BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—Bikes Belong has awarded grants for three projects for its Summer 2010 grant cycle. These projects will build bike paths and increase advocacy to provide better connectivity and more options for seasoned, new, and emerging riders.
Austin Metro Trails and Greenways 2010 Advocacy Initiative (Austin, TX)
This $5,000 advocacy grant will help Austin Metro Trails and Greenways (AMTG) to promote a new transportation bond package, which is up for voter approval in November. Included in the bond package is $40 million in funding for a diverse mix of 15 bike and pedestrian projects, totaling more than 50 miles of facilities. Projects will include bike lanes, trails, parking, an underpass, a bridge, and streetscape improvements. One goal of the package is to increase bicycling in underserved areas by improving bike connections in lower-income neighborhoods. Many of the projects will connect to existing trails—popular with Austin residents for both recreational and transportation riding—such as the Lance Armstrong Crosstown Bikeway and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, significantly improving the integration of Austin's regional trail network. After the November election, this grant will also help AMTG build community support for future bicycling initiatives.
Housatonic Covered Bridge Bike Trail (Salisbury, CT)
The Housatonic Covered Bridge Bike Trail will extend for 45 miles along New England's scenic Housatonic River Valley, eventually linking more than 100 miles of trail, dozens of town centers, one high school, two elementary schools, a major prep school, and six dozen heritage sites. The wide, flat trail will provide cyclists with relief from the region's hilly topography. In addition to the $5,000 grant from Bikes Belong, the National Park Service has committed one year of technical assistance to the trail's development. The trail will be part of a system running from New Milford, CT, to Pownal, VT, and will connect to the East Coast Greenway in the future.
Kings Mountain Gateway Trail (Kings Mountain, NC)
The first two miles of the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail opened in November 2009, and already the trail has become a popular recreation destination for Kings Mountain bikers, hikers, and walkers. This $5,000 grant will fund a 2.8 mile extension of the multi-use trail, including stream and rail crossings. The new trail will allow cyclists to start their ride from downtown Kings Mountain and improve connectivity within the town as well. Future phases of trail construction will connect to nearby state parks, the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina, the cities of Shelby and Cherryville, NC, and the Carolina Thread Trail. Land has also been allocated along Kings Mountain Gateway Trail for three future singletrack mountain biking trails.