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Tregoning, Klein do represent what residents want

The Committee of 100 sent a letter today to DC Mayor-elect Vince Gray asking him to replace Harriet Tregoning and Gabe Klein as the heads of DC's Office of Planning and the District Department of Transportation.


Tregoning and Klein. Images from DC.

They claim that the two don't listen to to public input. But the truth is that they are hearing far more public input than ever before. That public input simply doesn't match the Committee's policy preferences.

You can help show Vince Gray that most residents of DC do support Harriet Tregoning and Gabe Klein, and believe we have had opportunities for public input: Sign on to this brief letter encouraging him to keep both and even consider Tregoning for promotion to Deputy Mayor.

When residents speak up, they are speaking up for Tregoning and Klein's work. At Monday night's hearing on parking zoning regulations, for example, 13 residents spoke in favor of the proposal while only 4 spoke against.

Yesterday, at the DC Council hearing on the streetcar program, 14 spoke in favor of the H Street-Benning Road line, only 1 directly opposed it, and 7 talked about issues other than whether to build the streetcar. People who didn't have time to attend the hearing were even more enthusiastic: 32 of the 34 written statements sent to the Council's committee were plainly in favor of building the H Street-Benning Road line.

This is happening despite the common adage that people are more likely to take the time to attend meetings or testify in opposition to a project than in favor.

I've found out from a source that the letter, signed by Committee of 100 chair George Clark, was originally going to only target Harriet Tregoning, and that Gabe Klein was a later addition. That's ironic, since the Office of Planning has been a model for the right way to conduct public input.

They have already conducted 166 public sessions on just the zoning rewrite, and already have 32 more scheduled in the next 6 months. That means there have been more public meetings on this one project than there are members of the Committee of 100. (Their site lists 153, though not all are still alive.)

OP even gave the Committee of 100, which Clark now heads, and the Federation of Citizens' Associations, which he previously headed, two seats on a special task force which gets extra input into the zoning rewrite through special meetings with OP. In other words, throughout this process, Clark has had a greater level of input into the zoning rewrite than any regular citizen.

Fortunately, we already can be confident Vince Gray won't fall for this argument. At a Council oversight hearing of the Office of Planning in February 2009, George Clark also argued that the zoning rewrite process lacked public input and called it a "runaway freight train." Gray asked OP how many meetings they had had; upon hearing there had already been almost 50 (to that point), Gray said that it sounded like both sides had had plenty of chances to weigh in, and moved on.

Clark charges that OP has "avoided public scrutiny of OP actions as evidenced by the lack of even one city-wide meeting with the public or ANC commissioners on the proposed zoning changes." I can't fathom where this comes from. In the early stages of the project, they had maybe 50 meetings on different topic areas, all attended by people from across the city. OP has sent staff to any ANC which has asked, which is a much better way to reach ANC commissioners than just calling one citywide meeting.

It's not just the zoning rewrite. Earlier this week, the DC Council held a hearing on the Mount Pleasant Revitalization Plan. Mount Pleasant has been a notoriously fractious neighborhood where people have a tough time agreeing on anything. However, they did agree that OP's plan was excellent, and a number of residents praised OP's public process as an exemplary one that led to this uncommon consensus.

Criticisms of DDOT's public process are more well founded, but Gabe Klein is not the reason for the problems and replacing him will not fix them.

Clark charges, "It has been very difficult to persuade DDOT officials to respond to street, sidewalk, or other typical repairs; and it has been nearly impossible to convince DDOT to cooperate in advance on projected road work."

This is a fair criticism and one I've made as well. DDOT needs to do better with communication around planned road projects. However, all of the project managers with particularly poor communication skills had the job before Klein took over. He's even replaced some of them, and the engineering arm of DDOT has gotten better at communicating. It's just gone from terrible to below average, but that's progress.

Clark shows that he is the one out of sync with all residents of the city when he writes, "At the same time that Mr. Klein was focused on bikes and streetcars, daily transportation needs went unaddressed." The many people who walk, ride the bus, or bicycle to work on a daily basis would disagree with Clark's narrow definition of "daily needs."

Nevertheless, DDOT is still spending the vast majority of its budget on existing infrastructure, and Klein said at a recent forum that he spends about 90% of his time on those "daily needs" like traffic signals, repaving, potholes, and occasionally, snow.

WashCycle defends the bicycle programs, which Clark says "lacked depth of planning." Actually, the bicycle lanes have been on publicly-vetted plans for years, and through programs they fund at WABA, DDOT did do much of the safety outreach Clark suggests.

DDOT has indeed neglected a number of important initiatives, like properly implementing performance parking or alley repairs, and it's fair to criticize these cases. Residents are understandably frustrated at times with DDOT. Certainly we have given many DDOT employees whiplash by strongly criticizing and strongly praising them, sometimes in the same day.

Some of this comes from DDOT being understaffed, and facing even further staffing cuts in the coming year. The Council has also repeatedly taken away revenue from DDOT as the agency tries to find new sources to pay for needed repairs. That doesn't mean DDOT can't be more efficient, but still, it's impressive they have done so much more with less.

The Committee of 100 has plenty of opportunity to make constructive suggestions for DDOT, but has chosen to hold off on any criticisms except when they want to replace the top management. This is the general pattern for the Committee; they only oppose projects, or claim to support them while advocating delay.

In his conclusion, Clark writes, "Ms. Tregoning and Mr. Klein are associated with a style and an agenda that doesn't reflect what District residents want." What he really is saying is that their style and agenda doesn't reflect what the Committee of 100's 153 members want, assuming even that all members agree with this letter. As the ratio of proponents to opponents at recent hearings shows, it's the Committee of 100 that represents a very small slice of residents.

Just as this article was about to go online, Ward 3 ANC Commissioner Jon Bender just tweeted about a companion letter from Tom Smith, an ANC commissioner whose opponent we endorsed, and the executive board of the Ward 3 Democrats, which Smith chairs.

The letter makes many of the same points about transparency, which is fairly ironic, as Bender notes: "I'm a Ward 3 Dems delegate, but received no notice Ex Com was considering or sent letter opposing Tregoning and Klein." To some, public input seems to meaning having government officials listen to them in making decisions, but not an obligation to consult anyone else about their own decisions.

Clark and Smith seem to be nostalgic for the days when the Committee of 100, Federation of Citizens' Associations, ward Democratic committees, and other traditional groups had the only a real voice to "speak for" the residents of DC, even if they never really asked those residents their opinions. Today, residents can speak for themselves, and they are speaking: in favor of OP's and DDOT's work, and in favor of Harriet Tregoning and Gabe Klein.

Help us show what residents believe. Sign the letter asking Gray to keep Tregoning and Klein.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. 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 loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

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As residents of the District of Columbia

Are you denying citizens of other jurisdiction to petition the DC government?

by Jasper on Nov 18, 2010 1:52 pm • linkreport

Jasper, the letter allows for non-DC residents. But way to focus on the insignificant.

by David C on Nov 18, 2010 2:03 pm • linkreport

Sweet! Letter-writing battle between special interest groups.

Although I still think a dance-off is a better option.

by Fritz on Nov 18, 2010 2:05 pm • linkreport

I took that part out anyway since it is letting non-residents sign. But obviously it's far more important to have DC residents.

by David Alpert on Nov 18, 2010 2:05 pm • linkreport

I wish the letter had language about a dance-off, but it's worth signing anyway.

by Ward 1 Guy on Nov 18, 2010 2:09 pm • linkreport

Serious question: will it help or hurt to have non-DC residents petitioning the Mayor-elect on this? As one of those Arlington-living, non-driving, DC-job-having interlopers, might my support do harm? Guess it could be worse, I could be a (gasp) gentrifier!

by CVF on Nov 18, 2010 2:16 pm • linkreport

Does anyone note the irony of the Ward 3 Dems opposing a platform created by the democratically elected President of the United States?

by Andrew on Nov 18, 2010 2:19 pm • linkreport

I think the bike-lane plans date back to the first Barry Administration. How much more time do Clark and Smith want do evaluate them?

by rg on Nov 18, 2010 2:26 pm • linkreport

David, You need to be sure the signers give their residency, otherwise the petition will be meaningless since Gray won't be able to determine who he is 'giving consideration' to.

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 2:28 pm • linkreport

The petition asks for that already. I'll be interested to see how you try to find a way to discredit their voices, however.

by David Alpert on Nov 18, 2010 2:30 pm • linkreport

David, never mind ... I just noticed the check box at the bottom ...

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 2:32 pm • linkreport

Any way to petition get Clarke to lose his job as the head of this so-called Commitee of 100?

BTW, how do people get on this committee?

by Eric on Nov 18, 2010 2:34 pm • linkreport

@Eric

On their website, it states that you have to be anglo saxon caucasian, born before 1930, and drive an 8 cyclinder car daily, but I think we should try to join anyway.

by Mr. Bumsley on Nov 18, 2010 2:42 pm • linkreport

David, I won't have to ... I think you've already done it yourself in the petition. For example, you say

"Harriet Tregoning has overseen complex plans including a number of neighborhood plans and a complex rewrite of the District's entire zoning code.

She wasn't supposed to do that re-write because the Comprehensive Plan had nothing in it requiring such a re-write. She's done the re-write based on her own narrow, and skewed interpretation of what Smarth Growth is ... and NOT on the basis of anything in the Comprehensive Plan authorizing it. I.e., you're helping bring to light the reasons why she cannot be retained.

If you really wanted to help her stay on, I'd suggest you find a way for her to do a mea culpa ... For her to admit she did what she wasn't supposed to do ... and for her to explain why she had to do while working for Fenty. Personally, I admire the way she handled the Third Church issue. Her requiring the church elders to get a permit before razing the current structure was Solomon-like in that it simply held them to what they'd been claiming what they wanted all along ... i.e., to rebuild something more affordable on that same spot. Funny though how the first thing they did when they got that judgement was appeal it. Maybe all they ever wanted was the money ... like many people have said?

In any case, in my humble opinion, this judgement indicates to me that even though being put into an untenable position by her boss (i.e., being made to judge something over which she had no expertise, and couldn't possibly be 'fair' over given her boss had said he wanted it razed), she managed to show some fairness in the end. And that is admirable.

Maybe her other unilateral actions were similary all because she had a job to keep?

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 2:43 pm • linkreport

@ bumsley,

Well, I'm white, my facebook page says im 105, and I do have a 74 dodge challenger with a 440, so maybe they'll let me in - but I bike so work, so i wouldn't bet on it.

by Eric on Nov 18, 2010 2:46 pm • linkreport

being made to judge something over which she had no expertise,

Doesn't this describe the entire committee of 100? They're just a loud, not-particularly-bright interest group of people who joined something because it made them think they were important. These are very strange people.

by JustMe on Nov 18, 2010 2:55 pm • linkreport

I'll sign it, but I think our time would be better spent discussing Clark's photo: http://wldimages.findlaw.com/images/2581292/1728996_1.jpeg

by Thaps on Nov 18, 2010 2:56 pm • linkreport

The problem with these kinds of letter campaigns is that without Gray's folks having the ability to verify residency and authenticity of both the residency and the actual existence of the emailer, they're not worth the electronic waves over which they travel. Yeah, Gray got caught once with the similar 'generated' emails about the Streetcar budget. I doubt he'll be that dumb again.

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 3:01 pm • linkreport

The problem with any public meeting is that without Gray's folks having the ability to verify residency and authenticity of every person who attends, there's no way to tell how many actual residents are attending.

I guess Gray should stop holding public meetings, right?

by BeyondDC on Nov 18, 2010 3:05 pm • linkreport

Too bad no one organized this type of letter campaign to keep Michelle Rhee. Already the "Gray base" is demanding more scalps from Rhee's team. In Ward 3, it's interesting that a lot of Gray voters were either retired "good government" types who were upset with Fenty's spotty attention to process, or private school parents. Everyone I know who has at least one kid in DCPS voted, enthusiastically or reluctantly, for Fenty because of school reform. That's the area where a department head makes a real difference, and I fear backsliding on school reform.

by Bob on Nov 18, 2010 3:06 pm • linkreport

Too bad no one organized this type of letter campaign to keep Michelle Rhee. Already the "Gray base" is demanding more scalps from Rhee's team. In Ward 3, it's interesting that a lot of Gray voters were either retired "good government" types (with grown children) who were upset with Fenty's spotty attention to process, or private school parents. Everyone I know who has at least one kid in DCPS voted, enthusiastically or reluctantly, for Fenty because of school reform. That's the area where a department head makes a real difference, and I fear backsliding on school reform.

by Bob on Nov 18, 2010 3:08 pm • linkreport

I really don't get the Comm100's shtick. What are they for? They say they are for the original vision of the city. How is supporting bike lanes and pedestrians is somehow inconsistent with L'enfant? Just over 100 years ago much of DC was farmland, people walked, biked, or used horses, and lived in small apartments/houses with extremely high density.

by SJE on Nov 18, 2010 3:11 pm • linkreport

What are the residency requirements of the committee of 100. Are all of them DC residents? Can we verify each member?

by ErikD on Nov 18, 2010 3:16 pm • linkreport

So this has now descended into silly season. Two groups, supposedly wanting the same things, involved in a pissing match over who's "more" right than the other. We just went through an election. Now it seems we're having yet another battle over what the incoming mayor's cabinet should look like.

Personally, I'm fine with Gray keeping or not keeping Tregoning and Klein because unlike many here, I certainly don't think there is only "one" person for any job. That includes mayor, chancellor, DDOT head or otherwise.

@Bob, sir you must have missed every opinion piece, editorial, the national front page spread, MSNBC et. al. Michelle Rhee had all the support she needed - just not from the places it mattered most - IN DC. Your friends with kids in DCPS voted and they lost. They, more than any other group in DC, need to get over it and stop acting like spoiled children. the results of the write-in effort shows that clearly.

