County Executive Bryan Hill presented a proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget to the Board of Supervisors on February 20. The proposed General Fund budget is $4.44 billion, a $156.9 million (or 3.67 percent) increase over the current FY 2019 adopted budget. Including other appropriated funds, such as federal and state grants, the total proposed budget is $8.86 billion. The budget process provides multiple opportunities for bicyclists to speak up in support of bike infrastructure and other multimodal transportation improvements.
In particular, FABB is advocating for funding to update the Countywide Trails Plan and Bicycle Master Plan. It has been five years since Fairfax County adopted the Bicycle Master Plan in 2014. While progress has been made on many of the plan’s features, more needs to be done and revisions are needed. No county funds have been identified to pay to update the plans.
FABB President Sonya Breehey last month sent County Executive Hill a letter asking that funding to update the county’s Bicycle Master Plan be included in the proposed FY 2020 budget. She reminded him that when the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan was adopted, the plan stated: “It is expected that the bicycle network will be updated on a five-year schedule and recommendations will be revised based upon existing conditions and the state of the practice at the time.” The estimated cost of a plan revision is $400,000.
FABB encourages bicyclists and others interested in better bicycling to speak up for the inclusion of funding for a Bicycle Master Plan revision in the FY 2020 budget. You can do this by attending budget briefings in your communities. These meetings started in late February and run through early April. If unable to attend the meetings, you can still provide input to your supervisor through mid-April. You also can sign up to speak at public hearings on the proposed FY 2020 budget on April 9-11, 2019. Please let the supervisors know that an updated plan and more bicycle infrastructure are critical to shaping a better future for Fairfax County.