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Bikeshare Explosion!: Preliminary stats out of Capital Bikeshare’s first 10 days show more than 4,000 trips have already been made—which means each D.C. Circulator-looking bike in the system, on average, is being used once a day. That puts usage at about the level SmartBike D.C. had reached before it was replaced with the new program. The District may be falling down the national rankings of bike-commuting cities, but at least we know how to share. Now that DDOT head Gabe Klein has worked with successful car- and bike-sharing programs, we look forward to D.C. BoatShare in the near future. +3
Phones for Fenty: The only thing stranger than a quixotic write-in campaign on behalf of a defeated politician who’s already endorsed the man who beat him? A quixotic write-in campaign on behalf of a defeated politician who’s already endorsed the man who beat him that spends thousands of dollars on polling. Which is, apparently, what D.C. has on its hands now. Someone is paying for 10-minute, live interview poll calls to District voters to gauge interest in a write-in push to keep Adrian Fenty in office after the Nov. 2 general election. For clues on who it might be, check around to see who’s burning piles of money because they have nothing better to do with it. -1
Rahm-antic Comedy: As expected by, oh, every single person who’s ever appeared on cable television, Rahm Emanuel departs the White House, in search of a career in municipal politics. Sadly, that career will be in Chicago, not in the District. Imagine the guy whose brother inspired Entourage‘s Ari Gold encountering the likes of Ron Moten? Forget writing in Fenty; if you really want to be entertained for the next four years, write in Rahm on Nov. 2. (Or as he’d put it, fucking write in Rahm on Nov. 2.) +1
Maryland, My Maryland: Our northern neighbor is now officially safer habitat for cyclists and other non-automobile-sheathed living things, as new laws take effect banning cell phones while driving and requiring cars to give bikes a three-foot buffer to pass. That’s the good news. The bad news? Authorities say they’ll mostly enforce the passing law in cases where a driver causes an accident, by which point it’s, well, obviously a little too late. Meanwhile, in Virginia, cyclists don’t need any extra legal protections; they’re all already carrying concealed weapons under their Spandex riding tights, and can shoot any motorists who get too close. +3
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 38 Today’s score: +6 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 46