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Getting Creative in Funding Bicycle Projects

Bicycles are here to stay as part of our transportation system. While MAP-21 reorganizes and reduces funding opportunities, advocates and agency staff will need to look beyond Transportation Alternatives. This may be the Highway Safety Improvement Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, Surface Transportation Program, or a number of other federal and state sources.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the FY2012 grant recipients for their Bus Livability grant program. Highlighting the importance of connecting bicycles and transit, many of the approved projects include a bicycle component. Some key examples include:

  • Witchita, KS received $1 million for the Douglas Avenue Transit Oriented Development Corridor, including bicycle parking throughout the corridor.
  • Durham, NH received $94,500 for bus pullouts and connecting a bicycle lane with a recreation path to facilitate better access to the public transit system.
  • San Bernardino, CA received $5.3 million for a new transit center, including a bicycle station with secure parking and short-term rental and repair services.

FTA has already set up a website for information on MAP-21, so be sure to check if your upcoming project is eligible (or can be improved by including a bicycle element). A map of the awarded grants in the Bus Livability (red pins), State of Good Repair (blue pins), and Transit Asset Management (green pins) programs is below.  Click here for the interactive version.

At the same time, states are recognizing and funding important bicycle programs and projects. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley recently announced 28 Bikeways Program Grants, part of his Cycle Maryland initiative. The grant winning projects include on and off-road bicycle route connections, bike route signage, bike racks and safety improvements. Salisbury, a recent host of a Bicycle Friendly Communities workshop, received funding to complete their downtown bicycle lanes project (way to go bike-SBY!). Baltimore will be using the grant to install a downtown cycletrack. Click here for a complete list of projects.

As these two programs show, there are funds available for bicycles, but not always in the first place you look. Advocates and agency staff will need to be creative and tenacious in finding sources and getting projects funded. The Advocacy Advance team is always here to answer questions, brainstorm ideas, and help get your projects funded.

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