SUCCESS STORY OF ‘SUSTAINABLE SECOND STREET CORRIDOR’: HOW DREAMS COME TRUE or HOW TO WIN 8 MILLION DOLLARS GRANT

The Frankfort city of Kentucky which is the placement of my fellowship program has been awarded nearly USD 8 million for green infrastructure improvements on the Second Street Corridor Project from the federal government. The funding is a part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Program through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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The Frankfort Mayor William May, Grants Manager for the City of Frankfort Rebecca Hall, Francis Gasgonia, Sirey SUM at the TIGER Grant Announcement at Second Street Elementary School, Frankfort, Kentucky

The U.S. Congressman Andy Barr [KY-6] and the U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao officially present the Capital City with the TIGER grant. Sitting in a reserved seat for an invited guest, I had an opportunity to participate in the TIGER Grant Announcement.

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Representative Andy Barr [6th Congressional District of Kentucky]
Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr said a strong infrastructure is needed for local economic development, and to allow businesses large and small to keep growing. He also added this project will greatly improve the quality of life and promote an environment for the downtown area.

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The Second Street infrastructure conceptual improvements.

I was inspired by powerful sustainable urban street design concepts of this innovative Project. A plan for the Second Street Corridor as one of the green city gateways into the Capital is focus to promote sustainability and revitalization. It was developed with the technical/design assistance provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under EPA’s Greening America’s Capitals (GAC) Program. More information is at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/greencapitals.htm

To provide balanced benefits, the reconstruction of smart urban Second Street corridor would beautify the historic Downtown area, supporting healthy, prosperous communities through sustainable urban planning, and improving the environmental quality of the corridor.

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{These design concepts show what city officials and community leaders say Second Street Corridor could look like following a multi-million-dollar streetscaping project and additional private development | The drawings by Parker Rodriguez}.

Arrangement guideline emphasizes the concept of design innovative green line infrastructure of the Project that is integrated with street drainage, storm water management system applying (SWM) to optimize the process of infiltration of rainwater into the ground, reduce combined sewer system overflows into the Kentucky River and improve water quality.

In addition to improving water quality, planting trees and other vegetation can filter air pollutants and improve air quality in the corridor. As a part of an overall strategy of the city’s Kentucky River Development Plan to reconnect the Frankfort city to its riverfront, other design concepts would be implemented:

  • a solar-powered rainharvesting system for the community garden, a community gathering space,
  • and a path to the river’s edge accessible to people with disabilities to improve community access and engagement in environmental stewardship of the Kentucky River.

Report: GREENING AMERICA’S CAPITALS – SECOND STREET CORRIDOR Plan, Frankfort, Kentucky

SECOND STREET CORRIDOR Final Plan, Frankfort, KY (PDF) (48 pp, 8 MB)

‘Green City Frankfort is a winner’ – this is great news for my host community – Congratulations!


Background information of Second Street Corridor Project:

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The Frankfort Mayor William May

“This project will just wake that whole area up,” said Frankfort Mayor William May.

This year the U.S. Transportation Department received 452 eligible applications for TIGER grants, and only 41 were selected. And the Capital City was the only community in Kentucky to be awarded a TIGER grant through the highly competitive application process.

The total USD 12.4 million project features revitalization of the 3,700-foot section of Second Street area as a busy transportation route, as well as pedestrian and ADA accessibility at the Capital Avenue and East Main Street intersection, and is critical to Frankfort’s move toward a walkable city.

Based on the principles of safety, environmental protection, partnership, this project demonstrates the importance of cooperation between the federal, state and local governments, private sector and people of Kentucky.

“I think Frankfort community has been poised for something great like this for some time,” said City Manager Cindy Steinhauser, adding that awards like the TIGER grant “don’t happen because of one person.” “It just took bringing all the partners together around the table and aligning that with a strong strategy and articulating a great outcome.”

I was impressed with a speech of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

Frankfort’s Second Street Corridor, in its current state, presents an incredible challenge with safety issues, for pedestrians and bicycles. It has narrow sidewalks, a wide road, long crosswalks, high speeds, and illegal left turns, limited accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities. I want to thank the students behind me. I want to let them know they can walk to and from school, cross the street in a much safer environment because we love them,” said the Secretary.

This transportation project will eliminate underused travel lanes, build wider sidewalks, and add traffic calming features and bike lanes. It will also improve access to bus transit facilities for low-income residents, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao

As a result, the project will encourage walking and biking among neighborhood children and residents, better manage stormwater runoff, beautify the state’s capital with landscaping, and create a sense of place in the Frankfort city. It will also attract tourists and visitors to the to the commercial corridor on Second Street fostering local business activities which is a part of revitalization of downtown Frankfort. All these infrastructure improvements would help create greener, healthier and safer environment for Frankfort city community.

Read more about TIGER Grant project.

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