Live or work in Washington County and notice your neighborhood is missing a bit of sidewalk, a stretch of bike lane, or another barrier to walking or bicycling in your community? If completed, would that create a new, complete, safe connection for your community? Then Washington County’s Minor Betterment Program (MBP) is for you! Funded by an allocation from the Road Fund (gas taxes). Approximately $500,000 is allocated to this program in fiscal year 2013-2014 to fund small-scale interim improvements which are beyond routine maintenance but not large enough to be programmed as capital improvements.
This is a great opportunity for Safe Routes to School and active transportation in Washington County. The one-mile radius around a school is typically the area without school bussing, and, when there are good routes, is prime opportunity for students to be able to be active on their way to and from schools — instead of being driven because of real or perceived dangers. Unfortunately, there are often very small gaps in our transportation system that make this task impossible or unsafe. Even half a block of missing sidewalk on a busy road can mean the difference in being driven every day — or being able to and allowed to walk — for a 10-year old student. Small projects in the areas around schools help address safety issues, such as filling sidewalk gaps or other connectivity problems that are barriers to getting to and around schools safely.
Eligible projects will:
- Be constructed on a county road; and
- Improve or resolve a specific situation; and
- Address safety, capacity, environmental and/or connectivity issues.
Anyone can apply. You can apply. You don’t have to build the project. You don’t have to work for the city or the county. You don’t even have to know anything about land use or transportation! You only need to see that there’s a gap, a problem, a barrier to walking around in your community — and then submit it for consideration on a 1-page online form. Making connections for walking and bicycling around schools is an important issue for the community.