Greater Greater Washington

DDOT supporters feeling burned by Penn. Ave. lanes

Reasonable people disagree about whether the change to the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes is for the better or worse. Personally, I'm not sure. But the experience makes it more difficult to keep defending DDOT against criticism that they're not planning or communicating adequately.


Photo by whiteknuckled on Flickr.

I've slightly modified my comments in yesterday's post (with a note saying so). The new lanes use the median and part of the pedestrian refuges. That could be better because drivers don't expect to drive in the median and the lanes will more clearly look like bike lanes. Or, it could be worse because cyclists have to travel over stone pavers which could be slippery, and might have to dodge pedestrians who expect to wait in the refuges.

Some are saying there were indeed major traffic tie-ups on Pennsylvania Avenue. The traffic analysis actually only looked at a few intersections. It's certainly possible it missed something. We still don't really know.

But this whole episode frustrated me, and I believe other bicycle advocates, because of the way it happened. Bike lane supporters fought hard to defend DDOT on the lanes, from pushing back on AAA to getting large numbers of favorable comments to the TPB.

I had some trepidation about that process. DDOT had presented just one version at a single public meeting, without posting the plans, though it had been talking to stakeholder groups for months. Officials presented the plans for Pennsylvania Avenue, and plans for other roads, as virtually a done deal. But I didn't make a big issue of it because the lanes, on the whole, seemed good.

Then, at the last minute, we found out the lanes were being redone, and found out from the press. There was no explanation of the issues with the lanes at the time, no discussion about whether the problems that had cropped up warrant redoing the lanes or not. There still isn't even clarity about whether this is coming from Mayor Fenty, or Gabe Klein, or the feds, or what.

DDOT continues to seem to operate in two modes: If they know what they want, they wait until the last minute to tell others. If they don't know, they go to the community early and do whatever the majority of people or the ANC seem to want. Neither is ideal.

This isn't just an issue with bike lanes. Phil Mendelson and others keep expressing concern about the streetcar planning. As with the bike lanes, streetcars are a worthwhile project and DDOT can't (and shouldn't) consult with the public on every decision. At the same time, the fact that there were issues with Potomac Development Corporation about the connection to Union Station came as a big surprise to me.

Since Scott Kubly took over streetcars, he's been moving the project far faster and communicating far better than his predecessors. Some of the confusion over streetcars' lack of planning seems to stem from the fact that the planning is happening quickly. That's fine. And to some extent, all public works projects go ahead without every detail worked out. Certainly that was the case with the building of Metro.

However, these sudden revelations and reversals give a lot of credence to those who argue that we need "more planning." The problem is that we can always have more planning, and at some point there's so much planning that nothing gets built. I'd like an environment where projects can move quickly, but also details and decisions are quickly disclosed and there's opportunity for interested people to learn about, discuss and debate the issues.

I fear Gabe Klein and others might learn the wrong lesson from the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane debacle. They could conclude they should have done more private vetting of the plans before getting started. They could suppose that had they suggested the current plans in the first place, advocates would have been excited about those and no controversy would have ensued.

I think it's the opposite. If they had explained to WABA, the Bicycle Advisory Council, me, and others about the issues that had come up, then I believe people would have been much more positive about the changes. We could have had a post saying, essentially, "DDOT noticed these problems with the lanes, and thinks they might need to be rethought. What do you think?"

Maybe GGW commenters and bicycle advocates still would have come down against redoing the lanes, and DDOT could have gone ahead with the changes anyway, but the tone would at least have been much more collaborative instead of frustrated. DDOT is now going to community meetings across the city on streetcars, and that's helped tremendously to build support and to assuage fears.

And if indeed there were problems with the original plans, as opposed to simply political pressures, some of these issues could also have been alleviated by better public discussion up front.

There's nothing wrong with trying something and having to change it. We shouldn't be afraid to fail. And we shouldn't unduly criticize DDOT for trying something and failing. I just don't think it's unreasonable to ask that they be up front about what they're trying and what's failing.

The more the public knows about plans, the more supporters can organize for it, and the more undecided people can learn the details and in many cases come to support a project. DDOT has many friends enthusiastic about its plans. The best way to keep those, and accumulate more, is to keep people feeling in the loop and involved.

