Are D.C.'s Big Sustainability Plans Too Big? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Are D.C.'s Big Sustainability Plans Too Big?

Play associated audio
D.C. Council member Tommy Wells took aim at city officials for failing to follow through on two transportation programs this week.
Mallory Noe-Payne
D.C. Council member Tommy Wells took aim at city officials for failing to follow through on two transportation programs this week.

This week, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray rolled out a 20-year sustainability plan for the city: an ambitious vision of green jobs, clean rivers, and lots of bike lanes, buses and streetcars.

But the biggest challenge to Gray's plan might be the city government's ability to follow along. Council member Tommy Wells provides an example of the District's failure to follow through: a bike theft prevention plan with a budget of $50,000.

For a city with an $11 billion budget, $50,000 is less a drop in the bucket than, say, a drop in the Tidal Basin. Yet city officials admit one of D.C.'s signature bike theft prevention efforts has been held up because of bureaucratic wrangling over the bike bait program's $50,000 price tag. 

"The executive branch has been unable to give $50,000 from DDOT to MPD, so there is no bait bike program starting this spring because they can't do it," Wells says. "So there is not a lot of confidence, that if something this small can't get done, that we can do the big stuff." 

One example of that 'big stuff?' Streetcars. D.C.'s trolley program continues to face serious questions about its rollout on H Street NE next year. The latest issue is that despite receiving bids from companies to build the street cars seven months ago, the city still hasn't issued the contract, according to transportation officials.

NPR

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Why do so many animated movies star motherless kids? Sarah Boxer, a graphic novelist, cartoon-lover and mother, talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers about the phenomenon and the message it sends to children.
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 Will Become Of Obama's Request For Immigration Relief Funds?

NPR's Arun Rath talks to political correspondent Mara Liasson about the chances of a political agreement over how to handle the migration of thousands of Central American children.
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.