Hillary Clinton's silly group of PUMA's were enough.

by HogWash on Nov 18, 2010 3:18 pm • linkreport

@Bob Michelle Rhee resigned of her own free will. The lobbying there would have to be by Rhee supporters of Michelle herself. As it turns out, we got Kaya Henderson, which is like Michelle without the drama. This thing with Klein and Tregonig is different.

by Ward 1 Guy on Nov 18, 2010 3:32 pm • linkreport

Committee of 100...when did this city turn into medieval Venice?

by jg on Nov 18, 2010 3:33 pm • linkreport

@ David Alpert: Thanks for changing the letter. Signed and sent.

@ Folks who think only DC residents should reply: It is a basic right of the people to petition the government. There is no limitation determining that you can only petition the government of the jurisdictions you live in. There is no reason whatsoever for a politician on solely listen to people in his jurisdiction. Politicians work for the people as a whole, not just for tax-paying registered-to-vote residents.

When petitioning politicians from outside your residential jurisdictions, it is fair to make that know, as well as to motivate why you think your opinion is worth the politicians time. But then again, that should be part of the letter anyway.

For instance, it would be very naive for DC politicians to ignore petitions of tourists. Tourists can not vote in elections, but they can vote with their wallet and go to New York next time.

by Jasper on Nov 18, 2010 3:41 pm • linkreport

@SJE 'I really don't get the Comm100's shtick. What are they for? They say they are for the original vision of the city. How is supporting bike lanes and pedestrians is somehow inconsistent with L'enfant? Just over 100 years ago much of DC was farmland, people walked, biked, or used horses, and lived in small apartments/houses with extremely high density.'

First off the Committee of 100 DOES support bike lanes and pedestrians ... Well before any of us were even alive it was fighting for a varied mix of transportation options ... including being instrumental in swapping some planned Interstates THROUGH the District in exchange for the Metro System. What it's opposed to is bad planning and especially planning that is not inclusive of all voices ... even if they don't know how to trigger an electronically generate form letter. For example, we shouldn't have a transporation system that only works for 20-something year olds who mainly (32%) work for the government and nearly all (95%) don't ever commute to work in a car. The decisions made by the Office of Planning and the Department of Transportaiton must reflect the needs and desires of ALL segments of the population ... AND must be planned and implemented in way that is both executable AND fundable.

Secondly, 'VISION' means 'where do we want to head', it has nothing to do with 'what was here' a hundred or two hundred years ago.

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 3:47 pm • linkreport

David, your assaults on the Committee of 100 border on the hysterical. The sad thing is that if you really knew enough about how the C100 or the City works in general, you would realize that your views may not be so entirely different from theirs. In fact I think you would find you are more on the same page than anyone would imagine.

You seem more intent on assaulting a group of individuals that form an organization with a long history by making grand judgements as to their age, agenda, competence and residency. You continuously dismiss them as old, doddering big car driving fools. It frankly does not help anyone. Does it have number of older members? Yes. But so do a lot of other locally based organizations. And it has admission standards - meaning you must be a professional, or exhibited some degree of comepetence or exceptional committment to a number of particular areas, so they are not stupid.

As for their residency, frankly, I am completely sick of this argument. Most of their members are indeed DC residents. Are all of them? No. Many of them are former residents too. But really, I DONT CARE. Why? Because this is our Nation's Capital. And even though I myself am a District resident, I recognize that it isn't all about ME. There are bigger issues at stake than your bicycle.

I think what is really happening is that you are young (and since I know who you are, I don't think we are too far apart in age) and angry that this group has some power and you are not a part of it. It is sad, really - because I think if you really cared about these issues, you would be trying to join the group and contribute rather than fire assaults at them from the sidelines. Now that would be productive.

by Emikael on Nov 18, 2010 3:48 pm • linkreport

@Bob:

In Ward 3, it's interesting that a lot of Gray voters were either retired "good government" types who were upset with Fenty's spotty attention to process, or private school parents.

You forgot one other group: charter school parents. Might as well eliminate the competition.

by oboe on Nov 18, 2010 3:50 pm • linkreport

As for their residency, frankly, I am completely sick of this argument. Most of their members are indeed DC residents. Are all of them? No. Many of them are former residents too. But really, I DONT CARE. Why? Because this is our Nation's Capital. And even though I myself am a District resident, I recognize that it isn't all about ME. There are bigger issues at stake than your bicycle.

Well, the fact of the matter is that, last I checked, DC residents are the only ones allowed to vote in city elections--the elections that choose our local government. So, yes, their voice is naturally going to be given greater weight. That's how democracy works.

I agree, though, there are bigger issues at stake here than bicycles.

by oboe on Nov 18, 2010 3:59 pm • linkreport

@Emikael, you argument is a total red herring. Bigger issues? no one on the is championing blocking signlines or taking the majesty of what makes this city visually stunning. But a city (any city, event a capital city) is first and formost a city for the people who live there.

We have many groups who see DC only as a symbol or a work destination they drive to and quickly leave. These viewpoints are counter to a smart urban environmentment. In fact we need GREATER clamor to promote public transit, walkable cities and smart growth.

by Eric on Nov 18, 2010 4:04 pm • linkreport

@ Lance: "For example, we shouldn't have a transporation system that only works for 20-something year olds who mainly (32%) work for the government and nearly all (95%) don't ever commute to work in a car."

So, are you saying that our current transportation system does not work for people over 30 who commute and travel by car? Because as far as I can tell, hundreds of thousands of people, many of them over the age of 30, commute and travel by car in the District every day. (Also, was I supposed to start driving a car everywhere once I turned 30? I did not realize that being over 30 precluded me from bicylcing or using transit.) As for your claim that you support bike lanes, I am calling bs. Since when do you support bike lanes? You constantly harp against bike lanes. You have written many times in the comments on this blog that they are dangerous, that they, along with pedestrians, create congestion and that they take away space from the motorists who have "paid" for the roads. As for fighting the Interstates: Bravo -- we owe everyone (and it was a lot more than just the Committee of 100) who fought those freeways a huge amount of gratitude. But what has the Committee done in the past 15 years? Surely you have some more recent successes to point to? And please don't cite zoned residential parking. I could care less about it..................

by rg on Nov 18, 2010 4:09 pm • linkreport

Realistically, is a petition - whether by GGW or by the C100 - really going to make a difference with Gray?

It seems like Gray is ultimately going to make a decision based on whether he gets along with Klein and/or Tregoning and agrees with their vision, rather than any sort of popular vote via email barrages or letters from interest groups.

by Fritz on Nov 18, 2010 4:13 pm • linkreport

Out of curiosity, does the C100 actually have any legal power? What is the basis for their existence? Do they have any sort of official capacity?

I always assumed that it had some relationship to the NCPC, but that doesn't actually seem to be the case...

by andrew on Nov 18, 2010 4:18 pm • linkreport

@Lance - I am almost 40. I don't work for the government. And I don't own a car. But I am not anti car. I agree DDOT should try to accommodate as many options as possible. But please don't belittle my chosen method for getting around. I pay taxes and I vote. Hopefully I get a government that pays at least some attention my concerns.

by Mike B on Nov 18, 2010 4:25 pm • linkreport

@SJC

I echo your question. Who are the members of the Committee of 100 and what stances have they taken in the past? I really don't know anything about them or what kind of influence they have.

by tim h on Nov 18, 2010 4:46 pm • linkreport

There seems to be a belief that people only support selfishly what suits them personally. I see much interest in the general good: more bike routes=options, reduced car fumes, social justice, etc. And even 54-year-olds like myself want bike lanes even tho I take buses. Accusations of selfishness, age are not useful.

by LouDC on Nov 18, 2010 5:05 pm • linkreport

@ Fritz Exactly. Gray won the election, and he has the right to choose people he agrees with and feels he can work well with.

I didn't vote for the guy, but I don't think David's statement that the residents "are speaking: in favor of OP's and DDOT's work, and in favor of Harriet Tregoning and Gabe Klein". Last I checked, the residents spoke by not electing the guy responsible for Tregoning and Klein.

by jcm on Nov 18, 2010 5:08 pm • linkreport

Emikael: By Lance's suggestion earlier, are we to discount your comment, because it was electronically generated, and we cannot authenticate?

Meanwhile, my full name and link is on my comment, I'll also be signing the GGW letter, I've lived here nearly two decades, I've given untold hours to community service, and I find the patronizing assumptions (and ageism) coming from those who are curiously irritated with GGW and all the voices it informs, gathers and delivers.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 18, 2010 5:14 pm • linkreport

Actually, if Lance is the same Lance that was trolling the housing bubble blog, denying there was one, I wonder why anyone pays attention to him?

by John on Nov 18, 2010 5:16 pm • linkreport

(I typo'd my own URL! Use the one in this comment.)

by Joel Lawson on Nov 18, 2010 5:19 pm • linkreport

@JCM Last I checked, the residents spoke by not electing the guy responsible for Tregoning and Klein.

That is such an excellent point!

@Mike B. The point isn't that they shouldn't be doing bike lanes and the sort but that they can't be dropping the ball on everything else they are responsible for in some misgotten belief that everyone can just set aside their cars and start biking or hiking to work ...

Tell me, can you think of any major traffic improvements made in DC lately other than the creation of "Dave Thomas Circle"?

Do you thinking flooding the streets with the Ca-Bi bikes, and most importantly with riders who don't know they're supposed to yeild to traffic at stop signs and red light, is helping motor traffic any?

I know David mentioned how they gave a token amount of funding to the local bicycle club for 'educational purposes'. Do you really think that is what the Committee of 100 means by a 'lack of education' for ALL users? I remember asking a DDOT bicycle guy what they had planned for making sure road rules got enforced against bicyclists. He essentially said 'enforcement is not my problem'. Well, it is, when the lack of education that comes by way of enforcement gives rise to dangerous situations AND motor traffic that can no longer circulate properly. Yes, 'education' is far far broader than giving a couple of nickels to the local bicycle club. It means advertizing campaigns in local newspapers (and blogs?) talking about the safe interaction rules between cars and bikes like David did a couple of articles on in here. (And no not everyone reads GGW ... the education has to be more than just 'it was in GGW'... ) And it also means 'teaching' lessons the hard way. I.e., Working with the MPD to ensure that cyclists not yielding the right of way get ticketed. There's a lot that can be done ... but just hasn't been done.

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 5:27 pm • linkreport

Tell me, can you think of any major traffic improvements made in DC lately other than the creation of "Dave Thomas Circle"?

new interstate and local bridges being built over the anacostia.

one way streets in mt. vernon triangle and on capitol hill turned to two-way traffic.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 18, 2010 5:32 pm • linkreport

@Emikael, Your observations are spot on.

There really is no difference between what the Committee of 100 wants and what GGW proclaims to want. The only difference I can see is that the Committee of 100 members have a collective knowledge base and expertise of many individuals from all walks of life and an organizational knowledge base and track record going back to 1923. It didn't get fooled by the ill-planned projects and promises made by the Fenty Administration which David himself has often acknowledged himself right here in these pages to be badly planned and poorly executed.

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 5:49 pm • linkreport

@G H new interstate and local bridges being built over the anacostia.

one way streets in mt. vernon triangle and on capitol hill turned to two-way traffic.

didn't you read in hear about the problems with the 11th Street bridge? ... which incidentally was already planned long before the Fenty administration came in.

And tell me, did turning one-way streets into two-way streets help the motor traffic? (That was my question ... Personally, I think that there are a lot of one way streets in neighborhoods that should indeed be turned into two-way streets ... as they were originally built to operate .. But my question was basically 'What major projects have been undertaken to help motorists?' )

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 5:52 pm • linkreport

Lance: no, i didn't hear about the problems. can you cite them for me?

yes, it helped the motoring segment of the public. instead of having to circle around some of those blocks to get from point A to point B, automobiles can now be driven more directly. (pretend you're driving from the corner of mass ave. and 4th to garage entrance of your apartment on the 400 block of L. it's much easier now.)

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 18, 2010 5:57 pm • linkreport

As of 6pm, 394 people have signed this letter. Interestingly, excluding non-District signers, the number of respondents so far is exactly in the order of the ward numbering system - i.e., most signers are from Ward 1, least from Ward 8.

Not DC - 145- 37%
Ward 1 - 74 - 19%
Ward 2 - 55 - 14%
Ward 3 - 45 - 11%
Ward 4 - 29 - 7%
Ward 5 - 25 - 6%
Ward 6 - 17 - 4%
Ward 7 - 2 - 1%
Ward 8 - 2 - 1%

Total - 394-100%

by Just161 on Nov 18, 2010 6:11 pm • linkreport

@Lance

If Fenty/Tregoning/Klein didn't do much to help car traffic on the roads, it's probably because car traffic wasn't really the problem. Sure, there's rush hour traffic, but there's not much to be done about that in a city except to decrease the number of drivers. As far as I can tell, DC drivers get the vast majority of the road space in the city dedicated, as a practical matter, exclusively to them. Given that as a city we don't really have space to put in additional roads, what exactly did you want Fenty/Tregoning/Klein to do? Conversely, bike and pedestrian traffic had huge problems in parts of the city, where there was simply no safe place for cyclists and pedestrians to go. That was a problem that needed addressing, and that's what Fenty/Tregoning/Klein addressed.

As for the need to educate bikers about traffic laws, some of that money should probably be spent educating drivers that bikers have a right to be on the roads, to look before opening their doors, and not to cut dangerously and directly in front of cyclists. I bike daily and I have far more problems from drivers not following rules than I see from bikers (though certainly there's the occasional bad apple). In any case, if you want to reduce negative interactions between cars and bikes, you should support bike lanes even at the expense of car lanes, because if there's nowhere safe for people to bike then bikes will be somewhere unsafe and disruptive.

