C I T Y   T R E N D S















Thirty-two percent of the District of Columbia's children live in poverty, nearly twice the national average.

Forty-one percent of children arrested in the city tested positive for drugs.

There were 2,340 children in foster care in 2006. The average length of stay in foster care was 45 months.

Eighty-five percent of those in the child welfare system have parents with substance abuse problems.

One out of two children are at risk of hunger.

Only 22 percent of children had received a dental screening.

In 2000, the system served 51 percent of the families who applied for shelter; by 2005 the service plummeted to 19 percent.


JUSTIN BLUM, WASHINGTON POST - The number of low-income children fed by the District dropped by 10,000 last summer compared with the previous year because of logistical problems and the city's poor planning, according to a report by an anti-hunger group to be released Thursday. The study, by the nonprofit Food Research and Action Center, concludes that the city fed 14,848 children in the summer of 2002, down from 24,890 the previous summer. Because the program is federally funded, the reduction in the number of children meant the city lost $580,477, the report says. More than 42,000 children receive free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, the authors note.

KRISTIN HENRIKSON & JONATHAN SMITH, DC LEGAL AID - Nearly one-third of D.C. children live below the federal poverty line, with the worst concentrations of poverty among the youngest children. . . Poor single-parent families that receive child support have, on average, 26 percent higher incomes than those that do not. Not surprisingly, children in families that receive child support payments are 20 percent less likely to live in poverty than children in families that don't. . . The District has the poorest performing child support enforcement office in the nation. In only slightly more than a quarter of its cases has it established a court-ordered obligation to pay, and in only 14 percent of cases does it collect funds -- compared with a national collection rate of 42 percent. For families on welfare, the District's record is even worse; here, the District collects funds for only 4 percent of families.


In nine states and the District of Columbia 1 in 5 children is poor. The District of Columbia had an even higher child poverty rate than any of the states (31.7 percent). CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND

% of births with teen aged mothers 1990 18%
% of births with teen aged mothers 1999 15%
% of births with teen aged mothers, 50 city average, 1999: 14%

% of births with unmarried mothers 1990: 65%
% of births with unmarried mothers 1999: 62%
% of births with umarried mothers, 50 city average, 1999: 44%

% of low weight new borns, 1990: 15%
% of low weight new borns, 1999: 13%
% of low weight new borns, 50 city average, 1999: 13%

Number of babies born, 1990: 11,850
Number of babies born, 2000: 7666
Number of black babies, 1990: 9,030
Number of black babies, 1999: 5,116


-- DC youths living in poverty: 38,000 or 36% of all youths
-- DC's child poverty rate rank among US states: 1st
-- DC's overall poverty rate: 22%
-- DC's poverty rate rank among US states: 1st
[Census Bureau, 1999]

Black infant deaths per 1,000 births: 17.2 National average: 13.9

The city lost 17% of its children from 1990 to 1997. It now has only 94,000 youths under 18. There has also been a drop of 25% in births to city residents. This helps to explain the drop in crime far more than politicians, the media and police are willing to admit. 1999



Highest point in town: Ft. Reno Park: 408 feet


SUSTAIN LANE - Washington, D.C. ranks near last (#45) in water quality. In 1994, testing showed widespread lead pollution affecting over 23,000 homes. . . On the bright side, the city ranks high (#4) in local food development, a combined measure of farmers markets and community gardens. The city is second only to Honolulu for farmers markets per capita. . . Nearly 34% of city residents use public transportation to commute, and the federal district ranks #6 in public transportation. An impressive 11% of residents walk to work, a higher percentage than anywhere else in our study. In all, D.C. ranks #1 for its diverse mix of well-used commuting options.

A noteworthy D.C. innovation (also practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area) is instant carpooling, or "slugging," in which people needing rides wait at bus stops and drivers needing bodies to qualify for the carpool lane pull up advertising their destinations. No agency governs slugging. It's a surprising and encouraging practice in a city so characterized by officialdom. . . The city ranks #4 in our study for green building.

