BID Adds Two Exciting Staffers

Yesterday the BID announced the hiring of two exciting new hires. The first is Jonathon Kass as the BID’s new Transportation Director. He comes from the staff of Councilmember Tommy Wells, where he specialized on transportation issues. The second is Josh Hermias, who will be the BID’s new Economic Development Director. He comes most recently from Georgetown¬†University, and before that worked in the District City Administrator’s office and at Brookings.

These hires are exciting for several reasons. This first is that they’re happening in the first place. It’s fantastic that the BID is seriously focusing on these two issues. Transportation and economic development are the two most significant challenges that the Georgetown business community faces over the next 10-20 years. Secondly, this is exciting because both Kass and Hermias bring such heft to the positions.

It’s crucial for Georgetown to start working on a master transportation plan immediately. It must address short term goals (like parking management) with mid-range goals (enhanced transit access with the streetcar) and ultimately build up to the construction of a new metro stop in several decades time. Don’t laugh, it can happen if we start planning for it now and getting every stakeholder (the BID, CAG, and GU to name the most significant) are on board with the vision.

This isn’t just myopia of GM’s pet issue. How people get here and how the move about here significantly impacts the experience of resident and visitor alike. And it will ultimately contribute to the economic development of the neighborhood as well. If we can attract more people here, and do so without overwhelming or streets and sidewalks, more stores and restaurants will thrive.

With these hires, it’s clear that Joe Sternlieb and the BID get it. And we’re lucky to have each of them.

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2 Comments

Filed under Restaurants, Retail, Transportation

2 responses to “BID Adds Two Exciting Staffers

  1. Dave

    Exciting news and great to see some new energy here. Just a couple of quick term items I’d like to see:

    1. Additional bikeshare stations, particularly around Rose Park
    2. Somehow get a grant or something to widen and or improve the sidewalks on the commercial throughfares – even if it reduces some on-street parking (how about more streetside valet parking into the garages?)
    3, Facilitate the heating plant development and get something positive built there – I have no problem with it just being high end Four Seasons style residences but it could be nice to have something for the community as well (open up to the creek for example providing a courtyard for people) – also more bodies living in Georgetown is always a good thing…hopefully NIMBYs pushing preservation won’t kill the whole thing to protect that monster of a building.
    4. Consider closing M Street or some side streets during weekends for example to give more of a walkable community feel, not just a highway to Rosslyn – still not sure why we can’t route more ‘drive-through’ cars onto Whitehurst for example.
    5. Encourage positive zoning changes to get more commercial into the neighborhood — good spots include P Street near the 7-11 m- or improved commerical or housing in the alleys (not just scary cut-through roads with trash cans) Having Blues Alley is very cool and unique for example.

    I do think the mood for change I believe is happening – a lot of folks want a quality, non-stale neighboorhood. If we wanted just piece and quiet with big roads and traffic, we would have moved to the burbs.

  2. Pingback: ANC Round Up: Stay in Your Lane Edition | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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