David Breisch loves GGWash because it helps him “learn something unique and ridiculously arcane” about the Metro system. We take that as a compliment! He’s hopeful about the urbanist future of his neighborhood of Fort Totten, and when he’s not working as the Director of Marketing Technology for Destinations International, he volunteers as a Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) ambassador.
Breisch is a member of the GGWash Neighborhood, which means he’s helping promote an inclusive, diverse, and growing Washington, DC region. Our GGWash Neighbors provide the heart of this community. Take a minute to get to know Breisch, one of the many people you’ll meet when you join the GGWash Neighborhood.
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The GGWash Neighborhood is about getting to know our readers and building on their common interests. To that end, Breisch answered some questions about his experience with urbanism and what he loves about GGWash.
From a walk score of 24 to a car-free lifestyle
The walk score of my childhood home in Batavia, Illinois, currently sits at 24… so that sounds about right based on my memories of growing up there! [Editor’s note - Walk Score measures how walkable a neighborhood is to daily necessities. 100 means very walkable, 0 means completely car dependent.] It was a very upper-middle-class, suburban Chicago neighborhood. It’s almost kind of incomprehensible now; since moving to DC I have not owned a car and use Metro/bike exclusively. In fact, I signed up for a Zipcar membership when I moved here and have yet to actually use it, so that should tell you something about how much I prefer a high walk score.
Is Fort Totten the next great walkable urban neighborhood?
I currently live in Fort Totten, which admittedly is not the best example of urbanism in DC, but it’s getting there. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a “feature,” but I think what I like the most about Fort Totten is its future potential. It’s already got great Metro connections (Red/Green + possibly Yellow depending on the mood of WMATA on any given day). It’s also got a brand new connection to the Met Branch Trail under construction which should open this year, and with some new development it’s becoming more walkable by the day.
Falling in love with urbanism across the pond
I think my first real experience with urbanism in my daily life was when I did study abroad in college and spent five weeks living in central London. It really made me fall in love with urban living – and London in general! (If you haven’t been, then please go.) Our group’s flat was down the street from a huge grocery store, and easily walkable to two different Tube lines. It was so wonderfully easy to get everywhere we wanted to go without a car – and in fact it was literally the first time in my life that I went grocery shopping without a car, which was an amazing experience.
Improving our neighborhoods with better biking
I’m a pretty hardcore biker and I’ve tried to get heavily involved with WABA ever since I moved to DC early last year. I volunteered many times as a WABA bike ambassador over the summer, helping to staff the info table at various events and spread the good biking advice to anyone who would walk by. I’ve also attended some WABA advocacy meetings and I’m looking forward to continuing volunteering for both WABA and GGWash when the weather warms up again.
Proud of GGWash’s grassroots activism
I think what I love the most is the community of grassroots activities. It really feels like a scrappy tech start up in a lot of ways – it’s an organization that’s new and exciting, still trying to find its voice and place in the world but with a lot of disruptive growth potential. (And leasing out of a WeWork doesn’t hurt, either.)
Happily stumped by whichWMATA
All GGWash articles are good, but I have a particular soft spot for the whichWMATA series (unfortunately I’m also terrible at playing the game…) I’ve always been kind of a public transit nerd ever since I rode Metra commuter rail every day to high school in Chicagoland, so I find the articles fascinating. I particularly love how each of the weekly posts offers an opportunity to learn something unique and ridiculously arcane about the system – where else could you possibly know that the underground transfer stations have different vault widths?
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