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Since 1991, transportation laws have included programs to fund projects suchas bike lanes, bike paths, and sidewalks. These funds enable states andcommunities to access federal resources for safer, more accessible,economically vibrant streets.Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) will determinehow federal transportation funds are to be spent at the state and local level.The law, which takes effect on October 1, 2012, retains funding for biking andwalking in a renamed and restructured program.
In the past, three programs were designed to fund non-motorized projects: Transportation Enhancements(TE), Safe Routes to School (SRTS), and Recreational Trails Program (RTP). In the last three years, thesethree programs represented 48% of federal funding for walking and biking projects.MAP-21 consolidates TE, SRTS, and RTP into into one program: Transportation Alternatives.
Redesigning and constructing roadways in the right-of-way of former interstates is now eligible.
Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
remains unchanged and is funded at2009 levels. Now, though, governors have a choice to opt out of theprogram 30 days prior to when funding is available.
Safe Routes to School (SRTS)
activities —both infrastructure and non-infrastructure — are eligible under the Transportation Alternatives program, but it isno longer a stand-aloneprogram with guaranteed funding.
is renamed Transportation Alternative activities. The new law makes several important changes to the program:
Biking and walking projects remain eligible.
States can continue to fund bikingand walking infrastructure under the consolidated program. The programincludes a new eligibility, “safe routes for non-drivers,” for biking and walkingnetworks.
Some eligibilities are eliminated:
The new law eliminates eligibility for museums, bicycle and pedestrian education, and acquisition of scenic andhistoric sites. Constructing turnouts is still allowed. Other eligibilities have beenmodified.
New eligibilities have been added.
Environmental mitigation was expanded from thespecific uses in current law. Scenic byway program uses are now included.