Grass Valley eyes funding for active transportation improvements
April 27, 2014
The city of Grass Valley is planning to submit funding applications for local infrastructure projects under the state's Active Transportation Program.
The program is administered by CalTrans, and its goal is to increase the number of bicycle and pedestrian trips, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing reliance on cars. The state has approximately $360 million available in this funding cycle for projects that meet the program's parameters.
There are four projects currently being considered in Grass Valley, including a Safe Routes to School project and a sidewalk and bike lane project on East Main Street. The city is also seeking funding for a general sidewalk project and a bicycle master plan project, which have generated a high level of interest among local residents.
These projects are considered moderate to high priority, and they were selected because city staffers feel the preliminary designs can be completed quickly.
“If we had better, safer paths that parents felt comfortable allowing their children to ride to school, that would improve things dramatically.”
Nevada City Councilman Duane Strawser
Tight deadlines are an issue, as the call for projects was issued on March 21, and the applications are due May 21.
Thursday afternoon, the city held a public workshop to take input from members of the community. More than a dozen people were in attendance, according to staff.
Duane Strawser, Nevada City councilman and owner of the Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop, was in attendance. He says that by adding safe transit routes for local high school students, Grass Valley could relieve some of the traffic congestion associated with pickups and drop-offs.
"The traffic jams we see are just unheard of," Strawser said. "You've got parents that are burning an hour dropping off their kids."
"If we had better, safer paths that parents felt comfortable allowing their children to ride to school, that would improve things dramatically," Strawser added.
Strawser says that in recent years, Grass Valley has made unprecedented improvements in sidewalks and road shouldering. But it's important to take advantage of every possible funding opportunxity.
"I think the cities are doing their best to address those concerns," Strawser said. "But we know that they are limited in their ability because of financial constraints."
Grass Valley's city staff is reviewing the comments and requests from members of the public. The next step is to refine preliminary design work in time to file the project applications in May.
To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4230.
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