Aug 5 2013

City Wins Grant to Develop Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan

Through the efforts of Piedmont City Planner Kate Black, the City has won a highly competitive grant of $102,000 from the Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC) to fund the City’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, including a Safe Routes to School component.

At the Monday, August 5 City Council meeting, the Council will be asked to approve a $120,000 consulting contract to hire Niko Letunic of Eisen-Letunic to develop the City’s first pedestrian/bicycle master plan. The $18,000 shortfall in the contract will be paid for by local “pass through” funds from the City’s existing Measure B bike/pedestrian funds, with no money anticipated coming from the city’s General Fund.  The contract with Leutunic is contingent upon an agreement with the CTC. 

If approved by the Council and agreement with the CTC, during the next year, Leutunic will examine existing conditions and issues related to biking and walking in Piedmont, assess the barriers, challenges and opportunities. He will assess and analyze concerns and needs of pedestrians and cyclists in Piedmont, and based on the assessment, develop a designated citywide network of bicycle routes and prioritized capital or physical improvements to the City’s pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. He will recommend policy decisions the City can make to improve non-motorized transportation and identify the top priorities and an implementation strategy. Throughout the process, there will be numerous opportunities for Piedmont residents to participate in the plan’s development through public hearings and workshops.

According to Black, the Alameda CTC received 29 applications for pedestrian and bicycle projects, requesting a combined $18.2 million in funding. After reviewing and scoring the applications, the CTC awarded only $3.7 million (20% of the total amount requested) toward only eight projects, including the Piedmont plan. Black said, “The City’s application was greatly bolstered by the 120 thoughtful letters of support submitted by Piedmont residents and organizations, including 55 written by Piedmont Middle School students.”

Staff report

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