Ron Kirby. Photo by US DOT.

Ron Kirby, the head of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, is tragically dead. Alexandria police found him in his home, apparently murdered.

According to news reports, police found him yesterday in his home in Alexandria at 12:30 pm, shot multiple times. They are investigating.

Kirby was the top local official coordinating planning and funding efforts across the Washington region. Stewart Schwartz of the Coalition for Smarter Growth said his death is “a tragic loss for the region,” and called Kirby “a supremely dedicated public servant.”

Jaime Fearer writes,

I appreciated his commitment to opening the regional transportation planning process to the public, which is no small task. The TPB created the Community Leadership Institute, which I, and a number of Greater Greater Washington contributors, have taken part in. His latest regional plan, the Regional Transportation Priorities Plan (RTPP), is framed in a much more digestible and understandable manner than previous regional plans, as were the resources and tools for public feedback.

In a statement, the Council of Governments says:

He guided the work of the Transportation Planning Board for more than 26 years. His deep knowledge and wise counsel assisted local, state and national officials in reaching consensus on the major transportation issues over the years.

More importantly, he was a trusted colleague and a dear friend to all of us at the Council and his associates around the region.  We extend our deepest sympathy to his family at this difficult time.

To better understand the work Kirby did, check out this chat with the Washington Post and a 2004 profile in Washingtonian.

Ron’s death leaves our community without one of its most influential and respected figures. I will miss him terribly.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado and lives in northeast DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post .