The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Air Quality Awareness Grants. The Air Quality Awareness Grants make use of federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) funds dedicated to transportation projects that reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips and support cleaner air for the Central Oklahoma region.
Applications were reviewed and scored by a committee of representatives from partnership agencies including the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and ACOG staff. Submitted projects were scored based on a variety of criteria including community benefit, involvement of local partners and impact on reducing ozone-forming transportation emissions.
A total of $61,223.76 in CMAQ funds will be awarded to four entities, each providing local match totaling $16,281 for an overall project cost of $77,505.20. Funded projects are as follows:
City of Oklahoma City: Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements for Commercial Districts and Schools
Air Quality Awareness Grant Award: $32,115.76
Local Match: $7,691.44
Project Cost: $39,807.20
The City of Oklahoma City’s Office of Sustainability worked with the Planning Department to determine opportunities, pending City Council approval, for the installation of 62 bicycle racks, eight crosswalks and four bicycle repair stations throughout downtown Oklahoma City, three nearby business districts and at two Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) elementary schools.
The Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc. business improvement district will see the installation of bicycle racks in Film Row, Automobile Alley, Deep Deuce, Park Plaza, the Central Business District, the Arts District and Bricktown. Two bicycle repair stations will also be installed in Deep Deuce.
The Paseo Arts District will receive three bicycle racks, the Plaza District will receive five bicycle racks, a flashing pedestrian sign, and one bicycle repair station and Uptown 23rd will receive bicycle racks and one bicycle repair station.
OKCPS’ Eugene Field Elementary School will have a higher visibility crosswalk installed along with yield to pedestrian signage at NW 14th Street and Klein Avenue. OKCPS’ Hayes Elementary School will receive a bicycle rack and four yield to pedestrian signs. These specific improvements stem from NeighborWalk, a two-day interactive education program conducted by the City of Oklahoma City Office of Sustainability and the Neighborhood Alliance of Central Oklahoma, where students and teachers participate in walking assessments of their school campuses and nearby residential streets to identify needs to improve safety and walkability.
Additionally, the City of Oklahoma City Office of Sustainability and the Planning Department will work together to create maps featuring sites of newly-installed infrastructure, recommended routes connecting business districts, bicycle and pedestrian safety instructions and educational information about transportation emissions and regional air quality. These maps will be distributed online, through neighborhood newsletters, school hand-outs and an insert in the City of Oklahoma City’s water bill. The City of Oklahoma City worked with commercial districts to participate in September’s National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, counting bicyclists in commercial districts and neighborhoods to establish baseline data to measure the impact of the expanded bicycle infrastructure.
CART: Bike Racks and Bicycle Repair Stations to Promote More Bicycle Trips & CART’s Bike & Bus Program to Improve Air Quality
Air Quality Awareness Grant Award: $8,098
Local Match: $2,025
Project Cost: $10,123
Cleveland Area Rapid Transit (CART), Norman and the University of Oklahoma’s transit provider, will install 15 bicycle racks, installed in groups of two, three and five to accommodate 30 bicycles, and three bicycle repair stations on the University of Oklahoma’s Main Campus, South Research Campus and at a location to be determined in conjunction with the City of Norman.
CART will monitor transit users who travel with bicycles one week every month to see what, if any, increase occurs with the addition of bicycle racks and bicycle repair stations. CART will also document use of the new bicycle racks through a random sample measure of usage each month, identifying how many bicycles use new racks, how often the racks are at capacity or empty and how use changes over a 12 month period.
A public outreach program will be conducted by CART to advertise the new bicycle facilities and identify the impact of personal transportation actions on regional air quality. The outreach program will be augmented through the cooperation and involvement of campus organizations such as the Student Government Association, the Sustainability Committee, the Environmental Concerns Committee and OUr Earth as well as the City of Norman’s Bicycle Advisory Committee.
City of Norman: Bicycling Safety Program
Air Quality Awareness Grant Award: $5,260
Local Match: $1,315
Project Cost: $6,575
To develop a safer bicycle riding environment and encourage more people to use bicycles as a basic means of transportation, the City of Norman will use funds for a public safety campaign to place a bus wrap on a CART bus for one year. The program originated from and was requested by the City of Norman’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. Norman is currently Central Oklahoma’s only League of American Bicyclist-certified Bicycle Friendly Community.
City of Yukon: Bike Racks for Yukon
Air Quality Awareness Grant Award: $15,750
Local Match: $5,250
Project Cost: $21,000
In an effort to make the community more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, the City of Yukon will install 12 bicycle racks, all custom-designed and locally fabricated to reflect the “Y” in the City of Yukon’s logo. These bicycle racks will be installed at public destinations citywide including the Mabel C. Fry Library, the Jackie Cooper Gym, Yukon City Hall and others. Public outreach will be conducted upon installation of the racks and local businesses will be encouraged to purchase their own “Y” bicycle racks for distinct consistency throughout the community.
ACOG looks forward to working with each grantee towards the completion of the respective projects and continuing the program in 2015 to fund more outstanding projects throughout the region that improve air quality awareness.