Monday, April 27, 2009

Parking Lot District Use of Revenue

Today, the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee (T & E) began its discussions of Bill 17-09, Parking Lot Districts—Use of Revenue. I introduced this bill on April 14 as a way of making it possible to use parking district revenues to fund transit that serves that particular district.

As everyone knows, money is tight right now. On the table are proposals to eliminate bus service. It seems to me that where we have parking revenue not needed for parking services, we should be able to use some of that money to support alternatives to driving.

The law already permits the use of some of these revenues (fines and parking fees) for transit related uses. Right now, we spend over $5 million of this money on traffic management, ridesharing, commuting alternatives, other mass transit uses and the urban district services.

Transit has long been a priority for me, and it is our best option for reducing congestion, combating climate change and ultimately enhancing our quality of life. I’m committed to looking at any opportunity to preserve transit under our current budget constraints.

A public hearing will be held on May 5 at 7:30, and the T & E Committee will continue its discussions on May 8. To register for the public hearing, call 240-777-7931. Take a look at the bill, and let me know what you think.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant idea. We've got to reduce congestion, emissions and encourage the use of public transport. This bill is the wave of the future!

Art said...

Councilmember Floreen,

I generally do support this bill, although I do notice in the bill that the changes that you are proposing would only be used to support bus service that directly serves the parking lots.

I wonder how you would feel about letting the funds be more generally avalable for mass transportation use, e.g. to fund all bus routes, or to fund transportation porjects through out the county? (I would object the funds being used to fund non-mass transit projects such as the ICC)

Just some thoughts from a district 5 resident.

Greg Sanders said...

That seems like a good idea to me. Parking rates could also be raised for those locations where the lots always fill up. (Silver Spring resident, for the record).

Bossi said...

I love the concept of applying the fees toward transit. Just a quick thought of mine, but has there been any consideration of applying revenue toward rail projects?

For example, if the Purple Line is bus: funds could conceivably go toward operations, maintenance, or other future capital modifications.

If it's light rail, however, from my quick skim-through it would seem that revenue couldn't be used for such purposes.

Or perhaps I just didn't spot that text; or maybe I'm missing a "here's why that's a bad idea" element?

Overall, I still really like the concept of this. Cheers!

(Laurel resident; MoCo worker)