• Proposed DelDOT Capital Budget Down 16%

    by  • November 17, 2012 • Media, Walkable Bikeable Delaware • 0 Comments

    by Melissa Burke
    Delaware News Journal
    November 16, 2012

    Like any state transportation secretary, Shailen Bhatt hears a lot of pleading. Would you put up a traffic light? Fix this pothole here? Build a wider ramp to there?

    His agency can’t grant each wish – nor will it try to. Under Bhatt, DelDOT has stopped borrowing to pay for construction projects. It’s part of an effort to reign in soaring payments on past bond sales, which consume more than a third of the agency’s operating budget.

    DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt

    To prioritize DelDOT’s ever-expanding “wish list” of projects, Bhatt turns to the data, which weighs factors such as public safety, traffic volumes, congestion, projected growth and air quality. Bhatt says it helps keep the “doom and gloom” and politics out of the equation – something DelDOT hasn’t always done well in the past.

    “That’s what we’re trying to get rid of,” Bhatt said after a hearing before Delaware’s budget director this week. “We have unlimited wants and limited resources. It’s how we reconcile those two.”

    During the hearing, Bhatt told Delaware’s Office of Management and Budget he plans a flat budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2012, including a 2 percent decrease in his initial operating budget. Capital budget spending for highway construction and other expensive items would decline roughly 16 percent. (That figure excludes federal dollars for transportation projects.)

    Read entire article HERE>>


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    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He is the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness and serves on the board of directors of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever.

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