MORE ANNAPOLIS GOVERNANCE BY PRESS RELEASE: We need leadership, not letter ship ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, September 7, 2007

MORE ANNAPOLIS GOVERNANCE BY PRESS RELEASE: We need leadership, not letter ship

Here is another one of Mayor Moyer's news releases.....readers will note that CP has often opined about our abyssmal regional transportation planning and testified as such at public meetings. Herewith are Mayor Moyer's latest...:

Mayor Ellen Moyer and City of Annapolis Director of Planning and Zoning Jon Arason recently attended a hearing on the Baltimore Regional Draft Plan Transportation Outlook 2035.

Okay-they went to a meeting. At the LOCAL public hearing attended by ANNAPOLIS residents, Mr. Arason left in the middle. The only other city official was Alderman Sam Shropshire.

In a letter to Ken Ulman, the Chairman of the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board, the Mayor expressed her lack of faith in the plan as currently designed- "This plan needs to go back to the drawing board,” wrote theMayor. “Transit needs (to be) the highest priority, not road building... we need to build on what we have to insure connectivity with everymode of transportation. At a time when we are trying to convince people to leave their car at home it is disappointing to see a plan that infact accentuates the car. It is more disappointing that the plan accepts a congestion increase for all roadways at 258% and focuses on road building with transit commuting unchanging at 8% for more than thenext 20 years. This plan is backward. A solid transportation plan is not about the car (which this plan clearly is), it is about the people. Until we shift our thinking to people needs for connectivity, reliability and convenience, we will continue to invest in piecemeal projects leaving us with a faulty multi-model infrastructure or no connecting network at all."

The Mayor is correct, but the record reflects very clearly that she has done little or nothing in this regard. We have a bus system and it is shrinking, shrinking and shrinking, mainly because the Mayor and her Transportation Director failed to act for nearly five years knowing that federal funds were being pulled. Besides, the Mayor never rides on our buses and says she does not like buses. And, she is the one failing to cooperate and communicate with the Anne Arundel County to develop regional plans. The best thing she can do HERE AND NOW is to get a new transportation director who actually is here and cares about here.

The Mayor also stressed that the current plan does not include strategies for using and building on existing resources. “Annapolis has a Department of Transportation with 28 buses, yet transit links within Anne Arundel County and to the Eastern Shore to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore are not even considered.” The Mayor also noted, “...the absence of transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects for the Capital City. The East, West and North, South national trails cross in Annapolis. Do we not coordinate with the national trails and the East Coast Greenway for completing connections for alternative means of transportation? The 21st Century requires new ways of looking at transportation.

Again, she is right, and her heart is in the right place--but this is just a letter! And a late one in fact. To make progress requires her to lead the citizenry, and work with us to make our voices heard together--and that means working with our District 3o delegation and County Council. Where has she been? While we were speaking out at the local public meeting, and her appointed department director left early, she was in.....Paris.

I recently returned from a visit to Paris, a much larger and more international city than Baltimore. Getting around Paris is easy -by foot, bike, scooter, boat, bus, taxi, train or subway. Maryland is one of the richest states in one of the world’s richest countries. Why then create a transportation plan that acts as if we are a poor area with no resources and no vision?”

Ces't bon! It took a trip to Paris to figure this out? Local activists have been trying to tell her this for years, but get off the rail thing, will you please? Does rail even require commentary? What about our own local transportation plan., Madame Mayor--you don't even know what we have here because you don't like buses. You like water taxis and their potential is extremely limited. The trails you made are not acceptable for real bike transportation because they are too narrow and have stairs and obstructions. Our bike lanes are limited, poorly maintained and constantly violated. Your free bike loaner program is a joke.

What we need is leadership. Not letter-ship.


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