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#3 is something that people can be quick to forget, yet it's the most important driver of change. While it used to be practical to live 25 miles outside the city and drive to work, population growth and the impossibility of a road infrastructure that can support it with cars, has changed where people want to live. This is responsible for people moving back into cities in the last 20 years more than anything else, and that trend will only continue as populations continue to grow.

I'm not saying there's no point in aggressively pursuing policies that move things along faster, but don't ever fool yourself that it's the policies that drive the change. The policies are a reflection of an increasing public need to get from point A to point B when cars no longer do the trick.

Gray's no fool, and while I think Gabe Klein has made some missteps, I also think that we could do a lot worse. I honestly think that with Gray and Gabe Klein would be a potent and effective package -- much more so than Fenty and Klein had been. I love Gabe Klein's vision and initiative, but I think he's been dogged by inadequate planning and cohesiveness in the way things are implemented. We should have taken more time to see how some of the new bike infrastructure has been working, and using that information to help guide other projects, rather than pushing on like a juggernaut no matter what. The parking meter situation is crazy, there are something like five different pilot programs, at least two different kinds of multi-space meters, confusing rules that change frequently. Speed bumps are out of control, they seem to be installed at anyone's behest with no analysis or process. And so on.

I am sure Gabe Klein has learned from his mistakes, but I also think that his vision and enthusiasm would be exploited better if it were tempered with the reflection and analysis that I believe Gray will bring.

Today's Examiner has a cartoon that again references the Fenty bike lane issue.

This is a good write-up, WashCycle. I would say, however, that even if he gets rid of Klein, that doesn't mean the changes put through are dead as well. I see this as comparable to the Michelle Rhee situation in some ways - Fenty campaigned as the reformer, and her as his appointed superstar, but any kind of reform isn't so effective if it relies on one specific person to be there, is it? With the schools, 100% of the reforms put through were started under the previous administration (and, incidentally, many were opposed by Fenty as a councilmember...) - I think it's very similar with bicycles.

Fenty's arrogance was on the brink of creating resistance to anything he proposed. Things like bike lanes, which aren't really too controversial with DC residents, would have been tarred by association as a Fenty initiative.

I think Gray's election means that there is still potential to move forward on more and better bike lanes. He's open to well reasoned proposals, and this is a cheap venture -- critical, since Fenty blew all the District's financial reserves.

It is telling to me that Fenty lost in his own ward. In the primary he won to get into office, he got 68% of Ward 4 Dems to vote for him, this time, he got 39%. That's a stunning difference, and you really don't need to look any further than this article to know why:


I decided not to vote for Gray a few years ago when he decided oppose specific fines for blocking bike lanes - "without further study".

I get the feeling we'll hear phrases like that a lot over the next four years.

(A $65 fine did eventually pass, which is only $15 more than double parking and at least $35 less than is common in other major cities. That measure was sponsored by CM Cheh, who went on to endorse Gray in this election.)

On Bike to Work Day this year Fenty said he wants DC to be a city where anyone can ride a bike anywhere, anytime. I'm not happy that DC is now a city where bikes will be tolerated as long as they don't get in the way of real traffic.

I don't think DC will suddenly rescind the progress we've made over the last few years, but in his last job Gray has already been an obstacle to car-and-bus transportation alternatives, and I'm very wary of the power he'll have to really screw things up as mayor.

Bicycle infrastructure is going to continue to progress under Grey. Bike Lanes was a convenient wedge in the campaign because they can be framed as recreational follies for yuppies. But we all know that they're not for recreation in the city, they're for transportation. Grey is smart enough to recognize that and I'll expect him to let his Transportation chief continue the expansion of the infrastructure without micromanaging.

The fact that Gray has made general lukewarm statements in support of bikes doesn't convince me that he is going to be a real advocate to help push to continue change.

I'm worried things will slow down drastically, that we'll start seeing more compromises trying to please everybody that don't amount to significant improvement.

But I could be wrong. I did write him in support of Gabe Klein.

Fenty didn't seem like a bike advocate's Mayor 4 years ago. He had voted to make Klingle Valley a road for example. DDOT director is the big test.

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