Because of changes in regional and federal policy, there is more money available for bike and pedestrian projects in the Bay Area starting this year.
San Mateo County and Santa Clara County each formerly provided under $1 million dollars of grant funding per year. Now, the amount of money available has increased to $11 million on a yearly basis.
Grant applications are due this year- calls for projects will be issued shortly. The deadline is December 14 in San Mateo County and not yet set in Santa Clara County.
The evaluation will be done at the County level in the first quarter of 2013. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission plans to award the money in May.
Key criteria to be eligible for the grants include:
* The City must have approved a Complete Streets policy by January 31, 2013.
* The City must have a Housing Element in place
* The project must be either within a priority development area or connect to a priority development area.
The City can apply for the grant if its Complete Streets policy is in progress and expected to be adopted by January 31. If the City has a Housing Element in progress it can apply for a waiver.
Here is a list of Priority Development Areas – it is a bit out of date, so if you don’t think it is right for your city, ask city staff.
This money is available from two programs:
* CMAQ – Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding. This can be used for classic bike and pedestrian projects: paths, bike lanes, sidewalk improvements. Click here for a lot more detail.
* TLC – Transportation for Livable Communities. The goal of this funding is to improve infrastructure and/or streetscaping to make a community more inviting for biking, walking, and transit. MTC administers this funding. Click here for much more information.
The best current description of the grant rules for Santa Clara County can be found in the staff report October VTA board meeting. Search for “OBAG” in this PDF file. http://www.vta.org/inside/
Is your city applying for the grant funding it is eligible for?