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David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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Not more planning. We need smarter planning. Who on earth buys and builds rolling stock for a streetcar system before the rails and power system are designed, approved and constructed. That head-scratcher alone is an unsettling indication that the streetcars has proceeded at a politician's get-it-done-at-any-cost pace instead of a planner's get-it-right pace.

by crin on Jun 9, 2010 12:40 pm • linkreport

Sigh. Are we on the streetcar thing again?

The cars are a standard design, and DC received a substantial discount by purchasing them in a batch with another city. They are intended for use on the Anacostia Demonstration Line, which has always planned to use overhead catenary for power. Construction on the line has taken longer than anticipated, which is why they've sat in storage for so long. (Part of the intent of the Anacostia project was to gain experience in streetcar construction, part of which evidently consists of getting better at estimating construction time)

DDOT's line painting thing on Penn Ave is causing quite a bit of head-scratching, though the streetcar purchase is easily defensible, and was still a good idea even in retrospect. Would you still be complaining if they built the rails and didn't have streetcars ready to run on them?

by andrew on Jun 9, 2010 12:54 pm • linkreport

It is hard to be an innovator working for the government. Life works on a different time, and you pick and choose your battles. Sarles forcing WMATA to release the data streams is a great example. These bike lanes are a bad example.

That being said, Dave's prescription, (be more upfront?) is basically saying DDOT talk to your friends more. That IS politics. All about touching base. DDOT has to listen to elected politicians -- nothing wrong with that -- and talking to friends isn't "Planning" it is "more politics".

by charlie on Jun 9, 2010 1:09 pm • linkreport

Amen.

One point of note about the streetcar planning, though. I don't think this has been planned "quickly." It's been going on for nearly a decade. But the planners have been doing the wrong things in that time.

The most visible unresolved issues so far (about the wires, the Potomac Development thing, space for turnarounds since apparently cars only go one direction) should have been dealt with years ago. Any major public works project will involve big, expensive, time consuming problems such as these. Resolving these may require political deals, eminent domain, long-term negotiations, and even changing a century-old law.

Why did anyone think that these would just disappear once we started laying tracks? These should have been first on the list, since they are fundamental to the infrastructure, development timeline, cost, and ultimately, the viability of the system.

I applaud DDOT for their enthusiasm in pushing things forward. But enthusiasm isn't enough. We put the carriage before the horse and it's going to cost us a lot of time and money because of it.

by Jamie on Jun 9, 2010 1:19 pm • linkreport

I agree with charlie w/rt DDOT's failure to talk enough to their friends.

A small example: On at least two occasions I know about in the on-going streetcar campaign, DDOT was on an ANC agenda. DDOT's appearance was publicized, and the normally empty room for those 2 ANC meetings was jammed, mostly with pro-streetcar people hoping to whoop up streetcars in their neighborhood. And on those 2 occasions, DDOT failed to show.

You don't get a second chance on something like that. DDOT, if there's a neighborhood meeting that attracts your friends, get to that meeting come hell or high water.

by Trulee Pist on Jun 9, 2010 1:30 pm • linkreport

There's something to be said for their DDOT's aggressive streetcar timeline. I'd argue that plowing through without all the laws and details in place creates a large incentive for others to act.

Can you imagine if DDOT waited for the city to repeal the wire ban first before committing money to lay the tracks on H Street? There would be much, much less public support behind the repeal, but with the rails in place, the repeal seems like a no-brainer to more and more people.

by Eric F. on Jun 9, 2010 1:35 pm • linkreport

@Eric F, I can't agree with that. These are not "details." These can potentially delay the project for years, or alternatively, result in substantive changes to the design.

What possible downside is there to have done a comprehensive plan when this all began ten years ago, identified the potential roadblocks and possible solutions, and begun working on them then, instead of now?

The fact that we are only just dealing with these issues now means one of two things. Either DDOT didn't know about them until well into the game, or they did and chose to ignore them or conceal them, I guess using the logic that you do about creating an incentive?

Is either one of these really the way that you think massive infrastructure projects should be done? I can't say I'm happy about a situation which clearly indicates either incompetence or deception.

by Jamie on Jun 9, 2010 1:44 pm • linkreport

Geez, it's always with the streetcars. Can we have a post debunking myths of the streetcars so people aren't continuously posting the same patently incorrect information?

1. Why are we paying money for cars when we don't have a power source and nothing to put them on etc etc etc.

DC bought the streetcars because they got a substantial discount by bundling their order with the Portland, OR order. They are intended for the Anacostia line, which was always intended to be run with overhead wires (there is no wire ban in that part of the city).

