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dasgeh
03-04-2015, 03:02 PM
For those who weren't at the ABAC meeting Monday night, here are the bullet points we discussed related to the budget. The basic story is:
1) Arlington came out with a budget without talking to us
2) The base budget proposes no change to bike funding
3) The County Manager's office also recommended some places that could be cut (basically to fund schools), which included two bike issues: use the bike/ped portion of the decal fee for other transportation (i.e. roads); and eliminate one of two bike/ped planner positions.

ABAC voted Monday night to oppose both cuts, and to send a second letter describing the changing context of cycling in Arlington and the need for increased funding for bike projects. Letters are being written, but here are the bullets (this was handed out at the meeting):


Two separate letters:
1. feedback on some of the proposed budget adjustments and cuts:
a. Pedestrian and Bike Safety: Reduce funding to Pay-As-You-Go capital - (book 29, web 43)
• Public safety (increased ridership from CaBi and BikeArlington, safer infrastructure)
• Public health
• Matching federal and state grants (fiscally irresponsible)
b. Department of Environmental Services (DES): Eliminate one of two planner positions (Bike and Pedestrian Programs) - (book 25, web 39)
• significant impact on the identification, development and planning of appropriate transportation infrastructure within the county
• reduce the ability to provide timely and effective feedback on the numerous projects around the county.
• Update of Bicycle Element of Master Transportation Plan
c. Good developments in cycling in Arlington
• More cyclists
• CaBi
• Bike Arlington
• Kidical Mass Arlington
• SRTS at APS
• WABA award for snow clearing

2. Due to particular events, new funding is needed:
a. Planning: update to the Bicycle Element of the Master Transportation Plan, because it is out of date, and not reflective of the current state of biking in Arlington (e.g. SRTS and Kidical Mass have come on the scene since the last update)
b. Maintenance:
• snow clearing;
• spot maintenance;
• repaving/more fundamental maintenance
c. New Routes:
• Hoffman-Boston Connector;
• Arlington Blvd Trail;
• Neighborhood network of safe, on-street bicycle routes (with signage and signal upgrades, where required)

dasgeh
03-04-2015, 03:03 PM
As we discussed at the meeting, the bullets above (along with any other talking points yall have) could be used as talking points with powers that be.

I'm told there will be a story on the potential bike/ped cuts at 4:30pm on WAMU (88.5/NPR) and again tomorrow morning (which might feature a familiar voice ;-)

americancyclo
03-05-2015, 07:53 AM
As we discussed at the meeting, the bullets above (along with any other talking points yall have) could be used as talking points with powers that be.

I'm told there will be a story on the potential bike/ped cuts at 4:30pm on WAMU (88.5/NPR) and again tomorrow morning (which might feature a familiar voice ;-)

Just heard you on morning edition!

dasgeh
03-05-2015, 08:21 AM
Just heard you on morning edition!
My kids did too. They didn't recognize my voice, and when I pointed it out they didn't care.

Starduster
03-05-2015, 05:52 PM
And you can listen here: http://wamu.org/news/15/03/04/why_is_arlington_considering_slashing_its_budget_f or_alternative_transit

Except... this is the 01:30 audio excerpt- Gillian isn't heard here (boo-hiss on WAMU's part).

scoot
03-06-2015, 07:52 AM
Washcycle blogged today on this topic: http://www.thewashcycle.com/2015/03/arlington-2016-budget-includes-proposed-cuts-to-bicycle-and-pedestrian-programs.html

What strikes me is the disconnect between the proposed cuts (pedestrian and bicycle programs) and Ms. Donellan's justification for the choice of these items: "My approach was to propose no “Washington Monuments;” to not fully eliminate any program or service; and to largely focus on programs that are not core to public safety or health."

How exactly is enabling and protecting active transportation users not core to public safety and health???

PotomacCyclist
03-07-2015, 03:28 AM
Should we get people to write to the County Manager and the Board in addition to the ABAC letter? Is there a convenient list of email addresses? County Manager, DES, Board Members, others? This might merit a thread on the General forum, which tends to get more traffic and views than the other sub-forums.

Starduster
03-07-2015, 08:19 AM
My kids did too. They didn't recognize my voice, and when I pointed it out they didn't care.

Give them a couple of years... :)

dasgeh
03-07-2015, 08:24 AM
Should we get people to write to the County Manager and the Board in addition to the ABAC letter? Is there a convenient list of email addresses? County Manager, DES, Board Members, others? This might merit a thread on the General forum, which tends to get more traffic and views than the other sub-forums.
That's what I meant by the powers that be. You can email the entire county board at once: Countyboard@arlingtonva.us and you can email countymanager@arlingtonva.us

I don't think DES needs the prodding.

You may also want to mention to the manager that the bac should not be excluded when other boards are solicited for input, as happened this past December (all the other commissions were invited to give input about the budget - bac and pac were left out) (still haven't heard back from my email on the topic).

