Safety Education Coordinator
Safety Routes to School Network
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Oppose Spending Cuts to County Bike Programs!
In the weeks ahead, WABA will be asking you to urge Montgomery County not to make major funding cuts to bicycle programs and projects. In tight times, it is understandable that bike initiatives may bear their share of fiscal frugality, but the cuts being proposed are disproportionate and would hurt efforts to improving biking in the County.
Pllease email the County Council TODAY to tell them that you oppose all the bike-related cuts requested by County Executive Ike Leggett in his 2010 Savings Plan. Especially express your opposition to the proposed $104K reduction, or 19%, to the county's "Annual Bikeway Program". That cut represents a major hit to an efficient program that funds many small bike-oriented projects each year. The Savings Plan also proposes cutbacks to new bikeway design and other items, and the complete elimination of funding for bikeway maintenance, for a total of $334K in bike cuts, not to mention $320K in pedestrian project cuts, while leaving the remainder of the $150 million transportation budget largely untouched. The bike portion of the transportation budget was already significantly reduced for 2010 even before the year started, and these cuts come on top of that.
This is something you can do while you're snowed in! Act fast because the Council hearing and vote on the Savings Plan will be Tuesday Feb. 9th at 1:30 pm. See below for Council contact information.
How to Act A Day Later
Unfortunately these cutbacks are becoming a trend. Last year the county cut back on bike-related projects for 2010 by a whopping $3 million, even while the overall transportation budget remained more or less the same. Important projects were delayed as a result. Worst of all, the Executive is looking to continue these reductions into 2011 and beyond. One proposal is to postpone further design work on the critical Metropolitan Branch Trail in Silver Spring. We need bicyclists to speak at public hearings on the FY11-16 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Budget on Wednesday and Thursday evenings (2/9, 2/10, and 2/11) at 7 pm. At the hearing or in emails, urge elected officials to restore bikeway funding to prior levels. Otherwise the county will not be able to implement more than a tiny fraction of the improvements called for in its own master plan.
Contacting the County Council
Send your emails to the Council at email@example.com (or find the email address on the Council web page). Or you can reach out to individual council members. Full contact info is at the Council webpage at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council . Sign up to speak at a hearing or get information by calling the Council at 240-777-7900.
Thanks for your support of bicycling!