Finally, your dismissive attitude towards young DC residents is terrible policy for the city. Young, employed residents without children are highly desirable residents for the city because they pay way more in taxes than they receive in services. They're mobile, and they will leave for MD / VA if DC does not pay at least some attention to their needs. And, given that they pay way more in taxes then they receive in benefits, it is not that unreasonable for them to request some inexpensive accommodations like bike lanes. Besides, it's not just young people, or white people for that matter, who have decided to bike to work - it's all sorts of people.

by David on Nov 18, 2010 7:01 pm • linkreport

@Just161 Those numbers are way off.

by andrew on Nov 18, 2010 7:01 pm • linkreport

I never would have believed that there was an entire organization dedicated to espousing anti-bike, anti-sidewalk, anti-smart growth rhetoric until now. This sounds like a bunch of self-interested property owners who have about as much to do with Pierre L'Enfant as AARP does. Maybe there's a gated community in the Virginia exurbs to where they can all move and park their SUVs.

by aaa on Nov 18, 2010 7:08 pm • linkreport

"Young, employed residents without children are highly desirable residents for the city because they pay way more in taxes than they receive in services."

Amen, *and* the modernizations underway will encourage many of them to remain inside the District as they marry and have children. Furthermore, the smart growth policies as advocated by GGW help draw into the District new seniors too: empty nesters from the suburbs, with disposable income. The kids are long gone, that large house in Potomac feels lonely compared to an urban village with good public transportation and walkable neighborhoods.

There is no age divide on the smart growth side of this discussion. These policies benefit an entire spectrum of District residents across age, across economic strata, and more.

Unfortunately, there has been a LOT of ageist, patronizing and divisive rhetoric from the side that's constantly irritated by smart growth voices and advocacy.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 18, 2010 7:21 pm • linkreport

@andrew How are the numbers off? I just searched on "Ward 1" "Ward 2" etc. and called the difference between the total (394 at the time) and the sum of the wards was non-DC.

I'm willing to admit I'm wrong, but prove it! What should the numbers be?

by Just161 on Nov 18, 2010 7:22 pm • linkreport

Just161, not everyone shows up on the list, since people can opt not to be listed publicly. The total counter includes them. So you are assuming every person who wanted their name snet to Gray but not on the site is non-DC, which is definitely false.

by David Alpert on Nov 18, 2010 7:28 pm • linkreport

@Lance. As a 50-year-old who lives in DC and sees the challenges facing her elderly parents as they try to find ways to get around since driving is more difficult to do as you get older (they live in car-centric states) I would suggest improving the pedestrian and mass transit options helps the elderly a hell of a lot more than your committee's short-sighted policies.

by lou on Nov 18, 2010 7:56 pm • linkreport

I am blown away by the bike lane hatred. Of the 50 miles if bile lanes in this city only 3 have taken a lane of traffic away - 15th st, e street, and pa Ave. All the "acrimony" over bike lanes started this spring with pa ave and the lanes were returned to motorist without regard to the safety of pedestrians and bicyclist. The idea bikes are getting special treatment at the expense of the motoring public is a joke - the reality us bikes get the leftovers!

Does anyone know if Lance actually has a job?!?

by Joe on Nov 18, 2010 8:00 pm • linkreport

people hate bicyclists for 1 major reason, they slow them down. Also, they stereotype them into young hipster types or spandex clad bikers, so there is a measure of the whole "i hate you cause you are different from me" but people have talked this topic to death on sites like this

by Eric on Nov 18, 2010 8:11 pm • linkreport

Ah! Right - missed that part. I stand corrected, then.

But I think the skew away from Wards 7 and 8 probably stands, though. Unless the geographic distribution of opt-to-be-seen signers is dramatically different from the opt-to-be-hidden signers, there's still a disproportionate tilt towards Wards 1, 2, and 3. (All wards have roughly equal population).

by Just161 on Nov 18, 2010 8:16 pm • linkreport

It's interesting how GGW has been able to paint the Committee of 100 has supposedly bike-hating, pedestrian-hating etc. in the minds of some of its bloggers. It's actually the Committee of 100 that has been leading the planning now for decades to actually allow these things to occur ... For instance it's the Committee of 100 that came up with the 'Livable Downtown' idea and pushed it forward .... which encouraged the rejuvenation of the downtown as as a place to live in as well as to work in.

I think Emichael hit the nail on the head. Why is GGW trying to paint the Committee of 100 as something it is not? Ask yourselves, what does David have to gain by trying to demonize the organization that has successfully for many years now advocated for the very same things he's says he's concerned about. Ask yourselves why he allows 'keeping the fear alive' every weekend by publishing data about pedestrian and bicycle incidents that doesn't tell you anything other than 'be scared' ...

And most importantly, ask yourselves why he would react so forcefully against the prospect that the folks in the current administration who have taken him under his wing might not continue on. Mind you, these are the very same people who he himself has often said have not done a good job. Why is he so worried about having to most likely deal with someone else? What difference does it make who he is dealing with provided they believe in what we all believe in ... Smarth Growth ... real Smart Growth ... not the poorly planned and implemented kind we saw under the Fenty Administration. Why wouldn't David be embracing the opportunity of working with real and proven experts in these areas? What's with the attachment to parts of the Fenty administration ... an administration which he himself supported being ousted from office ...

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 8:18 pm • linkreport

I'm sorry, last time I checked we had how many wards in this city. In viewing this so called partition, wards 7,8,4,and 5 are either under represented, misrepresented or nonexistant, maybe all of the above. If I'm correct most of the folks on this thing didn't vote for the Mayor elect and are still hating on him but think he's so dumb as to keep people around him that are still in Adrian Fenty mode, please, let's be realistic. why would he?

by another native on Nov 18, 2010 8:20 pm • linkreport

Don't be so modest, Lance. The credit for "paint[ing] the Committee of 100 [as] supposedly bike-hating, pedestrian-hating etc." on this site goes largely to you. That job was accomplished by your own comments over the last couple of years, not anything David Alpert or the other posters said.

Don't let it go to your head, though. The credit for "demonizing" the organization goes neither to David nor to you but to George Clark, for writing that appalling letter.

by davidj on Nov 18, 2010 8:58 pm • linkreport

So does the c100 have a website or something, or at least somewhere where I can read a mission statement.

by Canaan on Nov 18, 2010 9:12 pm • linkreport

davidj: http://www.committeeof100.net/

Like the org itself, the site is obsolete and looks to be about 15 years behind the times.

by John on Nov 18, 2010 9:16 pm • linkreport

Sorry, that last one was for Canaan

by John on Nov 18, 2010 9:17 pm • linkreport

Lance: If you wish to discuss the unhelpful nature of fear mongering, please consider the following pre-emptive, extremist, broad-brush, end-of-times description of smart growth. Unhelpful is the most diplomatic label I can apply:

"...hostility toward all automobile use, whether or not any other form of transportation is available. To live in this 'smart' vision of the District, you should be willing to forego elbow room and to accept that a neighbor who enlarges his house may be literally an armÂ’s length away. You must have the health and energy to walk or bike to work, or the time to wait a half-hour for a bus. You cannot drop a young child at school in the morning across town from your job, or be the carpool parent on weekends unless you subscribe to Zipcar.

"Nevertheless, the particular attributes of the smart growth lifestyle are not its real problem. The problem in D.C. is that its advocates want to impose the lifestyle on all of us—one size fits all— with no room for needs or desires that don’t fit into the smart growth box. D.C.-style smart growth is insidious because it brings u a city without choices. It’s not the District most of us want. Without vigilance, it’s the city we risk waking up to."

- Committee of 100, October 2008 Newsletter, Chairman's Message
http://www.committeeof100.net/newsletters.html

by Joel Lawson on Nov 18, 2010 9:20 pm • linkreport

@Lance "can you think of any major traffic improvements made in DC lately"

Adams Morgan Streetscape project
Sherman Avenue Streetscape construction
18th Street NW streetscape consturction
U Street NW reconstruction
Georgia Avenue Street design
Columbia Heights Streestscape construction
14th street rebuild
11th street bridge over D St and railroad
reconstruction of New Hampshire ave from Florida to Dupont
Rebuild of three bridges over C&O canal
Reconstruction of roads in the Howard Theater area
Reconstruction of 14th Street bridge surfaces
Rehab of Key bridge
Reconstruction of Nebraska Ave
Glover Park Roadway design
Chain Bridge construction
16th Street Bridge design
South Dakota Ave and Riggs Road Construction
Middle Georgia Avenue Construction
Rehab of 9th street NE bridge
Brentwood Road Construction
Mt Vernon K Street NW Construction
H Street streetscape
Rehab of East Capitol Street
Rehab of Columbus Plaza
Division Avenue Streetlight Construction
Minnestoa Avenue Streetlight Construction
Benning Road Construction
Kenilworth Ave N.E. Construction
Benning Road NE Phase II
Nannie Helen Burroughs Great Street
MLK Ave rebuild
Bellevue SW Streetscape Design

And that is just current projects. There are others that have come and gone. But you're right. Drivers have been ignored. Along the same lines, what has the Co100 done lately to encourage smart growth?

David mentioned how they gave a token amount of funding to the local bicycle club for 'educational purposes'. Do you really think that is what the Committee of 100 means by a 'lack of education' for ALL users? Lance, do you know how much money they spend on this? How much would not be token? And no, we don't know what the Co100 means because they didn't say.

Well, it is, when the lack of education that comes by way of enforcement gives rise to dangerous situations AND motor traffic that can no longer circulate properly. But it hasn't given rise to dangerous situations. Or perhaps you'd like to back that up with facts. And, it isn't DDOT's job. That's MPD's job.

As for your 8:18 comment. Frankly, stop being such a wimp. If you want to accuse David of something why don't you just lay it out there? If you question his motives, why don't you tell us what his real motives are? What do you think David's secret, evil purpose is in attackikng the Co100?

by David C on Nov 18, 2010 9:39 pm • linkreport

I've noticed that Lance tends to be EXTREMELY resentful of and hostile to the presence of restaurants and businesses in DC: his main priority seems to be that he wants every to ask his permission before doing anything. I think he pictured DC as a place where he could buy a house and expect to faster increases in real estate value than he would have if he had bought in Prince William County. But he forgets that the reason for that is that people like to live here for the amenities.

Lance's defense of the Committee of 100 is also extremely short-sighted and harmful to the quality of life of many people. My grandmother in her old age was not able to drive. People following the agendas of Lance would envision a city where the old are forced to live as shut-ion without access to basic retail amenities in order to preserve the suburban lifestyle he wants to impose on the dense, diverse community of DC to reflect his value system.z

DC has focused on car-centric development for a long time. Very small, low-cost, tiny additions of support for other modes of transportation should not be any kind of threat. However, because Lance regards these initiatives as those who serve "the wrong kind of people," he instinctively rises up against it.

Hey Lance: if you want to live in a place that has no commercial activity and doesn't spend money on serving the needs of pedestrians, you can move to a subdivision out somewhere and run for the HOA board.

The proof is in the pudding: if the committee of 100 has so much expertise and many decades of contributing to good development policy, then why is it that we wake up all these decades later to a city with so many development problems?

by Tyro on Nov 18, 2010 9:48 pm • linkreport

@Joel Lawson

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

by Adam L on Nov 18, 2010 10:13 pm • linkreport

Lance: We do not publish the Struck in DC numbers to scare anyone. Kim, Stephen, and I, who are the ones who have nurtured the project along (and mostly Kim, with yeoman's work by Stephen...I am the third wheel of the group), do not do it to scare anyone. We seek to start a conversation and to spread information for information's sake (ask anyone who knows me—one of my mantras is "information wants to be free").

Stop attacking our work. Come back with some solid reasons why the project should cease to exist, or be silent. It's fantastic to have a variety of viewpoints here so the comments aren't just a bunch of us nodding our heads in agreement. That's boring. But the way you just attack certain hobbyhorses is pointless, frankly, unless you have some intellectually plausible reason for it.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 18, 2010 10:33 pm • linkreport

@David As for the need to educate bikers about traffic laws, some of that money should probably be spent educating drivers that bikers have a right to be on the roads, to look before opening their doors, and not to cut dangerously and directly in front of cyclists.

Of course ... and that was part of my point. Giving a few bucks to a bicycle club doesn't cut it. Did you read the Committee of 100 letter? Mr. Clark clearly says education of all people using the roads.

In any case, if you want to reduce negative interactions between cars and bikes, you should support bike lanes even at the expense of car lanes, because if there's nowhere safe for people to bike then bikes will be somewhere unsafe and disruptive.

And if you've read my past postings you'll know I'm a big advocate of giving cyclists their own separate roadways ... i.e., paths (like in Rock Creek Park), real cycle tracks (which we don't have in this city but a good example can be found in St. Petersburg, FL ... you can Google it for a pic), and actually even closing off some through streets to through motor traffic and devoting them to cyclists.

It sounds like you've let your opinion be influenced by what you think the Committee of 100 is about, and not by the facts. Re-read Mr. Clark's letter with an open mind and I think you'll be surprised in how far it goes in advocating via responsible planning those same things GGW says it wants ...

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 10:38 pm • linkreport

@David "Finally, your dismissive attitude towards young DC residents is terrible policy for the city. Young, employed residents without children are highly desirable residents for the city because they pay way more in taxes than they receive in services. They're mobile, and they will leave for MD / VA if DC does not pay at least some attention to their needs."

And again, you're letting your preconceptions prevent you from seeing the truth. How are unsafe and insufficient bike facilities good for keeping these residents in the city. And more importantly, if we want to keep these people in the city after they've passed the stage where they can bike everywhere (i.e., kids to transport around or maybe jobs in the burbs), how do we do so if we've enacted anti-car and anti-parking policies?

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 10:43 pm • linkreport

The thing about this thread and Fenty/Klein/Tregoning is the failure to recognize that in transpo especially, what happens now is the result of the previous 10-15 years. (A fast tracked transpo projects takes 8 years. The rest, longer.)

