Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 11:34 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
Recreational Trails Program Typical projects, awarded FY2013
|Howard County Conservancy Accessible Trail Improvements||24,750|
|Brunswick Trailside Amenities||10,100|
|Boardwalks for Upper Rock Creek Trail||32,800|
|DNR Algonquin Cross Country trail||25,000|
|DNR Potomac Garrett State Forest Trail Guides||26,000|
|TOTAL ONGOING AWARDS||4,410,000|
I've talked about the Federal Recreational Trails Program before and I don't get why Maryland caps the grant amount to $30k (with some small exceptions.) Per Recreational Trails Program: Preliminary Report on State Trail Projects on average 44% of this fund is spent on "Trail Construction or Development." While Maryland does not provide enough information to say what we do spend on actual trail construction I am willing to bet it is no where close to 44%.
So I decided to see how Maryland's average cost per RTP project compared to other states (data follows.) Only 9 other states had a smaller average cost per project than Maryland. Maryland's average cost was $22k, the national average was $41k. It is worth noting that DC's average was $232k per project and California was %122k per project. Big difference!
My main point here is I would love to see a greater diversity of projects funded through this program. And on that note I noticed the $30k cap has changed!
Funds requested per project cannot exceed $40,000 for trail construction and $30,000 for non-construction. Please note, for the FY15 solicitation, we will consider lifting the $40K cap for construction projects that score high with the criteria.
So things are starting to change! And remember this is a 20% local match so here's hoping to see a lot more bicycle related projects! Speaking of changes for the good, I noticed Transportation Enhancements (TE) are back! That's right the CTP mentions $25,355,100 worth of TE projects!!! I did not see any mention of the old draconic 50% local match requirement, nor any mention of a match requirement. Did Jim Smith decide to start spending that $40 million backlog of federal money rather then just let the feds keep that money? I would love to know the details but from what I can see from publicly available documents, things are finally starting to look up. .