For Release: Friday, July 5, 2021
Contact: Nick DelleDonne ,
CM Cheh Endorses Public Presentation of Bike Plan,
‘Why Won’t DDOT Hold a Public Presentation?’
Neighborhoods Aim for Citywide Coalition
Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) yesterday, July 4, endorsed the neighborhood request that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) make a public presentation of the 17th St. Bike Plan. “It is customary and required,” At the Palisades Parade yesterday, Cheh told Nick DelleDonne, president of the Dupont East Civic Action Association (DECAA) which has been leading the grassroots effort against DDOT and Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto who have refused to engage with the community. “I don’t understand it,” said Cheh, who Chairs the Council’s Oversight Committee on Transportation.
In a growing break with Pinto, Council Chair Phil Mendelson said last month at a public forum, “if DDOT wants to go forward they absolutely have got to discuss what their plan is before they do it and work out the issues before they do it.”
A coalition of neighborhoods, including Dupont East, Shaw, Glover Park and Burleith, are protesting DDOT’s proposed protected bike lanes through congested commercial and residential streets without public engagement by DDOT. At least 19 merchants from East Dupont, have asked for a public presentation of the agency's plans.
This presentation is urgently needed as construction is scheduled to begin as soon as this week.
“In 20 years of civic affairs, I have never seen such intransigence from the administration,” said Alexander Padro, Executive Director of Shaw Main Streets, “We need a city-wide coalition.” Padro is concerned about DDOT’s failure to engage with the churches, restaurants and residents on the 9th St. Bike Plan.
Storm clouds over the 17th St. plan have been building ever since Councilmember Brooke Pinto announced gleefully at a civic association meeting two months ago that DDOT had made a major breakthrough in its 17th St. Bike Plan, particularly in the two blocks between P St. and Riggs Pl., NW, the economic and social nerve center of the East Dupont community. According to Pinto, “All the traffic will be funneled through one lane!”