Lydia DePillis from Washington City Paper this morning published a letter (and some very astute analysis) from the Committee of 100 to Mayor-Elect Gray asking him to please fire Gabe Klein and Harriet Tregoning and appoint new (and more friendly to them) leadership at DDOT and the District Office of Planning. Specifically, the C100 cite the loss of a Streetcar Grant (which wasn’t Klein’s fault) and Tregoning’s choice of input tolerance (which DePillis correctly identifies as meaning disregard for their input) and send the whole thing to Gray.
Now, here’s my two cents. It may be early in the transition, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gray make a clean sweep of Fenty appointees, rockstars like Gabe Klein included. Klein’s Circulator buses are popular in the downtown-going crowd, but not across any of the bridges except those to Virginia, and his Streetcar program has raised the ire of one of Gray’s biggest allies, Marion Barry. Gray can certainly use this letter like an excuse, and part ways with Klein and Tregoning, lose little political capital, and come away with a stronger ally in the Committee of 100, for what good that would be worth.
Personally? Klein has made DDOT a lot more visible to its residents, increased popular services, and added a bike-share program that has taken off. While that means public transit has been the focus of DDOT instead of cars, it’s provided the opportunity to strengthen a part of DC that has been suffering for a long time, and in light of Metro’s recent suffering, that’s a necessary part.
I said it on Twitter, but it bears repeating: When the Committee of 100 wants Gray to fire someone, it’s a sign that they deserve a raise. And maybe a pony.
Tom, I’m not familiar with the comittee of 100 and why they would take issue with Gabe Klein and Harriet Tregoning. I would love to hear more about this committee and about the reasons (which I would guess are suspect) for the committee’s opposition to smart growth. I’ve known Harriet for many years and know that she has a great love for this city. I highly doubt that she is unreceptive to well-intentioned and thoughtful input from anyone.
A lot of it has to do with Ms. Tregoning’s strong Smart Growth leanings, and the Committee of 100 is much more car-oriented, and so what looks like a rejection of consent is really a more citywide orientation toward better transit options, denser housing near transit solutions, and other things along that side of things.
@Jennifer: The Committee of 100 is a group that advocates urban planning strategies with an eye specifically toward preserving the original L’Enfant plan for the city. Which is a perfectly laudable goal- DC’s historic heritage is unique and worthy of protection. In practice, however, the C100’s priorities place them in opposition to high-density, transit-oriented projects that are better suited for the way the city has evolved beyond L’Enfant’s original vision. In short, they have a valid set of concerns, but I think they’re holding on pretty hard to a Washington that doesn’t exist anymore.
All of which, to my mind, seem like good things. I agree with Tiffany — they deserve raises and a pony!
Gabe Klein should be fired for creating debt for the taxpayers of DC with streetcar projects that are lacking federal funds, thus far and no plan. We cannot afford his big mistake now with the DC budget problems.
Gabe should be fired, he brings more problem to city streets, gridlock every where, more bike routes
Who will be using street car.. we have metro
system that needs more fund to operate..
City is #1 gridlock and congestion in the nation
accroding to Taxes Insuite of Transportation
who uses bike, very small number
how much $$ they bring to the coffin? zero
Of course I am not against cicylist, yes they serve delvery system, they are fit, excerise..
but give me break