Transportation disintegration


Mayor Vincent C. Gray, left, is losing the director of his transportation department while D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh, right, wants to vastly reorganize it. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Welcome to Week 1 of the lame-duck Vincent Gray administration, where one of the D.C. government’s largest and most crucial departments has been thrust into great flux. Transportation Director Terry Bellamy informed his senior staff Tuesday morning that he would be leaving his post by month’s end, joined in his departure by the agency’s chief engineer, Ronaldo “Nick” Nicholson, who has overseen the streetcar rollout, the 11th Street Bridge project and other major initiatives. Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated move, D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) unveiled a long-simmering plan to break up DDOT, creating a separate District Transit Authority and parking-focused agency. Can things still get done amid the churn? Depends who you ask.

In other news:

DDOT exodus heralds Gray administration “brain drain” (PostWAMU-FMGGWWashingtonianLoose Lips)

Reorganization would mean a sea change in the handling of parking tickets (WTOPWRC-TVWaTimesGGWWAMU-FM)

Eric Holder on timing of Jeffrey Thompson plea: “Sometimes it is awkward, but it is the best way in which to do these things, irrespective of what the political fallout is going to be” (PostPoliticoHuffPo)

The council again declines to revive attorney general election (PostLoose LipsWAMU-FMDCist)

Medical marijuana eligibility would be greatly liberalized under Yvette Alexander/David Grosso bill (WaTimesWRC-TV)

Bill to improve police handling of sexual assault cases passes first reading (WTOPPoPville)

Vincent Gray orders deputy mayors to review city’s handling of Relisha Rudd case (PostWAMU-FMDCist)

“No person, no agency, no entity failed this young innocent as utterly and completely as the two people in the world with the greatest responsibility for Relisha’s well-being: her mother and father” (Post letter)

Don’t expect any Muriel Bowser-David Catania debates until August at the earliest (DofDWRC-TV)

Tommy Wells isn’t ruling out independent at-large council run (Loose Lips)

Community clinics push back on MedStar’s primary care expansion into D.C. neighborhoods (Post)

D.C. is ranked among most improved in elections administration (Post)

DCPS schoolkids get reprieve from making up two snow days (Post)

Budget Support Act highlights: Potential toll lanes on Potomac bridges, diesel vehicle ban (WBJ)

M Street cycle track should be finished before month’s end (WAMU-FM)

Among Bowser’s first post-nomination introductions: An anti-”revenge porn” bill (City Desk)

Marion Barry pulls controversial emergency bill to fast-track Big K project (Housing Complex)

76-year-old man accused of setting home on fire, killing wife, is ordered to St. Elizabeths (Post)

Miriam Carey was shot five times by Capitol Police, according to autopsy report (Post)

Dig deeper into DCPS school lottery data (Post)

BZA chairman questions spate of street-parking-restricted apartment buildings (UrbanTurf)

Republicans aren’t the only ones interested in potentially filling blank ballot lines (Metro Weekly)

Retiring judge Robert Richter “has presided over some of the District’s most horrific cases” (Post)

Five ways the D.C. government can improve its arts policy (HuffPo)

Happy Equal Pay Day: D.C. has the smallest gender pay discrepancy compared to the states (National Women’s Law CenterBusiness InsiderFiveThirtyEight)

A local LGBT Democrat voices support for David Catania (Blade)

Holder and wife Sharon Malone pay $1.5 million for CityCenter condo, steps from old law firm’s new offices (WBJ)

They could be joined by more big-name chefs (WBJ)

“Social sports” venue again proposed for ballpark-adjacent site — this time, without alcohol (JDLand)

Design competition seeks to address city’s “play deserts” (GGW)

A Late Show With Stephen Colbert could be good news for D.C. voting rights (Roll Call)

Remington’s is closing (PoPville)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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