This isn't knocking them. Most of the projects David C. lists are the result of many years work. E.g., the H St. streetscape plan was done in 2003-2004--and the streetscape quality of life initiatives were really initiated by Dan Tangherlini as was the streetcar (don't worry, he had other failings). WRT biking, the Bike Master Plan was published in 2005, and most of what has been done is outlined in that document, which again predates the current crew. (And despite my constant critical analysis, the incremental improvements each year clearly build into a greater whole.)

WRT C100, sure they have done good things. But they do appear to be behind the times with regard to how the city should be planning and growing in the 21st century. They don't look inward and self-reflect. They haven't considered the fact that most of their efforts concerned the shrinking city, and that they need to reposition wrt the growing city.

WRT the zoning rewrite, I can't remember how much of that is Harriet Tregoning's initiative. I remember testifying to the Zoning Commission in either 2007 or 2008 (Carole Mitten was still chair) when they held a hearing about the state of the zoning code. In fact, I spoke immediately after George Clark, when he was pres. of the DC Federation.

And he and I had very different perspectives on the code in our testimony. He said it was basically fine. I said it was automobile-suburban oriented (it is a document from the 1950s after all), and that every overlay and special zoning category is an indicator that the underlying code is inadequate and not robust.

The thing about the rewrite is that the current code might not be great but it is predictable and all the people against the rewrite have a lot of experience dealing with it as it is. They are comfortable with it, even if it is in fact very flawed wrt urbanity.

by Richard Layman on Nov 18, 2010 10:58 pm • linkreport

@Lance

I did read the letter. I've also read many of your comments on this blog. Here's the thing - the letter on its own may appear to make sense and be reasonable, but I have to interpret it in light of your comments and the other actions by the Committee of 100, including the statement mentioned by Joel above. From your comments, it's clear that in terms of road use, you think the city should put cars first and throw some crumbs for other users here and there. That's a common position. It's also a good way to end up with a city like St. Petersburg FL, which is a sprawling disaster that is exactly what many of us are hoping to avoid in DC. For you to cite that city that as an example of what DC should be doing shows just how misguided your idea of smart growth is. Have you been there? I think it's a perfect example of absolutely awful development, nothing but strip malls as far as the eye can see.

As for your second comment, there have been studies showing that young people often prefer to use methods other than cars to get to work. My personal experience supports this. The competitive edge that cities have over suburbs in attracting people is that they are transit, bike, and pedestrian friendly. DC would be crazy to not take advantage of that edge. If I need a car to get around DC, I might as well take a tax break and move to Virginia.

by David on Nov 18, 2010 11:03 pm • linkreport

Simply put, there are better alternatives to Klein. He isn't "all that."

by Contrarian on Nov 18, 2010 11:35 pm • linkreport

Quick follow up to David C's list of projects. If you take a closer look, 2/3rds of those projects were already programmed at the end of the Williams administration. Not that anyone here is smart enough or has a long enough memory to remember that.

by Contrarian on Nov 18, 2010 11:39 pm • linkreport

happy to read comments defending multi-modal transport as an important factor in independent aging; a contributing factor to seniors maintaining independence, connection to the community and overall mental and physical health (in addition to all the other reasons why having the choice to bike, walk or transit is important).

by Tina on Nov 18, 2010 11:41 pm • linkreport

OFFICERS

George R. Clark, Esq., Chair
Nancy MacWood, Vice-Chair
Richard Houghton, Secretary
Francis M. Clarke, III, Treasurer

Laura M. Richards, Esq., Trustee Emeritus

TRUSTEES

W. Kent Cooper, FAIA
Bill Crews
Carroll Green
Kevin Locke
Meg Maguire
Hon. James E. Nathanson
Loretta Neumann

Charles J. Robertson
Mary Pat Rowan
Lance Salonia
Richard Westbrook
Evelyn Wrin
John Yago

MEMBERS

Bruce Adams
Suzan Aramaki
Anne-Marie Bairstow
Amy Ballard
Shari Barton
Joseph R. Bender
Sally Berk
Michael Berman
Ward Bucher, AIA
Richard T. Busch
Sylvia Cabrera
Sarah Campbell
John Capozzi Jr., CPC
Charles I. Cassell, FAIA
George R. Clark
Jim Clark
Francis M. (Buck) Clarke, III
Bell Clement
Stephen W. Cochran
Stephen W. Coleman
George Colyer
W. Kent Cooper, FAIA
Charles E. Cotten
Peter S. Craig
Bill Crews
Jill Diskan
Arrington Dixon
Rosalyn P. Doggett
Dorothy Douglas
Jenny Sue Dunner
Kathryn A. Eckles
Alexander Eckmann
Emily Hotaling Eig
Kateri A. L. Ellison
Wolcott B. Etienne
Norma D. Evenson
Barbara G. Fant
Judy Scott Feldman, Ph. D.
Andrea C. Ferster
John Fondersmith
John Forrer
Desmond P. Foynes
Alma Gates
Matthew Gilmore
Stuart D. Gosswein
Eric S. Graye
Carroll Green
William Hershey Greer, Jr.
David Grinnell
Newman T. Halvorson, Jr.
Ann Hughes Hargrove
Don V. Harris Jr.

Don Alexander Hawkins
Erik Hein
Robert Hershey
Ann F. Heuer
Mary Hewes
Karin H. Hillhouse
Cornish Hitchcock
Alison K. Hoagland
Richard Houghton
Gregory K. Hunt
George Idelson
Elizabeth (Penny) F. Jones
Fred H. Jordan
Marilyn (Mickey) W. Klein
Hazel F. Kreinheder
Charlotte A. Kroll
Lisa Koteen
Mary Ann Lasch, ASLA
Sperry Lea
Paul E. Lederer
Antoinette J. Lee
Jeff S. Lee, ASLA
Elizabeth Leigh
Anne McCutcheon Lewis, FAIA
Kevin Locke
Ann Hume Loikow
Richard Longstreth
Leslie W. Louden, AIA
Edward W. Lyle
Nancy MacWood
Meg Maguire
Adam E. Maier
Ellen McCarthy
Dorn C. McGrath, Jr., FAICP
James W. Meek
Phil Mendelson
Carol J. Mitten
Susan West Montgomery
Arthur Cotton Moore, FAIA
Anita B. Morrison
Hamilton Morton, Jr. AIA
Lucinda F. Murphy
Donald Beekman Myer, FAIA
Jim Nathanson
Darwina L. Neal
Jack E. Nelson
Richard B. Nettler
Loretta Neumann
Patricia Nicoson
Tony Norman
George H. F. Oberlander, AICP

Cheryl Ann Opacinch
Merlin W. Packard
Joseph Passonneau, FAIA, ASCE
Diane A. Pecor
Elizabeth H. Phillips
Ellen Pickering
Woodruff M. Price
Anne M. Renshaw
Bill Rice
Frank H. Rich
Laura Marie Richards
Roger S. Rihm
Charles J. Robertson
Harry G. Robinson III
Judith Helm Robinson
Stephen C. Rogers
Gail C. Rothrock
Mary Pat Rowan
Blair Aldridge Ruble
John Runkle
Richard S. Rybeck
Lance Salonia
Elsa M. Santoya
Ann Satterthwaite
William Scheirer
Rick Harlan Schneider, AIA
Peter Schott
Gary Thomas Scott
Anne R. Sellin
Donald H. Shannon
Rebecca A. Shiffer
Marilyn J. Simon
Kent Slowinski
Kathryn Schneider Smith
Alice Fales Stewart
Leonard Sullivan, Jr.
Frank A. Taylor
Joel E. Truitt
Carol A. Truppi
Cecil B. Tucker, Sr.
Matt S. Watson
Amy Weinstein
Marc Weiss
Richard Westbrook
Beverley R. Wheeler
Richard N. Wolf
Evelyn Wrin
John Yago
David N. Yerkes, FAIA
Christian Zapatka
Barbara Zartman

This is a list of all of us, and we are a respectable group of real DC residents. Not you nouveau riche kids. Have a little respect for your elders for once.

by Sarah on Nov 18, 2010 11:42 pm • linkreport

Not you nouveau riche kids. Have a little respect for your elders for once.

Oh Sarah. Can you really not see how you've contributed to the perception of this group as hateful?

by Tina on Nov 18, 2010 11:49 pm • linkreport

@Tina ... Do you really think the 'Sarah' who posted this list is really the Sarah on the list? I'd bet this Sarah's real name is something like more like Matt or Dave or even "Buffy" ...

;)

by Lance on Nov 18, 2010 11:56 pm • linkreport

@Lance. maybe I've been fooled. don't know.

by Tina on Nov 19, 2010 12:01 am • linkreport

@Richard Layman--

It is true that Klein didn't start many (any?) of the projects that can be held up as the best things DDOT's been up to lately, but the real point here is that the people in charge of execution do matter.

One of the first things that was said when the process for the 2005 Bicycle Master Plan was beginning was that there was DC, in fact, did have a perfectly good Bicycle Plan from about a decade earlier, which had subsequently sat on a shelf gathering dust.

Similarly, both the DC Transit Expansion Alternatives Analysis (DCAA) planning, which has now evolved into the plans for the 37-mile citywide system, and the H Street streetscape project had their origins in the Tangherlini era. But since the streetcar tracks were included in the H Street streetscape after the DCAA had its scope of work, etc., defined, it became clear to many of us following the DCAA that there was absolutely no integration of these two projects. The DCAA final report called for the H Street tracks to lay fallow for 15 years or so.

This can probably be counted as a failure on Tangherlini's part. But neither Michelle Pourciau nor Emeka Moneme did anything about this either. The DCAA final report came out on Pourciau's watch, at which point it seemed like it was forgotten even before it was released.

Gabe Klein, on the other hand, understood both the potential for an extensive citywide system and the urgency to figure out what to do with the tracks that were being installed on H Street. If DDOT's actions appear to be carried out with haste, it's in large part because Klein's predecessors dropped the ball. I think he's doing an fantastic job of getting the streetcars back on track, catching up for lost time, and giving streetcars the priority they deserve. His work, though, is not done, and the streetcar project has not developed to the point where it has its own momentum. But the cases of Klein's predecessors show that it would be far from certain that the next director could keep the project moving ahead.

by thm on Nov 19, 2010 12:08 am • linkreport

So. Who instead of Klein and Tregoning? And why?

by Mike B on Nov 19, 2010 12:38 am • linkreport

If Lance is a member of the committee, and his views are in line with the committee as a whole, it's pretty damn easy to see why they get absolutely no respect on this website.

by JJJJJ on Nov 19, 2010 1:47 am • linkreport

thm -- I don't disagree with your points. The biggest thing in Gabe Klein's favor we could say is that he has a streak of the advocate in him, whereas his immediate predecessors who followed Tangherlini were more traditional bureaucrats who were uncomfortable pushing more progressive policies--and remember wrt Transportation in the city, Dan T. was an incredible innovative force compared to his predecessors.

What I should have said in an additional paragraph was something like you wrote. And in turn, projects started during the past 4 years which will come to fruition in the future.

by Richard Layman on Nov 19, 2010 5:35 am • linkreport

San Jose, California signed the petition +1 for Klein and Tregoning. :)

Found a few StreetFilms featuring DC and/or Klein (most recent films first):

http://www.streetfilms.org/dcs-dot-director-talks-transportation-freedom/

http://www.streetfilms.org/the-capitols-colossal-contraflow-cycle-track/

http://www.streetfilms.org/bikestation-at-union-station/

http://www.streetfilms.org/dc-launches-bike-sharing-program/

by Peter Smith on Nov 19, 2010 6:23 am • linkreport

I noticed that Anne-Marie Bairstow, who is listed on the post at 11:42, signed the petition. I wonder how much consultation this group actually made with its membership before firing off the letter?

Are there other listed who have signed the petition?

by William on Nov 19, 2010 6:37 am • linkreport

Just because a small group from the local blogsphere makes a big noise about keeping Gabe Klein, doesn't mean a majority of city residents are in favor- and we sure shouldn't care one iota what outside residents think about the issue. The MD and VA residents on here ought to mind their own political business- this is DC business! It is bad enough that some of you have jobs in DC but live in the suburbs and pay no DC income tax- would that we were in power to institute that commuter tax we've been longing for! Of course, that's certainly not likely anytime soon, since republicans have taken over the House and will more than likely start infringing on our home rule rights as soon as they get sworn in.

by KevinM on Nov 19, 2010 7:54 am • linkreport

@William, As I've mentioned before, the Committee of 100 is not the 'out of touch' bunch of folks David tries to paint us as. We have a range of members including Anne-Marie Bairstow ... who was apparently endorsed by GGW during her last election for ANC

Endorsed by Greater Greater Washington:

http://sites.google.com/a/annemarieforanc.org/www/anne-marieforanc

And for record, that letter was indeed vetted by the membership before publication. No not every member is going to agree with what was in it, but that's the way democratic and representational organizations work.

Now, how many regular GGW 'supporters' have I seen here questioning GGW's support of Klein and Tregoning?

by Lance on Nov 19, 2010 7:56 am • linkreport

@ KevinM: The MD and VA residents on here ought to mind their own political business- this is DC business!

Yes. And what makes you think that DC business is insulated from MD and VA business?

I work in DC, which means I travel to and from DC ten times a week. That makes it my business what happens in DC, especially regarding infrastructure.

Secondly, I'd like you to not trample on my first amendment rights, specifically, my right to petition the government.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

by Jasper on Nov 19, 2010 8:29 am • linkreport

It's well known that GGW is the darling of Ms. Treg and her corp. Treg could care less about listening to residents. Her mission is about self promotion and furthering the fundamentalism of Smart Growth. Upon close examination, the type of growth that she leads and GGW supports is actually not smart or forward looking. Both weld smug superiority and myopic views that thwart real city planning and development for DC.

by charlie on Nov 19, 2010 8:33 am • linkreport

@Lance (Nov. 18, 2:43 pm)

"She wasn't supposed to do that re-write because the Comprehensive Plan had nothing in it requiring such a re-write. She's done the re-write based on her own narrow, and skewed interpretation of what Smarth Growth is ... and NOT on the basis of anything in the Comprehensive Plan authorizing it."

