Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In
Streetsblog Network

AAA Spokesman: Leading DC Urbanist “Retarded” and “Like the Klan”

Just a month ago, AAA released a heartwarming PSA reminding drivers that cyclists are people, before a crowd of hundreds of bike advocates at the National Bike Summit.

false

At the time, we wondered whether AAA was simply embarking on a PR campaign, or if the nation's largest automotive club had really changed its ways. Would its regional branches back off campaigns against parking reform in Washington, DC, or three-foot passing laws in California?

Well, I think we have our answer now. In a recent article in the Washington City Paper, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman John Townsend attacks David Alpert, founder of Greater Greater Washington, in unbelievable fashion. Network blog Beyond DC has this report:

AAA’s official company spokesman John Townsend says GGW’s David Alpert is a “nerd,” a “ninny,” is “developmentally retarded,” and is “like the Klan.”

If AAA thinks it’s good business practice for its spokespeople to make offensive personal attacks, then AAA isn’t a company I will ever have anything to do with. I don’t currently own a car, but someday I probably will. AAA won’t be my insurance partner when that day comes.

And in the mean time, if this is how AAA thinks and represents itself, guess how seriously I take their positions on transportation issues.

Will AAA stand behind Townsend and his childish behavior?

Keep in mind, Alpert is a guy who founded a tremendously successful local news site as a volunteer project and now contributes editorials semi-regularly at the Washington Post. One of these two men looks pretty foolish and it's not David Alpert.

In a recent post on GGW, the editorial team urged readers to move their business to the Better World Club, a Portland-based roadside support provider, which in the words of GGW writers "offers many of the same benefits as AAA, but without the disdain."

Elsewhere on the Network today: Global Site Plans outlines Miami 21, the city of Miami's plan to use form-based code to make the city more walkable and sustainable. The League of American Bicyclists explains how one member's suggestion helped launch the Bike-Friendly Communities program. And Human Transit says the way seats are configured in subway cars isn't just a matter of preference, it has real impacts on capacity and service quality.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

Pressure is mounting to replace embattled CTA President Dorval Carter

Here's a look at what elected officials and other media outlets have said about the issue recently.

April 19, 2024

Service boost means BNSF Line will get Metra’s first-ever across-the-board weekend schedule, starting April 29

In addition, Halsted Street station will get weekend service, and Downers Grove's Fairview stop will become an off-peak stop.

April 19, 2024

Tasty news: Friedman Properties is trying to break the Clark outdoor dining stalemate by applying for street closure permits

Mayor Johnson's administration and Ald. Reilly haven't yet found common ground on bringing back the popular car-free zone. Will this make the difference?

April 19, 2024
See all posts