Eight cities across Minnesota are set to receive grants from the Active Transportation Planning Assistance program managed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]
That program aims to help cities statewide increase the number of people walking and biking to destinations in their communities, noted Will Wlizlo, active transportation coordinator for the Minnesota DOT.
“Whether a community wants to reduce pollution, curb traffic, revitalize its Main Street, or increase residents’ health and safety, [our] Active Transportation Planning Assistance program brings together neighbors to dream big and develop a work plan for building their own network for walking and bicycling,” he said in a statement.
The agency noted that the Minnesota legislature provides funds for those grants, which cover the estimated $100,000 cost of technical assistance from a consultant, such as developing an action plan and demonstration project.
The Minnesota DOT added that each community receiving an award is ultimately responsible for implementation and construction costs of their active transportation action plan.
The agency noted that the eight cities receiving grants are:
- Minneapolis, for a multi-corridor study for seven neighborhood greenways;
- Rochester, for an active transportation connection plan along 2nd Street through downtown area;
- St. Paul, for a neighborhood active transportation study for West Side neighborhood;
- Coon Rapids, for a community-wide active transportation plan;
- Roseville, to develop a bicycle master plan;
- Alexandria, for a community-wide active transportation plan;
- St. Peter, for a community-wide active transportation plan; and,
- Cannon Falls, for a community-wide active transportation plan.
State departments of transportation are currently involved in a variety of efforts to increase active transportation across the country.
For example, in November 2023, The Texas Transportation Commission recently approved over $345 million for new sidewalks, bikeways, and other types of active transportation infrastructure projects statewide.
That funding will go towards 83 projects designed to improve bicycle and pedestrian access while providing safety enhancements and mobility options to schools, jobs, public transit systems, and local destinations, the commission said.
The Texas Department of Transportation noted that some the projects approved by the commission include sidewalks connecting to schools and transit options, shared-use paths benefiting both pedestrians and cyclists, new pedestrian bridges, and 15 planning studies.
And in Maryland, Governor Wes Moore (D) highlighted the award of $25.5 million in grants to 40 bicycle, pedestrian and trail projects statewide in September 2023.
Those fiscal year 2024 grants include $20.8 million in federal funding for 22 projects through the national Transportation Alternatives Program and the Recreational Trails Program, with $4.7 million in state funding headed to 18 projects via the Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program overseen by the Maryland Department of Transportation.