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dasgeh
04-04-2016, 11:52 AM
Arlington is conducting a survey ahead of preparing its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). CIP funds are used for bigger infrastructure projects -- building and maintaining (e.g. repaving) trails, roads, bike lanes, etc. This is a great opportunity to get a foot in the door for some priority projects for the bike community. The projects that jump to mind are: capital maintenance for trails (i.e. fix the failing Custis); a fund for infrastructure projects to complete a safe, comfortable bike network (i.e. make improvements outside of the cycle when roads/intersections are being rebuilt for another reason); moving up the building of the Hoffman-Boston connector and extending it to the 12th st bike blvd.

The survey is here: http://budget.arlingtonva.us/cip/survey/ (http://budget.arlingtonva.us/cip/survey/)

If you agree with the priorities above and want some answers to plug in to the boxes, here are mine:


Question 1: Tell us about any possible connections between programs, projects, facilities or infrastructure that you think might help the County's investment decisions
Arlington's trail system has not had a capital maintenance budget for years, and it shows. The trails are in poor shape and deteriorating. Without capital maintenance to catch up with the years of neglect, we risk having these great trails become completely unusable. Arlington would lose valuable recreation corridors, and essential transportation corridors.

Question 2: The CIP is used to realize broad strategic economic and community development objectives in the County. What types of strategic investments should the County consider making and why? (examples include recreation space, public safety, government facilities, collaboration between schools and County, transit, paving, bridges, water, sewer, stormwater, etc.)
Arlington is a good place to ride a bike, but it could be a great place. Plenty of people are willing to bike through Arlington to get to some destinations -- parks, coffee shops, ice cream parlors -- but do not see routes that are safe and comfortable enough to get to other destinations. With the population growth and the strains on our transportation network (like the problems with MetroRail), we need a transportation network that gives everyone options for getting where they need to go. Arlington has grabbed most of the "low hanging fruit" - it has made most of the changes it can within other projects. To move forward, we need real investment.
Arlington needs to invest in a safe, comfortable, complete bike network that will give Arlingtonians the option to bike all of the places they want to go. We need safe routes for children to bike to school. We need safe routes through our commercial districts.
In some places, the investment needed is relatively modest -- adding a stop light where a comfortable neighborhood route crosses a major street, or adding a protected bike lane on a street where bike lanes are already there. In other places, land may need to be acquired to provide a connection, or curbs may need to be moved. To start, Arlington should have an annual fund to make improvements.
Also, Arlington must recognize the situation caused by the access restrictions of Fort Myer, and move up projects within the CIP that connect routes north/west of 395 with those south/east of 395. Most notably, the County should prioritize building the Hoffman-Boston connector through Army-Navy Country Club, and should expand the project to provide a safe, comfortable, direct route to the 12th Street South Bicycle Boulevard.

Question 3: What relevance or level of importance does the CIP have to you?
I, like all Arlingtonians, rely on the transportation network every day. As a network, it is only as strong as its weakest link. Building and maintaining a safe, comfortable bike network will not only serve those that are willing to bike, but it will relieve stress on the other parts of the transportation network - particularly roads and transit - as people choose to bike rather than drive. CIP investments in a safe, comfortable bike network are very important to me.