As we reported on October 1, MDOT’s appropriation in the 2011 transportation budget included boilerplate language related to the Transportation Enhancement (TE) Program and Complete Streets in Section 321 that states,
“In evaluating and awarding enhancement grants, the department shall give preference to applicants which have adopted complete streets policies. In addition, the department shall give preference to enhancement grant applications which further complete streets policy objectives. The department shall report to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees on transportation, and the house and senate fiscal agencies, on or before March 1, 2011, on the specific actions taken to comply with the intent of this section.”
Complete Streets was an easy fit into TE Program criteria as Complete Streets objectives and TE projects are both aimed at producing an enhanced transportation network that plays an important role in the livability of our communities. The Complete Streets legislation advanced the importance of cooperation and coordination among transportation agencies and stakeholders to consider the context of the area and stakeholder needs when developing transportation projects.
Amber Thelen, MDOT’s TE Program Manager said “The TE Program looks forward to the successful transportation projects and potential TE projects that will come from this type of project development process.”
As a result, MDOT has updated the TE project competitiveness factors to include Complete Streets. Specifically, the following items were added as factors that make a project competitive for TE funding:
- “Projects identified as a result of a community’s Complete Streets stakeholder involvement process.”
- “Projects supporting a community’s Complete Streets policy…”
These updated factors are included on page 2 of the, “Project Competitiveness Details” document found at www.michigan.gov/tea.
MDOT has also proposed changes to their updated online grant application per this screen shot. The updated online grant application system will be implemented next year. In the meantime, applicants who have Complete Streets policies are asked to provide information about their policy and how the proposed TE project supports this policy within “Attachment A” (the narrative section) of the current online grant application.
Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposed project with a grant coordinator before starting an application. A map and contact information for the grant coordinators is available at www.michigan.gov/tea, under “Contact Us.”
Questions can be directed to:
TE Program Manager
Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Economic Development