Last week, County Executive Ike Leggett sent to the Montgomery County Council a request for appropriation of county funds that, along with state funding and private-sector support, will fund the expansion of bikesharing into the County.
WABA fully supports the implementation and expeditious growth of bikesharing in Montgomery County. Several outlets have recently suggested that WABA and local advocates called for a series of improvements prior to starting up bikesharing in Montgomery County. We do believe that there are significant infrastructure improvements needed in the county to maximize the opportunities presented by bikeshare, and to make bikesharing safe and appealing to a broader audience of potential cyclists. But those improvements are not a precondition to the expansion of bikesharing in the county. The lack of such infrastructure certainly does not prevent many from bicycling in Montgomery County today.
WABA supports bikesharing because it is a great way of getting more people to travel by bike. And we support improvements to infrastructure because they make bicyclists safer, and get more people to travel by bike. Bikesharing and infrastructure improvements are mutually supportive, so we hope the implementation of bikeshare and improvements to infrastructure combine to accelerate Montgomery County’s growth as a bike-friendly county.
For reference, read WABA’s most recent memorandum to Councilmember Nancy Floreen detailing infrastructure needs to support bikesharing.