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FOR MORE INFORMATION: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2016
Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713
Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697
$20 million Headed to Boosting Bikeways throughout Orange County
OCTA announces call for bike projects and accepts grant funding to create a countywide active transportation plan
ORANGE – OCTA is looking to award up to $20 million in grants for projects that make bicycling and walking easier and safer in Orange County and, this week, the agency accepted a $280,000 state grant to further its regional planning efforts to encourage active transportation instead of more car trips.
Through the Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program 2016 Call for Projects, up to $20 million will be awarded to cities and the county for projects that build bikeways and pedestrian paths. Funding for the program comes from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, a federal program that provides funding for transportation projects that help meet federal Clean Air Act requirements.
“OCTA strives to make Orange County a place where the car isn’t the answer to every trip,” said OCTA Chair Lori Donchak, “We want to provide our residents with convenient and safe transportation choices that are good for the environment. Biking and walking are inexpensive, healthy alternatives to driving.”
OCTA’s Board of Directors has awarded $10 million in funding to date through the program to 28 projects. Among the completed projects are the Coyote Creek Class I bikeway and the Newport Beach Class II bicycle facilities.
Each project is eligible for up to $3 million. The program is competitive and projects will be scored based on a range of criteria, including safety enhancements, consistency with bike plans and cost effectiveness. Project applications for the current round of funding are due to OCTA by May 9. Applications will be reviewed by an advisory panel this summer and the board is scheduled to vote on awarding the funds in August.
Among the goals of the Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program are:
· To increase the number of biking and walking trips
· Close gaps between major bikeway corridors
· Promote bicycling and walking by increasing safety
· Improve air quality across Orange County
At Monday’s meeting, the board took an additional step to enhancing mobility choices for residents after it was $280,000 in Active Transportation Program grant funding from the California Transportation Commission and the Southern California Association of Governments. This grant will fund Orange County’s first countywide active transportation plan, covering all 34 cities and the county.
OCTA has long partnered with local jurisdictions on transit-access studies, bikeways planning and an inventory of sidewalks. The grant funds will further those efforts by allowing OCTA to consolidate local and regional bikeways master planning efforts and help better analyze and prioritize projects. It will also put Orange County and its cities in a better position to receive ongoing active-transportation funding.
The plan is expected to take up to approximately two years to complete. For more information, visit www.octa.net/bikeways.
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