Feb 292012
 
Finding money to build the CCT tunnel

Environmental consultant Steve Offutt proposes a solution for building the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel under Wisconsin Ave  that would save money by replacing the Air Rights and Apex buildings with more valuable buildings now rather than when the buildings reach their typical lifespan.  The solution relies on the engineering assumption that the buildings could be replaced less expensively during Purple Line construction rather than after the Purple Line is already in place.  The two buildings sit on top of the existing tunnel (hence air rights) and are the main reason it would cost $51 million to keep the trail in the tunnel with the rail line.  Mr. Offutt”s solution presumes that newer, bigger (taller) buildings with more direct Metro access […]

Feb 252012
 

Gail Tait-Nouri, the bicycle coordinator for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, just retired.  She has been a tremendous boon for bicycling in the county throughout her many years of service as coordinator.  She’s advocated for cyclists within county government and served as an excellent liaison between DOT and the bike community.  And she’s never been afraid to say or do what she thinks is right. Her supervisor, Aruna Miller, is also supportive of bicycling, but she is currently on a leave of absence because she’s a state delegate serving in Annapolis for another month or so.  In the mean time DOT has assigned Robert Elder to cover for Gail as far as immediate work is concerned. (May 25 2012 update: Ms. Miller has […]

 Posted by at 12:02 pm on Feb 25, 2012  Comments Off on County bike coordinator says farewell
Feb 212012
 

I’ve made some updates and corrections to the CycleMoco gory budget analysis based on discussions with county staff.  These are already reflected in the post. Frederick Road Bike Path – This budget item is for full construction, not just a design or study.  It’s not a very long path however (from Shawnee Lane to Wimms Rd in front of Clarksburg High School, maybe a little further).  It is funded mostly with a state contribution. Bethesda Bike/Pedestrian Facilties – The only remaining portion is the trail along Bethesda Ave, Willow Lane and through Elm Street Park, which is awaiting Lot 31 development, probably by FY15. MD 355 Crossing (tunnel at Medical Center Metro) – This incredibly expensive BRAC project is not […]

 Posted by at 11:25 am on Feb 21, 2012  Comments Off on Updates to CycleMoco budget analysis
Feb 202012
 
Support the county's Annual Bikeway Program!

The Montgomery County Annual Bikeway Program (ABP) needs your support! Update (March 10, 2012):  WABA and MoBike just officially asked the County Executive for a 50% increase to this program.  That would bring it to $825K.  The budget is actually out of his hands, but he can affirm his support. Cyclists, please write to the County Council asking them to maintain current funding of this program. Councilmembers, please listen to the cyclists writing to you! The ABP is a critical county program that funds small scale bikeway improvements, design work and planning studies related to bikes.  Individual projects funded by the ABP must cost less than $300,000. The ABP is highly cost-effective because it makes many small but important fixes.  […]

 Posted by at 2:53 pm on Feb 20, 2012  Comments Off on Support the county’s Annual Bikeway Program!
Feb 092012
 

Here’s a break-down of bike projects in the county executive’s proposed 2013-2018 capital budget (CIP).  This doesn’t include items in the operating budget (such as maintenance and sweeping) and doesn’t include paths built as part of new or improved roads. (This table is a slight revision of the original post, reflecting these corrections). Project/program FY13 FY14 FY15-18 Change Comment More info Annual Bikeway Program 500K 500K 500K per year Cut by 9% – Save this program! Funds small projects and studies.  Very important, cost-effective.  Website Metropolitan Branch Trail 0 0 0 Removed from budget (was $12M) – Need to restore it! Link CCT via bridge across Ga. Ave. to existing MBT by Mont. College. County says it will still build […]

Feb 072012
 

Last month the County Executive recommended a capital budget (CIP) for the county covering fiscal years 2013 through 2018.   Together with the county’s operating budget, it could fund the government of a small European country like Serbia or Estonia. For a full analysis of the budget as far as bikes are concerned, see “The Montgomery County bike budget in gory detail”. That information came from county documents, mainly the Transportation section of the CIP.  On that page you’ll find most bike projects under the heading Pedestrian Facilities/Bikeways.  You can also read the county executive’s prose synopsis of ped/bike spending.   For a few more bike-related projects (some trails), see also the M-NCPPC section which lists projects managed by M-NCPPC (the Park […]

 Posted by at 10:09 pm on Feb 7, 2012  Comments Off on A budget the size of Estonia’s
Feb 072012
 

Bill Michie presented MoBike’s testimony at the County Council hearing tonight regarding the county’s proposed FY13-18 Capital Improvements Program (aka the capital budget). Below is MoBike’s testimony, and WABA’s testimony is on their site.  For more information about the county budget, see this post. To the Montgomery County Council, We are Montgomery Bicycle Advocates (MoBike), an organization dedicated to supporting the needs of bicyclists throughout Montgomery County. We have reviewed the County Executive’s proposed FY13-18 Capital Improvement Program and are encouraged that some bike-related projects will be moving forward, albeit with some delays.  We appreciate the funding provided for both standalone bikeway projects and for accommodations provided as a part of road projects. However, it’s a serious shortcoming of the […]

Feb 022012
 

The Washington Post has a couple good articles on BikeShare today. The article “Capital Bikeshare program looks to spread into the Washington suburbs” covers the coming of BikeShare to Montgomery County and other suburbs.  The plan is to expand BikeShare into several downcounty communities as well as the Rockville/Shady Grove area: By summertime, the bikes should be rolling through the streets of Rockville and Alexandria as the popular Capital Bikeshare program expands into several outer Washington communities. If grant applications come through, they might also appear in the inner-ring areas of Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Friendship Heights and Forest Glen. Which communities are getting stations is actually TBD, except Rockville which is funded already.   Grant money still has not […]

 Posted by at 1:55 pm on Feb 2, 2012  Comments Off on WashPost: BikeShare coming to Montgomery County