POTOMAC CONSERVANCY - Potomac Conservancy grades the health of the Potomac river watershed a D+, saying "polluted runoff from our parking lots, roads, and roofs," soil erosion, unhealthy stormwater, and river pollution are overwhelming and degrading the Potomac River system. The Agenda lists several steps that local and state governments can take immediately to help the river in two critical action areas: land development and stormwater management. There have been some reductions in nutrient and sediment pollution, the report says, but the pollutants still exceed their caps, and levels are not decreasing enough to significantly improve water quality. Of the rivers that flow into the Chesapeake, the Potomac delivers the largest amount of sediment each year, and the second-most volume of water.

STORMS: Isabel was far from likely to be the "storm of the [21st] century" if the 20th century is anything to go by. In 1954, for example, Hurricane Hazel hit Washington with winds of 90 mph and dumped far more than the 2.5 inches of rain Isabel deposited. In 1972 Hurricane Agnes did not have much wind, but it packed far more rain and flooding than Isabel. Agnes wrecked the C&O Canal and washed out the footbridges at Great Falls. The Washington area also has had "nor'easters" and winter storms more severe than Isabel, including the snowfall of Feb. 22, 1979, and the famous Knickerbocker storm in the 1930s. When Isabel hit us, it was not even a hurricane, but a tropical storm with maximum gusts of about 60 mph. [BRUCE N. SHULMAN, WASHINGTON POST]


ARTHUR SANTANA, WASHINGTON POST - Nearly 30 percent of the trees that line Washington's streets are at risk of dying, according to a report by the Casey Trees Endowment Fund that also concludes that one in every five available plots is empty or taken up by a dead tree. . . The findings were culled from information gathered by hundreds of volunteers who fanned out across the city last summer and examined each of the city's 105,914 live trees. . . The study also said 32 percent of the trees were in excellent condition and 39 percent were in good condition. Maples make up 39 percent of the city's trees, oaks 31 percent and elms 10 percent, according to the foundation. The study tallies only trees located between the sidewalk and the street, not those on private property or federal land. From 1973 to 1993, the city lost more than 40 percent of its trees to disease, damage and neglect, said the foundation's executive director, Jim Lyons. 2003


1. Jan. 27-28, 1922 - 28.0 inches
2. Feb 11-13, 1899 - 20.5 inches
3. Feb. 18-19, 1979 - 18.7 inches
4. Jan. 6-8, 1996 - 17.1 inches
5. Feb. 15-18, 2003 - 16.7 inches
6. Feb. 11-12, 1983 - 16.6 inches
7. Feb. 15-16, 1958 - 14.4 inches
8. Feb. 7, 1936 - 14.4 inches
9. Feb. 16-18, 1900 - 14.3 inches
10. Jan. 29-30, 1966 - 13.8 inches

NEELY TUCKER, WASHINGTON POST - Ozone pollution in the District is among the worst in the nation, causing health threats to children, the elderly and asthmatics and contributing to any number of respiratory illnesses, from the minor to the serious, health experts say.. . . Existing pollution, enhanced by spells of unusually hot, stagnant weather, resulted in nine "code red" days and 19 "code orange" days, when children were warned to play outdoors for only a few minutes. The previous two years combined had only five "code red" days. When the presence of ground-level ozone was measured against the EPA's new eight-hour standard of pollution, a more protective measure, the situation was worse. The federal standard was exceeded on 37 days last summer and resulted in two "code purple" days, the highest level of threat. The high pollution triggers more than 130,000 asthma attacks in the region each year, medical experts say, and sends more than 2,400 people to the emergency room. 2/03


The city has lost an estimated 40 percent of the trees it had 30 years ago - AP 8/02

There are 76 species of fish in city waters


o Number of people in District Of Columbia that live within 1 mile of a nuclear transportation route - 211,959
o Schools within 1 mile of the proposed route in District Of Columbia - 153
o Hospitals within 1 mile - 3
o Fatal tractor-trailer wrecks in District Of Columbia 1994 to 2000 - 10
o Train wrecks in District Of Columbia 1990-2001 - 119
o Nuclear waste shipments by train in District Of Columbia over the life of the project - 289
more information


