Single Member District 3C07 represents much of the western portion of Woodley Park and the Woodland-Normanstone neighborhood, from the Klingle Valley Trail and Woodley Park Towers in the north, down to Rock Creek in the south and the Naval Observatory in the west.
Voters in 3C07 have two good choices of urbanist candidates running to represent them: Gawain Kripke, a resident of Woodley Park on 29th Street, and Warren Gorlick, a resident of Cortland Place in Woodley Park. Between the two, based on their responses to both our questionnaire, GGW’s and their websites, CPSG sees a more comprehensive commitment to adding new housing in this part of the city and a more reform-oriented view towards historic preservation from Gawain Kripke, and we are pleased to endorse him.
Both candidates are strong advocates for increased pedestrian safety and safer bicycle infrastructure. Specifically, both are supportive of the proposed protected bike lanes and safety improvements on Connecticut Avenue. Gorlick, the Ward 3 representative and President Pro Tem of the DC Bicycle Advisory Council, says, “The project should also run right up to Chevy Chase Circle, rather than ending at Legation Street, as is currently planned. It should also run further south, with at least one of the two sidewalks on the Taft bridge converted to cycling, and then connecting with the new 20th Street bike lane in the Dupont Circle area.” Kripke notes in his support for Concept C, “I’m flexible about most details but there has to be protected bike lanes, pedestrian safety improvements, slower and better managed auto traffic.”
Both see the need for restraint in the area of historic preservation. For example, Kripke notes, “I think historic preservation has really been an obstacle to reasonable, common sense development in some cases. Especially in our commercial centers, which should be inherently dynamic and growing, I would want to be flexible about historic preservation.” Striking a similar note, Gorlick says, “Historic preservation has sometimes been abused,” citing its use in delaying the Giant redevelopment on Wisconsin Avenue. Gorlick goes on to say, “Much better judgment needs to be brought to what buildings truly merit protection. And even where buildings do get protection, that should not prevent, in appropriate cases, building on top of such structures to create more affordable housing.” Responding to GGW, Kripke noted that DC’s creation of historic districts have already gone too far, while Gorlick was satisfied with where things currently stand.
Both support adding more housing in our commercial areas. Both note that more residents would be a benefit to our businesses. But in Kripke’s response to GGW, he noted that our residential areas also offer opportunities to add housing. Gorlick’s platform, however, discusses his reluctance to support a more robust development at the Wardman site, taking advantage of the new allowed density there, and the increase in affordable housing it would require, “without eviscerating the lovely and historic green space on the property.”
Gorlick stresses the need for bus rapid transit and identifies the problem of overcrowding in our public schools. Kripke also calls out the need to support our schools, and has an eye on making the area more inclusive, more diverse and more fun.
There is much to admire from both candidates, especially on transportation and commercial revitalization. However, in this race, we think residents of Woodley Park and Woodland-Normanstone would be better served by electing Gawain Kripke.
To learn more about Gawain Kripke and how to support him, visit his website. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @Gawain4ANC.
You can read all of the candidates’ responses to the CPSG candidate questionnaire here. GGW also endorsed Kripke, and the candidates responses to their questionnaire can be seen here. Ward 3 Bike Advocates reviews of candidates in this race can be read here.
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