Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is hosting a round table discussion tonight on “How New Federal Funds Can Help Residents Bike and Walk with Less Risk and More Pleasure”
The roundtable will hear from local bike and pedestrian leaders and D.C. residents on the best ways to use new federal funding for bike and pedestrian projects that she got included in the new surface transportation bill. Norton was one of the “Big Four” House Transportation leaders who wrote the FAST Act. As Ranking Member of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Norton developed a strategy to overcome Republican resistance to bike and pedestrian funding in the FAST Act that they wanted devoted solely to roads. Norton has invited officials from the District Department of Transportation Office and the National Park Service (NPS) to sit on a panel with her to hear testimony from the D.C. bicycle and pedestrian community.
WABA appears to be approaching this differently. Instead a discussion about how to spend money, they're calling for a discussion of bicycle and pedestrian issues in relation to the federal government. That discussion is probably more useful, since a discussion of how to best spend money is a bit wonky when it works, and contentious when it doesn't. The issues they list are
- How are National Park Police, Secret Service, Capitol Police and other federal policing agencies interacting with bicyclists around Washington DC?
- How are Federal agencies headquartered in the District helping or hindering the District's goal of Vision Zero?
- How is NPS managing trails on national park land that serve as significant transportation corridors for bicyclists?
I'd even add some to that. Not only asking how are federal agencies hindering Vision Zero, but hindering efforts to make biking better. Things like allowing CaBi docks on the Capital grounds, reopening E Street south of the White House to cyclists, allowing bike commuters to use Arlington Cemetery, expanding the bicycle commuter benefit and allowing its use to pay for bikeshare fees, allowing a cash-out option for federal employees who currently get free parking, etc..will make biking better, even if maybe they don't help with Vision Zero.
Leif Dormsjo, Director, District Department of Transportation
Bob Vogel, Regional Director, National Park Service
Greg Billing, Executive Director, WABA
Representatives from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Councils
Audience members will have a chance to participate by asking questions of the panel.Date: Thursday October 27, 2016
Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PMLocation: 2167 Rayburn House Office Building Washington DC 20515