From the Comprehensive Plan, Implementation Element, IM 1.3:
"The Zoning Regulations themselves need substantial revision and reorganization, ranging from new definitions to updated development and design standards, and even new zones. A major revision to the Zoning Regulations is planned for 2007-2009."

In other words, this major revision was authorized by the Comp Plan. And planned well before Ms. Tregoning was in office.

by fact checker on Nov 19, 2010 8:34 am • linkreport

@ jasper

I can't vote in MD and VA as a DC resident, and they generally don't pay attention to what residents of other states have to say. I'm saying DC should do the same, to the extent that we can, keeping in mind how Congressional representatives, especially those from MD and VA, tend to meddle in our business. You can scream all you want, says the first amendment, but that doesn't make it your business- it isn't. You're just meddling...

by KevinM on Nov 19, 2010 8:50 am • linkreport

@Lance:

"What it's opposed to is bad planning and especially planning that is not inclusive of all voices ... even if they don't know how to trigger an electronically generate form letter."

and

"The only difference I can see is that the Committee of 100 members have a collective knowledge base and expertise of many individuals from all walks of life"

and

"As I've mentioned before, the Committee of 100 is not the 'out of touch' bunch of folks David tries to paint us as."

I may be off base, but you seem to be suggesting that the CO100 is representative of DC residents, or at a minimum seeks to give a voice to those who are un- or under-represented in the city. And you may very well be right - for all the snarky comments I've made about the CO100, I don't know very much about its composition. Just so you know, my perception of the CO100 is that it is composed of upper-middle class or affluent white professionals, who mostly reside in Wards 2 and 3 (with a few in Wards 1 and 4). Regardless of the Ward, they live in upscale (or gentrified or rapidly gentrifying) neighborhoods.

Is that incorrect? Is there a significant minority presence on the CO100? Is the membership distributed evenly among the Wards? Do any of its members live east of the river? Are there any members who live in public housing? Receive other forms of government assistance (other than the home mortgage deduction)?

I obviously don't want you to provide any specific information abotu CO100 members - but some general demographics would be appreciated. You've made so much of an issue of GGW's demographics (although I think you have an incomplete picture of them), it seems only fair that you provide some of the same information about the CO100.

by dcd on Nov 19, 2010 8:54 am • linkreport

@ KevinM: I can't vote in MD and VA as a DC resident, and they generally don't pay attention to what residents of other states have to say.

That is your choice. You have rights, and you can use them as you see fit. I just choose to use my rights differently.

You can scream all you want, says the first amendment, but that doesn't make it your business- it isn't. You're just meddling...

Sure I am meddling. But that's legal and constitutionally protected. It is furthermore weird to say that the roads over which I travel to work are not my business. Without them, I have no business.

I find it generally very short-sighted to limit your interest to the politics of the jurisdiction in which you live, especially when it is as small as DC. What happens in VA and MD does influence you, especially considering that the majority of labor in DC gets done by Marylanders and Virginians. DC can not exist without "immigrant labor". Their movements and labor are your and their business.

by Jasper on Nov 19, 2010 9:03 am • linkreport

@Jasper Of course you have the right to say what you like, and to petition any government you choose. But the petition of a non-resident and non-taxpayer won't (and shouldn't) be given the same weight as one from someone who actually lives here.

by jcm on Nov 19, 2010 9:08 am • linkreport

I have to find it funny that after Alpert's breathless endorsement of Vince Gray a letter writing campaign need now be undertaken to save Tregoning and Klein...as if one could not have seen this a mile away.

Gray's base could care less about smart, or any, growth. "Confidence in our ideas" is great David, but the person you support has to pay them more than lip service. Gray will not, and it was obvious from day 1.

by Lol'z on Nov 19, 2010 9:22 am • linkreport

@ Jasper

do you get it now that someone else has said it? Of course I don't limit my interest to what happens in DC- I just don't have any influence, due to not being a citizen of MD and/or VA. Duh...

What happens in MD and VA does indeed influence me, but I can't influence what happens there to any significant extent.

by KevinM on Nov 19, 2010 9:36 am • linkreport

It seems that more DC residents want Tregoning and Klein to get the boot. Are the Ward 3 Democrats to be mocked as just a bunch of old/elitist/NIMBYs too? See the W3 Democrats' statement, from City Paper.

"Tom Smith

Chair, Ward Three Democratic Committee

Statement of Exec Board of Ward 3 Dems

On The Reappointment Of OP and DDOT Directors The Executive Board of the Ward Three Democratic Committee wishes to express its concern about recent news reports indicating you are being encouraged or are considering reappointment of Harriet Tregoning as the Director of the Office of Planning (OP) and Gabe Klein as the Director of District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Your campaign was successful largely because of your commitment to engage the community in city policy making – a sharp contrast to the way OP and DDOT have operated over the last four years.

The tenure of Ms. Tregoning at OP has been marked by her failure to engage the community in the decision-making process. Since 2007, shortly after Ms. Tregoning assumed her position, OP began a complete rewrite of the zoning code. Despite many public and private requests that ANC commissioners be included as members of the Task Force that would advise OP – and despite Ms. Tregoning’s commitment to do so – only one Commissioner was appointed to the task force and this appointment was made by a Councilmember. There have been no briefings for ANC commissioners on the zoning changes recommended by OP despite the critical role that ANC’s play in the zoning process. In contrast, the 3-year process to rewrite the Comprehensive Plan included multiple meetings for ANC commissioners and numerous regional meetings for the public.

The record indicates that there is a disconnect between what Ms. Tregoning promises and what she delivers. She has demonstrated during her tenure that she does not seek substantive public participation and that she will ignore public comment, when it does not fit her pre-conceived, but not always well-informed views.

Currently, OP is urging the Council to undo pieces of the Comprehensive Plan in order to change the historic measurement for building heights and to introduce transit oriented development throughout the city without proper planning and without engaging the public in a more formal dialogue on the implications of the proposed changes.

We think Ms. TregoningÂ’s insular style of leadership would be in conflict with the principles that you espoused during the campaign and we urge you to replace her and certainly not to elevate her to a deputy mayor position as has been rumored.

Likewise, DDOT traffic management policies under the leadership of Gabe Klein have created more road congestion throughout the city.

New lane configurations, including the introduction of bike lanes, on downtown and neighborhood streets have contributed to the increasing congestion and have created more conflicts among drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists leading to more safety risks. DDOTÂ’s attempt to create a streetcar system in the District has been exposed as deficient in planning resulting in two rejections for federal funding and an increasing fear that taxpayers will be footing an open-ended bill for what is beginning to look like a folly.

In addition, normal DDOT services, such as street repairs became political tools during the mayoral campaign, especially in Ward 3 neighborhoods, as a way to curry favor for the incumbent mayor.

Furthermore, it has also been our experience that Mr. Klein is rarely accessible to meet with neighborhood residents.

Both Tregoning and Klein have allowed their ideological leanings on growth to shape decision-making without regard to the views of neighborhood activists – and too often without even seeking input or assessing the value of the input that is provided. Although there may be some who merit consideration for reappointment in a Gray administration, the Executive Board of the Ward Three Democratic Committee believes that OP and DDOT would benefit from a new approach and new leadership."

by Bob on Nov 19, 2010 9:39 am • linkreport

Bob: Please read Jon Bender's tweets from the last 24 hours. You'll see that letter was not endorsed by the membership of the Ward 3 Democrats. It was released by the executive council of that group without consulting its membership.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 19, 2010 9:42 am • linkreport

@Fact Checker, Check your facts. A 'major revision' does not include introducing new policies ... which is what oocurred under Tregoning's and Fenty's watch.

Policies get determined in the Comprehensive Plan which gets compiled with the input of many, and then approved by the Council. The 'major revision' was supposed to have been limited to getting the regs and zones in synch with the policies already in the Comprehensive Plan. But that is not what happened. New policies were introduced wholesale ... including taking away residents rights to comment on development near their homes. As I heard someone remark, developers couldn't have done a better job of increasing their latitude at the expense of the residents if they'd written the new regs themselves ...

by Lance on Nov 19, 2010 9:53 am • linkreport

Are the Ward 3 Democrats to be mocked as just a bunch of old/elitist/NIMBYs too?

They are the EXACT sort of people I would describe as "old/elitist/NIMBYs", and the very sort of people I think of when using those terms. I mean Ward 3 Democrats, are you kidding? These are the people that throw temper tantrums when the old, crumbling Giant on Wisconsin wanted to renovate, preferring to let a lot of storefronts on that strip go vacant.

Both Tregoning and Klein have allowed their ideological leanings on growth to shape decision-making without regard to the views of neighborhood activists

"neighborhood activists" are the sort of people I am most interested in alienating or, at least, lessening the power of in favor of the people who live and work in DC.

by JustMe on Nov 19, 2010 9:58 am • linkreport

@ KevinM: I just don't have any influence

If you don't petition, you don't. True.

But you are just as free as I am to petition VA and MD politicians. Please do. Petitioning makes the government more democratic.

by Jasper on Nov 19, 2010 10:02 am • linkreport

@Geoffrey Hatchard:

yes, it helped the motoring segment of the public. instead of having to circle around some of those blocks to get from point A to point B, automobiles can now be driven more directly.

If I understand the question, I believe Lance is specifically asking how the move from one-way to two-way benefited out-of-state commuters--not DC residents. Since they make up 90% of the rush-hour traffic on the affected roads, really they're the only ones we're concerned about.

It's clear DDOT has been insufficiently responsive to the concerns of folks from MD and VA. We used to do much better in the 80s and 90s.

by oboe on Nov 19, 2010 10:02 am • linkreport

Why is GGW trying to paint the Committee of 100 as something it is not? Ask yourselves, what does David have to gain by trying to demonize the organization that has successfully for many years now advocated for the very same things he's says he's concerned about.

Since most people here began likely posting to GGW well before I did, can anyone seriously answer this particular claim? If we're honest, I think we all could agree that the current meme on CO100 is exactly what Lance just stated. Maybe he doesn't help in the way that he discusses these topics but is the history of the Committee really as presented here?

From my short time on here, it does seems as if there is a anti-automobile and anti-anyone who doesn't share GGW's vision of smart growth feel. Maybe it's the way many of the commenters and authors have presented their views?

This "interest group" pissing match has to be one of the most ridiculous exercises I've seen in a while.

Also, nonDCresidents, when you start contributing to the maintenance of DC roads, social programs and the like, then you should let your voices be heard. Despite what constitutional rights you may have, you sound like high-minded busybodies with this current approach.

by HogWash on Nov 19, 2010 10:08 am • linkreport

it does seems as if there is a anti-automobile and anti-anyone who doesn't share GGW's vision of smart growth feel.

Why wouldn't there be that feel? We believe what we believe. If we thought people with pro-sprawl, auto-centric development agendas had good ideas (and they had the run of the show for the past 50 years!), we would hold those beliefs, wouldn't we? Why should we be obligated to provide a nurturing, supportive environment for viewpoints that we believe are wrong? To take care of your sensitive feelings? You need to grow up if you came here for emotional succor of our misguided belief system.

by JustMe on Nov 19, 2010 10:14 am • linkreport

of your misguided belief system, that is.

by JustMe on Nov 19, 2010 10:15 am • linkreport

@ JustMe yeah!

by MeToo on Nov 19, 2010 10:29 am • linkreport

Lance often urges the commentariat to question whether what they read (specifically GGW) is true and unbiased. But then he turns around and demands us to trust the Cmte of 100's mission statements and judgment. With the C100, the lips are moving, but they don't match the words.

by Neil Flanagan on Nov 19, 2010 10:43 am • linkreport

@justMe, well in that sense, you are no different than what others accuse Lance of. That is, YOUR view is the ONLY view and anyone not sharing YOUR view receives no modicum of respect.

So where does that leave intellectual discourse? Nowhere really. You keep thinking that automobiles are evil and in response, people will use that attitude to justify what they accuse the "yuppie smart growth" population of.

So there! Case unsolved!

To add, I don't own a car and the last place I would look for sympathy or to protect my senstive feelings, is on a message board. Based on the comments over the past several days, GGW posters don't like to told that there ideas (and by default themselves) aren't a model of perfection.

by HogWash on Nov 19, 2010 11:04 am • linkreport

Why is GGW trying to paint the Committee of 100 as something it is not? Ask yourselves, what does David have to gain by trying to demonize the organization that has successfully for many years now advocated for the very same things he's says he's concerned about.
Since most people here began likely posting to GGW well before I did, can anyone seriously answer this particular claim?

Sure, I'll take a swing at this. It isn't helpful to say that both GGW and C100 "advocate for the very same things". After all, both the modern Republican party and the Democrats "advocate for the same things." Prosperity. Jobs. National security.

But the devil is in the details. As much as I give Lance grief around here on the points we disagree on, there are many things I agree with him on. But I'm in the GGW camp on the issue of "complete streets". It just seems obvious to me that the only way the city is going to move forward is by deemphasizing the motor vehicle as the primary focus of all transportation decisions.

The "auto-experience" in DC is as good as it's going to get. And it's only going to get worse as DC's population grows. That's the bottom line. We can either run ourselves into the ground fighting that, or we can emphasize other modes of travel. As someone pointed out up-thread, there's been a large influx of new residents over the last decade. Mostly they've come *explicitly* for the car-lite lifestyle. That's our strength.

