By Paul T. Choate
Editor’s note: Some paragraphs from NCDOT press release.
June 14, 2012. The Town of Boone will receive $45,000 from a North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) grant to assist the local bicycle plan. The money will be put toward adding bike lanes on area roads. Boone is one of 13 municipalities around the state receiving $390,000 in total to help with pedestrian and bicycle planning.
The $45,000 grant is the second highest amount awarded out of all the grants going to the 13 municipalities, behind only Chapel Hill, which received $57,000 for their bicycle plan.
Paving is almost complete on Highway 421. After initially not being planned as part of the paving project on Highway 421 in Boone, the NCDOT decided to add bike lanes after consulting with Town of Boone officials and area bicycle advocates in February of this year.
Public Works Director Blake Brown said there will be full bike lanes on the new 421 project and that the NCDOT will be trying to put in new bike lanes on Highways 321 and 105 when restriped.
Now in its ninth year, the NCDOT grant program helps North Carolina cities and towns develop a comprehensive overall strategy for expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities within a given community.
The municipalities receiving grants are scattered across the western, central and eastern regions of the state. Recipients were selected from a pool of 20 applications by an awards committee composed of transportation planners from across the state, including representatives of both rural and municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations and councils of government.
Recipients this year include:
- Duck (pedestrian plan – $24,800)
- Trent Woods (pedestrian plan – $24,800)
- Farmville (pedestrian plan – $20,000)
- Clinton (bicycle plan – $22,000)
- Southport (pedestrian plan – $24,800)
- Wrightsville Beach (pedestrian plan – $24,800)
- Fuquay-Varina (pedestrian plan – $31,500)
- Angier (pedestrian plan – $20,000)
- Chapel Hill (bicycle plan – $57,000)
- Siler City (pedestrian plan – $24,800)
- Boone (bicycle plan – $45,000)
- Gastonia (pedestrian plan – $39,000)
- Mount Holly (pedestrian plan – $31,500)
These municipalities are expected to initiate the planning process this fall.
About the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative
The planning grant initiative is jointly sponsored by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and NCDOT’s Transportation Planning Branch. Funds for the initiative came from a special allocation approved by the General Assembly in 2003, as well as federal funds earmarked specifically for bicycle and pedestrian planning.
Since 2004, $3.6 million has been awarded to 135 communities through the planning grant program.
To learn more, contact Helen Chaney at 919-707-2608 or visit the Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Division website.