In his Nov. 17 Local Opinions piece, “The D.C. transportation department spins its wheels,” David Alpert highlighted ambitious D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) projects that are moving toward the difficult implementation phase.
We applaud Mr. Alpert’s steadfast advocacy of smart growth and transportation initiatives, and we agree that the city’s transportation landscape is changing rapidly. DDOT is fully committed to building an integrated, 21st-century urban transportation network. But this complex task takes time and will sometimes involve slight delays.
DDOT is proud of its track record on key projects and policy initiatives: It has been a leader in adopting Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s Grade DC initiative to improve customer service and responsiveness, and we have taken innovative approaches to community engagement, from street-corner meetings to online forums. We are moving forward with major infrastructure projects such as the 11th Street and South Capitol Street bridge projects. Testing on the D.C. Streetcar is slated to start in December. DC Circulator service is being enhanced. Flood-mitigation measures are in place in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. We are putting power lines underground to improve electric reliability. Bicycle and pedestrian programs, including the expansion of Capital Bikeshare to 187 locations (with 13 awaiting installation and more on the way in 2014), are advancing. Sixty thousand visitor parking passes have been mailed out. Green infrastructure is being installed.
The full list is longer, but, above all, we remain laser-focused on creating a city of which residents across the District can be proud.
Terry Bellamy, Washington
The writer is director of the D.C. Department of Transportation.