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ahh, but it's also lazy of commenters (I am not referring to you) in Washcycle and GGW in particular to believe that these things are happening because Mayor Fenty is a triathlete.

Ironically, I believe his interest in cycling is comparable to President Bush's--it's personal, and doesn't really translate to policy. E.g., he can get a heater installed in an outdoor swimming pool, but the city doesn't have a master plan for parks and recreation services and facilities.

Most of the changes that are being done in the biking realm have been in the works for many years. After all, the DC Bicycle Master Plan was created in 2004. And the bus shelter contract was signed in 2005 (this included a provision for bicycle sharing).

The only thing happening now that is outside of the original planning framework is cycletracks. Cycletracks have been being pursued since at least 2007 (I know that Councilmember Wells was promoting them for M Street SE/SW starting back then. But that was only one such thing). And they were raised in the context of the Pennsylvania Avenue SE Great Streets planning too--I think in 2006. It's arguable that Mayor Fenty had anything to do with it.

Sustained high speeds are one goal for training, but other goals to make you faster are interval and sprint workouts. These can be integrated into a commute a lot easier--the Swedes call it 'fartlek' or speed play. An all-out sprint should leave little left after only 30 revolutions, which doesn't take that much road. For sustained high speed training, I'd check out the National Arboretum.

I'd add that the city is still spending a far larger share of transportation on car related things.

So Fenty rides a bike. Well Fenty DOES drive too, so should we all whine that all this money is going to roads?

Apart from the Jaffe article weirdness, and whether it's "Under Fenty" or not, or whether cycletracks on Penn Ave really mean that "D.C. could become the cycling capital city of the country," my answer is YES! I'm SO ready!

(and I do agree that the bike-friendliness of Gabe Klein & Harriet Tregoning certainly helps)

I think you are correct that Fenty's cycling has had little if anything to do with the city's initiatives to improve bicycling infrastructure under his administration -- at least not directly. But we should still give him credit for hiring progressive transportation and planning officials (and backing them up in the face of opposition). In fact, I would argue that his reelection is critical to the prospects for sustaining the progress on bicycling facilities. A lot of people I respect (e.g. Richard Layman) have criticized Fenty harshly (and in some cases, persuasively). The question, though, is whether someone like Vincent Grey would hire people like Gabe Klein and give them free rein. I seriously doubt it. Likewise, people who have complaints about Fenty on other grounds (giving contracts to his fraternity buddies, etc.) should ask themselves whether the alternatives to Fenty would be an improvement.

Yeah, despite my occasional grumbling, DDOT is pretty responsive to cyclists right now. It's easy to imagine that a new administration/director would be a step back for cyclists.

Casey Anderson does make a good point. Would other candidates likely hire people like Harriet Tregoning and ideally Janette Sadik-Khan or, surprisingly, Gabe Klein, to run those key agencies?

Probably not.

But sadly these appointments are outliers in terms of the other appointments that Mayor Fenty has made, e.g., attorney general, city administrator, deputy mayor, schools, etc.

I guess we should be thankful for what we have. (Then again, as a critic, my "job" is to criticize. It's the "job" of people like Mayor Fenty to be cheerleaders. At least the way they define the job.)

And even though DDOT is allowed to do a decent job, DC's executive branch approach to WMATA is pretty pi** poor (mostly they care about who has the top job and getting WMATA to move their headquarters from downtown).

We're damned if we do, damned if we don't.

But note the posts I had last weekend about a set of questions by advocates, concerning sustainable transportation issues, that I wish that the advocacy groups would produce and use for the 2010 election cycle.

Richard: The election materials were very helpful. I have been thinking about this but had yet to get my act together to draft anything, so your post came at just the right time. I have talked to ACT about adding some bike questions to their candidate survey this year, and I think it is quite likely that WABA will do a candidate questionnaire.

I had talked to Eric G. about this a few weeks ago, when I was at the WABA office.

For weeks I had been avoiding doing those entries, because I am a "govt. employee" if only with a term appointment.

But not seeing anything, and the issue's growing importance, I decided to do the post anyway.

Was the previous Williams administration anti-cycling?

No. Williams was fine. It's been no change in my opinion. The bigger factor has been the DDOT director. Tangherlini, Moneme and Klein have all been pro-bike, but Klein has been willing and able to do more (and has the advantages of the groundwork the others laid).

I'm training for some distance cycling, as well. Is there any reason not to bike on Hain's Point? (So far I've only been riding indoors or on the Mt. Vernon trail.)

No. Hain's Point is great. I was just giving an alternative.

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