Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 1st, 2010 at 10:57 am
The Urban Trail Fund, a new grant program that was included in the state transportation bill (HB 2001) passed in 2009, will officially open for applications today.
ODOT will award $970,000 this year to a maximum of four projects. Only one application is allowed per city and projects must be within the Urban Growth Boundary. According to the bill language the money must go to projects that:
"develop and maintain... multi-use trails for non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians that supplement or provide links to roads, highways, footpaths, bicycle trails and public transit."
On their website, ODOT says they want to fund "high-impact projects that demonstrate how trails are an important part of the transportation system in urban areas." Priority will be given to communities that have already started to build a trail network and a key emphasis is being placed on connectivity. "Single, stand-alone trails that are not clearly part of a broader... transportation network will not be selected."
It's interesting to note the emphasis on connectivity and transportation (as opposed to a recreational emphasis). When this new fund was first proposed, legislators placed oversight with the State Parks and Recreation department. It took testimony in Salem by the BTA to make sure it was administered by ODOT and that the fund recognized bicycles as a legitimate transportation mode.
You've got until July 9th to get your applications in. The Oregon Transportation Commission will announce award the on October 20th.
Learn more about the program and download the application on ODOT's website (docs won't be available until 1:00pm today on June 1st).