And one more talking point:
-business look for walkable and bikeable communities for their office locations, as their workers, especially millenials, seek out offices in such places. Cutting bike services hurts arlington as a business location

Terpfan
03-09-2015, 12:44 PM
I'm not an Arlingtonian so I fear my voice wouldn't really be heard, but I do think you all should be very loud and very vocal. I say it selfishly as the more bike-friendly Arlington has become, the more pressure it has put on Alexandria and Fairfax to follow suit. Sure, Fairfax is way behind, but they're starting to actually designate some bike lanes and it's obvious they feel the need to try to at least mirror some of Arlington's progress. If Arlington regresses, I fear they will just point to that and say, well, you really don't need this.

dbb
03-09-2015, 12:59 PM
I'm not an Arlingtonian so I fear my voice wouldn't really be heard, but I do think you all should be very loud and very vocal. I say it selfishly as the more bike-friendly Arlington has become, the more pressure it has put on Alexandria and Fairfax to follow suit. Sure, Fairfax is way behind, but they're starting to actually designate some bike lanes and it's obvious they feel the need to try to at least mirror some of Arlington's progress. If Arlington regresses, I fear they will just point to that and say, well, you really don't need this.

I think you should write the Board and say just that. Characterize Arlington County as a regional thought leader and commend them for their service in making the region more accepting of alternatives to cars. Might want to highlight the words safety and health because the proposed cuts were characterized as outside of those categories.

Steve O
03-09-2015, 02:08 PM
I'm not an Arlingtonian so I fear my voice wouldn't really be heard, . . .

I think you should write the Board and say just that.

You should also mention that this makes it more likely that you will work/shop/play/ etc. in Arlington. It's not just citizens who are served by our government, but workers and businesses, too. Attracting more people to come to Arlington for any reason is good and the County Board should understand that.

PotomacCyclist
03-09-2015, 03:06 PM
Another good talking point is the recent announcement from Marriott International that they plan to move out of their Bethesda-area suburban office park when their lease expires in 2022. Their CEO specifically said that they want to move to a Metro-accessible location, because he realizes that younger workers/recent college graduates do not want to work in car-dependent office parks. This is such a concern that Marriott Int'l wants to move their entire headquarters. (Of course, they also want to pit local jurisdictions against each other, to get the best incentive package available. But the CEO did say that the new HQ has to be located near a Metro station. They did say that they would remain in the greater DC region.)

The CEO mentioned Metro access but he also mentioned urban setting for the new HQ. An important part of the idea of transit-oriented development is human-scale design and safe non-car travel within the immediate area of a Metro station. This means walking and biking.

So not only does bike/pedestrian planning deal with safety and transportation, but it also affects economic development. BRAC has hurt Arlington, but Arlington still has the important draw of having business districts that are Metro-accessible and that also accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. Much more than competing locations like Tysons Corner.

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/03/a-new-marriott-hq-here-are-some-possibilities.html?page=all

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/03/a-new-marriott-hq-here-are-five-possibilities.html?page=all

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2015/03/more-headquarters-options-for-marriott.html?page=all

Terpfan
03-10-2015, 02:08 PM
You should also mention that this makes it more likely that you will work/shop/play/ etc. in Arlington. It's not just citizens who are served by our government, but workers and businesses, too. Attracting more people to come to Arlington for any reason is good and the County Board should understand that.

Well, you all raise good points. While I doubt they will listen given I'm not a constituent (and in a prior life, that was the bar we always used in determining responses), it's certainly worth a shot. Besides, if I could afford to, I would live in Arlington :).

PotomacCyclist
03-15-2015, 02:32 PM
Hmm, I sent a lengthy email to both the Board and the County Manager. Polite in tone, but disapproving in the message. A couple days later, the County Manager announces her retirement. I swear, it wasn't my doing!

dasgeh
03-17-2015, 10:04 PM
By way of update on the "process" side of this issue: Turns out that neither the BAC nor the PAC were consulted on the proposed cuts or the budget in any way. In fact, Transportation staff wasn't consulted on the proposed cuts.

On the up side, the Chair of the PAC and me, as Chair of the BAC, will be testifying during the County Board's work session tomorrow night (at the end of the night, if you want to come). Should be fun.

dasgeh
03-18-2015, 09:25 AM
Speaking of testifying in front of the Board with 24 hours notice, I'm typing up testimony. It would be very helpful to have some supporting research that I could cite to in written testimony (though I won't go into in spoken remarks) on the following points. I was hoping that there may be one or two of you out there with some time today do dig a little and find some links to support these points:

• Bike trips are great for local business
• Bike trips develop community
• Bike trips are great for public safety
• Bike trips improve public health
• Bike trips save the County money in parking and road maintenance.

Thanks!

