Photo by Don Baxter/Media Images International on Flickr.

DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced a number of new green alleys in the District on Wednesday, then briefly spoke to the issue foremost on many minds: the growing scandal around a “shadow campaign” that disregarded campaign finance laws to help him get elected.

Many commentators chuckled at the vanishing chance any coverage would focus on the green alleys. Many Wash­ing­tonians feel deeply betrayed, whether or not they supported Gray. This is a step backward for the District’s reputation, for efforts to promote honesty in government and for the hope of uniting a divided city, a platform Gray ran on and genuinely believed in.

However, let’s not shortchange those green alleys. They will last far longer, and ultimately make more of an impact on the lives of residents whose homes adjoin them, than this scandal or any political questions over who is mayor and for how long.

Continue reading in my latest op-ed in the Washington Post.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). 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 lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.