County parks awarded $18.25 million grant for the Bob Jones Trail
–The California Transportation Commission recently approved funding recommendations for Cycle 5 of the Active Transportation Program, including $18.25 million for the Bob Jones Trail extension project.
The Bob Jones “City to Sea” Trail extension project will construct 4.5-miles of multi-use trail, separated from motor vehicles, and will connect the existing trail in Avila to the Octagon Barn at the South end of San Luis Obispo. This trail fills an essential link in the region’s north-south bicycle network and constructs facilities suitable for people of all ages and abilities, providing an option to safely bicycle or walk to work, school, and other critical services and access to nature and agricultural areas for recreation and exercise. The project has been a top priority for SLO County and the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) for over two decades and has received an immense amount of public support over the years.
“I am overjoyed we have the opportunity to construct such a transformative project that will have lasting benefits to the community’s quality of life,” said SLO County District 3 Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg. “This success is a result of an incredible effort from multiple agencies and citizens over dozens of years, and it’s a wonderful demonstration of the importance of partnerships.”
Approximately $445 million was available to award in ATP Cycle 5 and the CTC received 454 project nominations seeking approximately $2.3 billion. The $18.25 million award is the second-largest award in this funding cycle. The project design is expected to be complete in February 2022, with construction slated to begin in 2023.
“We are thrilled to see state funds flowing to the region and are grateful the commission recognized the importance of this project,” said SLOCOG Transportation Planner Stephen Hanamaikai. “The ATP is vital to delivering a long list of priority projects in the region, but the program is repeatedly oversubscribed. The benefits of active transportation infrastructure became clearer to us all over the pandemic, when we saw dramatic increases in the number of people walking and biking. We think the commission recognizes this and hope state decision-makers use this moment to infuse the program with the funding it needs and deserves.”