Walkability Wins Part Twenty-Six: Funding and Expanding Walkable Communities

photo of a stopped public bus and a snow covered street

A new roundup of Walkability Wins. This week we’re showcasing the movement by highlighting more places across the country advancing pedestrian-friendly agendas.

Santa Barbara, California

The Westside Community Paseos Project is only one project in a long list of bike and pedestrian-oriented initiatives that the city of Santa Barbara has proposed recently. One of the first construction projects that is underway is redesigning Gillespie St. as a bike boulevard, with improved pedestrian facilities. This revamp includes traffic diverters which favor cyclists and deny vehicular traffic down certain blocks of Gillespie, raised crosswalks for pedestrian safety, and one intersection has been completely closed off to vehicle traffic with infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists in its place.

Thanks to Move Santa Barbara for the Win!

Blanco, Texas

The Blanco City Council created a General Transportation Planning and Advisory Committee with a Subcommittee focused on Pedestrian and Alternative Transportation Modes. This subcommittee will absorb the current Blanco Wheels and Feet, a nonprofit that improves walkability in Blanco. This demonstrates that community walkability efforts are now officially backed by and have support from city council and city staff.

Thanks to Blanco Wheels and Feet for the Win!

Atlanta, Georgia

The Safe Routes to Transit Project has been approved in Atlanta by MARTA. This infrastructure project uses federal dollars to upgrade pedestrian accessibility and safety. The next step for MARTA is to focus on selecting sites for these infrastructure updates. MARTA will focus on pedestrian safety at high ridership bus stops and installing high visibility crosswalks, ADA-compliant ramps, and other safety measures to allow easier access to transit. Congressman Johnson noted that he wanted to ensure that those who rely on transit, especially those with disabilities, can get to where they want safely and reliably. 

San Diego, California

The San Diego Youth Opportunity pass has been extended until June 2024 with more funding from the Association of Governments Board of Directors. This program gives people 18 and under access to unlimited free rides on public transit in San Diego, including the bus, trolley, Coaster and Sprinter.  The first year of the program, 2022, estimated that the number of youth riders on public transit had tripled, from 9,000 to 32,000 youth riders.  

Stamford, Connecticut

State funding has been secured to upgrade pedestrian infrastructure around Barrett Park and Belltown Retail. Three streets have significant pedestrian activity but are disconnected, Burdick Street, Belltown Road and Upland Road. The $800,000 state grant will go to upgrade roadway and infrastructure safety for pedestrians on these three streets, including traffic calming and new sidewalks, pedestrian islands, new lighting, permanent concrete bump-outs and more. The $25,000 grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies will be used to add curb extensions between the West Side and Downtown Stamford.

To catch up on previous installments of Walkability Wins, visit our blog. Have a win? Send it to us: social@americawalks.org.