According to Old Spice Deodorant

1. San Antonio, TX
2. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
3. New Orleans, LA
4. Houston, TX
5. West Palm Beach, FL
6. Orlando, FL
7. Memphis, TN
8. Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
9. Phoenix, AZ
10. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
11. Oklahoma City, OK
12. Birmingham, AL
13. Atlanta, GA
14. Nashville, TN
15. St. Louis, MO
16. Charlotte, NC
17. Raleigh/Durham, NC
18. Kansas City, MO
19. Greenville/Spartanburg
20. Washington DC

2001 FALL WAS THE THIRD-DRIEST on record in Baltimore and Washington, according to the Weather Service. 2002

Days earlier than in 1970 that Washington, D.C., cherry blossoms now bloom : 6 [Harper's, 2002]

Decline in city's tree coverage 1973-1999: 64%





During 2000, the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department responded to 4,310 fire calls and 78,575 medical calls. The department has 1,350 firefighters, who are required to be trained in emergency medical services, and 430 Emergency Medical Services technicians.

Foggy Bottom

ACCORDING TO FOGGY BOTTOM NEWS, Foggy Bottom has increased in population 38% since 1990. The median age has dropped from 37 to 27, largely thanks to a huge increase in college age students - 15-24 year olds are up from 24% of the population to 43%. 11% of the neighborhood is Asian, 6% latino and 7% is black. - 2002


One in five District residents has no regular source of health care. . . The problem is not a lack of health insurance for most residents. Thanks to private plans, Medicare and Medicaid and the District's D.C. Alliance for many of its working poor, less than 10 percent of District residents are uninsured, compared with 19 percent or more in Philadelphia and Detroit, the report said.

Yet for reasons that officials do not understand fully, coverage does not always lead to regular primary care. Patients with conditions that could have been prevented, or treated adequately, in a quality community setting are showing up at hospitals. - Washington Post


[Extrapolating from the ethnic information in the cited study, David Schwartzman figures that DC black men have a life expectancy of 63.4 years or 10.5 less than average. Black women has a life expectancy of 74.1 years or 5.3 fewer than the national average]

CATHERINE ARNST, BUSINESS WEEK - Residents of Hawaii have the longest life expectancy of any state, and D.C. denizens the shortest, according to a new Harvard study. Life expectancy in the U.S. varies widely, based not on how much you earn or how good your health insurance is, but on where you live. A new study by Harvard University researchers found a gap of more than 35 years between the longest-lived group of Americans-Asian American women in Bergen County, N.J., with an average life expectancy of 91 years-and the shortest, Native Americans in a cluster of rural counties in South Dakota, at 66.6 years. The only other major industrialized nation with such a large "longevity gap" is Brazil.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS - The District of Columbia received one of the top scores, ranking 4th in the nation for its support of an emergency care system to meet the needs of its residents. . . The District of Columbia earned poor grades in:

Percent of live births with early prenatal care (50th)
Alcohol-related fatalities as a percentage of all auto crash fatalities (49th)
Percent of adults aged 65 and older who received a flu vaccine in the last 12 months (49th)
Fatal occupational injuries per 1 million people (44th)
Percent of children aged 19-35 months who are immunized (43rd)

The District has the staff and per capita spending to offer the best availability of emergency medical services in the nation. It ranked 1st in the nation in several areas: number of registered nurses per 1,000 people, board-certified emergency physicians per 100,000 people, annual per capita expenditure on hospital care, number of hospital-staffed beds per 1,000 people, annual state Medicaid expenditures per population younger than age 65, and number of emergency medicine residents per 1 million people. It also ranked 9th nationwide in percentage of people with access to advanced life support ambulance services. 2/06

