During the first full week of March in 2012, FABB was again asking local bicyclists to take to the ramparts to defend bike program funds in the county budget.
In 2009 FABB and other citizens supportive of multi-modal transportation options had succeeded in preventing the total elimination of bike program funding from the 2010 budget. [link to last blog] But, while the bike coordinator position was saved, operating funds ultimately were cut by 45 percent from around $379,000 to $170,456. In the 2011 budget, all operating funds were eliminated, leaving the bike coordinator with no money and limited staff. Fortunately, money for the Bicycle Master Plan had already been programmed and work continued on its development.
After FABB’s call in early March 2012, each member of the Board of Supervisors received more than 300 letters asking them to fund the Bicycle Program and new infrastructure. FABB representatives testified before the Board at the budget hearings to make the case for Bicycle Program funding. Despite these efforts, the Board again decided against funding, leaving the program with no operating funds and only a small amount of money for infrastructure projects from the commercial & industrial tax fund.
The lean period continued for a couple of years after the Bicycle Master Plan was completed in 2014. Money for expanded bike infrastructure was part of the 6-year transportation funding package passed that year. It would be 2016, however, before operating funds, following another major FABB advocacy effort, were again given to the bike program.
In 2019, FABB is again asking local riders to contact their supervisors in support of funding for a planned updating and revision of the Bicycle Master Plan. Please join us and speak up for better bicycling in Fairfax County.