by Marlene Berlin
Mayor Gray’s proposed FY 2015 capital budget includes a dramatic increase in funding for sidewalk maintenance. Originally, $7.975 million had been budgeted for 2015-2017. Gray’s budget sets aside $33.525 million, an increase of $25.550 million.
The group advising the mayor and the DC Council on pedestrian matters has been pushing for the increase in capital funding for maintaining sidewalks since DDOT’s Sam Zimbabwe reported a $22-28 million backlog to the DC Pedestrian Advisory Council (PAC) last June.
As previously reported in the Forest Hills Connection, the PAC passed a resolution urging the mayor to fund this backlog. Also, respresentatives of the PAC, Iona Senior Services, the Falls Free Coalition, Age-Friendly Cities, the Capital Hill Village and others met with the Mayor’s Budget Office in February to make its case.
The DC Council will be holding budget hearings in April and May and will vote on the city budget in June. The chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee and Ward 3 Councilmember, Mary Cheh, will hold a hearing on the transportation budget on Tuesday, April 29th at 11 a.m. This provides an opportunity for ANCs, community organizations, and individuals to testify on this issue in person or provide written testimony.
To sign up to testify in person, contact Aukima Benjamin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-724-8062. Or, send her your written testimony by May 1st. Please leave a comment if you have any questions about testifying.