DYANA BAGBY, BLADE, 2005 - For the fourth consecutive year, syphilis rates in the U.S. are on the rise and gay men are fueling the increase, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. . . Men who have sex with men comprised nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2004, up from 5 percent in 1999, according to the federal health agency. The findings come after syphilis infections in the U.S. reached an all-time low in 2000. . .
For the third consecutive year, San Francisco had the highest syphilis rate of any U.S. city in 2004 - 45.9 cases per 100,000 people. The second highest rate of syphilis last year was Atlanta, which saw 34.6 cases per 100,000 people. Rounding out the top 10 were Baltimore with 33.2 cases per 100,000; New Orleans with 16.4 cases per 100,000; St Louis with 14.1 cases per 100,000; Detroit with 13.5 cases per 100,000; Washington, D.C., with 12.2 cases per 100,000; Dallas with 11.6 cases per 100,000; Jersey City with 10.8 cases per 100,000; and Chicago with 9.7 cases per 100,000.

WASHINGTON ranks fifth among metropolitan areas for AIDS cases. 2005


From the Kaiser Family Foundation - and much more where these came from.


The AIDS rate among women is on the rise, with a huge majority of the new cases among black and Latino women. City health officials tell The Washington Post that women now account for roughly one-third of the city's new AIDS cases. Officials say 96 percent of those women are African American or Latino. CHANNEL 8 11/02

THE BOARD THAT DISCIPLINES District physicians for medical misconduct has been rated the worst in the nation by a nonprofit group that said the city virtually stopped imposing serious punishment on bad doctors last year. In 2001, the D.C. Board of Medicine took "serious action" -- defined as ordering license revocation, surrender, suspension or probation -- against three of the 4,134 licensed physicians who practice primarily in the District, according to Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group. That's 0.73 serious disciplinary actions per 1,000 doctors, compared with 10.52 serious actions taken in Arizona, the state ranked the toughest, and a national average of 3.36. As a result, Wolfe said, dangerous doctors continue to practice. [Washington Post 9/02]

TB cases 2000: 85
TB cases 2001: 74

TB cases per 100,000 in 2001: 12.9
National average of TB cases per 100,00: 5.8

Number of deaths of those under 19, 1999: 194.
Number of these due to homicides: 39

- Number of city residents addicted to alcohol or drugs: 60,000 or 10%
- Number of residents addicted to alcohol: 29,000
- Number of residents addicted to marijuana: 10,400
- Percent of those over 12 who have reported using marijuana in past month: 7%
- Percent of those over 12 who have reported using cocaine in past month: 2%
- Percent of those over 12 who have reported using heroin in past month: 0.4%
- Percent of blacks who have used an illegal drug in past month: 11.5%
- Percent of hispanics who have used an illegal drug in past month: 7.3%
- Percent of non-hispanic whites who have used an illegal drug in past moth: 6.6%
- Percent of blacks ever having used an illegal drug: 41%
- Percent of Hispanics ever having used an illegal drug: 17%
- Percent of whites ever having used an illegal drug: 61% [DC Health Department 2001]

Number of blacks without health insurance: 56,040
Number of Hispanics in DC without health insurance: 11,910

Number of non-elderly blacks in DC on Medicaid: 76,940
Number of non-elderly Hispanics in DC on Medicaid: 4,560
Number of non-elderly whites in DC on Medicaid: 5,660

- Life expectancy of a DC black male: 58
- Life expectancy of an American male: 73
- Portion of DC young black males who are under the supervision of the criminal justice system: Half
- Percentage of DC AIDS cases that involve black males 15-24: 80% [Cortland Milloy, Washington Post]

WTOP NEWS: The nation's capital spends more per person on substance abuse-related costs than any state in the country, a Columbia University study found. The private study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse estimated Washington, DC, spent $812 per person in 1998 for costs related to drugs, alcohol and tobacco products . . . The study found that the nation's capital spent about $430 million, or 15.6 percent of a nearly $2.8 billion budget, on costs related to substance abuse. [Not only that, the city spends 89% as much on its highly unsuccessful substance abuse program as it does on education, and one and a half times as it does on all its health programs. Further, two-thirds of the substance abuse budget is spent on punitive measures rather than treatment and education.] - 2001



