Thursday, August 14, 2014

City Selects Four Pedestrian/Bicycle Enhancement Projects for Funding Request

The City of El Paso will submit four projects for funding consideration that would expand pedestrian paths and bicycle lanes within the city. Funding is sought through the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Transportation Alternatives Program.

As part of the program, the MPO has made approximately $3.9 million available and is seeking projects that qualify for funding. For each project the City is proposing, the City will match 20% of the project cost.
The City of El Paso is seeking funding for four bicycle and pedestrian enhancement projects around town, like this one along River Bend. (City of El Paso)

The Resler Drive Buffered Bike Lane project stretches from Helen of Troy Drive southward to Belvidere Street, a total of 2.3 miles. It includes a minimum five foot bike lane with a three foot buffer, intersection striping, and green paint for intersection and “conflict areas.”

Existing travel lanes on Resler could be modified to accommodate the bike lanes, which will be accomplished by moving the striping that divides the lanes. This project is estimated to cost $344,100.

To the south and west in the Upper Valley, the River Bend Drive Pedestrian and Bicycle Enhancements project stretches just over one mile from Turnstone Drive to Frontera Road. It will add a 14 foot pedestrian and bicycle path between the street and the adjacent canal.

The trail will include park benches, trash receptacles, bike racks, and pedestrian lighting. Both sides of the pathway will be landscaped and include an irrigation system. The project’s cost estimate is $1.067 million.

In El Paso’s Lower Valley, the Independence Drive Pedestrian and Bicycle Enhancements project is located between Yarbrough Drive and Whittier Drive and comes in at just under one mile. It also includes a 14 foot pedestrian and bicycle path with the same amenities as the River Bend project.

The project is located along Independence Drive, adjacent to J.P. Shawver Park. It is expected to cost $691,000.

The Viscount Boulevard Pedestrian and Bicycle Enhancements project in East El Paso will create a similar 14 foot path on the northerly side of the city street. It stretches from Montwood Drive to Ponder Park, a distance of 1.18 miles.

Some portions of the proposed route do not currently have sidewalks on the northerly side of the street. This project has a cost estimate of $536,000.

The applications will be submitted to the MPO prior to the August 28, 2014, deadline. The MPO, which is a regional transportation policy board, announced the call for projects in May. According to the MPO’s timeline, final projects should be selected an approved by early November.

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