Abilene City Council approves applying for federal grant to add sidewalk, bike lane

ABILENE, Texas - f you're an avid biker or walker, you'll be excited to hear the city of Abilene is applying for a federal grant to add a bike route or lane and sidewalk on South 11th Street from South Treadaway Boulevard to Elmwood Drive.

The Abilene City Council approved applying for the grant during its meeting Thursday morning.

The total project cost is nearly $1.2 million. If the city receives the grant, 80 percent of the cost would be from federal funds. The other 20 percent would come from the city's existing Capital Improvement Project funds for sidewalks.

"I like riding better than driving -- and it's really close," said Richard McLamore, a professor at McMurry University who bikes to and from work with his son from Sayles Boulevard to South 7th Street.

The city won't find out if it gets the grant until the summer of 2013, said Jon James, the city's director of planning and development services.

"Well we went through a process where we identified mostly based on our safe routes to school map," James said. "We identified routes that were most appropriate and most in need of sidewalks and bike facilities."

City officials are hopeful the grant money will be received, but if not, it may be a lengthy wait before the city will see the bike routes or bike lanes popping up around town.

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