MARY BETH MARKLEIN, USA TODAY - Seattle is the nation's most literate city, in large part because its residents have access to and use Internet resources, a new survey says. Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and San Francisco round out the top five. . . America's Most Literate Cities 2005, a ranking based on the culture and resources for reading in the 69 largest U.S. cities, aims to rate cities not on whether their citizens can read, but whether they do. . . Now in its third year, the survey examines a variety of sources to rank six factors: newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment and, new this year, Internet resources. . . Despite some reshuffling, the rankings have remained relatively stable. Besides Minneapolis and Seattle, six other cities - Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington, Cincinnati, Denver and Boston - are top-10 repeats. -2005

In the District, 37 percent of residents are functionally illiterate. One in 10 cannot fill out a job application. . . Library staffing is down 40 percent from the mid-1970s. In those days, library funding accounted for 1.5 percent of the D.C. budget; now it represents 0.7 percent of the budget, and the District has 200 fewer librarians than it had 30 years ago. [SOPHY BURHAM, WASH POST]

Per capita expenses on library books

Cleveland $21
Boston $11
DC: $4

Annual circulation:

  • Benning Branch Library: 17,233 in 2000, 15,752 in 2001.
  • Woodridge Branch Library: 19,021 in 2000, 20,974 in 2001.


PAUL FARHI WASHINGTON POST, 2007 - Between May 2006 and last month the number of people watching Washington's four leading news stations at 5 and 6 p.m. and late at night fell by about 8 percent overall, according to Nielsen Research. Some stations were hurt far more than others. While WJLA (Channel 7) gained a modest number of viewers compared with last year, WUSA's three evening newscasts lost about 19 percent. . . A decade ago, in May 1997, Washington's Big Four stations attracted an average of 880,000 area viewers to their late news broadcasts each night, Nielsen says. By last month, the same four stations were averaging 562,000 viewers among them - - a decline of 25 percent in 10 years. The audience for the 6 p.m. news fell by about 37 percent


DC EXAMINER 2007- Attendance at Nationals home games has dropped by more than a third from Year 1 to Year 3, leaving thousands of empty yellow and burgundy seats night after night at 46,000-capacity RFK Stadium. . . Payroll was pared from $63 million to $37 million, and some players are getting their first taste of the major leagues in 2007. So while the Nationals went 7-3 on their just-concluded homestand, they entered Monday's game at the Cincinnati Reds with a 16-28 record, the worst in baseball. . .

This is, after all, a town that twice lost major league franchises: The original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season, and the expansion Washington Senators left for Texas after the 1971 season.

The average [attendance] fell to 26,581 last season. And in 2007, it's down to 22,044 - a 35 percent decline from 2005. Washington ranks 25th of baseball's 30 clubs in home attendance, trailing only Tampa Bay, Florida, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Overall, attendance at major league games around the country averaged 30,346 through Sunday, topped by the 45,521 drawn by the Los Angeles Dodgers.



DC Examiner - D.C. drivers are more likely to be in auto accidents than drivers in any other city in the country, and Alexandria and Arlington drivers follow closely behind, according to a new study. D.C. drivers average one accident every 5.4 years, making them almost three times more collision-prone that drivers in Sioux Falls, S.D., which ranked as the safest driving city in the 2008 Allstate America's Best Drivers report. The number means D.C. drivers are 84 percent more likely to be in an accident than the average driver nationally and places the city as the most dangerous for drivers among the 193 studied.

WUSA A new study from Allstate Insurance says Washington drivers have more wrecks on average than any other place in the country. After studying crash data over the past two years, researchers found DC drivers average an accident every 5.4 years. The National Average is every ten years. Here are some averages from other local other cities: Baltimore, Md.-5.9 years Alexandria, Va.-7.0 years Arlington, Va.-7.1 years Norfolk, Va.-8.1 years Hampton, Va.-10.5 years Richmond, Va.-11.1 years. Los Angeles has traffic as bad as the DC area, but its drivers average fewer wrecks... one every 7.1 years. Philadelphia is 6.6, and Chicago at 7.6.


