Mar 222016
 
Bikes in the 2017-2022 Capital Budget

Wow, it’s been more than ten years since I started poring over bike budgets.  I still remember analyzing the 2005-2010 budget.   That’s so long ago that some of the projects in that budget are actually complete! (but many aren’t).  It’s so long ago that two-way cycle tracks were still called bike paths. Seriously, the County Executive’s recommended 2017-2022 Capital Budget (technically the “FY17 Recommended Capital Budget and FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program”) is a solid improvement over budgets from ten years years ago.  Support for bicycling has never been stronger in the county, thanks to growth in ridership and attitudinal shifts in county government.  But the county still has a long way to go. The capital budget covers six years but […]

 Posted by at 3:14 pm on Mar 22, 2016  Comments Off on Bikes in the 2017-2022 Capital Budget
Feb 242014
 

Five County Council members have signed on to a letter by Roger Berliner asking for a cost estimate of clearing snow on the Capital Crescent Trail, with an eye towards covering it in the county operating budget this year.  This is something cyclists have been requesting for years, but the requests (like bikes in the snow) never got much traction.   The letter is directed to county DOT and the Parks Department, though the latter department owns the trail. Also, Councilmember Hans Riemer has asked DOT to draft a plan for better snow removal from sidewalks.  Forcing pedestrians to walk in the street because plows have dumped snow onto sidewalks is unacceptable.  A local pedestrian was killed in recent years doing […]

Feb 072014
 
Share the Budget with Bikes!

On January 15th, County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended 2015 Capital Budget and 2015-2020 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), aka the 2015-2020 Capital Budget.  It identifies capital project funding over the six year period starting with Fiscal year 2015 (which begins July 1, 2014).   The first two years of the budget, 2015 and 2016, are the ones to watch.  The other four years are “out-years” which represent intentions or best guesses but may change significantly.  The capital budget is re-crafted every two years.  It is amended during the other years or any other time as needed.  “Capital” projects essentially involve building, creating or designing things – as opposed to operating and maintaining things which is the purview of the Operating […]

 Posted by at 3:35 am on Feb 7, 2014  Comments Off on Share the Budget with Bikes!
Jan 272014
 
Fishers Lane Trail Arrangement Approved

Good news…  An arrangement to fund and build the Fishers Lane Trail, which will connect Fishers Lane to the Rock Creek Trail near Rockville, has been approved by the Montgomery County Planning Board. Fishers Lane (the road) in turn connects to Twinbrook Metro and is relatively bikeable (in the roadway).  While ultimate construction of the trail depends on funding that has not been allocated, the major issues that jeopardized the trail appear to have been largely resolved.  The superb web page created by Monte Fisher (no relation) covers the trail project and its recent history. The main issues facing the trail were: The originally intended alignment became impossible due to a new plan to put Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on […]

 Posted by at 9:09 am on Jan 27, 2014  Comments Off on Fishers Lane Trail Arrangement Approved
Apr 142013
 

The Mont. County Bike Action Group (MCBAG) meets Thursday 10/18 from 7 to 9 pm at MCDOT’s Gaithersburg office.  The location is 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg on the 4th floor. Check in with the security guard in the lobby (you may have to buzz in).  Security is very tight and you might not be allowed to take your bike to the 4th floor. Dialing in is welcome since it’s not an easy trip for downcounty cyclists!  Dial in at 240-773-8120 (pass code is 498265). Meetings are held at 7 pm on the third Thursday of the month during most months.  The location rotates between Gaithersburg and Rockville. This month’s topic will be a review and discussion of potential projects […]

Jul 262012
 

Maryland just announced that the following Montgomery County projects will be funded under the state’s bikeways program for 2013: Clopper Road sidepath closing gaps in Germantown ($100,000) River Road sidepath west of Potomac. Grant funding contingent on ROW acquisition by Montgomery County ($100,000) Woodglen Drive bike lanes and sidepath in White Flint ($100,000) .  From Edson Lane to Nicholson Lane.  Sidepath will be a segment of the Bethesda Trolley Trail.  The southbound bike lane will be sharrows instead. The state also identified a Gaithersburg project as a grant recipient, described here by the Gaithersburg planning director: The Maryland Department of Transportation has approved $16,000 in reimbursable grant funding for the Assessment of the Gaithersburg Bicycle Loop along I-270, which will explore […]

 Posted by at 7:37 pm on Jul 26, 2012  Comments Off on Maryland announces bikeway grant winners
Jul 162012
 

From Courtland Milloy’s column in the Washington Post today: Well look who’s back: the Fenty brigade, led by true believers of former D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty. Among them are my nemeses — whom I have referred to before as myopic twitsbecause of their inability to see that dog parks, bike paths and cupcake parlors do not make a “world-class city.” So yet another pundit or politician has trivialized bike facilities (he probably means bike lanes) by lumping them in with the most frivolous-sounding improvements he could think of.  Such tripe is usually reserved for Republicans.  This is from a Heritage Foundation article: [States’] limited resources are diverted from urgent infrastructure projects to so-called enhancements, such as flower plantings, bicycle and […]

 Posted by at 10:30 am on Jul 16, 2012  Comments Off on Bike paths and cupcake parlors
Jun 292012
 

On Friday, Congress will did vote on a “compromise” transportation reauthorization bill that would does drastically cut funds provided to local jurisdictions for bike and pedestrian projects.  I assume regret to say that the bill will did pass. According to America Bikes: Congress will vote on a new transportation bill that reverses years of progress on biking and walking policy and cuts by 60 to 70 percent funding for local safety projects such as sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes. There’s more from that synopsis here.  Here is their detailed analysis. Prior years’ transportation bills always included funding for “transportation enhancements”.  That’s funding provided by the federal government to the states who in turn are required to award it to local […]

 Posted by at 2:42 am on Jun 29, 2012  Comments Off on New federal transportation bill slashes biking and walking funds
Jun 232012
 
Lake Frank trail connector almost finished

The Lake Frank trail connector is almost done!  [June 25th update: It IS done].  It will connect the Rock Creek Trail (north of Rt. 28) to Lake Frank in Derwood.  The paved trail was planned for years but just as it was about to be built, some residents in a nearby neighborhood launched an opposition campaign.  They insisted on an alternative route where the trail would be further from their homes but much more expensive and environmentally impactive to build.  Fortunately logic prevailed and the trail was approved for construction in the planned location. The trail will eventually be the southernmost segment of the Lake Frank Trail which will follow along the east side of the lake to the Meadowside […]