Call for projects open for three federal funding programs

In our role as Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Greater Kansas City, MARC is soliciting project proposals for three Federal Highway Administration funding programs.

  • Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) — funds for transportation projects that improve air quality.
  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) — funds for roadway projects on the federal highway system, capital improvements for public transportation and other multimodal projects.
  • STBG Set-aside (formerly Transportation Alternatives or TAP) — funds a variety of smaller-scale transportation projects such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, recreational trails, safe routes to school projects, community improvements such as historic preservation and vegetation management, and environmental mitigation related to stormwater and habitat connectivity.

Some of the funds for these programs will come through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden on Nov. 15, 2021. Since funding amounts are not finalized, MARC will look at past amounts to provide reasonable estimates of how much funding might be available. Although some uncertainties remain, many transportation projects require long lead times to design and develop through the federal-aid process, so MARC is proceeding with this call for projects to provide time to complete that work.

Alignment with regional transportation goals

MARC’s vision is to be a region of opportunity where the robust economy, healthy environment and social capacity support the creativity, diversity and resilience of its people, places and communities.

Connected KC 2050, the region’s long‐range transportation plan supports the regional vision by establishing goals for a safe, balanced, regional multimodal transportation system that is coordinated with land‐use planning, supports equitable access to opportunities, and protects the environment. Project proposals submitted for consideration will be evaluated based on how closely they align with the policy goals of the plan.

Connected KC 2050 also includes a Programming Policy Statement that further supports the vision and is designed to aid the region as it makes progress in implementing the goals identified in the transportation plan and other regional policies. Project proposals will be evaluated for adherence with these policies.

Eligible applicants and uses

State and local government and transportation agencies located within MARC’s MPO boundary — Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri — may submit transportation projects for consideration for STBG and STBG set-aside funds. CMAQ funds are only eligible for use in the region’s air quality planning boundary — Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, and Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri. Interested nonprofit entities, school districts and other nongovernmental agencies should contact MARC regarding their eligibility under these programs.

Each of the three programs is eligible to fund a wide but specific range of surface transportation projects. Eligible transportation project types for this call for projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Active transportation, including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Alternative fuel and diesel retrofit strategies to improve regional air quality.
  • Installation of electric vehicle charging and vehicle-to-grid infrastructure.
  • Installation and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies.
  • Use of natural infrastructure to enhance resilience.
  • Public transportation.
  • Outreach strategies to improve regional air quality.
  • Roadway and bridge capacity, management, operations, preservation and traffic flow.
  • Transportation safety.

Application process

This funding opportunity will consist of two phases, a preapplication and initial screening followed by a full application and technical evaluation.

Preapplications are being accepted now through 4 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2022. Full applications will open June 23, 2022, and close at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 29, 2022. Completion of both phases is required for funding consideration.

The application instructions, resources, maps and online form are available on the Connected KC 2050 funding page.

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2022 Destination Safe call for projects seeks to fund projects that promote safer roads for all

In 2020 the Kansas City region experienced 256 traffic fatalities, a 7.56% increase from 2019.

The Destination Safe Coalition is facilitating a call for projects with the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety to provide funding for local organizations and agencies to implement innovative projects that address driver behavior.

Applications for projects should express how it will use strategies in education, enforcement, and/or emergency response to address one or more of the focuses areas outlined the in Kansas City Regional Transportation Safety Blueprint. Projects addressing unrestrained occupants, aggressive driving (speeding), impaired drivers, distracted drivers, or pedestrian safety are of particular interest.

Any nonprofit organization, jurisdiction, governmental entity or for-profit business is eligible to apply. The program must serve an area (city, county or multiple) within the boundaries of the Destination Safe Coalition which includes the Mid-America Regional Council counties of Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson and Miami in Kansas and Platte, Clay, Jackson, Cass, and Ray counties in Missouri as well as the Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission counties of Lafayette, Saline, Johnson, and Pettis counties in Missouri. Local governments may only apply for funding from their state.

Since 2015, Platte County has received funding for two important programs — the Buckle Up Kids Car Seat Program and the Arrive Alive Program.

“This funding has allowed us to educate the Platte County community about steps they can take to stay safe on our roadways,” said Tia Bigus from the Platte County Health Department. “We’ve been able to educate our residents in many creative ways about everything from car seat safety for children to emphasizing driver safety behind the wheel for teen drivers.

Funding for the Buckle up Kids program provided appropriate car seats to families in need, trained additional Child Passenger Safety Technicians and educated numerous families about proper car seat installation.

