Axios D.C.

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Happy Tuesday! We hope you didn't stare into the sun.

⛅️ Today's weather: Partly sunny, with a high near 78.

📍 Situational Awareness: UConn beat Purdue 75-60 in the NCAA men's basketball championship — the first school to win two consecutive titles since the Florida Gators' back-to-back reign in 2006-2007.

Today's newsletter is 934 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: 🚦 Congestion pricing stalled in D.C.

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York City is about to embark on a big urban experiment to charge vehicles $15 for driving into Manhattan. Those pushing D.C.'s stalled flirtation with congestion pricing will be watching it closely.

Why it matters: New York's goal is to reduce traffic, improve air quality, and raise money for public transit improvements.

⚡ How it works: Decades in the making, the policy will take effect in mid-June. With few exceptions, passenger cars will be charged $15 a day to enter Manhattan's so-called "central business district."

  • All of Manhattan south of 60th Street will essentially become a toll road.
  • Hailing a ride? That'll be a $1.25-per-ride taxi surcharge. An Uber or Lyft will cost an extra $2.50.

Between the lines: Public comments submitted to New York's transit agency have run 60% in favor of the plan, but there's powerful opposition.

The big picture: It's a first-in-the-nation policy that other American cities — like Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. — might be eager to copy. Or not.

ğŸ”Ž Zoom in: The District Department of Transportation funded a study in 2019 about congestion pricing, but the Bowser administration has refused to release it to the public.

  • That has led to a tug of war between the mayor and the D.C. Council, which mandated Bowser release the study on Jan. 1, 2024.
  • Alas, still no study.

The intrigue: If it's any hint of her position, Bowser last year called a proposed $2 congestion charge for ridesharing a "downtown killer." Bowser has been pushing for more incentives to bring people back downtown after COVID, including asking the federal government to release unused office space and encouraging office-to-residential conversions.

  • DDOT did not return an email seeking comment on the study.

Friction point: Opponents argue that congestion pricing in D.C. would inevitably rile up DMV suburbs and potentially lead to a clash with Congress.

  • Plus: A commuter tax on Maryland or Virginia drivers may run afoul of the Home Rule Act of 1973, City Paper recently noted.

What we're watching: In the Big Apple, there are half a dozen lawsuits in federal courts, any of which could halt or block its implementation.

The bottom line: Don't expect D.C. congestion pricing any time soon.

2. 🌖 D.C. eclipse party

Photographers capture the solar eclipse near the base of the Washington Monument. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Yesterday was one big citywide eclipse party in D.C

Why it matters: Even though we weren't in the path of totality, Washingtonians were still amped for some partial eclipse action.

Zoom in: There were lines at the National Mall as people waited for free eclipse glasses, the Washington Post compiled an eclipse playlist (while plenty of "Democracy Dies in Darkness" jokes were made online), herds of Senate pages gathered for a peek, and politicians like Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders slapped on their glasses.

👀 What's next: We're already plotting a way to get invited to Capital Weather Gang meteorologist Matthew Cappucci's 2026 European eclipse-slash-birthday cruise.

The solar eclipse behind the top of the Washington Monument.
The eclipse above the Washington Monument. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

3. Around the Beltway: Bridge clearing continues

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏗️ At the Baltimore bridge wreckage site, the Army Corps of Engineers hopes to begin allowing some vessel traffic to resume by the end of this month, and to see Baltimore's port return to normal capacity by May 31. (AP)

📱 Maryland lawmakers passed two privacy bills.

  • The measures seek to rein in how Big Tech companies collect personal data and prohibit some platforms from deploying potentially addictive tactics and tracking people under 18 years old. (NY Times)

ğŸŽ¤ In other MD news: A bill that regulates concert ticket sales on secondary sites like StubHub just passed the legislature and is headed to Gov. Moore for final approval.

  • The legislation enforces transparent pricing, ends "speculative tickets"— and could go live on July 1.

👷 D.C. kids grabbed their clipboards and hardhats to inspect the newly renovated 17th and C Park and Playground in Southeast over the weekend. (WTOP)

4. 🏠 Priciest home sales

2244 S St. NW. Photo: Peter Papoulakos

All of the DMV's most expensive home sales last month were in Northwest D.C., with the highest deal closing at $8,000,000

Why it matters: D.C.'s priciest neighborhoods continue to be concentrated in Northwest — something that isn't likely to change as people begin to hop back into the real estate market this spring.

#1: $8,000,000

Where: Kalorama, 2244 S St. NW

The seller: The government of Ireland — it was the former Irish ambassador's residence. Ireland purchased a new $12.3 million residence last year.

The buyer: Benbulbin 2244 S St. NW LLC, per D.C. property records.

Peek inside: Nine beds, nine baths, and 10,846 square feet.

  • Plus: Seven fireplaces, a pool, and almost a half-acre of land.

#2: $7,350,000

Where: Cleveland Park, 3126 38th St. NW

The seller: Coba Properties, per the listing agent's team.

The buyer: The 3126 38th Street NW Residence Trust, per D.C. property records..

Peek inside: Six beds, seven baths, and 7,175 square feet.

  • Plus: A new build, with an elevator, roof deck, in-law suite, and pool.

More top home sales.

Sponsored job listings

New jobs to check out

💼 See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Senior Director, Federal Strategy at The Chertoff Group.
  2. Associate/Senior Associate, Federal Strategy at The Chertoff Group.
  3. Business Transient Sales Manager at Doyle Dupont Circle Hotel.
  4. Coordinator, Meeting & Events at CTIA - The Wireless Association.
  5. Director, Public Affairs & Communications at Arnold Ventures.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. 🏅 D.C.'s top restaurants

Dear Sushi, you're a finalist! Photo: Courtesy of Mike Fuentes Photography

The RAMMY Awards, D.C.'s annual hospitality industry honors, just announced their 2024 finalists.

Why it matters: The RAMMYs are like a local version of the James Beard Awards, highlighting some of the best dining and drinking spots in the city alongside their owners and star employees.

Between the lines: Most winners are decided by a private judging panel, but the public is encouraged to vote for their favorites in categories like "Best Brunch" and "Hottest Sandwich Spot" — a tough category with contenders like Roaming Rooster and Your Only Friend.

  • Voting starts today.

New Restaurant of the Year:

Chef of the Year:

See the full list here.

🤧 Mimi is battling spring allergies.

ğŸŒž Cuneyt is grateful for the sun.

🤧 Anna is hoping she has allergies vs. a cold.

This newsletter was edited by Emma Hurt and copy edited by Patricia Guadalupe.