Posts Tagged ‘Funding’
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Bicycle Infrastructure and Local Connectivity
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.
123 Elm St.
The Star Telegram recently wrote an article on the budget surplus from 2011. Apparently the city is in the black $2.7 million dollars. You might say, “Wow, that’s a lot of money. ” Considering the City has an operating budget of $200 million it’s not that much. If you are brave enough to venture into the comments section of the Star-Telegram section you can read the calls for “Return it to the residents” or “What a waste. How can they have a surplus?”
It would be nice to see the surplus money invested back into Arlington. The article says that Councilman Shepard’s Financial Committee is going to discuss with City staff where the money should be allocated. Maybe staff and Council have ideas about where they would like to see the money spent, but that doesn’t mean we can’t chime in. If you think a portion of that money should be used to implement the Hike and Bike System Master Plan, here’s a sample letter you might consider emailing to council and the Transportation Planning Manager in charge of the plan (we’ve included email addresses for simple copy & pasting).
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Please use one-time funds to implement the Hike & Bike Plan
I recently found out about the budgetary windfall of $2.7 million dollars. I would like to recommend the city invest in safer streets and a more resilient transportation system by committing $300,000 to implementing the on-street portion of the Hike & Bike System Master Plan.
I understand that the plan was intended to be implemented over the next 30-40 years but in 30-40 years costs are going to be higher than what they are now.
Something that could be taken care of now, today, and benefit us residents almost immediately, would be the on-street portion of the Hike & Bike System Master Plan. The sum total for implementing the on-street portion of the plan is only estimated at $300,000. It’s a one-time cost that would offer multiple benefits to Arlington residents.
When deliberating the spending of these one-time funds, I would strongly recommend you dedicate a portion of the funds to implementing the approved plan.
Joan Q Public
123 Bicycle Track