Topeka Becoming More Bike Friendly With $1.4 Million Grant

TOPEKA, Kan. – Phase One of the City of Topeka’s Bikeways Master Plan will be implemented with the help of a major grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). The City was notified on Friday that its Transportation Enhancement (TE) application was selected for funding and will be included as part of the KDOT TE Program. The City was awarded $1,400,000 to implement phase one of the Bikeways Plan.

“I’m thrilled,” Council Member Karen Hiller said. Hiller is Chair of the Bikeways Advisory Committee. “The Bikeways Advisory Committee and many citizens and staff have worked really hard to bring the plan this far. This grant will help us implement the entire first phase at once, which will provide a starting network of routes connecting the whole City.”

The grant project will result in 32 additional miles of bike lanes, covering portions of nine different routes. Phase One combines existing trails with relatively easily convertible streets and short, gap-filling path segments to create the foundation for the comprehensive bikeways system. The phase one system provides service to all parts of the city; its densest coverage, though, occurs in the central part of Topeka, providing (with the Shunga Trail) a grid of three continuous east-west and north-south corridors. It also connects Lake Shawnee to the rest of the citywide network.

“We’re ecstatic that we got everything we asked for,” Planning Director Bill Fiander said. “This endorses the ongoing efforts of our City, and reflects our commitment to becoming a bike-friendly community.”

The federal portion of funding will be 80-percent of the total project construction and engineering costs. The City would be responsible for the remaining 20-percent, along with preliminary design, right-of-way, and utility costs. The project budget for phase one must still gain City Council approval. City departments are asking for a $365,000 total project budget, $280,000 in matching funds for construction and $85,000 for design and bonding. City engineers will soon sit down with KDOT to develop specific design plans.

Current bicycle-related projects in the works were approved as Complete Streets projects, and fit into the overall Bikeways Master Plan.

Timeline
Phase One: completed in 2014
Phase Two: 2015-2017
Phase Three: 2018-2020
Phase Four: 2021-2023
Phase Five: 2024-2026


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