Lance asked upthread: "What has DDOT done for *drivers* lately?" Respectfully, that's about as succinct an example of "not getting it" as anything I could ever come up with.

by oboe on Nov 19, 2010 11:04 am • linkreport

I've noticed tremendous improvements with Gabe Klein at the helm of DDOT. I like his can-do attitude. Can't say the same for Tregoning. She should go back to Maryland or find another city to carry out her doctrine.

by danley on Nov 19, 2010 11:57 am • linkreport

Can we also have a change in leadership at the office of historic preservation? The capricious approach to approvals is pathetic. One guy in particular has been there way too long and has lost a sense of the mission. Isn't historic preservation overseen by Ms. Tregoning?

by manny on Nov 19, 2010 12:04 pm • linkreport

Good for the Committee of 100. Too bad they're getting a bad rap here. Their commitment and sense of stewardship to DC is unparalleled. A very intelligent and resourceful group.

by Mary on Nov 19, 2010 12:08 pm • linkreport

This is extremely tacky on beyond agreeing with the Federal City Council it lacks respect for Vince Gray's process evaluation--who would want to be pressured in this manner. It is a bad sign to send forture employers.

by Kylie on Nov 19, 2010 12:30 pm • linkreport

Call me silly, but what qualifies Gabe Klein to be the DOT head? Sure, he has done some good for DC but I think we can do better. Much like Rhee, he lacks the experience necessary for his position.

by Snowpeas on Nov 19, 2010 1:51 pm • linkreport

@ Jasper

need I explain how things work in politics? Except in the case of suburban folks leaning on their Congressional representatives to get what they want on a local DC issue,non-residents have zero leverage or political clout with regard to jurisdictions in which they don't have a vote. A DC resident is wasting his or her time petitioning politicians in MD, VA or anywhere else. That sound you hear is those politicians laughing at you as you leave their offices.

by KevinM on Nov 19, 2010 4:00 pm • linkreport

@ KevinM: Politicians always laugh about individual citizens. Resident or not. They do care about groups of people. Especially large groups of people. Once a group is large, they can not worry about individuals anymore, because large groups can influence public opinion.

by Jasper on Nov 19, 2010 4:51 pm • linkreport

FWIW, most ANCs and neighborhood groups will never be satisfied with the level of public process on the part of the office of planning, and probably with the department of transportation too. They are always likely out for the heads of the directors. They will always have some grounds for it, OTOH, agencies like these are classic "boundary spanners" unable to satisfy all constituencies, especially around development issues.

So, regardless of the resolutions, I don't pay them much mind in terms of the policy, but I do in terms of the politics.

I had this debate with one of the people who got the agreement from A. Fenty to dump Ellen McCarthy (then director of the OP--and Ellen always hated my joke that DC doesn't have an office of planning, it has an office of land use) as part of their support for him before the primary.

I said, at the end of the day, the director of the office (and the staff) have to do what they are told, and if the executive says do X that's what they have to do. And usually that is the case around what neighborhood activists would see as pro-developer decisions.

(Note that I really learned how much this is in fact the case while working on a term appointment basis for the Baltimore County Office of Planning in FY10. IN fact, running into HT at the Room & Board grand opening, I commented about this to her, and how enlightening it was to me to have a job, even for a short time, on that side of the fence.)

I do think because of the way politics work, definitely Gabe Klein is likely to go. HT has a better shot at staying, because she has a good relationship with Mayor-elect Gray. I imagine that VG's developer friends (from Herbert Miller on down) are happy with her too. There has been talk she could be Dep. Mayor. But then, with the scary as s*** speculation that maybe Allen Lew could be dep. mayor, with John Hill as City Administrator, well, maybe she stays in her present position, if she stays.

by Richard Layman on Nov 19, 2010 5:22 pm • linkreport

@Richard, VG may have a good working relationship with HT, but he's got to know that the fundraising and serious politicking that was done for him in NW by preservationists and land use activitists ... was done as much to get rid of HT as it was to bring VG in. I.e. He'd have gotten few votes in NW if he wasn't viewed as the great gray hope to get rid of Tregoning. The folks now asking him to keep her, didn't vote for him OR help him get elected. He'd have to be a fool to keep her on.

by Lance on Nov 19, 2010 8:13 pm • linkreport

And btw, don't you find it amazing that with close to 600,000 people in this town, David hasn't managed to even break the 1,000 mark on his petition ... And most of those folks don't even live here. It's really a poor showing for a petition so widely circulated in this, the Internet age.

by Lance on Nov 19, 2010 8:17 pm • linkreport

Lance wrote: "btw, don't you find it amazing that with close to 600,000 people in this town, David hasn't managed to even break the 1,000 mark on his petition...And most of those folks don't even live here."

Most of the folks who've signed the petition are from DC, it's right there on the list. And your efforts to pooh-pooh over 700 signatures in just 24 hours is just unbelievable. Pardon me, but I've worked in politics and advocacy for over 23 years now, and that's a damned respectable number, esp. in that time frame.

You're just hurling the entire kitchen sink, loaded, at advocacy with which you disagree, instead of remaining focused on the policy differences. Wherever people might be along the spectrum of thought on those policy differences, your rhetoric has truly become unhealthful to the District's civic discourse, and again I say that regretfully as someone who has in so many instances found you to be a fun and friendly neighbor.

All the dismissiveness you've heaped upon GGW and everyone here who supports this advocacy, just makes an abject mockery of your allegations that GGW and its readers were, somehow, the ones who failed to show respect to extant civic voices.

Lance, you are a trustee of the Committee of 100, and a leader on their Transportation Committee, and a hard-working leader in the Dupont Circle Conservancy. We've agreed on some things, disagreed passionately on others, but in light of all that involvement in the community, I think it's pretty amazing the rhetorical lengths to which you're extending yourself now.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 19, 2010 8:59 pm • linkreport

@Joel, I've heard some people make the same claim about you. I told them 'no, he's just passionate in what he believes in!' :)

regarding the numbers, it's the same folks who couldn't get Fenty re-elected ... Will you at least agree to that? i.e., 700+ votes weren't enough to get Fenty re-elected, why should they be considered enough to get Gray to keep the very same people that the rest of us voters voted Gray in to office to get rid of?

Isn't that what politics is all about? I.e., the issues more than the actual people running for election?

by Lance on Nov 19, 2010 10:39 pm • linkreport

The numbers garnered are impressive. Most sigs are from DC. You made false statements to the contrary. Not interested in you yet again quickly trying to change the subject. Keep digging around the kitchen sink all you wish, Lance. I could care less about an ever-pivoting rhetorical Gatlin Gun of false statements in a comment thread; happens all the time. In your instance, however, it's coming from a Trustee of the Cmte of 100, and it's being taken as indistinguishable from a de facto org reaction.

And you wonder why ppl form certain perceptions of the Cmte?

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 4:38 am • linkreport

Most of the projects David C wrote on Nov 18, 2010 9:39 pm predate Gabe's adminstration. He came as these projects were underway. I'll give him credit for staying on top of them and more credit for aggressive bike program. Internal process actually gotten worse and waste is abundant

by Insider on Nov 20, 2010 8:34 am • linkreport

The more I think about it, the more I think this petition was a bad idea for the continued employment of Klein and Tregoning.

If you're Vince Gray, do you really want to be seen as being pressured into making cabinet appointments by a couple hundred commentators from a blog? It starts him off from a position of weakness, being seen that he couldn't appoint who he really wanted, but who the "myopic little twits," in the words of Courtland "Broken Record" Milloy, wanted put in that spot.

And if you're Vince Gray and you appoint these two, don't you risk the same sort of online backlash if you ever make any moves to limit their decisions or fire them?

For Gray, he's got to be figuring that he wants Cabinet members that are loyal and beholden to him - not to some bloggers.

My prediction has always been that Klein goes and Tregoning stays. But I wonder if this petition hasn't put Gray into the position of having to say goodbye to both of them so as to not look politically weak?

Of course, there is the continued irony in David A's endorsement of Gray on the basis of the hope that Gray would keep Rhee, Klein and Tregoning. It still eludes me why it didn't make far more sense to keep Fenty who would clearly have kept each of those three.

by Fritz on Nov 20, 2010 9:12 am • linkreport

@Fritz, David couldn't endorse Fenty because once he got to know what a good mayor was really like, it made no sense to enforse a bad one. It'll be the same once he gets to know Tregoning's and Klein's replacements.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 9:41 am • linkreport

http://bit.ly/9sG4fo

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 9:45 am • linkreport

@Fritz, You make a good point about Gray no longer having an option to keep either of these two because of this very petition. I at one point stated that if Tregoning did a mea culpa distancing herself from her boss and promising to abandon the imperial governing style of her boss which she learned to emulate only too well (like Rhee ... and like Klein), maybe she would have a chance. But I think you're correct, this has sealed her fate. How ironic.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 10:02 am • linkreport

Wait, so Gray should bow to public pressure from 153 residents, but if 796 residents (so far) want something, then he has to do the opposite?

by David Alpert on Nov 20, 2010 10:07 am • linkreport

If Gray is a good politician he'll know better than to bow to pressure from anyone. And what I think you're failing to recognize is that while you're attempting to exert pressure on him with this petition, the letter from the Committee of 100 is not excerting any kind of pressure on him at all, on the contrary, it is merely giving him substantiation for decisions he has to already know he has to make. The votes he received from NW were in large part because of the fervent desire of many to see the imperial management style of these two underlings of Fenty gone. They were and are 'Fenty'. Fritz pointed that out to you quite a while back. You yourself advocated for getting rid of Fenty for these very reasons. These two embody the worst of Fenty.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 10:47 am • linkreport

Actually, Lance, bowing to the pressure of a fanatical interest group like the Gang of 100, which is throwing a tantrum because they're upset that they are no longer considered the onlyegitimate voice of development issues in DC would make Gray look weak. The gang of 100 is lashing out in a tantum of impotent rage, and getting their heads on a platter would be a feather in their cap for them and make it appear like Gray does their bidding. It's possible that Gray would be ok with making such a display of weakness, but I highly doubt it. The Committee of 100 would have been better off if they had kept their mouths shut and stayed out of this rather than trying to make a "show of power."

by Tyro on Nov 20, 2010 11:25 am • linkreport

Lance wrote: what I think you're failing to recognize is that while you're attempting to exert pressure on him with this petition, the letter from the Committee of 100 is not excerting any kind of pressure on him at all, on the contrary, it is merely giving him substantiation for decisions he has to already know he has to make."

So we have a trustee of the Committee of 100 saying here that their letter demanding Gray fire people is not pressure, but GGW's 800-plus letter disagreeing with that demand is pressure. The C100 letter, he says, was simply providing information and input, while the GGW letter was not.

That is a very interesting outlook on democracy, advocacy, and citizen input.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 11:46 am • linkreport

Well, I agree with Lance somewhat about HT and GK and their possible "demise," not all the other stuff he has been writing

For sure, at least one of them is gonna go. I figure it is Gabe Klein for sure, because more people are seemingly enraged by the pro-sustainability agenda. Lance is absolutely right about how the deals get made with candidates wrt support in advance of an election, especially the primary.

As I said, I saw the same exact process wrt Ellen McCarthy, who was more than adequate. (She's no Harriet Tregoning however.)

But the same complaints against Ellen McCarthy are the same as made against Harriet Tregoning. Which to me indicate that the issue is one of systems and the classic dilemmas that come from being boundary spanners. (One of the most important textbooks I ever read was Social Psychology of Organizations where all of this is explained.)

But even the people who read and comment in this blog don't understand that at the root (except for the coalitions and support and money that get developed during the primaries), even C100 is pretty weak vis-a-vis the Growth Machine. That's why you have names like John Hill, Allen Lew, and even Herbert Miller being bandied about for the top positions in government.

If people haven't read ch. 4 of Dream City, and writings on the Growth Machine by Molotch (and/or writings on the urban regime by Clarence Stone), and maybe with a toe dipping read of Nimby Wars they aren't really gonna understand how things work when it comes to the governing coalition and how political and economic elites are linked.

WRT Lance's incredulity about "only" 1,000 signatures, I disagree but have a different interpretation. Sure 1,000 people is not quite 1% of the electorate for the recent election. OTOH, to get 1,000 people to do anything is a big accomplishment. Remember this petition for the most part has only been posted and promoted within this particular blog.

But OTOH/2, electronic media aren't good mechanisms for the long term, down and dirty really work. (E.g., the arguments by Malcolm Gladwell, which I somewhat agree with, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=1 .)

What's needed is a new city-wide organization and a new vision.

I had wanted to do this via a relaunched Citizens Planning Coalition (CPC was founded during the first post-Home Rule comprehensive plan process, and fought for ward plan requirements among other things, because of a confluence of personal/familial issues, after the MCI Arena issue, on which they were very active, the group went moribund), focused on placemaking and livability, with a strong research and training component, but I have never had the financial luxury to be able to focus on it.

Basically all the stuff I write about and advocate for make up the idealized agenda of such a group.

- linked transportation and land use planning paradigm
- building a local economy as the primary emphasis of an economic development agenda
- including creative economy/knowledge economy and building critical business sectors that aren't big government dependent
- developing a true local retail capacity and regime
- deliberative democracy and empowered participation, civic training capacity
- expanded rail transit as the primary economic development initiative of the city
- placemaking and livability agenda
- and yes, improving the schools, but not in the f***ed Mayor Fenty, Michelle Rhee manner

by Richard Layman on Nov 20, 2010 11:50 am • linkreport

@Joel, Let me put it in more precise terms since it doesn't sound like you understood what I wrote. The Committee of 100 letter is written by people who voted for Gray and re-iterates grievances against the current administration that were already thoroughly discussed during the campaign. The 800+ signatures are from people who voted to keep in the Fenty administration. They lost in case you missed the results. They're whining about it now and demanding that they get to keep these folks that were voted out is anything but a good show of democracy on their part.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 12:52 pm • linkreport

Thanks, Lance, trustee of the Committee of 100, for putting in writing your belief that resident input largely ends on Primary Day, and that Vincent Gray should now abandon "One City."

