Influential DC group opposes bike projects

Hello sports fans, and Happy Gettysburg Address Day.

The “Committee of 100 on the Federal City” is a private club of Washington DC movers and shakers dating back to shortly after the US Civil War. DC transportation director Gabe Klein and planning director Harriet Tregoning have apparently annoyed these influential stakeholders through their “get it done” fast tracking of various infrastructure projects in Washington DC.

(“Committee of 100 on the Federal City” is a real mouthful, so for the remainder of this article I’ll just shorten it to “Comintern.”)

With the recent election of one of their own to the DC Mayor’s office, Comintern published a letter demanding the ouster of directors Tregoning and Klein.

Active transportation advocates, however, like Tregoning and Klein and say the two directors have done an upstanding job in their promotion of multiple transport modes for the District of Columbia. Observers say this “battle appears to pit some longtime, established community leaders against newer residents who are starting to organize into a more cohesive political force.”

Background:

More:

  • Random Duck: Send Comintern out to sea.

    In particular, they single out Klein’s multi-modal approach toward running the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Klein is the first DDOT head to think beyond the single-occupant car, and he has made the District a safer place for those who use mass transit, bicycles and their feet to get around their neighborhoods and the city.

    But Comintern thinks that such change is irrelevant, even dangerous. They seem to move forward by looking squarely in a rear-view mirror. And what else would you expect from an organization whose membership is comprised entirely of old-time DC political cronies who relish having one of their own taking over as Mayor?

  • Rebuilding Place: It’s the generations, stupid

    The letter [from Comintern] cites a litany of complaints, most centering around what [Comintern chairman Comrade George] Clark sees as a disregard for community input (by which he means their input) and the aggressive pursuit of a smart growth vision (which the Comintern doesn’t share).

  • Wash Cycle responds to the Comintern letter, which claims new bike lanes in DC “lacked depth of planning” and “resulted in confusion for all roadway users.”

    Wow. So much wrong in such a short paragraph.

    DDOT has put in quite a bit of planning into it’s network of bike lanes. Almost all of the 49 bike lanes we have were defined back in 2005 during the bike plan. And each bike lane gets individual attention from DDOT staff.

    Their claim that the “singular goal was to produce another symbol of the “livability” agenda” is nearly libelous. The goal, as stated several places, is to give residents more transportation options. And the rise in cycling, walking and transit use is evidence that they’re achieving their goals.

    I think DC residents should fire Comintern.

5 Comments

  • November 19, 2010 - 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Richard, I’m willing to bet that 90% of the Comintern does not reside in DC proper, but migrates on a regular basis in their land yachts from the suburbs.

  • Dukiebiddle
    November 19, 2010 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s a generational political thing. The Committee of 100 were the old advocates that successfully halted the 60’s and 70’s projects to knock down half the city to make way for urban elevated superhighways. They have done very good work in the past. The problem is they’ve become largely irrelevant in the past few years, as the DC DOT has embraced the philosophies of younger infrastructure nerds, the Greater Greater Washington peeps. Nobody is consulting the Committee anymore, and this letter is like the last roar of an old lion that has been pushed out of the pack by a more virile successor, metaphorically speaking if one can imagine infrastructure nerds as lions.

  • November 19, 2010 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I think this gets it right. (Tho’ yes, the idea of GGW folks as lions is rather amusing.)

  • November 19, 2010 - 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that additional and informative background, Dukie. I appreciate it.

  • Anonymous
    February 11, 2011 - 4:10 am | Permalink

    What do they have against bike projects. I guess everyone is entitled in their own opinions. http://www.bestdcmovers.com

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