Wednesday, October 12, 2011

MPO submits “pre-application” for bike/ped/complete streets TIGER III grant

Back in June, we reported on the MPO Board’s initial approval for the MPO to submit a TIGER III grant application for bike/ped/complete streets project tied to the new countywide bike/ped master plan, as proposed by BikeWalkLee. Click here to read the June17th blog post.

MPO staff have been working on the proposal over the summer, in consultation with a broad set of stakeholders that participated in a planning meeting in August. Local jurisdictions have worked hard to find matching funds to commit to the project, as required by the federal guidelines. On Oct. 3rd, the MPO staff submitted the required “pre-application” to USDOT. The project description in the pre-application states: “The Lee County Complete Streets Initiative project consists of completing an alternative transportation mode network and includes the construction of new sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes and bus shelters, and the signing and striping of new bike lanes on existing roads.”

The proposed project takes the MPO bike/ped master plan and links the three demonstration projects together. By linking the 3 demonstration projects and filling gaps, there would be a connected corridor of biking & walking facilities from downtown Fort Myers down to FGCU and then linked to Collier County by transit.

The request is for $10 million, to be matched by $3 million in locally funded projects, for a total project cost of $13 million.

The next step in the process is for the MPO to submit the final application by Oct. 31st, and at the 10/21 MPO meeting the Board will be asked to endorse a resolution supporting the submission of a final grant application. USDOT will be reviewing the pre-applications and notifying applicants that don’t appear to meet the eligibility requirements. This is a national highly competitive process, but we’re going to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Once the final application is submitted, we will provide more details in a future blog post.

Letters of support to be submitted with the 10/31 final application will be requested from the various stakeholders and organizations, so don’t be surprised if your organization gets a request from BikeWalkLee next week!

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