The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) announced that it has awarded approximately $3.3 million in grants to municipalities for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvement projects. The construction projects and planning grants will benefit cities and towns statewide by improving connectivity and safety for the traveling public and providing tangible economic benefits.
The Agency continues to work toward its goal of improvements that enable use of all modes of transportation effectively in communities. Municipalities are answering a call for better conditions for walking and bicycling, especially in downtowns and village centers.
“Walking and bicycling, especially for the many short trips that are made, are a great way to reduce congestion and provide an opportunity for physical activity for Vermonters and visitors,” said AOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Jon Kaplan. “We see a positive effect on property values, tourism, and business growth, as well as less traffic congestion, better public health, and lower personal transportation costs.”
AOT annually awards millions of federal dollars through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, with the goal to provide safe and convenient facilities for those Vermonters who desire alternative transportation opportunities.
“These grants are instrumental to the fulfillment of two of the Agency’s strategic goals: to grow Vermont’s economy by providing a reliable and efficient transportation system, and to make Vermont more affordable by providing accessible, convenient, and affordable travel options,” said Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn.
This year’s awards include a continuation of the initiative to fund small-scale improvements using 100% state funds. These smaller projects address critical safety needs, such as pedestrian crossings and filling critical sidewalk gaps. The goal is to construct these small projects quickly with a minimum of delays. Small-scale projects were awarded in four communities statewide.
Interest in the program has been high, with applications received for more than $7 million total in proposed projects. Construction projects funded this year include a shared-use path along Intervale Road in Burlington, upgrades to sidewalks and crossings in Fair Haven to provide safe access to the park and commercial district, pedestrian safety improvements along Williston Road in South Burlington, and a critical connection along the Marbleway shared-use path in West Rutland.
To learn more about the program and see a complete list of this year’s grant recipients visit: (http://vtrans.vermont.gov/highway/local-projects/bike-ped).