Friday, February 24, 2017

Bike, Pedestrian Projects Win $2.2M in Grants

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 10:34 AM

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Bike and pedestrian projects will get a $2.2 million injection in Memphis as six grants were recently awarded to the city and the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA).

The projects will bring 400 bike racks along MATA bus lines, bike lockers at MATA park and ride facilities, pedsetrian-friendly updates to traffic signals, sidewalk repairs, signs at all intersections of the Shelby Farm Greenline, and more.

The Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (Memphis MPO) issued the federal Transportation Alternatives grants, which were announced late Thursday.

Those grants are:

• Kirby Parkway and Timber Trail Crossing upgrade ( $220,000)
An enhanced pedestrian crossing in front of Kirby High School with a refuge median, crossing signal, and new sidewalk.

• Shelby Farms Greenline Crossing enhancements ($425,250)
Installation of pedestrian crossing signals and signage at all intersections along the Greenline that currently lack signals of any kind.

• Christian Brothers University pedestrian access improvements ($750,000)
Modernization of the traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at Central Avenue and East Parkway as well as Early Maxwell Boulevard, repair to existing sidewalk along Central Ave. between East Parkway and Early Maxwell Boulevard, and re- location of bus shelters.

• Mullins Station Road pedestrian improvements ($106,600)
Planning and design work for sidewalk repair and infill on Mullins Station Rd. between Macon Road and the Shelby Farms Greenline.

• Crosstown Corridor Superstop enhancements ($500,000)
Replacement of existing bus shelters or placement of new ones, installation of new schedule and route signage and other amenities, and construction of widened sidewalks and improved crosswalks at targeted bus stops along the Route 42 corridor in Midtown.

• Bicycle access to transit ($150,000)
Installation of approximately 400 bike racks along targeted MATA bus routes, as well as bike lockers at MATA park and ride facilities.

“The projects address locations called out as priorities by the city’s Pedestrian and School Safety Action Plan,” says Nicholas Oyler, the city’s Bikeway and Pedestrian Program Manager. “Some of these are even demonstration projects recommended by the plan to illustrate how design improvements can make the street safer for everyone, but especially for those on foot.”

Oyler said the city averages 30 pedestrian-related fatalities each year. Grants like these and the improvements they bring will help to “reduce and eventually eliminate these mostly avoidable deaths.”

The Transportation Alternatives program is a federal source of grants restricted for use on infrastructure projects that address pedestrian or bicycle connectivity or access to public transportation by walking or biking. Vehicles like buses or trolleys are not eligible for the program.

MATA and the city will provide 20 percent matches to each grant.

“We select the recipients based on various criteria, including benefits to safety, connectivity, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality, as well as input from our active transportation advisory committee consisting mostly of citizen representatives,” said Zylavian Watley, Transportation Planner at the Memphis MPO. “I believe that the demand for these lucrative grants demonstrates the increasing desire by our communities to have safer conditions for walking and biking.”

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