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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 11/19/2010

The generation gap dividing D.C.'s planning activists

By Martin Austermuhle
As we wrote this morning, the Committee of 100 on the Federal City fired off a letter to Mayor-elect Vince Gray earlier this week asking that he sack Department of Transportation director Gabe Klein and Office of Planning director Harriet Tregoning. The committee, which is made up of 153 people who advocate for planning and development based on the "values inherited from the L'Enfant Plan and McMillan Commission," argued that Tregoning and Klein ruled their roosts much like their boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty, had -- without any concern for public input.

Predictably, smart growth advocates weren't about to let the committee's demands stand unanswered, and this afternoon David Alpert of the Greater Greater Washington blog penned a fairly definitive response and started up a petition -- which will surely garner more than 153 signatories -- asking that Gray keep the two.

One of the obvious ironies about the tiff between the Committee of 100 and Greater Greater Washington is that both groups seek the same goal -- though they're generations apart about how they define it. The Committee of 100 has been around since 1923, but one of its most significant victories for the District was when it fought back a plan in the 1950s and 60s that would have seen a number of additional freeways circle and crisscross the city. Greater Greater Washington has become the center of the vibrant smart growth movement in this city, so much so that it can rightfully take credit for forcing Gray to replace funding for streetcars that was removed in some late-night budget machinations earlier this year.

[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle's post here at]

Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Martin Austermuhle  | November 19, 2010; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, Local blog network  
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