The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is awarding $3.5 million in construction and planning grants for municipalities to improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Cities and towns throughout the state are responding to ongoing interest in making downtowns and village centers walkable, bike-friendly, and more accessible for all modes of transportation.
“In addition to the economic impacts of better access to city centers, these projects help improve Vermonter’s health by providing safe infrastructure for commuting and recreating,” said Governor Peter Shumlin.
“Walking and bicycling, especially for the many short trips that are made, are a great way to reduce congestion and to provide an opportunity for physical activity for both Vermonters and visitors.” said VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager Jon Kaplan. “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.”
VTrans annually awards millions of federal dollars through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, with the goal of providing safe and convenient facilities for Vermonters who desire alternative transportation opportunities.
Included in this year’s awards is the second round of a new initiative to fund small-scale improvements using 100 percent state funds. These smaller projects address critical safety needs, such as pedestrian crossings and filling critical sidewalk gaps. It is hoped that these small projects can be constructed quickly with minimal delay. Small scale projects were awarded in Brattleboro, Groton, Poultney and Rutland Town.
Interest in the program has been high, with just under $10 million in proposed projects applied for. This year’s funding will go toward a number of different construction projects including sidewalks to provide safe access to schools in Hinesburg and Fair Haven, new or expanded sidewalks in Enosburgh Falls, Milton, Hartford, Readsboro, Waitsfield and Colchester, as well as an extension of an existing shared use path in Springfield that will provide access to their downtown.
To learn more about the program and to see a complete list of this year’s grant recipients visit vtrans.vermont.gov/highway/local-projects/bike-ped
Media Contact: Jon Kaplan, 802.828.0059, jon.kaplan (at) vermont (dot) gov
Source: Agency of Transportation