Millions devoted to improve pedestrian, cyclist safety

The Devou Good Foundation wants to invest $3 million over the next three years to help make walking and bicycling safer.

The Foundation has created a major, new grant program and is now accepting applications from non-profit organizations with a focus on bicycling, active transportation, or community development, from city or county agencies or departments, and from state or federal agencies that work locally.

It is accepting requests for funding of up to $500,000.

The Foundation says it will fund projects in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties, as well as in Hamilton County. The requests must support specific projects or programs, not general operating costs, it says.

The Foundation says it’s creating the program because 21% of households in the Greater Cincinnati region do not own an automobile.

Driving, walking, and bicycling the community’s roads and streets is also inherently unsafe, it says. “The area sees hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries per year as a result of vehicular violence,” says Matt Butler, the Foundation's chair of special projects. The cost of automobile crashes is more than $2 billion a year, he says.

“As a region, we need to do more to protect our most vulnerable road users: people walking, using wheelchairs, and riding bicycles,” Butler says.

The Foundation will focus most of its grant funds on infrastructure projects such as bike paths, lanes, trails, and bridges; off-road trails that can be used to connect neighborhoods; infrastructure to slow traffic in neighborhoods; end-of-trip facilities such as bike racks, bike parking, bike repair stations, and bike storage.

It will also fund some advocacy projects, such as programs that transform city streets, such as Ciclovías or Open Streets Days; campaigns to increase investments in bicycle infrastructure; and Vision Zero awareness campaigns and grass roots organizing.

The grants will fund engineering and design work, construction costs, including materials, labor, and equipment rental, and reasonable volunteer support costs. For advocacy projects, it will fund staffing that is directly related to accomplishing the goals of the initiative.

The Foundation says it does not require a specific percentage match, but will consider leverage and funding partnerships when making its decisions. Funds can be used to match local, state, and federal grant dollars. It will not consider grant requests in which the funding would amount to 50% or more of the project budget on projects larger than $200,000.

The Foundation says it will not fund feasibility studies, master plans, policy documents, or litigation; radar speed signs; parking lots for motorized vehicles; or designs that don’t follow guidelines set by the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

The Foundation will evaluate grant applications on an ongoing basis and grants will be continually accepted until all funding is committed. Applicants must submit a Letter of Interest Application and only approved applicants will be invited to submit a full application. 

 

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist, Cincinnati native and father of three. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.
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