6/16/2017 12:00:00 AM
The City of Denton has been awarded funding through the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) for three different bicycle and pedestrian projects. Denton will be reimbursed for 80 percent of the costs related to these projects.
The Call for Projects had two categories; Active Transportation, which is customary bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS), which is infrastructure tied to making walking and biking to schools safer. Denton has been awarded projects in both categories.
Denton submitted a project in the Active Transportation category for the Sycamore-Welch Bike/Ped Connection. This project will provide a more direct connection from the Downtown Denton Transit Center to the University of North Texas. It will also link to existing bike infrastructure on Hickory Street, Mulberry Street, and Eagle Drive. Staff is proposing a side path on Sycamore, and a road diet of Welch. The project is in accordance with the adopted 2012 Bike Plan.
The budgeted cost for this project is $953,135 with Denton’s 20-percent match at $190,627. Denton’s portion for this project will be funded through Denton’s Bike Fund.
In the Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) category, Denton submitted sidewalk projects for Ginnings and Lee Elementary Schools. These schools had sidewalk projects already identified by staff with cost estimates and funding allocated. The budgeted cost for the Ginnings project is $656,427 with Denton’s 20-percent match being $131,285. The budgeted cost for the Lee project is $296,461 with Denton’s match being $59,292. Denton’s portion for these projects will be funded by the 2014 Bond Miscellaneous Sidewalk fund.
A key scoring factor for the SRTS category was improving access to schools with a high percentage of students classified as economically disadvantaged (per the Texas Education Agency school report cards). Ginnings Elementary and Lee Elementary are ranked third and fourth, respectively, out of the twenty elementary schools in Denton for number of economically disadvantaged students.
NCTCOG opened a Call for Projects for the Transportation Alternatives-Set Aside program in December 2016. The program is funded through the current federal transportation bill, FAST Act: Fixing America’s Surface Transportation.
Funding will be available after the projects have been included in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), after which funding agreements will be signed with TxDOT. That is expected to occur at the end of 2017, with construction estimated to begin in late summer 2018.