Sustain Charlotte and supporters voice call for bike infrastructure funding

May 13 City budget hearing

Last night, City Council held its second annual budget public hearing. With 75 people signed up to speak, City Council heard arguments and pleas about various aspects of the proposed budget including housing, city wages, animal control, and the arts.

We showed up too. Twelve of us came to show and voice support for an increase in the bicycle program funding from $4M to $10M per year. With this funding, the City will be able to build 10 miles of all ages and abilities bike facilities (think protected, safe bike lanes) and complete a network of bicycle facilities throughout the city by 2040.

You can read all about our budget request here.

For those who spoke, came in support, or signed our bicycle program funding petition, thank you. This is an effort for and by the community.

And as Frank Devine, Chair of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, said last night "bike lanes make streets safer for everybody." That includes people in and out of cars.

Stay tuned for details about the budget straw vote on May 30 and potential budget adoption on June 10. In the meantime, you can watch (2:08:00) Sustain Charlotte's statement given by Sustain Charlotte Urban Design Specialist Eric Zaverl at last night's public hearing, or read it below.

Charlotte City Council Members and Mayor Lyles,

My name is Eric Zaverl, and I am here tonight on behalf of Sustain Charlotte. We hope you have seen the petition we sent you recently.

We urge you to increase the bicycle program funding from $4 million to $10 million per year. This investment will not only enhance our city's infrastructure but also foster a sense of community and progress, making it possible to build 10 miles of All-Ages-Abilities bicycle facilities annually and complete the remaining 100+ miles of the Bicycle Priority Network before 2040 with more certainty and expedience than other possible solutions.

We are thrilled to see funding levels for Vision Zero and the sidewalk program restored and would ask that you strongly consider increased funding for the bike program as an important mobility option that will benefit residents and help fight the climate crisis. 

A connected bicycle network makes bicycling a viable mode of transportation, but we're not there yet. People aren’t going to choose to ride a bike if it isn’t safe and convenient. To truly move us toward the 50/50 mode share goal outlined in the Strategic Mobility Plan, we must take a bold, comprehensive approach.  

We are making a specific request for dedicated funding to build the Bicycle Priority Network. This is not just another program. It has the power to transform the city's mobility future. We cannot rely solely on other programs, the private sector, and the segmented nature of the strategic investment areas. We need a dedicated and substantial investment to make the Bicycle Priority Network a reality. 

Thank you for this consideration. 

Thanks for reading!

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