Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Transportation (AOT) is awarding $3.6 million in grants to municipalities for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvement projects. The combination of construction projects and planning grants will benefit cities and towns statewide by improving connectivity and safety for the traveling public as well as providing tangible economic benefits.
The larger projects are funded by about $3.3 million in federal money. In a joint statement, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said, “This funding will enable Vermont to improve the safety and reach of its bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Vermonters, businesses, public health, and the environment will all benefit from these projects throughout the state.”
Also included in this year’s awards are 10 small improvement projects totaling $300,000 in state funds. These projects address critical safety needs for pedestrian crossings and filling critical sidewalk gaps.
“Improvements to the bike and pedestrian infrastructure around the state help communities modernize, and become more livable and affordable,” said Governor Phil Scott. “The positive effects of these projects are widespread, including benefits to property values, tourism, business and the environment.”
AOT annually awards funding to municipalities through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, with the goal of providing safe and convenient facilities for alternative transportation opportunities. Interest in bicycling and walking has steadily increased in Vermont. In a 2016 AOT Long-range Transportation Plan survey, 42% of Vermonters were dissatisfied with the availability of bicycling facilities and 31% were dissatisfied with the availability of sidewalks. These grants address those concerns.
“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 both Vermonters and visitors,” said Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager Jon Kaplan.
This year’s projects include a shared-use path to complete a missing link in South Burlington, sidewalks in Moretown, and a sidewalk to provide safe access to the high school in Swanton. More information and the list of projects is at http://vtrans.vermont.gov/highway/local-projects/bike-ped.
Source: Governor 9.10.2019