2. Why hasn't DC been building turnarounds into these plans, since the cars can only go one direction?

I have no clue where this idea came from, but the cars definitely ARE http://www.inekon-trams.com/bi-directional_tram_version_trio_12.html">bi-directional and DO NOT require turnarounds.

3. Why are we putting down tracks already when we haven't figured out X, Y, Z, etc?

The street was slated to be completely rebuilt at this point. In order to lay rails you have to rebuild the street (this is different from just repaving a street). Streetcars on H Street have been a plan since 2003. If you're going to do this major reconstruction project it makes financial sense to do it once.

by MLD on Jun 9, 2010 2:44 pm • linkreport

1: I didn't know that. How much was the discount? How does that compare to the cost of that money in the intervening years, and other costs such as the fact that our warranty expired before the cars ever rolled?

2: Where did this idea come from? I dunno, it's been mentioned over and over. A quick google, and I found this...

"These funds will pay to connect this streetcar line to the Union Station Metrorail station, install a turnaround at the east end of the line"

then this...

"There are still a lot of issues that need to be worked out," said John Lisle, spokesperson for the D.C. Department of Transportation. Lisle said the agency also has not yet determined where the trolley will turn around and how it will connect with the maintenance facility slated to be across the river in Anacostia.

So I guess you could say, that idea came from DDOT, who as of a year ago said they hadn't figured some sorta important things out including turnarounds.

3: The question isn't why are we laying tracks now. The question is, why weren't we starting to address these issues 7 years ago?

by Jamie on Jun 9, 2010 2:54 pm • linkreport

On #2, I'm guessing that articles misunderstood what DDOT meant by "has not yet determined where the trolley will turn around." To me this means they haven't yet figured out the exact location where the trolley line will end and where the trolley will switch directions.

Because if you look at the Inekon website (they built the things) or you saw them in person they have two operator cabs...

http://www.inekon.cz/en/group/inekon-trams/products-and-services/production-of-new-trams/trio.html

by MLD on Jun 9, 2010 3:06 pm • linkreport

at MLD, DC bought the streetcars because they got a substantial discount by bundling their order with the Portland, OR order.

hmmm ... another case of DDOT spinning something out of thin air to try to justify past mistakes.

Per DDOT's responses to Chairman Gray's questions on the streetcars prior to the Council budget vote,
DDOT anticipates that the new streetcars will cost $2.5 - 3 million each. So much for the claim that we had to piggyback on Portland's order to get a good price --we paid $10 million for 3 streetcars in that case ... i.e., $3.3 million each ... and that's before storage, maintenance, and warranty renewal.

No, those streetcars were ordered by long gone DDOT Director Dan Tanghelini when he planned to use the CSX trackes in Anacostia to run a 'light rail' project. Problem was that, like now, there was no real planning going on then either, and no one bothered to ask CSX if they'd be willing to let the District use their tracks. They weren't. And so the cars that were meant for a light rail project sat until someone thought of a use for them. Do we even know if light rail cars are truely interchangeable with streetcar vehicles? How about for a system that operates without wires? Will they work. Will cars that will already be close to 10 years old before they even get used need to be replaced quicker because they are already old?

by Lance on Jun 9, 2010 3:25 pm • linkreport

Boy, i was really hoping to read a substantial discussion of the post about DDOT and the bike lanes here. Oh well. All streetcars all the time!

by Steve on Jun 9, 2010 3:34 pm • linkreport

As to the manner in which DDOT is now trying to resolve essential questions about the H Street line--connection to Union Station, power source, etc.--we should remember that the decision to install tracks on H Street between 3rd St and 25th St was made in 2003/2004, as part of the Great Streets street reconstruction project planning. The ANCs convinced DDOT that, since H Street was going to get a streetcar line--it's been on every transit expansion study map since the 1997 DC Vision study--that it would be prudent to install the streetcar tracks as part of the reconstruction, so that the street wouldn't have to be torn up twice. Inexplicably, the consultants (DMJM/Harris) doing the DC Transit Expansion Alternatives Analysis didn't pay any attention to this, and the final report from the DCAA essentially called for idle tracks on H Street for a decade. After Dan Tangherlini left as DDOT director, though, before the DCAA study was finished, DDOT interest in streetcars as a whole evaporated, despite the installation of tracks on H Street and the lingering Anacostia starter line. What DDOT has done under Gabe Klein, with Scott Kubly in charge of the streetcar project, is to recognize that a decade of idle tracks won't help anyone, and that the unanswered questions need answers, and that the citizens who wanted the tracks didn't just want tracks, they wanted streetcar service on those tracks.

