Last week, DCmud posted a lengthy interview with Gabe Klein, head of the District Department of Transportation. Go read it, especially if you’re car-free in this city—-and 40 percent of the population is, according to Klein.

Here are some highlights:

  • On adding new bike stations for smart bikes: “[There] will be a significant expansion. We’re hoping to take it to 100 stations.” [There are currently ten now.] “And a thousand bikes, it could be a little more, a little less, and our hope is to create a transit system with bikes.”

  • On developing DC streetcar routes: “We are working on alternative technologies which include electric, battery-powered vehicles that can drop the wire….” [Note: Current regulations don’t allow overhead streetcar wires.] “We could drop the wire for up to a mile. And that’s just one of many different technology options. The roof of the car would be lined with battery.”
  • On shortening the timeline for the construction of streetcar lines: “Well, right now we’ve said about 2012. But we’re working very hard now that we have a team in place to speed that up – pretty dramatically. So hopefully, you’ll see an announcement in the next 6 months that gives people an update and hopefully it will be a good update – that we’re going to get up and running more quickly.”
  • On developing car-sharing, bike benefit requirements—-just like parking minimums—-for developers: “It needs to change…We want to make sure that we’re heavily involved in the PUD process, in zoning, in making sure that we give builders alternatives to building parking which can be up to $65,000 a space as you dig down into the ground. So why are we incentivizing people to dig garage spaces? So we would prefer that people invest in transit and alternative modes and facilities and infrastructure, to encourage that rather than building parking spaces.