Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 9, 2013

Goshen officials seek grants for more bike/pedestrian trails

GOSHEN —  New bike trails may be constructed in Goshen if federal grants are received.

Members of the Goshen Redevelopment Commission Tuesday gave city engineer Mary Cripe permission to submit grant applications for Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding for two potential bike trails, the Northwest Bike Trail and the Ninth Street Trail.

According to Cripe, the Ninth Street Trail would run from College Avenue to Purl Street, while the Northwest Bike Trail would run along Bashor Road to C.R. 17 and to the commercial area along U.S. 33 North.

Though both grant submissions were approved, Cripe asked the commission to provide her with its top priority between the two trails in order to determine which should be funded first, as the Michiana Area Council of Governments will undoubtedly ask for a priority ranking.

Following Cripe’s request, commission president Tom Stump said his recommendation would be to focus on completion of the Northwest Bike Trail.

“I think if we do any of these projects, we should do one out on the northwest side,” Stump said. “I would say we need to look at the Northwest Bike Trail as our number one priority.”

Commission member Laura Coyne agreed, adding that there is already a bike path located just a block away from the planned Ninth Street Trail, while there is no such comparative trail located in the area near the proposed Northwest Bike Trail.

“So in terms of need,” Coyne said, “it seems like the Northwest Bike Trail would take precedence.”

The application

According to the CMAQ grant application, the Northwest Bike Trail project would involve extending a bicycle/pedestrian path along the north side of Bashor Road from U.S. 33 west to an existing utility easement along C.R. 17; then north parallel to C.R. 17 to Peddler’s Village Road; then west along the south side of Peddler’s Village Road/C.R. 28 to a utility easement for the Peddler’s Village sewer lift station; and finally north along the easement to the back driveway of Sam’s Club.

“This project provides a pathway for bicycle and pedestrian uses that connects the residential area to the northwest U.S. 33 commercial area, and to the Maple Heart Bicycle-Pedestrian Trail,” the grant application states. “The intent of this project is based upon improving consideration to bicycles and pedestrians by providing a more complete street for safe and convenient travel for all modes of transportation. Bicyclists and pedestrians will no longer be forced to share the roadway with vehicles as they will be able to use the proposed path, separated from any vehicular traffic thus increasing safety conditions.”

With CMAQ grants, Cripe indicated that funding would typically require the city to pay 100 percent of any design engineering and right of way acquisition fees associated with a project, but only 20 percent of the actual construction cost, with federal funding covering the remaining 80 percent.

According to the grant application, cost for the Northwest Bike Trail will include approximately $28,000 for development and environmental services, $99,000 for design engineering, $100,000 for right of way acquisition, $825,000 for construction, and $99,000 for construction inspection, for a grand total for the project of $1,151,000.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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