You're building quite an archive for advocacy by those who feel differently.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 1:00 pm • linkreport

So tell me Joel, do you think Obama kept Cheney around after the last election in order to build 'One Country'. Tregoning and Klein (and Rhee) were the 'Cheneys' of the Fenty Administration. They embodied every reason why the Fenty administration got voted out. To keep them in now, would be to reverse the results of the election. And that would be patently undemocratic ... no matter how signatures you gather from people who wish the results of the last mayoral election were different than they were ... Even if those folks are from California, or "Ward 4 in New Haven, CT" or "Anonymous Ward 3" ... I.e., this is baloney and I'm calling it as such.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 1:15 pm • linkreport

Uh, Robert Gates?

by Neil Flanagan on Nov 20, 2010 1:20 pm • linkreport

And it's sour grapes.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 1:22 pm • linkreport

Robert Gates was not Cheney. There are many fine and qualified people in the current administration who should indeed be retained.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 1:25 pm • linkreport

And sorry Neil, I meant to say "Ward 3 in New Haven, CT". How's the weather up there? Missing DC? Nice to see you're still taking an active role in influencing our politics down here. I'm originally from CT, maybe you can send me some info on what's going on up there so that I can help make influences decisions that affect you up there?

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 1:30 pm • linkreport

Thank you, Lance, for raising the analogy of cabinet member retention across sharply differing presidential administrations.

Norman Mineta was retained as Secretary of Trans...oh, sorry...Transpor...oh, I do apologize, no, I'm not laughing, it's a cold...Transport...mmmmmph...Transportation, from the Clinton to Bush administrations.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 1:32 pm • linkreport

(sorry retained FOR Sec'y of Trans for the Bush Admin, coming from Commerce in Clinton admin).

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 1:36 pm • linkreport

Norman Mineta was able to be retained because he was less controversial and an industry expert. You could not say that for Gabe Klein. His background was in the rent a car business and he clashed with people who have heavy transportation background. In a city that has the highest congestion we need someone who has an extensive knowledge of transportation. Far beyond what Gabe Klein has.

Secondly, Gabe was one of the most controversial figures picking fights with lots of councilmembers, Federal leaders and organizations. With those two given things--he would be hard to keep.

If Allen Lew is in consideration for the Office of Planning Tregoning does not compare.

And this is extremely tacky process of forcing VG 's hand.

by Kylie on Nov 20, 2010 1:41 pm • linkreport

"And this is extremely tacky process of forcing VG 's hand."

You mean the Committee of 100's preemptive letter telling Vincent Gray to fire people, woven with inaccuracies? Agree, tacky.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 1:44 pm • linkreport

Joel, the fact that a Sec'y of Transportation was held on from on fed administration to another is not analogous, because it misses the point that Rhee, Klein, and Tregoning, were each individually responsible for planning and executing policies that proved controversial to the point where people voted out Fenty.

There are many fine and qualified people who should indeed be retained.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 1:58 pm • linkreport

Lance, I'm willing to undergo extra taxation on any work-study job I take here, in order to maintain my voting registration precisely because I care about the direction that DC takes over the next three years. Now, whenever you moved in and out of DC over the past 30 years, did you change your legal residency?

by Neil Flanagan on Nov 20, 2010 1:59 pm • linkreport

I don't want to respond to Lance's accusations of fraud, but I do want to get the correction on the record, because I use my real name on the internet. Lance, I'm not going to discuss the issue any further.

by Neil Flanagan on Nov 20, 2010 2:02 pm • linkreport

Lance: So you are now arguing against the value of your own analogy, which you proffered? Your analogy, tear at it all you want, I suppose. But I get a pretty strong sense as to the level of linear thinking that infuses written product of the C100.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 2:02 pm • linkreport

@Neil, Yes, I did. Except for certain specific situations, such as being a full time student (or being in the military) the laws of most states require changing residency.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 2:04 pm • linkreport

@Joel I never offered the analogy that simply being a part of an administration means one is automatically disqualified from being held on into the next administration. That is how you incorrectly interpreted what I said.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 2:07 pm • linkreport

Lance you proactively offered up the analogy of retention across presidential administrations. You then subsequently tried to argue your analogy only via one example. There is a difference between an analogy, and an example. Your analogy, your effort at highly selective and convenient use of specific example, and finally your effort to ruin the analogy.

I find it all entertaining, the lengths to which you'll go on here to delegitimize people who simply happen to disagree with your Committee of 100's efforts to fire the few people many, many residents agreed upon.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 2:15 pm • linkreport

Joel I proactively offered up the example of retention across presidential administrations of the 'face' that characterised what so many people hated about that administration ... And I find it funny that you think 'many, many, many residents agreed upon' Rhee, Tregoning, and Klein. They're what cost Fenty his job. To the majority of the voters, they embodied the arrogance that was the Fenty administration.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 2:31 pm • linkreport

Lance's arguments are all very entertainingly ridiculous. Anyway, if we're talking analogies to the Bush cabinet, the analogue of Dick Cheney is obviously Peter Nickles.

by David Alpert on Nov 20, 2010 2:37 pm • linkreport

Yes, exactly, you offered up an analogy on the condition only your example and your context held merit. Cute. And now you tossed in Rhee. Did you think I wouldn't notice that? We're talking about the Committee's letter, that's what I referenced, and it's about HT and GK. Please, spin all you want, but don't speak for me. For the record: I do believe I recall being aware she was controversial LOL.

Unbelievable now the rhetorical lengths to which you'll go, as a trustee of the Committee of 100, to gun for the heads of two effective people that many, many residents agree were doing a great job.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 2:38 pm • linkreport

Joel, Sorry you don't apparently realize that in their respective areas, Tregoning and Klein are as controversial as Rhee was in her.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 3:13 pm • linkreport

It is clear that is your reaction to their good works, you're a trustee of the Committee of 100, and we're seeing strong indications that many, many people do not concur with that view.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 3:15 pm • linkreport

Rhee, Tregoning, and Klein. They're what cost Fenty his job. To the majority of the voters, they embodied the arrogance that was the Fenty administration.

With all due respect, Mr. Salonia, Harriet Tregoning didn't do anything for a majority, plurality, or even a coterie of voters. If you could have found enough voters on September 14th with an opinion of Ms. Tregoning to form a flag football team, I'd have given you a big cookie.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 20, 2010 4:54 pm • linkreport

Mr. Hatchard, I agree it wasn't a 'majority', but you know those folks in the so-called 'Fenty' areas of the District who didn't vote for Fenty ... but instead voted for Gray? Well that was us. And we were in the 'Gray' areas too, giving him a supermajority in those areas of town.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 6:48 pm • linkreport

Who is trying to live in the past, in a done-and-gone campaign cycle, now? Lance, as a trustee of the Committee of 100, is unfortunately trying to stoke the divisions in the city. In fact, as we all know, this blog endorsed Vincent Gray. Many of the people I recognize as sigs were divided between the two candidates. As Vincent Gray is tasked with making his messages of collaboration and "One City" a reality, after a very divisive campaign cycle, I'm actually encouraged that an activist and blog that endorsed Gray is attracting people across old political opinions, in support of two excellent public servants who placed goals far above divisions.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 7:20 pm • linkreport

Joel, Well said ... and let's not jeapordize the delicate vision of "One City" by keeping in place two of the most divisive lieutenants of the Fenty administration. Let's ask them to leave, assuming they don't have the good sense of Rhee and just leave on their own, and go forward with replacement people looking to embody the "One City" idea and heal separation wounds rather than cause them.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 8:37 pm • linkreport

That's one way to look at it.

There are at least 820 or more other ways to look at it however.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 9:48 pm • linkreport

But again, in the scheme of things, 820 whiny sore loosers doesn't mean much ... The people voted.

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 11:14 pm • linkreport

@Richard Layman/Contrarian/Insider, my list above was not meant to be a list of what Klein has done. It was merely to answer the question - and the claim underlying it - about what DDOT had done for drivers lately. I'm pretty sure you're making a different point, but I wanted to be clear just in case. I think a better idea of where Gabe Klein is coming from is to look at the action agenda, which also involves several things designed to make driving better.

@Contrarian, there may be better alternatives to Klein. Who are they? Can you get them to take the job at the salary offered? What is the transaction cost of changing to that person and is it worth that cost?

@Snowpeas, Call me silly, but what qualifies Gabe Klein to be the DOT head? Sure, he has done some good for DC but I think we can do better. First of all, you're silly (you asked me to). Second, you're question is more appropriate before we hire him. Now we don't have to ask that. We can look at the job he's done and then make a call as to whether he's done it well or not. So I'll throw the question back, where specifically has he seemed not up to the job? Finally, as I asked above who would be a better choice?

by David C on Nov 20, 2010 11:19 pm • linkreport

Speaking of which, does anyone know when an annoucement with the new appointees traditionally occurs? E.g., When did Fenty make his announcements? Did he keep on most appointees from Williams ... or not?

by Lance on Nov 20, 2010 11:26 pm • linkreport

"But again, in the scheme of things, 820 whiny sore loosers doesn't mean much."

Lovely. We have a trustee of the Committee of 100 engaging in debased name calling now. I'm hoping your colleagues and org leadership believe such statements have no place in a public forum. We'll see. If they do, however, the only thing debased is a proud old history and reputation from good fights long ago. Sad.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 20, 2010 11:34 pm • linkreport

I do think because of the way politics work, definitely Gabe Klein is likely to go

definitely likely? :)

i was thinking they're both likely to stay -- highly likely, now.

there are a few reasons, but mainly because of the performance of both Klein and Tregoning -- they've both been good-to-great, and that's the simple, straightforward reason why they're both most likely to stay, and Tregoning to be promoted.

talking 'politics' -- which i find boring, borderline absurd -- Vince would look weak if he were to dismiss them -- as if they'd grown too powerful and no longer had to answer to their boss -- these folks aren't power-hungry solo artists -- they take orders and follow them, first -- and they get after it -- they're tenacious.

Some political elites in the city are angry, essentially, that Klein and Tregoning did stuff -- they didn't just sit in their chairs and collect salaries and accept the status quo -- they actually did work, made positive/proactive changes to make the city better, etc. some people don't like that kind of stuff - they have personal vendettas against city officials - it's petty, but it happens all the time - they want scalps, but they're not likely to get these, imo.

also, Vince doesn't seem like a weakling to me -- he's not afraid -- he can handle his business -- and i'm guessing he has things he wants to work on -- he doesn't want to spend the next few months finding new personnel, trying to get them hired, subjecting them and himself to scrutiny, etc. For all these reasons and more -- including convincing arguments from GGW and hundreds of local residents and workers, and people around the US who signed that well-argued petition -- Klein and Tregoning are likely to stay.

also, on the politics front, it's important to pressure whoever is in charge. that's just common sense. even if your person lost the election -- you don't just quit -- you don't just give up -- you keep working. if you quit, you guarantee that your voice won't be heard. if you continue working, though, continue pressuring even the guy you didn't vote for, there's a chance he might listen to you. so, guaranteed defeat vs. a chance you might be heard and achieve victory -- for those who want a better world, the choice is clear.

by Peter Smith on Nov 21, 2010 12:01 am • linkreport

@Peter, Aren't you out in California? How do you know whether they've done a good job or not? What is your connection to DC?

by Lance on Nov 21, 2010 12:07 am • linkreport

Almost immediately after he won the 2006 Dem Primary, Fenty convened a meeting at the Convention Center for real estate developers, stunning his populist supporters.

He then made DDOT head Dan Tangherlini his City Administrator, and Tangherlini lobbied for Tregoning, who does not have a planning background, and Ellen McCarthy (a C-100 member) was pushed out. [She seems to have rebounded nicely and is at Nixon-Peabody--and probably making a lot more money than she was at OP.]

Neil Albert (who was heading up an education non-profit called EdBuild with Victor Reinoso) returned after his 15 minutes in the private sector to become the head of "Planning" and Economic Development, and was pulled from that hotseat when he replaced Tangherlini as Deputy Mayor.

Valerie Santos is now the head of DMPED. She makes Gabe Klein look like a potential Nobel Prize winner in comparison.

by Filling in the blanks on Nov 21, 2010 12:12 am • linkreport

"Tregoning, who does not have a planning background..."

Sorry to interrupt the anonymous nasty mud slinging, inaccurate to boot, but
Tregoning was in planning for the state of MD, incl at cabinet level.

by Joel Lawson on Nov 21, 2010 7:23 am • linkreport

Mr. Salonia: You honestly believe that people in the parts of town that voted overwhelmingly for Gray (which is where I live) considered Harriet Tregoning when making their choice?

I will guarantee you that she was not a deciding factor for a single person in my precinct, whether they voted for Gray or Fenty. Not a one. It's fair for you to bring up Rhee as a factor, but Ms. Tregoning had zero to do with the margin or narrative of this race. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Please, no need to create elaborate conspiracy theories here. Occam's Razor would clearly favor my analysis in the above paragraph to yours.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 21, 2010 11:58 am • linkreport

From the DC OP website:

"TregoningÂ’s academic training is in engineering and public policy. She was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design for 2003-2004."

http://www.planning.dc.gov/planning/cwp/view,A,3,Q,639782,planningNav,%7C32384%7C.asp

by Filling in the blanks on Nov 21, 2010 12:15 pm • linkreport

@GH, You might want to reread what I wrote. I never made the claim you are attributing to me .

by Lance on Nov 21, 2010 12:30 pm • linkreport

Also from the DC OP website:

served Governor Glendening as both secretary of planning and then as the nation's first state-level cabinet secretary for Smart Growth

by Joel Lawson on Nov 21, 2010 12:39 pm • linkreport

I.e,I know Rhee was the main reason there, but Gray votes there also from others concerned about planning issues .... giving him a super majority there. ps many 100 members live i these wards including the president which proceeded Clark.

by Lance on Nov 21, 2010 12:42 pm • linkreport

The Loeb Fellowship is a mid-career program that is designed to acquaint professionals with current academic perspectives and impart some doses of reality on students.

