Marc Fisher spoke to Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells at last week’s Car-Free Day. Fisher relays anecdotes about Harriet Tregoning converting her free office parking space into bike parking, and about Marion Barry moving Tommy Wells’ bike to take one of the parking spaces at the Wilson building.
Wells advocates for “five-minute living,” the idea of having all daily needs within five minutes’ travel. That’s still not quite a reality in DC, says Fisher; downtown drivers still honk at Wells on his bike, and suburban drivers retain a car-centric mindset. But we’ve also made great strides; a bike valet program at the ballpark which Wells initially had to push onto reluctant owners now sees steady usage and a corporate sponsor funds the whole thing.
Cheh criticizes the anti-development activism in her ward, including opposition to the proposed public-private partnership at the Tenley-Friendship Library which created so many restrictions (like a requirement that all housing be located on the school site and not the library site) that the deal is about to fall apart. Cheh agreed with those activists in fighting a drive-through Commerce Bank, but their opposition to the bank didn’t revolve around its design; according to Cheh, “They opposed it because they oppose things.”
But I’m most intrigued by the teaser for Fisher’s column tomorrow, which reads: “TOMORROW: Build less parking—and they will come.” Ooh.