After’s Mayor Gray’s transition team recently issued a report – which stated that D.C.’s “three trolleys that were purchased cannot be used because they do not meet federal ADA requirements” — I wrote a message to Mayor Gray submitted via his “Ask the Mayor” webform on February 18. In it, I asked the mayor to explain why his transition team stated that D.C.’s three streetcars are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, if the statement was inaccurate, I urged him to direct his transition team to immediately correct the misstatement.
Eleven days later, on March 1, a special assistant to the mayor finally responded to my inquiry with an e-mail that did not answer my questions. Instead, he referred me to the District Department of Transportation’s Interim Director Terry Bellamy to answer the question — even though he would not have been involved in preparing the transition team report. Bellamy responded to my message in less than one hour by stating that D.C.’s three streetcar vehicles are in fact ADA-compliant.
Now that DDOT has confirmed what most of us suspected — that his transition team was wrong on this point — Mayor Gray should set the record straight that D.C. can use the streetcars the District already owns. His transition team co-chairs Cellerino Bernardino and Thomas Downs should still answer for the misstatement in their report. This also calls into question whether there are other inaccuracies in their report.