Mayor Gray pushes for a 'sustainable D.C.'

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray renews his push for what he calls a “sustainable D.C.” in the years to come, but part of that plan targets the use of cars going in and out of the District.

“We will make the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the United States of America,” says the mayor.

With that prediction, Mayor Gray unveiled his “Sustainable D.C.” plan and a few of the 143 items in it have some asking, did the mayor just declare war on cars?

No, he hasn’t, but what he did do was set a goal of reducing commuting trips by car to just 25 percent in two decades.

“We’ve got to get people out of automobiles,” says Mayor Gray. “We can’t add 250,000 people and add a proportional amount of cars.”

The plan recommends expanding mass transit, building more bike lanes, growing the Capital Bike Share program and encouraging business around transit hubs.

“That’s the way I commute,” says Elvis Long of the District. “I jump on my bike and go to work. It’s exercise, it’s healthy.”

Some say they would definitely use mass transit if they had better access to it. Others who take advantage of the Metro and Metrobus daily say people need to drive every once in a while.

D.C. resident Dr. Richard Singerman Echoed is all about expanding mass transit options, but didn’t like one of the mayor’s proposals - looking at implementing a congestion fee for those driving during peak times.

“A user fee is another tax. I’m a pretty liberal guy, but people are being taxed pretty hard right now.”

The mayor's plan also recommends expanding demand-based pricing for parking and expanding car sharing, but at this point there's no clear timeline for implementing the various parts of the plan.