Friends And Colleagues Remember Slain Regional Transportation Official | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Friends And Colleagues Remember Slain Regional Transportation Official

Play associated audio

Alexandra Police continue to investigate the murder of a prominent transportation official. Ron Kirby, a top planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, was found shot to death inside his home Monday afternoon by a relative.

The news shocked friends and colleagues who had worked with Kirby over his 27 years at the Council of Governments. While there, the native of Australia faced a daunting task: figure out how to loosen the grip of traffic congestion on the Washington metropolitan area.

As the group's top transportation planner, he brought together the most influential elected officials in the region to support a multi-modal approach: not only more roads, but more public transit, more bicycling and walking, too.

"When you start looking at particular locations, you have to take into account the characteristics of that particular area," he said last Wednesday in the final of many interviews he gave WAMU 88.5, talking about the importance of developing land around Metro stations into walkable neighborhoods where residents don't need to own cars.

At the Council of Governments, he is being remembered as a genius in the transportation planning field who valued the input of ordinary citizens. "His deep knowledge and his wise counsel assisted local, state, and national officials in reaching consensus on major issues over these decades," said Chuck Bean, the council's executive director.

Stewart Schwartz at the Coalition for Smarter Growth called Kirby's death a "significant and tragic loss for our region."

"He very strongly supported this multi-modal future that we need to have where we focus not just on roads but on transit, and local streets, and walking and biking," said Schwartz.

Kirby was 69. He is survived by his wife and two children.

NPR

Wounded Bull-Runner: 'If You Run Long Enough, You Get Gored'

Bill Hillmann, a writer from Chicago, contributed to the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. He was gored at this year's running of the bulls in that city, but says he plans to return.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Spending on the Kentucky Senate race might reach $100 million. So what else could that get you in the Bluegrass State? NPR's Tamara Keith finds out when she calls up some local business owners.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.