Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that the City of Glens Falls had won a competitive ‘Thriving Communities” grant. “Thriving Communities” is one part of the Biden-Harris Administration's programs focused on ensuring that all communities have an equal opportunity to benefit from federal infrastructure funding. USDOT’s technical assistance is part of the Thriving Communities Network, an interagency initiative among the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, as well as the General Services Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The city was one of 64 communities across the U.S. that now has access to historic funding opportunities.
"The historic investments we are making in America’s infrastructure must reach the communities that need them the most,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a media release. “With the new Thriving Communities program, we are helping under-resourced communities better access federal funding for transportation projects that will create jobs, improve safety, and strengthen their economies.”
“Glens Falls is the planning and development stages of several transportation projects,” states Jeff Flagg, the Director of Economic Development, “but the city has no technical planning staff and relies heavily on the use of consultants. “Our goal in applying for the grant was to assist the city in the technical planning of transportation projects.”
“The Thriving Communities program will support four separate transportation projects that are currently under consideration in Glens Falls,” continues Flagg. “They include ideas for a multimodal transportation hub, the implementation of the Greater Glens Falls Transit Authority’s (GGFT) merger with the Capital District Transit Authority (CDTA), the electrification of our bus fleet, and the implementation of ADA accessibility improvements for pedestrian facilities. The funding received via the Thriving Communities Program will help us to coordinate efforts together with our community partners such as the Lake Champlain & Lake George Regional Planning Board, the Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council, and the Warren County Economic Development Corporation to advance these projects.”
“Our selection fell under the ‘Complete Neighborhoods’ aspect of the Thriving Communities program,” continues Flagg. “That means the City of Glens Falls is working to better advance complete streets policies and coordinate transportation with land use, housing, and economic development.”
“Communities that have long faced historic underinvestment and disadvantage are finally going to get the technical assistance they need to explore innovative concepts and build better transportation solutions through the Thriving Communities Program,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian.