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.