Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is awarding more than $550,000 in grants through a new “On Our Way” program to help local groups plan projects for improved pedestrian access, safer streets and economic development.
TRPA announced six grant awards Wednesday. Money for the program came from the Federal Highway Administration.
“The projects that came forward this year are perfect examples of how we can tie together air quality and community well-being to achieve the goals of sustainability,” said Nick Haven, transportation planning manager for TRPA and the Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“These grants will help support the Regional Plan and the Regional Transportation Plan by advancing projects that improve mobility and connectivity and provide residents and visitors transportation choices for getting to the places they need to go.”
Rather than use the FHWA money for regional transportation planning, the TRPA opted to making it available for planning at the community level, spokesman Jeff Cowen said.
About $153,000 is going to Lake Tahoe Unified School District for a South Tahoe Middle School Area Connectivity Plan.
The goal is to develop shovel-ready construction projects to extend the bike path on Al Tahoe Boulevard to the middle school and U.S. 50 and north to the city of South Lake Tahoe’s recreation facilities.
“Our hope is to have that schematic plan completed by July 2015 in anticipation the state’s Active Transportation Program will have grant funds available for construction,” said Steve Morales, director of facilities for Lake Tahoe Unified School District.
Other “On Our Way” grant awards announced Wednesday include:
• $200,000 for El Dorado County to create a planning strategy for the U.S. 50 and Highway 89 corridor in Meyers, with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian alternatives and streetscape and water quality improvements.
• $73,469 for Placer County Public Works to identify pedestrian improvements along Highway 28 in downtown Tahoe City to connect the regional trail corridor to community businesses and destinations and to connect people to the lake.
• $53,000 for Washoe County to create a signage master plan for the Highway 28 National Scenic Corridor and Stateline to Stateline shared-use path.
• $46,733 for Washoe County to create a corridor management plan for the Mount Rose Scenic Byway that addresses roadway safety, economic development, tourism, multi-modal transportation options and historic and natural resource preservation.
• $25,744 for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association to increase the number of trail users accessing trailheads by public transportation and other alternatives that reduce vehicle use in the lake basin.