We have great transportation options in Shaw. Metrorail, two high-frequency MetroExtra bus routes, bike lanes connecting us to the rest of the city, and we’re close enough to downtown for people to walk to work!
That said, there are plenty of opportunities to improve our ways to get around. Many injustices were thrust upon Shaw and other inner neighborhoods during the mid-20th century in the name of modernist “progress” transitioning urban neighborhoods from places where people live, work, play, learn, and pray to places people drive through to get to somewhere else.
It’s well past time that we correct for these past errors by reclaiming our streets: calming traffic and widening sidewalks, giving our beautiful street trees more room to grow, providing safe options for our most vulnerable roadway users, prioritizing the most sustainable and environmentally friendly modes of transportation and making sure residents have priority over cut-through traffic.
Quality of Life
Shaw is a lovely place to live. Like all neighborhoods, it takes a little effort to keep it functioning. Without a little care and attention from everyone, litter, rats, mosquitoes, unsafe traffic conditions can threaten that which we find precious. I believe we can keep Shaw beautiful and make it even better.
The Shaw Dog Park is a great example of neighbors helping neighbors to make something special. It’s really unfortunate that it’s been moved and downsized for the construction of the new Banneker High School.
The District government provides a bevy of resources that many people don’t know about — for example, free repairs for broken residential trash bins — most accessible through DC311. I’m looking forward to helping provide resources to neighbors and businesses to keep our neighborhood special.
Growth and Change
The only sure thing in life is change. We can either fight change and lose, or we can lead change and make sure everyone wins. I believe Shaw has come a long way, but there’s more we can do as a community to insure the availability of affordable housing options for today’s neighbors and tomorrow’s.
The region is expected to add 1.7 million new residents over the next 30 years. We can do our part by supporting efforts to increase housing options in our highly connected and sustainable neighborhood! I believe we can support many more residents without displacement, as long as elected officials fight to ensure community benefits and and affordable units are a part of every new development.
Data Driven Decision-Making
In my work life, we talk about a big enemy to good policymaking; anec-data (anecdotal data). This word describes the tendency for people to observe one data point and assume it as a universal truth. Social media is filled with them. For example, “I got cut off by a guy on a bike once so all cyclists ride unsafely.”
Another challenge for policy makers is assuming the feedback they receive is representative of all their constituents. The old “squeaky wheel” that gets the grease. Why does one rusty axel get to determine the entire maintenance program for the vehicle?
In order to craft good policy, we have to see beyond the anec-data and squeaky wheels, and look to unbiased data for the basis of policies and decisions that have broad benefits and minimized costs.
The image above is from a series of articles I wrote during the beginning of the pandemic, encouraging DC to implement stiffer lock-down and isolation protocols, This work was inspired by a few online thought leaders doing great work with data recommending policies to fight the pandemic. Alas, it wasn’t until mid-July that the CDC finally started making recommendations based on data.
My data collection to inform decision making has already begun. Please see the Engagement section of this site for a link to my neighborhood survey.