DC EXAMINER - According to the unfortunately titled "Preliminary Draft Commuter Connections State of the Commute Survey 2007 Survey Technical Report," the number of those in the region driving by themselves to job locations outside the home was 71 percent, compared with 74.1 percent in the 2004 survey. . . Those taking the train are now 13.5 percent. Those using car or van pools have risen from 6.1 percent to 7.6 percent People taking buses have gone up from 4.7 percent to 5.2 percent. The number of people riding their bikes or walking has gone up from 2.3 percent to 2.7 percent.


CHICAGO TRIBUNE - A growing number of major cities and mass-transit agencies are installing automated public toilets, providing the much-needed amenities to encourage people to ride trains and buses and to foster a more pedestrian-friendly environment, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Public toilets have been installed in more than 600 cities worldwide, from Boston to New York to Athens and Singapore, according to industry groups. Many of the facilities are pay toilets, requiring a small fee to enter. Users are typically limited to about 20 minutes before a buzzer goes off and the door unlocks -- a move aimed at preventing homeless people from camping out in the facilities and discouraging drug use, prostitution and other illegal activities.

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA, provides its customers with self-cleaning toilets at all 38 rail stations, as does San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit at BART's 43 rail stations, according to the public transportation association. Such facilities are also offered by smaller transit systems, including the 12 bus stations operated by the Mass Transportation Authority of Flint, Mich. . .

The Metrorail system in Washington, D.C., conducted a pilot project with one public toilet at a station several years ago, but the transit agency dropped the idea because of too many problems. . . Los Angeles has installed seven of 150 toilets planned around the city, but so far only one of the toilets is open for business.

New York (Long Island): 62.9%

Boston: 61.6%

Newark: 35.7%

New York (North): 31.7%

Philadelphia: 29.6%

Chicago-METRA: 27.3%

Baltimore: 16.9%

New York-Connecticut: 16.7%

Chicago-CTA*: 0.7%

Washington metro: 0.0%

Percentage increase in traffic delay 1982-2003
Texas Transportation Institute


WHY IS METROBUS THE ORPHAN of the local transit system. Here are some good reasons (and why, when it opened, we dubbed the Red Line "the Great White Way"):

- Percent of Metrobus riders earning less than $50,000: 44%
- Percent of Metrorail riders earning less than $50,000: 16%

- Percent of Metrobus riders earning $100,000 or more: 12%
- Percent of Metrorail riders earning $100,000 or more: 35%

- Percent of Metrobus riders who are black: 48%
- Percent of Metrobus riders who are white: 34%

- Percent of Metrorail riders who are black: 18%
- Percent of Metrorail riders who are white: 67%

[Washington Post]

The density of subway stations:

City of Paris -- 6.8 stations/square mile
Manhattan Island (NYC) -- 4.6 stations/square mile
City of Washington -- 0.67 stations/square mile
Montgomery County -- 0.02 stations/square mile
Prince George's - 0.03 stations/square mile
Fairfax - 0.015 stations/square mile
Arlington - 0.42 stations/square mile.

[Richard Layman]

THE POST ran a chart on the number of public transit commuters in the metro area. Not surprisingly, the number of these commuters has climbed in the outer suburbs. In the core metro area, however, only 27,000 new commuters were added between 1990 and 2005. This is a real slowdown as can be seen by the increase in commuters for each period:

1960-1970 - 7,000 [Before Metro]
1970-1980 - 43,000
1980-1990 - 59.000
1990-2005 - 27,000

What this means is that while the area is growing, the percentage of people using transit is not keeping up. For example, in 1960 - before Metro- 21% of the core area's residents were commuting by public transit; today only 13% are.

