Sunday, April 22, 2007


How Montgomery County, MD. uses federal money to become bike and pedestrian friendly.

Compared to Honolulu, Bethesda, where I'm staying this week, is already a pedestrian paradise. There are no "walk buttons" to push, and I managed to walk across Wisconsin Avenue and back while the pedestrian signal still showed the white walk person sign. It's true that one motorist turned in front of me while crossing another street, but it wasn't too close, I don't know what the law is here, and all the other cars waited for me to cross as I made my half-hour walk today.

At Arlington Road there's a school. A sign says "Fines doubled 8:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m. School Days." Behind it is a 25 mph flashing school zone speed limit sign.  I asked a woman walking with her son if the police ever actually enforce the law, and she said yes, they come by with a speed gun sometimes. She doesn't know whether there are few or many accidents there. No one else passed by I could ask. But you know what I'm implying with this.

But there's more.

Montgomery Avenue in Rockville is having a bike lane put in to cross I-270. According to the April 18, 2007 edition of the Gazette Regional News,

The project along Route 28 (Montgomery Avenue) is a City of Rockville project that includes building several bridges over I-270 and other ramps. The total cost is $7.6 million, of which the State Highway Administration contributed $3.7 million through the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP)--a federal program in which money is provided to the state for nontraditional, community-based transportation projects. That means the money cannot be used for things like resurfacing or widening roads.

The bicycle and pedestrian bridge across I-270 is part of the city's 2004 Bikeway Master Plan, which is aimed at creating a network of bicycle and walking routes.

The bridge will connect routes that are east and west of I-270 and give pedestrians a safer way to cross that area and to reach Town Center.

So why isn't Honolulu tapping into that money? Does our state Department of Transportation even know about the TEP program? Do we have a "Bikeway Master Plan" to implement the city charter amendment passed by voters to make Honolulu a pedestrian- and bike-friendly city?

Stop laughing.

We merely have to raise hell a bit to get things moving and transform Honolulu into a pedestrian paradise. Stop laughing, please!

If anyone or any group wants to undertake that task, I'll happily post the news here to help gather the forces around the effort.


Larry, there is a group called One Voice which is a coalition trying to make Honolulu pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. It originally incarnated as a group pushing the Charter Amendment 8 question.

Some of the groups in One Voice are AARP, Hawaii Bicycling League, Sierra Club. We would love to have your help in publicizing our efforts.

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