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Public Safety

Ron Kirby, DC region's top transportation planner, murdered

Ron Kirby, the head of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, is tragically dead. Alexandria police found him in his home, apparently murdered.

Ron Kirby. Photo by US DOT.

According to news reports, police found him yesterday in his home in Alexandria at 12:30 pm, shot multiple times. They are investigating.

Kirby was the top local official coordinating planning and funding efforts across the Washington region. Stewart Schwartz of the Coalition for Smarter Growth said his death is "a tragic loss for the region," and called Kirby "a supremely dedicated public servant."

Jaime Fearer writes,

I appreciated his commitment to opening the regional transportation planning process to the public, which is no small task. The TPB created the Community Leadership Institute, which I, and a number of Greater Greater Washington contributors, have taken part in. His latest regional plan, the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan (RTPP), is framed in a much more digestible and understandable manner than previous regional plans, as were the resources and tools for public feedback.
In a statement, the Council of Governments says:
He guided the work of the Transportation Planning Board for more than 26 years. His deep knowledge and wise counsel assisted local, state and national officials in reaching consensus on the major transportation issues over the years.

More importantly, he was a trusted colleague and a dear friend to all of us at the Council and his associates around the region. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult time.

To better understand the work Kirby did, check out this chat with the Washington Post and a 2004 profile in Washingtonian.

Ron's death leaves our community without one of its most influential and respected figures. I will miss him terribly.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post


Add a comment »

Well that is very sad :(

by BTA on Nov 12, 2013 12:51 pm • linkreport

Truly awful, RIP

by Drumz on Nov 12, 2013 1:09 pm • linkreport

Wow. Terrible news.

by NikolasM on Nov 12, 2013 1:29 pm • linkreport

Awful, awful news. [Deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by JDS32 on Nov 12, 2013 1:35 pm • linkreport

I have known Ron since 1972 and have worked with him on projects ranging from land use and travel forecasting models to transit demonstration projects. He took a rational approach to all his efforts and was committed to helping this complex area find sensible and achievable strategies to address transportation problems. I will miss him as a friend and a colleague.

by Frank Spielberg on Nov 12, 2013 1:46 pm • linkreport

It was an honor and a privilege to work with Ron.

by Veronica O. Davis (Ms V) on Nov 12, 2013 1:52 pm • linkreport

This is truly sad.

Dr. Kirby was instrumental in encouraging Prince Georges County to maximize the potential of the areas around its Metro stations. He will be missed.

by ceefer66 on Nov 12, 2013 2:53 pm • linkreport

This is a tragedy. I worked with Ron on the TPB's citizens' advisory committee and I can't imagine the TPB without him.

by Tracy Hadden Loh on Nov 12, 2013 3:15 pm • linkreport

Who would kill such a nice man? I remember him involved with many projects in my planning days in Maryland and Virginia.

by lisa on Nov 12, 2013 4:28 pm • linkreport

I, too, served on the Transportation Adivisory Board == decades ago, in the late 1970s. Ron was then in the COG environment, a bright and forceful leader. He provided us great acumen on the trends ("statistics") and at the same time had the dubious role then and later (until this awful event) of trying to (but often succeeding at) "herding ]the} cats" of local jurisdictions, COGs strength and Achilles.

by Lindsley Williams on Nov 12, 2013 8:08 pm • linkreport

Incredibly sad.

by Neil Paradise on Nov 13, 2013 10:41 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by Douglas Andrew Willinger on Nov 13, 2013 12:03 pm • linkreport

MWCOG has a form up where you can leave memories of Ron: Link.

by BeyondDC on Nov 13, 2013 4:21 pm • linkreport

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