Kansas DOT seeking alternative transportation projects

Applications vying for a slice of roughly $14 million in project funds are being accepted through Friday by the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for its fall 2015 Transportation Alternatives (TA) Program.

“The number of projects selected will depend greatly on the number submitted and their associated request amounts, as well as how those projects score after a multi-phase review process,” Mike Spadafore, KDOT’s Bicycle/Pedestrian coordinator, recently told TI News Daily.

KDOT administers the TA Program, which provides funding for a variety of alternative transportation projects.

Spadafore said that possible projects may include on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities; infrastructure for non-driver access to public transportation; or projects that enhance mobility, improve the scenic, environmental or archaeological assets in the state, preserve historic transportation structures, or provide Safe Routes to School.

There are also many eligible project sponsors, he said, including: local governments; regional transportation authorities; transit agencies; natural resources or public land agencies; and school districts, local education agencies and schools, which may vie for Safe Routes to School projects only.

Also eligible are “tribal governments, and any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for oversight of transportation or recreational trails -- other than a metropolitan planning organization or a state agency -- that the state determines to be eligible,” Spadafore said. “Nonprofit organizations are not eligible as direct grant recipients for TA Program funds unless they qualify through one of the eligible entity categories."

Earlier this fall, KDOT held a workshop that provided an overview of the TA Program and made related guidance available to workshop participants from around the state who were eager “to capitalize on this opportunity,” Spadafore said.

KDOT’s detailed guidance, which includes the application form, eligibility requirements, state and federal requirements, and a proposed timeline of activities, among other information, is available online at www.ksdot.org.

“KDOT hopes to see even more activity in the coming years through projects funded by Transportation Alternatives, as well as through the array of other funding sources available for these kinds of non-motorized projects,” Spadafore said.

He added that KDOT is encouraged to see the applications that have come in to the department having multiple project sponsors.

“We know that the collaboration efforts will only strengthen our transportation system as a whole,” Spadafore said.

KDOT expects to announce TA Program project awards in the spring.

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The Kansas Department of Transportation

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