With the passage of the new transportation law, the route to federal funding for biking and walking in your community isn’t as direct as it used to be. With dedicated programs, like Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School, eliminated and folded into the new Transportation Alternatives program, there’s far more flexibility in how — or if — federal dollars are spent on bike/ped projects.
But if there’s one guiding principle to this new landscape it’s the increased importance of state departments of transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations — or MPOs.
As Darren Flusche, League Policy Director, explains: “The new transportation law gives Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) more responsibility for distributing federal transportation funds. MPOs serving areas with more than 200,000 residents are required to run a competitive grant program to distribute federal funds from the Transportation Alternatives (TA) program.”
So how do advocates and officials work together to ensure biking and walking are integrated into the funding process in general and, more specifically, this new competitive grant process? Working with MPO staff who are leading the way in bike/ped planning and funding, Advocacy Advance put together a short new report highlighting best practices for MPOs, including:
- General best practices
- Funding and funding approaches
- Best practices for the Transportation Alternatives competitive grant process
Carolyn SzczepanskiCarolyn joined the League in March 2012, after two years at the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In addition to managing the League's blog, magazine and other communications, Carolyn organized the first National Women's Bicycling Summit and launched the League's newest program: Women Bike. Before she crossed over to advocacy, she was a professional journalist for nearly 10 years.