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Biking at the Expense of Cars and Taxpayers?

Earlier this year, Kenric Ward of Watchdog.org's Virginia Bureau wrote that Arlington County "wants to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles, but the swap is costing millions of dollars — and making traffic more dangerous." Here's the remainder of his lede:

"Via a “Complete Streets” initiative, local planners are instituting “sharrows” for cyclists to share roads with motorists. (note, the link is 'broken")

“The county sees itself as a model for ‘livability and sustainability. In reality, it’s creating unsafe situations,” said Joe Warren, a member of Arlington’s Transit Advisory Committee.

"He charges that the county is pressing ahead without proper traffic studies.

"For the greater good?

"Arlington’s Master Transportation Plan states: “Our thoroughfares will bring people and communities together, rather than separating them. They will not be designed to speed traffic through the county.”

"The goal? Enable Arlington togrow without having to increase road capacity.”

"The county’s plan envisions benefiting “the greatest number of people and to maximize return on investment.”

"Neither of those objectives is being reached by bike.

"The county has dedicated more than $12 million in capital spending for bicycle projects through 2019. It’s earmarking millions more for the Capital Bikeshare program that rents out bicycles.

"But Warren, a cyclist himself, said bike ridership on Arlington’s major roads and streets remains “infinitesimally small.”

Ward also reported that Capital "Bikeshare's Arlington branch forecasts that its $304,356 operating deficit in 2013 will more than double to $687,230 by 2018."

Talk about the need for the Arlington County Board to learn about budget prioritization and to get back in touch with the core needs of all Arlington County citizens rather than just special interests, not to mention improving transparency on just how taxpayers dollars are spent.

The following picture showing so-called "so-called "sharrows" is from Kenric Ward's footnoted story. Ward has written three other stories about Arlington's traffic troubles, which you can find here.



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