The are two things about the politicians that run the city of Washington, D.C. that you can count on. First, as a one-party town, operatives aren’t used to hiding what they really think. Sometimes that means they can be quite honest about their intentions. Former Mayor Tony Williams, for example, admitted speed cameras were all about revenue. Now District Deparment of Transportation Director Gabe Klein has revealed a new motivation: speed cameras are installed to force drivers to give up their cars. He said as much in this interview with WTOP radio:
“I personally am a fan of keeping cars off the roads and limiting people’s options,” Klein said. “Whether it is raising gas taxes, or whether you look at things like tolls or speed cameras to get people to either ride together or take transit, I think those are positive things overall.”
So when you live in the city and get constantly hit by speed camera tickets on top of the city bureaucracy and hassle of car ownership here, you might be inclined to give up and take public transportation. Even so, there are occasions when it would be nice to make a quick car rental to get around town on short notice. You know, a company like ZipCar offers that service.
What was Gabe Klein before taking over the top job at DDOT? He was the regional vice president for ZipCar responsible for bringing the company’s service to the District. The second thing you can count on about D.C. politicians? Self-dealing.