Area schools may qualify for sidewalk funding after initiative

TPO sidewalks schools

Mary Robinson of the Bay County TPO and Tori Wilson of the Florida Department of Transportation present information about the Transportation Alternatives Program.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 07:56 PM.

CRESTVIEW — If the Okaloosa School District applies for funding for a recently announced transportation initiative, Antioch Elementary School students won't scramble through scrub, weeds and roadside debris to reach the Antioch Road crossing guard.

Florida-Alabama and Okaloosa-Walton Transportation Planning Organization members met March 21 in Crestview to learn about the state Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, a component of the federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, initiative.

County and local officials, including Okaloosa School District Facilities Director Bill Smith, also attended the presentation by Mary Robinson of the Bay County TPO and Tori Wilson, the Florida Department of Transportation’s TAP administrator.

The two-year, $52 billion MAP-21 consolidates Transportation Enhancements, Recreational Trails and Safe Routes to School programs under the Transportation Alternatives Program.

Any projects proposed for funding under TAP must be submitted to the local TPO for approval before application is made to the transportation department.

While road widening — including constructing the much-hoped-for P.J. Adams Parkway and Antioch Road corridor — is not eligible for funding, sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, lighting and safety infrastructure, and "traffic calming techniques" are allowed, according to materials distributed by Wilson at the workshop.

Safe route to Antioch

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