In our federal advocacy, one of the most significant and ongoing issues is securing funding for biking and walking projects. By increasing funding and ensuring federal dollars are available, the League is empowering states and local communities, plus our member advocacy organizations, to utilize federal resources in your neighborhood.
Basics of Federal Funding
Federal transportation funding is administered by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) through its modal agencies, primarily the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation policy, including the types of projects that can be funded and how funding is distributed to different funding programs, is set by Congress when it authorizes federal transportation spending. In November 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which both reauthorized five years of transportation funding AND added a one-time burst of additional funding for transportation and other infrastructure.
While Congress refers to it as the IIJA, the Biden Administration and the US Department of Transportation refer to it as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law or BIL.
This page provides resources for bike advocates on the IIJA/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and how to access those funds to make biking better in your community.
Summary of wins in the IIJA/BIL
The infrastructure law included over a trillion dollars for infrastructure with almost three quarters of that going to transportation. As a comparison, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which covered transportation from 2015 to 2020, came in at $255 billion. In total, the IIJA/BIL five-year transportation authorization comes in at $550 billion, plus an additional $274 billion of one-time spending.
Some of the League priorities that made it into the IIJA/BIL are:
- Increased funding for Transportation Alternatives by more than 60%
- Requires all states to do a Vulnerable Road User Assessment to map out where fatalities and serious injuries occur, identify and label high- risk areas, and determine solutions to address vulnerable road user safety
- Requires each state to write a Complete Streets policy and standards
- Requires car safety standards to include how well new technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking work at detecting and protecting vulnerable road users
- Increased funding for discretionary grant programs like RAISE
The League looks forward to working with the US Department of Transportation, state Departments of Transportation and state and local bike advocates as we prepare for implementation of the new funding and policies. We also will continue to advocate for infrastructure programs that reinvest in communities hurt by transportation decisions of the past, and tax incentives, like the Bicycle Commuter Benefit and the e-bike tax rebate.
For more information on the IIJA/BIL resources, use the accordion features below.
Overview of available IIJA/BIL resources
Basics of Federal Bicycle Safety Funding
At the federal level, bicycle and pedestrian safety is affected by federal transportation funding and policies and funding for traffic safety programs, including education programming. With the help of nearly 10,000 comments from concerned citizens and bicycle and pedestrian advocates, the League has pushed the federal government to require that each state sets a goal for non-motorized safety.
In 2018, for the first time, every state had to set a goal for the number of non-motorized road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, who are killed or seriously injured within each state. These goals, although most are not aggressive in reducing fatalities and serious injuries, are important because they help set federal and state policies for traffic safety.
Below, you'll find resources on federal advocacy and funding related to bicyclist and pedestrian safety, primarily through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).