BAY AREA -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission approved $44 million in grants, including $3.6 million for North Bay projects, through its Transportation for Livable Communities program to finance pedestrian, bicycle and streetscape improvements near public transit. The 22 projects approved for funding are being developed by community groups and local authorities. A local match of 20 percent is required.

North Bay projects receiving grants include the Santa Rosa Downtown Station Area Utility Infrastructure Upgrade, a water supply and sewer line upgrade, $1.04 million; the Cotati Train Depot, a pedestrian plaza and transit building, $1.5 million; Petaluma Boulevard South Road Diet, a reconfiguration of lanes to adequate size for driving and parking, $708,000; and Vallejo Downtown Streetscape Phase 3, pedestrian enhancements, $400,000.