Posts Tagged ‘bus’

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Disappointment.

That’s what we feel. Nearly 2 years since we fought for on-street bicycle infrastructure in Arlington, to make the city safer, and more accessible by its residents, the city has yet to install any of the planned bike routes.

To add to the disappointment is the finger-in-the-eye announcement that the city is funding a multi-year bus pilot program at the cost of $350,000 a year i.e. Pilot bus project could begin rolling in Arlington by August, and Passengers would pay $5 to $8 fare on Arlington bus service to Centre Port. In terms of bike infrastructure, that is the entire on-street portion of the Hike & Bike Plan ($291,000) plus an extra $50,000. If the city put that kind of money into on-street infrastructure on a yearly basis, we would already have the on-street infrastructure sanctioned by the approved plan, plus the infrastructure in the original plan that was cut out as a false compromise with Tea Party members and U.N. conspiracy theorists Buddy Saunders and Zack Maxwell.

While connecting the city’s residents to the TRE line (after they passed on having a station of their own) is admirable though somewhat overdue, at the end of the day it’s just another pilot program that can disappear when the political will disappears, or money is tight i.e. according to a blog article at the Dallas Morning News about the newest pilot program:

“Arlington has tried commuter bus lines before, partnering with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, known as The T, in 2008 to run an express service to and from downtown Fort Worth. That park-and-ride effort folded in 2011 because of low ridership and insufficient funding.” (Benning, DMN)

Paint on the ground, stays on the ground. And routes put in place become better known and more used over time. If the city is serious about better transportation options for its residents, they’d do well to follow through on the Plan they passed in August of 2011 instead of frilling away dollars on another bus pilot program which, if past performance is any indication, is going to be another source of disappointment for Arlington transportation advocates.

If you feel like bicycle infrastructure is not getting it’s due recognition, or you want to express your disappointment with the current direction the city’s transportation policy is headed, please write the city council and let them know that you support the Hike & Bike Plan’s implementation.

You can write to the entire council by copying & pasting their email addresses below to your e-mail program of choice:

To: robert.cluck@arlingtontx.gov, charlie.parker@arlingtontx.gov, sheri.capehart@arlingtontx.gov, robert.rivera@arlingtontx.gov, lana.wolff@arlingtontx.gov, robert.shepard@arlingtontx.gov, michael.glaspie@arlingtontx.gov, jimmy.bennett@arlingtontx.gov, kathryn.wilemon@arlingtontx.gov

CC: Bikefriendlyarlington@gmail.com

Subject: I support implementing the Hike & Bike Plan

According to a recent Star-Telegram story, Arlington is funding a pilot bus project to connect downtown and the TRE line at center point. The annual cost of this service is $700,000 with $350,000 of that coming from the city.

To put things in terms of bike infrastructure:

Arlington’s cost share of the bus service for one year shadows the cost of the Hike & Bike plan’s cost for a 30-year build out of bike lanes and sharrows. A total of 72 miles of on-street infrastructure!

Cheers to Arlington for trying out regional connectivity.
Jeers to Arlington for missing out on greater local connectivity first!

If council members can cast a vote and write a check to fund a limited, bus pilot-program for 1-year, why couldn’t they just as easily have funded the on-street portion of the bike plan and gotten 30-years of building done in the same 1-year time frame?

We urge you to contact your council representative and cc: the entire council. The only way that the Hike & Bike plan is going to get the attention that it deserves is if the Council hears from you.

jimmy.bennett@arlingtontx.gov; sheri.capehart@arlingtontx.govrobert.cluck@arlingtontx.gov; michael.glaspie@arlingtontx.gov; charlie.parker@arlingtontx.gov; robert.rivera@arlingtontx.gov; robert.shepard@arlingtontx.gov; kathryn.wilemon@arlingtontx.gov; lana.wolff@arlingtontx.gov

Subject: Bicycle Infrastructure and Local Connectivity

Dear Mr./Mrs.X
I recently read the Star-Telegram article titled “Pilot project could have buses running in Arlington.”

I was shocked to find out that the city is willing to spend $350,000 on a 1-year pilot project for buses, but not $247,000 to finish 30-years worth of on-street bike infrastructure. In my opinion, this funding has been misplaced.

I support regional connectivity, but let’s work on local connectivity first.

Thank you,

Jane Smith
123 Elm St.
Arlington, Tx




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