Wednesday, March 28, 2012

FY 2013 Bicycle Budget

So what gets build? (photo from the DCeye)
This document examines the Mayor of the District of Columbia's  Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget and attempts identify bicycle-related programs and projects.

(This document was created by DCBAC member Randall Myers and does not necessarily reflect the views of DCBAC).

The Mayor released his FY13 proposed budget  Friday, March 23, 2012. This budget describes in detail the programmatic goals and projected spending for the budget year that begins October 1 and lasts through September 30, 2013. The Mayor transmitted his budget to the D.C. Council March 23, who then makes changes to the budget to augment or limit agencies, programs or activities. The budget is then sent to Congress who approves the budget and then sends it to the President who enacts it.

This document represents BAC's initial review of the budget. With regard to bicycling, the budget is not consolidated. The budget does not do a good job of specifying work that supports bicycling. The budget contains several programs and projects that contain the words bicycling but it only represents a small part.  A conservative estimate suggests that the total budget is between $3.4 and $4.0 million for FY13.  Most of this funding is supports the building of trails, pedestrian facilities, bicycling facilities, salaries, and certain operational costs.
While we would like to 'breakout' or clearly state how much is spent on bicycling, the budget does not provide that level of detail.  However, we will work with the District Department of Transportation to determine more precise amounts.

The FY13 proposed budget is separated into six volumes and is generally divided into to funding categories - Operating and Capital. The FY13 proposed budget is $5.85 billion from Local funds and $11.28 billion in gross funds.

The operating budget  is supported by local source revenue (taxes, fees, etc.) and federal grants. This funding type typically lasts for a fiscal year and is used to cover operating costs like salaries, equipment and utilities. This funding category has several components or fund types with the Local fund being comprised almost exclusively of taxpayer dollars and the most active.

The other major funding category is capital, which is derived primarily from bond proceeds or the borrowing of fund from banks and other lending institutions.  These funds typically cover the costs of large or expensive projects that have useful life of great than 5 years like the building of bridges, streets and buildings. Specific bike or pedestrian related projects like Anacostica river trail are funded with capital dollars.

Some projects and programs contain bicycle-related statements but did not specify how much funding supported bicycling. In those cases, we have stated the projects and programs have a portion of their funding specified for bicycling.  In the Executive Summary volume, (p. 6-11) it states:
Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure. The capital budget proposes to spend $3.7 million from a mix of federal and local funds to improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities, including bike lanes, sharrows, bike parking, and Priority Corridors for pedestrians in each ward. This investment will continue the District’s momentum towards becoming one of the country’s premier multi-modal transit cities. 
According to BAC's initial review, a total of $3,422,422 was specifically noted as bicycle or pedestrian-specific.

For most bike-related spending, the money is spent in capital projects. Due to the expense of these projects, spending for them occurs over several years.  While Capital fund spending is mostly supported with borrowing, some funding is supported by federal grants and a gas tax - the highway trust fund.

Probable items that can be identified as Bicycle-related that will likely occur in FY13
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Enhancements (AD306) is a capital project that specifically supports bicycling and has an FY13 budget totaling about $681,000. This project enhances the safety and quality of pedestrian and bicycle transportation throughout the District. through traffic calming, safe routes to school enhancements, sidewalk construction and reconstruction, construction and rehabilitation of bicycle lanes and paths, safety improvements along roadways and at intersections, signalization enhancements and changes lighting enhancements, and equipment to enforce laws that impact pedestrian and bicycle safety. (page KA0-8)

DDOT (District Department of Transportation) will receive funding from advertising on bike sharing stations with an estimated amount collected totaling $500,000. DDOT will sell advertising on bike sharing stations through an agreement with Capital Bikeshare, the operators of the bike sharing program in the District. All proceeds from the advertising agreement would be paid in to the DDOT Enterprise Fund for Transportation initiatives. While this source was proposed in the FY 2012 budget, it was not enacted and will not generate revenue for DDOT until FY 2014.(p. 3-3, 3-11)

Below is a list of bike-related capital project improvements:

  • Bicycle Lanes/Signs - The scope of work includes improving pavement markings, street stripping, improving curb cuts for easy accessibility to bicycle paths, enhancing existing signs and installing new signs.
  • Bike Parking Racks -  This program provides authority to improve and construct safe bicycle facilities in the District.
  • Bike Sharing (Capital Bikeshare) - Initially established in FY 2009, the scope of this project is to allow city residents and visitors to rent a bicycle at one of several unmanned, automated parking racks. 
  • Oxon Run Park Trail Improvements - Initially established in FY 2009, the project will construct and restore the pedestrian / biker trails throughout the District of Columbia.
  • Rock Creek Trail  Improvements -  Initially established  in FY 2006, the project will construct and restore the pedestrian / biker trails throughout the District of Columbia.
  • Anacostia Riverwalk Trail  -  Initially established  in FY 2004, the project redesigns and reconstructs the South Capitol St corridor, the freeway and neighborhood connections at Poplar Point; the transportation network in Historic Anacostia neighborhood;  vehicular and bike / pedestrian access to the Southwest Waterfront; Traffic improvements to the Southeast Waterfront and the Southeast Federal Center; and the design and construction of bike paths along the river.
  • Watts Branch Trail -  The scope of work includes developing design plans and engineering specifications; cleaning and grubbing the trail of invasive weeds; re-paving sections that are cracked, add additional width to the trail; repair pedestrian bridges to correct safety hazards and improve accessibility as required under the Americans With Disabilities Act; furnish and erect security fencing to prevent trash dumping; furnish and erect directional signs and information waysides; and, furnish and install trail sides such as benches.
  • Pedestrian Management Program - This program’s mission is to reduce mobile source emissions through the reduction in the number of vehicle miles traveled, improve vehicle inspection programs and support other transportation control measures. This project will help fund a Pedestrian Coordinator position that will work to enhance and improve the pedestrian experience in the city, and will work to educate residents and visitors about these improvements. An enhanced environment for pedestrians will lead more people to walk, and reduce congestion and emissions from vehicular modes of travel.
Below are programs or projects that contain statements about bicycling facilities but do not clearly specify amounts spent. The budget is separated into Operating and Capital funds. We've italicized the bicycle / trail words and added the paged numbers where information can be found in the budget.

