Wondering how to install signs in your community directing walkers and cyclists to local businesses? Interested in creating activities that encourage people to get out of their cars and walk, ride or take transit? If so, your city, public agency or nonprofit organization may be eligible for a Regional Travel Options grant.
The application process for Metro’s Regional Travel Options grant program begins December 20, 2012. A total of $2.1 million in federal transportation funding is available to local government agencies and non-profit organizations. Metro will fund projects that improve air quality, address community health issues, reduce auto traffic and create more opportunities for walking and bicycling. Funded activities may include:
- Training or hiring staff or volunteers to promote transportation options to residents and employees.
- Helping businesses promote travel options to employees and coordinating outreach activities of partner’s employer and commuter programs.
- Supporting facilities for bicycling, walking, or running to work.
- Conducting neighborhood events that allow people to walk and bike on traffic-free streets.
- Encouraging walking, biking, and other forms of active transportation in order to support healthier, more active lifestyles, especially for minorities and low-income communities.
- Using personalized contact to motivate people to use travel options more frequently.
- Using signage and typically, an accompanying map, to help residents find amenities such as trails, shops, and downtown centers.
- Creating tools to help residents plan and make trips using transportation options.
Previous projects funded by these grants include: TriMet’s Open Trip Planner, the Bike Commute Challenge and Wilsonville Sunday Streets. The grants also support projects such as the installation of bike shelters in Forest Grove, downtown Tigard walking maps and way-finding system, and community outreach by Organizing People | Advancing Leaders (OPAL) to identify, assess and prioritize improvements to transit stops along major bus routes serving East Portland.
Grant applications are due to Metro by February 22, 2013. Grant awards will be announced in early April, with funding available in July, 2013.
Grant applicants can learn more at an informational meeting on Tuesday, January 9th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Metro Regional Center, 600 NE Grand Avenue in Portland. In addition, Metro staff are available to discuss project ideas individually with potential applicants. For more information, visit www.oregonmetro.gov/rtogrants. You can also contact Regional Travel Options at 503-757-1757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.