Miller, Bay Area Members of Congress Announce $10.2 Million Grant for Green Transportation Initiative
Funds Will Help Close Gaps in Bicycle and Pedestrian Trails
PLEASANTON, CA – Members of Congress from the San Francisco Bay Area today announced that a major competitive grant of $10.2 million in federal funding was awarded to the East Bay Regional Park District to close critical gaps in at least six communities along the acclaimed nearly 200 mile regional bicycle and pedestrian paved trail system that connects communities, schools, and transportation nodes throughout the greater Bay Area.
The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund seven high priority transportation projects that are part of the Park District’s Green Transportation Initiative. It was strongly supported by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Reps. Jerry McNerney, George Miller, Barbara Lee, John Garamendi, and Pete Stark, and many local and state officials.
According to the Park District, the 265,000 residents living within one mile of these proposed projects will benefit from enhanced, healthful, and non-polluting transportation choices. An additional 500,000 residents already live adjacent to existing trails and will also benefit. In addition, the trail network improves economic competitiveness by connecting people directly to business parks and their places of work. A fully completed Green Transportation Network will make the East Bay an even more attractive place for new businesses and a highly skilled workforce to locate.
"I was proud to secure funding for this project," said Rep. McNerney. "The program will improve our quality of life and make the region more attractive to businesses by extending the Iron Horse Trail, expanding outdoor activities for the Tri-Valley, and creating hundreds of jobs in our community."
"Our community’s innovative workforce and positive business climate depend on having accessible transportation options, including for pedestrians and cyclists," said Rep. Miller. "This major grant will create jobs, ease commutes, and yield positive health and environmental benefits across the Bay Area."
"This worthy $10 million investment in our local communities by the Department of Transportation will improve commute times for pedestrians and bicyclists, helping to reduce congestion on our busy streets," Congressman Garamendi said. "Once again, President Obama and the Democratic Majority in Congress are stepping in where help is needed most, creating more than 500 jobs and improving local communities, including Livermore and Antioch, during tough economic times."
"This grant will help improve bicycle and pedestrian trails throughout the Bay Area, leading to a safer, more accessible and cohesive trails network that will benefit commuters and recreational enthusiasts alike," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. "As we celebrate this grant, we must also continue to invest in our local public transportation system to improve infrastructure, provide operational assistance to transit operators, and facilitate the movement of people and goods throughout our region."
"Our transportation system isn't just roads and rail and runways -- these trails help East Bay residents who get to work every day by biking, running, and walking," said Rep. Stark. "This grant is of great benefit to our community, and recognizes that pedestrian trails are a critical part of our transportation infrastructure."
"We’re very pleased with this important award," stated East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Pat O’Brien. "The Park District began developing this integrated network of paved trails in the 1970s, and we’ve seen the use of these trails just explode with the population growth over the past several decades for both commuting and recreational purposes. With this grant, we will be able to expedite closing critical gaps in the Green Transportation network, providing a real boon to those who live and work in the East Bay."
O’Brien applauded the Bay Area Congressional delegation’s enthusiastic support and that of regional stakeholders and other organizations, including letters from over 80 local stakeholders endorsing the Green Transportation Initiative. One key letter, on behalf of several regional projects around the Bay Area, was signed by the five East Bay members of Congress, Sens. Boxer and Feinstein, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Reps. Anna Eshoo, Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren, Jackie Speier, Mike Thompson, and Lynn Woolsey.
Details of the East Bay trail projects that will benefit from the $10.2 million grant are below.
The TriValley Transit connector project in McNerney’s congressional district will extend the Iron Horse Trail from the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station through the adjacent Hacienda Business Park and planned transit-oriented development project. Hacienda currently encompasses ten million square feet of office space, and is home to 475 companies employing 18,000 people. An additional project, the Alamo Canal Trail Undercrossing at Interstate 580, will link Pleasanton’s Centennial Trail with Dublin’s Alamo Canal Trail, providing improved connectivity to local libraries, sports fields and city services.
The funds will aid in the creation of two additional segments of the San Francisco Bay Trail in Miller’s district. The Hercules Intermodal Center Connections project will complete two critical linkages in the San Francisco Bay Trail around the Hercules transit center, making it more accessible to the Hercules community and linking rail, ferry, and bus to walkable and bikeable paths. The Martinez Intermodal Station to Crockett project will pave a 2.7 mile gap and connect the Martinez and Crockett communities. The project will reduce the commute distance for bicyclists from Crockett to Martinez by 7 miles.
In Lee’s district, the one-mile Gilman to Buchanan Bay Trail project closes the only gap in the trail between Richmond and Emeryville, creating a continuous ten-mile bicycle and pedestrian corridor along the shoreline. And funding will also be available for the East Bay Greenway, a proposed bicycle and pedestrian pathway from Oakland Coliseum BART to 105th Ave. that will result in a well-lighted, landscaped bicycle and pedestrian path connecting to the BART station, AC Transit bus service and local schools.
Funding will also allow construction of the Mokelumne Trail overcrossing of the Highway 4 Bypass in Garamendi’s district to move forward between Antioch and Brentwood, eliminating a two-mile detour for bicyclists and pedestrians and putting contractors and their employees back to work.
In Stark’s district, closing the three-mile gap in the Bay Trail between the Dumbarton Bridge and Union City will complete the twenty-mile corridor between the bridge and Oakland. The segment will provide commuters and other users with connections to transit, including BART and bus services, educational institutions including Chabot College, and direct access to major employers in Hayward, Union City, San Leandro and Oakland.
The funds were awarded through the Department of Transportation’s TIGER II competitive grant program. For FY2010, Congress appropriated $600 million for National Infrastructure Investments through the TIGER II grant program. Funds for the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program are awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region.
The total cost of the East Bay Regional Park District’s Green Transportation Initiative is estimated to be $43.3 million. The East Bay Regional Park District will provide the remaining funds through its voter approved Measures AA and WW, and funding partners including SAFETEA-LU, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, the San Francisco Bay Trail Project, and the cities of Dublin, Pleasanton, and Hercules.
Detailed project descriptions are available on the EBRPD website at www.ebparks.org/ebgti.