DC EXAMINER - Dulles International Airport ranked near the bottom for customer satisfaction among major U.S. airports, while Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport tied for third, according to a study released Friday by J.D. Power and Associates. The study, conducted in association with Aviation Week magazine, showed BWI received an overall airport satisfaction index score of 706, based on a 1,000-point scale - well above the 688.5 average for airports with more than 10 million annual passengers. Dulles received 675 points, putting it in 37th place out of 59 airports. Reagan National Airport received 685 points, coming in at 15th.

DC IS ABOUT AVERAGE for hybrid ownership: 3.7 per 1,000 households against a national average of just above three. - DC Examiner 2006

DC EXAMINER - Dulles International Airport ranked near the bottom for customer satisfaction among major U.S. airports, while Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport tied for third, according to a study released Friday by J.D. Power and Associates. The study, conducted in association with Aviation Week magazine, showed BWI received an overall airport satisfaction index score of 706, based on a 1,000-point scale — well above the 688.5 average for airports with more than 10 million annual passengers. Dulles received 675 points, putting it in 37th place out of 59 airports. Reagan National Airport received 685 points, coming in at 15th.

Origins of DC cab drivers

28% Ethiopia
21% US
11% Pakistan
9% Nigeria
5% India
5% Eritrea

[John Kelly, Washington Post]

MIKE RUPERT, EXAMINER - Nearly 50 of Metro's 588 escalators are shut down on any given day, but just 10 of them on average are actually broken, officials said Thursday. Jim Hughes, Metro assistant general manager for operations, said nearly 30 escalators are shut down each weekday for routine maintenance and inspections - with transit officials often having to shut down another one so repair crews have a place to work. Ten more are undergoing intensive refurbishments and can be shut down for weeks or months, he said. 2/06

CHANNEL 4 - A study released every three years by the Transportation Planning Board lists the D.C. area as having the third worst traffic in the nation. According to the study, since 2002, traffic density has increased 100 percent on the westbound lanes of Interstate 66 making it one of the worst roads for commuting in the area. . .

WASHINGTON TIMES - A report this year on pedestrian injuries found that most accidents happened during weekday commuting hours, with the peak on Fridays. The study, by the Inova Regional Trauma Center, also found that most accidents happened when walkers crossed streets outside intersections and that the responsibility for crashes is split fairly evenly; drivers were cited in 52 percent of accidents. 2005

There were 18,262 crashes in the District in 2004; that's about 50 per day. [DC Examiner]


Benning Road and Minnesota Ave, NE -- 13 crashes
7th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., SE -- 10 crashes
N. North Capitol Street and New York Ave., NW -- 10 crashes
3rd Street and Florida Ave., NE -- 9 crashes
13th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., NW -- 9 crashes
7th Street and H Street, NW -- 9 crashes
Bladensburg Road and New York Ave., NE -- 9 crashes
East Capitol Street and Benning Road, NE -- 9 crashes
Alabama Ave. And Stanton Road, SE -- 8 crashes
Howard Road and Martin Luther King Ave., SE -- 8 crashes
14th Street and H Street, NE -- 8 crashes
1st Street and K Street, NE -- 8 crashes
15th Street and I Street, NW -- 7 crashes
16th Street and Irving Street, NW -- 7 crashes
17th Street and K Street, NW -- 7 crashes
7th Street and D Street, SE -- 6 crashes
Ainger Place and Alabama Ave., SE -- 6 crashes
Good Hope Road and Naylor Road, SE -- 6 crashes
N. North Capitol Street and P Street -- 6 crashes
12th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., NW -- 6 crashes


The number of hours the average motorist was delayed during rush hours in selected cities during 2003 and 2002:

Los Angeles 93/98
San Francisco 72/75
Washington, D.C. 69/66
Atlanta 67/64
Houston 63/65


The Latest Texas Transportation Institute report ranks the DC area as third in the nation for increased traffic congestion since 1982. The average driver now loses 46 hours more a year due to traffic tie ups than in 1982. 2004

