Cheh proposes fundamental reorganization of transportation agencies

Transportation Reorganization Act will spur a transparent, reflective process on the structure of transportation regulation in the District

Washington, D.C. – Today, Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) will introduce legislation that reorganizes transportation agencies in the District.  The Transportation Reorganization Act (TRA) of 2014 would (1) centralize parking management in a single agency; (2) create a transit authority to oversee the planning, regulation, operations, and governance of the District’s local transit, for-hire vehicle, and bicycle systems; and (3) relocate the Urban Forestry Administration to the District Department of the Environment.

“In the twelve years since the District Department of Transportation was spun off from the Department of Public Works, no one has asked the critical question: does the current agency structure work,” said Cheh.  “Having had three years of oversight over DPW, DMV, DDOT, and DCTC, I think the answer to that is no.  But the TRA will spur a conversation that will stretch out across the summer in a series of working groups and hearings aimed at revealing that answer and identifying solutions to the problems we identify.”

The legislation would centralize parking policy, enforcement, and adjudication in a new Department of Parking Management.  It would also create a District Transit Authority that would absorb from DDOT responsibility for the planning, management, and operation of DC Streetcar, DC Circulator, and Capital Bikeshare.  The Authority would also absorb the regulation of for-hire vehicles from the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission (DCTC), which would be abolished under the legislation.  The licensing and inspecting functions of DCTC would be housed in the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Finally, the Urban Forestry Administration would be shifted from DDOT to the District Department of the Environment.

“As we move this bill through the legislative process, I intend to have extensive open and reflective engagement with experts, stakeholders, community members, and the agencies affected,” said Cheh.  “And, of course, the final details may change.  But, the aim is to simplify decision-making and operations, focusing on the agencies’ core competencies.  For example, having parking policy, enforcement, and adjudication split among three agencies has led to stagnation of progressive programs, the bungled rollout of Visitor Parking Permits and Redtop Meters, and has led to frustration for residents trying to comply with our parking laws.  It’s just common sense to combine those functions in one place.  This is but one of the ways in which the TRA will increase efficiency and accountability among our transportation agencies.”

 

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