Author: tom

CSG Communications intern - fall 2012

CSG Garners Two Prestigious Awards

Executive Director Stewart Schwartz Selected to WBJ’s Power 100

CSG Selected for Third Time as One of the Region’s Best Small Charities

The Washington Business Journal (WBJ) just announced its first-ever Power 100 list of the most powerful business leaders in the Washington D.C. region. The list includes Coalition for Smarter Growth Executive Director Stewart Schwartz. In addition, the Coalition for Smarter Growth has been selected as one of the region’s best small charities by the Catalogue for Philanthropy – CSG’s third such annual honor since the Catalogue was established.

“I am very honored, but it’s important to note that the Power 100 selection is equally an achievement of CSG’s staff and interns, donors and foundations, volunteers and activists, and range of business and non-profit partners,” Schwartz said of his selection by WBJ. “Together we have changed the debate about the best way for the region to grow, winning wide support for a more sustainable and equitable, walkable and transit-focused future.”

In making its selections, WBJ stated, “To be influential and powerful, you have to be respected, get things done, either quietly or with plenty of fanfare, and know the right people.” According to the paper’s editors:

“In the Washington area, no one person and no one organization is more influential on smart growth issues than Stewart Schwartz and his D.C. nonprofit, Coalition for Smarter Growth. As executive director and founder, Schwartz, an enemy of suburban-defining sprawl, is regularly called upon as the voice of, and advocate for, transit- and pedestrian-oriented development. A retired Navy captain, Schwartz began leading the charge for smart growth well before it formed the basis for every regional jurisdiction’ s long-term growth plans. Still, his job hasn’t gotten any easier as he challenges well-worn proposals for outer beltways and new Potomac River bridges and the constant call by powerbrokers for more and more roads.”

The Catalogue for Philanthropy will honor the Coalition for Smarter Growth and its other 2012/2013 recognized charities at a gala event on Monday, December 3rd at the Sidney Harman Hall.  According to the Catalogue, a review board selects each of its 70 featured charities from among some 250 applications each year, evaluating them for distinction, merit, and impact, and scrutinizing the finalists for cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and financial transparency.

“Selection by the Catalogue is a big boost for our hard-working team at CSG and a stamp of approval that gives donors the security of knowing that their contributions will be used efficiently and effectively,” said Alex Posorske, Managing Director and lead development officer for the Coalition for Smarter Growth. “Contributions to CSG have made a real difference in our work to create a more sustainable region.”


About the Coalition for Smarter Growth

The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies needed to make those communities flourish. To learn more, visit the Coalition’s website at


Virginia Considers Future of Potomac River Crossings

A new study commissioned by the Virginia Department of Transportation aims to measure the volume of traffic using the Potomac River crossings that connect the commonwealth with the District and Maryland as the Washington area’s population continues to expand.

WAMU reports that while the study’s authors say their work will not result in the recommendation for the construction of any new bridges, advocates for other modes of transportation like mass transit are already worrying that the final report will call for just that.

“They are pushing for another bridge even though the real fixes we need to make are at the American Legion Bridge,” said Stewart Schwartz, the executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, which supports expanding mass transit instead of road expansions. To Schwartz, a new bridge connecting Virginia and Maryland would lead to more congestion and sprawl. He favors implementing transit options on the American Legion Bridge.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has talked favorably in the past of building another span across the Potomac, the Maryland officials quoted in WAMU’s story are not too sanguine about a new bridge. A letter from the Maryland Department of Transportation indicated the state would be more interested in renovating the Governor Nice and American Legion Memorial bridge, and adding transit lines to existing bridges.

That position is more in tune with the Coalition for Smart Growth, which last month rebutted a study by a George Mason University research group that projected gridlock in the D.C. area will be just as bad in 30 years as it is today. The Coalition for Smart Growth cited data indicating that more than half of respondents to a 2011 survey by the National Association of Realtors said they would prefer neighborhoods with several modes of transportation.

The VDOT study will be completed next spring.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Wolf. Click here to read the original story. 

Potomac River Crossings The Object Of VDOT Study

Potomac River Crossings The Object Of VDOT Study

The Virginia Department of Transportation will study traffic volume over the Potomac River in an effort to determine where the most people and goods will cross as the region’s population grows, according to a statement released by the agency on Tuesday.

The study — scheduled for completion next spring — will not recommend a solution but instead provide a basis for consultations with transportation officials in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Specifically, it will focus on how best to improve transportation across the river from Point of Rocks in the west to the Route 301 bridge in the east.

Study not focused on new construction, officials say

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton downplayed the possibility his office would push for the construction of a new bridge over the Potomac.

“We’re really not prejudging anything. In fact, we’re not really getting into what’s the best alternative,” he said.

The study already has its critics, who say the Republican administration of Gov. Bob McDonnell has been pushing for a new Potomac River bridge for years.

“They are pushing for another bridge even though the real fixes we need to make are at the American Legion Bridge,” said Stewart Schwartz, the executive director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, which supports expanding mass transit instead of road expansions. To Schwartz, a new bridge connecting Virginia and Maryland would lead to more congestion and sprawl. He favors implementing transit options on the American Legion Bridge.

“In the near term, that can be buses on dedicated bus lanes with frequent service, connecting the Red Line and the Silver Line, connecting Tysons Corner and Fairfax County job centers with the Montgomery County job centers,” he said.  “Fortunately, Fairfax County and Montgomery County have already met and are pursuing the transit investments that are needed both short term and long term.”

Connaughton disputes the allegation the McDonnell administration is after a new “outer beltway” at the expense of mass transit investments.

“This is one of the things that will be the hallmark of the McDonnell administration, is that we are pursuing increased transit opportunities, as well as dealing with congestion on our roadways, and looking for bike paths and pedestrian paths.  We are doing everything.  This is not a one-solution-fits-all,” he said.

Maryland not in favor of new crossing

If Virginia officials privately favor building another Potomac River span, they may meet resistance across the river. In an October letter to Secretary Connaughton, Acting Maryland Secretary of Transportation Darrell Mobley clarified his agency’s position.

“The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOTS) highest priority remains the preservation of our existing infrastructure and the safety of the traveling public. MDOT does not intend to revisit the years of debate regarding new crossings of the Potomac River,” the letter said. “We are interested in the study of potential improvements to existing crossings, including: the Governor Nice Bridge along the US 301 corridor, the American Legion Bridge on the Capital Beltway, and the potential addition of transit across the Wilson Bridge.”

Connaughton said he believes D.C. and Maryland officials are in agreement that a study of future traffic volume is necessary. As far as a possible solution, he said, “We haven’t gotten there yet.”

AP Photo by Leslie E. Kossoff. Read the original story here.

Testimony: Support for D.C.’s West End Library and Fire Station project

We wish to express our support for this project. The proposed project will leverage the value of public land to build a new West End Library, a new fire station on Square 50, along with complementary retail and residential units. The combined project of the new library on Square 37 and the new fire station offer a tremendous public benefit for the residents of the District of Columbia that is not otherwise possible. We are only able to create these new state-of-the-art public facilities due to a joint public-private partnership where the full subsidy for the public benefits is derived from the air rights above the public facilities. This project renews important outdated public facilities, and does it at no cost to the District.

Click here to read the complete testimony>>