Every day people make over 25,000 trips by bicycle in the city - PLANNING OFFICE, 2003

Approximately 12 percent of D.C. residents use the Metro subway. For selected destinations, the Metro carries a huge percentage of people traveling there. For example, 70 percent of trips to the MCI Center, the basketball and hockey arena at the Gallery Place/Chinatown stop, are via transit. Overall ridership has been increasing so quickly that WMATA has struggled to meet demand. From 1997 to 2000, ridership during the peak morning commute increased by 16 percent. [MARYPIRG]

% of DC residents taking public transportation to work in 2001: 37%

  • Rank of Washington metro area for pedestrian safety: 33rd
  • Number of pedestrian fatalities in DC, 2001: 11.
  • Pedestrian fatalities as a percent of all traffic deaths: 25%

DC DRIVERS pay the most for auto insurance, beating out New Jersey which had previously been in first place. The average annual cost is $996. 7/02


[Annual in millions]

  • 1998 - 144
  • 2000 - 163
  • 2002 - 186

[Annual in millions]

  • 1998 - 118
  • 2000 - 139
  • 2002 - 148
  • 2004 - 146

LYNDSEY LAYTON WASHINGTON POST - Metro released a list of its worst-performing escalators and elevators topped by an escalator at the Brookland-CUA Station that broke down 60 times in 90 days. 7/02


1997 593,000
2001 469,000
2002 342,788

Percent of area freeways congested in peak periods, 1982 40%
Percent of area freeways congested in peak periods, 1990 65%
Percent of area freeways congested in peak periods, 2000 70%

[Texas Transportation Institute]

2000 Census: 38% of the city's residents do not own a car, a fairly consistent figure over the years


1990 37%
2000 33%


1990 12%
2000 12%


1990 3%
2000 4%


IN THE FOURTH annual survey of rude driving, the Steel Alliance reports that Washington area drivers were the only ones to lower their rudeness grade over the past year. Which means they have a real chance of being as bad as the worst city, Miami. 2001

- The percentage of Washington drivers who believe motorists in their city are ruder than those in other cities is almost identical to the findings of the 2001 survey (40 percent versus 37 percent, respectively).

- This year, 40 percent of Washington, D.C. drivers admitted to having committed four or more aggressive acts in automobiles during the month prior to the survey. In 2001 48 percent of drivers admitted to committing a similar number of aggressive acts.

- Twenty-seven percent of Washington, D.C., drivers say they have double parked, compared to just eight percent of drivers nationally. Failing to yield to merging traffic is another common offense in Washington, D.C. Nineteen percent of drivers say they fail to yield in the capitol city - more than twice the percentage of motorists (7%) who fail to yield nationally. [2002]

District Metrobus routes with highest daily ridership, 2002

Pennsylvania Avenue Line: Routes 30, 32, 34, 35, 36 = 22,478
U Street-Garfield Line: Routes 90, 92, 93 = 19,780
Brightwood-Petworth, Georgia Avenue-Seventh Street Line, Routes 70, 71 = 18,936


Daily bike trips in metro area 1988: 43,000
Daily bike trips in metro area 1999: 77,000
Number of bike couriers in DC: 500

[Metro Washington Council of Governments]

Percent of area workforce that telecommutes at least one day a week: 15%.

Baltimore-Washington International is the highest volume airport in the Metro area with 38% of the traffic. Dulles has 32% and Natioal has 30%. The three airports handle 3.7 million passengers a month. [WTOP 4/01]


A computer analysis of Federal Highway Administration data found 162 of the District of Columbia's 250 bridges, almost 65 percent, were rated in need of repair or considered too narrow or weak to carry traffic as of August 2000.

Metro has 522 escalators, more than any other subway in the world. It also has the longest escalator in the US: Wheaton's 248-foot climb.


Most snow since 1965: 18.7 inches on Feb 19, 1979
Coldest day since 1965: -5 degrees on Jan 17, 1982
Hottest day since 1965: 105 degrees on Aug 17, 1997