In order to get a Loeb Fellowship, you actually have to be pretty respected in your field. She did not just graduate from the GSD, they probably invited her to teach there.

by Neil Flanagan on Nov 21, 2010 1:30 pm • linkreport

"they probably invited her to teach there"

Andy Altman was also a Loeb Fellow while he was Director of Planning for Oakland before he came to DC OP. Former (very briefly) DDOT Director Michelle Pourciau (now VP of Transportation, McKissack & McKissack) was also a Loeb Fellow. Don't know about McCarthy other than she has a Master's in City Planning from Harvard.

by Filling in the blanks on Nov 21, 2010 2:10 pm • linkreport

Nonetheless, Filling in the blanks wrote: "Tregoning, who does not have a planning background..."

When in fact, prior to her arrival in DC, Tregoning did have a background in planning, according to the very same source FiB cited:

"served Governor Glendening as both secretary of planning and then as the nation's first state-level cabinet secretary for Smart Growth"

And yet you continue to try and hack away at her credentials. I mean, is there no value placed on veracity any longer, in civic discourse? If you don't like something a city official has done, fine; if you disagree they should remain based on some policy disagreements, fine. But from where in God's name does this utter disrespect for the truth come?

by Joel Lawson on Nov 21, 2010 2:28 pm • linkreport

Probably the poster in question is a disgruntled ex-OP employee or someone else with a personal grudge against Tregoning. No need to give them any more oxygen.

by Phil on Nov 21, 2010 2:49 pm • linkreport

@Filling in the blanks' description of Valerie Santos is priceless! She is without doubt one of the worst top-level appointments made by Fenty.

Regarding Tregoning's credentials, from what I've heard - and from what the C100 specifically referenced in their letter - wasn't that she wasn't qualified to be director of Planning; it's her attitude and her supposed disregard of others' input. Now, whether that's accurate or not, I have no idea. But it was her supposed disregard of any idea other than her interpretation of Smart Growth that was the reason to not keep her on, not her credentials.

by Fritz on Nov 21, 2010 2:55 pm • linkreport

You're correct Fritz. It's Klein who's described in the letter as being unqualified for his position. That may be what confused people.

by Lance on Nov 21, 2010 3:12 pm • linkreport

Tom Coumaris has posted an observation in response to David's question Why doesn't the Committee of 100 adore the zoning update? that I think is worth posting here so that it doesn't get overlooked ...

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/8186/why-doesnt-the-committee-of-100-adore-the-zoning-update/#comment-77756

by Lance on Nov 21, 2010 4:25 pm • linkreport

As a non-DC resident, I was offended by Tom Coumaris's criticism of "carpetbaggers." Especially when he seems to exclude from his criticism Committee of 100 members who live and are politically active outside DC, such as Jenny Sue Dunner and Patty Nicoson (to choose as examples people who I have differing degrees of agreement with).

by Ben Ross on Nov 21, 2010 5:32 pm • linkreport

"Regarding Tregoning's credentials... wasn't that she wasn't qualified to be director of Planning;"

Thanks, Fritz. It's a refreshing change to see someone who is actually able to (correctly) read and respond in a civil manner, as I attempted to do regarding Lance's 11:20pm post from yesterday.

While I personally disagree with the C-100's choice of forums in which to air its grievances on these appointments, it is the group's prerogative to do so, as well as its responsibility to take the heat from such actions. That's what politics (and these are political appointments in the purest sense) is all about.

And if Harriet is appointed City Administrator, I'll be sure to advise her that we have a fabulous candidate to head up a new "Drama Queen" Dept. for DC. %^)

by Filling in the blanks on Nov 21, 2010 7:22 pm • linkreport

@Lance Giving a few bucks to a bicycle club doesn't cut it. Do you even know the number of bucks we're talking about? It's several million dollars. That is more than a few. This is pretty much the standard way that bicycle education is handled, BTW.

by David C on Nov 21, 2010 8:54 pm • linkreport

@David C, That's a good start for those folks that are part of that bicycle club, but what about all the folks who aren't in that bicycle club ... and what about the drivers and the pedestrians? Are you saying that the bicycle club is handling all that too? If so, as a driver, pedestrian, and cyclist, I certainly haven't seen anything on it ... No ads in the local papers ... No television commercials ... Nothing in the mail with my car's registration renawal .. Noting ... zip ... nada ... So what has the bicycle club been doing with the serveral million dollars they were given?

by Lance on Nov 21, 2010 9:18 pm • linkreport

Mr. Salonia: Why do you have to be so derisive and use the phrasing "the local bicycle club"? The organization you're speaking of has a name, WABA, and is not a club, but an advocacy organization. You would do well to not look down your nose at every little thing you don't agree with. If they're a club, than the Committee of 100 is a clique.

by Geoffrey Hatchard on Nov 21, 2010 10:02 pm • linkreport

Lance, you don't have to be a member of WABA to take the classes. And when they go to schools to teach kids about biking, they obviously aren't members. Teaching drivers and pedestrians is done through StreetSmart, which is going on right now and is not managed by WABA. Certainly you've seen the billboards? Do you have an example from another state or city of the kind of education you'd like to see.

Ads in papers? Really? Do you think that is how education happens?

I for one would love to see more driver education. Mandatory retesting. I'd like to see every driver take the confident city cycling class before being able to get a driver's license. I'd like to see more drivers forced to take defensive driving classes instead of getting tickets. But that isn't DDOT's fault.

While we're at it, where is your proof that a lack of education about the new cycling infrastructure is causing problems? Certainly you have some numbers you can cite - or are you just making stuff up.

Also, it isn't millions of dollars. I don't know how much it is. I said that to see if you even have an idea of how much it is. You clearly don't, but you're willing to claim that it's a paltry amount.

I admire your ability to never be embarrassed.

by David C on Nov 21, 2010 10:49 pm • linkreport

From a WSJ article today (emphasis mine):

Next year, Dr. Pucher will deliver a study, financed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, of cycling and urban transportation in nine cities: New York, Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Minneapolis.

"All of these cities, without a single exception, are doing more than New York," Mr. Pucher said. "They have better and more promotional programs. They have more training and education programs. They have infinitely better bike-mass transit integration, and better enforcement."

by David C on Nov 22, 2010 12:13 am • linkreport

And I admire your ability to make up facts and budgets on the fly ... Just like DDOT in the streetcar plans they provided in response to an inquiry from Council. Tell me, do you happen to work for DDOT?

by Lance on Nov 22, 2010 12:16 am • linkreport

That wall street journal article is interesting -- I didn't know NYC's bike injury/death numbers were up. And, honestly, I'd tend to be pretty dismissive of training/education programs -- I'd generally favor infrastructure spending/efforts. Maybe time for a rethink!

Still, the 'doing more' statement from Pucher sounds misleading -- doing more on education and whatever else? Sure. But just 'doing more'? Seems dubious. It does seem to me like NYC is either the #1 or #2 bike town in the US -- does that comport with every other city in the US is 'doing more' than NYC?

Look at all the cycletracks and reclaimed pedestrian spaces in NYC -- they're game-changers -- models for the US and other cities around the world.

But, I'd be down with using more objective, results-oriented measures of who is 'doing more' -- we can talk number of miles of bike lanes, cycletracks, sharrows, amount of bike parking (maybe using percentages), laws and regulations, and most importantly -- bicycle mode share and bicycle injury and death rates, and the relative rates of change of those rates. For instance, just because Portland might be 'doing more' than NYC doesn't tell us about Portland having a 30-year head start on 'doing more' -- so hopefully the report speaks to rates of change, too.

But those death/injury statistics are scary. I do wonder how much it has to do with enforcement. Lots of cops, like lots of drivers, hate bikers, but I think a strong case could be made that the level of cop hatred for bikers in NYC is on another level (Critical Mass lawsuits, retaliation, etc.) -- maybe drivers feel even more free to kill in NYC than they do in other cities around the US?

But leave it to the WSJ to cite the increase in the number of NYC cyclists slaughtered by cars this year, and then go on to detail a story of a little kid getting run over by...a cyclist -- as if there was a shortage of cars killing and maiming kids or something.

by Peter Smith on Nov 22, 2010 1:07 am • linkreport

@ David C

I'm curious- why would you have "...every driver take the confident city cycling class before being able to get a driver's license"? Surely there is some better way to ensure that drivers have sufficient awareness of cyclists rights on the roads, if that is your aim?

by KevinM on Nov 22, 2010 8:23 am • linkreport

Lance, which facts have I made up on the fly? (other than the one I did intentionally to see if you know what you're talking about)

Peter Smith, NYC is not #1 or #2. They are #43 in bike commuting for instance. They aren't even #1 in New York State. LAB ranks them at Bronze, which puts them in a tie for #9 with about 40 other cities. So I don't know by which measure you'd rank them #1 or #2.

KevinM, the reasons for requiring a CCC class before getting a license, and I'm thinking more of young drivers, is to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the road on a vehicle that is less likely to kill AND ensuring sufficient awareness of cyclists rights. So maybe a young driver would get take a CCC class as part of the process to getting a learner's permit. I suppose some people would be physically unable to bike, but capable of driving, and for them some sort of classroom based class could substitute.

by David C on Nov 22, 2010 9:46 am • linkreport

Peter Smith, NYC is not #1 or #2. They are #43 in bike commuting for instance. They aren't even #1 in New York State. LAB ranks them at Bronze, which puts them in a tie for #9 with about 40 other cities. So I don't know by which measure you'd rank them #1 or #2.

Didn't want to tangent this discussion - I'm sure we'll debate it when Pucher's study is out, but this is why I made a big deal about 'rate of cycling mode share change' -- NYC went from '0-to-60' in a shorter time span than probably any city in the history of the world. And, like DC, NYC holds a special place in the hearts/minds of Americans -- it's biking 'mind share' is huge -- so when you think of the craziest, scariest, fastest, most horrible-est streets/taxis/traffic in America, you think only one place -- NYC -- or, at least you used to.

And when you think of 'Livable Streets' and cycletracks (the absolute bane of existence for people who hate bikers/livability/sustainability/equality/etc.) and innovative and bold bicycle infrastructure and 'bikes-in-buildings' and 'strict liability'-type legislation, you think NYC. NYC is the home of Streetsblog and Streetfilms and JSK, probably the most progressive/responsible/decent/aggressive-for-livability DOT commissioner in the history of American cities.

When we think of 'pedestrianized spaces' and bringing in Gehl-like consultants to add force to the arguments for pedestrians and bikers, we think of NYC. NYC has Zozo and 'cycle chic' and it was once the home of 'the daredevil bicycle messenger guy'/Quicksilver, but now there are women and bakfiets taking to the streets of NYC in record numbers.

When you think of efforts to win congestion pricing and the criminality and cruelty of interfering state governments, you think of NYC. When you think of urban planning fights, when citizen activists took on the most powerful men in the world, you think of bike rider, Jane Jacobs, and NYC.

And when we look at pure numbers, I suspect they would look pretty astounding. For instance, in bike miles striped and cycletrack miles, NYC probably already leads every US city (I didn't check the numbers), and if not yet, they probably will soon. If NYC hits 1% bike mode share, they'd probably have more bikers on the streets every day than the next 5 biggest US cities combined. Bike/pedestrian crowding on some NYC bridges is forcing advocates to talk seriously about taking bridge road space away from cars -- like they did in Vancouver recently.

The home of the Bicycle Film Festival and David Byrne, rocker/biker/celeb/bike advocate, and Matthew Modine, the New York Times, and Madison Avenue/Advertising/PR/Marketing in America -- if biking happens in NYC, it will reverberate throughout the country and throughout the world -- and it has/is.

There's a case to be made! :)

by Peter Smith on Nov 22, 2010 3:24 pm • linkreport

@ David C

That is carrying things too far! What if someone just has no interest in bicycling, regardless of their physical ability? Would you go to the opposite extreme, and require all bicyclists to take motor vehicle driving lessons, even if they have no desire to learn to drive? And where would you draw the age line? Sounds ridiculous to me...

by KevinM on Nov 22, 2010 6:29 pm • linkreport

KevinM, how is it taking things too far? The CCC course takes 2 hours. 6 hours if you take part 1 and 2. I seem to recall spending at least 40 hours in driver's ed class. I'm just talking about adding it to the beginning of that. As for age, I might add it to the GRAD program which is required of anyone under 21 who wants a learner's permit. I hardly see how that is excessive.

I would not require all cyclists to take motor vehicle lessons because riding a bike does not require as much skill or maturity (that's why we let 5-year olds bike, but we don't let them drive. It's why we require drivers to be licensed and it's why we test drivers). It is not reversible.

@Peter Smith, NYC went from '0-to-60' in a shorter time span than probably any city in the history of the world. Sorry, the numbers don't back that up. NYC is bigger, but it is not better. I would take DC toe-to-toe with NYC on a per capita basis any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

by David C on Nov 22, 2010 10:11 pm • linkreport

whoops, wrong link

by David C on Nov 22, 2010 10:13 pm • linkreport

I am here to eat Humble Pie! :)

So, Klein got fired, but Tregoning was kept on -- that makes me about 50/50.

I admit that my 'confidence' included a bit of bravado -- aka, 'trying to pump up the troops,' but i'm glad we stuck by Klein. 1,000+ signatures, _lots_ more people know about Klein and his work, now, editorials by the Washington Post, and just a tremendous amount of attention/pressure now on Vince Gray to appoint someone who can compare to Klein (somehow). I didn't think Gray would want to start in a hole with the city's movers and shakers, but now he has to own it -- should make things interesting.

I do think it's a terrible loss for DC to see Klein go, b/c advancing bike policy/infrastructure is extremely tough, but we'll keep the pressure up.

by Peter Smith on Dec 18, 2010 11:29 pm • linkreport

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