Tim Kelley
03-18-2015, 09:31 AM
Speaking of testifying in front of the Board with 24 hours notice, I'm typing up testimony. It would be very helpful to have some supporting research that I could cite to in written testimony (though I won't go into in spoken remarks) on the following points. I was hoping that there may be one or two of you out there with some time today do dig a little and find some links to support these points:

• Bike trips are great for local business
• Bike trips develop community
• Bike trips are great for public safety
• Bike trips improve public health
• Bike trips save the County money in parking and road maintenance.

Thanks!

http://urbanful.org/2015/03/02/cities-and-businesses-discover-that-cycling-pays/

PotomacCyclist
03-18-2015, 09:40 AM
Other articles re "bike trips are great for local business":

2012 article with additional links in the article: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2012/03/23/why-bicyclists-are-better-customers-than-drivers-for-local-business/
2014 article: http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/three-infographics-that-show-how-urban-economies-are-shifting-bikeward
2012 blog post from the Wall Street Journal, re benefits of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas in NYC: http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2012/10/24/report-bike-lanes-pedestrian-plazas-good-for-businesses/

chris_s
03-18-2015, 11:08 AM
Speaking of testifying in front of the Board with 24 hours notice, I'm typing up testimony. It would be very helpful to have some supporting research that I could cite to in written testimony (though I won't go into in spoken remarks) on the following points. I was hoping that there may be one or two of you out there with some time today do dig a little and find some links to support these points:

• Bike trips are great for local business
• Bike trips develop community
• Bike trips are great for public safety
• Bike trips improve public health
• Bike trips save the County money in parking and road maintenance.

Thanks!

Allow me to introduce you to http://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics

I'd call it the best thing to ever happen to bike advocacy.

scoot
03-18-2015, 12:44 PM
Allow me to introduce you to http://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics

I'd call it the best thing to ever happen to bike advocacy.

Thanks Chris! That site looks like a great resource.

Since the proposed cuts will affect pedestrians as well, I hope that someone will speak up on their behalf also. Perhaps pedestrian issues will resonate more universally? After all, almost everyone becomes a pedestrian at some point during each day.

PotomacCyclist
03-18-2015, 12:51 PM
http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/03/the-complete-business-case-for-converting-street-parking-into-bike-lanes/387595/

dasgeh
03-18-2015, 12:52 PM
Allow me to introduce you to http://www.peopleforbikes.org/statistics

I'd call it the best thing to ever happen to bike advocacy.

That site is awesome. My time is limited. If anyone has time to pull out relevant stats for the points I made before, I'd appreciated. I can integrate anything posted by 4:45pm


Thanks Chris! That site looks like a great resource.

Since the proposed cuts will affect pedestrians as well, I hope that someone will speak up on their behalf also. Perhaps pedestrian issues will resonate more universally? After all, almost everyone becomes a pedestrian at some point during each day.

Yes, these cuts would affect pedestrians as well, and the Pedestrian Advisory Committee also was not consulted. The Chair of the PAC will also be speaking tonight. Since I only have 3 minutes, I'm focusing on bikes. But I agree the ped angle is important too, and plan to say things like "Walkable/bikable neighborhoods are the soul of Arlington – People create the communities that make Arlington great, and communities are made when people get around on two feet and on two wheels."

dasgeh
03-18-2015, 01:01 PM
Also, point #1 is well supported - thank you, thank you, thank you. Any links for the other points would be really, really welcome.

chris_s
03-18-2015, 01:22 PM
• Bike trips improve public health


Urban cyclists are exposed to less accumulated air pollution than bus commuters.
Hertel, O., et al., 2008 - A proper choice of route significantly reduces air pollution exposure—A study on bicycle and bus trips in urban streets, Science of the Total Environment, 389, 58-70

Cyclists are exposed to less pollution than taxi or bus passengers.
Kaur, S., et al., 2006 - Exposure visualisation of ultrafine particle counts in a transport microenvironment, Atmospheric Environment, 40, 386-398

Kids who ride a school bus inhale up to a million times more vehicle emissions than the average person outside the bus
Marshall, J., and E. Behrentz, 2005 - Vehicle self-pollution intake fraction: Children's exposure to school bus emissions, Environmental Science and Technology, 39, 2559-2563

When car travel restrictions reduced morning traffic by 23% during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, ozone concentrations decreased 28% and acute care visits for asthma decreased 41%.
Friedman, M., et al., 2001 - Impact of Changes in Transportation and Commuting Behaviors During the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta on Air Quality and Childhood Asthma, Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(7):897

Active commuting that incorporates cycling and walking is associated with an overall 11% reduction in cardiovascular risk.
Hamer, M., and Y. Chida, 2007 - Active commuting and cardiovascular risk: A meta-analytic review, Preventive Medicine, 46, 9-13