The Anacostia starter line is another story altogether. It was also "planned" in parallel with the DCAA study. It began as a "great idea" to use the unused CSX tracks to get some service up and running. It never was about ridership--DDOT's own Transit Development study from 2002, that laid the groundwork for moving along with the DCAA--concluded as much. There was some background urge to try to get transit service running before the new Defense Intelligence Agency building opened on Bolling, and the parking situation at Bolling is, I understand, rather grim, but it really was about getting something running in a situation where there would be no worries about contested space, and as a bonus, everyone would get political brownie points for doing something East of the River. They sold the community on it, then things soured when it turned out that the track ownership situation wasn't nearly as clear-cut as it appeared. They bungled the community relationship by changing the route, without any sort of involvement, and then changing it again, and although I'm sure it's clear to everyone involved that the line as it's being built now makes very little sense, nobody is willing to break Yet Another Promise East of the River.

by thm on Jun 9, 2010 4:01 pm • linkreport

Compare this to what SF has done on market street. Theyve redone a 1 block stretch of bike lane 5 or 6 times, taking feedback into account. People love it, it's what a pilot should be.

-Try one, simple white paint, not effective
-Then they added plastic separators on the left, not safe
-Plastic things were moved to the right, safer
-Signs added, bike lane slightly widened
-Painted green
-More signs added

Now everyone is pretty happy with it. Problem with DC is they did not open it for 6 months to see what happened.

by J on Jun 9, 2010 9:46 pm • linkreport

I appreciate David's criticism of DDOT's repeated dropping of the ball on major projects like streetcars and the Penn Ave bike lanes.

But what strikes me is the apparent basis of the complaint: DDOT failed to let its fanbase know about its FUBARs ahead of time, so that they could help DDOT spin the FUBAR.

I'm also surprised at the comment that DDOT shouldn't communicate with the public about every decision.

I'm sure that means they shouldn't communicate with the public when it comes to ignoring the public and installing bike lanes and other sorts of goodies that are supported by GGW. Because clearly if it were DDOT ignoring the public and focusing on the car-centric majority, then GGW likely wouldn't be as amenable to the public being totally ignored.

Who at DDOT is being held responsible for these FUBARs?

When Mendo raised issues with DDOT's "planning" for streetcars, he was denounced by the commentariat for daring to question the self-evident brilliance of the streetcars dream.

Yet now it looks like Mendo was definitely on to something. Which makes Gray look all the more pandering with his streetcars flip-flop. Had he stuck to his guns, he'd at least have intellectual honesty on his side in questioning exactly what DDOT's long-term "plan" is and how it's gonna be paid for. Instead, he got rolled by the flood of calls and emails and Taxin' Tommy Wells and wound up looking like nothing more than a typical pandering politician with a finger in the wind.

DDOT couldn't competently paint bike lanes on a street. Yet we expect them to run a billion dollar streetcar program? Does this not strike anyone as absolutely insane?

by Fritz on Jun 9, 2010 9:49 pm • linkreport

@THM; probably the best summary of the streetcar situation I've seen.

by charlie on Jun 10, 2010 8:23 am • linkreport

@thm - why is there an inherent problem in having idle tracks for a decade?

If it makes sense to install them ten years early, because that's when you are doing your massive street reconstruction, then it makes sense. This is a long-term project. Why would anyone expect that one day we'll wake up and find tracks and cars where there were none the day before?

You seem to be saying that because people want streetcars, not tracks, that we should just throw caution to the wind and accelerate the schedule of everything simply because we are going to have tracks. But tracks are but one part of a big, complex picture.

You might recall that Qwest and MCI put down fiber optics all over DC in the mid-90's. This was (theoretically) timed to coincide with street reconstruction projects as well. Obviously, we still don't have high-speed data services in most of DC. While that's a different story now, the plan was NEVER for us to have high-speed data service for at least a decade after they were laid. Because that had to be done first, and it made the most sense to do it then, even as they were not yet ready to complete the "last mile" and other parts of the infrastructure.

