Press Release

March 21, 2024
Cardin, Van Hollen, Raskin Announce $568,000 for Pedestrian, Bicycle Infrastructure to Connect Rockville’s Twinbrook Neighborhood to Rockville Pike

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin (all D-Md) announced $568,000 for the City of Rockville’s Twinbrook Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge project. The funding will help Rockville design a pedestrian and bicycle crossing over the metro’s railroad tracks to both connect the Twinbrook Community to the commercial and retail businesses along Rockville Pike and connect residents along Rockville Pike to the outdoor recreation areas and community center in Twinbrook.

The funding was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and provided through the Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) Grant Program – an initiative the lawmakers fought successfully to include in the Inflation Reduction Act. Last fall, the lawmakers wrote to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to support these federal funding requests.

“Safer transportation connections for bicyclists and pedestrians are critical for advancing opportunity, equity and quality of daily life in many communities across Maryland. The Reconnecting Communities Program and the Neighborhood Access and Equity are major new, federal tools to support these objectives,” said Senator Cardin. “We fought for these new programs, and we’re excited to see what they will accomplish in our state in places like Twinbrook.”

“Our infrastructure projects should strengthen communities rather than divide them – that’s why we fought to create the Reconnecting Communities program. For residents of Twinbrook, railroad tracks have split the community for too long, and have been a barrier to greater economic opportunity. Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we secured funding to confront and correct these past mistakes – and lay the foundation for a future with greater opportunity and economic prosperity,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Senators Cardin and Van Hollen and I fought hard to pass President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin. “These two historic and ambitious laws are bringing federal investments to communities in Maryland’s Eighth District and across the state, through initiatives like the Twinbrook Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge. This pathway will connect Eighth District communities, broaden commercial and recreational opportunities and encourage safe bike and pedestrian transit—advancing a bold, equitable and green vision for Montgomery County’s future.”

“Planning for a Twinbrook pedestrian and bicycle bridge is a first step in addressing historical barriers and disparities. The vision for the Twinbrook bridge goes beyond the structural plan. It has the opportunity to help reconnect our communities to services and economic opportunity, as well as improve pedestrian and bike safety,”said Rockville Mayor Monique Ashton, MPH. “Thank you to the U.S. Department of Transportation for this planning grant, and Sen. Van Hollen, Sen. Cardin and Congressman Raskin for their partnership and support.”

The project addresses economic disparities that have historically disadvantaged Twinbrook, connecting the community to increased commercial activity along Rockville Pike. Twinbrook Elementary School is the only Title I school in the City, and 70 percent of its students receive free or reduced-price meals. The WMATA rail tracks separate the community from the economic activity along Rockville Pike, and Rockville Pike residents are also cut off from the parks, trails, and the community center in Twinbrook. This project aims to mitigate the longstanding impact of this infrastructure decision by providing a new, safer connection for pedestrians and bicyclists to nearby destinations.

This award is one of six federal grants totaling more than $11 million that the lawmakers are announcing for Maryland to address infrastructure that has divided communities in our state. The awards are funded by both the NAE Program and DOT’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot (RCP) Program – an initiative the lawmakers fought successfully to include in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The RCP provisions in the infrastructure law were modeled off of legislation authored by Senator Van Hollen and introduced as a bill by Senator Van Hollen and Senator Cardin. Cardin championed the legislation in his role as the Chair of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the Senate.