Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tomorrow's DC special Ward 5 election

I am not in touch enough with the Ward 5 City Council candidates to say whether or not I support any one candidate.

The "progressives" have lined up behind Kenyan McDuffie (Frozen Tropics,  GGW).

But yesterday's Post had a Q&A ("Ward 5 candidates' views on transportation, safety, development") with the leading candidates on a number of issues including transportation, and it was sad to see the pathetic responses.

I just don't understand why people running for City Council don't know what cities stand for and don't "reflexively" support "urban" positions.

From the Post piece:


 Q: Would you support doubling the city’s $35 residential parking permit fee to encourage more residents to take public transportation and free up more parking in residential areas? 

A: McDuffie, Wilds, Hunter, Hubbard and Day all oppose the idea. 

 Q: Do you agree with the city’s plan to build a 37-mile, $1 billion streetcar network? If so, how would you pay for it? 

 A: Day wants the streetcar plan “scrapped” until a new, comprehensive transportation plan for the city is developed. McDuffie and Hubbard support streetcars but wouldn’t make it a priority until other programs, such as affordable housing, are better funded. Wilds would support streetcars only if all the money comes from the federal government or through a regional partnership with Maryland and Virginia. Hunter said the streetcars are a “good investment” and require continued funding.

Q: Do you support continued taxpayer investment to expand the number of Capital Bikeshare stations? 

 A: Hunter said yes. McDuffie and Hubbard said only after other spending priorities, such as affordable housing, are met. Wilds said no because he worries that stations are “cluttering up sidewalks.” Day said he would not support additional funding until a broader transportation vision for the District was in place. “Adding bike share stations to certain parts of Ward 5 is a moot point because they are mostly seniors and not going to ride them,” Day said. 

Frankly, I can't blame Republican candidate Tim Day for wanting a "broader transportation vision" (or "plan") for the city before making specific decisions. I've been advocating a not dissimilar point for 5 or more years.

Anyway, I ran into a friend of mine, who has donated money and is supporting McDuffie (we both have firsthand experience with the corruption in Ward 5) and I complained about the pathetic statements in the Post, and he said what choice is there really?, it's ward 5 (and historically the choices there have really sucked) so it's about the best we can get.

Vote.  I guess.

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