Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Follow up – requesting status of the $1,000,000.00 TAP grant, will the new council follow through to maintain our priority for bicycle lanes, attempt to repurpose the money or reject this grant?

It is decision time: Bike lanes or not, safe streets or not.  Follow through with the Palmetto Bay Traffic Master Plan and Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan or not? Will the new council follow through or a will there be change in council policy?  

The possibility of bike lanes in Mangowood was a hot button issue, but decisions need to be made now that the elections are over and the two year window is closer than many realize. So who wants to reject $1,000,000 to cover the cost of building bike lanes (also part of our Safe Routes to School efforts)? And in the interest of full disclosure, our (Palmetto Bay's) match to the $1 Million is $1,860,937.

Palmetto Bay was notified on July 20, 2017, that we were approved for a TPO TAP grant. We requested $1,000,000 and will match with $1,860,937, as stated above. See my prior post of July 20, 2017, Palmetto Bay Awarded $1 million TAP grant for bicycle lanes project The request was for bike lanes on 82nd avenue, partially completed between 160th south to 168th Street.  

The TAP grant application (CLICK HERE to view the detailed application and supporting exhibits) was clear as to the purpose that the Village sought this grant: 
"The purpose of this project is to construct bicycle lanes along both sides of SW 82nd Avenue, from SW 136th Street to 168th Street. Along with this would be milling and resurfacing the road, culvert widening, intersection improvements, drainage installation and modification, potential tree relocation and installation of green paint at conflict points."
(Underline emphasis added)
Total Estimated Project Cost per the application was $2,860,937 (Page 6 of the grant application).

The grant has a two year window and our match is scheduled to come from CITT revenues and not from general funds. This grant is to build bicycle lanes to work toward completion of our bicycle master plan.  The TAP grant will help considerably in beginning this long overdue process in complying with this approved master plan.

Congratulations are in order for the staff who worked hard in acquiring this grant.  This is an item that needs to be sorted out by the new village council. Do we or don't we? 

This TPO TAP grant and the bike lane issue was discussed as part of the TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS ACTION PLAN, (Updated 2/16/18), Incorporating Ideas Generated by Participants at the Traffic Solutions Summit on February 3, 2018 (CLICK HERE to view the 4 page action sheet - specific item located at bottom of page 3 of 4).
CLICK HERE to view the grant award and the details. The Palmetto Bay project is item #16 and specifies the purpose of this grant: SW 82nd Avenue, Palmetto Bay, Commuter Access.

We will begin to see in the next few months whether the newly elected Mayor and Council maintains commitments made to date by following through on the Transportation Master Plan and Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (otherwise known as 'strategic plans' for their respective purposes) or will reject all and leave substantial grant money on the table, shifting future costs of this infrastructure onto the village resident tax dollars.

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