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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com October 11, 2011 at 7:55 am 2,838 39 Comments

Construction to Begin on Rosslyn Office Project — The long-stalled Central Place office project may finally be moving forward. Developer JBG says construction on a new 390-foot office tower, adjacent to the Rosslyn Metro station, will likely begin in the second quarter of 2012. The project will be competing with the nearby 1812 N. Moore Street project for the title of tallest skyscraper in the D.C. area. [Washington Post]

Taxi Fee Increase in the Works — The Arlington County Board is expected to advertise public hearings for a possible increase in two fees charged by taxi cabs. County staff is recommending the initial base taxi fare (the “drop fee”) be raised from $2.75 to $3.00, while also recommending the extra-passenger charge be hiked from $1.00 to $1.50. All fees charged by Arlington-based taxis are set by the county. [Sun Gazette]

Is Arlington Blocking I-66 Widening? — Why isn’t VDOT rushing to widen additional sections of I-66 inside the Beltway? Bob Chase, of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance blames obstructionism from Arlington. But County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman says a lack of money is behind the lack of action — and that Arlington “by itself doesn’t have the power to get in the way of more lanes.” [Washington Examiner]

H-B Woodlawn, a.k.a. Hippie High — H-B Woodlawn Secondary School — the educational experiment once known as ‘Hippie High’ — turned 40 this year. According to the Post: “Hippie High enters middle age far more conventional than it once was, with many of its students loading up on AP courses and obsessing about their SAT scores and grade-point averages just like their peers at ordinary high schools.” [Washington Post]

New Remy Music VideoArlington Rap Guy Remy Munasifi has released a new, politically-charged music video. The video takes on the recent Occupy Wall Street protests. [Clarendon Culture]

  • Southeast Ben

    Are there statistics that assess taxi fare increases and the number of DUIs? I wonder if steeper fares may increase the number of DUIs in the area.

  • G Clifford Prout

    My what a big nozzle that man has.

  • Aaron

    Highest skyscraper? Did it go to H-B Woodlawn?

    • charlie

      the alumni association gets it. well played.

      • Spicoli

        I thought I got it for a second, but then I forgot what I was thinking about. I’m gonna order a pizza, who’s in?

        • Mr. Hand

          Mr. Spicoli has been nice enough to offer us some pizza. Be my guest. Get a Good one.

    • Changing that to tallest. Sometimes the right words are harder to come by in the morning.

      • Aaron

        I think the two superlatives are interchangeable in this area at least. Whatever’s the tallest will be the highest and vice versa. But you can’t put the ball on the tee like that without someone taking a swing!

  • 4Arl

    They are also proposing mandating taking credit cards in all cabs. Instead of increasing base and passenger charges revenue could come from a fee charged to credit cards to offset those costs.

    • charlie

      while the credit card is great for the consumer is SUCKS for the cabbies. Cab drivers are the indentured servants of this century.
      here is what happens when you use a credit card.

      The credit card fee is paid by the CAB DRIVER — not Red Top.

      So if you have a $10 fare, Red Top still wants their cut, but it is based on $10 — not $10 less 6% bank processing fee. The cab driver is left paying the 6% of $10.00 even if they only got $5.00.

      So, $10.00 fare. Let us say half goes to red top as their percent (I don’t know, honestly). $5.00 for cabbie. From that the cabbie has to still pay for car rental from Red Top, gas, and now the bank fee.

      While a credit card is convenient it is eating into what little money a cab driver makes in Arlington.

      Are cab companies still represented on the taxi cab board that sets these rates??

      • A.E. Hortinson

        They should do like gas stations once did (and some still do). One price for cash, a higher price for credit. Or do a Ticketbastard and charge a credit “convenience fee” of $6 added to the fare.

      • John Fontain

        Cab companies usually earn their money by renting cabs to drivers at daily fixed rates.

        For example, a driver might pay $125 to rent a cab for a day. Before he makes anything for himself, he has to cover the fixed cost of renting the cab and the cost of gas. Therefore, the driver only starts to make money for himself after the first $125 in fares and tips he collects.

        In this way, the cab companies shift the risk to the drivers.