According to the federal government, biking for transportation can count toward the minimum 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity recommended for physical health. It is also listed as the safest way to get physical activity.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008 - 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Women who walk or bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Luoto, R., et al., 2000 - The effect of physical activity on breast cancer risk: A cohort study of 30,548 women, European Journal of Epidemiology, 16, 973-80

30-60 minutes of daily physical activity such as biking to work is associated with low blood pressure in women and low hypertension in both genders.
Hu, G., et al., 2002 - Commuting, leisure-time physical activity, and cardiovascular risk factors in China, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34, 234-8

Countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates.
Bassett, Jr., et al., 2008 - Walking, cycling, and obesity rates in Europe, North America, and Australia, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5, 795-814

Aerobic exercise [like bicycling] can improve self-esteem.
Fox and Corbin, 1999 - in Green Exercise: Complementary roles of nature, exercise and diet in physical and emotional well-being and implications for public health policy, CES Occasional Paper 2003-1, University of Essex

A study of nearly 2,400 adults found that those who biked to work were fitter, leaner, less likely to be obese, and had better triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin levels than those who didn't active commute to work.
Gordon-Larsen, P., et al., 2009 - Active commuting and cardiovascular disease risk, Archives of Internal Medicine, 169, 1216-1223

The risk of fatality while cycling is just once every 32 million kilometers (20 million miles), or over 800 times around the world.
CTC - Safety in numbers: Halving the risks of cycling

An adult cyclist typically has a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger and a life expectancy two years above the average.
Paffenbarger, R., et al., 1986., and Department for Transport, 2007 - in "Safety in numbers in England," CTC

Cyclists on average live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15% fewer days off work through illness.
CTC - Safety in numbers: Halving the risks of cycling

PotomacCyclist
03-18-2015, 01:25 PM
No. 2 (Bike trips develop community) is more vague than the others, so it might be difficult to cite specific studies on that point. Most of the cites that I just skimmed through dealt with bike tourism on rural trails, in areas that wouldn't have many tourists otherwise. Arlington doesn't face that problem.

dasgeh
03-18-2015, 01:32 PM
No. 2 (Bike trips develop community) is more vague than the others, so it might be difficult to cite specific studies on that point. Most of the cites that I just skimmed through dealt with bike tourism on rural trails, in areas that wouldn't have many tourists otherwise. Arlington doesn't face that problem.

Fair enough. I was thinking of the idea that when people bike (v. drive) they stay local, they talk to their neighbors, they see stuff happening around them, they travel on neighborhood roads. Some of what I said here: http://www.arlnow.com/2015/02/19/progressive-voice-bike-safety-also-helps-drivers/

scoot
03-18-2015, 01:44 PM
Here's a compelling one from the health statistics section at the peopleforbikes site:

http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/IntertwinePAObesityAssessment.pdf

Beil, K., 2011 - Physical Activity and the Intertwine: A Public Health Method of Reducing Obesity and Healthcare Costs

The author estimates that Portland's investment in the Intertwine (its interconnected network of public trails and parks) saves the community $155M annually in healthcare expenses. Of this, $81M in healthcare savings is attributed to the trails alone ($55M for bicyclists, $26M for pedestrians) (page 6). BTW that works out to an average of $50 per person per year, using the population given in the paper. Methods are essentially a calorie computation and regression of healthcare expenses against body weights.

Steve O
03-18-2015, 01:56 PM
After all, almost everyone becomes a pedestrian at some point during each day.

Sadly, I'm not sure I would make this assertion. There is a sizable percentage of the population whose walking consists solely of going from their garage to their house and from their parking lot into their workplace and don't actually walk along any street or cross a single intersection. Less true in Arlington, which is what we're talking about here. But "almost everyone" on a broader scale is being generous, IMO.

Steve O
03-18-2015, 02:02 PM
BTW that works out to an average of $50 per person per year, using the population given in the paper.

$50/person/year x 225,000 Arlingtonians = ~$11 million/year

Steve O
03-18-2015, 02:22 PM
Indirect, but if we believe that property values are a reflection of a better community and higher quality of life, then

Residential property values are higher in walkable neighborhoods:
• Residential property values are 5.2% higher in more walkable London
neighborhoods.
• House values are 15.5% higher in walkable neighborhoods than in nonwalkable
areas, all else equal.
• Property values are 11% higher in New Urbanist neighborhoods than in
conventional, auto-dependent neighborhoods.
http://vibrantneo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/VibrantNEO_EconomicBenefitsofCompleteStreets.pdf

And another study that shows property values increased in the Cincinnati area by $9 for each foot closer to a trail a house was:
http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=14300

scoot
03-18-2015, 03:25 PM
Reducing automobile traffic produces significant air quality improvement. The effects are basically immediate:

When car travel restrictions reduced morning traffic by 23% during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, ozone concentrations decreased 28% and acute care visits for asthma decreased 41%.
Friedman, M., et al., 2001 - Impact of Changes in Transportation and Commuting Behaviors During the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta on Air Quality and Childhood Asthma, Journal of the American Medical Association, 285(7):897 (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=193572)

Of course, due to induced (http://www.vox.com/2014/10/23/6994159/traffic-roads-induced-demand) demand (http://urbanist.co/busting-four-biggest-myths-induced-demand/), the trails themselves probably don't alleviate overall traffic that much. Trails would be far more effective at improving air quality if they replaced existing roads, rather than complementing them. :-)

scoot
03-18-2015, 03:43 PM
I haven't found anything that quantifies how road maintenance costs might vary with the level of bicycling or amount of trails. Again, induced demand.

