Federally-funded grants total nearly $5.1 million statewide
On Sept. 24, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) announced awards through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program to five Rutland County towns for infrastructure projects to facilitate bicycle and foot travel.
West Rutland: $821,000 (including 10 percent local share) to design and construct 3,305 feet of sidewalk along Campbell, Thrall, Clarendon, Ross and Fairview streets.
Pittsford: $187,000 (including 10 percent local match) to design and construct 2,400 feet of sidewalk running along Arch Street and Pleasant Street.
Rutland City: $70,000 (including the local match) in additional funding for construction of Rutland Creek Path Segment 4 from Monsignor Park to River Street.
Middletown Springs: $38,500 (including a local match) for a scoping study for a shared use, unpaved path providing access to the village center.
Killington: $30,000 (including a local match) for a scoping study for pedestrian crossing/connectivity and bus stop locations.
“These investments in our communities for bicycle and pedestrian improvements are transforming our state over time by providing safe infrastructure for healthy transportation choices that also provide benefits to our environment as Vermonters are seeking more sustainable transportation choices,” stated Transportation Secretary Chris Cole.
“We see a positive impact on property values, tourism, and business growth, in addition to reductions in traffic congestion, improvements in public health and a reduction in personal transportation costs,” said VTrans’ bicycle and pedestrian program manager Jon Kaplan.
Included in this year’s awards is a pilot to fund small-scale improvements, using 100 percent state funds, in South Hero, Burlington, Swanton, Williston, Groton and Jericho. These smaller projects address safety needs such as pedestrian crossings and filling hazardous sidewalk gaps. Interest in the program has been high, with over $16 million in proposed projects applied for.
According to the USDOT’s 2009 National Household Travel Survey, national participation in walking and biking for transportation has risen by 25 percent. For more information, visit vtransengineering.vermont.gov/bureaus/mab/local-projects/bike-ped