The Calif.-based Orange County Transportation Authority’s board of directors approved more than $19.5 million to help Orange County cities improve their bikeways and walkways.

Funding through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program was awarded to 13 projects that promote mobility options by increasing safety, provide regional linkages to key destinations, close bikeway corridor gaps and improve air quality across the county.

“I’m impressed to see so many O.C. cities step up to the plate in favor of active transportation and OCTA is happy to make so these worthwhile projects possible,” said OCTA Chair Lori Donchak. “Orange County is ideal for biking and walking and these projects will encourage more of us to considering leaving ours cars at home.”

A call for projects was issued by OCTA in March, making available $20 million for bicycle and pedestrian projects. The project applications were reviewed by an advisory panel and funding was granted based on project readiness, local match contribution, cost-benefit ratio, connectivity to surrounding amenities, and compliance with state and federal laws and requirements.

Prior to this award, OCTA has funded 27 projects with a value of nearly $10 million through the Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program. OCTA sets aside 10% of its federal CMAQ funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

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