Projects intended to help students across the Dallas-Fort Worth area ride their bicycles or walk to school more safely received a significant boost from the Regional Transportation Council recently.
The RTC allocated $12.2 million to 22 Safe Routes to School projects on June 8. The projects, range from sidewalks and crosswalks to bicycle-pedestrian trails providing better access to schools.
An additional $22 million was awarded to 12 Active Transportation projects, consisting mainly of shared-use paths and on-street bike lanes. In all, 34 projects spanning 16 communities and eight North Texas counties received a total of $34.2 million through the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program Call for Projects in North Texas. The entities awarded funding will contribute $12.4 million in local match, bringing the total investment in the region’s bicycle and pedestrian facilities to $46.6 million.
Projects providing enhanced regional connectivity, as well as connections to schools and large employment centers and transit stations were prioritized during the evaluation and scoring of 61 applications submitted to the call for projects. Two projects will receive the maximum award of $5 million. Phase 2 of the Trinity Strand Trail in west Dallas is a 2.4-mile extension of the existing shared-use path in the Design District, which will now connect bicyclists and pedestrians to the Southwest Medical District/Parkland DART Station and the Inwood/Love Field DART Station.
On the western side of the region, the 1.5-mile Dallas Road Transit-Oriented Development Corridor/Cotton Belt Trail extension in Grapevine will connect the Cotton Belt and Links trails, and also provide pedestrian and safety improvements along West Dallas Road. This will make it easier for nearby residents to use bicycle and pedestrian facilities to reach the TEX Rail station when the commuter line opens late next year.
A noteworthy project receiving funding on the northern side of the region was the Sycamore-Welch Active Transportation Connection in Denton. This 1.6-mile extension was awarded $762,508 and will provide a combination of a shared-use path and bike lanes to link the University of North Texas to the Denton County Transportation Authority’s downtown Denton station.
The money for the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program was provided through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. A full list of approved projects, the funding they were awarded and a map of their locations are available at www.nctcog.org/tap.