The Commonwealth Financing Authority awarded the Borough of Kutztown a $674,844 grant on April 22 for Multimodal Transportation projects that will focus on making Kutztown a walkable community and developing “streets as places,” which can mean the difference between a monotonous route and a destination people want to return to.
“Our goal is to make Kutztown a safe and walkable community by creating an Art and History Self-Guided Walking Route," said Kutztown Community Partnership and Kutztown University Community Liaison, Sandy Green in a release. "The goal of this project is to promote walking in Kutztown by engaging a diverse set of community partners to help enhance the social infrastructure and to leverage existing visual assets, such as public art; architecture; and historical cultural sites, to promote walking as a form of active transportation.”
To that end, the Borough announced that the funding will go a long way in helping Borough officials with their multi-faceted plan to make the town easier to navigate for both pedestrians and motorists.
“The sidewalk and intersection improvements will increase walkability and equitable access for all residents and visitors of the Borough,” said Council Vice President Derek Mace.
"Funds were applied to enhance and improve pedestrian safety, access and walkability of Kutztown while connecting pedestrians to the Borough’s parks, walking trails and the downtown and install ADA improvements and crosswalks through the project area," said Borough Manager Gabriel Khalife. "The grant will assist in achieving a significant amount of the needed improvements and enhancements to make a lot of pedestrian areas ADA compliant and accessible."
This project is anticipated to start in 2021 and be completed in 2022.
"The goal of this project is to promote Kutztown Borough as a pedestrian friendly and walkable community, improve ADA accessibility and connect residents, the community and visitor with our recreation, parks and downtown areas," said Khalife.
"The Borough appreciates the support from Sen. Judith Schwank, Rep. Gary Day and the Kutztown Community Partnership," added Khalife.
“This funding will assist Kutztown with their multi-faceted plan to make the borough even easier to navigate for pedestrians and motorists,” said Sen. Judy Schwank in a release. “Their plan includes ADA improvements, crosswalk upgrades, traffic signal improvements and more. I commend Kutztown’s local officials for their vision and foresight to pursue a project to make an already friendly borough more welcoming for residents and visitors alike.”
“Kutztown is one of the most walkable boroughs in Berks,” said Rep. Gary Day. “I’m pleased to see the borough will receive the funds to further improve its walkability and safety for both pedestrians and motorists alike.”
In the release, Borough officials thanked everyone involved in working toward the good of the community in securing this grant from the state, inviting visitors to town before and after the projects are completed.