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on the books. They said the bill would be enforced on a complaint-by-complaint basis.
"We are not reinventing the wheel here," Leggett said.
Even supporters of the bill concede that some details need to be ironed out. For instance, money to clear public walkways around county facilities will likely have to be budgeted.
That effort could cost as much as $132,000 for each snowfall, said Albert J. Genetti, director of county public works and transportation.
The bill must be approved by the full council before it becomes effective. A vote could come sometime in April.
Thursday's committee vote provided a brief respite from a rough-and-tumble week in which the council proposed two new tax increases. The snow bill is one of the last major items of legislation before the council plunges into budget discussions through May.
ADDENDUM: The bill passed the County Council by a vote of 5 to 3.
WALK DC Testimony Given to the
Montgomery County Planning Board
April 5, 2001
Good evening. My name is Steven Waters. I'm the President of Walk DC - a pedestrian advocacy organization which focuses on DC, VA, and MD and is affiliated with America Walks.
We support the language in the Draft Potomac Master Plan that would prevent construction of the Techway or other Potomac River Crossings. People really do want transportation alternatives! It is critical that decisions about land use be shared decisions.
Dan Burden, a national expert in walkability, spoke at the annual Transportation Research Board meeting in January, where he was presented with the TRB's Distinguished Lectureship Award. At the ceremony, he said, "Cities were invented to minimize transportation needs." Our Departments of Transportation are still trying to maximize the speed and distance of the greatest amount of gross weight! It shouldn't be any surprise that most people in our region no longer feel a "sense of community."
Our Departments of Transportation must undergo a complete reversal of modal priorities. The priority must become pedestrians > bicycles > light rail > buses > automobiles. For a long time, transportation policies which favor the automobile have had a deleterious effect on our communities, reducing our transportation choices. Pedestrian transportation must be favored over all other modes, motorized and non-motorized.
Our governments tax us an incredible amount of money for private and public transportation infrastructure. Non-human scale, automobile-oriented development detracts from rail transit, requiring huge government subsidies -- thereby costing us twice! It is critical that we immediately begin to transform land use patterns, rather than continuing to cater to bad ones! Never before have so many people been ready to try alternatives to the isolation and compartmentalization created by the automobile culture.
One person's mobility can destroy accessibility for many. The roads versus transit debate is outdated -- this is about automobiles versus quality of life. We've got more than enough highways and bridges. The magic bullet solution is to legalize zoning codes which create walkability within ½ mile of our Metrorail stations. We've got to start thinking small, in a very big way. We control our destiny -- it does not control us.
Our nation's obsession with automobiles is like a drug addiction. Some people think that if we get just a little bit more, our problems will go away. But increasing road capacity to alleviate congestion is analogous to loosening one's belt to lose weight. It just doesn't work! The short-term benefits of sprawl quickly evaporate when more sprawl shows up next door. This game of "bulldozer leapfrog" is enabled by government policies which attempt to reduce congestion by increasing capacity. This cycle will always lower the quality of life for everyone. We must reduce automobile dependency by managing transportation demand.
Building new infrastructure makes a commitment to maintain it. We cannot afford to commit ourselves to automobile-oriented land use patterns. Land consumption and vehicle miles traveled are vastly outpacing growth in population. How much longer will we continue to borrow from the social, environmental, and economic future of our grandchildren and their children? We suggest that it stop right now -- today! In the future our economy will be less dependent on moving things, and more on moving information.
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