HANDOUT: A More Robust DCR

HANDOUT: A More Robust DCR

This is an informational handout that was part of the 2014 Bike/Walk Summit presented by MassBike and WalkBoston.

The Issue – The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) owns and manages off-road paths and on street facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the Commonwealth. These facilities serve as essential active transportation corridors for local residents. As bicycling and walking continue to grow statewide, more residents are utilizing these facilities year-round and not just during warmer months.

DCR has been an active and positive partner in recent conversations with the advocacy community about how to bring agency policies around maintenance and snow removal into alignment with the use of their facilities as essential corridors for non-motorized transportation.

DCR’s budget has been cut by approximately 20% since 2008. These deep budget cuts have led to park closures, unstaffed campgrounds and unmaintained facilities.* DCR has committed to making bicycle and pedestrian transportation a priority on their facilities year-round, but the agency needs additional resources and investments to make this commitment a reality.

Ensuring that bicyclists and pedestrians can utilize our on- and off-road transportation infrastructure year-round is an essential component of achieving statewide mode shift goals.

The Ask – Funding decisions for the FY15 budget are being made right now, and we need our legislators to make sure that DCR has the resources to maintain its facilities in a manner suitable for year-round transportation.

Please ask your legislator to support increased funding for DCR parks in the FY15 budget, and urge them to provide DCR with adequate funding for its day-to-day operations and seasonal staffing so Massachusetts residents can safely use on- and off-road paths and parkways.

If you use a DCR path or parkway for your daily transportation or recreational needs, tell your legislator how increased funding for DCR would improve your ability to safely and conveniently access your destinations throughout the year.

*Source: Environmental League of Massachusetts (http://environmentalleague.org/)

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