The Revenue chapter of the budget describes a proposal that would improve the efficiency of traffic citation issuance by providing DDOT with additional resources to improve efficiency in include Segway vehicles, bicycles, and additional training. (p. 4-22). Also, a total of $267,470 of special purpose fund revenue fund balance was left within the Department of Public Works for pedestrian and bicycling safety / enhancement (fund 6645). (p. 4-40)

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) chapter contains the bulk of the bicycling operating budget. As stated, the budget does not clearly articulate bicycle-specific services but contains funding for them.

The Progressive Transportation Services Administration contains Bikeshare and other non-automotive transportation options. The Mass Transit activity manages the subsidy the District provides to WMATA and Capital Bikeshare. The budget for this activity is $5,128,000.

Below is the bicycle-related key performance indicators or measures within this area.

According to the measures, the agency projects a total of 20,570 Capital Bikeshare members in FY 2013. The current total number of annual Bikeshare members is 18,896 as of January 2012. A similar measure appears below in the  Planning, Policy and Sustainability Administration.

The Planning, Policy and Sustainability Administration establishes broad strategic goals to guide multi-modal program development, formulates the policies necessary to implement these goals, and ensures compliance with these goals and policies through plan review and permitting. This division's Planning activity develops vehicular and non-vehicular transportation projects and activities, including planning and designing bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects and initiatives. The total budget for this activity is approximately $3,625,000, an increase of about $278,000 from the prior year.

Below is the bicycle-related key performance measures within this area. 

The Transportation Operations and Traffic Management activity in the Transportation Operations Division provides traffic regulation and safety services to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists in the District of Columbia so that they can move about safely in the city and avoid personal injury and property damage. The budget for this activity is $9,111,000 an increase of $943,000 from FY 2012. The Street and Bridge  Maintenance activity performs proactive and preventive maintenance to ensure safe passage on all District roads, sidewalks, bridges, and alleys. (p. F-19, F-22)

The Urban Forestry Division maintains the network of trails in the District, and partners with other DDOT administrations and District agencies to reduce impermeable surfaces to improve the health of trees and help reduce stormwater runoff. The budget for this division is $1,829,000, a decrease of $109,000 from the previous year. (p. F-17, F-20)

The Capital budget arguably contains the bulk of bicycle facilities spending. While having that spending identifying in specific projects would be optimal, bicycle-related spending can be found in several projects. Also, because capital funding occurs over several years, some projects may have began several years ago, making it difficult to find information about them.

Some of the District's bicycling and pedestrian spending occurs in the Travel Demand Management project (ZU000).  For FY13 a total of $14.2 million over a six-year period will be allocated to help reduce traffic congestion by supporting the Bicycle and Pedestrian Management Program and Capital Bikeshare and the Union Station bike station. (p. H-21)

The rebuilding of the 11th Street Bridge project (HTF00) allocates a portion of its $34.3 million in funding over a six-year period to provide multi-modal transportation options for cars, pedestrians, bicycles, and the future DC Streetcar. (H-15)

A portion of the Pavement Marking and Traffic Calming project (CE301) provides $1.27 million to cover the maintenance and creation of visible and durable pavement markings in various neighborhoods of the District to indicate bicycle lanes, parking lanes, crosswalks, and turning lanes. The project also funds traffic calming measures that help reduce speeding in the District. (p. KA0-13)

A portion of the Major Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Replacement project (MRR00) supports any rehabilitation in excess of $5.0 million and projects that incorporate multi-modal facilities like pedestrian and bicycle facilities (sidewalks, cycle tracks, and trails). (p. H-17)

A portion of the Street Sign Improvements project (KA0-CE304) support major safety initiatives for pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic on District roads.

While there is no funding allocated for the Completion of the Klingle Valley Trail project in FY13, DDOT has allocated $3.0 million in FY14 and FY15 for trail construction. (KA0-45)

A portion of the Arts and Humanities Grants project (AH7GP) supports the installation of artwork along trails, (Metropolitan Branch) and other areas of open space. The total budget for this project in FY13 is $2.7 million. (BX0-3)

While not specifically bicycling-related, the ADA Ramps project (CAL16) builds ramps on sidewalks so that they are compliant with federal law.  The FY13 budget for this project is $2.5 million. (KA0-12)

Let us know if you have questions, suggestion or comments.