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Shapiro Administration Announces Grant Opportunities to Help Communities Explore Ways to Become More Pedestrian-Friendly

This specific grant helps communities with necessary prerequisite steps before they develop final transportation plans.


Harrisburg, PA - The Shapiro Administration announced today that applications are now being accepted for funding to help communities create opportunities for residents that increase physical activity by walking, rolling, riding bikes, and using public transit.


Boroughs, cities, towns, townships, and counties can apply for up to $3,000 through the Justin R. Lehman Community Capacity-Building Pre-Planning Assistance Program to begin the process of developing active transportation plans in their municipality. This grant is part of the WalkWorks program, which helps communities increase physical activity by connecting local destinations with improved pedestrian, bicycle, and transit networks.


“Moving our bodies is a great way to improve our overall health, helping prevent stress and diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to do that,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “This program supports healthy communities with funding to explore options for walking, biking, or rolling to places people want to go.


“I encourage eligible municipal leaders to learn more about this grant opportunity and apply for funding to begin the process of helping resident take a step toward improved overall health,” she said.


While the WalkWorks program offers other grants to municipalities to create pedestrian-friendly spaces for residents, this current application is for Capacity-Building Pre-Planning Program. This funding is intended to assist with steps they must undertake to prepare to apply for funding to develop active transportation plans at a later date.


Eligible municipalities interested in applying for funding to develop an active transportation plan, but that lack the knowledge, professional support, and resources to assemble an application can now apply to receive funds and structured pre-planning technical assistance support to complete the steps necessary to prepare to apply for WalkWorks, or similar grants in the future. The process will help the municipality to determine the appropriate scope and extent of their eventual planning proposals.


Funding for these grants is made possible by the Department of Health through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is administered by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.


Applications must be received by 5:00 PM on May 31, 2024.


An optional one-hour webinar will review the goals of this funding opportunity, the application process, expectations of grantees, and questions from interested parties on Thursday, April 18, at 12:00 PM. Applicants can register for the informational session online in advance. Application questions may also be submitted by email to by 5:00 PM on May 17. 


The number of awards is dependent on how many applications are received. The Pennsylvania Downtown Center will provide selected applicants notice of award in July 2024. The anticipated term of the award is July 2024 through February 2025.


More information about the application process is available on the Department of Health’s website.


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