Stephanie Wilson Miller
Program Helps Municipalities Build Bike Trails
Today, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the PARC & Ride grant program is back and the County is now accepting grant applications. This grant program provides matching grants to communities interested in expanding trail interconnectivity throughout Dane County. The 2018 Dane County Budget has $500,000 in matching funds available through the PARC & Ride grant program. Towns, villages, cities and other governmental units are eligible to receive up to 50% of the project costs to offset bike trail design, engineering, and construction costs.
“Dane County has some of the best bicycle trails in the country,” said Dane County Executive Parisi. “Access to see and enjoy our landscapes is one of the many reasons people love living in Dane County.”
The program offers an excellent opportunity for Dane County to work in partnership with municipalities on developing and enhancing bicycle facilities throughout Dane County. Grants will be awarded for capital projects that expand bike trail interconnectivity, create destination-oriented regional bike trails and improve bike safety.
To be eligible for funding, trail projects must provide a regional trail connection as identified in the Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan. Eligible projects include the development of off-street shared-use trails including amenities and support facilities, such as trailheads/parking areas, signage, and safety facilities.
Grants provided by the program are also intended to advance the implementation of bicycle wayfinding signage on bikeways throughout Dane County. All projects funded through the program will be expected to incorporate bicycle wayfinding signage that follows the guidelines found in the Dane County Bicycle Wayfinding Manual. Having bicycle wayfinding signage on our bikeways will improve navigation for bicyclists while also highlighting parks, communities, and other destinations that are reachable by bike.
Grant applications to the PARC & Ride program are due Monday, October 1st, 2018. The grant guidelines and application forms are also available online at: www.danecountyparks.com/Information/Grants.
According to the Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization, there are over 645 miles of bike facilities in Dane County. In addition to the Lower Yahara River Trail, the County is also working to complete the Glacial Drumlin Trail, and providing dollars in partnership with the Town of Westport and others for a new North Mendota Trail to help provide safer cycling.
In 2011, Dane County Executive Parisi started the PARC (Partners for Recreation and Conservation) grant program, which the PARC & Ride program was built on. Since the inception of the programs, $2.8 million in county funds have been awarded to local municipalities and non-profit organizations for developing bike facilities.