Friday, October 29, 2010

Connolly and Fimian

The major contested Congressional race in Fairfax is between Congressman Connolly and Keith Fimian, the two major candidates. During his political career Congressman Connolly has been very supportive of bicycle infrastructure funding. As Chairman of the Fairfax Co Board of Supervisors he authored the Comprehensive Bicycle Initiative that created the first bicycle coordinator position and developed the first bicycle route map of the county.

As a Congressman, he along with 23 of his colleagues sent a letter supporting Secretary LaHood's USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation which includes "considering walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes." He's also supported implementation of new experimental bicycle facilities in the MUTCD and an increase in funding for bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects in the Surface Transportation Authorization bill.

On Oct. 21 we asked Mr. Fimian for his views on bicycling as a form of transportation. We haven't received a response. We've searched his website for information on bicycling and transportation and "Transportation" isn't listed under Issues. This morning Fimian and Connolly debated on the WTOP Politics Program. During the interview Fimian stated that we would be much better off if we didn't spend money on bicycle trails. Once the broadcast is online we'll try to find a direct quote.

If you have additional information about the two candidates' positions on bicycle issues, please leave a comment.

Update: The Connolly/Fimian debate on the Politics Program is now online. There was an exchange (with about 12:05 left in the program) regarding raising the Federal gas tax:

Mark Plotkin: "Isn't it time to raise the Federal gas tax of 18.4 cents to help fund transportation in your district?"
Mr. Fimian: "Listen, the problem is that massive amount of tax money is gone and they spent it on a transportation museum and flowers in the median and bike paths."
Congressman Connolly: "I'm on record favoring raising the gas tax."

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Now is not the time to elect a candidate that doesn't consider Transportation to be an important issue.

My wife heard Connolly speak at an event a month ago and he mentioned transportation choices and ped/bike connectivity specifically to a general audience.

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