For Release: Tuesday, June 16, 2021
Contact: Nick DelleDonne ,
Spinning Wheels – ANC’s Pasternak on DDOT’s 17th St. Bike Plan
Last night, June 15, ANC Commissioner Mo Pasternak called the Mobility Committee to order to consider DDOT’s controversial 17th St. Bike Plan. It was a waste of time. Committee members had not examined the Plan and tried to figure out what it meant while Dupont residents watched with growing alarm.
Committee member Matt’ Johnson, who is employed in the Montgomery County traffic program, said that the Plan we were looking at was jammed with confusing detail because it was designed for the contractors assigned to do the construction. As they puzzled over it, Pasternak admitted, “That’s what DDOT sent me.” It did not occur to him that he could have asked for lucid illustrations and a presentation from DDOT, who, after all, have all the answers.
When pressed, Pasternak said, “This was the best use of our time,” unaware he was wasting the time of the community. He started the meeting with the refrain, we are all volunteers, but seems not to understand that DDOT is paid for its services by the community and could have been asked to show up and hear our concerns. He said he did not think they would do it. Merchants on the street are concerned and worried about what is coming.
Longtime committee member Susan Volman who heads the Dupont Circle Citizens Association, casually blurted out that this Plan is a temporary installation – only the first shoe to drop. The second shoe will drop when the streateries are gone and DDOT installs protected bike lanes on both sides of the street. “Let’s see how it goes,” she said.
Pasternak tries to reassure us by saying he is working with the Mayor’s Office, Pinto’s office and DDOT. ‘If you have any comments, let me know and I will send them off to DDOT’ he offered. But too often, Pasternak is not the conduit for the community, but a stopper.
Here is the video. The discussion starts at 42:00