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BTA alerts members in bid to save Vancouver's bike program

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 3rd, 2010 at 7:47 am

"Budget cuts on this scale would be a major setback to bicycling in Vancouver."
-- BTA Advocacy Manager Gerik Kransky

As reported yesterday, the City of Vancouver has put its Bike Program on the chopping block. In response, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance is mobilizing its forces in Southwest Washington in an effort to save it.

In an action alert sent out via email and posted on their blog last night, the BTA says their plan is to encourage Vancouver City Council to dedicate $200,000 of what the draft Transportation Improvement Program labels as "presently uncommitted revenue" to the Bike Program.

That $200,000 is called out on page 28 of the TIP document under a chart that shows the five transportation programs (which includes the bike program) that are not slated for funding beyond 2010. Here's the full excerpt:

"In 2011, the city will have approximately $200,000 in presently uncommitted revenue. If all current capital projects come in on budget, it is possible that some funding could be available, depending on need, for some of these activities. In years prior to the budget crisis, the City funded regular ongoing programs to address neighborhood, safety, and other projects that tend to rely solely on local funding."

Other programs that could be eligible for that money are ADA improvements, Pedestrian, Traffic Signals, and Traffic Safety.

The BTA's Advocacy Manager Gerik Kransky sent out an email to 700 constituents in the Vancouver region urging them show up at a City Council workshop on the TIP slated for this Monday (6/7) and tell council members to dedicate that $200,000 toward the Bike Program.

The draft TIP lists $500,000 in unfunded projects under the heading "Bike Vancouver Phase II." In past years, the Bike Program has paid for things like bike parking, distribution of bike maps, and bike lane striping.

If council chooses to not fund it, Kransky warns that "Budget cuts on this scale would be a major setback to bicycling in Vancouver."

Read the BTA action alert here.

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Comments
  • Camp Bike Fun June 3, 2010 at 10:48 am

    This is a great move by the BTA. Good luck with this.

    C'mon Vantucky, step it up!

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  • TreeHuger June 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    GREAT!!!!!

    I didn't even know the BTA realized Vancovuer existed. Maybe the BTA is attempting to make-up for dropping the ball on Vancouver helmet oridence or for failing to get involved when Vancouver police declared bicycles were not vehicles?

    Looks like the BTA is growing up.

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  • Caleb June 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    How many Vancouver residents actually bike? I'm not trying to make a Vantucky joke, but if the city is going bankrupt, than cuts are going to have to be made somewhere. If few people benefit from the bike programs than it makes sense (regrettably) to cut the program to keep more popular programs afloat.

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  • Marcus Griffith June 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Will the BTA have anyone at the meeting or is sending the mass email the extent of their advocacy in Vancouver?

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  • Lady L June 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Caleb: How will we get more people on bicycles and walking without a bicycle and pedestrian program at the City of Vancouver?
    It's a chicken and egg argument: The City of Portland built a bicycle network and people came to bike.
    The national and state transportation agencies are focusing more on parity between bicycles, pedestrians, and autos. And the City of Vancouver is going in the opposite direction. How sad.
    The City of Vancouver can put signs all over the place saying "Bicycle Friendly City" and spend millions of dollars on a new building, but they cannot provide for bicycling and walking in the County.
    It's a place that desperately needs it: 63% of Clark County residents are overweight or obese. 22% of 10th graders in Clark County are overweight or obese.
    Studies have shown active transportation can reverse this trend. Oregon is currently the only state in the county where obesity is actually decreasing.
    What's also sad to me? Only 3 people have commented on this article.
    I hope more than three people care about bicycling in Clark County and do something about it. Write the mayor and the city council members. Show up to the hearing on June 7th and testify.

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  • Gerik June 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Marcus, it was great to meet you last night at City Council. Hopefully we can restore, even expand, the amount of funding for Vancouver's bike program.

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/jun/08/bicycling-advocates-lobby-city-for-funding/

    Between now and June 21st we should keep up the pressure, sending handwritten letters and emails to Council members encouraging them to dedicate at least $200,000 to the City's bike program.

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