TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced the application deadline for the federally-funded Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grants is being extended to Sept. 18 to allow schools additional time to gather information required to be eligible for a grant Aug. 3. The original deadline was Aug. 23.
Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti recently announced NJDOT’s Commitment to Communities initiative that creates new programs and combines existing departmental efforts to assist local governments in spending the significantly increased level of aid that the reauthorized Trust Fund law affords them. The Commitment to Communities initiative provides one-stop shopping for local government managers by providing hands-on resources for the application process, raising awareness of grant cycles and proactively communicating pertinent information.
NJDOT received several requests to extend the SRTS application deadline so schools could have more time to collect data on student trips to school. One of the requirements for eligibility is to have tally data within the past two years.
The SRTS application deadline extension to Sept. 18 will allow more communities to apply for these grants that are geared toward enabling and encouraging children to walk and bicycle to school. SRTS facilitates the planning, development and implementation of projects that improve safety and air quality, as well as reduce traffic and fuel consumption around schools. Projects should be located near K – 8 schools.
Other local aid grant program applications being accepted include:
In addition to the SRTS grant applications, NJDOT is accepting applications for the federally-funded Transportation Alternatives Set-Asides and several of FY19 State Aid programs. The Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) reauthorization in 2016 increased funding for Local Aid programs to counties and municipalities from $190 million per year to $430 million. Applications are being accepted for the following programs with the following deadlines:
Programs with an August 23, 2018 Application Deadline:
• Transportation Alternatives Set-Asides (TA-Setaside) – This program provides federal funds for community based "non-traditional" surface transportation projects designed to strengthen the cultural, aesthetic, and environmental aspects of the nation's intermodal system. It is administered by NJDOT, in partnership with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO). The grant solicitation period opened on May 15 with applications accepted through Aug. 23.
Programs with an Oct. 8, 2018 Application Deadline:
• Municipal Aid –This $151 million program has been a significant resource in funding local transportation projects. All municipalities are eligible. The Department continues to encourage municipalities to consider using the Municipal Aid Program to fund projects that support walking and biking in their communities especially now that additional funds are available. NJDOT has set a goal to award up to 10 percent of the Municipal Aid Program funds to projects such as pedestrian safety improvements, bikeways and streetscapes.
• Bikeways - This $1 million program is intended to fund bicycle projects which create new Bike Path Mileage. It is available to all counties and municipalities. The Department continues to work toward the goal of achieving 1,000 miles of dedicated bikeways in New Jersey. Special consideration will be given to bikeways that are physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier, but on-road bike lanes and other bike routes and facilities are also eligible for funding.
• Safe Streets to Transit - The intent of this $1 million program is to encourage counties and municipalities to construct safe and accessible pedestrian linkages to transit facilities, in order to promote increased usage of transit by all segments of the population.
• Transit Village – This $1 million program will award grants or traditional and non-traditional transportation projects that enhance walking, biking and/or transit ridership within a half mile of the transit facility. Only New Jersey municipalities that have been designated as Transit Villages by the Commissioner of Transportation and the inter-agency Transit Village Task Force are eligible to apply. The eligible town list can be found at: http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/business/localaid/transitvillagef.shtm