Observing that DDOT under Gabe Klein decided to act on H Street sooner rather than later because "citizens who wanted the tracks didn't just want tracks, they wanted streetcar service" is not, at all, a positive. It means that DDOT is acting according to the whims of citizens and an "I want it now" mentality, instead of using a process of comprehensive planning which results in things being done right the first time.

This should be obvious. The number of unanswered questions and the number of times this 1.5B project has changed directions should make the problems in its planning obvious. Yet people continue to make excuses for a project that, even today, a decade after it was conceived, still has a highly questionable future and many unanswered questions, not the least of which is how will we pay for it.

by Jamie on Jun 10, 2010 8:33 am • linkreport

@Jaime

The reason to do this now is because the opportunity exists, right now, to take advantage of several one-time federal funding opportunities related to stimulus dollars. Delaying H-Benning would mean (paraphrasing Tommy Wells' twitter account from the budget day here) forfeiting $100-200 million in federal funds.

The assertion that there hasn't been any planning is simply untrue. Same with the assertion that we don't know how to pay for it - we're not building the entire 37 mile network now, we're building H-Benning and Anacostia.

by Ruh Roh. on Jun 10, 2010 8:46 am • linkreport

@Jamie; umm, no.

The massive tear-up of streets by telecom companies in the "mid-90s" had nothing to do with street reconstruction. It had everything to do with Communications Act of 1996. And, the companies doing it expected to make money -- they didn't -- and that is why most of them went bankrupt or were acquired. Look up "Dark fiber" if you're interested.

by charlie on Jun 10, 2010 8:50 am • linkreport

Some of the bike lanes have been repainted as of this morning. Turning lanes for vehicle traffic have also been added back. The resulting lanes are indeed much narrower and closer together. Now if we could just get some nice little reflector bumps or little plastic posts to protect these lanes a little bit...

by aaa on Jun 10, 2010 9:06 am • linkreport

i have heard from EOM sources that this change is a result of a phone call to Fenty from a MAJOR donor who was less than happy re the loss of a vehicle lane on penn ave. gabe klein got a call soon after instructing him to redesign. gotta love political season!

by ted r on Jun 10, 2010 9:10 am • linkreport

@ted r ... ugh ... so, you're saying Fenty is as ready to flip-flop as Gray is? Anybody else running for mayor this Fall?

Actually, the problem here is much more profound than Gray's. Gray reacted properly given what he 'thought' he heard. In the old days a flood of phone calls and letters would have meant that his constituency in general was against what he was proposing. In today's world all it meant was that a few electronic media savvy individuals knew how to artificially inflate the voices of a small minority of folks. I.e., it was a misunderstanding on the part of Gray as to the importance he should give these 'electronically amplified' voices.
Fenty's actions are far more grave. If what you're reporting is true, then that is indicative of the fact that only those with the cash get any real voice in what's going on. Planning, open processes, etc. don't count much for him (as has been evident in many areas under his reign.) And that's not good for anyone.

by Lance on Jun 10, 2010 11:24 am • linkreport

@Lance I couldn't agree more. The systemic management problems related to these projects only expose them to such influences.

People keep blaming the gaffes on "politics." You can't just say "politics did this." Politics is the most important part of the game. If you don't have a handle on that - meaning, transparency, involving the community and the other powerful actors, and vetting things properly, then you haven't planned.

Politics can only mess with things at the 11th hour if they were vulnerable in the first place because of poor planning.

by Jamie on Jun 10, 2010 11:29 am • linkreport

@Jamie,

Yes, those are the fundamentals of project management. You can't expect a project to be successful if you haven't first gotten buy-in from your stakeholders ... all your stakeholders.

by Lance on Jun 10, 2010 12:09 pm • linkreport

Like I have said time and time again, this streetcars project is going to be a real cluster F*CK.

DDOT has failed to complete the basic planning required to address major issues with power for the system, routes, and stations for storage/maintenance.

Yet, DC gov't continue to spend tax dollars and (now) borrow money to fund this project.

by jeff on 8th on Jun 10, 2010 12:53 pm • linkreport

"In the old days a flood of phone calls and letters would have meant that his constituency in general was against what he was proposing. In today's world all it meant was that a few electronic media savvy individuals knew how to artificially inflate the voices of a small minority of folks. I.e., it was a misunderstanding on the part of Gray as to the importance he should give these 'electronically amplified' voices."

