WAMU has some more reporting on TGCB 2013 and this brings Mayor Gray into the mix
To the Gray administration, the District Department of Transportation and a historic African-American church, changes to the proposed design of the M Street cycle track represent a win-win compromise. To cycling advocates and bike commuters, the move to turn a protected cycle track into a regular bike lane for less than one block is a blow to public safety.
In a win-win, no one is saying they lost. By definition, you can't have a one-sided win-win .
The Gray administration, however, is not inclined to pressure DDOT to change the cycle track design again. While expressing a willingness to talk to bicycling advocates about their concerns, Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said DDOT’s new design represents the right compromise.
Emphasis above mine. Does that mean that the Gray administration doesn't want to pressure DDOT again, or that they don't want DDOT to change it again?
“We think that it is a balanced approach to addressing the needs of both the bicycling community and of a historic and historically significant D.C. church. You have to understand this church is over 150 years old,” Ribeiro said.
I guess I'm not getting what the age of the church has to do with the price of eggs in Morocco? No one is talking about knocking the church down or even changing the color of it's door frame. It's a cycle-track, across the street. Would things be different if the church were only 20 years old? If so, why?
In an interview with WAMU 88.5, the pastor Rev. Ronald Braxton said the original DDOT design would have been disruptive to the church’s functions.
“The original proposal was to put a bike lane across the street from the church and there would be no parking and would eliminate a travel lane,” said Rev. Braxton.
This is inaccurate. There was always parking on M Street, even on the side with the cycletrack and DDOT had several plans that included special Sunday parking - in the cycletrack (an accommodation that no one else in the city gets. If MAME is worried they're being treated differently because they're a church, they're right. They're being treated better).
“The church didn’t want the bike lane, period. The bicycling community wanted it and it didn’t seem to matter to them that it would eliminate a travel lane.”
I like how they didn't want it "Period" - as in without any concerns for cyclists or transportation or safety etc... - but it's cyclists who seemed unconcerned with the needs of others, because they did not care that it eliminated a travel lane.
“There is a major demand for traffic flow to go from one end to the next. There is a major demand for parking. I think some have reduced the whole issue to parking and the issue is larger than parking,” he added.
Met. A.M.E. spends about $25,000 per year so its congregants can use nearby parking garages, Rev. Braxton said. “The issue is larger than parking.”
Is this the First Church of Auto Mobility or what? Why are they so concerned with the number of travel lanes? If it's not about parking, then it seems that MAME is getting awful involved in something that has almost no impact on them.
When asked if he would be willing to sit and talk with DDOT again, he responded, “I think we’ve done that.”
After one has complained bitterly (and erroneously) about not being talked to about this project, the Christian thing to do is to abruptly decide that you're done talking to others and listening to others. As Jesus said "Blessed are those who stop discussions once they've gotten theirs. They surely know when to walk away, and know when to run."