State funds for a system of bicycle trails around the city of Batavia, which the governor's office announced Monday, are actually eamarked for sidewalk replacements and repairs, not biking trails, according to City Manager Jason Molino.
The Healthy Schools Corridor project is slated to get $720,657 for sidewalk improvements on Summit Street, Liberty Street, South Liberty Street and Washington Avenue.
Today's press release:
With a $720,657 grant from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by NYS Dept. of Transportation, the City of Batavia Public Works Department will be able to expand sidewalk replacements along Summit and Liberty streets and Washington Avenue.
The project will include the removal of old sidewalks, installation of new sidewalks, handicap access ramps, high visibility crosswalks and selective tree removal and will be matched with $240,219 of City funds. In total the $960,000 project will include over 12,300 linear feet of improved sidewalks providing safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists connecting United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia Middle School, St. Joe’s School, the Downtown Corridor and Jackson Elementary School.
“Improving sidewalks has been a priority for City Council and this grant will allow us to do even more over the next few years” said City Council President Brooks Hawley. “With this grant we will be able to make our sidewalks safe for our residents and children.”
The City has approximately 73 miles of sidewalk, and in 2011 it was estimated that more than 20 percent of the sidewalk system needed repair. The City has made a concerted effort since to 2011 and has replaced over 26,500 linear feet, or almost 7 percent of the sidewalk system. This includes more than 130 curb ramps.
“This grant will allow the City to more than quadruple our annual effort,” said Sally Kuzon, director of Public Works.
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Rosemary Christian and longtime advocate for sidewalk improvements added, “I’m ecstatic about getting this grant. Every year I ask for more and more sidewalk improvements and now we are going to do almost $1 million in one year. Our residents deserve it.”
TAP provides funding for non‐motorized transportation alternatives such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safe routes to schools projects, trails, and other infrastructure improvements to the transportation system. The City applied for the grant in June 2014 and was one of seven communities in the nine-county Finger Lakes Region to receive an award.