        But back to your point about credit card fees, you are right that they take away from the driver’s net collections for the day.

        • CW

          The real question is, would the fees take away more than the potential income the cabbie would make from the added fares of people who only have credit on them?

          • CW

            Plus, if the county can pass the CC merchant fee on to the taxpayer, why couldn’t cabbies to the same thing?

          • charlie

            the County passes it on because it is REQUIRED by law to collect a set tax from a piece of property.
            I agree a convenience fee for credit card transactions would be nice. But banks are like crack dealers — they’ve basically weaned us off of money and onto their plastic — debit or credit cards are the norm now.
            I’m always amazed at small businesses that won’t give me money back for using cash — fine, i’ll charge it — or give me 1% off.

      • Scott

        In the red top cabs I’ve been in with a credit card swiper, the price shown on the device was always $1 more than that shown on the meter. I think they already do charge a fee for using credit.
        And I don’t know about 6% credit card fees; most charge between 2 & maybe up to 3.5%. There is a start up now that you can get your own credit card swipe on your smartphone that charges a flat 2.75% per transaction
        https://squareup.com/

      • Kirk

        “Cab drivers are the indentured servants of this century.”

        No, not even close.

  • charlie

    Bob Chase has been trying since 1982 to pave Arlington. When will he give up and realize that there are other traffic problems in NoVa that he should go focus on.

  • ears

    Damn I hate leaf-blowers. Loud, polluting and unnecessary.

    • Thes

      Agreed. The leaf blower was an invention that has made the world a decidedly worse place.

      • Quoth the Raven

        But how else will the lawn service people be able to blow leaves onto other people’s lawns?

    • PhilT

      If you have a yard with a few trees, and neighbors with a few trees, I suppose you could use a rake, but a blower gets the job done much quicker. As far as loud and polluting, I would guess it is not much more so than a gas lawn mower.

      Want to come over and show me how unnecessary it is? Pick any weekend day between now and Thanksgiving. We’ll start with my yard, head over to my in-laws, and then hit the church. It will be my pleasure to be shown how unnecessary a blower really is.

  • BoredHouseWife

    It seems that Arlington is the scapegoat for all traffic woes. Certainly, not the commuters.

    Another good one from Remy.

    • A.E. Hortinson

      In all fairness, Arlington commuters also use I66 in both directions at rush hour.

    • Matt B

      There are more reverse commuters now. It would make sense to continue the west bound widening to the toll road cut off and make I-66 three from Rt 29 to Ballston or the Lee Highway exits. That would aleviate some congestion in beneift to Arlington.

      • charlie

        HOV-2 in both directions.

        • Hope

          Nooooooo!

        • JamesE

          no

        • MC

          Why do we have only HOV-2? We need to encourage slugging on I-66, so we need at least HOV-3.

  • brendan

    Probably the most disappointing video from Remy yet. The Reason folks who now sponsor all the Remy crap are on the right-wing fringe of the libertarian movement and kinda sad to see him do such a crappy video just for ideological reasons.

    Saying the Occupy _____ should basically shut up and go home because the rich have been kind enough to give us clean drinking water, cellphones and the kardashians is a pretty frickin stupid point of view, even for the folks at Reason.

    • Reg

      All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

      • People’s Front of Judea

        Splitter!

        • Richard Cranium

          I thought you were the Judean Peoples’ Front . . . no?

      • brendan

        Monty Python references aside…. It’s a pretty stupid condemnation of the protesters, for whom there are plenty legitimate condemnations or at least dismissals.

    • UYD Fan

      Reason is hardly the right-wing fringe of the libertarian movement. They are pro-drug legalization, anti-war, and support all sorts of counter-cultures and alternative lifestyles. Capitalist acts between consenting adults and all that.

      – Seatbelts

    • Sgt. Hartman

      The Times They Are a-Chafin’.

  • Joey

    Why the charge for additional passengers? There’s almost no additional supply-side cost for the added passenger.

    I’d rather the base fare be higher overall, but make additional passengers free.

    Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to encourage more people sharing transportation (including taxis)?

    • John B

      I figure it should be free for up to 3 passengers. After that you start having people crowding in and potentially damaging the cab.

    • Well said!

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