Pedestrian and bike safety should be a priority for all communities.
The pandemic has intensified both positive and negative traffic trends. People started biking and walking more which boosts their health. At the same time, crashes with pedestrian fatalities have climbed 46 percent over the last decade, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
In order to make streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, transportation planners and engineers need to identify funding sources for pedestrian and bike safety projects. In this blog post, we will discuss four core federal funding programs for pedestrian and bike safety projects, as well as some creative ways to use them. Read on to learn more!
It’s important to consider all potential sources of funding when planning a transportation project.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
CMAQ program is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and has annual budget of between $2.3 and $2.5 billion dollars. It’s one of the biggest budget allocations for improving air quality in the United States, and it can be used to fund all kinds of projects that can demonstrate improvement in air quality. This includes bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, such as bike paths and lanes, racks and lockers, sidewalk improvements, and operating costs and marketing materials for bike-share projects.
Funds can even be used for bike and pedestrian safety outreach and establishing and funding state-level bicycle and pedestrian coordinator positions for promoting non motorized transit through public education, safety programs, and other outreach activities.
Transportation Alternative Program
TAP has a budget that is increasing every year to a planned $1.49 billion in 2026. TAP is specifically designed for improving bike and pedestrian safety through the construction of on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities. This type of funding can help with the creation of safety improvements that accomplish multiple goals, such as traffic calming, improved accessibility, and even things like water quality and stormwater management projects. TAP funds can be applied to sidewalk development projects as well, with an emphasis on providing safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and disabled people.
Safe Routes To School
This program allocates at least $1 million per state to improve the ability of high school students to walk or bike to school. SRTS funds can be applied to infrastructure projects, like bike racks, bike paths, crosswalk striping, intersection improvements, and signage. These funds can also be applied to non-infrastructure projects, like law enforcement training, development and distribution of safety literature, community outreach, and curriculum development centered around bicycle and pedestrian safety.
Carbon Reduction Program
The Carbon Reduction Program is a new program focused on reducing transportation emissions. While the funds are allocated somewhat differently to other federal funding opportunities, the Carbon Reduction Program has a lot of money to disburse: $6.42 billion between fiscal year 2022 and 2026. It functions similarly to CMAQ, as they are both core highway federal funds. Transportation via safe, reliable, and cost-effective options are the primary funding interests of the Carbon Reduction Program. This includes projects that promote pedestrian and bicycle transportation, including the planning and construction of new trail, path, and sidewalk facilities on- or off-road for people to walk or bike.
Pedestrian and bike safety projects can be lifesavers, and it’s important that we find ways to fund them adequately.
We’re so thrilled to release our new Funding Guide for Pedestrian and Bike Safety Transportation Projects as a resource for decision-makers who are passionate about making streets safer. This guide provides an overview of the funding options available, the eligibility requirements and budgets.
Pedestrian and bike safety should be a priority for everyone, and it’s time we start investing in them like we do in other forms of transportation. Download the guide today and learn how you can become a #TrafficHero in your community!