Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
The federal Transportation Alternatives (TA) program funds 10 different types of transportation-related activities. Through activity 1, known in law as Provision of facilities for bicycles and pedestrians, communities develop projects that make non-motorized transport safe, convenient, and appealing. These projects encourage healthful physical activity, keep air clean by decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, and enrich local economies with recreational assets. Since the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program began in 1992, approximately 45 percent of available TE/TA funds have been programmed for pedestrian and bicycle facility projects.
Working within Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines, each state Department of Transportation (DOT) and Transportation Management Areas (TMA) determines the eligibility of TA projects for funding. Examples of projects that may be considered eligible include:
► New or reconstructed sidewalks, walkways, or curb ramps;
► Bike lane striping;
► Wide paved shoulders;
► Bike parking and bus racks;
► New or reconstructed off-road trails;
► Bike and pedestrian bridges and underpasses.
Examples of Successful Projects
A cyclist on NYC 9th Ave. separated bike lane.
|Ninth Avenue Cycle Track New York City, New York. A major reconstruction project on Ninth Avenue in New York City, New York used $2 million in Transportation Enhancement funding to build separated bicycle lanes and to enhance the surrounding streetscape. The project funded the reconstruction of 9th avenue and included the installation of new sidewalks, narrowing of the roadbed, landscaping, and pedestrian refuges. The main change was the addition of a physically-separated bicycle path which is one of the first urban on-street parking and signal-protected bicycle facilities in the US. The project has increased the safety of bicycling on the 70 foot wide avenue because the physically separated lane has an 8 ft. buffer of raised concrete islands or a parking lane. Additionally, pavement markings, signs, and discrete signal phases were added. The project won the 2008 Best Program Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers Transportation Planning Council.|
St. George Streetscape, Delaware. The St. Georges Revitalization Committee sought to use TE funding to help revitalize the village of North St. George. In 2011, an award of $352,000 was matched with $84,000 in local funds to help address safety concerns, create an identity for the downtown, and construct sidewalks was granted. The project replaced cracked and deteriorated concrete sidewalks with brick pavers, ADA accessible ramps, and new curbs. In addition, new thermoplastic crosswalks which look like brick were added around Main Street. Before the improvements, downtown St. George looked distressed and uninviting while afterwards it is warm and welcoming to travelers crossing over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on Route 1 or Route 13. Future plans will connect the project area with the C&D Canal path.
The completed overpass over Powell Boulevard.
Cyclists along the M-Path.
|M-Path Extension Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Miami, Florida. The construction of a bicycle and pedestrian path connecting the Dadeland South and Dadeland North metro stops in Miami, FL began in January of 2011. The project included the construction of a trail, a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the entrance ramp to SR 878 along SR 5, lighting, signage, and fencing at the two metro stations. In addition to this, new signs and traffic signals were installed at the intersections with pedestrian ramps, intersections were repaved and restriped, and additional landscaping and paving was done. The project cost around $4.5 million and was completed in December 2011. The path provides a critical link between two popular Metrorail stations in the Miami-Dade area. The nearby streets are several lanes wide and merge with other major roadways. This path provides a safe and effective way to commute between the two stations and to elsewhere along the M-path.|
Visit http://trade.railstotrails.org/project_examples for additional project examples.
Projects that use TA funds must qualify as one or more of the 10 designated activities and be related to surface transportation in order to meet basic federal eligibility requirements. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities that serve a purely recreational function do not meet the criteria of relating to surface transportation.
Visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/guidance/guidetap.cfm for a full copy of the FHWA TA Guidance.
Most states require TA project sponsors to provide at least 20 percent of project costs, also referred to as matching funds. In many states, the value of donated property, materials and services, the labor of state and local government employees, and the costs of preliminary engineering may count towards the matching requirement. Federal, non-DOT funds can often be used as matching funds. Check with your state TA manager whether these innovative financing options are available in your state. Additional funds for this activity may come from local and state governments, foundations, nonprofit organizations, businesses, or other federal sources.
Visit http://trade.railstotrails.org/funding_sources for more suggestions on potential funding sources.
► FHWAs Bicycle and Pedestrian Program: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bicycle_pedestrian/ or 202-366-9064
► A Summary of Bicycle and Pedestrian Provisions of the Federal Aid Program booklet, and "Finding Matching Funds for Trail Projects," NTEC Technical Brief: http://trade.railstotrails.org/publications
► The Bicycle and Pedestrian Information Center: www.pedbikeinfo.org or 888-823-3977
► America Walks: www.americawalks.org or 503-757-8342
► The National Center for Bicycling and Walking: www.bikewalk.org or 202-223-3621
► The Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program of the National
Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca/index.htm or 202-354-6900.
To Get Started
Inquiries about the TA application process should be directed to the TA manager at your state DOT.
Visit http://trade.railstotrails.org/contact for TA manager contact information.