In a cost-saving move, the Fenty administration and DC DMV has persuaded the DC Council to end its safety inspection program for private cars. Emissions inspections will still be required every two years, however.
The mayor’s office has said that the city would save $400,000 with the move, which goes into effect on October 1. But is it the right move?
Yesterday, many safety advocates and city mechanics questioned the mayor’s wisdom with the move, saying that thousands of residents already fail to properly maintain their cars. Last year alone, 35 percent of those inspected in the District failed on their first look.
So are our streets about to be flooded with unsafe cars and an increase in wheels on the road? Many residents cite the hassle of the inspection process as one of the reasons they don’t own a car in the District. (Parking is another big one, in case you cared.)
You won’t believe me, but triathlons are ridiculously fun. Swimming, biking, and running back to back to back for 32 miles sounds exhausting and painful to the uninitiated, but yesterday at the Nation’s Triathlon I had the time of my life. And let’s put this in perspective, a year ago I could barely run a mile. But with the great resources that our city has to offer, from free pools, great biking trails and an active triathlon community, DC has made a triathlete out of me.
The Nation’s Tri, which marked its fourth year yesterday, was a fantastic event from start to finish. It has grown from 500 competitors in its first year to 6,000 registered competitors today, and it’s easy to see why: it’s professionally managed, takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the city, and well, where else can you swim the Potomac with the mayor?
The Washington Post is reporting that D.C. schools will be losing $30 million in funding in FY2010 and smokers will be paying another 50 cents a pack for cigarettes. Among other tax increases and several other service cuts, these changes will become a reality assuming Mayor Fenty signs the latest revised budget that was just recently approved by the city council. He is expected to sign it, despite his original 2006 campaign promises of not raising taxes. But who campaigns saying they’re going to raise taxes anyway? And who can predict a nasty recession that kills city revenues and causes a $666 million budget gap? (Wait…$666 million? Surely Lucifer had something to do with this…)
The general sales tax is increasing by .25% on the dollar to an even 6% and gas prices will be going up a bit as this revised budget also increases the gas tax by 3.5 cents a gallon. About $350 million worth of service cuts had to be made for this budget, which includes significant funding cuts for social services like Bread for the City.
The Daily Beast seems to think that it’s possible. In today’s “Big Fat Story,” Fenty was proffered amongst six rising, African-American political stars that the publication feels are following in the President’s foot steps. The Daily Beast cites the Mayor’s landslide victory and his work with the DC school system as being Obama-like qualities. While there is little doubt that Adrian Fenty, or any politician, would love to see success like Obama’s, the real question is whether or not he has the character to move outside of DC city politics. What are your thoughts?