D.C. wants three out of every four Washingtonians car-free in 20 years

Mayor Vince Gray unveiled details of his Sustainable D.C. plan yesterday in conjunction with a ribbon-cutting for the latest section of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. Gray’s sustainability plans include some impressive long-range transportation plans — the city’s goal for 2032, his office writes, imagines “at least 75% of all trips originating in the city will be by walking, biking, transit, or other clean transportation alternative.”

Jesus Christ, talk about a dream of smart growth, no? The mayor’s vision focuses on improving pedestrian life, a reliable WMATA system of buses and rails, increased biking supported by Capital Bikeshare (18,000 members now) and expanded infrastructure, and the possibilities inherent in a completed 37-mile streetcar network, the first line of which is expected to open next year. Short term plans include completing more than 80 miles of bike lanes (we have about 55 now), “prioritizing east of the Anacostia River, and completing the Metropolitan Branch Trail,” and to “reduce building parking minimums and increase the availability of on-street parking through citywide performance parking districts.” Mayor Gray even wore the green bike pin popularized by Congressman Earl Blumenauer and the Bike Caucus. Within 20 years, the city wants three out of every four residents to be car-free.

Is such a dream possible?