DC Mayor Muriel Bowser presented her $19.7 million budget for fiscal year 2024 to the DC Council with a focus on investments for a strong and equitable comeback for the District.
Significant to residents of the Hill: Bowser said the “continued discussion around the District’s investment in transit” lead to the elimination of the DuPont to Rosslyn, Eastern Market to L’Enfant Plaza and Woodley Park to McPherson Square Circulator Routes.
“We looked very closely at our costs for the DC Circulator, the ridership of the DC circulator, and how it fits into the larger transit discussion,” Bowser said. “We made the decision to recommend eliminating three of the six routes.”
“We’ve made the tough choices that we needed to both balance the budget and invest in the District’s strategic priorities that would allow us to make sure that we’re on the path to a comeback,” Bowser said.
The new budget proposal includes allocated funding for new investments in education, recreation centers and operations, public housing, public safety including funds for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), traffic enforcement and safety, health and human services and government services.
“The Fiscal Year 2024 Fair Shot Budget is being delivered at a critical juncture for our city. This budget reflects many tough choices, but we are also fortunate that even in tight times, the District remains well-resourced and able to continue delivering world-class programs and services,” Bowser said.
Following the budget reveal to the council, Bowser discussed hot topics in a press conference that focused on transportation. Questions zeroed in on a perceived lack of clarity on the future of the District’s proposed free bus service, cuts to the DC Circulator and traffic enforcement.
In traffic safety, Bowser proposed $7.4 million to install 342 new automated traffic cameras with additional funds allocated for enforcement of ticket processing and adjudication, as well as other traffic calming measures.
“What I hear the most is that people are tired of reckless driving and needlessly dying on our streets,” Bowser said. “[I hear] that I need to do more on traffic fatalities.”
The automated enforcement is projected to bring in $578 million in revenue, but Bowser emphasized that safety is the top priority for this additional enforcement.
“I hope we don’t collect anything from the cameras,” Bowser said. “That would mean people aren’t driving recklessly, aren’t running red lights, they’re staying out of bus lanes, they’re not running stop signs and people can get across the District safely.”
You can view a breakdown of the FY 24 budget, ward-by-ward budget highlights and provide feedback here. Residents can also call 202-442-4755 to provide feedback.
Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at email@example.com.