Streetfilms: D.C. DOT Director Talks ‘Transportation Freedom’

Meet Gabe Klein, who was appointed to direct Washington D.C.’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) in December 2008. With a background that includes four years working for Zipcar, Klein was brought in to look at the city’s mobility problems from a fresh perspective. As he says:

Cars are a part of our daily life here in D.C., but what we want to do is try to equalize the playing field. Encourage people to walk, to bike, to bike share; or instead of owning a car — car share.

D.C. already has one of the lowest household car-ownership rates of any major U.S. city, so actively promoting these modes is essential — as Klein points out — to helping people move about with freedom.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Sounding the Alarm on Bike-Ped Deaths and Injuries in D.C.

|
Every day, without fail, at least one Streetsblog Network blog brings us a new story about a cyclist or pedestrian who was killed or injured after an encounter with a motorist. Yesterday the victim was a pregnant woman in Indianapolis; before that, a dishwasher in St. Petersburg, Florida. These individual tragedies seldom make national news, […]

How Shared Vehicles Are Changing the Way We Get Around

|
Cities around the country are cracking down on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, conducting sting operations and sending cease and desist letters, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down the meteoric rise of shared transportation. The Shared-Use Mobility Center launched yesterday at a policy summit for shared-use transportation in Washington, DC. Here are […]

Gabe Klein, Architect of DC’s Bike Progress, Is Chicago Bound

|
Chicago Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel has snapped up Gabe Klein, former head of the District Department of Transportation in Washington, to head up his transportation team in the Windy City. Klein earned a reputation as a transportation star in the nation’s capital, helping put Washington on the national map as a leading bike- and transit-friendly city. […]

Report: Access to Car-Share and Bike-Share Is Worse in Communities of Color

|
Car-share and bike-share services are making it easier to go without owning a car in American cities, but access to “shared-use” systems remains limited in communities of color compared to majority-white neighborhoods, according to a new analysis from the Shared Use Mobility Center [PDF]. SUMC developed a method to analyze which places have the most potential for car-share and bike-share usage across […]

The Inside Story of How Chicago Built the Dearborn Street Bike Lane

|
Editor’s note: As transportation commissioner for DC and later Chicago, Gabe Klein was pivotal in the development of a new model for big-city DOTs. Along with Janette Sadik-Khan in New York, Klein (who sits on the board of OpenPlans, the organization that publishes Streetsblog) pioneered an approach that prioritized people instead of cars and emphasized the importance of […]