WASHINGTON — The District is set to lay out new rules this month for dockless bikes and app-based electric scooters.
The pilot program that started last year was extended through Aug. 31 after the companies that run the services complained about an initial proposal this spring that would have required payments to the city, continued data sharing and that the dockless rides be parked in proper areas.
Some bike advocates had also complained the regulations could have limited the usefulness of dockless bikes and scooters for people who visit, live or work in the city.
Though some advocates have asked that the city allow thousands more bikes as part of the program, a number of District residents have complained that the bikes and scooters simply litter sidewalks in the best of circumstances, while some end up trashed down alleys or hillsides in others.
After finding a Hailu Mergia tape in a shop in Ethiopia, then Googling a phone number to get in touch, Brian Shimkovitz reissued the dreamy, hypnotic 1985 solo album, Hailu Mergia And His Classical Instrument back in 2013 on his label Awesome Tapes from Africa. With it, he introduced the snake charmer synths and psychedelic-kitsch accordion sounds of this legendary Ethiopian bandleader and jazz musician to a whole new young, hip audience. It was followed up by reissues of Mergia’s 1977 beautiful Ethio-jazz albums Tche Belew and last year’s Wede Harer Guzo, built on moody ancient scales and standards.
Mergia, who was working as an airport taxi driver at the time, loved the out-of-the-blue comeback and the opportunity to tour the world, and now at 71, is keeping the momentum up with new writing. In February, Awesome Tapes released Lala Belu, Mergia’s first new album in over 15 years, recorded in London and mixed in Washington DC, near his home in Maryland.