Eleanor Holmes Norton to hold Bike and NPS urban parks Community Roundtables

Image: BikeSpecific
The federal government has a key role in how the District creates and maintains its bicycling infrastructure and recreational parks. The District's delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has invited officials from the District Department of Transportation Office and the National Park Service (NPS) to sit on a panel with her to hear testimony from the District's bicycle and pedestrian community. This community roundtable discussions will help to determine what the federal role should be and how to best apply federal resources to the District's bicycle network and federally-operated national parks.

The first roundtable, entitled “How New Federal Funds Can Help Residents Bike and Walk with Less Risk and More Pleasure” is on Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 6:00 pm, in room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building. This roundtable provides a forum for local bike and pedestrian leaders and District residents to discuss the best ways to use new federal funding for bike and pedestrian projects within the recently approved surface transportation bill, also know as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act.

The FAST Act provides over $305 billion in funding over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for surface transportation infrastructure planning and investment across the nation. Unlike prior authorizations, this allocation allows new flexibility in how states and the District may use these funds. The Transportation Alternatives section, which is comprised of smaller-scale transportation projects, allocates a total of $835 million per year for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and $850 million in 2018 through 2020 is available. Small scale projects include on or off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school projects, and other community improvements.The District will received approximately $3.2 million.

The second roundtable, “Focusing on our Neighborhood Crown Jewels: The National Park Service’s Urban Parks in DC”, is on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at 6:30 p.m., at the African America Civil War Museum located at 1925 Vermont Avenue NW. Delegate Norton will be joined by NPS National Capital Regional Director Bob Vogel and the regional NPS superintendents. Many advocates and residents say that NPS could be more proactive in working with District residents add programming and provide maintenance to area parks. The roundtable enables District residents and NPS to discuss opportunities to work with each other to maintain the District's neighborhood parks under NPS control and determine how to effectively spend funds from Congress.