show's at noon; you can listen to it here.

- Voters in the 4th Congressional District, which includes a healthy chunk of East County, get a head start on November with a special election next Tuesday to replace Congressman Al Wynn (at left), who resigned after losing the Democratic primary to Donna Edwards in February. Edwards will be running against Republican Peter James of Germantown, who's profiled in the Post today.

I've never met Peter James, though he did take me to task (in a comment I can't currently find) for not talking to him after a candidates' forum last April. James and Edwards will be running again in November - by then, hopefully, we'll be able to talk to both candidates in depth.

- Speaking of people I'd like to talk to: Just Up The Pike is developing a little planner-crush on Rollin Stanley (pictured at right in 2004), the recently-appointed Planning Director for Montgomery County. An Ontario native, he cut his teeth revitalizing Toronto and St. Louis before Montgomery County tapped him to come down here. Earlier this week, he told the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce this week that big houses will be "the next slums" and that future development will have to be smaller, and I'll bet everyone in that room had to pick their jaws off the ground.

Park and Planning did a little last-minute switcheroo on us when we tried to interview Stanley for our East County-unrelated story about 4 Bethesda Metro Center, but I'm looking forward to meeting him for reals. (Nothing's planned yet, of course.) Call it a new "Head-to-Head Tour," if you will, except there's only one stop.

1 comment:

Thomas Hardman said...

Rollin Stanley evidently read my

UseNet post of November 6, 2002

Here's a partial quote:

Of course, so many people will have lost their ass when this housing-price bubble collapses the economic costs to industry will probably make the Great Depression look like a picnic and nobody will have the money to buy lunch much less invest in home-ownership.

I thought I would also point out not far from me are some very nice houses. They cost about half to 3/4-millions. They're just about as big as a modest apartment building.

They are single family homes, on approximately 1.5 to 2.5 acres. They have nice lawns. The zoning code is "single-family detached". There are about 200 of them, probably housing maybe 800 people.

They are right across the highway from major bus-lines, etc.

Each of these houses could very easily be converted into eight nice luxury 2-bedroom condos or maybe four very comfortable 3-bedroom-with-loft suites.
All you'd really have to do would be to put better locks on the bedroom-suite doors and remodel a nice kitchenette into each subdivided area.

Maybe $20,000 per unit and a change in the zoning laws, and the 200 units housing maybe 800 people will become maybe 1600 units housing maybe 8000 - 10,000 people and those nice lawns will become nice parking lots.

And about 20 years from now, when they're done building the new interstate the InterCounty Connector that is exactly what will happen.

If they had built 1200 single-family detached homes on the same space, they would have been modest homes for modest families of modest means.

Not easily subdivided and octuply-densified and turned into instant ghetto at high profit with a mere change in the zoning laws.

Keep that in mind as you look at the apartments that are suddenly and inexplicably full of more foreigners than you thought could fit.
Then go take a look at the local zoning laws and see what got changed when, by whom, and for how much."

And there you have it. Posting as a Tiny Human Ferret -- which in fact I am in all things other than personal appearance -- I predicted the exact course of the housing bubble and its collapse, and I further predict that with the stroke of a pen, "Ike" Leggett and his pets on the County Council will revise zoning law to turn all of those aging McMansions out at the unaffordable-to-commute-to outer suburbs into Instant Ghetto, making this the final and inevitable chapter of the conversion from the so-called American Model of Concentration of Poverty to the so-called European Model of Concentration of Poverty.

And the same Democrats who propped up the murderous edifice of the Welfare Projects will applaud this.