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Quality of Life

State Council Awards $30 Million For SD Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Bicyclists ride on the SR-15 commuter bikeway between Kensington and Mission Valley, Aug. 30, 2017.
Matthew Bowler
Bicyclists ride on the SR-15 commuter bikeway between Kensington and Mission Valley, Aug. 30, 2017.

The state Strategic Growth Council Thursday announced almost $30 million in grants for two San Diego infrastructure projects meant to integrate affordable housing complexes and promote sustainable transportation.

The San Diego Association of Governments was awarded nearly $20 million to install two miles of protected bike lane and more than half a mile of walkway upgrades along Sixth Street and J Street. The project is intended to improve downtown bicycle connectivity with a proposed housing complex near the 12th & Imperial Transit Center that will provide 407 units, including 270 that will be affordable.

The second grant will award SANDAG nearly $10 million to build more than a mile of walkway upgrades intended to increase pedestrian safety between a school, grocery store, park and proposed housing complex at Keeler Court and Alpha Street. The complex will provide 71 units of affordable multifamily housing.

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The grant also will fund bike infrastructure linking the Southcrest neighborhood with downtown.

Overall, the council's latest round of Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grants awarded more than $257 million for 19 statewide projects.

Apart from lowering greenhouse gas emissions, projects are intended to make public transportation more appealing via proximity.

"Research shows that people of modest means who live near public transit are more likely to use it, helping them save money and reduce greenhouse gases, which benefits all Californians," said Ben Metcalf, director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. "Because these homes remain affordable for at least 55 years, multiple households will be served, allowing families the chance to access opportunities, break the cycle of poverty and begin to build wealth for future generations."

To date, affordable home development and other projects awarded through the program will avoid the release of more than 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars off the road, according to the council.