Wixom and Rochester Hills Get TAP Grants for Trail Connections
(SEMCOG, Jan. 2, 2022)
SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, has awarded $2,812,081 in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding for four projects for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 and FY 2023. SEMCOG will consider additional projects in March, June, and September 2022.
“These transformative projects will implement regional and local planning priorities, such as road safety, transportation equity, access to regional trails, tourism, and water quality,” said Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of SEMCOG. “What is really exciting about this program is how it enables communities all over Southeast Michigan to provide safer walking and bicycling access to local and regional destinations, fill gaps in our trail networks, and enhance walkability in our downtowns.”
Funding addresses multiple transportation priorities in Southeast Michigan
TAP projects are transportation-related improvements to roadways, local streets, and corridors. Most often, they address mobility options through new or enhanced bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. This includes things such as pathways, bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings. These projects improve the existing transportation system, while providing safe new options to help people connect to transit, regional trails, and core service destinations. TAP can also fund green infrastructure projects that mitigate environmental concerns from the road network.
These four transformative TAP projects selected for FY 2022 and FY 2023 demonstrate a diverse range of high-impact approaches supported by these funds, while also enabling each awardee to implement a solution that meets its needs and builds on its local vision for success. These projects also support the policies included in SEMCOG’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan for Southeast Michigan.
FY 2022-2023 TAP projects
Monroe County: $1,456,544 in FY2023 TAP funds for the Monroe Loop Trail, a 6.5 mile shared-use path and way-finding project, which extends the River Raisin Heritage Trail and connects residents living or working in equity and demand areas to parks and core services within the City of Monroe, Monroe Township, Raisinville Township and Frenchtown Township. Destinations include Monroe High School, Monroe County Community College, Monroe County Fair Grounds, Ellis Library, Munson Park, River Raisin National Battlefield Park and William C. Sterling State Park. The project also helps fulfill the vison of SEMCOG’s Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors, serving as central hub for corridors to the north, south and west.
“We are both excited and grateful for the TAP funding awarded for the Monroe Loop Trail Project,” said Michael Bosanac, Monroe County Administrator. “We are excited to be able to partner with the City of Monroe and Monroe and Frenchtown Townships. The project will link users of the trail to local, state and federal assets for citizens and visitors to enjoy. This is certainly a unique aspect of the project to connect the National Battlefield Park to the Sterling State Park and local cultural, educational and recreational sites.
“And we are grateful to the technical support and strength of SEMCOG in being there every step of the way to realize the vision of the soon to be community asset. We look forward to the continued build up of trails in our communities where citizens and visitors can experience the natural beauty of Michigan’s Cornerstone County while promoting healthy activities for the whole family,” said Bosanac.
City of Rochester Hills: $338,454 in FY2023 TAP funding for the Drexelgate Parkway Pathway project, which includes traffic-calming measures and a one-mile shared-use path that connects local residents in Bicycle and Pedestrian Demand Areas with the Clinton River Trail (part of the Great Lake to Lake Trail) and the Township’s local shared-use pathway system.
“We are thrilled to receive this incredibly important TAP Grant from SEMCOG as it will address and improve one of the city’s most pressing transportation needs,” said Bryan Barnett, Rochester Hills Mayor. “We remain grateful for the importance work that SEMCOG does for our region and are proud to partner with them to bring these critical safety improvements to Rochester Hills.”
Shelby Township: $268,169 in FY2023 TAP funds for a new sidewalk and pedestrian bridge along 25 Mile Road connecting Heath Side Drive and Apple Lane. The project connects students to Eisenhower High School and fills one the last gaps between Mound Road and Van Dyke Avenue. The project also builds upon the Township’s FY2022 TAP project on 21 Mile, 22 Mile and 25 Mile roads, which aims to safely connect residents to local core services and regional trails.
“Based on meetings with residents and the Sidewalk Committee and feedback from our community visioning process, we know a top priority for our community is to improve pedestrian safety near our parks and schools,” said Lisa Casali, Shelby Township Trustee and Sidewalk Committee member. “This grant will be a fantastic asset in those efforts. In addition to this project, we’ve also invested in more than 1,300 feet of new sidewalks and have other grants in place to facilitate a safe pedestrian crossing across 25 Mile Road into our schools,” said Casali.
City of Wixom: $748,914 in FY2022 TAP funding for Michigan Air Line and Huron Valley Trail Extension. This project fills a gap between Wixom Road and Old Plank Road. It provides approximately 2.4 miles of shared-use path, protected bike lanes, and safe crossings, helping implement SEMCOG’s vison of Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridors and connecting downtown Wixom with the Great Lake to Lake Trail.
“Wixom is very grateful to receive this TAP Grant award from SEMCOG for Phase 2 of the Michigan Air Line Trail in our community,” said Steven Brown, City Manager, Wixom. “We look forward to building on our Phase 1 success which was also funded by a TAP award. We are particularly excited to bring the trail and users directly into Downtown Wixom alongside Pontiac Trail just west of Wixom Road and to connect to the Huron Valley Trail to the west,” said Brown.
“SEMCOG TAP funds are key to the evolution of the Air Line — generating local, regional, and cross-state connections — as a key link in Michigan’s growing trail network,” said John Hensler, Airline Trail Manager. “The Air Line Trailway Management Council applauds SEMCOG’s participation in helping create a recreational gem that’s already embraced by the communities it passes through, and will continue to for generations to come,” said Hensler.
TAP funding awardees were selected by SEMCOG’s Regional Review Committee, which is comprised of local elected officials in Southeast Michigan. Each of these projects have or will need matching/additional funding from other federal, state, philanthropic and/or local sources.
Notice of Additional Funding for FY2022 and FY2023
SEMCOG’s Regional Review Committee will consider additional projects for FY 2023 and FY2024, so interested applicants should reach out to SEMCOG staff to discuss potential projects and ensure they meet upcoming application deadlines. Applicants should utilize SEMCOG’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Maps to demonstrate how their project meets SEMCOG’s competitiveness criteria. SEMCOG will next consider additional projects in March 2022 with a February 23 application deadline. Additional information is available on SEMCOG’s TAP website.