The application process begins on Mar. 1st.
Funding will soon be available for transportation proposals which don't involve roads. The Maryland State Highway Administration will begin taking applications on March 1st for the Transportation Alternative Program. "The program funds non-traditional transportation projects," says SHA spokeswoman Lora Rakowski. "In these very stark fiscal days that we're facing transportation-wise, these are projects which may ordinarily not be funded."
Rakowski says some of these projects include sidewalks at elementary schools, shared-used trails, hiker-biker trails and the creation of wetlands.
The deadline to apply is May 15th. Rakwoski says SHA has $20-million in federal funding available for this program.
Applications are open to local governments, government-sponsored community groups and school districts. But the local government must put up 50% of the cost of the project, says Rakowski.
Most people, when you mention the word "transportation," think about highway and bridge projects. "It's a new day in Maryland as far as transportation," says Rakowski. "I think that there is the premise that transportation roads are simply meant for vehicles. And we've simply seen that we can't build our way out of congestion. We've got to look at alternate means of transportation."
This program was created under the new federal transportation authorization bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). It replaces the Transportation Enhancement and Safe Routes to School programs.
The Transportation Alternative Program guidelines and applications can be downloaded at http://www,roads.maryland.gov/index.aspx?pageid+144.
Applicants can also call Ms. Jessica Silwick, the SHA's Transportation Alternatives Manager, at 410-545-5675, or toll free at 1-888-204-4828. Her e-mail is email@example.com.