In a victory for active transportation and a healthier community, on May 21 the Montgomery County Council approved approximately $30 million to support bicycle and pedestrian programs in their 2021 capital budget.
The American Heart Association has supported equitable allocation of bike and walking infrastructure in the County since 2017 when revision of the Bicycle Master Plan began.
The Council heard our You’re the Cure advocates and responded; bike infrastructure must not only enable recreation to promote heart health, but also allow those without access to other transportation options to walk or bike safely to places they need to go. Now, more than ever.
A critical component of the Master Plan is prioritization of health equity. The Plan’s Goal 3 is to: “Provide equal access to low-stress bicycling for all members of the community.” And emphasizes that: “Equal access to low-stress bicycling for all members of the community, including people with incomes below the average median income for Montgomery County, is a critical aspect of a world-class bicycling network.”
This critical health equity language resulted from the leadership and passionate advocacy of the American Heart Association and You’re the Cure advocates who ensured their Councilmembers knew that country residents value that all residents have equitable access to bike paths and trails, and that all residents, regardless of their income or where they live, can actively and safely get to where they need to go.
The American Heart Association thanks the Montgomery County Council, including Councilmembers Hans Riemer, Tom Hucker, and Gabe Albornoz for their commitment to heart health and bike and pedestrian programs, especially during such challenging times. AHA and You’re the Cure advocates look forward to working with the County as projects are developed to expand biking and walking opportunities for all in the county!