In this round of funding for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity program, California received 17 grants.  -  Photo: Roberto Nickson

In this round of funding for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity program, California received 17 grants.

Photo: Roberto Nickson

President Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $236,900,435 for the state of California for projects through the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant programs as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda.

The funding is aimed at reconnecting communities cut off by transportation infrastructure decades ago, leaving entire neighborhoods without direct access to opportunity, like schools, jobs, medical offices, and places of worship.

Reconnecting Communities

The Administration is taking historic action to deliver for communities left behind for too long. Thanks to additional funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, this investment is 18 times larger than the investments from the previous year’s standalone Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program. Both programs are part of the President’s Justice40 Initiative.

In this round of funding for the Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity program, California received 17 grants. Some of the projects awarded include:

  • $750,000 for City of Montclair San Antonio Creek Trail Crossings Design in Montclair This project includes a planning study for design crossings (over/under) for two major barriers that exist along the planned San Antonio Creek Trail: Metrolink Rail line and at the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10). The completion of the planning and design needed for pedestrian crossings at the two barriers is a critical step to providing a safer, fully continuous multi-use trail spanning the length of the city.
  • $139,000,000 for Removing Barriers and Creating Legacy   A Multimodal Approach for Los Angeles County in Los Angeles County – The Removing Barriers and Creating Legacy   A Multimodal Approach for LA County project will restore community connectivity by investing in high quality multimodal transportation options to enable affordable, reliable mobility and access to opportunity. This project will enhance and expand affordable, equitable, and safe multimodal connections through investments in 14 miles of bus priority lanes, 23 miles of bus corridor enhancements, all door boarding, bus shelters, and 60 Metro Bike Share stations.
  • $22,500,000 for SACOG Green Means Go: Green Zone Access and Equity Regional Planning Project in the Sacramento Area – The “Green Zone Access and Equity Regional Planning Project” will advance planning, engineering, design and project development activities to address barrier transportation facilities in 10 federally designated disadvantaged communities that are locally prioritized for infill development and share the challenge of high volume, autocentric facilities that bisect existing neighborhoods and limit both economic and transportation mobility.
  • $30,000,000 for The East Bay Greenway Multimodal Project: Lake Merritt to Bayfair in Alameda County – The East Bay Greenway Multimodal Project: Lake Merritt to Bayfair will construct a 10.6-mile-long complete streets facility that is parallel to and connects to five San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) stations in the cities of Oakland and San Leandro. The project provides critical, new safety improvements and multimodal access enhancements in historically redlined communities of color harmed by high levels of pollution and noise from adjacent freeways, freight rail, and industrial land uses and displaced and disconnected from other communities as a result of past transportation infrastructure practices.

For more on these projects and for the full list of Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity awards, click here.

Justice40 Initiative

The programs selected are part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

The Department prioritized applications from disadvantaged communities demonstrating strong community engagement and stewardship to advance equity and environmental justice and would also catalyze shared prosperity project development and job creation.

Last year, in the inaugural round of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, the Administration awarded grants for transformative, community-led solutions, including capping interstates with parks, filling in sunken highways to reclaim the land for housing, and converting inhospitable transportation facilities to tree-lined Complete Streets. The projects will help revitalize communities, provide access to jobs and opportunity, and reduce pollution.

Simplifying the Process

The Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program (RCP) in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has been combined with the newly-established Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant program in the Inflation Reduction Act.

This joint application makes it more efficient and accessible than ever for project sponsors to apply for the historic levels of infrastructure funding made available by the Administration’s Investing in America agenda.

While Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grants can come from either program, they share important key characteristics including prioritizing disadvantaged communities — including rural, Tribal, and urban communities — and improving access to daily needs and basic services.

The Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods program is a vital component of the Department’s commitment to equity and the Administration’s commitment to supporting communities marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution and strengthening equitable development.

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