Plus the fact that the pavement damage goes as the fourth power of vehicle weight, so truck traffic is disproportionately responsible for that. And it would be very difficult to argue that trails would reduce truck traffic, at least in the short term.

dasgeh
03-18-2015, 03:47 PM
You are all rockstars. Thank you so much for your help on this very busy day. It means a lot.

scoot
03-18-2015, 04:09 PM
Nah, you're the lead singer. But it helps when you've got a strong rhythm section, laying down a groove. :-)

dbb
03-18-2015, 04:11 PM
With respect to the cost component, the cost of producing a mile of trail is far less than the cost for a mile of road. A trail is built to essentially sidewalk standards with less excavation, less subgrade and less asphalt or concrete. If we move people out of cars and onto bikes, the cost of the new capacity is far lower.

scoot
03-18-2015, 04:22 PM
That's a good point. It's a cheaper way to add the same capacity. As long as one measures capacity in people, as opposed to cargo. I wonder how that ratio (cost divided by the sum of the number of miles traveled by all users, both actual and at capacity) would compare to something like a dedicated bus lane. Or Metro, for that matter.

Starduster
03-23-2015, 07:33 AM
This, from WABA:

Thank you for contacting the Arlington County Board. Please share this action with your friends, family, co-workers and other area bicyclists by sharing this link: waba.org/arlingtonbudget

Want to do more?
The Arlington County Board is holding a public hearing on the transportation budget on Tuesday, March 24th at 7:00 pm. The public hearing will be held in County Board room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201.There are some key folks signed up to testify early in the hearing. A speaker early on will ask all residents in attendance who supporting biking to stand up. A strong showing of support is needed. Come at 7:00 pm and stand for biking.

WABA is the leading voice for bicycling in the region and our members enable us to advocate for better conditions for bicycling. Join or donate today to ensure that we can continue to represent you. Join online at waba.org/join.

Thanks,
Greg Billing
WABA Advocacy Coordinator

Here is an important way to influence your county Board, by *show of strength*. Your ABAC leadership, WABA, and the BikeArlington crew will appreciate it. And *you* will benefit. 7pm sharp. Be there. Aloha.

PotomacCyclist
03-23-2015, 11:11 AM
Greater Greater Washington has a long post about the proposed budget cuts:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/26105/proposal-to-slash-arlingtons-bike-program-would-be-a-huge-mistake/

They point out that the draft budget does not include these bike/ped budget cuts. But the back-up plan does include these cuts, which would help to pay for a property tax rate reduction.

dasgeh is quoted in the post. They include a link to the letter that the chair of the Arlington pedestrian advisory committee wrote to the County Manager.

chris_s
03-23-2015, 11:37 AM
They point out that the draft budget does not include these bike/ped budget cuts. But the back-up plan does include these cuts, which would help to pay for a property tax rate reduction.

There is also strong pressure to cut the County Government budget to bridge the gap in the schools budget.

dasgeh
03-23-2015, 11:45 AM
There is also strong pressure to cut the County Government budget to bridge the gap in the schools budget.

And one could point out that bike/ped safety is a particularly bad place to cut. The schools could save a lot of money in transportation if more students walked and biked to school (v. taking the bus, which has direct costs, or being driven, which has indirect costs), but we really need to improve safety if we want more students to walk or bike.

Starduster
03-23-2015, 05:21 PM
"That's quite the bait and switch on Arlington taxpayers. The county board originally approved generating the revenue for this pot of money as a dedicated funding stream for bike and pedestrian projects. But now that money is rolling in, it isn't as dedicated as the board originally promised."

Raiding a *dedicated fund* to pay for someone's "pet" whatever elsewhere? What a concept.

My experience is that dedicated funds have to be watched and protected with great diligence. Example- a couple of years ago, the Virginia General Assembly tried to raid the dedicated funding stream for Alicia's Law, intended to combat child sexual exploitation. For highways, I think. Didn't think anyone would notice. It took considerable effort from the National Association to Protect Children and the PROTECT Lobby to keep that from happening, which included Alicia Kozakiewicz (for whom the law is named) coming back to Richmond to be the *inconvenient twinge of conscience* staring at them (the legislators) from the gallery. Moral? Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we have to watch our dedicated funding just as closely.

