St Joseph MO receives $600,000 FHWA Discretionary Grant to build bike lanes, sidewalks

The Federal Highway Administration recently announced is annual Discretionary Grant awards.

Two projects in Missouri received funds--and one of them is a project in St. Joseph, Missouri, to create dedicated bike lanes, widen sidewalks and calm traffic on a 1.5 mile section of St. Joseph Avenue (US 59).

Bike lane
Bike lane

The U.S. Department of Transportation, under the leadership of former Illinois Republican Congressman Ray LaHood, has made a commitment to bring a fair share of funding to bicycling and walking projects--which have been neglected for decades under previous federal transportation policy.

This year's Discretionary Grants are a good example of the new direction at the Department of Transportation and FHWA--many of the grants mention sidewalks, bike lanes, and other bicycle and/or pedestrian elements.

Bicyclists and pedestrian represent less than 6.5% of trips taken on Missouri roadways, but 7.5% of roadway deaths, 15% of roadway injuries, and only 1.8% of funding.

Increasing the amount of funding dedicated to bicycle and pedestrian projects in programs like the FWHA's Discretionary Grant Program is a  step in the right direction, helping to reverse decades of neglect of bicycle and pedestrian safety.