Opinion: The answer to a more vibrant downtown D.C.? Not more cars.

May 12, 2023 | Washington Business Journal | Stewart Schwartz & Cheryl Cort

“In an era in which telework is more common and people have more options about where to work and live, D.C. must make downtown a great place where people want to be. The most vibrant cities are achieving this through turning their streets into wonderful, green, people-oriented places. They are prioritizing walking, biking, transit, outdoor cafes, trees, parks, active plazas and the arts.” …

“[DC] must also continue its investments in public spaces and great streets with protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes for frequent, efficient transit. One of the most important of these is the long-awaited K Street Transitway. Dedicated transitways help smooth traffic, reducing weaving and delays for both buses and cars. The original vision was a green shaded boulevard with a generous streetscape for walking, along with the efficient transit lanes. Protected bicycle lanes were added to reflect the growing importance of bicycling as an efficient means of transportation.

“But a recent D.C. Department of Transportation plan showed a sterile utilitarian street, rather than the green, human-scaled place where people want to be. Therefore, we support a pause in the project to restore the city’s “Great Streets” vision and address pickup/dropoff needs. But we don’t support removal of the protected bike lanes or indefinite delay to the transitway and transformation of the street.” …

“Ultimately, this is about quality of life and attractive, competitive communities for residents of D.C. and the region, enhanced by having alternatives to hours spent driving and sitting in traffic and reducing the air pollution harming us — life and work enhanced by a green, sustainable and people-oriented downtown.”

This post features a few snippets of CSG’s opinion editorial in the Washington Business Journal. You can read the full editorial here.