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Getting Federal Funding,Part I: CMAQ

CMAQ funded 80 percent of the $1.35 million McDonald’s Cycle Center in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

CMAQ funded 80 percent of the $1.35 million McDonald’s Cycle Center in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

When it comes to finding federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects, many people have heard about the Transportation Enhancements program, by far the largest, which provided 64 percent of the federal funding to bike and pedestrian projects between 1992 and 2008. However, a number of other federal funding programs for which bicycle and pedestrian projects are eligible are not as well known. As part of the Advocacy Advance partnership with the Alliance for Bicycle and Walking, the League has prepared a series of reports to inform advocates of these programs and provide guidance on getting bicycle and pedestrian projects funded.

The first report in this series is on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program. CMAQ funds bicycle and pedestrian projects that replace car trips with biking and walking trips. The federal government covers 80 percent of most projects, with a 20 percent local contribution. For states that have areas (usually cities) that have not met air quality standards, CMAQ funds must be spend in those areas.

Advocates should know about CMAQ because bicycle and pedestrian projects are explicitly eligible and commonly funded. Thirteen percent of projects and 5 percent of total funding from CMAQ goes to bicycle and pedestrian projects. CMAQ funds have been used on a wide variety of capital projects including bicycle paths and lanes, racks and lockers, and for marketing materials and operating costs for bicycle sharing projects. The report includes about 20 examples of CMAQ-funded bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Read the whole CMAQ report.

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