We got the sad news last week that Tom Whitley, a former ANC 3F commissioner, died on June 18th. His Washington Post obituary describes him as an “energetic community advocate.” It’s an apt description.
My memories of Tom include an ANC meeting where he butted heads with other commissioners about getting a sidewalk built on Brandywine Street between 30th Street and the Forest Hills Playground. He wanted an ANC resolution, and the other commissioners pointed out that he needed to go through a petition process with the neighbors first.
Tom had little patience for process when it was clear a sidewalk was needed to safely get pedestrians to and from the Forest Hills park and a bus stop on Connecticut Avenue.
“Why do we need a petition?” he asked. “Don’t pedestrians have rights? Isn’t this public space?”
In the end he got DDOT Pedestrian Coordinator George Branyan and me to go with him to 31st and Brandywine to talk with the neighbors. They spoke about their concerns, George deftly handled them, and the Brandywine sidewalk got built. We are indebted to Tom for pushing to get us this sidewalk.