Sunday, February 19, 2017
NVT Alliance Opposes Regional Funding for Bike/Ped Infrastructure
At Wednesday's meeting of the regional transportation coordinating group, the Transportation Planning Board, NVT Alliance (to distinguish it from the NVT Authority), testified that the TPB should only focus on reducing congestion in their Long Range Plan, and that "land use, bicycle trails and sidewalks all play a role, but that all are local responsibilities." I guess NVT Alliance has never heard of the W&OD Trail, the Mt Vernon Trail or any other regional trail networks. Or regional bike share. Reston and Tysons bikeshare, part of the regional Capital Bikeshare system, was made possible by a grant from TPB. And the cost of bike and ped improvements is minuscule compared to the cost of major road projects.
It's ironic that NVTA began their remarks by stating the TPB needs to address the "core cause and that the longer the cause is ignored, the longer it will continue." Their solution is building more roads, when in fact, the cause of our congestion is poor land use planning that leads to sprawling communities where the only way to reach jobs, schools, and stores is to drive. Proper land use planning in transit-oriented, walkabale/bikeable communities is the solution.
The Alliance frequently takes positions opposing funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. See previous FABB blog entries from 2009. We can understand that the development community wants more and bigger roads to allow more sprawling development, but the focus of development recently has been on more compressed developments around transit that allows residents opportunities to walk and bike and take transit to get around. It's time NVTA got with the program.