SMART lands $12.5 million grant to extend bike path

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The Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission has awarded SMART $12.5 million to build more of the pedestrian and bicycle pathway adjacent to its rail corridor.

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit applied for more than $27 million through the MTC’s Active Transportation Program, and commission staff responded with partial funding for a total of 4.7 miles of new path, running through Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Petaluma. The money will go toward two segments that have already been moved through the required environmental review process.

As part of the quarter-cent tax approved in 2008 by voters for the North Bay commuter rail system, SMART committed to building 54 miles of new paved bicycle trail, as well as upgrading 16 existing miles. Once completed, the pathway will run the 70-mile span between SMART’s eventual northern and southern ends, from Cloverdale to Larkspur.

Eleven years after voters backed SMART, and almost a year and half into operations, 16.2 miles of the path have been finished, with another 1-mile segment in Petaluma set to be completed this year. The additional mileage provided through the MTC grant will bring the pathway up to 22 miles.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin Fixler at 707-521-5336 or kevin.fixler@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @kfixler.

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