D.C. Transportation chief Gabe Klein tried to restore balance in District travel

By Robert Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 11, 2010; 5:49 PM

I'm sorry to see Gabe Klein leaving as director of the D.C. transportation department after an energetic two years, which I described on our blog last week. This letter writer has a different view.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

You are aptly named, as "gridlock" is more of what Klein and his anti-auto policies have wrought. Expanding bike lanes on major arteries in a commuter city and lessening drivers' ability to get around town apparently is not just the province of the simple-minded "global warming" fanatics who see the automobile as an arch enemy.

Diminishing lanes as auto ownership expands for the pipe dream of having hordes of bike-riding commuters is only part of the agenda they share with Klein.

Nothing better demonstrates the arrogant approach of Klein and the elites than the Capital Bikeshare program. No debate, no discussion, no citizen input.

They also make street parking more expensive and more difficult by yanking out meters and leaving one kiosk-type thing, which is not only confusing but also time-consuming.

Klein and his crowd hate cars, so if they make it incredibly difficult and mind-blowingly expensive to park, then they will wear us down and we will cease driving to and around the District.

If elites in D.C. government make it any more difficult to journey into town, our regional neighbors will stay at home enjoying life and spending money in their local establish-ments. This will have a devast-ating effect on D.C. business.

Must I hassle to enjoy dinner at Clyde's in Georgetown if I can tool out to Tysons Corner unimpeded by childishly willful political impediments as gridlock caused by anti-car traffic engineering and incredibly expensive meters and have the same experience without the annoyance at the Clyde's at Tysons?

The anti-car bias extends to the manipulation of the traffic signals - one light and stop, one light and stop, one light and stop - and to changing the timing of crosswalk lights all over town regardless of the lack of pedestrian traffic.

Klein, like his boss, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, was great at swanning around articulating his bubble-headed elitist views, but could not meet the most basic realities of his job: We experienced the worst snow removal since the Barry days, and that was one of the few real responsibilities Klein had.

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