Good morning, Washington. Hopefully you didn't get get caught in the thunderstorms that came in from Chicago last night. Or hopefully you weren't one of the many stuck on I-270 last night, when a gas leak slowed down traffic to a crawl for six hours. Looks like today is going to be even more insufferably hot than it was yesterday, with a predicted high temperature of 100 degrees. And what, it's only Tuesday?
Foggy Bottom Metro Gets New Escalator: Katja Weir at the Washington Examiner noted that yesterday was the first test run for a new escalator at the Foggy Bottom Metro station, completing the first phase in a $6 million escalator-replacement project that began in January. The rest of the project includes replacing the remaining two entrance escalators, adding a staircase, and placing a canopy over the entrance. Foggy Bottom commuters, the worst is not yet over.
Pepco and Metro Face Off: When the area's most hated utility company and the area's love-to-hate transit system enter into business together, things seem to go awry. Metro recently backed out of a no-bid contract with Pepco when a proposed $16 million in energy-saving changes to stations inexplicably became $22 million, Luke Rosiak at the Washington Times reports. An audit of Metro's deals shows that outside contractors have overcharged the transit agencies for various services on more than one occasion.
Regulators Increase Scrutiny of Pepco: Speaking of "we're not even shooting for average" Pepco, DC's regulators have tightened standards for the utility company, the Washington Post reports. The new measures say that Pepco must reduce instances of outages by 9 percent each year starting in 2013. The length of outages must be reduced by 3 to 4 percent each year. Here's hoping this is a standard Pepco is actually willing to shoot for.
Lanier Gets a Salary Cap: DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier, reportedly the highest paid police chief in the country, might get a salary cap for just over a quarter million from the DC Council. Freeman Klopott at the Examiner that Lanier's proposed salary, at $253,817, exceeds the cap for President Barack Obama's cabinet members.
Briefly noted: Howard County may ban smoking in its outdoor parks.