Megabeth
03-23-2015, 07:30 PM
(Stealing from the WABA messaging...but, with a purpose, we need people to show up!)

The Arlington County Board is holding a public hearing on the transportation budget on Tuesday, March 24th at 7:00 pm.

The public hearing will be held in County Board room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201.

There are some key folks signed up to testify early in the hearing. A speaker early on will ask all residents in attendance who supporting biking to stand up.

A strong showing of support is needed.

Come at 7:00 pm and stand for biking.

~~~

Adding to WABA message: 2100 Clarendon has tons of bike racks outside. Close to bikeshare. Close to Metro. Close to eating establishments that serve beer. What more could you ask for?

Background about proposed budget cuts: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/26105/proposal-to-slash-arlingtons-bike-program-would-be-a-huge-mistake/

Arlingtonrider
03-23-2015, 08:35 PM
I'll be there and hope we can fill the room, even if we can't all stay for the whole meeting.

Come on people - this is important to us!

Does anyone want to meet somewhere to eat before the meeting?


(Stealing from the WABA messaging...but, with a purpose, we need people to show up!)

The Arlington County Board is holding a public hearing on the transportation budget on Tuesday, March 24th at 7:00 pm.

The public hearing will be held in County Board room at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201.

There are some key folks signed up to testify early in the hearing. A speaker early on will ask all residents in attendance who supporting biking to stand up.

A strong showing of support is needed.

Come at 7:00 pm and stand for biking.

~~~

Adding to WABA message: 2100 Clarendon has tons of bike racks outside. Close to bikeshare. Close to Metro. Close to eating establishments that serve beer. What more could you ask for?

Background about proposed budget cuts: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/26105/proposal-to-slash-arlingtons-bike-program-would-be-a-huge-mistake/

dasgeh
03-23-2015, 08:39 PM
Also, if you want to speak, we can use more voices. Email me and I'd be happy to work with you on talking points. It's quick and easy and you'll have a lot of people to support you.

It would be very helpful to have more voices. For example, voices from the business community. If you know any business owners that want to see more biking in Arlington and are willing to speak out, please send them my way.

Starduster
03-23-2015, 08:59 PM
Also, if you want to speak, we can use more voices. Email me and I'd be happy to work with you on talking points. It's quick and easy and you'll have a lot of people to support you.

It would be very helpful to have more voices. For example, voices from the business community. If you know any business owners that want to see more biking in Arlington and are willing to speak out, please send them my way.

Bike shop owners/managers? I've already tagged Larry Behery (Old Bicycle Shop) and John Harpold (Papillon Cycles) on my FB feed. We'll see what we get.

Starduster
03-23-2015, 09:40 PM
Here is a link, explaining when and where: http://budget.arlingtonva.us/events/budget-public-hearing/

I was looking for an agenda. Couldn't find it. Yet. And I think the deadline to register as a speaker passed at 5:00pm today.

Let me amend that- you *can* register to speak on the day of the meeting. Info here: http://countyboard.arlingtonva.us/meetings/speak-budget-tax/

PotomacCyclist
03-24-2015, 11:27 PM
Nice job, dasgeh. I think the road safety message is much more effective coming from you, than if it was some moderately-aggressive "middle-aged guy in Lycra" or someone who appeared to be a "Lance wannabe." Intentionally or not, your daughter seemed to steal the show. I was watching the expressions of the Board members faces. County Manager Barbara Donnellan was particularly taken by your daughter. Hopefully the Board members keep that image in mind and think of the effects of bike planning and programming on families and all potential bike users in the County. Sometimes the visual image can be more powerful than the spoken words. In this case, we had the visual image and the words.

dbb
03-25-2015, 09:54 AM
Now is the opportunity to reinforce Gillian’s comments last night with another round of emails to the Arlington County Board

Something like:

As you heard in the hearing on Tuesday night, decisions to reduce funding for Bike Arlington and bike and pedestrian staff in the Department of Environmental Services will affect safety for families and children who are cycling for transportation and fitness as well as Arlington’s lower income residents who often rely on bicycles as their primary means of transportation.

Reductions to the Arlington bicycle programs would result in lost grant funds so the impact to an affordable transportation option in the county would be magnified.

Please reject the proposed budget cuts that would reduce Bike Arlington and the DES pedestrian and bicycle staff.


CountyBoard@arlingtonva.us

jfisette@arlingtonva.us

mhynes@arlingtonva.us

lgarvey@arlingtonva.us

jvihstadt@arlingtonva.us

wtejada@arlingtonva.us

dasgeh
03-25-2015, 10:11 AM
Huge, huge, huge thanks to everyone who came out. And especially to Megabeth who sounded the call, and did lots of work behind the scenes. Having the support in the audience was key. Little birdies have said there is still some skepticism on the Board for the need for these funds, so every piece of support helps.

