December 3, 2012

Regarding Courtland Milloy’s Nov. 28 Metro column, “For have-nots, more and more of the District seems off-limits”:

I can see how school boundaries can further societal disintegration, keeping the have-nots in poor schools and reserving the better-equipped and richer schools for the haves. But was Mr. Milloy seriously suggesting that bike lanes and fewer parking spaces in the city center are a problem and should be seen as an obstacle to integration?

Yes, the plan of D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) to create jobs in the city must be supported, and affordable housing in the city is a priority, but in any modern city such policies harmonize well with better and cheap public transport, fewer cars downtown and more bike lanes, all of which can lead to greater integration.

Peter Kramer, Washington

I share Courtland Milloy’s concern that the District needs a vision regarding how its growth affects low-income residents. However, in criticizing bike lanes, sidewalks and public transit (in favor of keeping parking spots, apparently), he has picked an odd scapegoat.

It is expensive to own a car, drive it and park it in the District — far more so than it is to commute by bike, foot or bus. Making it easier, faster and more convenient to get around the District without a car benefits everyone, so we should strive to help people do so in both high- and low-income neighborhoods.

Biking and walking make our populations healthier, our city cleaner and our neighborhoods stronger. This should be an issue that unites the District.

Tom Long, Washington

Continue reading