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Ripon seeks funds for bicycle path system work

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Ripon seeks funds for bicycle path system work

The bridge across the Stanislaus River is part of the Ripon bike trail system.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED September 21, 2017 1:41 a.m.

Imagine a bike path along the Stanislaus River where the west side of Highway 99 is linked to that of the existing ones.
The Ripon City Council gave staff the green light last week to complete the Measure K grant application for the Stanislaus River Bike Trail Project. The deadline is Nov. 30.
The San Joaquin Council of Governments board, as part of the 2017 Measure K Strategic Plan, recently approved the Combined Call for Projects.
According to Engineering Supervisor James Pease, $19.8 million will be made available. Included are $3.85 million for the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Safe Routes to School Competitive Program, $7.78 million for the Smart Growth Incentive Program, and $8.17 million from the former debt service reserve fund that’s available for either of the two programs.
“With $19 million being divided to three different programs, it leaves the opportunity for millions of dollars to be available for the Bicycle, Pedestrian, an Safe Routes to School programs, which gives the City multiple opportunities to receive funds,” said Councilman Leo Zuber at the Sept. 12 monthly session.
For the City of Ripon, the Competitive Calls for Projects – along with that of each jurisdiction within San Joaquin County – would be allocated based on population, with the non-competitive funds being apportioned every two years, beginning this fiscal year through the next (2017-18).
Pease indicated that these funds can be used for any eligible project or leveraged as matching funds for the competitive call for projects.
He noted that the final guidelines for the program are scheduled to be adopted near the end of this month.
Ripon could be eligible based on:
Improvements to the existing bikeways or walkways, in particular, the mobility, access or safety for non-motorized users.
Elimination of hazardous conditions on the existing on existing bike and walk path.
Safe Routes to School projects to improve the path of children walking or biking to school.
Safe routes to transit projects to mass transportation facilities or school bus stops.
Secure bicycle parking at employment centers, park and ride lots, and rail and transit stations.
Establishment or expansion of a bike share program.
Recreational trails and trailheads, park projects trail linkages or a connection to non-motorized corridors.
Development of a community-wide bike, pedestrian, safe routes to schools, or active transportation plan.
Education programs to increase bicycling and walking.
A minimum of 10 percent of the project cost must be provided by the applicant – in this case, the City of Ripon – over a total of $500,000, said Pease in his report.
There is no match requirement for projects under $500,000.
For this part of the potential project, staff identified closing a major gap in the paved Class I bike path on the south side of the City while providing connectivity between the east and west side of Highway 99.
The project calls for grading and new asphalt for the bike path for the length of about 6,200 feet.
Pease said the engineering estimate for this project is $350,000, which includes environmental, design and construction.
Staff intends to apply for $296,451 through the Competitive Call for Projects and funds from the remaining balance ($53,549) coming from the non-competitive portion allocation being used as matching funds in order to leverage the competitive funds and score higher during the evaluation.
If unsuccessful, the City will have until the end of June 2020 to identify another project and claim the non-competitive amount.

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