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Federal Funds For Bicycling And Walking Infrastructure

Very often, when we talk about federal funds for bicycling and walking, we focus on the Transportation Alternatives or safety programs, but the reality is that bicycling and walking infrastructure is eligible for almost every federal transportation program. 

To demonstrate the federal funding for which different types of projects are eligible, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released an updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Funding Opportunities chart this month which shows which transportation programs can fund different types of bicycling and walking infrastructure. Yes, it very much looks like a government chart, but it is an incredibly helpful chart for anyone wanting to know “can my city get federal support for that project?” 

(And, the League first published a chart like this in 2013. Maybe FHWA liked it so much they now do it themselves. Just saying.)

The next time a transportation planner or city council person tells you there is no funding for the type of project you want to build, you can say yes, there is! It’s in the chart!

To be fair, all the different programs have different rules and requirements, and most programs require the state or local government to provide 20% of the total project cost as a local match, so it’s not always just as easy as just asking for the funding. But it also doesn’t have to be as hard as officials may claim. 

Oftentimes the limitation may be at the State Department of Transportation level. 

So check out this chart for what type of project or program you are hoping to fund, and check in with local and state officials about how to get that project into a plan, because there probably is federal funding available.