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By David Schultz
For most Washingtonians, K Street is just another street. But since it's also home to the so-called nefarious U.S. lobbying industry, many outsiders see K Street as a scapegoat for everything wrong with American politics. So when the Federal Transit Administration announced D.C. lost the $76 million grant, it got some locals thinking.
"There was a rumor-which we were unable to confirm one way or another," says David Alpert, editor of the transportation blog Greater Greater Washington, "But there was some sensitivity about the fact that K Street has a connotation nationwide of being 'The Street of Lobbyists.'"
Alpert says the FTA may have been wary of being seen as "giving money to K Street," with its stigma of corruption and influence-peddling.
"That's an interesting piece of speculation," says Ron Kirby, with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. "I have...nothing that I can refer to that would confirm that that was the way the decision was made."
We contacted the FTA to see if it would provide some insight, but a spokesman refused to talk on tape. Alpert says, regardless of what reasoning the FTA used, K Street is in desperate need of a rebranding.
"I suggested in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way that maybe D.C. should try to rename this road something else," he says. "I think I suggested Abraham Lincoln Boulevard."
Or better yet, he says, people could stop sliming K Street and acknowledge it's a real road with actual people who use it.
Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.