City refutes budget numbers
We received a rebuttal from the City’s Manager of Transportation, Jaime Boan, in regards to a post last week on the modal distribution of the Engineering budget. Here’s the response in full:
The first thing to consider is that our 10-Year Plan and Capital Plans indicate works that are both new/improved infrastructure and some maintenance (repaving) but excludes most maintenance costs which are done through our Operations Division. As a result, for the purposes of comparing spending by mode it is best to exclude the maintenance and consider it only new/improved infrastructure.
The second thing to consider is that much of our cycling and walking infrastructure is delivered through road improvement projects – these are all multi-modal improvements. These works are in addition to the specific cycling and walking budget items. For example, when an arterial road is widened to 4 lanes, bike lanes (1.8 m wide each) are added along with sidewalks (1.8 m wide each side). Landscaped boulevards and medians are also built which provide aesthetic and environmental benefits and these corridors are used by utility companies. Beyond this on many roads there are pathways built adjacent to the roads, but we have not included that in our calculations of funding allocation as it is project specific.
Based on this approach the overall funding to cycling is 14% of the budget, walking is 16%, and autos/transit are 53%, the remainder is for boulevard/median landscaping/utility corridors.
We have been increasing funding towards walking and cycling over the past number of years and consider that the level of spending is appropriate.
Let me know if you want to discuss it in further detail.