PUBLIC HEARING - TOMORROW (WED.) NIGHT - see below!
Bicycle/Pedestrian funding is being reduced in the statewide transportation
program (STIP = Statewide Transportation Improvement Program)
** Public hearing **
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2002
locations around the state - 7:15 pm
via Vermont Interactive Television
link to directions: http://www.vitlink.org/HTML/sites.htm
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU CAN ATTEND IN YOUR PART OF THE STATE.
***** MORE INFORMATION & STRATEGY NOTES *****
I apologize for the late notice: I only got the details on this hearing
from Jon Kaplan last night, so I haven't had time to really look at it
At first read, here's my preliminary understanding of proposed cuts:
- Bike/Ped funding outside of Chittenden County is being reduced
from approx $2 million to $500,000. *see below
- $2 million enhancements program in 2003 & 2004 is budgeted at $0 in 2005.
*Now, there are some complications to this - because Chittenden County is I
think getting more funding than in past years, and money does move around
from year to year, in actuality.
I think it would be quite beneficial to our cause if we can get a couple
people to testify - very simply - in support of maintaining bicycle and
pedestrian funding. It is key to keep testimony short and POSITIVE, and to
emphasize broad community benefits (health, walk/bike to school).
Because we haven't had time to really analyze the numbers, I would avoid
numbers-based testimony. I would also avoid over-emphasizing bicycle
commuting, but rather present bicycle and pedestrian facilities as part of a
a balanced transportation structure. I'd also recommend avoiding strongly
environmental or oil-saving arguments - keep it mainstream.
Written comments are due October 16, and I hope we can do more analysis to
present strong, official testimony in writing. I will send this along to
all of you as I have a chance to sort it out with Amy Bell & Jon Kaplan's
I have asked to be on the official mailing list for this information in the
future, so hopefully next year we will have more advance notice.
The process on this is:
- Legislature ALREADY passed annual Capital Program = budget + earmarks.
- STIP and Capital Program are being mushed together now.
- VTrans is ultimate decider of STIP working within federal/state budgets.
(Chittenden Co MPO also has similar decision-making power.)
- STIP will be approved by Federal Highway & Federal Transit, but does not
need other legislative approval or public process.
Key talking points:
+ understand that bicycle/pedestrian funding is being reduced in the STIP
(don't go into details)
+ bicycle/pedestrian facilities are part of a balanced transportation
+ bicycle/pedestrian facilities promote healthy communities, enable kids to
walk and bicycle to schools.
+ we understand that in face of reduced funding, cuts need to be made, but
we would advocate for racheting down across the board, rather than cutting
bicycle/pedestrian and transit funding while increasing spending for
+ speak as an individual - not representing Vermont Bicycle Pedestrian
Coalition, since we don't yet have a position on this.
I'd try to keep the message simple and main-stream. Ask VTrans for a
balanced transportation system. Keep it positive (PRO Bike, PRO Walk), not
anti-car or anti-roads.
The primary goal is simply to have a few voices in support of "walking and
Please let me know if you can attend your local hearing - I'll be headed to
the one in Colchester.
Becka Roolf, Director
Vermont Bicycle Pedestrian Coalition
PO Box 4003 . Burlington VT . 05406
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