$600k Federal Grant Adds Sidewalk Mobility

A federal grant from the federal DOT is providing $600k to Oakland, IN, to enable sidewalk improvements. Highlights of this and other DOT grants available to your town


What Happened?

Oakland City, Indiana, received $600,000 in federal grant money to support new sidewalk construction in the downtown area. The project is focused on replacing existing sidewalk paths, while adding a few new routes for increased mobility.

The Goal

The federal grant will be used to replace existing sidewalks throughout the downtown area that are in need of repairs. Oakland City officials agree that residential demands show an increased interest in mobility options throughout the city including safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists. To keep local families safe while enabling non-vehicle navigation around the community, local sidewalks must be repaired and expanded.

Funding Opportunities

There are many federal grants available for projects that include sidewalk construction or replacement including:

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has a Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program designed to provide funding for:

  • Strategies to promote improved planning and coordination between transit, community and preservation plans
  • Improvements to the transportation system
  • Reductions in environmental impacts of transportation
  • Increases in access to jobs, services and centers of trade

The U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration offers Transit-Oriented Development grants to support developments of mixed-use resources near transit facilities and high-quality walking environments. The grants are designed to nurture:

  • Economic development
  • Smart growth
  • Shifting market demands and lifestyle preferences
  • Creating sustainable communities
  • Increasing local efficiency and mobility
  • Reduce automobile congestion
  • Provide safe passages for pedestrians and bicyclists

The U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration also offers Transportation Enhancement Activity grants under the MAP-21 initiative. Projects funded under this program work to expand transportation choices and enhance transit experiences through specific eligible activities involving:

  • Pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure
  • Pedestrian safety programs
  • Scenic and history highway programs
  • Scenic beautification
  • Historic preservation
  • Environmental mitigation

In addition, the U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration allocates funds through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program. This initiative supports surface transportation projects that strive for air quality improvements and traffic congestion relief, such as expanding sidewalks and bicycle paths. Under MAP-21, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program is allocated $2.2 billion to distribute nationwide on qualifying projects.

Furthermore, the U.S DOT’s Federal Highway Administration maintains the Transportation Alternative program to fund projects that offer residents with environmentally-friendly choices for mobility throughout the community including:

  • On- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • Infrastructure projects to improve non-driver access to public transit and mobility
  • Community improvement
  • Environmental mitigation
  • Recreational trails
  • Safe routes to schools
  • Planning and designing more pedestrian-friendly communities

In 2014, the Transportation Alternatives program will distribute $820 million to projects nationwide.

There are also recreational trail funds available to municipalities looking to increase access to not only alternative routes throughout the city but also easier navigation to green space. Projects eligible for these funds may include sidewalk construction as part of a larger goal to increase use of recreational green space for activities such as hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, etc.

The Modern Walker

Gov1 has tracked the demands for increased access to pedestrian infrastructure as well as other projects to support a less car-centric population base.

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The grant, which is half of the project, will fund emergency call boxes, improve security cameras and add new fencing mesh