The first Bikes Belong grants of 2007 have been awarded to five bicycling projects. The funding support for these paths, trails, and advocacy initiatives will help create new places to ride in communities across the country.
New Orleans' Urban Conservancy, in partnership with Friends of Lafitte Corridor, will receive $10,000 to create a planning document for a bike/ped greenway linking the French Quarter and Canal Boulevard. This path will connect neighborhoods, cultural features, historic sites, retail areas and public spaces while providing a safe route for children and bike commuters.
The City of New Orleans has already secured Recreational Trails and Transportation Enhancements funding for the project. However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the city's planning budget was reduced significantly. Bikes Belong's funding will ensure that the Lafitte Corridor Greenway is professionally designed, with the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians in mind.
The Siouxland Trails Foundation will use $10,000 to help build the IowaSouth Dakota Rec Trail Bridge, a bike/ped facility that will span the Big Sioux River. Currently, area bicyclists must ride on a four-lane highway and cross the river on a busy auto bridge.
The new bridge will link path systems on either side of the river, giving bike commuters a more relaxing and direct route to Sioux City. It will also give recreational cyclists safer access to great road riding in South Dakota.
The Midtown Greenway Coalition was awarded $10,000 to champion three major initiatives that will make the Greenway safer and more accessible for bicyclists. Advocacy efforts will go toward extending the Greenway across the Mississippi River to St Paul; constructing entrance ramps in neighborhoods along the Greenway; and providing street-level access to a new Bike Center situated on the Greenway.
The popular multi-use pathway serves thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians daily and passes through 16 neighborhoods. More than $10 million has been invested in the Midtown Greenway since its inception, with another $8 million earmarked for future projects. The Coalition continues to work to secure funding for the Greenway and to ensure that this money gets spent on key bike/ped facilities.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition will receive $10,000 to campaign for car-free Saturdays in Golden Gate Park. This initiative, based on the 40-year success of car-free Sundays in the park, would expand opportunities for safe cycling in the city-particularly for new riders, families, and children.
Bikes Belong Coalition will provide $5,000 towards the campaign, and the other $5,000 will come from the Paul David Clark Bicycling Safety Fund, part of the Bikes Belong Foundation. An avid cyclist from the Bay Area, Paul Clark loved to ride in Golden Gate Park. SFBC's work to enhance and improve cycling experiences in the park reflects the fund's mission and Paul's passion.
Austin Ridge Riders-Slaughter Creek Trails (Texas)
The Austin Ridge Riders will receive $4,400 to build a critical stretch of singletrack in their Slaughter Creek Trail network. Bikes Belong funding will help accelerate the trailbuilding process and meet Recreational Trails Program deadlines by helping the committed grassroots group pay for a 2-mile section of machine-built trail.
The Slaughter Creek Trail system sits on Austin's Water Quality Protection Lands. Mountain bikers of all ages and skill levels enjoy these trails, and the Austin Ridge Riders, Texas' largest mountain bike club, utilize the area for their excellent programs.