Mark and Edgar did excellent jobs framing the issue. I was happy to bat clean up, and completely take advantage of my toddlers and belly, you know, for a good cause. (I should have this belly for another 6 weeks or so, so if you know of any places that need the visual impact, let me know. Only half kidding).

And thanks for the kind words.

Oh, and did anyone else notice in the pre-speaker presentation (available here (http://arlingtonva.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/18/2015/03/FY16P-Public-Hearing-on-Budget-03-24-2015.pdf)) that the Manager sneakily called the service reductions relevant to us "bike/pedestrian program" instead of "bicycle and pedestrian safety program" as the relevant line item has been called in at least the last 2 budget cycles (and this one up until last night). So at least they heard us calling them out for cutting "safety"...?

PotomacCyclist
03-25-2015, 10:33 AM
The person who spoke about bikes being the only means of transportation for many in the Latino community was also helpful. I don't think he posts on this forum, and I haven't seen his name in WABA posts before. (Or maybe he has appeared and I just don't remember it.) While some of his words got lost (as he didn't put the microphone directly in front of his mouth), most of his message was clear. I think Board Member Walter Tejada was particularly concerned and interested in that testimony.

Members Mary Hynes and Jay Fisette seemed attentive to all the speakers. Unfortunately, it appeared that Member John Vihstadt did not always appear interested in much of the testimony from anyone, or he was having difficulty staying awake. Maybe that's just his expression or it might reveal something about his official interests. He only perked up when members of the tourism or economic development boards spoke about the return on investment for promotion of tourism in Arlington County. He took notes then, but not for any other speakers. Member Libby Garvey seemed engaged at some times, but not as engaged at other times. I didn't stay for the entire hearing, but I did listen to about 80 minutes of the speakers.

Steve O
03-25-2015, 11:14 AM
The person who spoke about bikes being the only means of transportation for many in the Latino community was also helpful. I don't think he posts on this forum, and I haven't seen his name in WABA posts before. (Or maybe he has appeared and I just don't remember it.) While some of his words got lost (as he didn't put the microphone directly in front of his mouth), most of his message was clear. I think Board Member Walter Tejada was particularly concerned and interested in that testimony.


I believe that was Edgar Gil Rico. He is an LCI and WABA instructor; I've taught with him before and know him through the WABA instructors network. He was one of the panelists at the showing of BikeSwell, the movie, back in 2013 at the Cinema & Drafthouse. I would love to get him to come to the new advocacy organization meetings that just got going. He could be a key person to help connect us with the Latino community.

Sorry I wasn't able to be there last night, but I'm pleased to hear that a lot of you were, and that the testimony by everyone was strong. Kudos to everyone who has worked hard on this issue. As dbb points out here, we need to keep the pressure on.

PotomacCyclist
03-25-2015, 11:35 AM
Yes, I believe it was Edgar Gil Rico. Now that you mention it, I remember him from the BikeSwell screening too, but not by name. I see online that he has a graduate degree from the Copenhagen Business School, which might explain his interest in cycling. Or why he chose to go to school in Copenhagen.

chris_s
03-25-2015, 12:25 PM
Another useful talking point: Arlington's Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee opposes both the elimination of one bike/ped planner and the elimination of the $800,000 in decal fee money from the bike/ped safety program. :)

chris_s
03-25-2015, 01:38 PM
Walter and Jay came out pretty strongly against the Bike & Ped position cut at the DES budget work session. Has anyone heard a similarly strong position out of Mary, John or Libby? If not, they are the ones we should focus on.

Also it sounds like the board didn't discuss the Decal Fee reduction at the DES budget worksession because it will be discussed at the "Pay as you Go Capital" worksession on April 7th, so there is still time to get the board asking the right questions prior to that session.

Starduster
03-25-2015, 07:58 PM
As dbb has remainded us, we need to follow up- pressure on.

If I may share what I wrote to the Board after the session. Not my best writing at close to midnight, but here 'tis...

"Thank you for listening to all of us at the budget hearing. This is an addendum to testimony regarding proposed reductions to bicycle/pedestrian programs.

I have lived in Arlington since 1985. I ride, and for a time during the 80s and 90s, my career allowed me to commute by bicycle. What I have observed is that it is currently so much easier and safer to ride than even 10 years ago. Much improved infrastructure which makes it easier for automobiles, pedestrians, and cyclists to coexist. Also, treatment of the bicycle as a legitimate transportation alternative- correction- *legitimate transportation choice*. I am proud that Arlington led by example- keeping bike routes usable for commuters by plowing them this past winter. The example is rubbing off elsewhere in the region. Even Tysons Corner, as car-centric as you can possibly be, has grown sidewalks for the first time. Their first bike lanes to follow soon. We’ve had great influence, great success. That doesn’t mean we can stop now.