Funding for Arrive Alive provided a coordinated and creative effort across many organizations to educate young drivers. This included the purchase of a driving simulator and software update, and messaging for the Heads up Phone Down and It Only Takes One campaigns. Data show these programs are having an impact in Platte County.

The 2022 call for projects is scheduled to open Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, and remain open through Thursday, March 3, 2022. For more information, visit the Destination Safe call for projects page.

Destination Safe’s mission is to reduce transportation-related fatalities and serious injuries in the 13 counties in and around the Kansas City metro.

Congratulations, Green Commute Challenge participants!

The MARC RideshareKC and Air Quality programs announced the 2021 winners of the Green Commute Challenge during an award show broadcast last month.

The first-place team championship was presented to the city of Kansas City, Missouri. Second place went to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Third place went to UMB.

Daniel Raetzel, with UMB, was announced as the grand prize winner. He received the signature train trip to Hermann, Missouri, including two round-trip Amtrak tickets, a two-night stay at a bed and breakfast, trolly passes and more. The top individual commuter award went to Abby M., with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. Abby is an avid cyclist and logged 1,656 miles. She received a weekend getaway at The Elms Hotel & Spa in Excelsior Springs. The second-place commuter award went to Patrick Y., with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. He received a staycation in Kansas City, including a night at No Vacancy in the Crossroads and dinner.

The Green Commute Challenge is a regional competition to encourage the use of alternatives to driving alone, such as carpooling, riding the bus, bicycling, walking and telecommuting. Participants join a team of coworkers and earn points every time they log an alternative commute.

A total of 260 participants across 22 teams joined the 2021 Green Commute Challenge. From Sept. 20 through Oct. 31, participants traveled 34,741 miles, saved 1,514 gallons of gas, prevented 51,266 pounds of greenhouse emissions, and saved $6,246 in commute costs.

“The Green Commute Challenge demonstrates that every trip really does count,” said Natalie Phillips, RideshareKC and MARC employer outreach coordinator. “Every year, our green commuters carpool, take transit, bike, walk or telework toward a big impact on our community.”

MARC and RideshareKC thank this year’s sponsors of the Green Commute Challenge: Bird and Spin, and partners Soap Refill Station, Museum at Prairiefire, Midwest Cyclery, Charlie Hustle, Sequence, ROKC, Messenger Coffee Co., Zarda Hickory Pit Bar-B-Q, Waldo Pizza, Carolyn’s Pumpkin Patch and The National WWI Museum and Memorial.

Share your thoughts on an amendment to the region’s short-range program

The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is the region’s short-range program that identifies projects to receive federal funds and projects that are of regional significance to be implemented over the next three to five years. MARC amends the TIP on both a quarterly cycle and as needed to accommodate changes to projects in the TIP.

The proposed 2022 1st quarter amendment to the 2022-26 Transportation Improvement Program includes 25 projects.

It will add nine new projects, including but not limited to:

  • 4H Road & DeSoto Road roundabout in Lansing
  • Bridge replacement on Thorn Drive over Davis Creek
  • Quivira Road, 179th Street to 187th Street
  • Bridge replacement at Moonlight Road over I-35

It also modifies 16 projects in scope, schedule or budget

View details of the amendment

Submit comments by Friday, Jan. 7, 2022

You can reach us:

  • By mail: Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, Missouri, 64105
  • By phone: (816)474-4240
  • By email: tip@marc.org
  • By filling out the form on the Public Input page

MoDOT seeks comments on unfunded needs

Missouri’s statewide transportation system consists of 33,830 miles of roads and 10,399 bridges, both of which rank among the largest for any state in the nation. In addition to state-owned highways, the state’s multimodal transportation system also includes airports, public transit systems, ports and waterways, railways and facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians. The Missouri Department of Transportation, working with its statewide regional planning partners, has identified $1 billion in annual unfunded needs.

MoDOT has developed a High Priority Unfunded Needs list to guide the development of projects into funded projects as state and federal transportation funds increase. MoDOT collaborated with Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Regional Planning Commissions across the state to begin identifying specific projects within each category. The purpose of each project was defined — improve bridge condition, improve road condition, increase economic growth and improve safety, or reconstruct a major interstate — then projects were divided into three tiers based on priority.

On Tuesday, Dec. 7, Patrick McKenna, director of MoDOT, held a public meeting at MARC to gather feedback from the public about the list of unfunded projects specific to the Kansas City district. In the Kansas City district, there are $116 million worth of projects on the tier one list, $438 million on the tier two list, $432 million on the tier three list and $210 million in multimodal unfunded needs.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can submit comments or questions using this comment form until Wednesday, Dec. 22.