Greater Greater Washington

Give thanks for urban blessings

At Greater Greater Washington, we spill a lot of ink about things that aren't working in the Washington region and how they could be better. But there are also a lot of things in our region to be thankful for.


Photo by Silly Eagle Books on Flickr.

The primary reason we spend so much time making suggestions is because we want to hold our region to the highest standards. We're fortunate to have leaders and policymakers who are willing to do the same.

What are you thankful for in Washington? Share yours in the comments. Here's what our contributors said:

Michael Perkins: I'm thankful for walkable neighborhoods that give you something to do in DC besides commute there for work and then leave right away; and that we didn't build every highway we had planned in Arlington.

Caroline Armijo: I'm thankful for the fountain in the Kogod Courtyard at Gallery Place. I am thankful for story time and the children's division at MLK Library.

And I'm thankful that my two-year-old daughter knows several presidents because of the Nationals' presidents race.

Rob Pitingolo: I'm thankful for having a local government that gets stuff done. As much as we often complain about this, anyone who has lived in a less progressive city can appreciate that it feels literally impossible at times to accomplish even the simplest urbanist goals.

Adam Lewis: I'm thankful for the Metro operators, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other public servants who are spending time away from their families on Thanksgiving so that we can get safely home to ours.

Adam Froehlig: I'm thankful for a great group of folks to chat with; and for bike paths, bike lanes, and cycletracks.

Mitch Wander: I'm thankful that we have so many sports fields; that many our communities continue to enhance walkability and livability for our senior citizens.

For the Circulator; and that it's so easy to fix potholes, signs and burnt out streetlights through 311.dc.gov and seeclickfix.com.

Anne-Marie Bairstow: I'm grateful for the Metrobus that goes to Deal Middle School so that my daughter can get herself to school. I'm grateful that my daughter and her friends can walk to each other's houses and to get frozen yogurt.

I'm grateful to be able to walk my younger kids to school every day and to see neighbors on the way.

I'm grateful for the Stoddert soccer league and northwest little league and all the parents who volunteer to coach and support.

Geoff Hatchard: I'm thankful for the fact that, even when things are screwed up, it's possible to change them for the better, because we have a great collection of people in this city who want it to be greater!

Malcolm Kenton: I'm thankful for Metrorail and Metrobus (despite their shortcomings) and Capital Bikeshare, and MARC, VRE and Amtrak (all of which need increased service).

Thankful to be able to live car-free in DC and not miss out on much; for a thriving local economy of small, locally-owned businesses and old and new neighborhood establishments.

And for our region's copious amounts of green space, compared to other urban areas, especially Rock Creek Park, the Mall, the National Arboretum and Anacostia River watershed parks, the network of bike- and transit-accessible suburban greenways, and Bloomingdale's own Crispus Attucks Park.

Jamie Scott: I too am thankful that I can live car free in the District without being stuck or limited in where I can go.

I'm thankful for a bus system that is safe, reliable and well used. Despite some problems, Metrobus is a system superior to many cities.

I'm thankful for a dedication to safe biking, walking, and transit overall from our city government.

Jaime Fearer: I'm thankful for the diversity and passion of our community advocates, including those who fight to save our social safety net, and groups like CNHED, who work to ensure that people of all income levels are able to afford to live in this great city.

Celine Tobal: I'm thankful for being able to walk to the grocery store, to a movie theater, and to restaurants. I'm thankful for great museums that are free.

I'm also thankful for living in a city where I hear people speaking a language other than English every day.

Topher Mathews: I'm thankful that due to the efforts of Harriet, Gabe, and others in the government as well as people like David and others outside the government, the whole public discussion is fought on much friendlier grounds for urbanists. We don't win everything we want, but the truths urbanists hold to be self-evident are gaining more public awareness if not acceptance.

Eric Hallstrom: I'm thankful for the great diversity of neighborhoods and people that make up Greater Washington.

I'm thankful to live in a place (Arlington County) that is committed to many of the urbanist principles shared by members of the GGW community, including walkable communities, a variety of transportation options, mixed use development, and increased density.

Jacques Arsenault: I am thankful for Capital Bikeshare and DC's bike lanes, which turned me in to a bike commuter this year (now with my own bike, mostly). And I'm thankful for Metrobis and Circulator which give me other options when I don't quite feel like riding in the rain.

I'm also thankful for advocates of all stripes, who work to make this a better, stronger community.

Miles Grant: I'm thankful that DC not only has lots of great places to live, work and play, but transit that allows me to get from one to the other in ways that are low-polluting and road rage-free.


Photo by Kevin Beekman on Picasa.
Kevin Beekman: I'm thankful that all of the holiday essentials fit in the "trunk" of my bike for the ride home along a fabulous trail under a congested I-395.

Veronica Davis: I'm thankful for the investment in new libraries around the city, especially the Anacostia, Dorothy Irene Height, Francis A Gregory branches close to my house.

I'm thankful for DDOT's commitment to the Capital Bikeshare Program east of the river. And I'm thankful for the H.I.V.E. (Home of Innovators Visionaries) for providing a low cost incubator space for small businesses in Ward 8.

Erik Weber: I'm thankful for reusable shopping bags and a grocery store within walking distance and for Meridian Hill Park, a lively multi-purpose, multifaceted green space.

I'm also thankful for wide sidewalks when you don't feel like riding your bike up the hill.

Lastly, I'm thankful for a community of people who care passionately about the past, present and future of our great city. Happy Thanksgiving!

Erik Weber has been living car-free in the District since 2009. Hailing from the home of the nation's first Urban Growth Boundary, Erik has been interested in transit since spending summers in Germany as a kid where he rode as many buses, trains and streetcars as he could find. Views expressed here are Erik's alone. 

Comments

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"The primary reason we spend so much time making suggestions is because we want to hold our region to the highest standards. We're fortunate to have leaders and policymakers who are willing to do the same. "

I'm thankful y'all have such a great sense of humor!

by Kolohe on Nov 24, 2011 10:46 am • linkreport

I'm thankful we have a Greater Greater Washington blog to keep us all informed on what's happening land-use-wise in DC and the DC area ... and in almost real time at that!

by Lance on Nov 24, 2011 4:13 pm • linkreport

I'm thankful for the extensive trail system that threads its way through the DC region. Yesterday's Thanksgiving ride took me to the terminus of the Northwest Branch Trail, where a pristine beech forest lines a stunning gorge lying deep beneath the beltway and the new ICC. How can this paradise survive so close to so many people?

by Dorcas Adkins on Nov 25, 2011 9:58 am • linkreport

Agreed with Lance. Thanks folks.

by David Duck on Nov 26, 2011 9:56 pm • linkreport

Also with Dorcas Adkins. The upper reaches of the NW Branch trail are really beautiful. Bring a lock and keep walking after you get to Rt. 29. Lovely woods from 193 on up.

by David Duck on Nov 26, 2011 9:58 pm • linkreport

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