Besides the collateral damage coming from cuts- loss of matching grant money, loss of staff, loss of opportunity, loss of growth, there will be increased costs elsewhere. It has been noted that an environment where it is safer for a child to walk or ride to school reduces the dependence on school buses, which take their own sizable chunk of the school system budget.

Something else to consider- the demographics of our changing and evolving Arlington. The young couple with the growing family who get around via cargo bikes... are not an anomaly. They are among the leading edge of 20-30-somethings who came here precisely so they can live without so much dependence on the internal combustion engine, with all its expenses. And unless something or someone makes them feel unwelcome, they *are* the future of Arlington. Oh, yes, they also vote.

I also have friends in the bike business who not only benefit from infrastructure that makes it easier and safer to ride, they generate tax revenue for Arlington. Yet another reason..."

Mr. Tejada is with us, I have no question of that. Mr. Vihstadt... is another matter. So, time to continue to lobby. I doubt any of us has the resources to "purchase" a politician. But we have something they will always want- our vote. You would be surprised how reactive a politician can be when he needs it to stay in office.

Here, for "Lobbying 101" reference and inspiration, are the people I run with, who get *results* without the "suitcases full of unmarked bills"- http://www.protect.org/lobby

elbows
04-02-2015, 10:07 PM
That's what I meant by the powers that be. You can email the entire county board at once: Countyboard@arlingtonva.us and you can email countymanager@arlingtonva.us

I don't think DES needs the prodding.

You may also want to mention to the manager that the bac should not be excluded when other boards are solicited for input, as happened this past December (all the other commissions were invited to give input about the budget - bac and pac were left out) (still haven't heard back from my email on the topic).

And one more talking point:
-business look for walkable and bikeable communities for their office locations, as their workers, especially millenials, seek out offices in such places. Cutting bike services hurts arlington as a business location


Is there a date by which it is recommended that people write? (Sorry if I missed it.) I wrote, but am trying to encourage others to do the same.

dasgeh
04-03-2015, 08:58 AM
Is there a date by which it is recommended that people write? (Sorry if I missed it.) I wrote, but am trying to encourage others to do the same.

Two relevant dates remain:
April 7, the Board has a work session including "Pay-As-You-Go Capital". That's where the $800k elimination of the "bike and pedestrian safety program" would fall. Note that this program has been called the "safety" program for at least three budget rounds. It seems that in the past month, the Manager's office has tried to drop "safety" out of the title, probably because the Board specifically asked her not to make cuts that would negatively impact safety. The projects funded by this program would certainly increase public safety (and public health, the other thing the Manager was not supposed to cut).

They adopt the budget on April 18*, so that's really the last date that's relevant. (Earlier documents said the 21st, but the schedule page (http://budget.arlingtonva.us/fy-2016-county-board-worksession-schedule/)says the 18th)

dasgeh
04-03-2015, 09:03 AM
Is there a date by which it is recommended that people write? (Sorry if I missed it.) I wrote, but am trying to encourage others to do the same.

And thanks!

Powerful Pete
04-17-2015, 08:31 AM
So, the forum's efforts appear to have had a positive effect - no cuts to bike/pedestrian programs in this year's budget! Thanks to Dasgeh for informing and mobilizing and for everyone who chipped in with their help!

A happy Pete

[B]Arlington County Board: No Tax Rate Increase in CY 2015

Board marks-up FY 2016 Budget, final vote April 21
Collaborated with APS to fully fund Schools
Increasing public safety funding
Increasing economic development funding
Funding internal auditor
Maintaining social safety net, bike-pedestrian programs

The Arlington County Board today indicated it will not raise property tax rates for Calendar Year 2015 when it adopts the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget on Tuesday, April 21. All five Board members indicated during the final budget work session that they will vote for no tax rate increase.

...[snip]

Artisphere to close, other cuts planned

The Board indicated that it will accept $2.6 million of the $4.1 million in proposed optional cuts offered by County Manager Barbara Donnellan when she unveiled her Proposed 2016 Budget in February. The largest of those cuts is achieved by closing Artisphere, the County’s critically acclaimed arts and cultural center in Rosslyn; conversion of Metrobus route 3A to ART service; redirection and transitional support for the 86-slot Kids in Action program located at Drew and Carver centers to APS Extended Day; and no expansion of the County’s urban agriculture offerings.

At the same time, the Board indicated that it will fully fund pedestrian-bike programs, the Fresh Aire environmental sustainability program and cluster care for seniors aging in place.

...[snip]

The Board responded to more than 1,000 comments made by the public in two public hearings, letters, emails, phone calls and comments submitted through the County website. The Board also held a series of work sessions on the Budget. At the 6:30 p.m. session of the April County Board Recessed Meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, the Board will hold its last public discussion on the FY 2016 Budget and vote on it. The Public Hearing on the Budget is closed and the Board will not be taking any further public testimony.

The FY 2015 Fiscal Year ends June 30, 2015.