BTS Advisory Committee Welcomes Thomas Clash
Tom Clash has seen mobility from multiple perspectives.
He spent 40 years living near Albany, New York, where for many years he was in charge of transportation planning and financial management of the capital construction program at the New York State Department of Transportation. He has been a transportation planning consultant since retiring from NYSDOT in 2008.
“During my career, DOTs underwent a major transformation from being focused primarily on highways to becoming advocates for other modes of transportation in an effort to protect the environment and reduce traffic congestion,” said Tom.
“That became a major focus of transportation planning in the 1990s and has grown in emphasis ever since,” he added. “Transportation departments are now focusing on reducing traffic congestion and minimizing single-occupant vehicle travel.”
He said he is very impressed with what Bethesda has done in that regard. This community, in his view, is at the cutting edge in addressing mobility issues.
Tom and his wife moved to Bethesda a year and a half ago to be closer to their daughter, who lives in Kensington. He also has a doctorate in history, a subject he taught for many years prior to his career in transportation management.
He had some familiarity with Bethesda from visits to his daughter over the years.
“We’re thrilled to now be living here,” said Tom. “We wanted a more urbanized environment and were impressed by downtown Bethesda’s many attractive features.”
In a 180-degree pivot from his days as a highway planner, Tom’s favorite way to get around now is walking.
“We walk every day,” he said. “One of the attractions of Bethesda is its walkability, including easy access into the residential communities surrounding downtown. We’ve done a lot of exploring on foot since moving here, and try to use the car as little as possible.”
As he works to get up to speed on specific goals within the BTS Advisory Committee, he is happy to help BTS and BUP promote livability and sustainability.
He observed that, as a major corridor leading into and out of D.C., Wisconsin Avenue presents one of the biggest challenges to dealing with traffic, especially as more people move here.
Not all of his time is devoted to mobility issues. After retiring, Tom spent 13 years on a board in the Albany area that offered non-credit college-level courses to seniors. He and his wife now volunteer as ushers at Strathmore and value giving back to such a vibrant community.
Editor’s Note: Look for more Advisory Committee profiles coming in future newsletter issues.