Lance, those are unfortunate attempts at devaluing the expressions of concern that were directed at Chairman Gray re: streetcar funding. "In the good old days" people also organized and rallied residents to contact their Mayor and Council. The differences now: it doesn't require what was required then: paid ads in newspapers, printed mail-in postcards, contacts with the media outlets to gain coverage for your messages, and the like.

The Internet being free and open to all, its obviously more democratic.

As for phone calls, or emails for that matter, purely unsolicited and unmotivated by any organized effort whatsoever, what are you relying upon to suggest those interactions have decreased over recent years, in relation to messages prompted by an organized or informed voice?

And in this instance, streetcars, weren't the motivators similar to your Cmte of 100 colleagues, i.e. basically volunteer, not connected to any commercial interest, and simply advocating a civic point of view? And doesn't the Cmte of 100 also have a website, use emails, as it advocated its view?

Nothing and nobody "gamed" the system. I think what we have here is a case where one side simply outpaced the other in advocating its views on a civic issue.

by Joel Lawson on Jun 11, 2010 11:08 am • linkreport

(sorry for horrible punctuation, thumb typing)

by Joel Lawson on Jun 11, 2010 11:11 am • linkreport

"The Internet being free and open to all, its obviously more democratic."

You can't be serious.

The demographics of people who are active members of the "internet community" such as GGW readers bear almost nothing in common with the demographics of DC at large.

At the most basic level - is GGW available in Spanish? What about older people who don't understand or use computers at all? Is there now an expectation that anyone who wants to be represented fairly in DC heard should be required to participate in online debates on a blog?

Or perhaps you think that anyone who wants their voice to be heard, regardless of education, accessibility, and resources, should take it upon themselves to do these things?

Well that is certainly an interesting perspective. Personally, I don't believe that a vocal minority should drive policy.

by Jamie on Jun 11, 2010 11:25 am • linkreport

I'm dead serious. Here's how...

"Or perhaps you think that anyone who wants their voice to be heard, regardless of education, accessibility, and resources, should take it upon themselves to do these things?"

Actually, Jamie, that's precisely the perspective that Lance suggested is more valid as a motivation of constituent contact, as opposed to emails.

And yes, I'm completely serious, and you are completely un-serious to cutely avoid the obvious comparative context: I compared today's electronic constituent contact--as organized by civic activists--with the same constituent contact method pre-Internet. I know, because I did it in the Barry era, and have done it today. Back then, it took thousands of dollars to buy an ad in the City Paper, have mail-in postcards designed and printed, and the like.

One can accomplish that level of organization today, free, from a computer in a public library or community center.

I agree with you entirely that "a vocal minority" shouldn't drive policy. Lance's comparison was pre-Internet to today. What do you have, other than your assumptions and rhetorical hyperventilation, to suggest the situation has deteriorated, rather than improved, in expanding constituent communications, due to the Internet?

Phones are still being used, today. The 'Net is avail to both sides of the streetcar debate. All of these tools are being used in this debate, by and large, by volunteer resident activists. Not a single resident is being coerced into sending that email, or making that phone call, or writing that snail mail.

by Joel Lawson on Jun 11, 2010 12:24 pm • linkreport

The demographics of people who are active members of the "internet community" such as GGW readers bear almost nothing in common with the demographics of DC at large.

And that is the disconnect I am talking about. Joel et al, I am NOT saying that the folks who organized via the Internet were wrong or dishonest or anything like that. Actually, I agree with you fully that 'that's the way it is now!' I.e., you don't need to the expensive ads and the "Letters to the Editor" etc. I AM though saying that the Council is behind the times and attached too much importance to the calls and emails they got. It doesn't take as much work or commitment to get someone who is Internet savvy as it does to get somewho who isn't. The Council is 'old' (like us Joel!) and I don;t think they realized that some voices were getting heard louder than others. I say give it time. They (i.e., The Council) will come to realize that getting a 1,000 Internet-amplified voices just takes a few minutes ... just like th 2,000 strong snow ball fight last winter ... And that those numbers there MUST be balanced with all those who AREN'T Internet savvy (like Jamie talked about), BUT who do vote come election time! (I.e., the Council gave inordinate weight to the Internet voices THIS time ... They'll learn to adjust for 'Internet savvyness' as time goes by, to give true and balanced weights to their constituents' voices!)

by Lance on Jun 11, 2010 10:51 pm • linkreport

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