Walking and Bicycling
The MPO actively encourages, supports and funds bicycle and pedestrian planning and implementation. GRPC continues to partner with local governments and advocacy groups to promote biking and walking within the MPO region.
- Maintain inventory of bicycle and pedestrian networks
- Conduct pedestrian and bicycle roadway assessments
- Support grant funding and research
- Advance the Plan for Opportunity’s Transportation Priority Action Areas
- Invest in Bicycle and Pedestrian Networks
- Strengthen the Transit System
- Increase Access and Mobility
- Encourage Complete Streets Policy Development
- Maintains/Update Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan component of the long range Metropolitan Transportation Plan
- Partner with local governments, advocates and decision makers to develop projects
- Provide funding
- Transportation Alternative Programs
- Transportation Improvements Program (10% Bicycle & Pedestrian Set-Aside)
Transportation Alternative Program
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) authorizes distribution of approximately $300,000.00 annually in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds to Gulf Regional Planning Commission (GRPC), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), as provided by Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21) Transportation bill. The MPO’s initial funding efforts supplemented four Safe Routes To School projects that were funded by MDOT and supported one TIP project.
Eligibie projects may include the following:
- Safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs, such as schools, parks, libraries, and grocery stores;
- Construction of off-road recreation trails, including the conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors, utility easements, drainage ways, and public lands for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other non-motorized transportation users; and
- Support surface transportation projects on local roadways.
Complete Streets Program
Gulf Regional Planning Commission (GRPC) continues to support and promote complete streets policies. GRPC encourages policy development by local governments while understanding a successful policy is dependent on the jurisdiction’s capability to commit resources (staff and funding) for a successful implementation. Local jurisdictions are beginning to recognize the value of routinely accommodating all users during the planning phases of transportation improvement projects.
GRPC incorporated complete streets elements within the MPO’s 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Improvements for all modes of travel are eligible under the TIP program and since 2010, set-aside funding is available for bicycle, pedestrian and safety related projects.
GRPC’s Complete Street Policy draft is under review by the MPO’s Transportation Coordinating Committee. The policy will require a commitment to address bicycle and pedestrian design elements when awarded TIP funds unless the city or county can justify an exemption.