Today's read: Is D.C. anti-car?
D.C. transportation chief profiled: At 39, Gabe Klein is 15 years younger than some of his top deputies at the District Department of Transportation. But that might make the high-metabolism transportation director a good fit in a city trying to attract people like him. He assembled a new team devoted to "policy, planning and sustainability," a nod to transit projects he hopes will reduce pollution and cars. (Lisa Rein)
In the story, Lon Anderson of AAA says: "There's an overly antagonistic attitude toward motorists right now."
I've never met a transportation chief who was anti-car, and I've met Gabe Klein. Wanting city residents to have more choices for getting around, wanting to reduce the number of solo drivers and wanting to make the streets safer isn't anti-car. If the District's approach to the snow cleanup was anti-car than so was that of the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Maryland State Highway Administration, because they were all basically the same.
In a meeting with bloggers on Wednesday at DDOT headquarters, Klein marked his first year on the job by distributing an action agenda. It includes a "vision statement" that expresses a worthy, if very ambitious, goal: "DDOT is committed to achieving an exceptional quality of life in the nation's capital through more sustainable travel practices, safer streets and outstanding access to goods and services.
"Central to this vision is improving energy efficiency and modern mobility by providing next generation alternatives to single occupancy driving in the city."
Bring it on. Commuting isn't an ideology. The more options travelers have, the better for all of us. (Perhaps a reasonable number of them won't pick the option we prefer.)
There are some goals in the DDOT plan that are bound to raise arguments as travelers divide themselves into categories -- drivers, transit users, walkers, cyclists. For the sake of having such a debate, here are a few of those DDOT goals:
-- Expand the enforcement powers of traffic control officers and school crossing guards.
-- Consider lowering speed limits on local roads.
-- Reduce speeding on local and collector streets. Ensure appropriate traffic speeds on all roads. Pilot lowering speeds below 25 mph on select local streets.
-- Implement traffic calming studies citywide.
-- Continue and build upon regional campaigns such as Smooth Operator, the annual effort to curb aggressive driving.
-- Increase the use of rapid flashing beacon signs for safer pedestrian crossings.
-- Improve safety at the top 50 high-crash intersections.
-- Pursue legislation requiring that new drivers receive bicycle and pedestrian education before obtaining a driver's license.
-- Expand mobile photo enforcement to work zones.
I don't see any such effort to make all travel safer as "anti-car."
Nor are any of these goals, also listed in the new plan, "anti-car":
-- Create a backup battery power supply to maintain all traffic signals in the event of power failures.
-- Improve management of traffic incidents through enhanced communications and more aggressive deployment of safety personnel.
-- Better manage traffic flow by expanding the use of intelligent transportation systems.
-- Develop new technology applications that can provide personal alerts to travelers so they can avoid problem areas.
February 25, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
Categories: Transportation Politics | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Today's read
Save & Share: Previous: NTSB hearing is a primer on safety
Next: Snow leaves twisted landscape
Posted by: poeticfire | February 25, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: EricS2 | February 25, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | February 25, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 25, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 25, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jckdoors | February 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: natepf | February 25, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DCMike1 | February 25, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 25, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 25, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: robwilli | February 25, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: myrna38717 | February 25, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: EricS2 | February 25, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1995hoo | February 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: member5 | February 25, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thetan | February 25, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: thetan | February 25, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ceefer66 | February 26, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DavidDuck1 | February 28, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.