Tuesday, April 27, 2004


On behalf of Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Transportation Secretary Allen D.
Biehler, P.E., announced today that PennDOT has prepared an application form and process for communities to apply for the Home Town Streets and Safe Routes to Schools programs.

During his budget address in February, Governor Rendell directed PennDOT to
establish a Home Town Streets program to prioritize the repair, redesign
and reconstruction of main streets, commercial corridors and major boulevards
in older communities to support local revitalization plans.

"Governor Rendell created these programs as part of his Growing Greener
initiative, and he looks forward to them serving as catalysts for
revitalized communities across the Commonwealth," Secretary Biehler said. "We are excited about PennDOT playing a key role in making this program work well and spur reinvestment and redevelopment of our downtowns. The program also will help communities establish safe walking routes for our children."

Applications will be submitted to PennDOT in Harrisburg for an initial
review. They will then be forwarded to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Rural Planning Organizations for evaluation, and for those ultimately selected, inclusion in the program. The departments of Community and Economic Development and Conservation and Natural Resources also may recommend projects. The program uses federal funds and requires a minimum 20 percent local match.

Governor Rendell has called for a $200 million investment over four years
in Home Town Streets and Safe Routes to Schools. Awards will range up to $1
million per project. Project sponsors will be reimbursed for eligible activities after submittal of invoices to PennDOT.

Eligible projects for Home Town Streets include sidewalk improvements,
planters, benches, street lighting, pedestrian crossings, traffic calming,
bicycle amenities, transit bus shelters, kiosks, signage and other visual
elements. The program is not intended to cover the costs of street paving,
storm water management and traffic signals.

Eligible projects for Safe Routes to Schools include sidewalks, crosswalks,
bike lanes or trails, traffic diversion improvements, curb extensions,
traffic circles, raised median islands and walking paths.

Any government agency, school district or non-profit organization is
eligible to apply as a project sponsor.

"We look forward to hearing from applicants across the Commonwealth,"
Secretary Biehler said. "These investments will help us improve the quality of life for the people of Pennsylvania."