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IN TYPICAL WASHINGTON City Paper fashion, the article by Julie Wakefield on the proposed Canal Road exit/entrance (“Canal Road Warriors,” The District Line, 10/6), supported by Georgetown University, leaves out many important points. Some of these are as follows:
1.) The article does not mention that both the Citizens Association of Georgetown (by a unanimous vote, with over 100 citizens present) and the Burleith Citizens Association voted for one of the build alternatives and that the vote of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2E would have been 4-4 if a vote was taken at the special meeting to discuss this issue held by the ANC on Sept. 26. Thus, it is clear that unlike the cogenerator issue, with which Wakefield makes many spurious comparisons, this is an issue which splits neighborhoods, Georgetown and Burlieth favoring the position of the university, and Foxhall and Palisades opposed.
2.) The article talks about the $1.7 million which the project is expected to cost (“your federal tax money”), but doesn’t mention that this amount, if not spent on this project, would not go back to the Treasury to reduce the deficit, without a further act of Congress.
3.) There are many comparisons made with the neighborhood battle which took place over the cogenerator, but the most important point is omitted: That was an election year, and this is not. The Georgetown University haters fought a very good political fight and succeeded in bringing the cogenerator matter to the attention of then-Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, who was involved in the political fight of her life. The citizens vote and Georgetown University does not. Kelly issued a single order, and that was the end of the cogenerator. This is not an election year and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and the federally influenced National Capital Planning Commission will make the final decisions. They are not likely to repeat the cogenerator situation.
4.) One final word on the “Georgetown University haters”: There is a small but very vocal and active group that automatically opposes anything Georgetown University favors. These people were Wakefield’s sources and they mobilized the large group (but not 100, as Wakefield’s sources told her) out in force at the meeting recently held by the FHA. Very few people who spoke supported this project, yet the FHA will not be fooled, unlike City Paper‘s reporter, into believing that the opponents of this project speak for anyone but themselves.
Commissioner, ANC 2E-03