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Beverly Hills Gets Grant to Improve Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety on 13 Mile, 14 Mile, and Evergreen

(SEMCOG, Nov. 16, 2022)

Beverly Hills, MI – SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, has awarded $4,035,464 in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funding for four projects for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. SEMCOG will consider additional projects for future fiscal years in early 2023.

“Creating a transportation system that provides access for everyone begins with safety,” said Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of SEMCOG. “Each of these projects will make a significant difference in the ability of people who walk, bike, and drive to reach their destinations with greater comfort and safety.”

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 three transformative TAP projects selected for FY 2024 demonstrate the need for safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities across our region and enable 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 and upcoming Traffic Safety Plan.

FY 2024 TAP projects

Village of Beverly Hills: $1,643,000 for the Beverly Hills Connector Program, a 4-mile safety project along Evergreen, 13 Mile and 14 Mile Roads that will connect residents across the community to parks, schools, and other core services. This project also builds upon the efforts of Birmingham’s previous TAP project to create continuous pedestrian facilities to with the Evergreen Corridor.

“We are incredibly grateful for the assistance being offered by SEMCOG,” said Village Council President John George, “and the TAP Grant for our efforts to extend the sidewalk network in Beverly Hills.

“We have entire neighborhoods with no safe route to the rest of the community, and the work we’re doing here will be truly life-changing for many residents. When we sought feedback from the community prior to submitting the grant application, we not only had a very high response rate that indicated the strong community interest in additional sidewalk coverage, we also found that more than 85% of the respondents were an unqualified YES to extending the sidewalk network.

“Given that our need is quite literally miles of sidewalks through some difficult terrain, the SEMCOG TAP Grant assistance is instrumental in us being able to make this project a reality. We would likely not be able to address the whole project in the same timeframe without this assistance,” said George.

Sterling Heights: $1,800,314 for the M‐59 Safety Path, a 2.8-mile shared‐use path along EB Dobry Drive. (M‐59 service road), Utica Road., and Greely Street. The path connects residents in nearby neighborhoods to core services in Sterling Heights, Utica, and Troy by filling a major gap from Dequindre Road to the Iron Belle Trail (just west of Utica Road).

“We are pleased to receive grant funding for this exciting addition to our non-motorized transportation plan connecting pedestrian travel among the cities of Sterling Heights, Rochester Hills, Troy and Utica,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. “The northwest quadrant of our city will now have easy access to the Iron Belle, Freedom, Dodge Park, and Macomb-Orchard trail systems. I appreciate SEMCOG promoting the importance of regionalism through these quality-of-life initiatives,” said Taylor.

Superior Township: $592,150 for the Geddes Road Pathway, a 0.5-mile shared‐use path, connecting neighborhoods to the Township path system, giving people access to township parks, the library, and the City of Ypsilanti.

“I wish to recognize the excellent regional leadership from SEMCOG,” said Township Supervisor Kenneth Schwartz, “The opportunity to hear input from the SEMCOG staff and other elected officials representing Southeast Michigan has been the indispensable factor for Superior Township’s efforts to finish construction of our soon to be looped non-motorized path system.

“Our recent SEMCOG grant of $592,150 makes our community vision a community reality. The grant provides over 2,500 residents with a safe path to a newly constructed library branch. I’m pleased and impressed by SEMCOG’ s approach to regional cooperation and regional communication. SEMCOG is well balanced. I strongly believe that when SEMCOG works, wherever they work, we all benefit,” said Schwartz.

Notice of Additional Funding for FY2024, FY2025, and 2026

SEMCOG’s Regional Review Committee will consider additional projects for FY2024, FY2025, and 2026, 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 has a shared rolling application deadline with MDOT. Applications that are submitted by one of those deadlines can expect a funding decision approximately five months later. The next application deadline is February 22.

Additional information is available on SEMCOG’s TAP website.