Comment 88737

By Noted (anonymous) | Posted May 14, 2013 at 20:50:38

Funding Sources for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects

Bicycle and pedestrian projects are broadly eligible for funding from almost all the major Federal-aid highway, transit, safety, and other programs. Bicycle projects must be "principally for transportation, rather than recreation, purposes" and must be designed and located pursuant to the transportation plans required of States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

Federal-aid Highway Program
National Highway System funds may be used to construct bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways on land adjacent to any highway on the National Highway System, including Interstate highways. 23 USC Section 217 (b)

Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds may be used for either the construction of bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways, or nonconstruction projects (such as maps, brochures, and public service announcements) related to safe bicycle use and walking. TEA-21 added "the modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act" as an activity that is specifically eligible for the use of these funds. 23 USC Section 217 (a)

Ten percent of each State's annual STP funds are set-aside for Transportation Enhancement Activities (TEAs). The law provides a specific list of activities that are eligible TEAs and this includes "provision of facilities for pedestrians and bicycles, provision of safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists," and the "preservation of abandoned railway corridors (including the conversion and use thereof for pedestrian and bicycle trails)." 23 USC Section 109 (a)(35)

Another 10 percent of each State's STP funds is set-aside for the Hazard Elimination and Railway-Highway Crossing programs, which address bicycle and pedestrian safety issues. Each State is required to implement a Hazard Elimination Program to identify and correct locations which may constitute a danger to motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Funds may be used for activities including a survey of hazardous locations and for projects on any publicly owned bicycle or pedestrian pathway or trail, or any safety-related traffic calming measure. Improvements to railway-highway crossings "shall take into account bicycle safety." 23 USC Section 152

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds may be used for either the construction of bicycle transportation facilities and pedestrian walkways, or nonconstruction projects (such as maps, brochures, and public service announcements) related to safe bicycle use. 23 USC Section 217 (a)

Recreational Trails Program funds may be used for all kinds of trail projects. Of the funds apportioned to a State, 30 percent must be used for motorized trail uses, 30 percent for nonmotorized trail uses, and 40 percent for diverse trail uses (any combination). 23 USC Section 206

Provisions for pedestrians and bicyclists are eligible under the various categories of the Federal Lands Highway Program in conjunction with roads, highways, and parkways. Priority for funding projects is determined by the appropriate Federal Land Agency or Tribal government. 23 USC Section 204

National Scenic Byways Program funds may be used for "construction along a scenic byway of a facility for pedestrians and bicyclists." 23 USC Section 162 (c)(4)

Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants are available to support projects, including bicycle-related services, designed to transport welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals to and from employment. TEA-21 Section 3037

High Priority Projects and Designated Transportation Enhancement Activities identified by Section 1602 of TEA-21 include numerous bicycle, pedestrian, trail, and traffic calming projects in communities throughout the country.

Federal Transit Program
Title 49 U.S.C. (as amended by TEA-21) allows the Urbanized Area Formula Grants, Capital Investment Grants and Loans, and Formula Program for Other than Urbanized Area transit funds to be used for improving bicycle and pedestrian access to transit facilities and vehicles. Eligible activities include investments in "pedestrian and bicycle access to a mass transportation facility" that establishes or enhances coordination between mass transportation and other transportation. 49 USC Section 5307

TEA-21 also created a Transit Enhancement Activity program with a one percent set-aside of Urbanized Area Formula Grant funds designated for, among other things, pedestrian access and walkways, and "bicycle access, including bicycle storage facilities and installing equipment for transporting bicycles on mass transportation vehicles". 49 USC Section 5307(k)

Highway Safety Programs
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety remain priority areas for State and Community Highway Safety Grants funded by the Section 402 formula grant program. A State is eligible for these grants by submitting a Performance plan (establishing goals and performance measures for improving highway safety) and a Highway Safety Plan (describing activities to achieve those goals). 23 USC Section 402

Research, development, demonstrations and training to improve highway safety (including bicycle and pedestrian safety) is carried out under the Highway Safety Research and Development (Section 403) program. 23 USC Section 403

Federal/State Matching Requirements
In general, the Federal share of the costs of transportation projects is 80 percent with a 20 percent State or local match. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.

Federal Lands Highway projects and Section 402 Highway Safety funds are 100 percent Federally funded.

Bicycle-related Transit Enhancement Activities are 95 percent Federally funded.

Hazard elimination projects are 90 percent Federally funded. Bicycle-related transit projects (other than Transit Enhancement Activities) may be up to 90 percent Federally funded.

Individual Transportation Enhancement Activity projects under the STP can have a match higher or lower than 80 percent. However, the overall Federal share of each State's Transportation Enhancement Program must be 80 percent.

States with higher percentages of Federal Lands have higher Federal shares calculated in proportion to their percentage of Federal lands.

The State and/or local funds used to match Federal-aid highway projects may include in-kind contributions (such as donations). Funds from other Federal programs may also be used to match Transportation Enhancement, Scenic Byways, and Recreational Trails program funds. A Federal agency project sponsor may provide matching funds to Recreational Trails funds provided the Federal share does not exceed 95 percent.

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