Regional Connections Before Local Connections #2
That’s what we feel. Nearly 2 years since we fought for on-street bicycle infrastructure in Arlington, to make the city safer, and more accessible by its residents, the city has yet to install any of the planned bike routes.
To add to the disappointment is the finger-in-the-eye announcement that the city is funding a multi-year bus pilot program at the cost of $350,000 a year i.e. Pilot bus project could begin rolling in Arlington by August, and Passengers would pay $5 to $8 fare on Arlington bus service to Centre Port. In terms of bike infrastructure, that is the entire on-street portion of the Hike & Bike Plan ($291,000) plus an extra $50,000. If the city put that kind of money into on-street infrastructure on a yearly basis, we would already have the on-street infrastructure sanctioned by the approved plan, plus the infrastructure in the original plan that was cut out as a false compromise with Tea Party members and U.N. conspiracy theorists Buddy Saunders and Zack Maxwell.
While connecting the city’s residents to the TRE line (after they passed on having a station of their own) is admirable though somewhat overdue, at the end of the day it’s just another pilot program that can disappear when the political will disappears, or money is tight i.e. according to a blog article at the Dallas Morning News about the newest pilot program:
“Arlington has tried commuter bus lines before, partnering with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, known as The T, in 2008 to run an express service to and from downtown Fort Worth. That park-and-ride effort folded in 2011 because of low ridership and insufficient funding.” (Benning, DMN)
Paint on the ground, stays on the ground. And routes put in place become better known and more used over time. If the city is serious about better transportation options for its residents, they’d do well to follow through on the Plan they passed in August of 2011 instead of frilling away dollars on another bus pilot program which, if past performance is any indication, is going to be another source of disappointment for Arlington transportation advocates.
If you feel like bicycle infrastructure is not getting it’s due recognition, or you want to express your disappointment with the current direction the city’s transportation policy is headed, please write the city council and let them know that you support the Hike & Bike Plan’s implementation.
You can write to the entire council by copying & pasting their email addresses below to your e-mail program of choice:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: I support implementing the Hike & Bike Plan