PIEDMONT -- The city is taking steps to qualify for a possible $100,000 grant to implement a comprehensive street improvement plan.
The plan would take into account the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, emergency and private vehicles and include a "safe routes to school" component.
"We've heard from a number of people who wanted a more expansive bike plan" as well as an improved pedestrian plan, city planner Kate Black said.
To qualify for the grant, Piedmont had to adopt a Complete Streets Policy, which was done at the Nov. 19 City Council meeting. The policy spells out the city's "multimodal" vision to accommodate users of all ages and abilities.
"The policy stems from a national goal to have jurisdictions adopt the concept of 'complete streets' that are safe, attractive and convenient for pedestrians, motorists, children, the handicapped" and others, Black said.
"It's an umbrella policy that applies everywhere. This broad concept gets developed specific to Piedmont," she added.
The city has already filed the streets policy ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline. It is required by its general plan in accordance with the California Complete Streets Act of 2008, and is necessary to qualify for grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in conjunction with the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Grant funds come from Measure B, the half-cent sales tax to fund transportation improvements and programs throughout Alameda County. Voters in November 2000 approved an extension of the sales tax through 2022 to fund a new set of projects and programs.
"The city said go for a bigger plan to accomplish all objectives," Black said. "We ramped it up to be much more comprehensive. There is a big difference between the basic bike plan and one that considers all sorts of changes, an all new pedestrian plan."
Measure B grant funds of $1,900 were used to prepare the Complete Streets policy. Piedmont has been receiving Measure B funds they use for ongoing street improvements. Their Measure B fund balance as of June 30, 2011, the latest data available, is $680,944.
"We expect a call for projects in February and file an application in April," Black said.
"The grants are competitive, so there is no guarantee. But we hope to achieve funding in July."