Override the Governor's Veto Killing Bikeways Funding
By vetoing the funding for the Bikeways Program, Governor Hogan has attacked everyone who chooses not to travel by car. This veto continues his desire to keep Maryland's transportation system stuck in the 20th century. Governor Hogan's veto is also bad for Maryland's economy, ignoring the desire of corporations to locate in areas where their employess can choose to live car-free or car-light.
I urge you to commit to overriding this veto when the Maryland General Assembly convenes in January 2020.
The Maryland Bikeways Program is the only program funded directly by Maryland that helps local governments design and implement programs to increase bicycling. These projects help commuters get to work such as the improvements to Rhode Island Avenue in College Park; foster tourism such as the Upper Chesapeake Rail Trail on the Eastern Shore; install bike lanes in Hagerstown, implement a complete streets project in Capitol Heights; design shared-use paths in Howard County; improve bicycle lanes in Cumberland; and connect existing trails to businesses such as in Indian Head. Although Bikeways constitutes a small percentage of overall transportation funding in Maryland, it has supported projects dozens of projects across the State, from Ocean City and Somerset County to Friendsville and everywhere in between. These funds often leverage federal grants (by, for example, providing matching funds) and local funds to build projects that help transform communities around Maryland.
This legislation will codify the Bikeways program in statute, set a minimum funding amount of $3.8 million.
In 2019, the Bikeways program funded seven projects totalling just under $2 million or $2.4 million with the 20 percent match. A review of each County’s Bicycle Master Plan or County Comprehensive Plan shows 1,434 projects across just 13 counties that reported specific project needs. At the rate of 7 projects per year, it will take 205 years to complete just these projects that are in the. Multiply that by 1.8 to account for those counties that did not report projects and it will take 369 years to complete the bicycle and pedestrian projects identified by Maryland’s counties.