By Joshua Feldmark - May 24, 2019
On May 24th, Governor Hogan vetoed HB 1281 which stabilized funding for the Maryland Bikeways Program at $3.8 million per year and improved the Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan.
The Bikeways Program is the signature Maryland state program for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and provides grants for local communities to fund priority facilities for biking and walking. This transit and biking bill was a smart and sensible investment in biking and transit that would have provided $3.8 million in bike infrastructure, through loans and grants to local government. The Maryland Department of Transportation had proposed to decrease it in future years and eventually eliminate funding for the program.
In addition to the Bikeways funding, the bill the Governor vetoed helped to ensure that the creation of a much-needed transit plan for Central Maryland was informed by residents and leaders in the region.
Since the cancellation of the Red Line in 2015, Central Maryland has been without a transit plan to help guide transit investment and projects. HB 1281 would have clarified and strengthened elements of the 2018 law that mandated the Regional Transit Plan. Governor Hogan’s veto indicates that he is not seriously interested in creating a robust transit plan that would allow for an expansion of the light rail, MARC, and bus service that is needed throughout Central Maryland.
Please click on this link and email your representatives in Annapolis and tell them to override the veto when they go into session in 2020.