Support WABA’s Montgomery County Budget Priorities

Funding a new tunnel for the Capital Crescent Trail under Wisconsin is WABA’s top budget priority this year. But County Executive Elrich proposed cuts and delays for many important bicycle, trail and pedestrian projects. They need the Council’s attention to get back on the right track. WABA is asking the Montgomery County Council to:

  1. Fund the Capital Crescent Trail Tunnel for completion by 2023
  2. Reverse the proposed two-year delays to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Fenton Street protected bike lanes. Alone, these projects are important to getting people around Silver Spring safely by bike, scooter, and foot, but the success of the Purple Line in Silver Spring also depends on them to get people to two Purple Line Stations.
  3. Fund planning and construction for the 70 miles of Tier One master planned bikeways. The newly adopted Bicycle Master Plan calls for hundreds of miles of new bikeways, prioritized to increase bicycling as quickly as possible. The first tier, which builds networks in the urban areas and low-stress connections to them, needs a funding mechanism for design and construction. At a minimum, all Tier One projects should be designed and more than half constructed by the end of the FY21-26 CIP.
  4. Reverse the proposed cuts to the Parks budget to ensure that the county’s parks, trails, and recreation programs remain great.
  5. Update old designs for the dual bikeways proposed in the Seven Locks and Bradley Boulevard bike/ped projects.  These projects were designed many years ago and their designs do not meet the standards set out in the Bicycle Master Plan. Before going further, the designs should get an update.  Similarly, the Goldsboro and Falls Road projects provide useful connections in the County and we must make sure they meet the standards set out in the Bicycle Master Plan.

To see WABA’s full list of budget priorities, read our testimony for the Council’s Budget Hearing here.

Bike Funding Saved in Arlington!

Last week, the Arlington County Board voted to protect all bicycle and pedestrian funding in the County budget. The County Manager’s proposed budget cut much of the biking and walking program, and had the County Board approved those cuts,  installation of bike lanes, trail projects, bikesharing and other projects would have stalled. In March, WABA alerted our Arlington members and supporters about the proposed budget cuts. Hundreds of residents contacted Board Members asking to reinstate the funds. Responding to the public feedback, the Board voted to sustain FY2015 funding levels. The Board shifted some of the funding source from PAYGO funds to HB2313 local funds. HB2313 is the 2013 Virginia’s transportation appropriations bill. The bill includes funds for local jurisdictions. These funds must go towards transportation projects and not other County priorities. The budget was formally adopted at last night’s County Board meeting. Thank you to the Arlington County Board for restoring core funding for biking and walking. Investing today in the programs and infrastructure that encourage biking will pay future dividends. Resident will enjoy diverse transportation options, stronger the local community and support the County’s economy.