The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) this week announced that it has awarded approximately $3.3 million in grants to municipalities for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure improvement projects.
The construction projects and planning grants will benefit cities and towns statewide by improving connectivity and safety for the traveling public and providing tangible economic benefits, VTrans said in a press release.
“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 Vermonters and visitors,” VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Jon Kaplan said in a statement. “We see a positive effect on property values, tourism, and business growth, as well as less traffic congestion, better public health, and lower personal transportation costs.”
VTrans annually awards millions of federal dollars through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, with the goal to provide safe and convenient facilities for those Vermonters who desire alternative transportation opportunities, the agency said.
This year’s awards include a continuation of the initiative to fund small-scale improvements using 100% state funds. These smaller projects address critical safety needs, such as pedestrian crossings and filling critical sidewalk gaps. The goal is to construct these small projects quickly with a minimum of delays. Small-scale projects were awarded in four communities statewide.
Interest in the program has been high, with applications received for more than $7 million total in proposed projects. Construction projects funded this year include a shared-use path along Intervale Road in Burlington, upgrades to sidewalks and crossings in Fair Haven, pedestrian safety improvements along Williston Road in South Burlington, and a critical connection along the Marbleway shared-use path in West Rutland.
SOURCE: Vermont Agency of Transportation