Richard Reinhard is the Deputy Executive Director for Planning & Development at Downtown DC. Downtown DC is one of the largest BIDs in the country. For those not familiar with the acronymn BID, it stands for Business Improvement District.
The DC BID focuses on a wide range of services -- from maintenance & beautification to providing support services for the homeless. They've also initiated a bus circulator service, and manage special events, such as the Cherry Blossom festival.
One of the points that Richard stressed during our conversation was that Washington, DC is aiming to be known for more than just its monuments and buildings. It's also a great city, with a downtown that's growing stronger.
Washington, DC, and its surrounding suburbs, have also benefitted immensely from the Metro rail system. In fact, it's hard to imagine how the DC area would have been able to grow -- and continue to develop-- without the investment that has been made in expanding the Metro over the past three decades.
And Washington is booming. As Richard noted, "In terms of construction, we're going to be the Shanghai of the United States."
I did run across some people who have found an alternative way to scoot around downtown DC and see the sights. Take a look at the photo.
Like some other American cities, DC has started to draw more people to living downtown. However, as Richard acknowledges, this is essentially young professionals and empty nesters.
In the following 7 minute excerpt from a conversation I had with Richard on Friday, June 1st, he'll explain some of the basics of just what a BID is, and what functions the Downtown DC BID is involved with.