I wanted to share with you news about an initiative that I proposed and my colleagues supported in the FY15 County budget. This capital budget program, called the Bicycle-Pedestrian Priority Areas (BPPAs), will help the County improve aging infrastructure to make it more appealing for walkers and bikers. This will help improve safety and promote revitalization.
Put simply, a BPPA is a defined geographical area where the enhancement of bicycle and pedestrian traffic and safety is a priority. The County has 28 BPPAs spread throughout our commercial and residential areas. However, the Council identified five priority BPPAs to start working on immediately; they are Glenmont, Grosvenor, Silver Spring CBD, Veirs Mill/Randolph, and Wheaton CBD.
The Council appropriated $375,000 for planning and design of subprojects within these five BPPAs for FY15, which began July 1, 2014. Design and construction of the subprojects will begin in FY16. In each of the remaining years, $150,000 is programmed for design and $850,000 is programmed for construction for a total of $1 million per annum.
The specific improvements may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- sidewalk, curb, and curb ramp reconstruction to meet ADA best practices,
- cycle tracks,
- and relocation of utility poles.
I encourage you to participate in the planning process by reaching out to Ms. Sogand Seirafi at the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) who is heading up the project. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-777-7260. Please also feel free to reach out to me and my staff at any time with any suggestions or comments you may have.
I strongly believe that walkability and bikeability must be at the center of County’s plans for infrastructure and revitalization. I look forward to working closely with you in the coming months and years to bring these important improvements to your community.