Monday, September 30, 2013

A Grant Which Funded Many Bike Trails In Our Region Is Now Depleted

Oliver's excited to start building trails and
bicycle reefs, which are underwater bicycle trails
On September 26th the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Board approved funding for 13 trail projects. With this $3.9 million allocation, the $10 million grant from the William Penn Foundation is fully depleted.

The Regional Trail Program funded by WPF helped build many valuable and beloved trails in our region. But there are many miles of The Circuit yet to be built. This is why we're running the Circuit Commitment Campaign: to raise new dedicated funds for trails in our region.

It's also why this week's fight in Harrisburg to secure funding for bicycle and walking in a PA transportation bill is vital. If you haven't already, speak up for bicycling and walkings' importance right now!

Here are the 13 projects approved last week by the DVRPC Board:
  1. Kinkora Trail - Mansfield Community Park Connector – Burlington County, Department of Resource Conservation – Grant request: $500,000 Total project cost: $1,440,000
  2. Ben Franklin Bridge Walkway Bicycle and Pedestrian Ramp – DRPA – Grant request: $400,000 Total project cost: $3,600,000
  3. Lawrence Hopewell Trail Carter Road East and West – Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation – Grant request: $250,000 Total project cost: $625,000
  4. Route 13-Green Lane Trail Connector – Bucks County TMA – Grant request: $249,000 Total project cost: $917,679
  5. Neshaminy Creek Greenway Design and Engineering (Chalfont and New Britain) – Chalfont Borough – Grant request: $188,768 Total project cost: $235,960
  6. Phoenixville Schuylkill River Trail Phase 2 – Phoenixville Borough – Grant request: $365,000 Total project cost: $457,000
  7. Darby Creek Stream Valley Park Trail – Delaware County – Grant request: $500,000 Total project cost: $700,000
  8. Newtown Square Rail Trail (Haverford) – Haverford Township – Grant request: $340,000 Total project cost: $425,000
  9. Tookany Creek Trail - Phase III – Cheltenham Township – Grant request: $400,000 Total project cost: $500,000
  10. Lansdale Liberty Bell Trail – Lansdale Borough – Grant request: $160,840 Total project cost: $201,050
  11. Tacony/Holmesburg Gap Waterfront Trail Design and Engineering – DRCC – Grant request: $300,000 Total project cost: $500,000
  12. Manayunk Bridge Trail Construction Engineering Services – Philadelphia - MOTU – Grant request: $60,000 Total project cost: $3,060,000
  13. Cobbs Creek Connector Trail – Philadelphia Parks and Recreation – Grant request: $275,000 Total project cost: $595,000
Total grant request amount for all 13 Phase III projects is $3,988,608.  The total match amount is $9,318,081 and the total cost of all the projects is $13,306,149.

The Regional Trail Program aims to provide funding for priority trail design, construction and planning projects that will promote a truly connected, regional network of multi-use trails (The Circuit) with Philadelphia and Camden as its hub.

Phase III of the program provided capital funding for trail design and construction projects. Approximately $4 million was available for Phase III grants. Individual grant awards are capped at $500,000 and all projects require a 20 percent match. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in March and 31 proposals were submitted by the deadline in mid-April. The proposals were evaluated by a Selection Committee composed of Foundation representatives, PennDOT and NJDOT, DVRPC staff, and regional trail funders and advocates.

Phase III represents the final amount of funding available from this program.  Future funding depends on the DVRPC board. This is why the Circuit Coalition is running the Circuit Commitment campaign, to generate support for the DVRPC Board to replenish the fund with $10 million over a three year period (2013-2015). That new money would maintain the momentum of trail development begun with the WPF's grant and help us build 450 miles of new trails over the next twenty years.